Sustainable Valley, BC?

In December I had a job interview with Nokia. They were looking for a technical writer for the Nokia App Store, located in their Burnaby office. The office is gorgeous: The atmosphere is a mix of après-ski and Finnish minimalism. (Just to give you an idea, a fireplace sits in the center of a circle of six huge floor-to-ceiling tree trunks (possibly fake) and three sofas in the common area.)

I sent in a writing sample and was one of six candidates invited for an interview. I was told my writing sample was the best of the bunch and that I was a perfect fit for the role. I didn’t get the job.

You see, I work from my home office in the Cowichan Valley, which is a 4-hour commute to the Burnaby office. My kids are babies still, so it’s impossible to work any other way. For some clients, this arrangement works fine; for Nokia, they wanted the documentation team in house. I get it, but I was gutted.

It got me thinking: What if the Cowichan Valley attracted the technology sector here? Victoria has done it, generating crazy big money in revenue. Given the current Catalyst crisis (I heard today that Catalyst stock price is 1 penny), a new industry is just what this valley needs. Individual businesses aren’t going to pick up the slack if North Cowichan’s sugar daddy goes bust and can’t pay its taxes.

What if we convince Google or Apple to set up a satellite office here? Or what if we became the center for sustainable energy innovation? It’s not like we don’t have something to offer in return (I won’t go into how awesome here is; you’ve heard me say it once or twice before).

Sustainable Valley, BC. Has a nice ring to it, yes?


  1. Maeve, sorry to hear you didn’t get the job. Their loss, for sure.
    As far as Cowichan goes… I think you are right on the money. And I also agree that the big ticket for this region is going to be some kind of energy innovations. We have the right consciousness and are already moving in that direction. We just need a company to back us and move it forward
    Patricia MacGregor

    1. Thanks Patricia. I’m no longer gutted; in fact, it’s a blessing. I’m working on interesting stuff these days, all from the comfort of my Airstream!

      Is it a case of if we build it, they will come?


  2. Maeve, love the dream. A nice clean creative “industry” (need to find a new term) for the Valley. There is a nice start at the VI Technology Park in Victoria, but housing prices in Greater Victoria are still so expensive – so we could be the satellite location.

    P.S. Disappointing about Nokia – congratulations to get the interview. Seven years ago, I was employing home based communicators with great success.

    Ah – an airstream – jets you around the world from the comfort of your own home. Enjoy.
    Nancy Wood

    1. Hi Nancy (aka @lemonzestlady),

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, a satellite location for Victoria’s technology companies is a great place to start. Spread the word!


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