History of the Sandspit Community Society
Inception & Creation
The Sandspit Community Society grew out of the Moresby Island Management Standing Committee (MIMSC, formerly the Moresby Island Management Committee or MIMC), a unique committee of the North Coast Regional District (NCRD).
MIMSC members are elected by the community of Sandspit and its purpose is to advise the NCRD on issues relating to the community of Sandspit as well as operate the Sandspit water system. MIMC had a number of subcommittees that operated community services and events.
In 2011 the NCRD decided that MIMC should not have subcommittees and was also worried about the liability of having its committees operating some of these services. At this time the MIMC members decided to form a society to take on some of these services, they called this society the Sandspit Community Society (SCS) and its members and directors were the members of MIMC. The SCS was incorporated on April 20th, 2012.
The beginnings of the SCS
At the same time as these changes were happening, the official Destination BC Visitor Centre (VC) in the Sandspit airport terminal was under threat of shutting down as no bidder was stepping forward to take over its operation. Because the directors felt that the Sandspit VC and gift shop was an important service to visitors and the community, they decided that the SCS should bid on the contract. The SCS has been successfully running the Sandspit VC since 2012.
In order to save costs, the SCS and the NCRD entered into an agreement where they shared office space and administration time. This lowered the operating costs of both MIMC and SCS and allowed the administrator a more full time job.
Bigger projects for the SCS
West Coast Resorts, a sports fishing lodge company owned by the Haida Enterprise Corporation (HaiCo) was running the “Inn at Sandspit”, a hotel, restaurant and pub located beside the airport and the only such business in Sandspit. In the fall of 2013 West Coast Resorts decided to stop operating this facility.
Because the services of a hotel and restaurant were essential to the community of Sandspit and because no one else stepped forward to operate this important business, the directors of the SCS decided to try to run it. Although all the directors voted to take this on, some of them did not feel comfortable with the liability of being a director of a Society running such a large enterprise. Because of this, the SCS amended its articles so that directors and members did not have to be part of MIMC, thus making the SCS fully separate from MIMC. Shortly after this the NCRD ended its shared administration agreement with the SCS.
The Sandspit Community Society Today
The directors of the SCS are now elected by its membership, some of which are original members and some of which are new members. All members must volunteer at least twelve hours per year to remain in good standing.
The Sandspit Community Society still operates the original services it was created for as well as some new services. It runs three businesses which are important to the community of Sandspit and which would probably no longer exist if the SCS had not stepped up. These three businesses fund the administration of these services and any surplus is put into improving its service to the community as well as helping to fund community projects. The SCS is now one of the largest employers in Sandspit offering year around employment to over 20 people.