Author Archives: Alison Taplay

First bimonthly article to Track the Groundswell

With the financial support of the Taos Institute and the volunteer contributions of Malerie Meeker and Tammy Siddell, we launched the first bimonthly article intended to Track the Groundswell in our community. The article features Peter Mitchell, long time business leader and community member! Peter shares his insightful opinions about Powell River and our economic future.

PR Living Mag - Sept 2014Check out page 13 in the September 2014 issue of PR Living Magazine.


This week, the Powell River Diversity Initiative will host the first PR Human Library. Some of the people involved in this project were inspired by their participation in Defining Diversity, Creating Community! Check out the people who have volunteered to be “books” here. Human Library

Library hours are Wednesday, October 23, 6:00-9:00 pm and Saturday, October 26, 1:00-4:00 pm at Brooks Senior Secondary School Library.

Kim Rolland

This event is a tribute to the diversity in our community. If you attend this event, please  consider sharing  your experiences here.

Innovative Solutions to Sustainability

VIU is holding a free event on October 21st from 7-9pm at the PR Campus that might interest those of you following the Defining Diversity: Creating Community project. Come and join in for an evening of stimulating thought and discussion as we host two scholars from VIU’s World Leisure Center for Sustainability and Innovation. Dr. Nicole Vaugeois is BC’s regional Innovation Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development
(VIU) and Dr. Katherine King, Visiting Scholar from Bournemouth University, UK will be traveling with a group of VIU grad students in the coastal region. Nicole and Katherine will give two back to back talks on topics of relevance to Powell River, stimulating discussion on the role of our amenities in future development and perspectives from young adults on quality of life.

Learn more here:

Safe Space

Ruby Barclay, Co-Facilitator

Ruby Barclay, Co-Facilitator

This weekend I had the opportunity to talk about Powell River and our project, Defining Diversity: Creating Community (DDCC), at the Royal Roads University Leadership Conference in Victoria. I met some amazing people, including Barry Posner who autographed his book for me. (yes – I was thrilled!)  Preparing for this presentation gave me the opportunity to reflect on what we have been doing together and why.

My background is in leadership, largely in community living organizations. I realized DDCC has given me the opportunity to cross pollinate well known organizational leadership concepts and ideas to this community change initiative.

For example, a foundational belief behind DDCC is that our social and economic well-being relies on empowering and welcoming greater citizen involvement. This means breaking down historic divides and opening our hearts and minds to diverse views and opinions. It means inviting all citizens to contribute their gifts. Effective leaders know that genuine collaboration requires that we listen deeply to all voices, including those that have been traditionally unheard. It requires us to create safe space for dialogue. It requires active management of the ego and a conscious letting go of personal power in order to empower the group. Kouzes and Posner (2012) emphasize that the keys to creating a collaborative culture are establishing a climate of trust and facilitating long-term relationships (pp. 215-240).

Defining Diversity, Creating Community does just that. Janet Newbury and Ruby Barclay co-facilitated the Oct 3-4, 2013 delivery of the DDCC course. They created a safe space for participants that nurtured trust and made it easier to forge new relationships with one another. The collaborative culture that developed allowed new ideas to emerge. After such a powerful experience, we each adjust our internal  compass and act just a bit differently because of our our time together. We see ourselves, each other, and our community just a bit differently. We leave inspired to contribute to our shared future.

Submitted by: Alison Taplay, Vancouver Island University


Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2012). The Leadership Change: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. (5th ed.). San Francisco: Josey-Bass.


Royal Roads Leadership Conference 2013


You Can Get Involved – Register Now

This community engaged research project invites participants to take a two day course with the same name, Defining Diversity, Creating Community. Upcoming offerings are on October 3-4, 2013 (at Oceanview Education Center, Powell River) and November 14-15, 2013 (at VIU’s Powell River Campus). Everyone is welcome! To register email You can learn more about this opportunity by opening the recruitment poster below.

Recruitment Poster for Fall 2013