Thursday, September 19, 2013

BCHC Newsletter | September 2013


Announcement Phase Two of the Healthy Communities Capacity Fund

The Hon. Terry Lake, B.C. Minister of Health with
BCHC staff, Kerri Klein and Krissi Spinoza at the
Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Vancouver. 
As part of BCHC’s commitment to support leadership for healthier communities, we’re pleased to partner with the Government of British Columbia to launch phase two of the Healthy Communities Capacity Building Fund on November 26. This phase provides $375,000 for eligible local governments to develop local policies and actions to help residents lead healthier lives.

The Healthy Communities Capacity Fund was first announced in March 2013, with initial funding of $200,000. Due to the popularity of the program and quality of applications, that amount was increased to $275,000. The total funding for both phases one and two of the Healthy Community Capacity Building Fund is $650,000. 

Application forms and criteria for phase two will be available on our new PlanH website on November 26, 2013.

The PlanH Program
Supporting Capacity Building for Local Governments

Here at BCHC, we’re busy working toward the October launch of a new program which supports local governments to build leadership capacity to address health and well-being locally through planning, policy, and partnerships. 

The PlanH program, offered by BCHC in partnership with Healthy Families BC, supports local government engagement and partnerships across sectors for creating healthier communities and provides learning opportunities, resources, and leading-edge practices for collaborative local action.

Please head over to the interim PlanH website, where you can subscribe to be the first to hear about the site launch, the Healthy Community Capacity Building fund, and more. 

Achieve Savings, Increase Tenant Satisfaction

BC Housing and BCHC are excited to present a 1.5 hour webinar describing how to engage tenants in energy conservation and reduce the environmental footprint of your operations. Learn how to involve tenants, increase tenant satisfaction, save time and achieve savings. This session will take place on October 2, 10:00 - 11.30 AM (PST)This session is hosted by BCNPHA in partnership with BC Housing and BC Healthy Communities. 

This learning event will build your capacity to:
  • Enhance Tenant Satisfaction and reduce conflict by using tested and easily implemented tools and resources.
  • Increase Awareness of energy savings tips and strategies to deliver your cost savings and reduce your operational costs.
  • Implement a step-by-step plan that helps you save time.

Who should attend: Non-profit housing building managers and support staff. 
Cost: $15 plus GST for BCNPHA Members; $30 plus GST for non-members. To register click here.


Creative Community engagement through Neighbourhood “Living Rooms”

Photo credit: Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria,
Building Resilient Neighbourhoods Project
This summer, BCHC continued collaborating with the Greater Victoria Social Planning Council and Transition Victoria’s Building Resilient Neighbourhoods project.  Here in the Capital region, the Resilient Neighbourhoods team has been busy setting up neighbourhood “living rooms” in Victoria West, which was selected earlier this year as a Resilient Neighbourhood demonstration site. Using an approach of “going to the people”, pop-up neighbourhood living rooms have been set up in public spaces such as parks, local cafes, shopping centres, and festivals. Breaking out from more traditional survey approaches, these sets provide an informal setting for the team to have conversations with residents about opportunities to connect with their neighbours and make Vic West more vibrant and resilient. 

For more information about Building Resilient Neighbourhoods, please contact Stacy Barter mail to:


Aysia Law: City of Victoria Youth Poet Laureate

So far, this year has been a crazy whirlwind of awesome. Being Youth Poet Laureate has been a fantastic opportunity to network and get some experience organizing and coordinating events, and I’ve met and worked with a lot of people I quite likely would never have even thought to connect with otherwise. I’m not sure I realized how important my community was to me before I had a chance to really do some work in and for it. 

My big event this year was Victoria’s first Diversity Slam. I believe that diversity goes beyond basic tolerance, or even acceptance. To me, diversity is the understanding that everyone has a story, has more to them than it might seem. It’s not the belief that everyone should be treated the same, but that everyone should be treated as equals – and there is a difference. We need to hear all the stories, not just the ones we think are important.

To this end, we had our first installation of the Diversity Slam on August 19th, and the energy and support and empathy in the room was actually palpable. Not to buzz my own French horn, but it was probably one of the coolest events I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking part in. It turned out far better than I ever hoped: I was honestly terrified no one would show up. As it happened, though, we had a room full of over a hundred people and everyone arrived ready to listen respectfully and be a supportive audience in every way possible. 

I’m really hoping that I can find a sustainable venue and partners, and keep this running as a quarterly event, even past my term as Youth Poet Laureate. We had a majority of new speakers, and even had to open some extra spots; and I think that holding the space to invite more people into the spoken word community and hear what so many different people have to say is both magical and extremely important. I hold the YPL position until December this year, so here’s hoping that we can pull off such a mind-blowing night again in November.

I’m hoping this event will continue to serve as an open forum for respectful discussion around diversity in our community – with a focus on what we see happening, and what we need to be more inclusive in our community. Victoria is a great city, and I’m really glad I moved here; but there’s always room for improvement, and I think the nudge (and the words) needs to come from the people who see the changes needed.

Click here to watch Aysia live in action at the Diversity Slam. 


Letter From Outside: BC Youth Are Getting Out There

By Ellyn Davidson
Get Outside BC | Vancouver Island Regional Coordinator 

In a society that places so much emphasis on the indoors and on engaging with technology, it can be difficult to convince youth to spend quality time outside.  Between those distractions, household chores, school, and part time jobs, youth are finding it more difficult to get into nature, according to a 2012 report by the David Suzuki Foundation.

However, The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and its partners are combatting this trend with the Get Outside BC project. This project brings together youth from all over B.C., and challenges them to create events that simply get their peers outside. Its purpose is “to connect youth to the outdoors in a meaningful and sustainable way, by giving them a sense of purpose and the capacity to inspire others to spend more time in the outdoors”. 

Participating youth come from six regions across B.C. Once selected through an application process, participants meet in Squamish for a weeklong summit in July. They learn the ins-and-outs of green careers, communications, media training, and leadership. As you may guess, they also spend a lot of time outside (many of the Van Island crew cited learning stand-up paddle boarding as one of the best things about the summit). They are then released back to their respective regions to spread the love of being outside. 

Each youth is responsible for organizing and facilitating their own event, with the main criteria being that the event gets people outside. This is no small task for the youth, as this year they are instructed to not only run the event, but also to write a press release to get media attention, and encouraged to come up with a budget to engage sponsors. 

This year, there are six amazing youth who hail from the Vancouver Island region. All range in age, and each have their own diverse interests (one could probably recite all of the local bird species in the region while another is fascinated by the ocean). These youth have plans to complete all kinds of projects, from beach clean ups to a community gardening program, to a family scavenger hunt. We meet monthly as a group, conference calling in our north island team members, and share what everyone is planning. The best part of the project is the amazing passion and leadership that resonates through each of the youth. I am excited to see how the year unfolds for them.

Of course, the Vancouver Island team could not function without the support from BC Healthy Communities Society. They provide the space for the group to meet, and provide coordination for the group by supporting the position of regional coordinator (that’s me!) 

If you have any questions about the project or about the events that are being put on by the Vancouver Island youth, feel free to email me at 

For information about how to donate to the Get Outside BC Project, go here


Applications open for Social Innovation Project Grants

The City of Vancouver’s Social Innovation Project Grants are a multi-year opportunity that will help organizations address social issues in Vancouver. This year selected projects may receive up to $25,000 per year for up to two years. These grants are the result of an increase to Social Policy’s grant portfolio made by Vancouver City Council in 2013.

Funding will support:
  • Pilot projects
  • Applying new or different methods to existing programs
  • Scaling up an existing service
  • Collaborating with other organizations in a new way, and
  • Improving the delivery of services (through improved administration or technology).
Applications are available now, and are due by 4:30pm, Friday, October 11, 2013.
For more information about the grant, including eligibility criteria, decision making criteria, and how to apply, go here. 

Coming up this fall

Webinar: Achieve Savings, Increase Tenant Satisfaction
Where: online
When: October 2nd, 10:00-11:30 am PST
What: BC Housing and BC Healthy Communities are excited to present a 1.5 hour webinar describing how to engage tenants in energy conservation and reduce the environmental footprint of your operations. Learn how to involve tenants, increase tenant satisfaction, save time and achieve savings. This session is hosted by BCNPHA in partnership with BC Housing and BC Healthy Communities. For more information or to register click here.

Webinar for Local Governments: Leading Healthy Communities: Local Government Action on Community Health &Well-being
Where: online
When: October 16th, 10:00-11:30 am PST
What: Join our panel of leading local government experts for this unique online learning and dialogue opportunity to explore how local governments are leading the way to create conditions that support healthier people and places. This webinar also includes an introduction to the new PlanH program, which supports local government engagement and partnerships across sectors for creating healthier communities, and provides learning opportunities, resources, and leading-edge practices for collaborative local action. This webinar is designed for local government staff and elected officials, and members of local government Healthy Communities Advisory Committees. To register, go here

Conference: Regional PHABC Conference and Ministry of Health half-day session 
Where: Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, Burnaby, BC
When: November 4-6, 2013
What: “Health in all Policies: Taking Intersectoral Action for Equitable & Sustainable Health” and Emerging Public Health Priorities” with the Ministry of Health. Plenary Two on Intersectoral Action in the Community & Social Innovation on Monday, Nov 4 will include a presentation by BCHC’s Executive Director, Jodi Mucha. For more information visit the PHABC website here.

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


Workshop summary report now available
Addressing Inequities at the Intersection of Health &Climate Change

BCHC partnered with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), Vancouver Coastal Health, and SFU Faculty for Health Sciences to co‐organize a workshop on ‘addressing inequities at the intersection of health and climate change’ last February. Participants explored ways to find common ground between the research and policy agendas of climate change and health in order to decrease greenhouse gases, while improving health outcomes for those populations that are most at risk. 

The workshop was funded by a development grant from the Vancouver Foundation, and was facilitated by BCHC Program Manager, Kerri Klein and community planning consultant Heather Evans. 

Get the full report here 

No comments:

Post a Comment