One of the winners in NexStream 3.0 comes from Cortes Island.

The Gathering Place was awarded $10,000 “for running an exceptionally community-minded business, that never compromises ethics for gain. Their ethically imported spices and regionally grown herbs are of exceptional quality. They are the epitome of what a local business can be.”

This is the third year that Campbell River has held a NexStream Competition.

According to Mayor Andy Adams, “NexStream 3.0 highlighted the innovation that’s happening right here in Campbell River and throughout British Columbia. In addition to its core challenges, this year’s competition also offered a community stream to showcase local, community-focused businesses. We’re proud to have a competition of this calibre to shine a spotlight on our incredible community and enrich the growing innovation economy.”

The competition is funded and administered by the Campbell River Area Angel Group (CRAAG), with support from the city of Campbell River.

‘Sister Sister’ – winner community stream category – NexStream Tech Competition Photo by David Baar

Creative industries from Campbell River, Squamish, Port Alberni, Victoria, Vancouver and Edmonton were winners in the mainstream NexStream Tech competition. They brought innovations such as:

  • An all-in-one container that combines the best features of gear case, backpack and duffel bag, and collapses when not in use.
  • An app that helps diners find restaurants that supply food meeting their dietary restrictions
  • 3D bioprinting of humanized tissue models for advancing medicine that generates stable and reproducible 3D-structures that can remain in culture for over a month.
  • A Virtual Reality environment that provides individuals with an immersive space that can be optimized for a variety of different therapeutic needs, both self-guided and therapist guided.
  • The next generation of solar cells, which uses perovslkite technology for greater stability, versatility and lower costs compared to conventional silicon solar cells.
  • A softwood floor tile
  • A new renewable energy technology, that harnesses the power of flowing water
  • An online booking tool
  • A modular construction company that builds cost effective homes for the housing market
U4E0 – winner community stream category – – NexStream Tech Competition Photo by David Baar

Five Campbell River businesses were winners in the community stream category

Sister Sister – For their honest and deeply empathetic cards, produced right here in Campbell River!

U4E0 – For inspiring our community through the hands-on education and training they provide to youth within our community. This group is impacting our young people’s lives in significant and empowering ways by training them in industrial sewing, design and in parachute ringing.

Walk with Me  – For bringing people from all walks of life together to listen and learn from each other. Their innovative placemaking practices are resulting in programs that are having tremendous impact on the quality of life of all community members.

ByteDeck  – For developing innovative tools in education that makes learning efficient and fun for students, and that helps teachers focus on delivering excellent learning outcomes.

On the farm – The Gathering Place

This is what NexStream 3.0 had to say about Ryan and Lovena Harvey, and the Gathering Place:

“It’s hard to describe the energy you will encounter when you walk into The Gathering Place in Campbell River. Although it’s a sophisticated business with cutting edge food processing, quality control and order fulfilment capabilities, it’s also a joyful place to be where you can’t help but be inspired by all of the laughter and the shared passion for cooking!”

“Ryan and Lovena began their business on Cortes Island nearly 20 years ago. While they grow many of their Canadian-sourced herbs on a family farm there, business growth and kids going to school in Campbell River required a larger processing facility and presence in Campbell River. The Gathering Place now offers a full line of spices and herbs that are all carefully curated, blended, packaged and distributed out of Campbell River. The herbs and spices in each package can be traced all the way back to its source, thanks to innovative software developed with collaborators, in-house. They are continuously improving the process to deliver the highest quality of product possible.”

“More importantly, a caring set of values for people and planet guide each decision that Lovena and Ryan make. For example, they meet every farmer from who they source, and they only source from sustainable food gardens as opposed to monocultures. This permaculture approach to farming ensures that local ecosystems remain intact and that the farms themselves remain more sustainable and resilient.”

Meeting with suppliers – The Gathering Place

“Because the team believes in minimizing environmental impact and supporting Canadian farmers, they will always source Canadian if there is an option.”

“Lovena and Ryan are exceptionally committed to their communities on Cortes and in Campbell River. They provide benefits to teammates and offer a $5 stipend each day to anyone who travels to work under human power! Their whole team is encouraged to spend time weekly doing cleanup in the surrounding area and in Nunn’s Creek Park during working hours.”

“Many members of the NexStream team love cooking and we can say without hesitation, that these spices are of the highest quality we’ve ever tasted. If you’re interested in purchasing their products, they’re available at several local grocery stores or direct from their website at:”

Top photo credit: Lovena Harvey in the Gathering Place Trading – winner community stream category – NexStream Tech Competition photo by David Baar