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

Promising Partnerships, Practices and Possibilities

Submitted by Christie Nash on May 10, 2016 - 9:41am
Seekers Journal

Dear Colleague,

"I'm not here to do this for you, I'm here to do this with you.... I'm your partner in this work"

Michael McAfee, Promise Neighborhood Institute

The complexity of community issues is often beyond the capacity of any one sector to solve alone. Cultivating meaningful partnerships across sectors and citizens is more critical than ever before. In this May 2016 edition of the Seekers Journal, we bring you powerful insights and practical resources that exemplify efforts that intentionally deepen people’s experience of community and demonstrate promising practices in addressing a multitude of community concerns.

These ideas are but a taste of what we have planned at our national Deepening Community: Resilient Neighbourhoods · When People Care gathering in Edmonton, AB from June 7-9, 2016. This exciting workshop has been designed to provide you with inspiration, connections, knowledge and specific tools to deepen community, cultivate care and create resilient neighbourhoods. Have a peek at our learning agenda!

Leading up to the gathering, we are excited to bring you a number of online learning opportunities that are sure to challenge and inspire your thinking. On May 17th, Milton Friesen will host the third session of his 4-part learning series entitled Resilience Talks, which invites you to explore the different urban dynamics that contribute to resilient communities and cities. Later this month, Michael Jones will convene a number of special guests to bring you a second learning series on Communities of Belonging which will feature stories and perspectives centered around four timeless underlying patterns of place.

We look forward to connecting with you and don't forget, we love to hear your stories and learn from your resources and experiences! Be sure to connect with us online at or on Twitter. 

Happy reading! 

Feature     Learn    Conversations    Neighbours    Insights    Events

Announcing our Neighbourhood Hero


By: Christie Nash

Neighbourhood Heroes are those individuals that make our neighbourhoods healthier, more vibrant, and inclusive places to live. A neighbourhood hero is someone who has mastered the act of caring, and who understands the art of neighbourliness.

We are so pleased to announce that Dawn Marshall from Spatinow Neighbourhood, in the City of Wetaskiwin, AB is the winner of our #Nbrhdhero contest, and it is well deserved. Dawn will receive a 100% scholarship to the Deepening Community 2016 gathering in Edmonton, AB from June 7-9, 2016 and has been invited to share her story as an inspiration to us all on the second day of the event.

Want to know a little bit more about Dawn, how she contributes to her community and inspires others? In the words of her nominator, Ashley Goode:

“Dawn is a local drama teacher who started and currently manages the Wetaskiwin Composite High School Breakfast Program (with resources often paid for out of her own pocket). She also helped organize the High School's participation in the weekend Food Basket Program. Dawn facilitates the High School's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), and is a strong supporter of the community's GSA. She is also heavily involved in Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS) program, for which she served as past president. 

Dawn is a hero because she cares and gives so fully of herself, despite also being busy with her own family (she and her husband, Jason have 2 young daughters). Dawn is always looking for opportunities to support and connect the community, and encourages others to share their own ideas and get involved. Dawn is a Neighbourhood Hero because she has been a positive community connector wherever she has lived and she makes the world a better place.”

We look forward to meeting Dawn in a few weeks at the gathering.

Read more about the other incredible nominees

Join us in Edmonton! 

Learn from the Community


An Other Kingdom

By: John McKnight, Peter Block and Walter Brueggeman

Listen to the webinar>



Resilience and Relationships

By: Milton Friesen and Liz Rykert

Listen to the webinar>

makerspace.jpg Hammers, Saws and the Work Of Deepening Community

By: Sylvia Cheuy

Read the post >



Citizen-Led Innovation for a New Economy

By: Alison Mathie and John Gaventa

Listen to the webinar>

Know Your Neighbours: Conversations Brought to Life Through Art


By: Devon Kerslake

I am very excited to share some press from a recent art project that I had the pleasure of creating with some fellow artists and musicians in Guelph, ON. 

As a group of 4 artists/musicians working collaboratively, we were inspired to create a project that communicated the vibrancy and diversity held within our own neighbourhood. The original music and art was directly built from a series of interviews conducted in the St. Patricks Ward neighbourhood - collected by Jenny Mitchell's Mobile Community Radio Show on CRFU in Guelph.

Read the full post

Watch the Live performance

Promise Neighborhoods


A Tamarack Webinar with Michael McAfeee, Vice President for Programs at Policy Link and Co-Director of Promise Neighborhoods Institute

Inspired by the successful model of the Harlem Children's Zone, the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink (PNI) supports Promise Neighborhoods—communities of opportunity centered around strong schools—to wrap children in education, health, and social supports from the cradle to college to career. By effectively coordinating the efforts of schools, families, social services, health centers, and community-building programs, all children can fulfill their promise. Today, with the support of PNI, over 50 communities are planning or implementing results-focused, data-driven Promise Neighborhoods, scaling up to serve 200,000 children nationwide.

Listen to the webinar

Learn more about the Promise Neighborhoods Institute

 Leadership and the Art of Minimum Force


By: Michael Jones

Our world is a dynamic and complex living system filled with potential which seeks to evolve and grow through us. Seeing our work as a craft teaches us about leadership and how to tap into this pool of hidden potential and make it visible.

What matters most in craft is the thing we cannot explain. Yet it is the result of ‘that which we cannot explain’ that makes the difference in creating - even exceeding - the results - we seek.

Mahatma Ghandi offered some insight into this dynamic of craftwork when he said that “working with the hands is the apprenticeship of honesty”. The hands don’t lie. We may rationalize how and what we think, but not what we touch and feel.

Read the full article

Join us for Michael's 4-part Learning Series on Belonging

Upcoming Events


Deepening Communities: Resilient Neighbourhoods ♦ When People Care

June 7-9, 2016 in Edmonton, Alberta

Join together with neighbourhood leaders, community builders, civic leaders, academics, municipal leaders, and other passionate learners to explore ideas that will accelerate the communities agenda.

This gathering will provide you with inspiration, connections, knowledge and specific tools to offer the leadership required to connect, engage and mobilize residents in your community and beyond to generate a shared vision and action plan; in turn, developing programs and policies for change.

Register here!


Community Change Institute

September 26-30, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario

We are excited to announce that the first ever Community Change Institute is being held in vibrant Toronto, Canada this Fall from September 26 - 30, 2016. Our cities, the places we live, provide amazing opportunities for resilience in these disruptive times. The Tamarack Institute team has worked over the last year to re-think and re-build our annual five day learning event to respond to this challenge. Join us, along with world-renowned though leaders Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Roger Martin, Frances Westley, and Stephen Patrick.

Register here!


Deepening Community for Collective Impact

June 14, 2016 in Toronto, ON
June 23, 2016 in London, ON

Join Paul Born, cofounder and President of Tamarack Institute, in this one day workshop to learn how to engage and deepen your community in order to build a common agenda for large scale change. Learn not only the fundamental principles of Collective Impact, but explore key insights on how Deepening Community can sustain us as leaders and produce the outcomes we so desire.

Register here!


Resilient Communities: Cultivating Citizen Leadership for Collective Impact

June 20, 2016 in Orillia, Ontario

Join internationally recognized facilitator and community builder Sylvia Cheuy for a workshop exploring citizen leadership - how it is nurtured and why it is a strategy a growing number of organizations and municipalities are embracing.

Register here!

Upcoming Webinars 


Resilience Talks

Speakers: A 4-Part Learning Series with Milton Friesen
Date: April 19th - June 14th, 2016 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST

In this powerful Learning Series, our host, Milton Friesen, will explore four urban dynamics that contribute to resilience with thought-leaders from across Canada who specialize in the areas of place-making, social networking, measurement of social resilience, and economics that will generate insight for planners, policy makers and community leaders who are seeking to increase the adaptive capacity of cities. Join Milton for this insightful Learning Series that invites you to explore the different urban dynamics that contribute to resilient communities and cities.

Register here!


Gearing Up for Social Impact

Speakers: Brenton Caffin, NESTA & Tim Draimin, Social Innovation Generation (SiG)
May 18, 2016 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST

Join Brenton Caffin and Tim Draimin in a conversation about the DIY Toolkit, the lessons Nesta is learning about scaling social impact and how you can benefit from these tools and resources when facing complex issues in your own work.


Communities of Belonging

Speakers: A 4-Part Learning Series with Michael Jones
Date: May 27th - June 24th, 2016| 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST

In this profound Learning Series, our host, Michael Jones, will feature stories and perspectives centered around one of four timeless underlying patterns of place. The purpose of these patterns is to inject life energy and soul into the body of community. Each reveals the underlying energy flow and network of relationships which, when made visible contribute to a communities’ sense of vitality and well being.

These patterns include: Homecoming, Belonging, Regenerativity and Transformative Celebration.

Register here!