Nicholas Heap, BC Regional Director of the Canadian Wind Energy Association has been a member of the HiVE since late 2012 and took the time to sit down with us to talk about his role and his time at the HiVE.
Tell me about CanWEA
CanWEA is the industry association for the wind energy sector in Canada. We have almost 400 companies representing all facets of the industry from the resource prospectors to the people who do the environmental assessments, the people who build the turbines, the owners/operators, the utilities – the whole suite of goods and services that are involved.
Our mission is to promote the sustainable and responsible development of wind energy in Canada. It’s something I take very seriously. My background is in municipal government as an air quality planner and with a number of organizations advocating for renewable energy and clean energy.
I think wind energy has tremendous potential for BC. It’s cost effective and done right, has very low environmental impacts and has tremendous benefits for the communities in which it operates – particularly, first nations.
BC is rapidly expanding energy intense industry and we need a lot more energy in this province quickly. BC places a high important on low-impact sources of energy. BC voters want cost-competitive sources of energy. There’s a recognition that development assists first nations and communities.
Why the HiVE?
I am the BC regional director for CanWEA out of a group of ~25 people but I am the only one in BC. My whole job is about working with people, building relationships so I enjoy the social nature of a workplace but I am a one-person office. This is a way for me to work as a one-person office in a larger office environment. I get to work with a lot of like-minded people working on clean energy and associated projects. This place is filled with people who care about the environment.
What do you like about the neighbourhood?
I started off as a City planner so I really enjoy the historic buildings and the historic district. It’s a diverse neighbourhood and there’s a lot of different things going on here. There’s a lot of different things going on in the HiVE as well. I love the diversity and the opportunities for spontaneous creation. This neighbourhood is in a state of change and dynamism. There’s also a lot of really great places to eat around here. The food trucks, T&T, the food court at International Village. Meat and Bread.
Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 20 duck size horses?
I would rather fight 20 … if you’re a horse-sized duck, the beak is going to be a major issue. The squashing effect of the feet is bad. The duck-sized horses – you could just grab them and throw them against a wall. You could also corral them.
“These entrepreneurs make their home at the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) in Toronto, the HiVE in Vancouver, and the HUB in both Halifax and Ottawa – shared workspaces that inspire, connect and empower people to develop and implement new ideas and innovative solutions to our society’s most pressing needs.”
The HiVE received some excellent coverage in the Globe and Mail’s Amazing Spaces series. Amazing photo essay narrated by Aaron Cruikshank, then Executive Director of HiVE Vancouver.