The Conference also featured the Core Values Awards Gala: an opportunity, as we’ve often said, to recognize “the best of the best” in public participation. This year’s winners lived up to that label!
The City of Victoria was named Organization of the Year for its “Foundation for Success”, a five-year initiative to increase citizen involvement in civic affairs.
Following an alarming series of youth suicides on its reserve, the Pikangikum First Nation in far-northwestern Ontario (about 300 km north of Kenora) took matters into its own hands to address mental health issues and, working with Beringia Community Planning of North Vancouver, developed “Working It Out Together.” That effort scored a double: the Core Values Award for Indigenous Engagement and overall Project of the Year.
The City of Victoria and Pikangikum are now entered in the IAP2 Federation Core Values Awards, which will be announced at the IAP2 Australasian Conference in October.
The Cities of Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton continued that theme of “increase citizen involvement in civic government”. Calgary won the Award for Extending the Practice through Creativity, Contribution and Innovation in the Field, for its “Action Plan 2015-2018”, in which citizens were and are engaged in developing the medium-term vision for the city. Edmonton received Honourable Mention in that category for “What the B*ke!”, a re-opening of a discussion around bicycle infrastructure in the Alberta capital, and the City of Vancouver received Honourable Mention for its “Engaged City Task Force”.
IAP2 Canada Past-President Anne Harding received the first-ever P2 for the Greater Good Award, for “Our Hawkwood”, a community-driven project to define and promote the neighbourhood in that section of Calgary.
Oregon Metro won the IAP2 USA Project of the Year Award for its P2 work in developing a 20km transit and development corridor linking the cities of Portland and Gresham. The corridor takes in a very ethnically diverse neighbourhood, and the project addressed that situation, plus a deep sense of mistrust for the government entities.
For the second year in a row, the St Vrain Valley Public School District, based in Longmont, Colorado, won a major Core Values Award: Organization of the Year, for its strategy of involving “non-experts” – i.e. parents, students and those not directly involved with the school system – in developing the education system in that district. (St Vrain Schools won Research Project of the Year in 2014.)