IAP2 Canada News

IAP2 Canada News

What's happening in IAP2 Canada.

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  • 18 Nov 2015 3:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Government of Ontario has set up Local Advisory Committees (LACs) to improve engagement in the province's energy planning and development. In Northwest Ontario, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has issued a call for public input on three proposed power projects. IESO is also setting up an LAC to help plan energy projects east of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

    Establishing LACs to engage sooner -- and better -- with people and groups affected by, or who would affect, these energy projects was a recommendation made by IAP2 Canada in a submission to the Ontario Power Authority in 2013.

  • 25 Aug 2015 5:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce that the Voluntary Action History Society’s 25th Anniversary Conference will take place at the University of Liverpool, UK, between 13th and 15th July 2016.


    We are looking for papers which will provide insights into the development of voluntary action history in the past twenty-five years and address the challenges it faces in the future.

    We are looking for papers which:

    ·       approach voluntary action history from local, national, international and transnational perspectives

    ·       explore subjects in a range of time periods, from the Middle Ages (or earlier) to the near-history of the twenty-first century

    ·       make use of a variety of methodologies, both traditional and innovative

    ·       are accessible to a broad audience of practitioners, activists, amateurs and academics

    and which deal with subjects such as the following:

    ·       archival research: issues of preservation and access

    ·       bad behaviour and the dark side

    ·       expressive behaviours

    ·       leisure

    ·       the moving frontier between state and voluntary action

    ·       organisational development and management

    ·       philanthropy, mutual aid and self-help

    ·       social justice and social change

    ·       teaching voluntary action history.

    This list is indicative: we are open to proposals dealing with topics not listed above.

    Prize for New Researchers

    We will award a prize for the best paper presented by a new researcher - a graduate student, a postdoctoral researcher (within 3 years of degree) or an unpublished independent researcher. Please note that to be considered for the prize candidates must submit a copy of their full paper by 30 June 2016.

    Submitting an abstract

    If you would like to propose a paper, please submit an abstract of around 300 words and a brief biography by e-mail to meta@practicalwisdomr2z.co.uk no later than 31 December 2015.

    We will be happy to consider proposals for panels of up to four papers on a similar subject, although if this is your intention, please submit an abstract for each of the proposed papers.

    If you have any queries or if you wish to discuss a proposed paper’s suitability, please e-mail Meta Zimmeck at meta@practicalwisdomr2z.co.uk

    Attending the event

    Booking will open once the programme is finalised. Please note that all speakers must register for the conference.


  • 06 May 2015 1:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you often work with Aboriginal Communities as part of your P2 planning? Do you have expertise that can help IAP2 Canada develop recommendations for Aboriginal Engagement in the public forum? IAP2 Canada is looking for interested members representing a broad geographic diversity and experience to form a sub-committee on exactly that: Aboriginal Engagement.

    In order to support IAP2 Canada’s Strategic Plan 2015-2017, a sub-committee is being formed to explore and understand how IAP2 Canada and chapters can support Aboriginal engagement within our organization and throughout our practice. Intended outcomes of this sub-committee will be as follows:

    • Determine priority areas for the Aboriginal Engagement Subcommittee
    • Develop recommendations for the IAP2 Canada Board on how Aboriginal inclusion can be increased within the IAP2 organization
    • Develop recommendations for the IAP2 Canada Board on the needs of member and non-member practitioners by December 2015.
    • Develop a community of practice for Aboriginal engagement practitioners
    • Communicate subcommittee actions and future opportunities with IAP2 Canada Chapters, members and friends
    We are asking interested people to apply to participate on the Aboriginal Engagement Sub-Committee (up to 9 members) or participate in an Aboriginal Engagement Advisory Group.  The Sub-Committee will reach out to the Advisory Group as needed, for example, they might be asked for ideas on a proposed way forward, they might be asked to review recommendations, provide insight on a specific question, etc.

    If you are interested in becoming a Sub-Committee member or want to participate on the Advisory Group please forward a letter of interest to IAP2 Canada and let us know how you would like to be involved.  Submissions must be received by May 12th, 2015. Please include any relevant experience that you feel would provide value for the sub-committee or advisory group.
    If you have any questions about this initiative please contact Jason Veness.

  • 23 Feb 2015 7:29 AM | Deleted user
    Anne Harding, IAP2 Canada President
    Anne Harding,
    IAP2 Canada President
    You know that Sister Sledge song “We Are Family”? (If you don’t, find it on YouTube, it’s super catchy.) I recently went through a time of personal struggle and now that I am coming out the other side I’m reflecting on all the awesome support I received from my community around me

    Now I know this is a newsletter for your professional organization, but the sheer number of (a) people in IAP2 who I was comfortable sharing my struggles with; and (b) IAP2 friends who sent words of encouragement and support was heart-warming and worth highlighting in this February newsletter.  I was reminded that the people who do public participation are really my kind of people.  You’re “people people.” Professionals who know that there is a job to do, a project to manage, deadlines to meet and budgets to stick to; but who also have compassion and care for the participants you are working with.

    We are an organization and a profession based on common core values.  We are passionate about the belief that people who are affected by a decision have a right to be part of that decision.  We are also passionate about the people we work with and most importantly, the way the work is done.  We are stewards of meaningful P2 processes and we do our very best to make sure that our work means something and makes a positive contribution.

    As you can imagine, this passion also makes for a unique professional organization.  Those contractors who have worked with IAP2 in various ways over the last few years have noted that we are “different” than other professional organizations. When I dig a little deeper to understand what they mean by “different”, it usually translates to the amount that our members care (that is, a lot!).  You care about integrity, transparency, fairness and social justice.  You care about the way your organization works and about collaboration between different parts of IAP2. And as I can attest to, you care about each other.

    So as we continue to mature as an organization, as we work to bring a higher degree of professionalization to the field and offer great events and networking opportunities to you, I’d also like to encourage you to continue building community.  Continue working together and building one another up so that the practice as a whole can benefit.  Seek opportunities to participate as you are able: nominations for the IAP2 Canada Board open March 2 and close March 23; Wild Rose and Great Lakes chapters are also seeking new board members this spring. And if board work isn’t your cup of tea, consider volunteering to help out with a local event, or join one of our national teams working on bridging P2 research & practice, becoming an organization more inclusive of French speakers and of Aboriginal Peoples, or developing a professional certification for Canadian P2 practitioners.

    From my perspective, IAP2 really is a family, and I hope you’ll pull up a seat at the dinner table. Drop us a line at info@iap2canada.ca to find out how to get more involved.

    All the best,
  • 20 Feb 2015 3:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The IAP2 Federation has provided an update on the Foundations Training Program for Board members and IAP2 Trainers. Please click here to read it.
  • 31 Jan 2015 12:55 PM | Deleted user
    Anne Harding, IAP2 Canada President
    Anne Harding,
    IAP2 Canada President
    When you’re faced with a difficult decision to make in your work or personal life, what kind of a decision-maker are you?  Do you prefer to follow your intuition or are you more of an information gatherer, seeking out all possible knowledge through experts, articles, friends and family?  Do you make a pro/con list focusing on the consequences of your decision or is your focus on addressing current needs and opportunities that led to the decision in the first place?

    Me, I’m a list maker, a talker, and a gut follower. I like to gather the opinions of my friends, family and co-workers then build out some scenarios and think about what outcomes they would lead to, and I usually end with a “gut-check” and make the decision that feels right. We all make decisions differently, and as public participation professionals we understand the value of having a diversity of voices included in decision-making processes.

    IAP2 Canada has an exciting year of decision-making ahead of us and I’d like you to think about how you can add your own voice and perspective to those discussions. Our organization is in a really great place. We’ve been around now as an affiliate for almost five years, we have a strategic plan to guide our work for the coming three years, we are in a very comfortable financial position and continue to grow in members and engagement each year.

    In 2015, we will be facing some exciting and challenging decisions that will affect our organization as a whole, and decisions that will affect you as P2 practitioners:
    • First, we’ve heard loud and clear the desire from our professional community to become, well, more professional.  That is – establish a credible and effective certification process so that P2 practitioners can advance their own understanding and careers in the field (so you can become a “Certified P2 Professional”, similar to the professional designation of planners or facilitators). A ton of work has been done on this over the last year through a joint IAP2 USA/Canada/Southern Africa task force. In 2015, we’ll be deciding how P2 certification should be implemented in Canada. As a Canadian P2 professional, I hope you’ll be interested in helping us make these important decisions that will help shape the practice of public engagement across our country.

    • Second, in response to opportunities and concerns that have been raised by chapters, affiliates, and the international federation, we are going to be looking for enhancements that could be made to IAP2’s financial and administrative structure. These conversations will seek to advance our common goal of having a sustainable and vibrant IAP2 organization that advances the practice of public participation locally, regionally, and around the world. Would you like to help shape our organization to be more effective for practitioners, participants, and decision-makers alike?

    • Third, in our strategic planning process you told us that IAP2 Canada needed to be a more inclusive organization, paying specific attention to two areas of inclusion: French and Aboriginal. In response to this, two sub-committees are developing to provide recommendations to the IAP2 Canada board on how we can increase inclusion in these two areas. Would you like to help your professional organization become more inclusive of French-speaking Canadians and/or Aboriginal Peoples? We’d love for you to get involved and help us figure out the right approach for our organization to increase inclusion.
    So as I hope you can appreciate, these are some pretty big decisions ahead of us. For me, it’s an exciting time in the field of public participation and specifically in IAP2 Canada. We continue to mature and build our community of passionate individuals committed to advancing meaningful public engagement across the country and around the world.  

    In the coming month, IAP2 Canada will be putting out a call for nominations to our Board of Directors. We need a diverse group of people to help make these big decisions! You’ll hear more in the coming months about the specific skillsets we’re seeking, but for now I encourage you to consider putting your name forward for the board as either a director (two year term) or a deputy (shadow board member for a one year term). If you’re interested in one of the three big decisions I mentioned and want to contribute to the decision but don’t want to join the board, please let us know and we’ll work with you to find the best way for you to be involved.

    Wishing you all the best and looking forward to a 2015 full of great conversations!

  • 14 Dec 2014 11:12 PM | Deleted user
    Anne Harding, IAP2 Canada President
    Anne Harding,
    IAP2 Canada President
    At this time of year one can’t help but reflect on the past 12 months and consider what it’s really all about. I’d like to share a couple of moments that stood out for me in 2014 that have had an impact on how I view the work we do to advance meaningful public engagement across Canada.

    This spring, I had the honour of serving as a judge for the inaugural IAP2 Canada Core Values Awards.  These awards recognize the best of public engagement in Canada and national winners go on to compete against other projects and organizations around the world.  On one of my reference checking calls, I spoke with a community participant in Vancouver Coastal Health’s Community Engagement Advisory Network (CEAN).  For me, this person embodied the value that meaningful public engagement can have for citizens, decision-makers, and society as a whole. As she shared her story of being invited to give her opinion and how her input was truly valued and incorporated into decisions by the healthcare organization, her voice glowed with excitement and enthusiasm for the process. 
    This conversation reminds me of the importance of seeing stakeholders and participants as individuals, each with a unique experience and perspective to offer, and each with their own needs and desire to be part of something bigger than themselves – meaningful change through public engagement.

    In the fall, I was invited by my local IAP2 Canada chapter – Wild Rose – to speak at an event exploring how the IAP2 Core Values come to life in real projects. One of my colleagues from Suncor – Adam Pommer – took the lead as he’s a lot closer to the ‘on the ground’ consultation than I’ve been in the last year. He talked about two projects that sought to incorporate the Core Values into the engagement approach and acknowledged that while neither project fully incorporated all Core Values to the maximum extent, he held up those Values as something to aim for and what we all should be working towards as engagement practitioners.  Later, another IAP2 Canada member shared with me that there had been a couple of nuggets of knowledge that they had gained from that presentation that made their membership in IAP2 Canada worthwhile. 

    This conversation reminds me of the importance of connecting with and supporting each other as a community of practitioners.  The more we connect with one another to share our successes and failures, and support each other as we work together to advance the practice of public participation across the country, the bigger the impact will be and the more fun we’ll have while we’re at it!

    Finally, at the IAP2 North American Conference in Winnipeg this year, delegates heard from community leader and activist Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.  She shared a message of the extreme inequity that exists for First Nations children in Canada as compared to children in mainstream society, and the role that government policies have played in this reality. Her presentation touched many – if not all – who attended and reminded us all how choices made by decision-makers can profoundly affect our daily lives today and the world we will live in for years to come.

    This presentation reminds me specifically of the role that we have as citizens and as an organization to advocate for meaningful public engagement with decision-makers.  As IAP2, we are stewards of the process, and through our pillars of the Core Values, Spectrum, and Code of Ethics we lay the foundation for what meaningful public engagement looks like. This is not a responsibility that I take lightly and I hope that you as practitioners also seek out and engage in opportunities to influence decision-makers to advance meaningful P2 processes.

    As the year comes to a close, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank each person who has volunteered with IAP2 in Canada this past year.  There are well over 100 of you and I want to express my deep gratitude for your contribution to our organization.  We continue to grow (with current membership just shy of 600!), and could not do so without all the effort being put out on the ground by you. 

    Thank you to everyone for your support as we work together to advance the practice of meaningful public engagement across Canada!

    Happy holidays and all the best,
  • 30 Nov 2014 12:35 PM | Deleted user

    November 2014

    Anne Harding, IAP2 Canada President
    Anne Harding,
    IAP2 Canada President
    When I was in high school, I was asked to accompany the school choir on piano. I was a band nerd, so being involved with another part of the school’s music program wasn’t that big a stretch, so I said yes. By the time our first concert came up in December that year and I was asked to play the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, I was ready to quit the gig. I practiced so hard, yet never seemed to be good enough or able to keep up with the director’s expectations. It was then that I promised myself I would never again put my time (free or paid) into things that did not bring me joy.

    I’m telling you this story because I think it’s a testament to the IAP2 organization that I’ve now been volunteering as a board member for IAP2 Canada for the last five years (while completing a Master’s degree and having a baby) and haven’t ever thought about leaving the board. In fact, I’m looking forward to staying on in an ex-officio capacity as Past President next April when my term is up and then probably continuing to volunteer with my local chapter after that. I have received so much benefit from my involvement with IAP2 Canada, both professionally and personally, that I feel I truly get the meaning of the statement “you get out what you put in”.

    Coming off the heels of the 2014 North American Conference and as we look ahead to 2015, now is a great time to pause and reflect on how you relate to your professional association and if there are other ways you’d like to be involved. Many chapters are electing new boards over the coming months (check your local chapter’s website or ask us for more details).  Other chapters, like Atlantic Canada and the burgeoning Yukon/Northern chapter are just starting up and could use a few more voices at the table to figure out how IAP2 Canada should ‘show up’ in their regions.

    At the national level, we have just completed our 2015-2017 strategic planning process and have landed on the following strategic outcomes we’d like to work towards for the next three years:
    1. IAP2 Canada is a source and developer of knowledge and resources.
    2. IAP2 Canada is a connector that builds partnerships and promotes collaboration. 
    3. IAP2 Canada protects the interests and credibility of the practice.
    We’re currently finalizing our priorities and workplan for 2015 and you can expect to see a call for volunteers in January to help with specific activities like:
    • Providing IAP2 Canada members access to P2 research through an online library and a database of P2 researcher and research organizations
    • Transferring research findings and frameworks to practice by sponsoring two white papers (plain language resources) in 2015
    • Developing a robust and clear digital strategy for IAP2 Canada
    • Building on the work of the IAP2 USA task force to develop a program to certify P2 practitioners in Canada
    • Increasing inclusion in IAP2 Canada, specifically related to French language and Indigenous inclusion; and
    • Increasing IAP2 Canada’s collaboration with chapters and other partner organizations.
    If any of these initiatives seem to jump off the page and scream your name, don’t wait for the volunteer call in January!  Send us an email at info@iap2canada.ca and let us know where your passion and energies lie so you too can become more plugged in and benefit as I feel I have from working to advance the practice of P2 in Canada.

    All the best,
  • 01 Nov 2014 6:05 PM | Deleted user

    My top takeaways from the 2014 IAP2 North American Conference

    Anne Harding, IAP2 Canada President
    Anne Harding,
    IAP2 Canada President
    Greetings all!

    After a bit of a hiatus during our peak conference season, IAP2 Canada has re-started our regular newsletters to keep you all connected with what’s happening in the practice and informed about what your professional association is up to.

    I was thrilled to meet so many of you in person at the recent 2014 IAP2 North American Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. So very many thanks are due to the volunteer conference organizing committee and members of the Prairies Chapter who gave countless hours of their time to make the conference a success.

    The conference theme was Reflecting Forward: Public Participation Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. We heard from presenters in a variety of sectors who are shaping the future of our practice across the continent. We were also thrilled to hear from two inspiring keynote speakers, Maria Hadden of the Participatory Budgeting Project and Dr. Cindy Blackstock from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to share a few reflections of my own from the conference and how those experiences have shaped my vision for the future of IAP2 Canada. I could probably write a full essay on the topic, but in the interest of brevity I’ve decided to stick to a traditional list of my top seven conference ‘takeaways’:

    1. We can do more to advocate for meaningful public engagement in this country, where citizens’ voices truly have an impact on decisions that affect them. I was deeply moved, as I think others were too, by Dr. Cindy Blackstock’s presentation about the inequities for First Nations children across Canada. I was inspired as I heard about the difference that a small group of passionate people can make, and was reminded of the importance of creating space for those voices to be heard through meaningful public engagement.
    2. Our community of practitioners is becoming increasingly diverse, which I think is a good thing for our practice. Lindsay Wiginton reflected this in her extremely well attended session titled Millennials as P2 Practitioners. Watch for future opportunities to hear about Lindsay’s research in this space. Are you a millennial (or of any other generation) and new to the practice of P2? Watch our website – www.iap2canada.ca – for upcoming announcements about the next session in our mentorship program.
    3. P2 is being used more frequently and in different ways, including by decision-makers to build trust with the public “between big decisions”. We recognize that the IAP2 community has an opportunity to further explore what this means for our framework and the practice.
    4. There’s a lot of great work going on in P2 across the continent. The 2014 Core Values Award Gala set a new bar for recognizing the best of public engagement in Canada and the USA. Many thanks to Drew Snider for putting together such a special evening for award winners. Be sure to check out upcoming IAP2 webinars on the “Events” page that will profile this year’s winners over the coming months.
    5. It’s time for IAP2 Canada to start broadening our focus from serving primarily practitioners to also serving P2 decision-makers AND participants. This was the first year that a Sponsor-A-Citizen opportunity was built into the conference. We had 8 participants attend who would not otherwise have been able to, thanks to the sponsor bursary program. I think we need to find opportunities to do more of this within IAP2 Canada and our chapters and am calling on you all to think about how you can build citizen capacity within your own practice.
    6. We still have a lot of room to grow as a Canadian organization. There are exciting initiatives underway to form an Atlantic Chapter of IAP2 Canada, and there was also a gathering at the conference of those interested in supporting a Northern Chapter of the organization. There’s great work happening in the St. Lawrence Chapter/Section Saint-Laurent to become a more bilingual organization, and we’re looking for more passionate people across the country to support these three initiatives. Interested in lending a hand? Send us a note at info@iap2canada.ca.
    7. We’re a pretty fun group of people. While I feel like much of the conference was a blur, it was a wonderful blur filled with great conversation, lots of learning, friendly smiles, and great friends, both old and new. I value this community and fully believe that you get out of an organization what you put into it. The return on my investment as a volunteer has come back to me in spades through the people I’ve met, and I was reminded of the importance of this community to my own professional and personal development.
    What's 'brewing', indeed!
    What's 'brewing', indeed!

    Thank you again to everyone who played a role in making this year’s conference such a great success, as volunteers, presenters, and attendees! I look forward to seeing you all again in 2015 – mark your calendars to join us in Portland, Oregon, September 9-11 to hear about what’s brewing in IAP2 -- http://www.iap2usa.org/conference.

    All the best,

  • 30 Sep 2014 11:17 PM | Deleted user

    For Immediate Release
    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    Winnipeg, MB – The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Core Value Awards were presented to eight North American organizations at a gala event held last night in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The IAP2 North American Core Value Awards are presented to organizations that demonstrate the use of innovative techniques and show excellence in the practice of public participation.  New for the 2014 awards, was the addition of Canadian Project of the Year award category.

    The winners of the IAP2 North American 2014 Core Values Awards are: 

    • Canada Research Project of the Year Award: various healthcare groups, including the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, led by Dr. Julia Abelson of McMaster University, for “The Public and Patient Engagement Evaluation Tool.”
      Watch video >>
    • Canada Indigenous Engagement Project of the Year Award: Castlemain Group (Vancouver, BC), for “The Lower Nicola Indian Band Custom Election Rules.” (The Band is located in the BC Interior, about 250 km east of Vancouver.)
      Watch video >>
    • Canada Organization of the Year (honourable mention): City of Edmonton / University of Alberta, Centre for Public Involvement
    • Canada Organization of the Year (winner): City of Calgary, “Corporate Cultural Transformation Project.”
      Watch video >>
    • Canada Project of the Year: Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, for “The Community Engagement Advisory Network” (which also won the award for Creativity, Contribution and Innovation in the Field)
      Watch video >>
    • USA Research Project of the Year: St Vrain Valley (Colorado) School District, for “Leadership St Vrain – Increasing P2 Capacity in Public Schools.”
      Watch video >>
    • USA Project of the Year (honourable mention): Oregon Department of Transportation, for “OTIA 3 Bridge Delivery Project.”
      Watch video >>
    • USA Project of the Year (winner): National Institute for Civil Discourse, for the “Creating Community Solutions Alliance.” 
      Watch video >>

    The 2014 IAP2 North American Core Values Awards were held in conjunction with the IAP2 North American 2014 Conference being held at the Radisson Downtown and September 29 and 30.  The 2014 conference consisted of 25 lectures and workshops on public engagement. The theme of this year’s conference is: Reflecting Forward - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.  

    For more information on IAP2 and to view videos on the IAP2 North American 2014 Core Values Award winning projects, visit www.iap2canada.ca.


    Local Conference Contact:

    Michelle Finley
    Board of Directors - IAP2 Prairies Chapter


    IAP2 is an international association of members who seek to promote and improve the practice of public participation in relation to individuals, governments, institutions, and other entities that affect the public interest in nations throughout the world. IAP2 carries out its mission by organizing and conducting activities to:

    • Serve the learning needs of members through events, publications, and communication technology;
    • Advocate for public participation throughout the world;
    • Promote a results-oriented research agenda and use research to support educational and advocacy goals;
    • Provide technical assistance to improve public participation.

    IAP2 was founded in 1990 as the International Association of Public Participation Practitioners (IAP3) to respond to the rising global interest in public participation. The initial mission was to promote the values and best practices associated with involving the public in government and industry decisions which affect their lives. The founding members assembled a Board of Directors, developed by-laws and policies, and organized the first annual conference in Portland, Oregon, in 1992. Practitioners, both professional and volunteer, were identified as the primary constituents for membership; a newsletter and an annual conference were selected as initial IAP2 activities.

    IAP2 quickly grew and developed into an organization which looks beyond the formal practitioner to include all people involved in public participation. IAP2 added a semi-annual journal, web site, and local chapters to its list of services. In 1996, IAP2 changed its name to reflect this growing diversity and inclusiveness of membership. The organization has grown from 300 members in 1992 to over 1,050 in 2007, with members from 26 countries. Conferences have been held every year since 1992, alternating between U.S. and Canadian locales.

    IAP2 chapters regularly offer Certificate Training Courses in Public Participation providing comprehensive training in the tools and skills needed for effective participation. IAP2 Prairies, an IAP2 chapter headquartered in Winnipeg, supports training, advocacy and learning opportunities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwest Ontario.

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