Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator
On November 19, members of the Community Partnership Network (CPN) met for an afternoon of sharing ideas and “speed” networking at its quarterly CPN meeting. The meeting was hosted at the Pacific Opera Victoria (POV), one of the newer members of the CPN. Judging by the levels of enthusiasm, energy and comments shared at the event, the nearly 50 CPN members welcomed the new connections created with other members and appreciated the power of art and culture as tools to bring community together.
The event started off with Ian Rye, the newly appointed CEO of the Pacific Opera Victoria, welcoming everyone to the Wingate Studio. Ian spoke about the POV’s many opera and culture based activities while encouraging members to access POV’s facilities – including the stunning acoustic cedar canopy carving created by Kwagiulth Artist and former opera singer Carey Newman.
Ian was followed by Victoria’s 2016 Youth Poet Laureate, Ann-Bernice Thomas, who energized the room with her poems about “Home” and identity (“Wildwoman”). Ann-Bernice showed the power of poetry as she lit-up the meeting with her powerful fusion of spoken word, rhyme and personally poignant reflections on identity.
Feeling freshly inspired, CPN members then engaged in a series of 7-minute “speed dating” networking sessions. Participants learned about other organizations and explored how new collaborations could be created. With organizations from sectors such as: health, education, business, faith, law enforcement, etc., members were encouraged to identify at least one “new” way their organizations could collaborate with others to promote inclusion and diversity.
Not surprisingly, a number of new collaborations emerged, including:
- Vic PD and the Immigrant Francophone Employment Program will share information and collaborate to reach out to more Francophone applicants to be police volunteers and reserve constables
- BC Black History Awareness Society will invite poet Ann-Bernice to perform at their upcoming Black History Month event in February 2017 at the Belfry
- Victoria Multicultural Business Connector will invite CPN members to attend its next event as a way to bring together newcomer entrepreneurs with the broader community.
Afterwards, one of the CPN members reflected on the value of the event: “The information shared about each of the CPN members I spoke to during the networking activity was very helpful towards building new connections. I learned about different organizations and how we can work together. The talk around my table was informative and flowed well, with everyone participating in a meaningful way.”
If your organization or business would like to learn more about or join the CPN, click here: Community Partnership Network
Thank you to the Pacific Opera Victoria’s Ian Rye, Ereca Hassell and Jeremy Roszman for their generosity in hosting this CPN event.
CPN activities are made possible thanks to funding from the United Way of Greater Victoria.