BY KEVIN DREWS / TOFIINO / The provincial government has recognized a Tofino woman for fostering innovative economic development programs on Vancouver Island.

Brenda Kuecks, director of community programs for Ecotrust Canada, is one of 45 British Columbians who will receive a B.C. Community Achievement Award at Government House in Victoria on April 23.

The B.C. Achievement Foundation made the announcement Thursday.

“It's a pretty awesome group of people to be associated with,” said Kuecks. “I'm serious about what I do. I love what I do.”

Ecotrust is a non-profit organization that believes a sustainable economy should improve social and environmental conditions.

As a community programs director, Kuecks ensures Ecotrust's work is innovative. She designs programs and builds relationships.

Over the past five years, she has played key roles in setting up The Trilogy Fish Company and the Trilogy Garden Café.

She also helped build a licence bank for eight commercial dogfish fishermen on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and is now working with the Hesquiaht First Nation on alternative energy.

Kuecks said Ecotrust will conduct even more work on the West Coast this year.
“We'll have a full program out here this year,” she said. “There will be five staff out here.

“We're going to spend more than a million dollars on programs.”
She said Ecotrust will continue to work with fisheries programs, a forest communities program and with Isaac Forest Resources.