About Us

A Community Organization with a Global Focus

Since our launch in February of 2011, the Salt Spring Forum has worked to bring diverse perspectives on important issues to a community renowned for its civic engagement and openness to new ideas.

Presenting New Ideas

Our annual Speakers’ Series brings world-class thinkers and leaders to Salt Spring to discuss the big issues of our times. From Andrew Coyne’s defense of free markets, to Amy Goodman’s call for a more independent media, to Louise Arbour’s pursuit of international justice, to Bill McKibben and George Monbiot’s analyses of environmentalism, to Jeffrey Simpson and Chantal Hébert’s perspectives on politics, the Forum hosts events in a participatory format that invites community members to truly engage with new ideas and perspectives.

Building Community

You won’t hear any shouting or name-calling at the Salt Spring Forum. Controversial views are expressed and assumptions are challenged, but always respectfully. The Forum brings together islanders from different walks of life and points of view, and we make an extra effort to include young people in our discussions. The Forum is proud to partner with the student council at Gulf Islands Secondary School on all of its public events.

Working Together

We’re all about collaboration. As a community-based organization we work with partners to support important local and global initiatives. In partnership with Salt Spring Grandmothers to Grandmothers, the Forum raised over $11,000 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. By collaborating with the Salt Spring Film Festival to host David Suzuki, we were able to support the work of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. Other key partners include Gays and Lesbians of Salt Spring Island (GLOSSI) and Transition Salt Spring. By working together with other island organizations, we bring people together and help to make Salt Spring an even more interesting and vibrant place to live.

Developing Solutions

The Forum is a place to discuss important questions and to come up with fresh answers. In the spring of 2012, the Forum hosted a gathering of the world’s leading experts in Arctic Boundary Issues. They spent three days tackling the complex legal questions that will ultimately determine who owns the Arctic. Our Research Associate, Stewart Webb, has written several influential reports for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and published numerous op-ed articles in national newspapers.

Salt Spring is known as a place of alternative thinking and new ideas. Equipped with superb facilities, accommodations, and restaurants, we are demonstrating that Salt Spring is a natural venue for the high-level conferences and retreats that develop solutions to the challenges facing Canada and the world.

Engaging the World

We live in an incredibly engaged and connected community. Through the Forum’s Research Associate Programme, we draw from the pool of talent and expertise on Salt Spring to support local scholars and researchers with something to say to the rest of the world. The foreign policy analysis of our first Associate Research has been published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and appeared in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and CTV News.

And that’s just the beginning!

Now in our sixth year, the Salt Spring Forum is already well-established. We continue to present engaging guests such as Naomi Klein, Thomas Homer-Dixon and Sheila Watt-Cloutier for thought-provoking discussions with community members. The Salt Spring Forum looks forward to many more salons, speakers, workshops and all-candidates’ debates! Stay tuned for more…