Meet our 10 finalists


Matthew Kemshaw


Matthew Kemshaw is the Executive Director of the LifeCycles Project Society. He grew up searching for salamanders under rotten logs in the woods of Shawnigan Lake. He is a seed saver, bread maker and lover of plants.


How is your project "smart" and aligned to the themes of Smart South Island?

It takes an existing resource that is going to waste and puts it to use for the community in a way that supports individual, community and ecological health.


How was the final concept determined?

Over 20 years of practicing in my community.


How does your concept name explain itself?

Our project name is Harvesting Abundance in the Urban Orchard. Our work focuses around harvesting and maintaining the productive fruit trees across the region.


Where else in Canada or the world could you see your project being effective?

Anywhere where there are productive fruit trees and/or gardens producing food that is going to waste. In other words, most urban areas of North America.


What was the biggest challenge in creating your concept?

Understanding the healthy distribution of grant-based revenue to enterprising revenue streams.


What has been the most enjoyable part of creating your concept?

Witnessing community members’ excitement for the continued evolution and development of our project.


If you could select any well-known person to endorse your project, who would it be and why?

Wendell Berry because of his beautiful articulation of the power of good food to create healthy, resilient communities.


If you could include any partner(s) within your concept who would they be and why?

Local indigenous people, particularly the WSANEC Nation and the Lekwungen peoples of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, upon whose territories our project is based.


What long-term impact do you envision about your project?

We imagine a resilient region able to produce a majority of its food locally, where people live in healthy relation to each other and the land.


Why is Smart South Island important to our Region?

It pushes our edges and asks us to look closely at what we're doing, and where we want to go.