Wednesday, November 30, 2011

BCHC Newsletter - November 2011


CVYC Youth Leadership and Action Summit a Great Success!
CVYC Members at the Summit registration table
On November 25th over a 100 Youth gathered at the City Hall to participate in the The City of Victoria Youth Council (CVYC) Youth Leadership and Action Summit. The CVYC organized this free two-day intensive learning and skills building workshop for youth 14-25 who live, work, play or study in Victoria.

The Summit kicked of with a panel and presentations with Mayor Dean Fortin, Professor Catherine McGregor and Youth Volunteer Connections Program Coordinator Leanna Hill. The panel discussed questions around what leadership is and how you know when you’re creating change. The first day of the summit was focused on learning about different topics such as Creating Inclusive Communities and Economic and Educational Equality. On the second day the summit participants got the chance to engage in skills building workshops on using video, music and graphic design for their community or social change project. The Summit was a powerful way to engage youth and to help them move forward on their projects of change. For more info visit the Youth Summit website, watch one of the video's or contact to learn more about how BC Healthy Communities can help you support youth leadership and action in your community

Successful Completion Phase I and Start Phase II BC Housing Project

Since December 2010 BCHC has partnered with BC Housing to design, develop, implement and evaluate a program for Tenant Engagement on Sustainability (TES) for three sites: Grandview Towers, Grandview Family Townhouses and Hall Towers II. After the successful completion of Phase I the focus for the next phase of the pilot will be on intensifying energy conservation activities and capacity building. This will include door-to-door outreach to introduce livegreen and the development of a TES tool-kit. For more information about our climate action work please visit the BCHC website or contact Kerri Klein at

Register now for ‘Public Engagement and Communication: Influencing Change for Sustainability’ course

BCHC and Royal Roads University have collaborated to offer a practical 1 day course which will explore exciting new research from the psychological and social sciences on how people understand and engage with the issue of energy reduction and climate change. The course will give an introduction on a spectrum of tools, approaches and methods that participants can use in the design of the own public engagement initiatives. Participants will also apply learning to a practical project of their own throughout this the day. The course will be held on December 8th, click here for more information on how to register.


Youth Engagement and Mentorship with Fraser Valley Regional Library

FVRL - TAG Meeting
In July Abbotsford, B.C. ­ BC Healthy Communities and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. collaborated to launch the 'Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Legacy Project' to build on the work of the previous demonstration project and continue to engage immigrant and newcomer youth in Abbotsford. This project engages and involves youth in community leadership and mentorship and builds on the success of the ‘Food for Thought’ project for youth under 19 years of age. This project also supports the development of entrepreneurship and community leadership through development of a local Junior Chamber International Chapter and The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce for young people between 19-40 years of age. Supporting young people requires innovative partnerships that plant the seeds to engage youth to be leaders now!

A huge success for young people has been our partnership with Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) and the co-creation of a teen advisory group known as ‘TAG’, this group consisting of more than 60 youth and a youth executive, is changing youth input and the direction of youth programming at the library and of course are supported by adult allies and community partners in doing so. We are also working with Big Brothers and Sisters on the development of youth mentorship and action projects through Go Girls as well. We believe we have collectively ignited youth passion and engagement and want to continue building on our success to encourage the development of this by youth for youth approach.

If you have a novel idea and share the desire to engage young people in meaningful ways that supports positive youth development we would love to hear from you! We are open to engaging other community partners who share the ‘by youth, for youth’ approach that supports the passion and purpose of young people to join this project. For more information contact Deirdre Goudriaan at


Lilia Zaharieva and Sam Claver

At 24 and 17, Lilia Zaharieva and Sam Claver are examples of community leadership in action.

Lilia is the creator of insideOUT – a group providing support to youth between the ages of 13-18 who have a parent with a mental illness. Having a parent with a mental illness herself, Lilia recognized the need for a safe place for youth to talk and learn about mental illness and take away some of the stigma associated with this issue. Speaking at the recent City of Victoria Youth Council’s leadership and action summit Lilia inspired youth in the audience and reminded us of youth’s amazing capacity for innovation and change. Creating social change and innovation, she reminded us, is sort of like a ‘bacon cinnamon roll’- by putting unexpected things together we can create something new and delicious, and that is more than the sum of its parts!

Samantha came to Canada as a political refugee in 2007 from her home country, the Philippines. Adjusting to life in Canada was hard, she admits, but she started to feel more at home here when she started getting more involved with the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS). Since then she has been involved in two theatre projects, called ‘Where is Home’ and ‘My Forbidden Disorder-’, with VIRCS. ‘Where is Home’ documents the immigration experiences of newcomer youth, while My Forbidden Disorder tackles the challenging issue of homophobia. Sam has also been active in working with Project Respect- to bring youth perspectives to the issue of sexualized violence. Speaking at the Summit, she said of her community involvement, “even though it might seem like you are doing something minor, it is never a bad idea to do something you are passionate about.”

Lilia and Sam recently shared the Representative of Children and Youth’s 2011 Youth Leadership Award and are reminders that youth are citizens and leaders today.


Collaborating for Community Health and Sustainability
by Jodi Mucha

BCHC has recently partnered with Fraser Basin Council (FBC) to collaborate through FBC’s Smart Planning for Communities Initiative (SPC). The SPC initiative is a BC-wide collaborative initiative to assist local and First Nations governments in addressing their long-term sustainability challenges by providing resources and tools for planning socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable communities.

SPC was developed in response to the call for “Integrated Community Sustainability Planning” (ICSP) in the 2005 Federal/ Provincial/ UBCM Gas Tax Agreement. It recognizes that a flexible approach to integrated sustainability planning is needed in British Columbia — an approach that allows communities to build on, enhance and integrate existing planning processes while also exploring innovative tools and frameworks. Smart Planning for Communities calls for collaboration among organizations and teams of people working together to develop and implement integrated strategies for a sustainable future. BC Healthy Communities focuses on an integrated, healthy communities approach to community health and wellness and together we are excited to bring our collective health and planning expertise to build on capacity for community health and sustainability planning.

As part of our partnership, we have a BCHC facilitator on Vancouver Island working in a jointly shared position (wearing the hat of both organizations and making the links between the two) to support communities in their planning efforts. Together we are supporting stronger collaborations and networking opportunities between and amongst local governments, health authorities, First Nations and community groups around issues such as climate action, transportation planning, health and the built environment and chronic disease prevention. Please watch for upcoming opportunities and if you would like further information on how we can support you in your planning and collaboration efforts please contact


Film Festival~ Living Life Fully
What: Health Fair and Film Festival to celebrate healthy living in the North
When: Saturday December 3rd, 2011. Doors open at 6.30 pm
Where: Prince George. For more information click here

Course ~ Public Engagement and Communication: 'Influencing Change for Sustainability'
What: Course on Public Engagement and Communication
When: Thursday, December 8, 9.00 – 4.30 PM
Where: Victoria, Royal Roads University.
For more information or to register click here

Webinars ~ Northern BC Citizens Series on Health Webinars
BCHC and Northern Health's Population Health Team have partnered to host a series of free web-based seminars on the role of citizens in building healthy communities. The webinars invite dialogue from northern communities on specific topics that are critical to improving the health outcomes of northern people.

Jan. 19, 2012 - 1:30 - 3:30pm
"Beginning With the End in Mind: Creating Safe and Nurturing Environments for Our Very Young"
April 19, 2012 - 1:30 - 3:30pm
"Beyond the Nest Egg: Feathering the Nest for Healthy Retirement"
For more information or to register click here

Summit ~ Cities fit for Children
What: 3rd Annual Provincial Summit
When: Thursday, May 10 to Friday, May 11 2012
Where: Kamloops. For more information click here

Author/Creator: Dr. David Butler-Jones - Public Health Agency of Canada

Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2011 – Youth and Young Adults – Life in Transition

This is the Chief Public Health Officer's fourth annual report on the state of public health in Canada. It examines the state of health and well being of Canadian youth (aged 12 to 19 years) and young adults (aged 20 to 29 years). The report considers many health issues affecting this population such as physical and mental health, injury, sexual and reproductive health and substance use and abuse. By discussing these issues and how they are addressed, the report identifies priority areas for action to maintain healthy transitions of young Canadians into adulthood. Read the full report here

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