On May 1st, 2018, 50 people gathered at Christ Church Cathedral in the heart of Vancouver, BC, to be part of a conversation about what matters most to them.
The Vancouver event was part of a national initiative: the Canadian Values Conversations, which aims to “create a national awareness and an understanding about values to foster a sense of shared purpose that spur change in neighbourhoods, communities, cities and regions across Canada toward a future that we want for us and for our children and grandchildren.”
Beneath the beautiful cedar beams of one of Vancouver’s oldest surviving buildings, participants were invited to take their place in a large circle for a few moments of silent reflection. After introductions from the core organizing team, including an introduction to the space and overview of intention and process, the larger group dispersed to the 10 values stations that had been set up around the cathedral.
Each value station corresponded to one of the 10 Future Values as chosen by Canadians in the national survey. At each station an experienced facilitator guided lively and interesting conversations about values ranging from affordable housing to future generations.
The breadth and depth of input from participants was astounding, and the feedback received at the end of the evening suggested these types of discussion are much needed in today’s Canada.
“This evening felt like the beginning of a conversation that would ripple out from this incredible space. As we sat in a closing circle people suggested that the evening provided an opening for conversations that would continue in dining rooms, restaurants and coffee shops. We hope the insights, care and compassion continue to ripple!” ~ Charles Holmes, Co-Host of the CVC, Vancouver event
“I was moved as we talked about what our personal values mean to us, especially as we don’t do it very often. To this day I still believe it’s one of the fastest ways to connect with another person. The evening was a powerful and intriguing mix of Canadians’ unique perspectives and also what we have in common.” ~ Danae Johnson, Co-Host of the CVC, Vancouver event
Feedback from participants after the event:
“It highlighted for me the importance of such dialogue in the various circles we each move in. When done in a safe space, like that one was, it can really help us understand other people’s perspectives and how much they care about the same things even if they show it differently.”
“I want to acknowledge the work you put into this and the passion you demonstrated. It was wonderful being a part of the conversation and meeting some great people.”
“Congratulations on a most excellent event! I think we need to do more of this. Our democracy could use this kind of medicine.”
Stay tuned for more updates on the National Values Survey and outcomes! This conversation is just starting to blossom!