October 11, 2019

How to be smart, but small: Community Solutions Network hosts Idea Camp in Atlantic Canada

Community leaders to explore why small communities are well-positioned to implement ‘smart’ solutions; October 16, 2019 in Mount Pearl, NL.

(OTTAWA, ON – October 15, 2019) – The Community Solutions Network, a program of Future Cities Canada, is bringing together municipal staff, community leaders and government and industry experts from the Atlantic provinces to participate in the Atlantic Idea Camp: How to be smart, but small, in Mount Pearl, NL. Led by Evergreen in partnership with the City of Mount Pearl, the Canadian Urban Institute and the Intelligent Community Forum Canada, the Idea Camp will take place on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at the Pearlgate Track & Field Club in Mount Pearl, NL.

“Small communities across Canada are really stepping into the ‘smart’ landscape, facing advantages and challenges that are unique,” said Carly Livingstone, Senior Program Manager, Community Solutions Network at Evergreen. “The Idea Camp combines peer-to-peer learning and local case studies for participants to access the tools and practical concepts for small communities to advance their work. This Idea Camp offers a unique opportunity to learn from others championing innovation in small communities from across the Atlantic region and beyond.”

Participants include municipal staff, community leaders and senior staff of organizations and communities from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. Through speaker presentations and small group discussions the Atlantic Idea Camp participants will learn how to apply different open smart city approaches to their local contexts, and discuss the types of information, research, or partners that would be useful to advancing this type of work in their own communities.

Leading minds from small communities in the region will be sharing their experiences and learnings over the course of the day, with speakers such as Leon de Vreede, Sustainability Planner for the Town of Bridgewater, NS, Larry Shaw, the Chief Executive Officer of Ignite Fredericton and Knowledge Park Inc in Fredericton, NB, and Cassie Pittman, the Manager of Marketing, Communications and Economic Development at City of Mount Pearl, NL. Leaders from small communities outside of Atlantic Canada will also be sharing their experiences navigating the ‘smart’ landscape, including Mitch Thomson, the Executive Director of Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development, in Olds, AB, and Dan Mathieson, the Mayor of Stratford, ON.

“Small cities are innovative, entrepreneurial, and most importantly, resilient, all qualities that align with embracing technology and preparing for the future,” said Mayor of Mount Pearl, Dave Aker. “Collaboration and sharing of ideas and resources at events like this Idea Camp is how we all succeed in municipal innovation. We are proud to host this event and welcome participants from across the Atlantic Provinces to Mount Pearl.”

“As I think we’ll see through many of the Idea Camp discussions, being small can have significant advantages for adopting smart city approaches. Small communities allow for more conversation within the community and between government and residents, and often have a nimbleness to test and adopt new solutions that larger cities do not. The Canadian Urban Institute is excited to join these conversations and learn from community leaders from across Canada.”

“Small communities across Atlantic Canada have challenges that may align with some of the experiences and potential solutions presented by these Canadian case studies. By examining their processes in greater detail these communities may be inspired by the approaches undertaken by the case study cities – a huge benefit they will derive from this event”, said ICF Canada’s John G. Jung.

Idea Camps are part of a collection of knowledge-sharing events organized by the Community Solutions Network, a new platform for communities across the country to connect and build a national centre of excellence in open smart cities. A program of Future Cities Canada, the Network is led by Evergreen, with technical partner OpenNorth and partners across Canada, to bring knowledge, expertise, experience and guidance to municipal and community leaders to build internal capacity and navigate the open smart cities landscape. This is the fourth Idea Camp of a series of regional events that will unfold across the country this fall.

The Community Solutions Network supports communities of all sizes – big, mid-sized, Indigenous, small and northern – by connecting them to other communities across the country and with partners and cross-sector stakeholders. Through an advisory service and a series of event-based programs, such as Idea Camps, Collision Days, Roundtables and the 2019 Future Cities Canada Summit, the Network provides knowledge, lessons learned and best practices to build awareness about emerging open smart cities issues (e.g. data management, privacy and security) and experiences in Canada and around the world.

About the Community Solutions Network:

In the fall of 2018, the Government of Canada announced that Evergreen was selected to receive up to $4.6 million in funding over two years from the Smart Cities Community Support Program to implement the Community Solutions Network. The Network supports communities to advance their thinking on the use of smart cities approaches to help improve the lives of their residents. As the project lead, Evergreen is working with OpenNorth and other partners to provide valuable information, learning opportunities, advisory and capacity building services to Canadian communities. Key areas include smart technologies, data ownership, data management, privacy and security.

For details on the Community Solutions Network and other Future Cities Canada programs, please visit https://futurecitiescanada.ca/ and the Community Solutions Portal https://communitysolutionsnetwork.ca. For the latest information follow @FutureCitiesCA.

For media information, please contact:
Julie Lopez 
| Communications Outreach & Content Specialist | Evergreen | 613-898-0737


Future Cities Canada is a national cross-sector initiative with the mission to accelerate innovation to transform cities for the benefit of all. Drawing on the expertise of its founding organizations – The McConnell Foundation, TD Bank Group, Evergreen, Maison de l’innovation sociale and Community Foundations of Canada – and together with a diverse and growing network of partners, Future Cities Canada collectively strives to address the challenges facing cities and city-dwellers to reimagine cities that are equitable, regenerative and prosperous.

Evergreen is dedicated to making cities flourish. Since 1991, the national not-for-profit has been hard at work transforming spaces into great places so that communities can thrive. We believe that by connecting people, natural and built worlds, we can enable Canadians to do great things that will shape our cities for the better.

OpenNorth is Canada’s leading not-for-profit organization working to open up data, government, community engagement, and technologies. OpenNorth works with Canada’s most innovative and connected cities to create open smart cities. Through its interdisciplinary applied research, OpenNorth brings international practices to local communities, while connecting local communities, governments, and partners to international networks and communities of practice.

With funding provided by:

Logos for Infrastructure Canada and Canada.

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