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is a Vancouver-based nonprofit organization that specializes in providing information and referral regarding community, government and social services in BC. Our help line services include 211, the Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service (ADIRS), the Problem Gambling Help Line, VictimLink BC, and the Youth Against Violence Line.

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What is The Social Planning Council?


o Monthly Meetings: Attend meetings with guest speakers from within the community &/or presentations at each meeting. We currently meet the fourth Monday of every month (excluding summer) at City Hall with light lunch by donation.

o Facebook & Email Group: Utilize the network on Facebook. Start discussions, learn about & share upcoming community events, projects and meetings. If you don’t use Facebook, then join the email network instead.

o Inform City Council: The SPC provides reports to City Council regularly and the City keeps the SPC informed. Use the network and have your voices heard.

Strategic Direction of the Social Planning Council of Williams Lake & Area:

o Poverty Reduction and the local Living Wage Campaign.

o Community Collaboration and Networking.

o Retention and Succession of residents within the Area.

Community Social Planning:

o Supports communities in building an integrated approach to complex problems that take into account social, economic, and environmental concerns.

o Maximizes the effectiveness of often scarce resources by working to reduce duplication, overlap and competition.

o Provides an ongoing forum for communication, coordination and conflict resolution.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Notice of Annual General Meeting - Nov 27, 2017

The Social Planning Council's AGM is next month, on Nov 27th from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm as part of our regular monthly meeting. Membership renewals are also due as of our AGM - please find attached our annual membership form and bring it on Nov 27th or mail to Box 20045, Williams Lake BC V2G 4R1 (attachment available via the online notice at the following link: http://cm.pn/37e3)

If you are unable to access the attached form, or have any questions, please email spc-coordinator@xplornet.com or call our office at 250-243-2126. Thank-you for your participation!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Community Updates (9) - Oct 20, 2017

Table of contents:
1) SPC Meeting Reminder - Mon Oct 23rd at 11:30 am
2) 11th Annual B&G Haunted House - Oct 27 & 28th
3) Youth Initiative Grant applications - until Nov 17th
4) CCACS NEW grant program
5) CTC's Positive Action Word of the Week
6) Community Arts Council of Williams Lake - AGM Oct 21 at 10:30 am
7) Trauma informed practice workshop - free Oct 23 at 6:30 pm
8) Entrepreneurial Mindset Mastery Workshop - Nov 8 from 1 - 3 pm
9) Integrative Yoga for Kids - Nov 9 - Dec 7

1) SPC Meeting Reminder - Mon Oct 23rd at 11:30 am
This Monday Oct 23rd from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm at Community Futures our monthly SPC meeting will be held. The meeting will be mainly focused on creating new bylaws, for future adoption, in accordance with the new Societies Act. If you have yet to transition, this will be a great learning experience. There will be lunch (and coffee).

At the start of the meeting, meet Trevor Kier, hired by the City of Williams Lake to complete an economic assessment related to the impact of the wildfires this summer.

 For the roundtable updates, please bring a hardcopy, notes, or send an email to Jessica at spc-coordinator@xplornet.com with event details for inclusion in the community update emails.

Last month's meeting minutes for your review are available at the following link or by hardcopy at the meeting: http://socialplanningcouncil.blogspot.ca/2017/10/spc-monthly-meeting-minutes-draft-sept.html

2) 11th Annual B&G Haunted House - Oct 27 & 28th
From 7- 9pm both nights, at the Boys & Girls Club (across the street from Safeway).

3) Youth Initiative Grant applications - until Nov 17th
United Way is pleased to announce that applications for the GenNext youth initiatives grant will be open to young leaders this coming Monday October 2nd through to November 17th.  Through both community feedback and consultation last year, we realized the importance of funding these youth led community projects earlier in the school year and so have bumped up the application timeline to better align with the students’ and out of school programs’ schedules. As in previous years, all applications must be submitted by youth for youth in partnership with an organization with a registered charitable number (school, service group, arts and culture group, sport association, municipal government are some additional examples to local charities).  The Partner Organization Agreement is attached here and is also accessible through the application portal.

New this year, the application is now on our community application website (eaccess.unitedwaytnc.ca).  All applicants will have to email Kristi Rintoul at Kristi@unitedwaytnc.ca  to request a user name and password in order to access the website.  Once they do have that access they will be required to submit a Progress Report on funding received last year (if necessary) in order to submit a new application. 
I’m happy to answer any and or all questions please feel free to give me a shout.

Thank you for all you do for our communities!
Ashlee Hyde
Manager of Resource and Community Development
United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo
Change starts here.

2034-1250 Western Avenue, Williams Lake, BC, V2G 1H7
250.372.5926 fax

4) CCACS NEW grant program
Four new support grants of up to $1000 are available for non-profit/community groups or individual artists to support and develop arts and culture in Williams Lake and the Central Cariboo (CRD Areas D, E, and F) via a CCACS Pilot Support Grants Project. The funding for these grants is made available from the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society (CCACS).

The CCACS will be offering two pilot application intakes for 2018:

Intake #1: December 1, 2017 application deadline for grants to be completed by June 30, 2018.

Intake #2: June 1, 2018 application deadline for grants to be completed by December 31, 2018.

Non-profit/Community Group Support Grants
-Capital Acquisition Grants are available to facilitate and support the artistic activities of the organization or group through capital purchases.
-General Program Support Grants are available for activities such as workshops, professional development, or any other activity designed to enhance an existing program.
-Community-Based Support Grants are available for community-based artistic activities.

Individual Artist Support Grant
-Professional Development Grants are available to individual artists to assist with course fees, related necessary materials and travel on the understanding that applicants will be required to show how the professional development activity will benefit not only their own practice, but also the general community and local artists.

For further information please contact CCACS Executive Director Leah Selk at
778-412-9044 or email

5) CTC's Positive Action Word of the Week(s)
The Positive Action word of the week for October 23rd is: Healthy: To be well or have good health.

If you are interested in learning more about Positive Action and how you could use it in your setting, please contact Carla Bullinger at 250-267-8249 or comthatcares@sd27.bc.ca

6) Community Arts Council of Williams Lake - AGM Oct 21 at 10:30 am
Want to be involved with making Williams Lake a more artistic community? New members are invited to the AGM on Saturday Oct 21 at 10:30 am at the Arts Centre. Call 250-392-5671 for more information!

7) Trauma informed practice workshop - free Oct 23 at 6:30 pm
Location: Williams Lake, BC
Cost :free of charge
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
For more information, please contact Marna Forsyth at 250-609-2017 or mforsyth@interiorcommunityservices.bc.ca

Interior Community Services and Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre are pleased
to bring Dr. Linda O’Neill to Williams Lake. She is a practicing  counsellor, a certified trauma specialist, counsellor educator and the Clinical Coordinator at the Community Counselling Centre in Prince George, BC. She brings years of trauma practice with children, youth and adults in the Prince George and the far North communities as well as research on all aspects of trauma effects and interventions. The training is constantly being refined to reflect the most recent research in the rapidly changing world of trauma support.

In this workshop Dr. Linda O’Neill will be discussing how to recognize and address trauma in our own networks and communities. This training is open to individuals and families who would like to learn more about trauma and creating a caring community. Dr. O’Neill is an exceptional speaker who creates a safe space for people to discuss and explore the topic of trauma.

This workshop is being brought to you by Interior Community Services in partnership with the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre

8) Entrepreneurial Mindset Mastery Workshop - Nov 8 from 1 - 3 pm
Develop your Entrepreneurial Mindset...

How can you build on your strengths, grow your business and make more money? It's all about Mindset!  As a business owner, you need to have your head in the game to stay competitive. Having an "entrepreneurial mindset" can help you make good decisions, be confident in your abilities and plan for change.

Facilitated by the only Certified EMP™ Practitioners in Western Canada, this workshop will help you gain a deeper understanding of the assessment tool, insight into your own profile and tips to create an action plan to apply your results.

Women's Enterprise Centre (WEC) and Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) have partnered to help business owners in the north to assess and improve their entrepreneurial mindset to realize their business potential.

November 8, 1pm to 3pm 
Ramada Hotel, 1118 Lakeview Cres. | Williams Lake, BC

Seating is limited – register today!
Special pricing: $59 | REGISTER at wec.ca/MindsetWilliamsLake

9) Integrative Yoga for Kids - Nov 9 - Dec 7
Satya Yoga Studio and the Canadian Mental Health Association offer "Kids Yoga" for mindfulness, body awareness and self regulation. With Bettina Egert and Tricia McLellan for kids ages 7 - 11 on Thursdays from 3:15 - 4:30 pm from Nov 9 - Dec 7th. Cost is $55, and financial assistance is available.

Movement practices, like Yoga, help to develop a child’s self-awareness, emotional intelligence and self-control. Our 5 week Yoga program will be focused on sharpening concentration or attention and building emotion- regulation skills to effectively manage stress, gaining self-knowledge and body awareness.

Individual support with Bettina will be available by appointment, to integrate body awareness and movement with developing coping strategies and skills to manage uncomfortable emotions, anxiety and insecurities.

Register by email to info@satyayogastudio.ca or call 778-412-9020 or to Bettina.egert@cmha.bc.ca or call 250-305-4420.

Bettina is practicing as Family Counsellor at the Canadian Mental Health Association, supporting parents and their children in managing stressful life situations and integrating mindful practices in her work.

Tricia is the co-owner of Satya Yoga Studio, Integrative Yoga Therapist and a Mom who uses mindful practices to help restore communication, maintain emotional balance and decrease stress.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

SPC Monthly Meeting Minutes (draft) - Sept 25/17

SPC Monthly Meeting Minutes - draft
Sept 25, 2017 - 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Location: Community Futures Office
In attendance (from sign-in sheet): Leah Selk, Diane Wright, Carla Bullinger, Kathie Vilkas, Larry Stranberg, Leah Hartley, David Faubet, Margaret-Anne Enders, Jessica Dunn, Shannon Thom, Anne Burrill, Linda Berg and Nancy Gale.

Accept Minutes & Agenda
During lunch we:

·   Reviewed meeting agenda for Sept 25, 2017
Change order below - put Poverty Reduction Project first on agenda
Motion to approve agenda as revised - MFSC
·   Reviewed meeting minutes from Jun 26, 2017
Motion to approve minutes as presented - MFSC

Poverty Reduction Project
Proposals for project are moving forward (stage two Vancouver Foundation application).

Goal - Reduce the number of people living in poverty (address poverty, rather than only alleviation actions e.g. food bank).

Stage one - review and pull apart local data, update living wage calculation, engaging community partners (including economic sector).

Similar to CTC "process".

We have applied for Vancouver Foundation, Cariboo Strong funds (for projects completed by Dec 31/17), Hamber Foundation, and Community Futures supported this project. We anticipate to hear back from two funding sources by December, and Cariboo Strong very shortly.

We have received a number of Letters of support from community organizations, and have partnered with CCPL for this project currently entitled "THRIVE WL".

Opportunities/Leverage - labour shortages since the wildfire season

Many families who were evacuated could not afford to be without work for two weeks. This is having a lasting effect on our community even to date.

Not everyone living in poverty, is on social assistance - many "normal" families also live close or near to the poverty line.

Handout with more details was also provided (and available upon request).

Cariboo Fires - Summer 2017
We asked participants to share their personal and/or organizations experience, and any lessons learned through having experienced the evacuations first hand.

Linda Berg, Boys & Girls Club:
Logistically many staff could not return - short staffed to get regular programming up and running. Staff is stressed out. Hard to keep kids indoors all day (due to smoke). No current B&G Club policy on what to do in the event of a town wide evacuation (unprecedented event in B&G Club history country wide).

Leah Hartley, City of WL (overall synopsis):
From an Emergency operations centre perspective (two days were most threatening - Jul 7 & 15th). Fires from the north are harder to control than fires from other directions around the city. Evacuation notice was issued due to vulnerabilities and highway capacities and the loss of evacuation routes. Difficult decision to decide which way to send residents (North or South). Depending on the time of day, evacuees were sent in different directions.

During the evacuation, the situation felt very regional - close collaboration with CRD and provincial agencies. Our community was very well supported in terms of firefighting efforts. We were fortunate to not have lost any private structures within the City itself.

Return to City/Welcoming people back - the region wanted it to be a community wide return (including the surrounding areas around the City of Williams Lake).

RCMP & Military presence was very high. The area was secure.

Unexpected aspects of the return. 1) Finding essential services (e.g. a pharmacist), two safe routes, and a functioning hospital before allowing residents to return home.

We have been advised that we are more like Fort McMurray than any other BC community that was evacuated this summer. Recovery will take a long time (not just a few months). More than one year and more effects will likely noticed by next spring - including staff turnover changes.

Recovery efforts are being supported by the Province (less focus on this in past disasters). Cookie cutter process by provincial agencies. Our regional area as a whole is currently deciding what to do (cookie cutter versus locally tailored).

CRD did an amazing job. Non stop summer for their staff.

Long term - Event is being planned by Deb Radolla.
Short term - small to medium size business are in need of assistance (Recovery manager has been hired within the City - in & out job).

The Recovery Manager would like to meet with the SPC and hear from our table.

Anne Burrill, Housing First perspective:
Vulnerable population (e.g. no cell phones). Staff was in contact with all but one participant while evacuated. All the participants returned and are still housed. Some silver linings - some at-risk participants came home in better condition than when they left (unexpected result). Many useful resources were available (24-7), access to medical services etc. Levels of domestic violence are on the slight rise. And note - some women chose to leave abusive relationships as a result of the evacuation (they took the opportunity to pack what they needed and left). Increased financial need by many because of the fires - rent arrears, overdue bills. Usually Housing First requires people to already be homeless but there is currently some funding available (that won't last long).

Shannon Thom, Williams Lake Employment Services (WLES) perspective:
Contract with the Government (therefore policies were in place). Ashcroft office closed first, followed by the 100 Mile House office and the Williams Lake office was only open for a short time before also closing due to the evacuation. Approximately 10% of clients chose not to return. It was a challenge keeping track of where all staff was. Note - some clients who had been laid off, are choosing to not return to their former positions (looking to upgrade).

Leah Selk, Central Cariboo Arts & Culture Society (CCACS):
Typically slow over summer so not much was interrupted. The CCACS is looking to find out what organizations need at this time (too early to know). Trying to find what the new normal is.

Nancy Gale, Child Development Centre:
Communication and capacity was a challenge. Internet and cell phones are not a given. Types of employee supports (E.g. issuing paperwork for EI claims etc). WCB rules limit what can be done etc. Underlying level of fear is normal. After the fact, it would have been great to have been able to provide local services during these events (E.g. childrens activities, parental supports). Disaster planning did not prepare us for what we endured. Post Evacuation - 20% increase in referrals (caseloads are now higher).

Diane Wright, Retiree:
It is our chance to prepare to give back if this happens again. How can Williams Lake best support evacuees from surrounding communities? We can learn much from Prince George and Kamloops who so wonderfully supported our residents.

Carla Bullinger, Communities That Care (CTC):
From the CTC community board notes. Watch the mental health of our staff (caregivers need care too!). Workshop on fire and trauma (but caution of blanket approach). Client notes (IMSS clients) - overwhelmed by the support (not used to any support). Forms - literacy issues affect people's abilities to navigate services. Ensure there is a coordinated response to our needs.

Kathie Vilkas, Williams Lake Hospice:
Not involved with evacuating any clients. Prince George or Kamloops facilities was the alternate facility. Personally, being cutoff from routes (stuck past Miocene) was a challenge in itself. A challenge faced involved cheques - not being able to pay employees was an issue.

David, Changing Directions:
High risk youth are their main clients (social media worked well for this population). Helped clients communicate with Red Cross. Stressful times so monitoring staff for mental health is important. The most vulnerable clients were able to access additional supports (for groceries etc). Most youth have returned.

Margaret Anne Enders, Canadian Mental Health Association:
Many volunteers are starting to experience burnout. Resiliency centre - some "crews" were very helpful, while other crews felt very different. Connect group did not receive enough numbers to go forward - perhaps it is a hard time for people to "commit" (as everything seems still on hold).

Larry Stranberg, Community Futures:
Larry was the only one in the office for more than a week. Personally, evacuated twice. Biggest challenge was keeping in touch with clients. Remote access to server is now available. Back-up contact information is now with multiple staff members.  CF clients - Jul, Aug, Sept - no loan payments due. Most commonly, clients lost revenue streams, lost contracts. Opportunity to re-strategize (organizationally, and community wide). Opportunities is the new word.

Roundtable Updates
More details were sent out via community update emails:

Leah - CCACS New Grants Program - more info to follow
Linda - Boys & Girls House Haunted House - Oct 27 - 29
Carla - Three-year old round up event
Margaret Anne - Orange Shirt day is this Friday

Meeting was adjourned. The next monthly meeting will be held on Monday, October 23rd at 11:30 am at the Community Futures office in Williams Lake BC.

Contact Us

The Social Planning Council is made up of volunteers from the community. Many of us work in social services agencies or also volunteer for other organizations.

Our Mailing Address is Box 20045, Williams Lake BC V2G 4R1

To reach the Society Coordinator Jessica Dunn please email spc-coordinator@xplornet.com or call 250-243-2126

To reach the Communities that Care Project Manager Carla Bullinger please email carla@caribooliteracy.com or call 250-267-8249

To reach the THRIVE Williams Lake Project Manager Anne Burrill please email anne@changemakerconsulting.ca or call 250-267-7211

To reach the current SPC Chair Larry Stranberg please email happytrails@cfdccariboo.com or call 250-392-3626