2017 April

2017.04.01 April

Creating Communities without Borders
“Although borders separate and define everything from our natural resources to cultural attitudes, there is far more that we share in the world than that which divides us.”
Norah Borden
Planet Earth is changing

Behind Standing Rock

Fidel Moreno

Lelu Island

Both about water


How are we going to deal with this?

Reconciliation Canada

About Us


Reconciliation 1997
Lavina White


Think Tanks
MacDonald-Laurier Institute
Welcome to the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Canada’s only truly national public policy think tank based in Ottawa. MLI is rigorously independent and non-partisan, as symbolized by its name. Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier were two outstanding and long-serving former prime ministers who represent the best of Canada’s distinguished political tradition. A Tory and a Grit, an English-speaker and a French-speaker, each of them championed the values that led to the creation of Canada and its emergence as one of the world’s leading democracies and a place where people may live in peace and freedom under the rule of law.

Welcome to the Macdonald-Laurier Institute

C.D.Howe Institute
The C.D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. Widely considered to be Canada’s most influential think tank, the Institute is a trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review.

Does this make sense?

Creating our Water Systems
Reconciliation Creative Canada
Exploring the Business Case
Creating our Economic Systems
Centre for Sustainable Communities
Canada Cares
Creative British Columbia

A last stand for Lelu Island

Flora Banks is a nursery site for approximately 300 million juvenile salmon that use Flora Banks as a sanctuary. It is a food basket. If the project is built it will be ignoring science. It will be ignoring the risks to fish. It will be ignoring the risks to people.

This is where the salmon start growing and going out to the nations, the Nisga’a, the Haida, the Tsimshian. It holds all of our fishing stock, our future fishing stock.

This is unceded territory. Sm’oogyets, the hereditary chiefs of 9 Allied Tribes have governed their territory for thousands of years.

This is a human issue.
What would Canada and BC be without salmon?

Despite the ongoing turmoil, the Lelu Island Declaration was signed by an unprecedented coalition of First Nations leaders, local residents and federal and provincial politicians
The declaration states that Lelu Island and the Flora and Agnew banks are to be permanently protected from industrial development.

Produced & Directed by Farhan Umedaly & Tamo Campos
2016, Canada, 24 minutes

A great injustice is being done on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, B.C., the sacred and traditional territory of the Lax Kw’alaams people for over 10,000 years. The B.C. provincial government is trying to green light the construction of a massive LNG terminal on the island – Pacific Northwest LNG, backed by Malaysian energy giant Petronas, without consent.

The Lax Kw’alaams are the keepers of Lelu Island and its connected Flora Bank, a massive sand bar that is part of the Skeena River estuary and known by fisheries biologists as some of the most important salmon habitat in Canada. The project would devastate the Skeena River, the natural wildlife and countless communities in the path of the LNG pipeline that will feed the terminal with fracked gas from Northeastern B.C.
The Lax Kw’alaams have voted unanimously against the project and became legendary when they rejected a $1.15 billion dollar deal from Petronas in an attempt by the company to gain consent.

Ignoring the voice of the Lax Kw’alaams, Petronas, with full backing of the Provincial Government have illegally begun drilling into Flora Bank where they now face off against warriors of the Lax Kw’alaams who have occupied the island since August 2015.
Join the resistance of the Lax Kw’alaams on both land and sea in ‘A Last Stand for Lelu’.

– Winner at the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival – Best Documentary Short
– Top Ten Must See Documentaries 2016, Asian Film Festivals
– Official Selection at Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
– 7 Must see films at Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (2016)
– Winner at the Hollywood Independent Documentary Awards (2016)
– Winner at the Canadian Diversity Film Festival (2016)
– Winner at the One Nation Film Festival (2017) – Best Documentary Short Film Jury Award
– Winner at The Global Independent Film Awards – Environmental (Feb 2017)


Does this make sense?

I often wonder whether I am the fool on the first day of April, – a person lacking in judgment or prudence, – a harmlessly deranged person with a marked propensity for something. It would explain a lot and is certainly consistent with observable behaviour. No sense wrestling with reality. Better, as Shakespeare might say, to play the fool and learn the part and enjoy the experience. It is a matter open for discussion and investigation and examination and debate, – for inquiry and exploration, – for question.

And that is where I have arrived as I prepare to raise the curtain and step onto the stage. I have no answers to the questions we are wrestling with in this extremely complex and rapidly changing world we are experiencing. Only questions, – and a few ideas from my experience, – which makes me fairly normal, – or at least puts me in good company with other fools.

I have often referred to my journey of exploration and my enterprise as my folly, – a foolish act or idea, – a lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight, – as Merriam Webster might describe it, – but since I am in no position to make sense of the world any more than anyone else, – and likely a lot less than many others, – the most I can do, – and perhaps the best I can do, – is to simply ask the questions about what I, – and we, – are seeing and experiencing in our world, – and what is happening as we evolve, – and what we could do which could be common sense, – and make good sense. Does this make sense?

Reconciliation totem pole goes up at UBC
The University of British Columbia is now home to a 17-metre tall totem pole that represents the victims and survivors of Canada’s residential school system.

The pole was carved by Haida master carver and hereditary Chief James Hart, also known as 7idansuu.

“It’s really to bring attention to the destruction the residential schools brought forth and the effects that we’re living with today,” he said.

Indigenous children across Canada were forced to leave their families and attend the church-run, government-funded boarding centres for Aboriginal children that operated in Canada for more than 100 years.

Totem pole raised at UBC honours victims of residential schools

Linda Givetash
The Canadian Press, 2017.04.01
A 17-metre totem pole installed at the University of British Columbia is a permanent reminder of the strength and resilience of the countless children victimized by the residential school system, one survivor said.

Elder Barney Williams used his remarks to a crowd gathered Saturday for the raising of the totem pole to talk about his experience of being raped and abused at a residential school on Meares Island, B.C.

“This is real folks, this is not something we make up because we want sympathy,” he said.

The mistreatment of generations of indigenous people, he said, is a “Canadian problem, not just a First Nations problem.”

The pole located at the heart of the Vancouver campus, at the future site of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre that is slated to open in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Williams said it’s more than just a symbol but an element of First Nations’ culture and legacy that has endured despite the attempts of the residential school system to wipe out their traditions.


Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

The Centre is being built with several purposes in mind. One is to provide a more accessible place on the west coast for former students and survivors, their families and communities to access their records and other historical material that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and others have gathered, and to have a place to discuss their experiences, the history, and its effects and implications.

Another is to provide public information for universities and schools, and for visitors to the Centre in person or online. Canadians have not had access to real information about Indigenous people or the history of the interactions that have shaped our country.

We have consistently found that even with introductory information about the residential schools and associated matters, students and others are in a much better position to think about their relationships with Indigenous people and the issues that define our country. There is little question that the deficit in our shared knowledge is an impediment to many necessary conversations and negotiations, and to the progress of our society. With more complete knowledge of history, far more adequate address of contemporary issues is possible.

James Hart

James hart is one of the Northwest Coast’s most accomplished artists. In addition to his mastery in carving monumental sculptures and totem poles, he is a skilled jeweler and printer and is considered a pioneer among Haida artists in the use of bronze.
James has been a carver since 1979. He first apprenticed with renowned Haida artist Robert Davidson and then worked with master carver Bill Reid from 1980 to 1984. James comes from a long line of Haida chiefs who were carvers. Since 1999, he holds the name and hereditary title – Chief 7idansuu (Edenshaw) of the Haida Nation Saangga.ahl Staastas Eagle Clan—of his great-great-grandfather, Charles Edenshaw.

Children cut off from their roots
The residential schools

In the United States, in 1879, Captain Richard Pratt founded the first boarding school, Carlisle Indian School, followed quickly by many others all over the country. Nicholas Flood Davin was dispatched by the Canadian government to assess the results of Captain Pratt’s educational program. His report draws the following conclusions.

“The Americans had reached the same conclusion as the Canadians: very little could be done with adult Indians” The Americans had also realized that the schools established on the reserves had failed in their mission to make the children more adaptable than their parents. As a consequence, the children should be removed from any family influence.

In his report, Davin highly recommended adopting and developing the American program, baptized “aggressive civilization”, in Canada, and including missionaries in the program, so that the children could learn the principles of Christianity. His exact words were “the American example is proof that if something is to be done with Indians, one must take them at an early age”

In 1888, residential schools were set in Canada. In order to comply with the government’s instructions concerning the boarding schools, the distance from the school to the reserve had to be long enough to discourage children from running away and the parents from coming to visit.

“Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that hasn’t been absorbed into the politic body, and so there will be no more Indian question, or Indian Department”
Duncan Campbell Scott
Indian Act Amendment 1920

from History Paths
Background for the film Voyage en Memoires Indiennes

1920-1927 Indian Act Becomes More Restrictive – PDF

The First Nations Education Steering Committee

The First Nations Education Steering Committee was founded in 1992 by participants at a provincial First Nations education conference at the Vancouver Friendship Centre. That visionary group of people determined the need for a First Nations-controlled collective organization focused on advancing quality education for all First Nations learners, and committed to supporting First Nations in their efforts to improve the success of all First Nations students in BC.
The First Nations Education Steering Committee


PUBLISHED to http://www.creativecanada.com/reconciliation/creating-the-story/the-residential-schools/

The Event

Reconciliation Pole

The Invitation – PDF
The Program – The story told by the pole – PDF


Gord Downie wins three Junos at music awards Saturday night.

The Secret Path, a concept album about Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinaabe boy who died in 1966 while trying to return home after escaping from an Indian residential school, won two awards — the adult alternative album award and the award for recording package. Secret Path, which raised funds through its sales for the University of Manitoba’s National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation project, came with a graphic novel.

Lynn Saxberg and Peter Hum
from Ottawa Sun, 2017.04.01


The Secret Path

Nation Talk

The Worlds First Indigenous Hyperlocal Network

Using existing and emerging technologies, NationTalk has made it possible for Aboriginal communities and entrepreneurs to duplicate its website NationTalk.ca, as a separate website customized for local audiences. NationTalk, can then automatically share with, as well as receive information from these regional sites, including advertisements across the network.

This allows the creation of websites with local information such as jobs, advertisements and news for communities as small as a village, while also including regional and national information drawn from NationTalk.ca. This in turn becomes an income opportunity for entrepreneurs or communities running the website, and local journalists contributing news.

By bring about the hyperlocal revolution, NationTalk is helping improve the climate for information sharing with, and within the Aboriginal, and bring about economic benefit to the smallest of the Aboriginal communities.

Creating a future for journalism


Speaking of Dance

In-Studio Performance “Regeneración”


Why do you invest?

Speaking of creative partnerships


Creating our Water Systems

Six Things you should know about your clothes


Creative Vancouver

My Vancouver: An Ever-Unfolding Story

Creative Canada
Creating our energy systems
Creating our economic systems
Centre for sustainable communities

Shaping the Canadian Low Carbon Economy

We identify four cornerstones of the low-carbon economy and the policies and practices needed to achieve it. The first two cornerstones are energy consumption and its complement, energy efficiency. The third cornerstone is the supply of energy and related technology, goods and services, and the fourth is the low-carbon business opportunity.

If Canada is to constrain and then reduce its GHG emissions, Canadians will need to change how and why we use energy in vehicles, public transportation, buildings and infrastructure. Energy consumption will need to shift progressively toward electricity in many areas, even though new low-carbon electricity may not be cheap and would require greater reliance on renewable sources.

Energy production plays a fundamental and central role in the growth of Canada’s economy, and will do so for decades to come. Global demand for oil and gas is still on the rise; it would be foolish to neglect the energy production sector and its many supporting sectors such as energy distribution and construction.

Yet with the reality of climate change, transforming how Canada produces energy must be an essential part of a low-carbon strategy. Doing so in the smartest way possible presents a formidable technical, business and policy challenge, but also an enormous opportunity. For example, greening Canadian electricity production and adding supply to electrify the economy will require huge investment in electro-technologies. The business dimension is equally crucial. Firms will adopt a mix of strategies to reduce carbon emissions across their value chains, but some will also seize business opportunities from engaging in the clean-technology value chain for innovative low-carbon goods and services.

Glen Hodgson
From A low-carbon Canadian economy: How to get there
The Globe and Mail, 2017.04.04


Glen Hodgson is senior vice-president and chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada.

Juno Awards
Full Show

We are not completely Canada yet
Gord Downie
Upon accepting the Juno Songwriter of the Year Award


A positive outlook may be good for your health
Jane E. Brody
The New York Times News


Community Trade Centre



Arunachal Pradesh Experience

5. A new social compact is desperately needed.

Social compacts are the philosophical underpinnings of society: individuals consent to be governed in exchange for social order. Practically, this has meant placing limits on individual rights to various degrees.

The Global Commission on Internet Governance believes that a Social Compact for a Digital Society should establish a framework “where each actor understands that they have the responsibility to act not only in their own interest, but also in the interest of the Internet ecosystem as a whole.” In practice, this would mean an abandonment of zero-sum decision-making in favour of win-win agreements. It isn’t about weighing commercial rights against state interests, or about balancing human rights against state authority. It’s about recognizing that “effective security, successful business models and human rights are mutually reinforcing in the long run.” If one acts selfishly it harms everyone in the long term.

The authors do make a point of noting that a universal social compact is unlikely to be adopted anytime soon, if ever. So in the short term, we should be striving towards implementing mechanisms to increase the influence of civil society groups and members of the technological community in order to help shape the Internet.

Resisting the temptation to control the Internet is crucial as the very nature of it resists centralized authority. But a framework to ensure the Internet becomes open, secure, trustworthy and inclusive ought to be the goal, and we owe it to ourselves to strive for that future.

John Woodside
From Five issues that should decide the future of the Internet
Considerations that should be front of mind when figuring out how to make the Internet of the future as inclusive and open as possible
Open Canada, 2016.08.08

Global Commission on Internet Governance

Why Culture Matters in British Columbia
Creating a future for the arts

Keeping the Blues Alive

Think Vancouver
Creating our learning Systems

To: http://www.thinkvancouver.com/community/city-studio-vancouver/


CityStudio Vancouver is an innovation hub where City staff, students, and community co-create experimental projects to make Vancouver more sustainable, liveable and joyful.

Are you interested in starting a CityStudio in your city or learning about how we started in Vancouver?

2017Art of Cities in Vancouver
May 24-26, 2017

We invite city and university leaders to join us in Vancouver this May to learn about the CityStudio model and the art of collaborative city building.

Placemaking is a powerful tool for democratic change and a way to stitch communities together – P.K. Das, Architect

City Studio Story

Cities need to experiment on the ground with innovative solutions to the complex sustainability challenges that we are facing. Cities also need strategies to engage young people as leaders and decision makers in creating sustainable cities and communities for our future.

CityStudio Vancouver is an innovation hub inside Vancouver City Hall where City staff, university students, and community members co-design and co-create real projects which improve our city, enrich our neighbourhoods, and make our city more livable, joyful and sustainable.

Our interests are to

Explore and experiment new ways cities are co-created — How
give students the opportunity to learn the skills required for creative collaboration
build the next generation of change-makers and active city builders.

Learning from working directly with the underserved, disillusioned and talented students who want to change the world and cannot find programs that help them do so.

Giving City Hall a vehicle to explore and include the interests, observations, and ideas of students in the co-creation of the city.

We imagine a future where City Hall is more permeable and accessible and an energetic hub of urban innovation.

Exciting City Halls across North America to explore the idea of creating CityStudios in our common interest in creating cities for the future

Students collaborate with city employees using an integrated dialogue and design process to frame problems, refine designs, and implement projects.

Projects are learning experiences on how to build creative relationships, engage in a thorough design process.

The city gets a steady flow of innovative, sustainability demonstration projects from which it can choose the best to replicate.

City staff innovate more frequently and more easily as a result of this co-creation and the energy and enthusiasm students bring to the work.

Our vision for collaborative city building provides staff, students and community members with deeply engaged experiences in 3 program areas:

projects and community action towards collaborative city building supporting the Greenest City Action Plan, and the Healthy City and Engaged City Strategies.

About CityStudio Vancouver

To: http://www.thinkvancouver.com/community/city-studio-vancouver/

The Future of Journalism in Canada

Journalists are not easy to love. They are less trusted than police, schools, banks, and the justice system, and only marginally more trusted than federal Parliament and corporations. But what journalists do is important, and it isn’t just the business of rooting out liars, holding policy makers accountable, probing the public accounts, championing the underdogs, or hounding the overlords. It is all those things, but it is more importantly the practice of using stories as a way to make sense of the world.

It is not enough to write the first draft of history. The job of journalism is also to recall and reflect on our shared history, to capture, or at least help channel the currents of our times, and to help us imagine what sort of society we wish to invent for ourselves and for those who come after us. Yes, debates happen in this country’s legislatures, our rules of conduct are enforced ny the courts, and our commerce is carried out, sometimes in public, often in private, and most of the system works for most of the people most of the time. But not always, and not for everybody, – which is why our public square needs to include spaces where we can challenge the status quo, encourage dissent, listen at the margins, and champion new ideas, new ways of doing things, new ways of seeing the world, new ways of understanding our place in it, We need new places to share those stories in multiple and evolving ways.

To do all that, journalism needs a new home, many homes actually, but in Canada we have failed to keep our media house in order, and our public square is shrinking fast. Canadian journalism is on life-support, – not because Canadian reporters don’t know how to do journalism, but because there are so few places to put it anymore.

Ian Gill
From No News is Bad News
Canada’s Media Collapse and What Comes Next

Creating a future for the arts
Corporate contributors
Centre for social Responsibility
Making the arts accessible more accessible for Canadians


The Watershed
Documentary Theatre

Playwright Annabel Soutar talking about The Watershed


The issue of freshwater on our planet and in our country
We are losing groundwater for future generations in one generation
Important if true

Porte Parole
Documentary Theatre


Porte Parole creates and produces original documentary plays about Canadian contemporary life that inspire diverse audiences to think critically together about current social issues.

Porte Parole’s mission is to curate live performance experiences that create a transformational sense of engagement in Canadian citizens and that promote Canada abroad as a country whose stage artists play a key role in sustaining democratic dialogue.

Ultimately, Porte Parole aims to make theatre an innovative hub of democratic dialogue – a space that promotes curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and live contact between diverse and engaged citizens.

International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Experimental Lakes Area


In a time of growing populations and a rapidly changing climate, many countries are struggling to respond to challenges to their fresh water.
We’re one of the only places in the world where it is possible to conduct experiments on whole ecosystems

Who We Are

Commissioned for toronto2015.org

2015 Rollicking road trip with a somber environmental message

2016 The best of the Canadian stage for 2016

2017 Exploring the big question of our time, – what is the future of water?

There has never been a more urgent moment in North America to invest in evidence-based science, balanced storytelling, and critical thinking. Without a commitment to these practices on all levels of our society, we risk falling prey to the destructive political spiral that is currently threatening the world’s most powerful democracy south of the border.

But lest we comfort ourselves too easily here in Canada that “fake news” and “alternative facts” are merely American phenomena, The Watershed exists as a vivid reminder that our democratic institutions are also susceptible to corrosion if citizens fail to uphold them vigilantly.

Easier said than done.

The Watershed explores the situations in which we struggle, – as artists, scientists, politicians, journalists, parents, and children, – to live up to the task of maintaining robust public discourse in an era of deep political polarization.

I remain hopeful that, by sharing this play with you at this moment, we can laugh together about our fraught attempts to bridge ideological difference in Canada, and through laughter find some optimism about how to face the future together.

Annabel Soutar

A non-fiction play
Creating theatre with real life contributions to the conversation

No science, – no evidence, – no truth, – no democracy

The Experimental Lakes Area
One of the only places in the world where it is possible to explore and conduct experiments on whole ecosystems

Common sense
Without evidence-based science we will all remain ignorant

Good sense
Let’s continue the conversation beyond these walls

Creative ideas

Real life theatre, – one step closer to theatre in real life, – imagining and creating stories in our theatre of the new world and creating our stories in real life.

Moving from URL to IRL, – from being in the world of universal resource locators to being in the real life world

Our creative interest
Creating a future for our water resources

Excite interest in exploring and understanding and appreciating the contribution of the Watershed

Excite interest in exploring where we are, and what we are doing, and what is happening, and what interests we have in common and what are our common interests, and what is contributing to and militating against our interests, and what creative ideas, and creative relationships, and opportunities for creative community enterprise can we explore and pursue

Water, Water Everywhere and not a drop to drink

Gateway Academy for the Performing Arts

Ruth McIntosh
Academy Leader

Theatre pivoting around the main character changes, – or is it the character of Canada or water that changes and is transformed.
Presenting arguments rather than making the case, like the Pipeline Project
David Schindler, – 2010, – the affect on the Athabasca Watershed
Harper Address to the Chamber of Commerce July 2006
Kennedy Stewart Motion March 20, 2013, on Water Issues
Munk Centre on Global Affairs

Creative Fashion for Youth

I think it’s really important for people to see First Nation designers and see what they come up with, because a lot of it has to do with our culture and traditions. The storytelling of who we are as people really opens up people’s eyes. For First Nation designers to be able to showcase that and for it to be mainstream, well it’s something that Canada needs to see, because a lot of people don’t really know much of our culture.

Tailoring tradition: How Ashley Callingbull champions indigenous heritage through design
Jeanne Beker
The Globe and Mail, 2016.12.03

Creative Fashion for Youth
Creating Our Water Systems

Blue River
“The clothes we all buy is probably the most common way by which all of us contribute to water pollution and environmental degradation around the world and yet it’s probably the least known in terms of it being a major polluting issue. Our goal is to bring that to light and certainly we want to create a much greater awareness of the impact of fashion on the global environment on our waterways but at the same time, we want the film to be a vehicle for positive change.
The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world. At the same though, it’s an industry that is very consumer sensitive. So I’m a real believer in conscious consumerism and my hope is that if many people become aware of the issue, if many more people begin to ask questions, then that can be a real driver of positive change.”
Mark Angelo


My ideas

Increasing our contribution

Contextualizing media, contextualizing experiences

Important if true
Creative interests
Creative enterprise
Creative connections
Creative ideas
Creative contribution

Creative enterprise

Focus on the top line and the long view
Ideas and opportunities for investment and creative connections at the margin
The case for exploration
Exploring opportunities for creative relationships
Exploring opportunities to increase contribution from resources
Exploring creative opportunities to do things better, differently, different, and more creatively
Focus on the creative experience of creative expression, creative contribution, and creative enterprise.
Focus on exciting creative connections

Creating community

Creating communities around creative interests and creative enterprise
Increasing the size and contribution of our communities of common enterprise
Creating an environment for creating connections and exciting creative community enterprise
Imagining the new world we can create, – the world where there are no them
A way of seeing things, and thinking about things, and doing things
A way of seeing our world, thinking about our world, and creating our world

Contextualizing opportunities

Creating connection

Introducing ourselves creates context for our point of view and our contribution

Peace River Dam

Evidence-based research
BC Government Undermining Their Work, Scientists Say
Study finds political interference, cuts preventing research needed for evidence-based decisions.

Community Housing Centre

SFU Public Square

Six Degrees Vancouver

About 6 Degrees
6 Degrees Vancouver

For refugees, immigrants, Indigenous peoples and settlers, notions of home are complex. In Canada—and particularly in unceded Coast Salish territory—questions of home, belonging, and who is welcoming whom are constantly scrutinized. Who is “home” in Canada and who is not? How do we reconcile home with place of origin? Are you home?

Canada, which some say is still becoming a country, may indeed find itself the last defender of pluralism, liberalism, and even globalization with its principles of equality and inclusion. But are these the luxuries of prosperity and geography and if so, how do we firmly fix them into our national identity? Never before have our ideals and self-conceptions been so closely examined nationally and internationally. 6 Degrees Vancouver explores the roles, responsibilities and the potential of Canada in 2017 to see whether we have our own house in order and if not, how we can shore up our foundations.

6 Degrees
Citizen Space

6 Degrees Citizen Space, the global platform on citizenship and inclusion in the 21st century, is an initiative of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, co-founded and co-chaired by The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada, and John Ralston Saul, one of Canada’s leading intellectuals. 6 Degrees involves the brightest minds and the boldest methods. It brings thinkers, doers, business executives, artists, politicians, and civil society leaders together in order to get them talking about what is really happening in the world. The annual 3-day Citizen Space will take place in Toronto, Canada, on September 25-27.

360: Feeling at Home

Home suggests more than a physical space. It evokes belonging, shelter, acceptance, and sanctuary. But what makes any human feel “at home”? Canada houses first peoples and settlers, but is residency a guarantor of belonging? How do we embrace and respect different understandings of space and territory, and profound ties to other places and cultures, as we continue to co-create our forever unfinished nation? What are the cultural connectors that enable people to feel they belong in this vast place? Who is “home” and who is not?

Being at Home

Inclusion is deeper and harder to achieve than diversity. Are Canadian institutions drivers of an inclusive society, or are they establishments promoting pre-formulated values and agendas? How have structures and systems shaped the Canadian model? Have our policies served everyone fairly?

The popular narrative frames Canada as a sanctuary of equality. Is this the case? Has it ever been? How do we collectively recognize and address our shortcomings, while strengthening the structures necessary to nurture genuine inclusion?

SFU Public Square

Art as a public invitation

Think tanks
2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, James G. McGann

from March
Think Tanks
Centre for International Governance Innovation

from February
Think Tanks

Creative Canada

Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Canada’s best thinkers

The Canadian Global Affairs Institute is a federally registered non-profit organization with charitable status. It is funded mainly by corporate, foundation and individual donations and sponsorships. These sources share the belief that an informed electorate will in turn produce an informed polity. Dissemination of information will lead to the drafting, implementation and support of innovative and comprehensive Canadian policy in the areas of foreign affairs, defence and international development.

The Institute’s policy research and education materials are authored by former practitioners and academics throughout Canada and abroad. Program advice comes from a multi-disciplinary council and governance is provided by an experienced board.

Canadian Global Affairs Institute is consistently ranked amongst the top think tanks in international affairs by the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Think Tank Index Report.

Canadian Council for the Americas


Think Tanks and Public Policy

In April 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt sent the US Congress the following warning: “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism.” It is a warning we would do well to remember.

George Monbiot
from How corporate dark money is taking power on both sides of the Atlantic
The Guardian, 2017.02.02

My Point of View
Think Tanks

Think Tanks are useful from my point of view for their contribution to exploring the business case for ideas, policies, and courses of action, creative interests and creative enterprise to pursue for governments or in today’s world, the world of corporate enterprise, media, and community enterprises.

Think tanks are not useful when they see their role to be to support, justify, reinforce, and be an advocate for a point of view as the right point of view.

Every contribution from a point of view is conversational. What is important in the contribution is clarity, relevance, veracity, and value.

Think tanks can explore the world we are experiencing and what is happening and what is changing and what is contributing to the interests we are thinking about…

Free enterprise in a free market economy

The Fraser Institute is a registered charitable organization, which means that under federal tax rules it is exempt from paying tax on its income and can issue tax receipts for the gifts it receives, which means its donors get a tax reduction too.

In 2011, the most recent year for which the Fraser Institute financials are listed on the Canada Revenue Agency website for registered charity information returns, it handed out tax receipts on $3.2 million on donations and its revenue report records $3.7 million in gifts from other charities.

The Fraser Institute has 51 full-time employees and paid a total of $5.6 million on compensation. Twenty per cent of its full time staff members earned salaries that put them in the top 10 per cent of all Canadian income earners. About 10 per cent earned incomes in the top one per cent.
Stephen Hume
Vancouver Sun, April 1, 2013


Opportunity to explore the media

The point of view from a context of the interests, intentions, and culture of an enterprise as communicated, perceived or assumed.

A model of a self-sustaining enterprise contributing to the point of view and increasing the size of a community with a common interest in a free market economy, working with the systems that are available and creating opportunities for researchers and creative thinkers to increase their earnings and the value of their contribution.
Roger Chilton

So here we have charitable organizations which are exempt from paying taxes on their revenue, paying themselves generous salary scales while giving each other tax-exempt gifts so they can produce reports complaining that too many single moms and minimum-wage dads don’t pay sufficient taxes and are a threat to our democratic way of life.
Stephen Hume
Vancouver Sun, April 1, 2013

Exploring the media

“Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.”
Will Rogers
American Humorist

Ray Spaxman

Today was the first meeting of the Development Permit Board and Advisory Panel. I believe it could have a significant effect on the future development of Vancouver. I am clearly one of its architects and am now its chairman. It started quietly, less than confidently but without difficulty or acrimony. No speeches were made, everyone helped, every one was watching, hopefully feeling positively about the potential. It could become a very helpful organization in a number of respects:

1. Opening up City Hall.

2. Opening up the development procedures.

3. Adding more than just the developers’ viewpoint.

4. Getting more people involved in the process.

5. Informing many more people about what is happening in the City.

Generally amounting to a much more human system of processing development changes in the city. I think today saw it off to a good start.”

The Conference Board of Canada

Scale up Ventures

Transformational Companies

Social Issues in Investment Portfolios

The Idea of Canada

The Canada experiment: is this the world’s first ‘postnational’ country?

Truth and Reclamation

“We either bring our languages back or we die.” says Khelsilem, the founder of the Squamish Language Immersion Program at SFU. With Trudeau’s announcement of a national Indigenous Languages Act, and continual interest in meaningful reconciliation, Khelsilem seeks to share the lessons of running a full-time adult immersion program with SFU. After its first year the program celebrates 15 new language speakers, with another 15 on the way as another cohort begins in September 2017. Come hear about the development and implementation of curriculum, classroom strategies, and results of this groundbreaking program.



New initiative launched to save Squamish language

Centre for International Governance Innovation
We are the Centre for International Governance Innovation: an independent, non-partisan think tank with an objective and uniquely global perspective. Our research, opinions and public voice make a difference in today’s world by bringing clarity and innovative thinking to global policy making. By working across disciplines and in partnership with the best peers and experts, we are the benchmark for influential research and trusted analysis.

Our research programs focus on governance of the global economy, global security and politics, and international law in collaboration with a range of strategic partners and support from the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, as well as founder Jim Balsillie.

Think Tanks help keep issues that are important on the table
The capacity to move ideas into the public space and make them happen
Think Tanks measure of worth in part is to be able to point to significant policy outcomes
It is vital that our world leaders are supported by the best minds that are available

International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People
The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People commits in principle and practice to collaboration and cooperation between other international artistic associations on matters of mutual interest, where appropriate. We do this in order to advocate the theatre and the arts as a universal expression of humankind, as fundamental to human, social, and cultural development and as a bridge builder for mutual understanding and tolerance as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Creating a future for universities


Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia

Canadian Association of University Teachers

Creating our Food Systems
Sustainable Food Systems – A Landscape Assessment

Reports and Publications

Tides Canada Publications

Reports and Publications

Community Health Centre
Institute for Health and Social Policy

Vancouver Community Health Centre
YMCA of Greater Vancouver
Building healthy communities
The Y helps new immigrants make Canada home. We offer a variety of free programs to help newcomers learn about life and work in Canada, practice English and make new immigrant and Canadian-born friends.


6 Degrees Vancouver
At home

What makes me feel at home is my experience of Canada, of the idea of Canada, of the culture of Canada, and of our civil behaviour, our caring for one another, and our community as Canadians around our common interests.

This is what we feel and experience in common as Canadians. This is what makes us feel at home in Canada. This is how I feel connected to Canada. This is how we feel connected with Canada and how we feel connected as Canadians.

Roger Chilton
From my experience and my point of view

Kinder Morgan

Creative Canada
The Council of Canadians

Community Housing Centre

Go Direct Media

Political discourse in the new world

Site C

B.C. could save $1.6-billion by cancelling Site C: UBC report
Michael Ruffolo
The Globe and Mail

Halting construction of a massive hydroelectric project could save B.C. as much as $1.6-billion as declining electricity demand and cheaper alternative power undermine the business case for the Site C dam, says a report released by the University of British Columbia.

The report by two private-sector environmental consultants and the director of UBC’s Program on Water Governance, says the project should be suspended.

“Our analysis indicates that cancelling the Site C project as of June 30, 2017, would save between $500-million and $1.65-billion, depending on future conditions,” the report said.

The future of the $8.8-billion Site C dam, in northeastern B.C. along the Peace River, has emerged as an issue in the campaign for the May 9 provincial election. The BC Liberals are taking credit for pushing it through, and in the process creating jobs, while the Opposition New Democrats have pledged a new review with the B.C. Utilities Commission.

The research team behind the report, led by Karen Bakker, director of the Program on Water Governance, says the energy from the Site C dam would be $1.4-billion to $1.7-billion more expensive than that of alternative energy sources such as wind and natural gas. As well, the report says none of the power generated by the dam will be needed by the time of its scheduled opening in 2024, meaning the Crown-owned energy utility BC Hydro could be forced to sell at a loss of more than $1-billion.


About us

UBC Program on Water Governance conducts cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on water sustainability, and fosters dialogue on water policy with communities and decision-makers and makes extensive water-related information resources freely available to support informed public debate over water resources in Canada and around the world.

The team advises national and international agencies, including the National Round Table on Environment and Economy, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Environment Canada, and the BC Ministry of the Environment. This is an essential part of fulfilling our mandate.

About Us

Canadian Water Network
Bringing water research to life

UBC Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability

About IRES

The UBC Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability is a problem-focused and curiosity-driven interdisciplinary research institute and graduate program, with interest and expertise in a wide range of topics under the realm of environment and sustainability.

Our mission is to foster sustainable futures through integrated research and learning about the linkages among human and natural systems, and to support decision making from local to global scales. More often than not, we achieve this through collaborations across students and faculty in a manner that recognizes our collective skills, intellectual histories and methodological approaches, and yet encourages our interdependencies as we consider real world problems.

Comparative advantage

Creating Opportunities for youth
“The single-most important thing I can do is to help in any way I can to prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton and take their own crack at changing the world.”
Barack Obama
University of Chicago


In recent years, university campuses across the globe have attempted to create new modes to engage with the many people without the inclination or the resources to attend university courses. One of the most widespread efforts includes the creation of MOOC – Massive Online Open Courses. Begun in earnest in the mid-2000s, MOOCs offer free online courses for student learning that allow universities to use new formats to offer subject matter to audiences that otherwise are impossible to reach.

The University of Alberta, as with many universities, has produced a number of MOOCs. One in particular that has just been launched is Native Studies 201: Indigenous Canada. This course, divided into 12 modules with accompanying video-lectures, guest lectures and course notes, provides students with a broad background on an array of historical and contemporary issues important to understanding the relationships between Indigenous peoples and Canada. Although created at an introductory university level, this course is open to anyone with internet capability.

Without a concerted effort on the part of all Canadians, the old adage that “failing to learn from the past ensures its inevitable repetition in the future” is not just a foreseeable reality but a certainty. Indigenous Canada arrives at a compelling juncture, amid this country’s 150-year confederation celebrations. Gift-giving often accompanies Indigenous celebrations, and this can be considered as such. It offers a unique opportunity to learn about the histories and contemporary lives of Indigenous peoples and their challenging relationships with Canada. The future generations of all Canadians will thank us.

Tracy Bear and Chris Andersen
from Three years later, is Canada keeping its Truth and Reconciliation Commission promises?
The Globe and Mail, 2017.04.21

Tracy Bear is director of the Indigenous Women’s Resilience Project in the Faculty of Native Studies and Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Alberta. Chris Andersen is interim dean of the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta.

The Art of Reconciliation

Reconciliation is defined as restoring to friendship or harmony and fairness. Reconciliation is a Canadian problem. A problem is a question posed for discussion or solution, – an opportunity to explore, to learn and to create.

Reconciliation is an opportunity to demonstrate how we can move from the exploration of truth, to acceptance, to appreciation, to contribution, and to community, – an opportunity to demonstrate how we can create healthy, sustainable, and creative communities as a community.

Reconciliation is a road on our creative journey to community, – an opportunity for creative exploration, – an opportunity for exploring our heritage, exploring our cultural evolution, and exploring our creative possibilities, – an opportunity to learn how to create community. An opportunity to demonstrate how we can create community around our common interests as Canadians as a country and as a community

This could be our greatest contribution to our country, to our community, to our world, and to our future.

We can learn from our creative evolution. We can learn from indigenous peoples how to create sustainable communities. We have the knowledge and technology to learn how to live in harmony with our natural world. We have a common understanding and appreciation of the idea of fairness and equity

Reconciliation is Canada’s opportunity for creative leadership, one of the most highly leveraged contributions from the investment of our creative resources, and one of our greatest possible contributions we can make to our world

Roger Chilton
From My Point of View

Art is a process. What comes next? Where are we now? Where are we going? What do we imagine we can create? What could we do? What can we do? What do we do next? Where do we begin our creative story?

Go Direct Media
Desmog Canada

Community Health Centre
Health and safety information for Canadians

Creating our energy systems
Exploring the business case

Housing Centre
Sandy Garossino, who is quoted saying: “We manufacture and export condominiums.”

Mr. Wilkinson became something of a media magnet when promoting the film in Toronto recently, because Toronto has entered the speculative frenzy that Vancouver has endured for years.

Toronto, he says, is even more vulnerable than Vancouver, because of its rich history of diverse ethnic communities. They will be crushed under the weight of gentrification, much the way Vancouver is losing its Chinatown.

B.C.’s economy, says Mr. Wilkinson, relies on the selling off of real estate instead of actual jobs, as a result of government inaction.

“It’s reached the point where we don’t have much to sell, other than the land itself. So when the Premier crows about how she’s created all these jobs, in a bizarre and macabre way, she has – by failing to impose any restriction on the real estate market. And of course it’s unsustainable, because there are no jobs anywhere else. When you drive past all these communities in northern B.C., everything is boarded up. Resources are simply gone.

What works, works for everyone
Why the only future worth building includes everyone

Some Assembly Theatre

Roundhouse Youth Theatre Action Group (RHYTAG) Project!

Home is a new and original Canadian production that shares a powerful vision of hope from local diverse youth in the search for a healthy home, both within oneself and one’s community. Cultural representation includes Ojibway, Chinese, Greek, French, Kurdish, Serbian, and the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation.

Home_Joe_Baker_Sophie_Elder_Labrie_Latisha_Wadhams_Some_AssemblyWhen a favourite local hangout is threatened with a corporate takeover, two First Nations young female managers rally the regulars to save the place they call “home”. In doing so, they passionately showcase the importance of their community by giving those within it a voice. Through a journey of brave disclosures, original music and transformation, they discover their individual and collective power. With the desire for positive social change, Home encourages dialogue and explores the importance of support when dealing with a violation of home in our communities and ourselves. Home includes non-graphic dialogue about sexual assault, body image issues, substance use, and one young woman’s journey to raise awareness about the perseverance of First Nations people.

Some Assembly Theatre Company is now in its 16th year of creating and producing original, collaborative plays that promote awareness, wellness, and dialogue about issues facing teens. Audiences are invited to participate in talkback sessions after each performance.

Site C

Site C Dam

Program on Water Governance

About us

Community Children

Fostering Change
The Youth Advisory Circle is a diverse group of young people between 17-24 years old with lived experience of being in government care and being homeless. These young people are “subject matter experts” on experiences of transitioning from care to adulthood, who with the support of adult allies, make meaningful contributions to all facets of our work. Members of the Youth Advisory Circle advise Vancouver Foundation’s grantmaking, research, policy development and communications work in this area. They also plan and implement learning and networking events, including youth-led community dialogue and work with community organizations to increase the voice and engagement of youth transitioning out of care.
Fostering Change is an initiative of Vancouver Foundation to improve policy, practice and community connections for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood. We’re working in collaboration with a growing set of partners to achieve our goal – that every young person leaving foster care has the opportunities and support needed to thrive as adults.

The Fostering Change website is a platform to share ideas and support the actions of a broad range of organizations and individuals. We hope you find it useful, and we hope you help us improve it over time.

Youth Vital Signs Report

Vancouver Foundations Initiatives

Creative Fashion for Youth

Exploring our creative experience of our world for creative insights, creative ideas, creative inspiration, and creative connections which excite our creative imagination around creative possibilities, and around ideas and opportunities for creative enterprise, creative entrepreneurship, creative leadership, and creative contribution.

Site C

How can we allow a government to do this without a feasibility study? Is theis the way democracy works? Is this the way democracy is supposed to work?

Canadian Centre for Social Responsibility

Institute of Corporate Directors
Why Governance Matters
Better Boards. Better Outcomes. Better Canada

Best Workplaces 2017

Think Tanks
The Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Exploring the Business Case
Critical Analysis