Monday, July 30, 2012

BCHC Newsletter - July 2012


BCHC is Hiring a Healthy Communities Program Coordinator

BCHC is seeking a Program Coordinator to join our dynamic team and to specifically coordinate planning and implementation of Healthy Communities programs, projects and funding opportunities for local governments across the province.  For more details click here

Report: City of Victoria Youth Council Survey on Racism and Discrimination
Between May 1- 10, City of Victoria Youth Council (CVYC) members conducted a survey on racism and discrimination. 165 responses to the survey were received.  In general, youth in Victoria view the city as a very diverse place, 60% of respondents said they thought Victoria was more diverse than average; this means youth are aware of the multiple cultures surrounding them.

Read the full report tfind out more about how the Victoria Youth experience racism and discrimination in their community and what their ideas are about how to eliminate it. For more information contact our new CVYC Youth Coordinator Kluane Buser-Rivet at:

Nine BC Communities receive Age Friendly Recognition Award
Nine local governments will receive an Age-friendly BC Recognition Award for their efforts to support older residents to remain healthy and active in the community.

To achieve recognition, the communities committed to age-friendly improvements in local government resolutions, established advisory committees, conducted age-friendly assessments and developed and published action plans – all with the leadership and involvement of local seniors. Duncan, Esquimalt, Metchosin, Saanich, Revelstoke, West Vancouver, Surrey, Sechelt, and White Rock have successfully completed these steps. Read the full news release here


UTown@UBC Residents Celebrate Their Diverse Community
Photograph by: Deirdre Goudriaan

A wonderful hot summer day provided the perfect setting for the first UTown@UBC Summer Festival on July 7th.  Over 500 UTown@UBC residents and neighbours gathered on this day to connect with each other while enjoying numerous fun and free events. 
The Summer Festival was developed through a partnership between UBC’s Campus and Community Planning Office and BCHC to celebrate the diverse residential campus community of UTown@UBC and bridge the various ‘sub-communities’ and their values and assets. The event built on fostering a sense of community amongst residents and aimed to cultivate a sense of belonging, inclusion and connection to the place residents live, work and learn together.

This family friendly, multicultural and inter-generational event offered free activites for all ages.  Besides a giant Jenga, face painting and a photobooth there was a community art project where residents painted tiles with images that would reflect what they love about their community. The colourful glazed tiles will be displayed around UBC. 

To find out more about BCHC’s Community Engagement services please visit the
BCHC website or contact us at:


Alanna Clempson - Chilliwack, BC

Photograph by: Tyler Olsen, TIMES
“You need to be the change you want to see in the world”. Chilliwack resident, Alanna Clempson, is reminded of this quote from Ghandi everyday when she looks at the postcard taped to the mirror in her home, and you really don't have to spend too much time with Alanna to realize that she takes this to heart one-hundred-percent. Food security, organic growing and food preservation are things that Alanna is abundantly passionate about. Over the past several years, Alanna and her handy husband, Coby, have converted their suburban property to a high-yielding and semi-sufficient garden. With composts, greenhouses, fruit trees and plenty of open gardens, the property feeds their family and community with wholesome and organic produce and stands as a refreshing reminder of how you don't need a farm or huge plot of land to grow a substantial amount of food.

In addition to her work in the garden, Alanna home-schools her three children, runs a part time photography business, and is a long-standing volunteer with several local organizations where she has taught cooking, canning and “food preparation” classes. Alanna's volunteer work has recently expanded to include helping to establish Food Matters Chilliwack (FMC), a not-for-profit organization where she has been coordinating a Plant-A-Row Grow-A-Row initiative as well as a Gleaning program which has seen over 11,000 pounds of produce harvested and over 7,000 pounds donated to FMC's recipient partners, in its first two years.

Alanna has recently been elected to the BC Food System’s Network 2012 Board and is excited about the opportunity for expanding her knowledge of the “Network” of other organizations and people in British Columbia working for the common good in our society. Alanna resides in Chilliwack with her husband and kids. She enjoys life by spending time with friends, growing and eating good food, camping with her family, and exploring the beautiful world we live on.


The Multi-Faceted Beauty of Community Markets
By Amanda Ng, Master’s in Public Health and Social Policy
Let me paint you a picture.  Envision a market that offers the opportunity to purchase local, organic, and fresh produce.  Sandwiched between these produce stands are local craftmakers selling their beautiful handmade products as well as music floats through the air.  This market attracts neighbourhood residents from all parts of the city and enriches their quality of life through fostering a sense of community and sociability.  The market addresses health, ecological, and environmental concerns through reducing vehicle miles used for food transportation, promotes local sustainability, helps enhance food security, and contributes to economic development.  What is this painting that has been described?  Community markets – also known as farmers’ markets.  For centuries, community markets have served as public places for people to gather, entertain, and be entertained, exchange ideas, and buy or sell goods and services (Morales, 2009).  Historically, these markets have been a staple in society, at first playing a significant then declining role in supplying produce to consumers. Today, consumers, producers, and community groups have exhibited a renewed interest in this traditional form of selling produce.

Understanding the Origins of our Food

In a production driven economy where mass production for the cheapest dollars is usually the coveted goal, the use of pesticides or genetically modified seeds have become questionable, yet popular, applications in agriculture.  Food security and the quality of our food has become perplexingly dubious.  While community markets present health, economic, and environmental advantages, some community markets may also allow consumers to be graced with the opportunity to taste or ask questions about the produce prior to purchase.  By doing so, it deepens our relationship, connection, and trust in the food we eat, by allowing us to understand its origins.  Ecologists and environmentalists view farmers’ markets as a venue to impart valuable educational tools where consumers gain an understanding and appreciation of the food production process. 

Farmers’ Benefits
Not only do community markets benefit consumers, but farmers profit from improved returns gained by direct sales and avoiding the high capital cost of storefront operations (Sanderson et al., 2005).  These markets also provide small-scale farmers a venue to sell their products as wholesalers often prefer large volumes and product specifications that prove difficult to meet.  To participate in farmers’ markets is often quite easy as it requires minimal capital and offers a “ready-made” customer base.  It also creates a venue for newcomers to gain expertise and advice from long-standing farmers in the field.

Building Community

“A good market is not only an economic engine, it’s also a social gathering place which builds the community.” - Benjamin Fried, 2002, Project for Public Spaces

Community markets act as a venue to foster community cohesiveness through enhancing sociability, providing a space to welcome newcomers into a community, and fostering civic life – three factors which influence mental health.  Shoppers reap the combined benefits from high quality fresh products with a sociable and interactive atmosphere.  Markets attract shoppers and in some cases tourists, which may act as a revitalization strategy for downtown areas.  Community markets generate a social and festive atmosphere and enhance a safe and friendly environment.  Some government agencies have collaborated with farmers’ markets to offer subsidized food purchase programs to increase the accessibility to fresh produce for low-income individuals, thereby decreasing the persistence of environmental health inequities (Jones & Batia, 2011).  
Sustainability and Paving the Path for the Future

In North America, for the past thirty years we have experienced an explosion of farmers’ markets across the continent due to the growing enthusiasm for this traditional means of commerce (Sanderson et al., 2005).  Farmers’ markets have the potential to sustain and support local food systems and contribute to sustainability goals through educating consumers about the importance of relying on locally available resources.  Environmental preservation is associated with the use of community markets through decreasing the number of “food miles” required for the transportation of food, thereby decreasing our carbon footprint.  The current global marketplace has instigated increased awareness of food security and environmental degradation issues, hence fuelling the re-emergence of farmers’ markets.  Partnerships between a multitude of private and public organizations, support from government agencies and funding, as well as community support can help fuel the popularity of farmers markets and in turn, we as a society, can reap the countless benefits.  So what are you waiting for?  Go visit, or even take part, in your local community market! 

To find a Farmers Market in your area please visit: BC Association of Farmers Markets. On this website you can also find information about the Farmers' Market Nutrition& Coupon Program.


1. Farmers’ Market Federation of New York.  (2006). The Value of Farmers’ Markets to New York Communities.  Retrieved on July 8, 2012
Jones, P. & Bhatia, R.  (2011).  Supporting equitable food systems through food assistance at farmers’ markets.  American Journal of Public Health, 101(5).
Link, A. & Ling, C. (n.d.).  Farmers’ markets andlocal food systems. Retrieved on July 8, 2012 
4. Morales, A.  (2009).  Public markets as a community development tool.  Journal of Education Planning and Research, 28(426). 
5. Sanderson, K., Gertler, M., Martz, D., & Mahabir, R.  (2005). Farmers’ markets in North America: A background document. Retrieved on June 15, 2012


~ Community Tables: Engaging Neighbours Community; Tea & Celebration Party
Join this presentation to hear about the highlights and lessons learned during the Community Tables: Engaging Neighbours Initiative project. Find out more information here
Where: Victoria City Hall (1 Centennial Square) - When: SEP 19, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Webinars ~ New dates for round three of the Northern BC Citizen Series Webinars
These two hour sessions invite dialogue from northern communities on specific topics that are critical to improving the health outcomes of northern people, recognizing that community and civic involvement is a cornerstone to healthy people and populations.

Where: Online - When: 

SEP 27, 10:00 AM -12:00 PM (PST)
The Nature Of Health: Exploring the Links Between Health and the Physical Environment

NOV 22, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM (PST)
Home is Where Your Health Is

JAN 31, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM (PST)
His & Hers- Perspectives on Health

APR 11, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM (PST)
Guess Who’s Coming to Town: Health Impacts of Work Camps in Close Proximity to Communities

For more information contact:

Health Promotion in Canada - Critical Perspectives on Practice 
Third Edition

Health Promotion in Canada is a comprehensive profile of the history and future of health promotion in Canada. Now in its third edition, it maintains the critical, sociological, and historical perspective of the previous two editions and adds a greater focus on health promotion practice.

Thoroughly updated and reorganized, the book now contains 18 chapters by prominent academics, researchers, and practitioners. The authors cover a broad range of topics, including key theories and concepts in health promotion; ecological approaches; Aboriginal approaches; health inequalities; reflexive practice; ethics; issues, populations, and settings as entry points for intervention; and the Canadian health promotion experience in a global context. Each chapter concludes with thought-provoking discussion questions and carefully chosen resources for further study, making this an ideal text for courses in health sciences, nursing, and related disciplines.

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