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October 25, 2019

Resilience in the Open Smart City: Community Solutions Network hosts Idea Camp in British-Columbia

Community leaders to explore how digitization and information technology can achieve broader resiliency goals.

(OTTAWA, ON – October 28, 2019) – The Community Solutions Network, a program of Future Cities Canada, is bringing together municipal staff, Indigenous leaders and government and industry experts from Western Canada to participate in the Regional Idea Camp: Resilience in the Open Smart City, in Victoria, BC. Led by Evergreen in partnership with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability – the Idea Camp is part of the 2019 Liveable Cities Forum: Building Better Communities Through Resilience.

“Residents must be at the centre of smart city decisions if we are to increase community capacity to respond and adapt to disruptions (environment-related or economic),” said Carly Livingstone, Senior Program Manager, Community Solutions Network at Evergreen. “The Idea Camp combines expert training, peer-to-peer learning and local case studies for participants to access the tools and practical concepts for communities of all sizes to advance their work. This Idea Camp offers a unique opportunity to learn from others championing innovation across British-Columbia and Alberta.”

Participants include municipal staff, community leaders and senior staff of organizations and communities from British-Columbia and Alberta, including Colwood, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, the Municipality of North Cowichan, the District of North Saanich, the District of Oak Bay, the District of Squamish, Surrey, the District of Ucluelet, Vernon, Victoria, and the District of 100 Mile House. Through speaker presentations, small group discussions and workshops, the Western Canada Regional 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 communities across the region.

Leading minds in communities from the region and beyond, Sasha Sud, Director of Smart Cities from MaRS Discovery District, Lisa Helps, the Mayor of Victoria, Erin Desautels, Sustainability Planner for the City of Surrey and Ewa Jackson, the Managing Director of ICLEI Canada, among others, will be sharing their experiences and learnings over the course of the day.

“We are so excited to be hosting the Western Canada Idea Camp as part of the 2019 Livable Cities Forum: Building Better Communities through Resilience,” said Ewa Jackson, the Managing Director of ICLEI Canada. “Cities are actively working on resilience – from vulnerability and risk assessments to creating resilience strategies to implement resilience interventions. By having the Idea Camp as part of our broader resilience forum, we have the opportunity to start to work collaboratively to look at resilience challenges from fresh angles to help deliver future-ready solutions.”

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 fifth Idea Camp of a series of regional events that are unfolding 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 and the Community Solutions Portal 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.