You are living someone else’s vision for Pemberton right now. What is yours?

There is a fantastic quote from the Bohemian poet Rilke, that reminds us that we are part of the ongoing future-making of any single moment. In his Letters to a Young Poet, he says, “the future enters us … in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens…. what we call fate does not come into us from the outside, but emerges from us.”

Some days, I drive past something in Pemberton, that has been built recently, and think: this is so-and-so’s vision. They dreamed this into being many years ago and then chased that dream.

Sometimes, the realization of the thing took years – many years. I think of Jeff and Anneke and their dream to build a skate park so their son would have somewhere to hang out with his friends. They fundraised, wrote grants, worked so hard to bring that about, and by the time the concrete was poured, their son had finished high school and moved on to other things, and yet, all the people constantly out at the skate park are the beneficiaries of that dream, the future that came into being, through them. Or I think about Cam McIvor, the driving visionary behind the Sunstone/Hillside development and how long he held that vision and how much effort and engineering he then put into bringing it to life.

One tool for future-making is being developed this spring – it’s the Village of Pemberton’s Official Community Plan. It tells future dreamers and future decision makers what kind of a vision we hold for this place and what kinds of things fit and don’t. If something is left blank, then we need to be careful. There are always people moving through the world looking for opportunities to exploit and capitalize on, for something beautiful to extract and turn into cash in their bank account. It’s capitalism. We’re in the late stage of it. Those folk are more mobile than ever, and if a strong vision of something protective is not cast, then guess what? Our future is up for grabs.

That’s partly why I think it’s important that people who value things that don’t necessarily generate huge profits for a few people, get involved in the Official Community Plan review process. It is a way we can be the voice for the more-than-human world, to advocate for the snakes or the ancestors or the clean water. To say: we don’t take this for granted. We want to name it and map it as a priority.

The OCP is meant to hold a vision to 2050, which seems terribly far off, when you’re working hard to plan this week’s lunches, and pay for next month’s Visa bill and rent. BUT, take a minute to do the math. I have a 9 year old. In 2050, he will be 36 years old. (I can hardly conceive of this, but at the same time, I can imagine it, because I was 36 not so long ago. I remember what consumed me then, how much energy I was pouring into building my life and my sense of belonging in this very place.) So, in some ways, we’re being asked to plan now for HOW we will make this place livable for our kids, when they’re young adults, hoping to fall in love, buy a house, start a family, make a life. Plant a garden. Go for walks in the woods. Heal a heartbreak. Organize a party. What kind of place do we want for them?

One way to practice collective dreaming is to invite some friends around for a Kitchen Table discussion. You can pick up a package from the Village of Pemberton office and the Pemberton and District Community Centre, and host a few friends, of any and all ages, to workshop some simple questions, like “What do you love about living here?” and “What worries you about the future of this place?” Plan to host before the 6 March so your feedback can be included. And you’ll get a $25 rebate from the Village for your food and drinks bill if you return the forms and your receipt. FUN.

Village of Pemberton Official Community Plan Review publicly launched
The Village of Pemberton has announced the public launch of the Official Community Plan (OCP) Review and is inviting the community to get involved and help shape the future of Pemberton to 2050.
An OCP communicates the community’s vision, goals, and objectives. It also outlines long-term development plans for the community and guides planning and land use management. The Village’s existing OCP was adopted in 2011 and much has changed within the community and the surrounding area since that time.
“The OCP Review is a strategic priority of the Village of Pemberton Council. The new OCP will guide growth and development to 2050,” said Mike Richman, Village of Pemberton Mayor. “This Review is an opportunity to identify our vision as a community and develop a roadmap to achieve that vision. We would love the Pemberton community to get involved and join us in this important work to help determine the future of Pemberton.”
The Village invites the community to contribute to the OCP Review process by attending a Community Open House on Monday, March 6, 2023 at 4:30pm-7:30pm at the Pemberton and District Community Centre. The Open House will include a 20-minute presentation by the Village’s planning consultants at 5pm with small group discussions to follow. Presentation boards (with interactive activities) will be on display throughout the evening for those who can drop by for a short time only.
The community is also invited to participate in a Kitchen Table Discussion – an informal conversation with family, friends, neighbours about how Pemberton could develop to 2050. Kitchen Table Discussion Packages are available at the Village Office and Pemberton and District Community Centre to guide these discussions.
“The OCP Review will address a number of important priorities in the Pemberton community such as reconciliation, environmental sustainability and community resilience, housing and, our local economy,” said Kevin Clark, OCP Review Committee Chair. “It is critical that we consider these important topics as we look to the future and we hope the community will get involved.”
The OCP Review is an opportunity to strengthen the Village’s relationship with Líl̓wat Nation and to advance truth and reconciliation within the community. The OCP will build on other municipal and regional planning initiatives including, but not limited to, the Community Climate Action Plan, Pemberton Valley Recreation Trails Master Plan, and the Age-Friendly Affordable Housing Action Plan.
The Village of Pemberton welcomes all feedback.
For more information about the OCP Review process, visit or contact Colin Brown at the Village of Pemberton at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s