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United Way Seeks Community Feedback

Contributed by: Erich Nahser-Ringer

Graduate students from UVic are out in the community gathering information and stories about the Brentwood Bay area. They want to know what the community envisions in ten years and what services, businesses, community groups, events and activities would enhance their community.

Started in 2011 by the United Way of Greater Victoria, in partnership with the University of
Victoria’s Office of Community-based Research, the Community Tables: Engaging Neighbours
Project brings people together who live, work or play in a specific neighborhood or region to find solutions to make their community an even greater place to live.

The project operates under a belief that a community is much stronger when the people who live or work there, feel connected to one another.

In 2012, community tables were hosted in the Gorge Tillicum, North Park and Oaklands
neighbourhoods. This year, community tables are being hosted in Colwood and the Brentwood Bay area.

According to project intern Erich Nahser-Ringer, the project has resulted in positive changes in the participating areas. “The Gorge-Tillicum area table resulted in an annual tree lighting ceremony for that community that last year saw businesses and over 200 residents come out to get to know each other. The North Park area table has resulted in an updated map of the area that has been provided for residents who are new to the neighbourhood” says Erich.

He also adds that the process has been repeated across Canada and has resulted in over 40 tables in Montreal that have brought residents together to work on projects in their community.

A series of fun, interactive and educational gatherings will be held in Brentwood Bay and Tsartlip throughout March, where people can connect with one another, share stories and brainstorm about what would make a stronger and healthier community.

Sidewalk contacts are the small change from which the wealth of public life may grow.”   says Jane Jacobs, a Gorge-Tillicum table participant.

The community tables will be supported by United Way, as they bring one or more of the ideas generated through the process to action, while building on existing community strengths and focusing on positive change for kids, youth, poverty reduction and community building.

All of the research gathered through the community table process will be used to create a
community map that highlights the areas assets and visions for the future.

Community Tables Gatherings Event Schedule:

Saturday, March 2nd – Sharing Stories and Community Knowledge
Time: 10 am to 12:30 pm
Place: Brentwood Bay Cultural Centre (next to the Library) – 1209 Clarke Road

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Thursday, March 14th – Community Mapping and Visioning
Time: 1 pm to 3:30 pm OR 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Place: Tsartlip Community Cultural Building – 7449 West Saanich Rd.

Saturday, March 16th – Building Action Strategies Together
Time: 10 am to 12:30 pm
Place: Centennial Park Field House – 1809 Hovey Road

To submit your thoughts and ideas through the online survey go to http://mapping.uvic.ca/uwgv (click on tab for Brentwood Bay area).

Entrants will have a chance to win gift certificates to JJ’s coffee house, Breadstuffs Bakery or the Zanzibar Café.

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To learn more about the community tables gatherings, or how to get involved, please contact Erich Nahser-Ringer erich.n.ringer@gmail.com or (250) 893-7848 and visit http://mapping.uvic.ca/uwgv

For more information, please contact:
Lilaine Galway, Community Development Manager
United Way Greater Victoria
Ph: 250-220-7363
Lilaine@uwgv.ca

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