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'"Paula Carr is one of those rare individuals who can masterfully support complex initiatives achieving multiple goals simultaneously without losing focus. Her creative and very practical approaches move outside of standard operations in order to achieve above-standard outcomes. Paula is an inspiration to work with and her commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and community are the foundations on which she operates. Her long association with Collingwood Neighbourhood House has provided a unique training ground for understanding the needs and opportunities not only for direct service, and NGO governance but for effecting change at all levels.

If you are fortunate to get a chance to work with Paula, not only will you get you more than you expected, you will also likely notice your own capacities increasing."

Claire Gram,
Population Health Policy Consultant,
Vancouver Coastal Health

I have become known for building community through a collection of overarching practices. These include:

Active convening
Using personal invitations to encourage people to take part in community projects.

Grassroots co-creation
Defining goals and carrying out projects with people who normally don't work together. Promoting cooperation across differences of age, generations, incomes, class, perspectives, political leanings, sexual orientation, indigenous backgrounds, ethnicity, and abilities.

Multisector, multidisciplinary co-creation
Connecting people across different communities, government and public bodies, businesses and citizens, academics and citizens. Finding ways to encourage people to work together across different disciplines such as arts and culture, health, education, social services, economic development, and recreation.

Support for citizen-led initiatives
Helping individual citizens pursue community projects they initiated.

A focus on building relationships
Making special efforts to get to know the community and develop personal relationships with local citizens, particularly those who are community connectors.

Taking time
Taking the time needed to resolve differences, overcome conflicts, and achieve results that everyone can be proud of.

Flexible leadership
Encouraging a range of leadership styles to enhance community development from the grassroots up. Sometimes leading from the front, more often trying to lead from the side and from behind.

Uncompromising appreciation
Developing a culture of appreciation that includes a low tolerance for behaviours that undermine community and a sense of belonging.

Fostering a family feeling
Encouraging a culture that makes everyone feel at home, able to offer and receive support when needed.

Welcoming newcomers
Welcoming people who are new to the community, and finding ways of integrating them into community activities.

Creating a local hub
Building places for people to meet, learn, play, create and work together.

Weaving together learning and growing
Extending capacity by investing in coaching, mentoring and pathway planning.

Weaving together service development and community development
Connecting community development to more integrated services, and new facilities for expanded services.