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New Beginnings


In a meeting yesterday, a colleague indicated that this year, 2018, is actually 20-GREAT-teen.

We like it! It really is the start of a great year. As our team here at BC Healthy Communities Society embarks on the new year ahead of us, we are excited to continue building momentum for heathy communities initiatives throughout the province. We look forward to introducing to you - in person and through our communications channels - our inter-disciplinary team of Healthy Community Leaders consisting of community planners, public health professionals, community engagement practitioners and research and evaluation experts. 

Our flagship PlanH program and other programs and offerings are going strong and we continue to be inspired by your incredible commitment to create healthy community conditions for everyone to thrive. As we move into the coming months we hope to hear more of your successes, learning experiences and ideas through email or via our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Building a Child and Youth Friendly Vernon


Foundations matter, and so when a community builds a program they must pay attention to what they build on. Vernon, a city of 40,000 in the Okanagan, knew this well when residents started to transform their city into a Child and Youth Friendly Community in 2017. Vernon sought the best practical and academic advice it could, and found models to emulate from across the European Union, and in BC as well.

While Vernon has just begun its Child and Youth Friendly engagement process, it has have been taking concrete actions for creating a greater child and youth friendly city for at least 15 years. Read Vernon's story here.

High Ground - Centre for Civic Governance Forum


Victoria Barr, Program Manager with BC Healthy Communities Society will be presenting at the upcoming Columbia Institute’s Centre for Civic Governance forum titled High Ground: Communities for All. Taking place March 23-24, 2018 in Vancouver, this event offers elected leaders a chance to develop a deeper understanding of current civic issues, learn through interactive discussions on climate change/ action, socio-economic inclusion, smart cities, energy security, and electoral disruption. Learn more about this event.

Have Wheels, Will Travel


The BikeBC program has long been the squeaky spoke for TranBC (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure) advocating for cyclists, and for the ongoing improvements to cycling infrastructure throughout the province. The aim is to promote alternative transit, therefore reducing traffic congestion and cities’ carbon footprints. By increasing cycling accessibility and safety, bikes are gaining momentum as the preferred choice for commuters traveling to work, school or other amenities. Hear more about spoke-worthy projects happening in your neighbourhood. 

Connecting Active Communities


We recently hosted our first virtual learning opportunity for recipients of the Active Communities Grants. These grants were made available to 15 communities through a partnership between BC Healthy Communities and the BC Alliance for Healthy Living. Participants learned about evaluation strategies for their projects, and shared how their projects are progressing. Find out more about this event and the great projects that are taking place throughout the province.


Air Quality Monitoring 

There are many adverse affects from poor air quality that influence both human and environmental health. Understanding these implications is vital if we want to improve community wellbeing. One way to learn is through real time online air monitoring data. Purple Air is one online source that uses a new generation of laser particle counters to provide data which helps to understand causes and impacts. Check out its interactive map and find out more about air quality.



Connect and Engage

Take a look at the Vancouver Foundation's 2017 report outlining current community perspectives on connections and engagement in Metro Vancouver neighborhoods. In this report, Vancouver gets a bad rap for being a salty city that is cordial, but weak in its meaningful social connections. Key findings show that people, while not always permanently placed in their neighbourhoods, want to develop stronger ties to their community. Read more about the report and our favorite key finding here



The Community Innovation Imperative

This paper by Tamarack Institutes’ Sylvia Cheuy (Consulting Director, Collective Impact) discusses community innovation as a particular form of social innovation that is place-based, within the specific geography of a community. She presents the critical leadership role communities play in generating the necessary innovations to address the challenges confronting us today. Give it a read and enjoy!



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