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FOF is thrilled to unveil its plans for BC’s first HEADS UP! Community Mental Health Summit in Kelowna next spring.

Using the highly acclaimed Building SustainABLE Communities conference as a model, the Summit will gather people from all age groups, cultures, and sectors to explore mental health challenges, successes, and opportunities at the individual, family, workplace, and community scales. YES, we will!

To optimize event outcomes, we need help with planning, promotion, and fundraising. Visit our website for more info or contact Joanne at 250-300-8797.

Stay tuned for updates as Summit details unfold!

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What an amazing group of community heroes! We had the privilege of pitching to the 100 Heroes Who Give a Damn at their quarterly meeting this week. FOF founder Joanne de Vries co-presented with Janine Rayburn to garner support for the Okanagan’s first-ever HEADS UP! Community Mental Health Summit.

Janine shared the story of her son, who at 8 years old tried to take his life for the first time. Their saga of trying to find timely diagnosis and treatment is a testament to how much work needs to be done to address mental health issues for children 12 and under. This is just one of dozens of topics that will be explored at the summit.

While we didn’t win the main prize (congrats to Connect Counselling), we did receive $7500 from three incredibly generous donors! This seed money will help leverage funding from other organizations.

Please help by thinking about how you can contribute to fundraising efforts. How about donating to commemorate someone’s mental health journey, or to celebrate your favourite mental health hero? Why not host a HEADS UP mental health awareness-building lunch at your workplace? Or plan an event to showcase mental health-related TED Talks? The possibilities are endless! Let’s talk soon!!

Call Out For Speakers

The Burns Bog Conservation Society in Delta, BC is hosting the Peatlands for People Revisited Conference October 11-13 in Surrey, BC. The final day of the Conference coincides with the 30th Anniversary of the Society.

The goal of the Conference is to bring together students, community members, businesses, researchers, and international scientists to share their knowledge of wetlands and peatlands.

This is a Call Out for Speakers announcement.

For more information, go to http://www.burnsbog.org/

We are all about fostering a positive environment for collaboration and change to take place. That's why we were so excited to welcome Wayblaze Community Crowdfunding to Building SustainABLE Communities this year! A new crowdfunding platform (and BC-based!), they help people and groups raise the funds necessary to get their awesome projects off the ground. One of those awesome projects is an amazing story out of Kelowna, and it involves a plot of land, some sheep, and a group of determined citizens.

Ceres Circle Farm is an ecologically-run sheep farm and has been for the last 20 years. Recently, the land was donated with the intention of it becoming a new community cooperative farm. The new owners, Cecilia Hogan and Kevin Morin, are bound and determined to return sheep to the land, create space for more farming projects, and open it up to welcome additional farmers to the space...and they need the community's help to do so.

Check out their page on Wayblaze for more info about the farm. Pitch in, ask questions, get involved, and get excited! This is what community is all about, isn't it?

Facebook tells us our followers haven't heard from us in a while, and Facebook would be...well, right! We are so sorry, lovely friends, for the silence! For those that were able to attend some or all of our 7th Building SustainABLE Communities conference last week at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort, you'll know we were just a tad busy buzzing around, making sure the event went off without a hitch. And wouldn't you know it...it DID! THANK YOU, to EVERYONE who attended and brought their voices to the table. The buzz was palpable, and energetic. As our fearless leader, Joanne de Vries put it, "I feel like I'm plugged into a light socket." 💡⚡

Stay tuned for photos from #SustainABLE17 and if you're like us, (posting the week after 🤷‍♀️) feel free to tag, comment, and share away!

BIG THANKS to our sponsors, contributors, vendors, and exhibitors, big and small, who contributed in endless ways to make this event happen: Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort, Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, Central Okanagan Foundation, Okanagan WaterWise, Sitka Foundation, Young Anderson, Interior Health, Jan Enns Communications, Wilden - Nature Inspired Living, Trade Exchange Canada [Kelowna], Golder Associates, Wayblaze Community Crowdfunding, House of Rose Winery, Rotary International, Tesla, XEN, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), UBC Okanagan, KGH Foundation, Corix Group of Companies, Trout Unlimited Canada, Bullfrog Power, Tamara McLellan and her Global Goals for Sustainable Development yoga sesh, FortisBC, The Okanagan Basin Water Board, AgriServiceBC, and the Province of BC. You kept the conversation lively, engaged, and inclusive! We are forever grateful! 🙏🙏🙏

We explored the economics of a low-carbon economy and fueling the changing climate of green energy with Dr. Christopher Ragan and Tom Rand at #BSC17.

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Join us on for a yoga session tonight from 5:30-6:30 pm as we 'take a stand' on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals at #BSC17. It's yoga with a sustainability twist!

Huge thanks to our afternoon SustainAble Development sponsor WILDEN at #BSC17. People are able to come together and collaborate, because you helped us.

We are excited to hear from Dr. Trevor Hancock, University of Victoria and Lorraine Richmond, Lorraine Richmond Coaching on conversations for one planet region as #BSC17 afternoon keynote presentation.

We had a great opportunity to hear from Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism Solutions on Innovating for a Regenerative Economy this morning at #BSC17!

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We are just about DONE with prep for our Building SustainABLE Communities conference that starts TOMORROW! So excited to welcome all the amazing speakers and attendees to the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort here in #kelownabc. See you soon! 👋🏼♻️💭 #SustainABLE17

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Emanuel Machado, the town of Gibson’s chief administrative officer is among the most progressive community leaders in BC. Gibson’s groundbreaking work on ecological governance sets the stage for Emanuel’s presentation at Building SustainABLE Communities, ‘Managing a Community's’ Natural Capital.’

Gibsons is one the first Canadian municipalities to explore managing the natural capital such as green space, aquifers, foreshore area, and creeks, using infrastructure and financial management concepts that are systematically applied to managing engineered assets. The rationale is that the services provided by these systems, in the form of rainwater management, flood control, and water purification, have tangible value to the community as, or more, effective as engineered infrastructure.

Join us for the Leadership & Governance Breakout Session on Thursday morning (November 23rd) to hear Emanuel speak and bring your voice to the table. Day passes for the conference are still available!

At Building SustainABLE Communities next week, we will hear from a number of city planners, cycling advocates, and community leaders about sustainable city planning: what's happening now and a look into the future. This video by Vox resonated with us because it shakes up the current status quo and asks provocative questions about our relationship with cars and how they fit into city planning, topics that many of our distinguished speakers will be highlighting in their talks.

Check it out and if this sits well with you, you may want to check out BSC!

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FOF is thrilled to have Interior Health as a major sponsor of Building SustainABLE Communities! They’ve created a session entitled “Climate Change and Community Health,” which will be kicked off by Senior Public Health Officer Dr. Sue Pollock.

In her presentation, ‘Examining Human Health In the Age of Climate Uncertainty,’ Dr. Pollock will talk about how the global climate is changing, and the health effects we are experiencing locally are becoming more apparent. On average, the temperature of the earth is rising and causing extreme weather events, flooding, and droughts. These changes affect natural and human environments like air quality, clean water, and food sources, and can have negative effects on our health.

Join Dr. Sue Pollock to learn how our health is impacted by climate change, and how it will take a collaborative approach adapting to and mitigating climate change. We hope to have you join us at BSC next week to learn more! 🙂

In the spirit of innovation and collaboration, we are trying something new this year...we've partnered with Wayblaze Community Crowdfunding to help us generate more conversation among conference-goers. They've set up a Collaboration & Innovation Zone that will allow all of us to ask questions, ponder all the awesome content we've just heard through our amazing speakers, and most importantly, keep the conversation GOING. Check it out!!!

FOF’s vision is to “inspire community conversations for sustainable change.” To that end, people from all sectors and age groups must be at the table to share their unique insights, ideas, and passions. We’re going to talk about bridging the age gap for innovation and collaboration at Building SustainABLE Communities NEXT WEEK!

Youth presenters will share how they’re stepping up to the plate while industry mentors will distill their wisdom and then both groups will explore how they can best work together to help build sustainable communities. Join us for a number of panel discussions, workshops, and mingling opportunities to bring your voice to this very large table. Day passes still available!

If research shows that water meters are such a good idea, why is it still such a challenge to get communities on board? Some communities embrace water meters with nary a fuss, while others are met with protest, citing lack of control or calling it just plain unfair.

At BSC this year, soak up wisdom from our panel of veteran professionals (we may have mentioned Chris Ragan, with Canada's Ecofiscal Commission as one featured speaker!) as they discuss the challenges inherent in metering, and the opportunities that will help your implementation plan flow more smoothly! Drawing on personal experience, examples from other communities, and leading practices, they will share how to build a more effective, resilient, and proactive team of local government staff and elected officials that will optimize the community benefits of metering.

As part of Building SustainABLE Communities, Margaret Catley Carlson (Global Water Partnership) will talk about the importance of "NEXUS thinking." What IS that?! You'll have to join us to find out...

Following Margaret’s talk, we'll hear from a number of experts via a panel discussion featuring Peter Robinson (@Community Energy Association), Anna Warwick Sears (Okanagan WaterWise), Heather Deegan (Interior Health), David Hendrickson (Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia), and Mark Holmgren (Tamarack Institute). Join us on Wednesday, November 22nd for this expert panel!

Our Twitter Posts

My week on Twitter 🎉: 1 Mention, 2.17K Mention Reach, 2 New Followers, 1 Tweet. See yours with https://t.co/8IZTgW0etC

Our own Peter Robinson was busy at #sustainABLE17 - speaking to @energystepcode & on panel chatting w/ other inspiring folks working to help #bcmuni take #ClimateAction @FreshOutlook


We had the pleasure of hearing from Audrey during #SustainABLE17 a couple of weeks ago & it was inspirational, to say the least! #OptOutside #clubhousefarmchildcarecentre #kelowna https://t.co/werbdtxX5w

My week on Twitter 🎉: 9 Mentions, 7.01K Mention Reach, 2 Likes, 2 New Followers, 17 Tweets. See yours with https://t.co/8IZTgW0etC

Great read @MunicipalWorld ! And looking forward to learning more from @@ctsragan @FreshOutlook#BuildingSustainABLECommunities conference in #Kelowna Nov. 21-24 https://t.co/qhNbAlYcpr

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