BC Ferries
Sunshine Coast Sailing Times

On-Time Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island

The Context team designed and implemented a multi-faceted public engagement plan to determine community values, priorities, and considerations with respect to sailing times and service for the Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island. 



The engagement process included stakeholder interviews, facilitated focus group workshops, community pop-up events, intercepts, and an online survey. Engagement efforts targeted a wide range of ferry users and sought to gather feedback on specific sailing time changes, as well as engage community members in dialogue about considerations that matter most to them.


Engagement Approach

Using a combination of online survey tools, facilitated sessions, and a community outreach team, Context engaged with over 4,000 people in just over six weeks. Engagement events required extensive logistical organization including sourcing and booking venues and catering, inviting participants, planning and guiding discussions, and developing summaries.


Issues management and communications also featured heavily in this project as ferry service tends to be a contentious topic for small coastal communities that use the ferries as part of their highway system. In addition to ongoing issues management and communications efforts, Context developed strong relationships with stakeholders. These relationships enabled the engagement process to be adjusted based on what the team was hearing. For example, community pop-up events and intercepts were originally intended to be a delivery format for the online survey, but after learning that community members were most interested in having dialogue the team shifted these engagement events to focus on conversation, with the survey as an optional item.



Gathering both qualitative and quantitative information through the engagement process, Context developed a comprehensive report that clearly outlined community values, priorities, and considerations in relation to both sailing time changes and overall ferry service. The report involved consolidating, analyzing and theming over 4,000 survey comments and hundreds of pieces of feedback received through in-person engagement events.


The engagement report was publicly released and supported by in-person and online report-back efforts. The information in this final phase clearly demonstrated how public input influenced results and noted how community values and priorities would be taken into consideration in future planning efforts.