Community Archive

A Curation of Neighbourhood-strengthening Artifacts

New stories and tools to offer hope and ideas for creating thriving neighbourhoods

As generative media makers we love to receive and discover stories and tools that relate in some way to our deeper mission. This article illuminates some artifacts that have crossed our desks most recently and either energized us or made us curious or both. The tie that binds them all: the work and mission of strengthening neighbourhoods. Maybe one could think of this as a digital museum.

Creating a New Story in Lubicon Land

Site of infamous 2011 oil spill now a renewable energy waypoint

On another brilliantly sunny day in the northern Alberta hamlet of Little Buffalo, history was being made earlier this week. The home to about 500 people was abuzz with a kind of activity not seen there before – the installation of a brand-new 20.8-kilowatt solar panel system.

Friendship Centre Develops Social Enterprises to Enhance Lives

The prime purpose is to create employment for the urban aboriginal population that we serve: CEO Michael Colclough

Gifting is integral to the aboriginal culture, and aboriginal elders and others in B.C.’s Comox Valley are sharing the gift of their wisdom and culture so that members of the community can gain life-enriching knowledge, skills and supports.

Is Now the Time to Bring Alive Centuries-old Jubilee Concept?

Cincinnati group steps to edge of practicing radical Old Testament teaching on debt forgiveness

A group of leaders of diverse faith affiliations in Cincinnati has been gripped by a sense that the ongoing economic struggle of those on the margins has brought their city to an historic crossroads.

Community Bands Together to Create Own Solar Power

Effort sparked by asking, ‘What do we have to work with right here, right now?’

An exciting example of citizens banding together to take ownership of their collective well-being is coming to life in the remote, small town of Philippi, West Virginia.

Bringing Home the Best of Neighbourhood Connections

Peterborough conference goers try a collaborative experiment in knowledge sharing

A man enters the only store in a small town wanting to buy fishing bait. The merchant, perplexed, says he can oblige but suggests the man will find just what he needs outside by simply turning over some rocks.

The Third Paradigm for Local Government

Belgian municipalities experiment with new model for addressing resource constraints and creating a thriving community

In the municipalities of Olen and Houthalen-Helchteren, Belgium, citizen demands are increasing and resources to meet those demands shrinking. In the face of these challenges, local government leaders are becoming more open to experimenting with the addition of a new paradigm to their current ways of working.

Associational Life a Space to Enliven

The future of our well-being depends on our making visible and supporting associational life: John McKnight

A Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) study released last week reports that belonging to multiple groups contributes more to personal self-esteem than having a large network of friends. This is particularly the case when groups provide a basis for social identity, that is, when they are considered by people to contribute to their sense of who they are.

The Risk and Subtle Reward in Building Community

‘It’s an amazing thing that people really resist change, even if it’s in their best interest’

Creating the conditions for people to experience “a-ha” moments about new possibilities for their community’s future and how they might take ownership for enabling those possibilities can be a lonely and risky business. The work is rewarding, but it’s a subtle kind of reward — one you have to search for to see, trusting that it will ripple out into long-term, meaningful change.

Calgary Churches Re-imagining Who They Are In Community

Initiative takes stock of churches’ assets, explores redirecting them to better serve community

Carla Leon never knows what kind of response she’ll get when she picks up the phone to cold-call church leaders in Calgary about a new initiative designed to help churches re-imagine who they are in their local communities. But she’s certainly most energized when people instantly “see the light.”