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Posted: July 16, 2019

CVCF seeks to put valley concerns On the Table

By Stephanie Stevens

How do you truly gauge what a community needs and cares about?

Surveys, polls and public meetings are often the route most taken, but they are not always the best way to get an actual cross-section of a population as diverse at the Columbia Valley.

The Columbia Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) is taking part in The Vancouver Foundations’ B.C.-wide event On The Table, a series of informal gatherings which are designed to ensure the concerns of as broad a spectrum of residents as possible is being heard.

Wendy Booth

CVCF executive director Laurie Klassen and On The Table program coordinator Wendy Booth addressed District of Invermere council at its regular meeting July 9 to introduce the program and invite anyone on council or in the gallery to consider hosting an event.

“It is a really informal get-together to discuss items that are important to whoever is gathered,” said Klassen. “This is a B.C.-wide event, and it can take any form… at someone’s home, a coffee shop, a hall, whatever the host decides.”

While most areas are doing the On The Table gatherings in one go in their community, with the communities from Canal Flats to Spillimacheen as spread out as they are, the CVCF is doing several to ensure each demographic is represented.

They are looking for 10 to 12 hosts to work with Booth, who will facilitate each event. Time of day and number of attendees are flexible. There is no cost to the host as food and venue (if required) will be covered, explained Booth. The host’s only task is to reach out to their network of people and invite them.

“It could be six or eight people at a home at 10 a.m., or 25 people at a community hall,” she said. “There is no standard, no template… we want it to be as organic as possible.”

Booth added the she will have topic cards to help generate discussion if need be.

The end result will be owned by the CVCF and compiled into a report, much like the Vital Signs report the foundation has produced to give residents and local government a comprehensive look at the quality of life in the Columbia Valley.

If you are interested in being a host or would like more information, you can call Booth at 250-342-5381, 250-345-6155 or email her at [email protected]

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