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Pathways to Education Canada

Pathways to Education Vancouver: A Graduation Strategy Partner

In the last year, several organizations from the health, education and social services sectors launched The Graduation Strategy, a plan to provide the supports and services children need to graduate from high school. The strategy arose after community reports identified that inner city children are failing to graduate from high school and make successful transitions from elementary to secondary and post-secondary school. Community organizations identified the urgent need to complement current services with a comprehensive, place-based program focused on high school students. PCRS was invited to deliver the Pathways to Education program as a critical piece of the Strategy. The population that we intend to serve is high-school aged youth living in the V6A postal code. We anticipate that approx. 80 students will be eligible for enrollment in the first Pathways cohort. After five years, 400 youth will be eligible for the program. Through community partnerships, Pathways will provide students with a comprehensive set of academic, financial and social supports to help them graduate.

Paws for Hope Animal Foundation

Coalition of BC Animal Welfare Organizations

To build a sustainable animal welfare system in B.C., Paws for Hope is spearheading the BC Animal Welfare Coalition, a network of organizations who will work together to create a more sustainable approach to animal welfare and vastly improved outcomes for animals in BC. Twenty-one organizations, including municipal and SPCA shelters, launched the coalition in 2016 with two primary purposes: 1. To create professional operational and practical standards for rescue organizations in BC 2. To enable organizations to work together to fund and implement regional or provincial strategies to address the greatest challenges we face that lead to pet abandonment, abuse, and overpopulation Through the Coalition we will work to make systemic change to our animal welfare system by: 1. Shifting societal values: a. Changing both how citizens in our communities care for their pets and how rescue and welfare organizations carryout their work b. Influencing legislation, bylaws, and regulations that govern animal welfare to ensure they are based on research and best practices 2. Increasing organizational capacity: a. Securing greater levels of funding and applying these on a broader scale to achieve the greatest impact b. Developing common practices and increasing knowledge of those working in animal welfare to ensure the highest standards of care for our pets 3. Reaching remote and under resourced communities


Challenges and solutions for engaging youth in agriculture

The key system that we are wanting to change is lack of engagement of young people in careers in agriculture. High youth unemployment, ageing farmers and declining crop yields under traditional farming systems mean engaging youth in agriculture should be a priority. We will identify the challenges that keep young people from working in agriculture and provide solutions for making agriculture more attractive to younger generations. The Shelter Farm will remove the barriers that youth experience when wanting to start a career in small scale farming by providing access to land, equipment and training that they will require to be successful.

Potluck Cafe Society


Our aim is to create a diversity of income-generating opportunities that fit the diverse needs of residents of the DTES. We want to build an innovative framework that recognizes employment-related skills and qualities that residents of the DTES have gained through unconventional paths that don’t usually get highlighted on a typical resume. We hope to assist individuals who want to move along the employment continuum and meet them where they’re at. For the next phase, we want to test our badging framework with external agencies and build capacity within the system to facilitate greater mobility for individuals who are advancing along the income generation continuum. Through our initial testing, we saw that recognizing individuals with badges for their earned achievements often empowers them with greater self-efficacy and inspires them to aim higher. We’ve also seen that smaller, task-based work opportunities get them more acquainted with employer-employee relationships and increases their confidence in their own ability to re-enter the workforce. At the core of this social innovation is a desire to realign resource flow around knowledge (training) and money (income). We see a ripple effect for basic routines, policies and beliefs that are preventing the widespread adoption of Social Hiring. Our goal is to recognize and champion the strengths and abilities of our program participants, and support the creation of a more inclusive, accessible and resilient local economy.

Powell Street Festival Society

Advocacy and Outreach Through Arts-based Community Development at WePress (Years 2 and 3)

The Powell Street Festival Society is partnering with WePress on an exciting new project that harnesses the power of arts and culture to bring money, skills, and opportunities to low-income and marginalized people, while engaging professional, emerging, and self-taught artists to create new works and build community. WePress is an inclusive, accessible artspace that provides workshops, events, studio time, and access to its letterpress and equipment while hiring low-income DTES artists, thus re- directing the flow of resources to those who need them most, and helping to improve participants' mental health and quality of life.

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Society

Concord Floral Youth Canada 150 – Community-Engaged Youth Workshops, Production and Arts Congress

Our project is entitled Concord Floral Youth Canada 150 – Production, Community-Engaged Youth Workshops, and Arts Congress” – an ambitious, Metro Vancouver-wide, 16-month (June 2016-Sept 2017) multi-layered youth initiative inspired by Canada’s Sesquicentennial, that brings together future arts and community leaders for creative expression, dialogue and skills development. The project will take place across Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey. It will involve: 3) a three-month series of professional artist-led youth workshops on performance, industry best practices, community leadership skills and opportunities, career development in the arts, and innovative approaches to social media (Sept-Nov 2016); 2) a locally cast production (with Touchstone Theatre) of “Concord Floral” by Jordan Tannahill, 2014 Governor General Award winning Canadian playwright, ( (Dec 2016-Feb 2017) to premiere at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, then tour to the PuSh Festival and the Surrey Arts Centre; and 3) a (free) youth-driven Arts Congress, to be held at Surrey’s new City Hall (July 2017). Concord Floral Youth Canada 150 partners came together out of a desire for exploring and developing a collaborative model to share resources, perspectives and best practices. The project will impact the lives of over 450 youth (ages 15-25) and is envisioned as highly participatory, inclusive, and accessible.

Richmond Society for Community Living

Grade 13 Transition Project

The Grade 13 Transition Project will build its foundation from the current work of the Grade 13 Transitions Committee. RSCL, in partnership with the district’s EXPLORE program, is actively working with 3 students from different schools in the district, one of whom regularly attends RSCL youth programs. The goal is to offer specific supports which will fall in line with proposed new curriculum, assess outcomes and use the information to begin to develop a broader curriculum. With funding from Vancouver Foundation, the Grade 13 Transition Project will develop over a three year period. The project will combine best practices from the RSCL Youth Employment and Outreach programs and the newly launched district EXPLORE program, with support from committee partners. The project will begin with curriculum development in one or two schools with whom RSCL has existing relationships. In the second year of the project, the curriculum will be assessed, refined and will be introduced in additional schools. The final year of the project will include further refinements of the information, expansion of program delivery to include all schools in Richmond, and the opportunity to share information with community living agencies and school districts across the province. By standardizing the curriculum across the district, teachers and district staff will have the same knowledge, resulting in improved learning outcomes for students in Richmond.

School District #39 - Vancouver

Cultivating the School Food System

Cultivating the School Food System is about empowering teachers and students in learning, growing and serving healthy food. When students have access to healthy, local, and delicious food, it is believed that that academic confidence will increase and discipline and behavioural issues decrease. , , Students learn better when they eat healthy food. We connect this work to the “Good Food” movement in Canada and the United States which focuses on food that is: healthy, green, fair, and affordable. , CSFS is a multifaceted, collaborative approach to enhance student learning, support teacher and staff innovation in teaching, and eating healthy, delicious, local food. It aims to shift attitudes and behaviours of students and support teachers and food providers to make systemic change in teaching practice and food provision. Programs support students across the VBE, focusing on vulnerable youth in E. and S. Vancouver, in Renfrew Collingwood, and Victoria-Fraserview, regions where youth food insecurity and poverty are prominent. CSFS addresses: Food Literacy: CSFS is transformative on-site learning for students. Creating opportunities for experiential and inquiry-based learning, it hosts training for educators; year-round field to fork programming for students, prepares youth with employment skills. Access: CSFS provides healthy, schoolyard farm grown food for the school community. It supports healthy school meal programs by facilitating an expert working group comprised of VBE staff, community partners, and FR to recommend and implement strategies for increasing food access. School Food System (SFS): CSFS inspires and supports schools to make large-scale shifts in purchasing, food service operations and student meal choices through a bundle of programs under the working title “BC Wednesdays.” This grant will support the teachers that want to do more. Already three schools have self-identified as wanting to participate in BC Wednesdays.

School District #67 - Okanagan Skaha

Through a Different Lens

The focus of this project is on the regular classroom: making learning more engaging and relevant for all students – rather than removing students to other programs. We are attempting to remove some of the barriers to success that many of our vulnerable students face (eg., over reliance on reading and writing); create strength-based classrooms where students can use their strengths to learn in alternative ways (technology, filming, creating, building, comics, interviews); and provide rich, relevant and meaningful learning opportunities. We began with in-class innovations in teaching and learning and are now supporting cross curricular and “outside” the classroom experiences – in the environment, on the reserve, and in intergenerational settings. Our application for a grow grant is to reach more classrooms and go deeper in those that have already been involved. Our school district has consistently achieved an 80-85% Six Year Completion Rate. The 10-15% of students that do not graduate consist of students of Aboriginal ancestry, students with a behavioural designation, students who have had difficulty with literacy through their school careers, and issues such as anxiety, drugs, alcohol. The two biggest groups are students of Aboriginal ancestry and those with behavioural designations. We have students as young as grade 9 leaving school. The school district has some alternative schools, career education, and other support systems, which support many students.

SOS Children's Village British Columbia (Canada) Society

Transition to Adulthood

Support for youth in developing independence has been minimal in our region, SOS BC became aware of the gaps in service through our own experience with youth living in our Village, we initiated the Transition to Adulthood program targeting youth 16 - 24 years of age in 2012. Our proposal is expansion of our program increasing our case management capability from 14 to 30. This would allow us to work with young adults before, during, and after their tenancy in our five new transitional housing suites insuring a consistency of involvement with these young people that they may not have experienced within the youth services programs prior. The program is voluntary with low barrier access and youth self refer. The youth guide the process and identify friends, family members and/or other professionals as partners in supporting them. Initially, a Casey Life Skills assessment is completed to provide a baseline assessment on each youth and establish goals. Youth workers provide direct support for the youth The curriculum includes: Civil rights, Tenancy, Personal safety, among other topics.

The Good Samaritan Society

The Imagination Network

What roles do people living with the experience of dementia want to play in our communities? This is the question at the heart of The Imagination Network. While rates of dementia rise in our communities [1], the voices of individuals with lived experience of dementia - their thoughts, stories, and ideas—fade into the background. In the emerging field of dementia advocacy, Swaffer (2014) coined the term “prescribed disengagement” to connote how once a person is diagnosed with dementia they are expected to disengage from society and to prepare for the inevitable decline in their cognitive abilities [2]. Current care practices for dementia focus almost exclusively on mitigating the biomedical “losses” for the individual and their caregivers. The Imagination Network shifts this focus towards creativity and citizenship by proposing a rigorous exploration of “prescribed engagement”. As a social innovation, The Imagination Network is centered on valuing people with the lived experience of dementia as contributors to society with important stories to tell. The Imagination Network combines Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) with Community-Engaged Arts Practice (CEAP) to engage participants with lived experience of dementia in the development of an evidence-based interdisciplinary theatrical production that tells their collective story. The ultimate goal is to foster engagement and build social inclusion for people living with the experience of dementia.

UBC - BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS

Through our own eyes – Disclosure, Stigma and Criminalization of HIV in British Columbia

Canada stands out globally in its assertive approach to the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure. The emphasis on criminal law in regulating HIV non-disclosure continues despite increasing evidence that the criminal law is an ineffective tool to prevent HIV transmissions. While frequently represented as a law that ‘protects’ women, to date there is limited understanding of how this law uniquely shapes the lived-experiences of women living with HIV/AIDS (WLWH) and the severe stigmatization they face. To gain a better understanding of the gendered impact of this law, we propose a group-based participatory photovoice project, where WLWH in a group setting collaborate to depict how the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure shapes the negotiation of intimate relationships, HIV disclosure, HIV-related stigma and access to care. At the end of the project, together with the photovoice participants and with our community partner Positive Women’s Network (PWN), we will organize a public exhibition of the photographs and stories that WLWH generate. The proposed project follows up on key research and advocacy priorities that were identified by WLWH, academics, AIDS support organizations, clinicians, and legal experts at a Roundtable event organized by the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI) in collaboration with PWN and the Canadian HIV Legal Network in October, 2015.

UBC - Office of Research Services

Supportive Movement

This project aims to leverage physical activity to improve the quality of life for pregnant and parenting women on the DTES. Through participatory action research, we will create, implement, and evaluate trauma and violence informed physical activity programming and resources to address community identified barriers and develop practical tools for organizations to enhance programs and experiences for women. Addressing individual and systemic changes may support this population in being physically active, create greater social cohesion in the DTES, and improve health and overall quality of life for pregnant and parenting women and their children.

University of British Columbia

Testing a Support Model to Address Gaps in Service that Contribute to Migrant Agricultural Workers’ Vulnerability in the Okanagan Valley

Migrant agricultural workers in BC face specific and complex challenges that impact their health and wellbeing. Challenges include their precarious legal status, coercive workplace conditions, substandard housing, and health care access barriers. Although these issues are well documented, we still do not know what model can best address these concerns. Our team will test a multi-year social support model based on the guidance of migrant agricultural workers and involving the coordinated efforts of community organizations and researchers with expertise in healthcare, law, and advocacy. This research will help build local capacity to support migrant agricultural workers in the region.

University of British Columbia School of Nursing

The Sanala Solution: Fostering Namgis Cultural Continuity for Health & Social Well-Being

From 2011-2014 the Sanala Research Team has been working to mobilize Indigenous knowledge and cultural tradition and teachings for community health promotion focusing specifically on youth self-esteem and Namgis Elder social isolation (VF HMER Grant UNR10-0825). The findings from this completed study confirm the critical place that cultural identity and continuity and language revitalization hold for Namgis youth and Elders. Our findings indicate that when cultural activities are woven into the everyday experiences of youth and Elders, both groups report a greater sense of wellness, balance and connection to the community. Elders describe lower rates of depression, social exclusion and chronic pain; youth describe a stronger and more positive identity and connection known to improve mental health and self esteem that act as protective factors against crime and addiction. These findings are the basis for the social innovation proposed for this project, entitled:"The Sanala Solution". The Sanala Solution, to be refined and tested in this project, fosters cultural continuity within the community; cultural continuity is integrally connected to the social inclusion, the most poorly defined and acted upon social determinant of health in the Canadian context. The Sanala Solution will study how to bring cultural continuity, language and inclusion to interface with Namgis health and social policy and programming to effect change that is community-driven and community-led.

University of British Columbia School of Social Work

Sexual Health Knowledge and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: A Participatory Theatre Project

This project focuses on improving sexual health knowledge and positive sexuality among adults with intellectual disability(ID). Using community-based participatory methods, we will use mixed methods to create, produce and evaluate a participatory theatre project on sexual health, sexuality and ID. The origins of participatory theatre are in community development, arts and social movements. Practitioners of participatory theatre are committed to innovation, collaboration, capacity building and social transformation. As such, it is a well-suited approach for addressing the sexual rights of adults with ID who are often constructed as asexual and childlike and/or lacking sexual boundaries. Our participatory theatre will be developed using arts-based qualitative methods to identify what information and tools are needed to achieve successful sexual health and sexuality. These findings will inform the development of sexual health educational tools and resources as well as the creation, delivery and evaluation of three participatory theatre performances. These products are aimed at increasing knowledge about sexual health and sexuality for individuals with ID and aimed at minimizing barriers and social stigma associated with sexuality and ID. The performances will be delivered in New Westminster. It is anticipated that the performance will be replicated in other communities adding to the project's ongoing scope of influence to advance positive change related to sexuality and ID.

University of Victoria - Faculty of Human and Social Development

Mitigating mining-induced health impacts in Fort St. James and Nak'azdli, BC

This project will develop an intervention to mitigate the impacts of mine development on the health of two Northern communities, located near BC’s newest approved mine. The project is a unique collaboration, bridging the issues of health and mining engineering as well as an Aboriginal and a non-Aboriginal community (Nak'azdli and Fort St. James). The project will use a community-based participatory approach and knowledge translation to develop an intervention to maximize mining-related social, economic, and health benefits.

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law

Mining Law Reform in British Columbia

While mining has been a key industry in BC, outdated regulations that are now below Canadian standards means that mining poses grave environmental and public health risks. Mine-affected communities and First Nations bear a disproportionate burden of this risk. This project aims to fix the root of mining challenges in BC by reforming old mining laws. In addition to raising public awareness about mining’s impact and the urgent need for law reform, it will deliver workshops to enhance public participation and highlight the need to take Indigenous rights into account. New mining regulation in BC will protect people and the environment, and decrease public liability for mining operations.

Vancity Community Foundation

CEDSAC: A Poverty Reduction Project Creating Systemic Change

CEDSAC is committed to fostering a vibrant and inclusive local economy where all residents can prosper and live healthy and rewarding lives. In order to create the type of communities we seek, CEDSAC recognizes that all stakeholders need to collaborate to affect change. Policy makers, the business community, the social enterprise and non profit sector and residents need to collectively address community economic development issues in order to change the way neighbourhoods work. By facilitating this collaboration, CEDSAC harnesses the activities and investments of it's members to redefine the existing CED processes and meaningfully include community in policy development and implementation.

Enhancing Youth Transitions Policy Advocacy in BC

Anticipating the sunsetting of the Fostering Change Initiative (FCI) at VF, First Call (FC) is interested in helping sustain young leaders’ engagement in policy advocacy to fully achieve the system changes needed to support better transitions for youth aging out of care in BC. In our work on this, we’ve heard & observed that current policy advocacy for YI/FC happens in silos & primarily at the municipal level. By bridging the FCI network & a coalition of 101 orgs with a background in prov level policy advocacy, FC is well-positioned to further efforts for systemic change. Recent consultation with 25 orgs working w/ YI/FC, including young leaders, disability grps, immigrant services, Indigenous orgs, resid’l care providers, etc., told us: 1) Service agencies are looking for a place to hand off policy advocacy to & more ways to connect youth who want to do policy advocacy; 2) Existing YACs need support to come together, communicate, learn from each other. This project will build capacity for FC to work collaboratively with youth-serving orgs to engage & support YI/FC to participate & take leadership in the range of awareness & advocacy activities needed to inform policy-makers, build public support for greater transitions investments & monitor system change. The project will develop support for YI/FC interested in moving from self-advocacy to systemic advocacy thru training, networking w/ adult allies & other young leaders, mentoring, & opportunities to practice new skills

Vancouver Child and Youth Advocacy Centre

Vancouver Child and Youth Advocacy Centre Pilot Project

This project is to complete a 3 year pilot project to establish a Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) within the City of Vancouver. The specific vision for this centre is a co-located, multi-disciplinary, child centered approach to services for children who have experienced abuse and their non-offending family members and/or caregivers. In 2011, a group of mandated stakeholders came together and completed a two year comprehensive Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study to see if the need existed in Vancouver for a CYAC. The results of this first phase demonstrated both a need in Vancouver for a CYAC and that the stakeholders believed this project was feasible. Quantitative data demonstrated enough cases to warrant a CYAC. The qualitative data from this study was incredibly compelling, as it suggested that co-location of services for children/youth who experience abuse in Vancouver has the potential to reduce the barriers to joint interviews and reduce the travel time for children/youth and their non-offending family members. Any elimination of barriers could address possible under-reporting of child physical and sexual abuse. Following this, the stakeholders completed phase 2 - the development of a pilot project. After extensive research of CYAC models, the group believed that a not for profit was the appropriate model. This project (phase 3) will test and evaluate the establishment and operation of a CYAC in Vancouver.

Vancouver Community College Foundation

Job Readiness Program

Pervading education and employment challenges faced by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Canadians have been exasperated by government funding cuts and fragmentation towards DHH services over the last decade. By expanding the Job Readiness Program for DHH students at Vancouver Community College (the only of its kind in Canada offered at a post secondary), DHH students will have the opportunity to enrol into Red Seal trade certificate programs. The skilled training would open up new careers streams with higher earning and career development potential. Success in the program will address systemic under-education, under-employment and unemployment of thousands of Canadians with hearing loss.

Vancouver Island University

Prevention and Preservation

This project aims to revitalize First Nations cultural practices and preserve cultural knowledge in a digital medium while increasing community research capacity. Aboriginal youth will document the knowledge of their elders on issues related to health, lifestyle and community history, and transmit this knowledge to other youth. The project will enhance intergenerational knowledge-sharing and connection to community while promoting healthy lifestyles. It will also enhance the capacity of youth to engage in digital media, create digital stories, and develop facilitation and research skills. The project’s long-term goal is to reduce the disproportionate number of individuals in First Nations communities suffering from diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Victoria Humane Society

First Nations Animal Management Clinic Project

To effectively deal with dog overpopulation, an Animal Management Program must be established and implemented to gain control of the issue as well as educate, empower, and challenge the community to incorporate Bylaws and regulations in pet ownership. The VHS will work with three First Nations to provide the following services over a minimum period of three years to eradicate the issue of dog overpopulation: • Wellness exams that will include basic inoculations and deworming as well as other medical services that may be required • Sterilization and micro chip implants for sterilized animals • Workshops regarding animal welfare including the advantages of spaying and neutering new animals in the future • Round up and removal of unwanted or unowned dogs that will be transported to Victoria where they will be fostered and put up for adoption This socially innovative project will influence systemic change by: 1. Addressing the issue of unwanted companion animals by preventing the birth of unwanted litters. 2. Serving as a model for communities of all sizes and geographic areas. 3. Adopting a community directed approach to the issue rather than a hard policy approach that would likely be ineffective. 4. Using outreach and education components to change ongoing behaviour towards companion animals while addressing systemic issues regarding animal overpopulation. 5. Using a collaborative approach bringing together animal rescue agencies, First Nations and veterinarians.

West Coast LEAF Association

Strategic Litigation for Equality

Our project improves access to justice by identifying systemic issues and bringing forward test case litigation. By the end of the project, we will have identified 3-6 potential test cases and 10-15 interventions. Test case (strategic) litigation are cases that have the potential to create broad systemic change. Such cases may be brought by an individual whose rights have been infringed or by an organization who is acting in the public interest. Strategic litigation is always for the benefit of society rather than only for individuals involved. Test cases are vehicles for social and legal change: for example, strategic litigation led to the legalization of same sex marriage. High profile recent examples include Carter (death with dignity) and Bedford (prostitution laws challenge). Despite the significance of this tool for systemic change, West Coast LEAF is the only Canadian organization with the capacity and mandate to develop strategic litigation to ensure women’s equality under the law. Strategic litigation spurs policy reform, creates legal change, fuels public dialogue, and challenges mainstream assumptions about effective ways to support the most marginalized in society. Similarly, intervening in an ongoing case (that is, applying to the court to make submission in cases that may impact women’s equality) can be an effective and less resource intensive way to influence public opinion and bring voices of diverse and marginalized women into the corridors of power.