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For Immediate Release
April 19, 2022

VOLUNTEERISM AT ITS BEST
MEET THE SOUTHERN GULF ISLANDS FERRY ADVISORY COMMITTEE


VICTORIA – A desire to help neighbours in ferry dependent communities, communicate important information and act as a conduit between islanders and the company are several reasons people volunteer to be a member of the Southern Gulf Islands Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC). With National Volunteer Week around the corner, it’s time to acknowledge their endeavours and thank them for their efforts.

April 24-28, 2022 is National Volunteer Week across Canada. The annual event seeks to recognize volunteers, like FAC members, and celebrate the positive impact of volunteerism in communities.

Led by co-chairs Mary Greenwood from Galiano Island and Dave Maude from Mayne Island, the 12-member committee is generally comprised of individual volunteers from Galiano, Mayne, Pender and Saturna islands, with up to three representatives from each island. Local Island Trustees are also usually at the table as members.

“Because we represent four different islands, the Southern Gulf Islands FAC works as a cohesive unit, taking into consideration the needs of other communities as well as our own for the benefit of all,” said Greenwood.

FAC Chairs and members work year-round to provide BC Ferries with advice and insight that helps inform day-to-day operations, terminal and vessel improvements, schedule changes, and other initiatives. There are no days off for an FAC Chair. They answer emails, phone calls, and questions from community members 24/7.

That’s exactly the kind of volunteer service that National Volunteer Week is designed to celebrate with this year’s theme ‘Empathy in Action’. The theme seeks to draw attention to how volunteers build awareness around the experiences of different community members and build capacity to work collectively together towards common goals. FAC Chairs like Greenwood and Maude, and their committee members are at the front lines of this work, bringing the perspectives, ideas, and concerns of the Southern Gulf Islands to the table in conversations with BC Ferries.

For BC Ferries part, they say the FACs are a vital connection to the communities they serve. “The community insight and understanding that our FACs provide us with is invaluable,” says Brian Anderson, Vice President of Strategy and Community Engagement. “We rely on them not only for community-centred advice, but also helping us get information out to the community, especially when changes are afoot. The FACs do a phenomenal job and we are grateful for their dedication and the long hours we know they put in to their work with us.”

When asked what she is most proud of as an FAC co-chair, Greenwood said, “I wouldn’t do anything I wasn’t proud of. It truly takes a village on the gulf islands to look after one another – it’s all part of connecting communities.”

When not tending to FAC business, Greenwood, is a retired music educator who took up playing the harp a few years ago. She also spends time tending her food and flower garden and with the easing of COVID restrictions, Greenwood is thinking about trips to Europe and warm destinations in the winter.


FAC Facts:
  • There are 13 Ferry Advisory Committees situated in communities up and down the coast of British Columbia.
  • Committees are generally made of up of 8-12 members who represent ferry dependent communities.
  • FAC members bring a wide variety of voices and perspectives to the table. A committee’s composition depends on the community, and often includes representatives such as: full-time and part-time residents, the tourism industry, commuters, seniors, businesses, commercial goods and service providers, and many more.
  • This past year, FAC members have helped with:
    • Understanding the complex use of ferry service in the Southern Gulf Islands
    • Developing new schedules for two-ship service for Gabriola Island and Quadra Island
    • Adjusting and communicating service and schedule changes during pandemic recovery
    • Providing early input on Terminal Development Plans

 
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Media Contact:
BC Ferries, Media Relations
Victoria: (250) 978-1267

Customer Contact:
Victoria: (250) 410-1465
Toll-free: 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888-223-3779)

Note to newsrooms: For urgent media inquiries off-hours, call our off-hours line at (250) 516-7211.
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