Gary Sealey

NCC urbanism-lecture-series monthly starts September 20

 Education - Events  Comments Off on NCC urbanism-lecture-series monthly starts September 20
Sep 122016

The National Capital Commission (NCC) launched the third season of the Capital Urbanism Lab Lecture Series . The Capital Urbanism Lab is a unique forum where experts, leaders and the public share ideas about how to build an inspiring capital.

“This season’s lecture series builds on our efforts to foster dialogue and debate on the issues and trends that are shaping urbanism and design in our Capital. Our team has put together an impressive slate of speakers and topics that will, no doubt, spark lively conversations in person and online throughout the year,” said Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer of the National Capital Commission.

Lab events will run between September 2016 and June 2017. The lecture series will kick off with a visit to Ottawa by the Washington D.C.-based National Capital Planning Commission. Register now.  Summary of series:

Adaptive uses to make up Ottawa’s community centre shortfall?

 Bulletin Board, FCA to Members, Issue Forum, Issues - Place Making, Resources for CAs  Comments Off on Adaptive uses to make up Ottawa’s community centre shortfall?
Dec 152015

Compared to Edmonton, for instance, one of several smaller sized Canadian cities, Ottawa suffers a huge shortfall in community centres for building communities instead of sprawl, reducing loneliness, resulting in a city of strangers.  By taking over official buildings and running them with professional staff directly, Ottawa’s expensive practice cannot afford more. Current policy as was raised at the Manotick/Osgoode meeting, the City is pricing scarce space out of reach of volunteers giving their time to community service and development.

Can school downsizing help inside the Greenbelt, as Alex reminded the Overbrook General Meeting, City policy used to encourage repurposing of schools and other buildings declared surplus.  Can adapting Ottawa’s historic farm legacies outside the Greenbelt help villages and former towns — and new populations?  Could adapted community centres link occasionally through Webinar, Skype, for efficient issue-meetings?  Let’s help Ottawa revisit and rebuild its adaptive use policy — get on with facilitating effective centres of consultation across vastly separated communities. A coffee clatch?  Curious? see Edmonton Strategy: (look for sidebar at )



Donation to help FCA build

 Bulletin Board, FCA to Members  Comments Off on Donation to help FCA build
Dec 142015

Lorne Cutler report to General Membership December 10, 2015

In November, President Gary Sealey was approached by an anonymous friend of the FCA who wished to make a donation to the FCA.  The purpose of the grant to improve the administration and operation of the organization.  On December 2, I met with the individual who has made the donation, to seek further details as to the intent of the donation and to discuss as to how it might be used.  The donor has requested that their identity not be made public beyond Gary and myself.

The donation was for $1000 with a further $1000 to be contributed by this individual over each of the next two years subject the funds meeting their objectives.

The FCA has become very effective over the past few years, but  has only been able to focus on a few areas due to lack of volunteers and knowledge.  While we would like to focus on many additional areas we don’t have the resources.  The donor wants us to look at what would make a difference in what we normally do.  A number of areas were identified where the FCA could augment its existing capabilities if it had access to additional resources.  The purpose of the grant is to improve our capacity.  It is not to directly hire planners or other professionals to advance our cases.

The donor has provided $1,000 to date and is willing to provide an additional $2,000 over the following two years.  Ultimately, however, the FCA’s ability to respond and engage a wider community will be dependent on funding.   The grantor sees their money as seed money for the FCA to ultimately pursue other funding opportunities.

In the first year possible uses of the money were:

  • Improve administrative tasks particularly around the website – posting minutes; monitoring chat boards, community calendar
  • Special seminars for members that will help to improve member capacity
  • Examine other similar community umbrella organizations in Canada and the U.S. to see how they fund themselves and from where
  • Identify sources potential funding for the FCA
  • Development a business case in order to submit grant applications to potential granting bodies: ie: City of Ottawa, Trillium Foundation, Private Foundations, Private Companies, Community Foundation of Ottawa, etc.
  • Find and hire, if volunteers are not available, high school or university students who can assist in the above.

The use of the funds in the second and third year will depend on the success of use of the grant in this first year.  It is expected that the initial $1,000 would be used by April 30, 2016 and we would report back to the membership at our June 2016 AGM on how the money has been used.

[Lorne recommended that a small committee be struck to come up with firmer plans for the use of the money and to develop a schedule for proceeding.  His motion was approved.]

Lorne Cutler

Executive and Board to plan General Meeting and debrief last one

 Exec - Agenda, FCA to Members, Gen - Agenda  Comments Off on Executive and Board to plan General Meeting and debrief last one
Dec 142015

The last meeting of the Executive and Board in 2015 will be held Wednesday, December 16 at 7 p.m.  hosted by Agnes.  We’ll debrief from the FCA General Meeting and prepare the next FCA General Meeting scheduled for January 6 on getting FCA ready for 2017.  A couple of observers are welcome, but these meetings are often limited by space; please let us know so we can arrange a chair for you with the host!

Nov 032015

November 2 I attended several of 3-dozen events at the Jewish Community learning festival.  Thankfully I arrived in time for FCA’s Lorne Cutler‘s clear and useful presentation on Social Finance replete with his up-to-the-minute examples.  It’s a new field.  Get new resources for your community good work.  Contact Lorne for more info, or network with him at an FCA meeting.  We’re hearing sponsorships funds may be coming for year 2017; opportunities for leveraging.

At adjoining Jewish Community learning sessions I met two scholars with insights into revision history and theology of faith-based stories; a gay hi-tech early retiree releasing his new political expose-book, “Conservative Confidential”;  a prominent media CBC personality offering himself to the conference’s Human Library; a medically-trained Sex Clinician/psychologist; a military chaplain/Rabbi, and a community-collections archivist.  Oh, and I had a bag lunch while listening to a chorus — all for $20!  Energetic festivals are in place and growing their cultural, sport, family themes including the derby race at Manotick Mayfair at Kanata, the major days at Glebe, Hintonburg/Mechanicsville Westfest, and many others in Ottawa’s East, South and thriving in many outer suburbs.  Most days-long events started small, built on success, grew volunteers, brought out the general public, families, and fun show-offs and heritage buffs.

Sharing the theme:  — is your community planning or growing its own public fun learning festival — promoting community character and engagement? — check out or add to this how-to link: sml educational ca