Friday, April 26, 2013

BCHC Newsletter - April 2013


Call For Youth Leaders - Apply For 2013's Get Outside BC Project!
Youth, ages 13-18, are invited to apply for the Get Outside BC Project, an exciting leadership program and learning opportunity for youth who have a passion for getting more youth out in nature.  To find out more about the program read the Champion piece in this month’s newsletter or visit for more details or to download the application form.

Municipal Alcohol Policy - New Round of Funding Announcement

BC Healthy Communities (BCHC) is pleased to announce the second round of funding for the Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP) program for local governments in BC. BCHC is accepting expressions of interest from all local governments for seed grants of up to $7,000 to develop a Municipal Alcohol Policy for their communities.   

A Municipal Alcohol Policy helps support healthy communities by providing clear guidelines for alcohol use in municipal settings, reducing liability and contributing to a culture of moderation regarding alcohol use. For more information about the MAP program and the benefits for your community contact Krissi Spinoza at or 250 952 9177 or visit our website here.


Building Resilient Neighbourhoods Update

Over the past few months through our partnership with Fraser Basin Council's Smart Planning for Communities program, the Building Resilient Neighbourhoods workshop series engaged participating community members, local governments and organizations in BC’s Capital Region. These workshops explored a range of topics on building community and neighbourhood resilience, including:  expanding local, cooperative, and self-reliant community networks; strengthening social ties and community cohesion; and operating in greater harmony with ecological limits.

As a follow up to the in-person workshops, two final webinars were hosted by BCHC and broadcasted province-wide in March. These sessions, which were held on two occasions due to very high interest, shared lessons learned and resources with other communities and local governments from the Building Resilient Neighbourhoods project. More detailed information on this project is available on the Smart Planning for Communities website or by contacting Stacy Barter at Recordings and resources from the webinars are available on the BCHC website


Ellyn Davidson – Youth Champion

Ellyn found her love for the outdoors and environment at an early age, after spending countless summers boating and camping at parks near and around her home town of Nanaimo BC.  She continued pursuing her interest in the environment at the University of Victoria where she completed a BSc in Biology and Psychology in 2011. While at UVic, Ellyn honed her leadership and engagement skills both as a Resident Advisor and as the president of the Yoga Club. In her position as the Post-Secondary Education Coordinator at Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), she strives to give post-secondary students opportunities to be successful in the field of ocean science.  Ellyn likes working with youth and the public to increase their ocean literacy. She has also taken an active role in the Cityof Victoria Youth Council (CVYC) as a member of the Ministry of Environment and of the Media team (follow the CVYC on Twitter at @VicYouthCouncil).

Recently, Ellyn became the Victoria regional coordinator for the Get Outside BC project. Get Outside BC is a project administered by BCHC that aims to get youth outside through youth led projects. Through the program youth learn a variety of skills including leadership skills, media training, event planning and then get the chance to organize outdoor events of their choosing. The regional coordinators act as resources and help the youth develop successful projects. Get Outside BC is facilitated by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society of BC (CPAWS-BC) and is supported by many other organizations like BC Parks, Mountain Equipment Co-op and the Child & Nature Alliance. Ellyn is excited to be a part of Get Outside BC in her supporting role as she feels that the position will let her skill set and passion for youth engagement and the environment shine.

In her spare time you can find Ellyn playing the ukulele, practicing Yoga and writing reviews for


10 Lessons I've Learnt Through Working In Youth Engagement
By: Kluane Buser-Rivet, Coordinator of the City of Victoria Youth Council

Through my youth engagement work, in particular coordinating the City of Victoria Youth Council (CVYC), I have been challenged, have grown personally and professionally and have learnt the following ten lessons (amongst many others!). As a youth civic engagement initiative hosted by BCHC, the CVYC is a group of 14-24 year old young folks who are passionate about fostering positive change in their communities. My hope is that these ten lessons can help inform and guide the youth engagement work you’re already involved in, or are thinking of doing.
2012-2013 City of Victoria Youth Council 
  1. The successes of youth engagement are often difficult to measure in a quantifiable way. They are the new gleam of confidence in a young person’s eye, their newfound ease in leading their peers, their ability to communicate their ideas in a clear and articulate way, and in the development of many more subtle but essential skills.
  2. There are many different ways for youth to speak their truth. When I was in South Africa doing environmental education work with local youth [1], our project culminated in a large visual art mural where hundreds of youth each contributed their own illustrated piece demonstrating through words and doodles what they wanted their future to look like.
  3. Finding creative ways to incorporate environmental sustainability in their projects is very, very important to our younger generations. The CVYC saw this motivation and took it to heart through the creation of a new project called the PedalBox Gallery, Victoria’s first mobile bike cart art gallery.
  4. Organizations that seek to involve youth in their work need to deeply and honestly examine the reasons behind their desires to engage youth. I have seen too many instances of youth engagement gone wrong when the intent was simply to use the buzzwords of “youth engagement” to help secure funding, show clients that one’s business “listens to youth”, etc.
  5. Responsiveness is key. Even more important than holding space to hear youth voices is what happens next.
  6. In politics, there is an important distinction between deliberate youth non-participation and youth apathy. The difference being that youth non-participation is a conscious, deliberate response to feeling that candidates do not adequately represent them and their interests, whereas voter apathy is based on the principle that youth do not care about the issues at hand.
  7. A few years ago, when asking myself why youth were not engaging in programming I was presenting, I fell into the trap of blaming the youth themselves for slacking, not showing up, etc. Now, more and more, I understand that I need to be asking a different question: “What is it in my programming that isn’t meeting the needs of the youth?”
  8. Someone told me a few days ago that one of the most important parts of working with youth is just getting out of the way. Allowing for mistakes and the lessons that can only be learnt through experimentation is so important, especially when working with young people who are only beginning to find their way in the world.
  9. When I was helping to lead a group of francophone high school students on a humanitarian trip in Senegal [2], I learnt that being a youth worker is being a generalist. Sometimes you’re a shoulder to cry on, sometimes someone with whom to share a joke, sometimes someone to chat with about the future, etc.
  10. One of the most valuable contributions a youth worker can make is to support young people in discovering themselves and developing their sense of self and belonging.  
To learn more about the CVYC visit their website, follow them on Facebook or Twitter or contact Kluane at



Event ~ Youth Week
Where: British Columbia, various places
When: May 1-7, 2013
What: Youth Week is a provincial celebration of youth held annually during the first week of May. It is a week of fun, interaction, and celebration intended to build a strong connection between young people and their communities and to profile the issues, accomplishments, and diversity of youth across the province. Find out what is happening in your area here

Webinar ~ Guess Who’s Coming to Town: Health Impacts of Work Camps in Close Proximity to Communities
Where: Online
When: May 30, 2013, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM (PST)
What: This two-hour session, hosted by BCHC in collaboration with Northern Health, invites 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. To register click here

Conference ~ Building SustainAble Communities
Where: Kelowna
When: November 25-28, 2013
What: This year's event features a half-day workshop hosted by BC Healthy Communities entitled Building Healthy Communities Through Multi-Stakeholder Engagement & Partnerships. For info visit the conference website here


The Leader's Guide to Influence: How to use Soft Skills to get Hard Results
By: Mike Brent and Fiona Elsa Dent

Creating effective working relationships is one of the most powerful ways to get things done at work. People skills are often described as ‘soft skills’, but there’s nothing soft about the impact they can have on your business performance. As a manager or leader, using your influence positively, working with others and getting things done through other people is critical to delivering your business objectives. This book shows you how to step up your people skills to get the results you want.

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