The IMBA Canada Council program was created with two key objectives in mind: to foster the sharing of knowledge and experiences of advocacy groups across the province, and to address larger shared issues and common barriers to success that prevent local and regional clubs from achieving their advocacy goals.

The BC Council’s main focus has been on organically developing a “advocacy community” through the build-out of the BC Council (finding advocacy champions within each region of the Province) and through the creation and implementation of a provincial communication platform (the development of and on-boarding of clubs to the BC Council Slack).

In the last year, with a stable council and an established and flourishing communication platform in place, the focus of the BC Council has been on tackling some of the “big picture” issues in the background that effect clubs across the province.

To this end the BC Council undertook the following provincial initiatives since last fall…

The Council provided the Forest Range and Practices Board with documentation of the experiences clubs have had working within the framework of the Forest Range and Practices Act as part of their review of the place of recreation within this legislation. This was an important outreach piece as this act forms the basis of all partnership agreements that clubs across the province hold with Recreation Sites and Trails BC.

In conjunction with IMBA Canada executive Director AJ Strawson and Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program Director Patrick Lucas, Rocky Blondin of the FVMBA and BC Council Chair Justin “Jay Darbyshire presented a case study at the 2018 Union of BC Municipalities Conference advocating for trails to be seen as a community recreation asset much like sports facilities and recreation complexes. Since the UBCM the presentation and supporting documentation developed has been further distributed to clubs and municipalities across the province increasing the awareness that trails are an important component of a communities recreation puzzle.

By far the most significant provincial advocacy piece undertaken this year by the Council was to coordinate the provision of testimony to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Services of the BC Legislature. On behalf of the BC Council and the provincial mountain bike advocacy community AJ Strawson, executive director of IMBA Canada, presented to the committee on the need for a funding mechanism to be developed that would see advocacy groups across the province receive the capital support they need to adequately maintain the important trail networks they are responsible for. Secondary asks where that Rec Sites and Trails BC and BC Parks receive the staffing and funding increases they would need in order to bolster the important work of advocacy groups. In addition to supporting this presentation, the BC Council coordinated the submission of letters of support from clubs across the province to the legislature, ensuring this issue floated to the top of their priority list.

Looking into the future, a strong foundation that has been laid down to support the efforts of mountain bike advocacy groups across the province. The BC Council is a a conduit to creating a more unified and louder voice for our community. An important part of that is ensuring that the collective ideas and thoughts of the various advocacy groups are incorporated into that voice. I would encourage all clubs and associations across the province to reach out to myself or the BC Council Rep for your region with your feedback or commentary.

Justin Darbyshire, IMBA Canada BC Council Chair

Interested in more info about the BC Council? Reach out to Justin at jay.darby(at)

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