Community Vision Statements


The Hornby Island Community Vision Statements constitute an articulation by the majority of the community of the “ideal Hornby Island in the year 2020”. This process was a way to create a picture of the future that Hornby Islanders wanted for the Island, and provide another means by which Islanders can have more local control.

The vision statements are intended to play 2 roles in the community:

  1. To inspire and motivate groups and individuals to take action and organize efforts that will lead to the realization of the community visions.
  2. To act as a tool through which groups and individuals can “filter” their decisions. By asking the question “Does this project or initiative fit with what the community wants for itself”, the visions can help with the first step in the community consultation process. They are not intended as a limiting factor or enforcement mechanism for new initiatives, rather as a tool in the on-going work of deciding the wisest directions for Hornby Island.


Community Visioning gave Hornby Islanders the chance to create a clear picture of our ideal future. We believe that with a community supported vision we will all be better equipped to start working towards those visions TODAY.

The first phase of the Visioning Project was coordinated by the Community Economic Enhancement Committee and took a year to complete. Over 500 community members participated, providing input through workshops and written questionnaires. This input was synthesized by an Advisory Committee of about 35 people over 3 months. The statements that you hold in your hands are the culmination of an inclusive and comprehensive effort to create a broadly supported vision for Hornby Island.

The vision for Hornby places its hope for the future on the enthusiasm, commitment and involvement of Islanders themselves. Working as individuals, families and neighbours, visitors, local organizations and governing bodies, one step at a time, is how the vision will actually be achieved. Remember, the future of Hornby is in your hands….in all our hands.

Vision Statement Summary

Hornby Islanders have envisioned a future based on our community strengths and our desire to remain a diverse, sustainable and viable community. Central to this vision are the values that we share as a community – creating a balance with the natural world, working together cooperatively and peacefully, taking personal and collective responsibility for the well-being of the community, and celebrating the special spirit and energy of this unique island and its people.

Living Sustainably

Hornby Islanders understand that living in balance with nature is essential. We are dedicated to improving our transportation systems, incorporating renewable energy sources, utilizing more sustainable building practices, recycling our resources and respecting the limits of our water supply.

Strengthening Community

We will build a healthy and diverse community by pooling our resources, sharing our skills and working cooperatively. A community where everyone is respected, well-nourished and adequately housed, where our education systems thrive and healthcare is available for everyone.

Building A Thriving Economy

Hornby Island will diversify its economy by building on the strengths within the community such as our vibrant arts scene, sustainable agricultural practices, diverse healing arts and our capacity to live in harmony with nature. Tourism is a valued part of our economy, and to be more sustainable it will become more integrated into the values and lifestyles that Islanders cherish.

Creating Local Control

Hornby Islanders intimately understand this island’s natural cycles, its community and its needs. We will continue to find ways to bring as much decision-making power as possible into the hands of the community. In co-operation with off-island agencies, we will establish our own mechanisms for dealing with conflict, protecting the environment, providing essential services, creating peace and security and meeting the needs of all our citizens.

Community Values

Community values are an attempt to create a broad picture of what many of us currently hold in common, rather than an attempt to impose these values on individuals. Community values help to guide our individual and collective lives, and provide common reference points through which to make decisions and guide our community’s future.

Hornby Islanders Value:

  • Our connections to the natural world
  • Diversity
  • The spirit and energy of this unique island and its people
  • Simplicity, self-sufficiency and sustainability
  • Working through our disagreements in a respectful manner
  • The strong sense of belonging and safety that comes from living in this community
  • Our connections with the rest of the world
  • Local control over decisions which effect our community and our environment
  • Working cooperatively to create an inclusive and healthy community
  • Creativity and innovation


In the year 2020, Hornby Islanders strongly support local agricultural activities which include permaculture, horticulture and aquaculture. We place a strong value on organic agriculture, self-sufficiency and creating value-added agricultural products. There is a strong market for local agricultural products, both on and off the island. The community uses a large percentage of cleared arable land for agricultural and there are many communally owned and operated lands and facilities for food production. People come to Hornby specifically to learn about our thriving agricultural sector and participate in many facets of agricultural production.


In the year 2020, Hornby is known for its thriving arts community. All the arts are part of our daily lives and we cherish the contributions that artists, performers and crafts people make to our community.

Art is also one of the mainstays of the economy with both residents and visitors buying local arts and crafts. Visitors and residents of all ages enjoy the many learning opportunities provided around the arts. Through mutual support and collective initiatives,local artists work together to improve their skills and businesses.

Building Practices

In the year 2020, buildings on Hornby are known for their beautiful and creative design and their environmental sensitivity. Small-scale, energy efficient buildings with a light ecological footprint are the norm. Common use is made of recycled and innovative materials. New buildings and renovations are done in a manner that is sensitive to the unique Hornby aesthetic and in harmony with the natural environment. This “Hornby style” is affordable, accessible, rural, natural and hand-built with heart. Building methods and materials incorporate a “zero-waste” philosophy and alternative energy practices. The community works to promote the recycling and re-use of building materials. Buildings and landscaping integrate energy conservation methods, water catchment and storage techniques and innovative and effective used water disposal systems into all designs.

Co-operative Ventures & Community Infrastructure

In the year 2020, co-operative and community-run ventures are flourishing because the community believes that collective initiatives are the most effective ways to meet the needs of the community, maintain local control and create a healthy economy. In order to survive and be able to live the simple, low impact lifestyle we desire, we have developed many effective ways for pooling and sharing our resources, talents and energy. We realize that only through mutual effort and respect will we be able to achieve our goals of self-reliance and self-determination.

Local government bodies and community organizations play an active role in initiating and sustaining a variety of ventures for the common well-being, from land acquisition to construction of facilities and the establishment of co-ops. Community services such as the Fire Department, the Recycling Depot, the Co-op, the Community Hall, New Horizons and the Ballpark are shining examples of our co-operative spirit in action and have inspired many other co-operative ventures.

Hornby Island is connected to a network of other like-minded communities with whom we share and trade resources and services. Seasonal residents and visitors are interested in working on and supporting our community efforts.

Many of our needs are met locally in centrally-clustered service areas, which encourage the shared use of resources such as parking lots, energy, equipment, etc. These central areas also provide many opportunities for people to gather together, participate in arts and cultural activities, shop and visit.


In the year 2020, Hornby Island’s economy reflects and helps sustain the unique nature of Hornby’s people and natural environment. We recognize that a healthy community is what creates a healthy economy and visa versa. Our thriving and diverse economy is comprised of small-scale, locally and/or communally-owned businesses, services and value-added industries as well as low-impact tourism.

Many community groups are working to create and finance the infrastructure necessary for the prosperity and common good of all. Local taxes are retained in the community to support local initiatives. The community encourages activities that promote local and individual self-sufficiency, and barter and trade are integral parts of the economy. We re-circulate resources and currency within the community and patronize local businesses and services.

There are plenty of skill-building and educational opportunities, co-operative and support mechanisms to assist the creation and success of small businesses. Employment opportunities and apprenticeships for youth are widely available. Everyone is able to support themselves doing what they love. We also value the contribution of volunteer and unpaid labour to our community.

The arts, agriculture, education, high tech, health care, trades and small-scale production are the major sources of income. Additionally, we are successfully marketing our products and services off-island. Our connections to the broader economic structures are based in just and fair trade practices and do not contribute to the exploitation of people or the planet.


In the year 2020 Hornby Island is known a centre for learning where education is a life-long pursuit with plentiful opportunities for people of all ages to develop their full potential. Education is focused on the unique assets of the community such as the healing arts, agriculture, the arts and the environment.

The community has created a life-long learning infrastructure (which could be an actual Centre or a loose network) that is responsive to the needs of all individuals and the community. It is flexible, well-funded and sustainable. Learners and teachers from around the world are welcome and important participants in this educational process.

There is a high level of local involvement in all aspects of the educational system. The education system emphasizes inter-generational mentoring, global awareness and connection, developing life skills, creativity and environmental awareness.

The community values its local Community School and Preschool, and works together to ensure their continued viability. Teens are offered a choice of an excellent high school education right here on Hornby, on Vancouver Island or anywhere in the world. Adult education is an umbrella activity for academic, social, creative and economic development.


In the year 2020, Hornby Island has extended the type of forward thinking that created the Recycling Depot and has become a centre of learning for energy conservation and innovation. There is strong support and encouragement for the development and use of renewable energy systems that promote local energy self-sufficiency and are environmentally sensitive. There are active research and development projects taking place on renewable energy sources and the “zero-waste” ethic is integrated into how we use energy.


By the year 2020 we are living in balance and harmony with the Earth. Many of us chose to live on Hornby because of the healthy, wild environment and we cherish our intimate connection with the natural world. Everyone understands the natural limits of this fragile eco-system and strives to reduce their ecological footprint by living lightly on the land.

All forms of human activity are designed to have a minimal impact on the environment. Land use planning emphasizes resource conservation. We take a strong stand on protecting our water resources, defending native species from invasion, avoiding the use of harmful chemicals, and maintaining a GMO and nuclear-free zone. Effective mechanisms are in place to conserve our supply of clean fresh water for everyone on the island. Safe, innovative systems for processing sewage are widely used and respected.

We take an active role in educating ourselves and our visitors on environmental issues and are known for our environmental sustainability. Our “reduce, reuse, recycle” program has resulted in the word “waste” being dropped from our vocabulary.


In the year 2020, Hornby Island community members support, value and actively participate in an innovative model of autonomous governance. This new structure is responsive to the community, encourages and facilitates egalitarian participation and is based on the principles of consensus building and cooperative conflict resolution.

This kind of governance structure will:

  • Be reflective of our diverse population
  • Retain local taxes to meet local needs, wherever possible
  • Have in place clear conflict resolution mechanisms to resolve community disagreements on policy, neighbourhood, political and land-use issues
  • Maximize local decision-making on local issues
  • Co-operate with off-island agencies and resources
  • Facilitate inclusive and wide-spread participation in decision-making
  • Encourage community groups to meet regularly to create a network/forum for discussion, celebration and decision-making.


In the year 2020, Hornby Island has become a place where people come to heal and to be healed. The community defines health as inclusive of physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and spiritual well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. Individuals are supported in their effort to become self-actualized, integrated beings. Spirituality is a vital aspect of heath and all sacred paths and health choices are respected and supported. People are aware of what they need to do to maintain and be responsible for their own good health and they have access to many options for prevention and healing.

To assure life-long well-being we have high-quality, community-based health care. There is a community-run holistic health care centre that embraces western and complementary health practices. We reach out to health experts and networks in the wider world and invite people to visit our excellent healing facilities.

The community values its local health services such as permanent, full-time doctors, First Responders team, local clinic, dentist, home support services, Health Care Society and diverse alternative practitioners.

The community acknowledges and works to enhance all the determinants of good health including: safety, affordable housing, food and clean water, social interconnectedness, economic well-being, support for children, families and seniors, easy access to all levels of health care, etc. We know about and understand addictions and mental health issues and there is an integrated support system to assist in achieving wellness in these areas.


In the year 2020 Hornby Island is a balanced, diverse community where all its residents are able to find adequate housing. Stable and affordable housing makes it possible for residents to put down roots and build a life here, actively participate and contribute to the well-being of the community.

The community takes collective responsibility for land availability, housing options, creating local mortgage funds and land-use planning. We have in place easy and amicable ways of assessing and deciding on land and housing issues. There is a broad range of housing options and choices available for everyone from home ownership to temporary accommodation, from large lot rural to clustered housing and single person dwellings. Some areas combine mixed use zoning, multi-generational housing and communally available resources, facilities and services.

A strong community priority is placed on creating affordable, year-round housing for permanent residents. Because the community values year-round residents, they are not evicted from rental homes during the summer. All landlords and tenants are responsible to and respectful of each other and the environment.

Houses are energy efficient, ecologically sound, built to last and well-maintained. Every home has adequate water through the use of catchment and storage as well as environmentally friendly waste water management.

Peace-Making & Conflict resolution

In the year 2020, Hornby Island is a safe, understanding and trusting community that is respectful of its core values which include: personal responsibility, respectful communication and a variety of local mechanisms for resolving conflict.

Hornby Islanders have little or no need for police intervention, and there is a freedom from fear which allows people to leave their doors unlocked and children to play in safety. Islanders are committed to resolving their differences peacefully and take personal responsibility for dealing with personal and community conflicts.

The foundation of Hornby’s conflict resolution approach will include:

  • The creation of a set of core community values (for families, individuals, groups, neighborhoods, governance, etc)
  • On-going education on communication and conflict resolution skills for the entire community.
  • Access to relevant services and resources to help underlying problems which lead to personal and community conflict (e.g.: drug and alcohol counselling)
  • Building connections among neighbors which will encourage strong community bonds and understanding.
  • On-going community consultation with local law enforcement agencies.

Recreation and Entertainment

In the year 2020, Hornby Islanders enjoy our own unique island ways of having fun and have created many interesting options for recreation and entertainment. The community stays strong by providing many opportunities to gather together, celebrate and stay healthy in mind and body. There is a lively cross-generational cultural scene with activities that are an on-going part of community life. The sea and local parks provide wonderful opportunities for outdoor activities. Children and teens have plenty of space and opportunity for creative and recreational activities. Facilities for recreation and entertainment fit with local values and recognize the need for Islanders to maintain a simple, rural lifestyle.

Social support

Diversity is the cornerstone of any healthy community. The Hornby community thinks of itself as a large multi-generational family. We take care of each other like an extended family would and take responsibility for meeting the needs of our community members. Strong neighbourhoods provide a place where people know and support each other, share resources and provide a strong social network. Families, singles, youth, seniors and kids are all vital parts of our diverse community, and a balance of representation from all these groups has been achieved.

Activities, services and support are available for families so that they are able to have a safe and enjoyable life on the island. Youth are seen as a vital part of the community and have opportunities for education, recreation and employment. We have excellent infrastructure in place to allow our elders to remain on the Island till the end of their days. This includes health care, housing and other support services.

There are many opportunities for close connection among all members of the community from the very young to the very elderly. Effective relationship and communication skills are a vital part of maintaining a healthy community. Services and support mechanisms are in place to address the needs of people who are in crisis.


In 2020 tourism is only one part of Hornby Island’s diverse and thriving economy. Tourism is now actively planned and managed by the community for the benefit of residents, visitors and the island itself. We foster low-impact, “intentional” tourism and have a manageable, comfortable number of visitors each year.

We prefer the concept of a “visitor” rather than a “tourist”. A visitor is someone who comes to the island in the same manner in which they would visit a friend – respectfully and lovingly – and we welcome them accordingly. We have found ways to inform visitors and summer residents about the lifestyles, values and ecology of the island so that tourism is a positive experience for both year round residents and visitors.

The ideal visitor would:

  • come here because they appreciate and share our interests and values
  • walk, bike or use public transportation
  • purchase local goods, food and services
  • walk lightly on the land (including water use and disposal)
  • contribute time and energy for the benefit of the community and participate in the community

We have incorporated some of the ideas from the “Slow Cities” movement such as preserving and celebrating our traditions and lifestyles and then encouraging our visitors to participate in them. We work at what we love and people come to learn about what we have to offer. Visitor accommodation is accessible for people of all income levels. The community feels energized and stimulated by visitors to the island and welcomes the excitement and fun provided by interaction with new people and new ideas. Visitors leave the Island feeling revitalized in body, mind and spirit.


In the year 2020 Hornby Island no longer participates in the global petroleum economy.

We are forerunners in the use of renewable energy sources for transportation. We use Canadian-made and environmentally-friendly fuels to power our vehicles and have significantly reduced our use of individual motorized vehicles.

We have a low-cost, convenient, community transportation system, such as a bus or a tram-way/train to get around the island and into town. The ferry system is affordable and provides convenient service for residents. There is a strong infrastructure making it easy for visitors and residents to choose to travel by foot, bike, or horse. We have lessened the need to travel because many of our needs are met locally in centrally-clustered service areas.