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Columbia Basin Crafting New Strategic Plan in Historic Year

Columbia Basin Trust celebrates 25 years in 2020, as the organization gears up for a monumental year by developing a new strategic plan, initiating robust community engagement, and casting a vision for the next 25 years and beyond.

Johnny Strilaeff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Basin Trust said three major events highlight the 2020 year for CBT. First, is the 25th anniversary since the creation of Columbia Basin Trust.

“It’s going to be an opportunity to look back at how our region has changed, how our communities have changed and celebrate a little bit – the work that communities have been able to achieve with support from the organization,” Strilaeff told

Secondly, 2020 marks the end of Columbia Basin Trust’s current strategic plan, prompting significant engagement with the public.

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“This is the document that sets out what the Trust is going to do, where the resources are going to be focused and what priorities it is that we’re going to support,” said Strilaeff. “We need to start engaging with residents very intensively over the course of this year to understand what their vision of the future is, what’s important in their communities today, five years from now, ten years from now.”

(Supplied by Columbia Basin Trust)

Columbia Basin Trust is organizing 36 community meetings between March and June to collect feedback on a new strategic plan, with dates planned for all East Kootenay communities. From Cranbrook, Kimberley, Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford, and Invermere, to smaller communities like Jaffary, Canal Flats, Fairmont, Radium, Moyie, and Yahk, Columbia Basin Trust is making the effort to engage with as much of the Kootenays as possible.

“What kinds of things could we be doing today or over the course of the next few years to make sure that our communities are as robust and as supportive as they can be for our children and our grandchildren,” asked Strilaeff. “It’s going to be an extraordinary year about celebrating, engaging with residents around what they would like to see the Trust focus on in the future and then renewing our strategic plan to make sure who it is the Trust works over the next five or ten years meets the expectations of residents.”

More: Columbia Basin Management Plan (2016-2020)

While the anniversary is significant, the strategic plan is monumental, the third major event highlighting 2020 is two Symposia in Trail and Golden. Strilaeff said the Trail Symposia will be held October 2nd to 4th while Golden’s will be October 23rd to 25th.

More: Columbia Basin Symposia 2020 (CBT)

Community engagement is paramount for the updated Columbia Basin Management Plan (CBMP) and is the primary focus of the Trust in 2020, but all of their regular programming and services will continue as planned.

“As it stands right now, we continue with all of our existing programs and initiatives, we have more than 65 of those at the moment, so those will continue status quo,” noted Strilaeff. “We are scheduling at the moment for a new plan to be put in front of our Board and released to the public in the spring of 2021.”

Strilaeff is encouraging the communities across the entire Columbia Basin to engage online or attend one of the 36 community meetings over the coming months.

More: Columbia Basin Trust 2020 (Online Engagement)

More: Columbia Basin Trust 2020 Community Meeting Dates & Locations (CBT)

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