To our members: By the end of February, and will be integrated into the Tamarack website at This is a more accessible platform, where you will easily find more engaging content and resources on poverty reduction and community change.

Questions? Send us a note at

Love as Foundation for Social Movements

Submitted by Christie Nash on December 9, 2015 - 4:22am
Seekers Journal

Dear christie,

"The grounding force in a movement is LOVE. Love yourself, love the people around you, love what you are doing" - Marian Tompson

In his recent blog post Connecting the Dots, Derek Alton explores the connection between deep friendship and social transformation. As we sift through the most recent content in our learning community, it becomes clear that many social movements stem from deep relationships and shared issues or passions.

We had an exciting month in Deepening Community! We have partnered with Al Etmanski to launch the world's first six-part Bookinar Series on his new book IMPACT: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation. Please have a listen to the first two sessions and join us on December 15th for our third session with Sean Moore, Founder of the Advocacy School.  We had Sarah Wakefield, PhD, join us for a webinar on evaluating Hamilton's Neighbourhood Action Strategy; and our Neighbourhood Strategy Leaders Community of Practice is continuing to grow with 15 municipalities from across the country regularly joining the call.

We are in the process of developing our learning series for winter 2016 and would love to hear from you! What are you thinking about these days? How would you like to grow and share your knowledge?  Let us know!  Visit our website to read more stories, gather resources, and share your insights with us.

Happy reading!

Thinking and Acting Like a Movement


By: Christie Nash

"The grounding force in a movement is LOVE. Love yourself, love the people around you, love what you are doing" - Marian Tompson

With over 100 people participating live in the second of this six-part series, Al Etmanski interviewed co-founder and Past President of La Leche League, Marian Tompson, for what turned out to be a deeply moving and inspiring conversation. The theme of their discussion was 'Thinking and Acting Like a Movement' and throughout the session Marian walked us through her journey with the La Leche League and spoke of the power of love and caring in one's ability to create social change.

With penetrating questions, Al and Marian illuminate the heart and spirit of this pattern which is necessary to nurture the conditions that enable promising ideas for positive change to take root and flourish.

Listen to Al and Marian's conversation

Register for Al's next bookinar 'Advocating with Empathy'

 Tips for Planning and Evaluating a Neighbourhood Action Strategy



By: Christie Nash with Sarah Wakefield

On Thursday November 26, 2015 Tamarack hosted a webinar with guest Sarah Wakefield, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto, who shared lessons learned while evaluating large-scale, multi-stakeholder interventions that bundle together multiple projects, working with a variety of diverse stakeholders and communicating the findings to decision-makers. Using work with Hamilton, Ontario’s Neighbourhood Action Strategy as a case example, this webinar discussed ways of evaluating the planning, implementation, and ultimate outcomes of these kinds of interventions.

After the webinar, Sylvia Cheuy and Sarah took it offline to discuss what advice Sarah would give to other municipalities who are just now beginning to embark on developing neighbourhood-based strategies from an evaluation perspective.

Read Sarah's Tips

Listen to the webinar

Bake Ovens, Peace Parks and Other Magical Neighbourhood Projects in Ottawa


By: Andrea Flowers

Magical things are happening in Neighbourhoods across Ottawa, Ontario. From wood fired Bake Oven to Peace Park projects, neighbours and community members are coming together to work on creative projects to make their public places vibrant, safe and places where people can come together to celebrate the place where they live and play.

Other creative collaborative projects include: Revitalizing a walking path; Sidewalk painting; Neighbourhood festivals; Sound installations; and Parking Day. The list goes on and on!

Read the full story

Learn more about the Ottawa Neighbourhood Connection Office

Mutual Trust


By: Joe Schaeffer

"Only with the support, insight and fellowship of community can we face the dangers of learning meaningful things."
–Fred Kofman and Peter Senge

In the rapidly changing world in which we live today, the first question, “Can I trust you?” is almost impossible to answer. We rarely know each other long enough to earn or prove trust with each other. The answer to the second question does not depend on time. It depends on character. If I can trust myself in your presence and you can trust yourself in mine, we can experience trust together the moment we meet. When each person is capable of self-trust, trust in a gathering can happen in an instant.

Read the full post

Upcoming Events


Evaluating Community Impact: Capturing and Making Sense of Community Outcomes

February 9-11, 2016 in Vancouver, BC

This three-day workshop will be led by Mark Cabaj and Liz Weaver. Mark is Canada's foremost expert on developmental evaluation and has worked in community change his entire life. Liz runs Canada's largest Collective Impact initiative and consults across North America on issues related to community change. Together, they have designed this workshop to incorporate their practical experiences in developing and measuring community impact initiatives, as well as the challenges they have faced in doing so.

Register here


Community Engagment: The Next Generation

March 8-10, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario

Learn the latest engagement techniques and interact with the technology that will transform how you engage your clients, customers, funders and partners. Through dialogue with leaders in the field of engagement and social change, you will enhance your capacity to effectively hear the voices of those you serve and learn key strategies to mobilize them toward a collective impact.

Registration is now open.


Cities Reducing Poverty: When Mayors Lead

April 5-7, 2016 in Edmonton, AB

This dynamic gathering will bring together mayors, provincial and territorial representatives, poverty reduction roundtable members, and interested individuals across the country in an effort to:

  • Raise awareness about the issue of urban poverty;
  • Present solutions and examples from cities that are addressing urban poverty effectively; and
  • Develop recommendations for provinces and the federal government to help cities tackle poverty.

Register today.

Patterns in Community and Social IMPACT

Free Bookinar Series

December 15 | January 12 | January 26 | February 9

Why do some social innovations take hold while others fail to spread as far and wide as they should?

Join Al Etmanski for the world's first six-part Bookinar learning series that invites you to explore patterns of social innovation in depth and consider how it might shape your own community change work.

Register today! Click here for more information.