Building Resilient Neighbourhoods

The Project

Building Resilient Neighbourhoods (BRN) is a collaborative effort to help create more resilient communities and neighbourhoods in British Columbia, Canada. It is currently delivered and hosted by the non-profit Building Resilient Neighbourhoods Society.

What is building community resilience about?

Social, environmental and economic issues are challenging human and community well-being. Meeting our basic needs closer to home through expanding local, co-operative and self-reliant communities is a key strategy to help us reduce our impact on the environment, while enhancing community prosperity and strengthening social ties and community cohesion. Learn more about resilient neighbourhoods.


What is “resiliency”?

Resilience is all about strengthening our community’s ability to respond and adapt to big changes and deep challenges. It’s about all of us working together to build a stronger, more connected neighbourhood where everyone’s basic needs are met and everyone belongs.

Why is it important?

As we face complex challenges—ranging from climate change and resource depletion to growing financial disparities and declining public health—we can address these by building greater social connectedness, connection to place, and sense of community many of us yearn for.

Why neighbourhoods?

By focusing on what we can actually do and control in our own neighbourhoods, resilient communities create new ways to support each other as neighbours, live in harmony with our natural environments, and strengthen our local economies. We start where we are, creating a ripple effect.

BRN Steering Team

Stacy Barter is a Learning and Community Engagement Specialist, and is involved as a facilitator of the Building Resilient Neighbourhoods Project. For over 20 years, Stacy has worked in sustainable community development with a wide range of communities, non-profit organizations, and public sector agencies in Canada and Latin America. Her recent work focuses on building neighbourhood-based engagement, public engagement on climate change and health, community resilience, and collective impact across sectors. Stacy holds a M. Ed. from Simon Fraser University, specializing in Adult Education, community development, and organizational learning.

Michelle Colussi has focused primarily on community and organizational development over the last 30 years of her practice. She brings strong social justice values and a belief in the power of communities and non-profits to get organized and affect positive change. Her training, coaching and facilitation skills have supported non-profit planning, social enterprise development and community engagement activities including various multi-stakeholder initiatives. She was a team-lead in the development of the Community Resilience Manual that has been adapted around the world, and has trained facilitators for its use in the Government of Botswana’s poverty reduction strategy. Michelle was Canada’s first Transition Town trainer and a co-founder of Transition Victoria. She is currently one of several collective impact trainers working with Innoweave and BC Healthy Communities in BC.

Rob Wipond has been a professional freelance writer and community issues journalist for over 20 years. He has in recent years been working in a volunteer capacity with the Building Resilient Neighbourhoods project, and also helped found the Legacy Housing Land Trust Society and the Vancouver Island Community Investment Cooperative. He co-founded Inner Compass Initiative/The Withdrawal Project and was the website’s founding senior researcher and editor.

Our Funders & Partners

Building Resilient Neighbourhoods is currently delivered and hosted by the Building Resilient Neighbourhoods non-profit society. The project was originally developed as a partnership between the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria and Transition Victoria with the collaboration of the Canadian Centre for Community RenewalBC Healthy Communities, and the Fraser Basin Council’s Smart Planning for Communities program. A current partner is SHIFT Collaborative, and other past partners include Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation. To date, the project has also been generously supported by the Victoria FoundationVancouver FoundationCity of Victoria, the District of SaanichDockside GreenPlan H. and Community Fund for Canada’s 150th.