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Mapping Updates in 2023

We're thrilled to share with you the latest chapter in our journey at the British Columbia Community Asset Mapping Network (BCCAMN). Our mission has always been to build connections and foster inclusion across our beautiful province, and these past months have been a whirlwind of activity and inspiration.

Summer Tabling Events

During the summer of 2023, Common Ground/BCCAMN undertook extensive community engagement activities. The project capitalized on the vibrant atmosphere of local events, such as farmers markets and music festivals, including the Dragon Boat Festival. These settings provided ideal opportunities for direct interaction with diverse community members, leading to meaningful conversations and data collection.

The summer of 2023 saw the collection of over 200 responses over a dozen events during July, August, and September. The community's response helped us gain valuable data and insights into the community connections that already exist within the CRD, as well as visions and areas of improvement for the future. These places of connection ranged from local parks and coffee shops to schools, places of worship, and even local libraries.

Library Pop-up Events

Aligned with BCCAMN's community-centric framework and CLBC's support, we have conducted three engagement sessions with The Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL).

Libraries, our favourite community hubs, have played a pivotal role. We've held interactive mapping sessions in various libraries across the region. These aren't your typical library gatherings. Picture this: community members, young and old, gathered around maps, placing markers, and sharing stories. From the local park that hosts community picnics to the hidden alleys rich with history – each contribution paints a richer picture of our shared spaces.

This endeavour is a step towards reinforcing our commitment to understanding community needs and enhancing the inclusivity and accessibility of library spaces.

These three engagement sessions provided a platform for the community to convey their library usage patterns, pinpoint the services they prize, and propose enhancements for library accessibility. This direct engagement is a cornerstone of the asset-based community development approach, a strategy that underpins our 'Mapping our Common Ground' project.

What We've Learned So Far

The insights have been nothing short of amazing. We've seen patterns emerge – places of joy, areas needing attention, and spots brimming with potential. These events have taught us so much about the people and places that tie us together and the unique character of our cities and neighbourhoods.

Interactive engagement tools like spin wheels and physical maps have been integral in attracting people to our pop-up tables. These tools made the engagement process more accessible and inviting, attracting a broader segment of the community. The approach not only facilitated participation but also ensured that the mapping process accurately represented diverse community voices by attracting participants who would otherwise have skipped over the opportunity.

A key aspect of our recent activities has been the development of innovative and engaging promotional materials. This initiative was geared towards enhancing the visibility and appeal of our project in the community.

These summer activities laid a solid foundation for future engagement and set a precedent for innovative community interaction within the project.

Empowerment Through Mapping

A key outcome of participatory mapping is empowerment. By involving everyone in the mapping process, we're not just gathering data; we're giving a voice to every community member. This inclusive approach aligns perfectly with our vision of a community where everyone feels seen, heard, and connected.If anything, this project has proven to be about more than mapping locations; it's about connecting stories, visions, and people.

Looking ahead, our collaboration with the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) and other partners remains key. We aim to foster a sense of belonging and inclusivity, with libraries serving as accessible community hubs.

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