Thursday, March 20, 2014

BCHC Newsletter | March 2014

BCHC Co-chair of Planning Committee for the
5th Annual PHABC Public Health Summer School

BC Healthy Communities is co-chair for one of the planning committees for the 5th Annual PHABC Public Health Conference focused on public health and private sector collaboration to promote health equity.

BCHC is bringing expertise and ideas for planning two days of learning, dialogue and action focused on "Strengthening Healthy and Sustainable Communities through Local Government Planning and Public Health Collaboration."

The overall four-day 2014 PHABC Summer School agenda:

  • June 23-24 Supporting and Protecting Health: Promoting Mental Wellness and Addressing Psychoactive Substances
  • June 25-26 Strengthening Healthy and Sustainable Communities through Local Government Planning and Public Health Collaboration
Click here for more information on how to register.

Healthy Communities Capacity Building Grant Round 2

Thank you to all the communities that have submitted applications to Round 2 of the Healthy Communities Capacity Building Grant. We’re looking forward to reading all about the great projects that people are planning around the province. In total we had over 150 applications for everything from active transportation strategies to research into young people’s recreational needs. We will be letting all communities know if they’ve been awarded a grant by May 5, 2014.

While you’re waiting to find out if your application has been awarded a grant, why not check out some of the projects that were funded last year.

City of Victoria Youth Council
2014 Council Meet and Greet
By Kluane Buser-Rivet, Youth Council Coordinator

On the evening of February 27, 2014, Victoria’s City Hall hosted a gathering of City of Victoria Youth Council and City Council members: our annual Council Meet and Greet. This yearly event sets the stage for members of the Youth Council and City Council to connect, discuss and spark future collaborations. The Meet and Greet began with a presentation by Rob Woodland, Director of Legislative and Regulatory Services, answering the question of “How does the City work?” Then, members of both councils and BCHC’s Special Projects Coordinator, Claudia de Haan, introduced themselves and their current projects and interests.

Next, attendees exchanged questions like: “How do you see the Youth Council working with you and City Staff in the coming year?” and “What can we do better for you?” Councillor Shellie Gudgeon encouraged Youth Council members to “challenge City Council to question the long term impact of [their] decisions.” When asked how adults can best work to engage youth, Youth Council member Chloe Mumford encouraged all to “not try so hard,” saying that an honest, vulnerable and open approach with youth is more effective than trying to be “cool” to relate to young people; a lesson we imagine many parents of adolescents learn first-hand. A great discussion followed this statement where members of both councils shared challenges and advice on how to find the confidence to speak up in large crowds when feeling shy or nervous.

We resolved to meet again in April to continue these discussions and check in on our respective projects. Attendees unanimously agreed that they left the Council Meet and Greet feeling inspired, energized and excited about each other’s initiatives.

What next?
To continue to ensure the lines of communication between the Youth and City Council remain open, we have launched a new initiative: Victoria Youth Caucus. Every Wednesday before Council Meetings, all youth are welcome to discuss important and relevant Council Meeting agenda items with Councillor Lisa Helps from 4:15-5:15pm at Habit Coffee on Pandora.

As a result of our discussion on confidence, the Youth Council hosted Councillor Lisa Helps to facilitate a workshop on “Finding Your Voice” at our March 3rd Executive Meeting.

To find out more, email or visit:

Town of Gibson's CAO
Emanuel Machado

Emanuel Machado is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Town of Gibsons and the Chair of the Canadian Solar Cities Project. For over a dozen years, he has worked with communities throughout Canada, promoting a greater use of renewable energy, efficient buildings, water strategies, social plans and sustainability frameworks, all with a focus on people. For examples, see

Emanuel’s passion and commitment to creating sustainable communities is evident in his work in the Town of Gibsons. He combined the Official Community Plan, Strategic Plan and Sustainability Plan to create a hybrid document that balances economic development, the natural environment, and social well-being. It is this integration and balance that has been the key element of the plan; as Emanuel says, “the biggest realization we had was we can’t achieve our goals by simply planning each action or each area individually, by oversimplifying ‘this is a health issue’ or ‘that is a housing matter.’ There is the understanding that everything is integrated.”

More recently, Emanuel has been developing a program for the Town of Gibsons, called Eco-Assets, which recognizes the role of nature as a fundamental part of the municipal infrastructure system, leading to cleaner air, clear water, and a healthier community for all.

Watch this short video to see Emanuel explain how his community developed a plan for health and wellbeing.

A collaborative approach to sport and arts for students
DASH BC and the BC After School Sport and Arts Initiative

For two days at the end of February, 24 representatives from 11 school districts around BC came together to share their knowledge and to learn about resources and strategies for after school programming. The event was DASH BC’s 3rd Annual After School Sport and Arts Initiative Community Forum in Richmond, BC, where after-school program coordinators and delivery staff participated in workshops and presentations on student engagement, physical activity, arts and recreation.

The mission of the BC After School Sport and Arts Initiative (ASSAI) is to invest in enriched after school programming that enhances each participant’s overall health, learning and well-being. ASSAI supports 14 school districts across BC to provide fun, safe, accessible and high-quality programming to students who face barriers to participating in after-school activities. The Initiative is funded by the BC Government through the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

DASH BC has been a key partner in ASSAI since 2011, contributing to the development of a model for after-school programming that engages hard to reach students and connects them to their school community. DASH BC also facilitates connections among participating school districts by providing centralized support and organizing activities like the Community Forum.

DASH’s work is all about supporting BC students to participate in healthy school communities. We use a comprehensive approach with actions in four pillars: school policies, relationships and environments, community partnerships, and teaching and learning. The After School Sport and Arts Initiative is characterized by multiple partners coming together to create welcoming environments for all students to learn sports and art.

DASH was happy to have Jodi Mucha, Executive Director of BC Healthy Communities, deliver a keynote presentation at the ASSAI Community Forum. As Jodi’s keynote reminded us, the ASSAI model fits well within the Healthy Communities approach by including multi-sectoral collaboration between the provincial sport and arts sectors, as well as partnership development among school districts, municipalities, community service organizations, and sport and arts organizations. There is healthy public policy that has supported schools opening their doors after regular hours. Furthermore, there is community engagement with programs tailored to local context and culture.

As the Community Engagement Liaison for ASSAI, I noticed how the Community Forum highlighted the benefits and opportunities that come from being part of a linked network:
  • Forum attendees came with experience and skills that they shared with others from around the province; for example, some raised the challenges they are facing and received input from others who had worked on similar projects (e.g., how to structure drop-in programs, inclusion of students with disabilities).
  • DASH connected attendees with resources from partner organizations and relevant initiatives, including BC Recreation and Parks Association, ArtStarts, Action Schools! BC.
  • The Forum was a reminder to those on the ground that they are part of a larger community of support, which was particularly important for those working in rural or remote communities.

DASH facilitated learning and sharing, taking advantage of the collective knowledge and experience of those attending the Forum. As attendees headed home from Richmond, I hope they knew that their communities are not solitary dots on a map, but connected to colleagues across the province, working together to support students.

For more information on ASSAI and to view a video of students in action, click here.

Resilient Neighbourhoods: Engaging Our Neighbours

When: March 27th from 6:30-9:00pm PST in Saanich
Where: Bell Irving Room, Saanich Neighbourhood Place
(Pearkes Building at 3100 Tillicum Rd.)

This is the third workshop in a series dedicated to community engagement and leadership for residents and business owners from Saanich to Vic West.

Register for the workshop.

Smoke-Free Outdoor Places

When: April 8th at 9:00-10:00am PST

Join us online to learn more about smoke-free and tobacco-free policies, and hear about how some BC communities have implemented local bylaws and programs to promote smoke-free outdoor places, such as the City of Pemberton and the City of Kelowna.

Presenters: Ryan David Kennedy, Sheena Fraser, and Ian Wilson.

Presented by the Clean Air Coalition of BC (comprised of the
BC Lung Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon), in collaboration with PlanH (a partnership of BC Healthy Communities and Healthy Families BC).

Register for the webinar.

Building Intersections for Vibrant Rural Communities: Research on Health, Wellness and Place

When: April 10-11th
Where: Manteo Waterfront Resort, Kelowna

The 2014 Rural Health Services Research Conference will focus on intersections among research, practice and policy for healthy build environments.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr. Michael Hayes, University of Victoria - Diversity, Health and Place
  • Dr. Verena Menec, University of Manitoba - Age, Health and Place
  • Ms. Sue Shikaze and Ms. Kate Hall, Haliburtan, Kawartha and Pine Ridge District Health - Halliburton Communities in Action
Register for the conference.

Northern BC Citizen Series
These free webinars are offered through a partnership between Northern Health and BCHC. We invite advocates and colleagues to this dialogue about critical northern issues, and recognize that community involvement is the cornerstone to healthy people.

When: April 24th at 1:30-3:30 pm PST
Learn more and register for Too Much of a Good Thing? Social Impacts of Rapid Industrial Growth in Rural Communities.

When: June 12th at 1:30-3:30 pm PST
Learn more and register for Social Retrofit: Equipping Our Communities to Support Aging in Place.

Recommended by Jodi Mucha
The Social Labs Revolution: A New Approach to Solving Our Most Complex Challenges
By Zaid Hassan

“Hassan blends a clarity of vision, and a refusal to pretend that simple solutions are adequate to address complex problems, with practical examples of what can be done. This book should be compulsory reading for anyone whose ambition is to change the systems that perpetuate poverty and inequality rather than just to mitigate the symptoms.”
~ Kate Wareing, Head of Innovation and Learning, Oxfam GB

1 comment:

  1. This is a really neat blog and helps me to understand Northern BC's healthy community. Do you know of any safety services that I can learn more about in the area? I want to know more about having a healthy community.