E-newsletter (January 2023)

Our first edition of ‘Briefing Notes’ in 2023 covers the top stories from the month, sharing excerpts on the state of anti-racism strategies across Canada, the opening of a tiny home village in downtown Winnipeg, a new app that pairs British Columbians with caregivers, and more… Plus, registration opens for High Ground 2023! Register by February 19 to receive early bird rates.

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E-newsletter (December and Best of 2022)

Our eleventh edition of ‘Briefing Notes’ in 2022 recaps your top story picks from the past year including stories on BC’s first civilian-led mobile mental health crisis team, ending period poverty in Scotland, the legacy that Victoria’s only Black city councillor will leave and much more. Happy New Years!

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E-newsletter (November 2022)

Our tenth edition of ‘Briefing Notes’ in 2022 covers the top stories from the month, sharing excerpts on COP27 updates, adapting to a warming world, the Black Business Association of B.C.’s first retail store on Granville Island and more. Plus, we’re hiring a Conference Coordinator! Apply by December 9th.

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Job Posting: Events & Communications Coordinator


Position Type: Part-time (2 days per week in January / 3 days per week in February / 4 to 5 days per week in March, full-time at conference and related events / 2 days in first week of April) 

Job Region: B.C. – Vancouver & Lower Mainland 

Reporting to: Management Team 

Application Deadline: 5:00pm (PST) | December 1, 2023

Starting date: Beginning of January

Responsibilities: The Events and Communications Coordinator will be integral to organizing and delivering our annual Civic Governance Forum, to be held in-person in Vancouver, BC from Friday, March 22 to Saturday, March 23, 2024. Prior to the forum, a number of pre-conference gatherings will also be organized, including a “Solidarity Economy” event on Thursday, March 21. Reporting to the Management Team, the Events and Communication Coordinator will:

  • Support program development;
  • Liaise with speakers on conference information, registration, accommodation, and workshops;
  • Support organization of youth delegation;
  • Recruit volunteers and develop volunteer plan; 
  • Prepare plans for childcare and transportation. 
  • Prepare running script/event order;
  • Point person for AV and digital needs;
  • Oversee execution of event;
  • Facilitate outreach to potential participants;
  • Draft communications work plan;
  • Lead content creation for marketing, outreach, website, and social media; 
  • Facilitate participation of photographer and videographer;
  • Be present at all pre-Forum events and Forum events; and,
  • Draft final conference report; 
  • Perform other work-related tasks assigned from time to time.


The successful candidate will have most of the following qualities and experience:

  • Experience in event organizing; 
  • Experience in digital communications and/or marketing.
  • Excellent organizing and coordinating capacity;
  • Demonstrated ability to organize multiple tasks, set priorities, meet deadlines, work independently, and perform under the pressure of time constraints;
  • Ability to maintain a positive, responsive attitude, and work collaboratively with a remote team;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, diplomacy, and tact;
  • Comfort using digital tools including online conference platforms, event registration platforms, MailChimp, WordPress, social media, Microsoft Office, Adobe Professional and InDesign.

This is a contract position that can be remote, ideally in PST time zone. Must be available to attend all related events in-person. As a certified Living Wage employer, this role is paid $30.00/hr, which is above the new Living Wage for Metro Vancouver. The position may involve overtime.

Please submit a cover letter and resume by 5pm PST on December 1, 2023 by email to info@columbiainstitute.eco

We thank all applicants in advance; only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

About us

Our mission is to foster and support leadership for inclusive, equitable, and sustainable communities across Canada. We believe that communities who value social justice, the environment, and strong local economies are healthier and happier places to live. Our projects and initiatives focus on civic governance, scholarships, and research.

About our conference

Now in its nineteen edition, our hallmark conference inspires, informs, and connects progressive elected officials from B.C. and across Canada, alongside union leaders and civil society experts by bringing them together to learn about inspiring policies and practices, informed research, and transformative actions around issues of shared priority and interest. https://columbiainstitute.eco/event/high-ground-2023/ 

E-newsletter (September 2022)

Our eight edition of ‘Briefing Notes’ in 2022 covers the top stories from the month, sharing an announcement on High Ground 2023 and excerpts on new subsidies for childcare across BC, overdose education, and more…

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E-newsletter (Summer 2022)

Our seventh edition of ‘Briefing Notes’ in 2022 covers the top stories from the summer, sharing excerpts on affordable housing in Burnaby, Scotland’s end to period poverty, resources for local governments championing SAFE policies, and more…

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Speakers for Tuning in to October 15th: A Day-long Learning and Connecting Session

Carmela Allevato
(Founder, AQR Law)

Carmela has been a leader in BC’s labour movement for over thirty years. She has served as a member of the BC Labour Relations Board, a Vancouver School Board Trustee, and Vice-President of the BC Federation of Labour. She was the Secretary-Business Manager and lead negotiator for the Hospital Employees Union in the 1990s, during which time the union achieved groundbreaking advances in pay equity. She was also formerly in-house counsel to the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the BC Teachers’ Federation.

Sharmarke Dubow
(Councillor, Victoria)

Sharmarke Dubow cast his first vote in October 20, 2018, and at the same time was elected as a Victoria City Councilor. Sharmarke’s passion and commitment to diversity, inclusion, and building equitable, inclusive and compassionate communities and his work for marginalized communities earned recognition and respect as a community leader and a voice for bold and courageous policies. 

Nikki Hill
(Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group)

Nikki is a public engagement and campaign expert with over 20 years of experience in politics, strategic communications and government relations. Currently a Principal and Partner at Earnscliffe Strategy Group, Nikki’s previous roles include Director of Labour Participation at United Way of the Lower Mainland and Director of Organization for the BC NDP. Nikki is the volunteer Co-Chair of the United Way Period Promise campaign.

Amy Lubik
(Councillor, Port Moody)

Amy is a first-term City Councillor in Port Moody and is passionate about social and environmental justice. She chairs the Port Moody Environmental Protection Committee, is vice-Chair of the Climate Action Committee and the Seniors’ Focus Committee, and is a member of the Affordable Housing Task Force and Tri-Cities Food Security Working Group. As a climate activist, she volunteers as a member of the Climate Caucus. Amy received her Ph.D. in Prostate Cancer Research from Queensland University of Technology.

Kevin Millsip
(Strategic Advisor, Columbia Institute)

Kevin works as the Executive Director of the BC Libraries Cooperative where he is developing a project to support libraries engagement in helping tackle the climate crisis. He also works on a climate leadership program in Alberta. He co-founded Check Your Head and Next Up, has served as an elected Vancouver School Board (VSB) Trustee and subsequently worked for the VSB as their first Sustainability Coordinator. He serves on the boards of the BC Civil Liberties Association, the Wilderness Committee, and Upstream.net.

Nadine Nakagawa
(Councillor, New Westminster)

Nadine Nakagawa is a community organizer and local activist. Nadine has worked on issues relating to housing, public spaces, reconciliation, public engagement, and childcare and is the Chair of the Reconciliation, Social Inclusion and Engagement Task Force and Chair of the Environment and Climate Advisory Committee. Nadine is the Council Liaison for the Connaught Height and Queen’s Park Residents Associations.

Bob Penner
(CEO, Stratcom)

Bob Penner is the CEO and majority owner of Strategic Communications Inc. (Stratcom) and Stratcom UK, both of which he founded. Stratcom is an industry leader in campaign and advocacy campaigning, political polling, engagement and targeting strategies, and large scale donor-based fundraising.

Karen Ranalletta
(President, CUPE BC)

Karen is the President of CUPE BC and an officer of the BC Federation of Labour. Karen is President of CUPE 2950 (representing 1500+ clerical and library workers at the University of British Columbia) and the chair of the local’s Education Committee. She is also a member of the Contract Committee, a health and safety steward and delegate to the CUPE Metro and District Council.

Jennifer Reddy
(Trustee, Vancouver School Board)

Jennifer is working towards an inclusive community where people are engaged as valuable and deserving individuals, who can use their agency to lead the changes they wish to see. Jennifer holds a Masters in Social Policy and Development, a Bachelors in Development Studies, and a Certificate in Curriculum Development and Instructional Design. From SFU, EdMeCo, and the VSB to Kuru Kuru Training Centre in Guyana, Jennifer has been inspired by global leadership in education and social change.

Sussanne Skidmore
(Chair, Columbia Institute; Secretary Treasurer, BC Federation of Labour)

Sussanne chairs the Columbia Institute’s board of directors and is a well-known social justice advocate and queer-and-human-rights activist. She was elected as the BC Federation of Labour’s Secretary-Treasurer in 2018 and has been a member of the BC Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU) since 1997, serving in nearly every elected position—from steward to executive vice president. She is also the Treasurer of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) and Vice President of the BC NDP. She represents a generation of labour leaders working to grow the labour movement to meet today’s most pressing challenges.

Jonny Sopotiuk
(Union Cooperative Initiative)

Jonny is a visual artist, curator, and labour union organizer in Vancouver, BC. His interdisciplinary visual arts studio based practice explores compulsion, power, and labour through sculpture, installation, drawing, and collage. He is a founding member of the Vancouver Artists Labour Union Cooperative (VALU CO-OP), a unionized workers cooperative with a mission to transform labour practices and challenge precarity within the arts and cultural sector for more equitable, community-oriented, and supportive work environments that meet artists’ needs.

Robin Tosczak
(Second Vice President, BCTF)

Robin Tosczak is the Second Vice-President of the BC Teachers’ Federation, representing all of BC’s 49,000 public school teachers. She is one of the Federation’s lead negotiators in the current round of collective bargaining. She has been a member of the BCTF’s provincial Executive Committee since 2016. Robin is on leave from the Greater Victoria School District, where she is a primary classroom and early literacy teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education from the University of Victoria.

E-newsletter (June 2022)

Our sixth edition of our 2022 ‘Briefing Notes’ shares excerpts on our first in-person event in over two years, major changes to Canada’s drug policy, trauma-informed policing, affordable housing, and more…

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E-newsletter (May 2022)

Our fifth edition of our 2022 ‘Briefing Notes’ shares excerpts on the Climate Leaders Institute, community action on mental health response, climate commitments, rental home-stays, and more…

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