This month, we are delighted to feature, for the first time, news from our Atlantic Canada members as a fully-fledged Chapter!
The newly minted Atlantic chapter of IAP2 Canada held its first networking event in Halifax recently, with a diverse group of some 25 P2 practitioners representing health care, communications, municipalities and independent consultants. We were thrilled to have Stephani Roy McCallum join us for an informal and thought provoking discussion on re-imagining the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation. Our thanks to everyone who attended and we look forward to seeing you at our next event!
On Wednesday, March 25th approximately 20 P2 practitioners gathered at Arriba’s at Churchill Square in St. John’s for the first IAP2 Meet and Greet in Newfoundland and Labrador. On the heels of the exciting announcement of the establishment of an official IAP2 Canada Atlantic Chapter a few weeks before, this small but passionate group shared stories of public engagement experiences, highlights from their current projects and chatted about the need for greater connections to others working in the same areas.
The event coincided with the conclusion of a series of formal IAP2 training sessions by staff of the City of St. John’s as part of its recent launch of a Public Engagement Strategy. Gay Robinson and Jan Bloomfield, both experienced IAP2 trainers and long standing members, were in St. John’s to deliver the training which provided just the right incentive to organize a social! The event lasted approximately three hours and attendees were asked to post their suggestions for future activities on an ideas wall. These ideas will serve as a great source of information for the new Atlantic Chapter and in particular how to connect with the P2 community in St. John’s.
While there are many individuals and organizations throughout the province who engage in P2 work there has not been a formal community of practice to share best practices or access information and resources. With recently established entities in the Government of Newfoundland Labrador, Memorial University and the City of St. John’s with specific mandates for public engagement, the future looks bright for a blossoming P2 Community in Newfoundland and Labrador and a successful IAP2 Atlantic Canada Chapter!