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Belonging, Enlivement and Wellbeing

Submitted by Devon Kerslake on June 20, 2016 - 10:45am
Transforming our communities through stories of place

More than a job or even a career, what we want most to belong to is a story. This larger than life narrative enlivens our imagination and acts as the connective tissue for uniting the quality of our public spaces with our public life.   

Every community longs for a story. This narrative serves as a gateway into our deep life together. Leaders in turn shape the culture of place through the circulation of these stories that convey their core values and deepest aspirations. Our communities  in turn become the public stage where the wisdom and uniqueness of these stories may be lived out.

For the community of Orillia Ontario, Mariposa is one of those mythic stories. Created out of the fertile imagination of Canada’s foremost humourist Stephen Leacock, Mariposa’s many enchanting stories are encoded with abundant insights into what it means to create community on a human scale.

We are more practiced at engineering places according to lines and graphs than re-imagining places according to their legendary and mythic significance. Reliving these narratives brings to life the rich heritage of our ancestral past and also guides us in building community that reflects  the soul and spirit of place for the future.

These story lines can, in turn, be crafted into experiences for visitors and travelers that are both immersive and transformational. Most importantly, stories of place lie at the heart of city building and serve as the catalyst for creating a unifying vision for the future to which everyone can belong.

In this third conversation in our Communities of Belonging learning series, Michael Jones was joined by Daphne Mainprize, Kim Fedderson and Steve Clarke to explore the topic of Belonging, Enlivement and Wellbeing. This insightful conversation truly acknowledged that we are all part of something that is much older, richer and deeper than we could have imagined. The conversation also prompted the question of how we can reconnect with place and nature in order to connect with ourselves and with one another.


Please find the recording of our conversation below, along with a number of links to other resources that emerged from the call:


  • Visit the Orillia Museum of Art and History (OMAH)
  • Learn more about the Orillia Lakehead Unviersity Campus and community
  • Visit the City's site and consider a trip to the  unique City of Orillia, "The Sunshine City"


Take a look at this short book list we've created from the call:



Want to continue learning?

Register for the next session in the Communities of Belonging learning series on Transforming our Communities through Stories of Place

Join the conversation on the Placemaking Canada Facebook Group

Head out to Vancouver for Placemaking Week happening this September 2016