We are an alliance of unions, congregations, environmental, education and frontline service organizations. We understand the incredible power of civic organizations when harnessed for the Common Good.  

Our member organizations are made up of pro-active, everyday people dedicated to working together to tackle some of the toughest issues in Greater Victoria.  

 


  • Upcoming events

    Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 09:00 AM
    Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue in Victoria, BC, Canada

    Building Power for the Common Good - October

    This workshop will delve into exploring a tried and tested framework for bringing about transformative change.

    "I sat in a room on a sunny spring Saturday with members and organizations from all walks of life. In many ways, we are so very different from each other and yet we discovered the ways in which we are united. We listened to each other respectfully and really connected in a deeply personal way. Tears and laughter abounded. Many of us spoke of our concern for future generations. I spoke of my desire for my nieces, nephews and young friends to feel heard and respected. When I think of the world they will grow up in, I feel fear and sadness. These tiny amazing people deserve a better world than this –  I want to be part of creating that for them."

    Courtney Baldwin of the UVic Graduate Students' Society attended our spring training

     

    Through exploring the traditions and values of our labour, faith, community, environmental and educational organizations, we'll learn how to create strong foundations to be able to hold government and corporate interests in Greater Victoria to account.

    We'll learn about the need to build relationships with diverse organizations in order to have the power to win. You will have the chance to practice some of the fundamental tools of relational organizing.

    We'll show you how these tools can help strengthen your organization and engage your members. We'll take you on the journey to understand how these tools will lead us to concrete, winnable action.

     

    FREE for member organizations. $50 for non-member organizations (fee can be deducted from your dues when you join).

    Childcare/ travel bursaries available - please enquire

    Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM
    TBC

    Discernment Day

    Discernment Day. The time we have been waiting for. Over that past two years, GVAT has been recruiting organizations, training over 300 people in community organizing and listened to the concerns of hundreds of people across the CRD.  As this listening season draws to a close, the time has come for us, as whole alliance, to come to a consensus about the issues we will work on.  This is going to be a monumental day. Make sure you are there to represent your organization as we spend a Saturday in discussion and relationship to build consensus on a scale never seen before in Victoria.

     

    Only member organizations will have the opportunity to vote at this event.

     

    Each organization is invited to send 3 – 10 people.

     

    Location TBC.


  • Latest from the blog

    Stuff is happening!

    TOGETHER WE CAN! "The French poet Victor Hugo once said “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” What better than an organization, inspired and led by all of us, that allows us to get out of our bubbles and get into relationship with each other and actually bring about concrete changes to our neighborhoods and our city in the process?" Courtney Baldwin of the UVic Graduate Students Society speaks at Together We Can In June the Baumann centre was packed with 120 people representing 25 different organizations. Together we celebrated how much we had grown in strength and power over the last year.  We laid the ground to move into action as we act as a force for the common good in Greater Victoria. We heard inspiring testimonies from representatives from the BCGEU, First Unitarian Church of Victoria, Catholic Diocese of Victoria, Young Parents Support Network, Greater Victoria Teachers Association, and the University of Victoria Graduate Students Society.     BCGEU Executive Vice President, Doug Kinna:  "Last week I walked the picket line for 8 hours through the night. When you walk a picket line you understand what solidarity means. I want others in the wider community to understand what these workers are going through. For them to see that fighting for economic justice is this is their fight too – but they won’t unless they have opportunities to come face to face with workers and hear about what working on a crushing wage means to them and their children."   ANSWER singing in honour of the celebration.   A THOUSAND CONVERSATIONS We launched GVAT's Listening Season! Each member organization is tasked to conduct listening campaigns inside their organizations. The purpose? To engage the members within our organizations in a discussion around what is important to them, as well as the pressures bearing down on them and their families.  To find out what our members are passionate about, and what they would be willing to invest time in. To stir up people’s imagination about why their organization matters to them and the role their organization can play in bringing about the changes they care about. If your organization would like support getting its listening campaign off the ground, please get in touch! Here is a link to the Listening pack, which was available on June 5th. See how it fits for you, and let us help you get started.   CONTINUING OUR LEARNING. In March, 2018, we held a civic academy on the theme of 'Destigmatizing the Opioid crisis'.  Our alliance is committed to continuing to educate ourselves on this crisis as we move into acting on the issues that exacerbate it. With that in mind, we toured  the new Westshore AIDS Vancouver Island Health Clinic and received naloxone training. The fantastic staff provided us gave us a warm welcome and great learning experience.  We will be working over the summer for our meeting with Minister for Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy which will be scheduled after our listening campaigns are complete. We want to tell her what we've we've been hearing and hear her reactions. If you would like to be part of the group that goes to meet her, let us know.    COMMUNITY INNOVATORS, CHANGE MAKERS and CREATIVES On July 16th 7- 9pm GVAT will be showcased as part of the "Community innovators, Changemakers and Creatives" live stream event hosted by Creatively United and Conversations for a One Planet Region. This uplifting event that will cover a wide range of topics from affordable housing, transportation and energy to food. For more info and to register click here   LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE Mark your calendars! Our next ‘Building Power for the Common Good' workshop takes place the evening of Friday Sep 21st and all day Saturday Sep 22nd.  Be sure to register your place if you want to attend. "I sat in a room on a sunny spring Saturday with members and organizations from all walks of life. In many ways, we are so very different from each other and yet we discovered the ways in which we are united. We listened to each other respectfully and really connected in a deeply personal way. Tears and laughter abounded. Many of us spoke of our concern for future generations. I spoke of my desire for my nieces, nephews and young friends to feel heard and respected. When I think of the world they will grow up in, I feel fear and sadness. These tiny amazing people deserve a better world than this –  I want to be part of creating that for them." (Courtney Baldwin)   And finally... Read a recent article that gives GVAT a big shout out (written by Trevor Hancock in the Times Colonist).
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    March news!

    We are delighted that in the first 3 months of 2018 we had seven new organizations join GVAT! We now have 18 member organizations. Check out our homepage to see who they are!  Learning together. As part of laying the groundwork for effective future action, GVAT hosted another "Building Power for the Common Good" workshop. 30 different people representing 20 different organizations came together to listen, learn, build relationships and practice some key organizing tools.  Thanks again to Camosun College for hosting us.  Our next one is April 6th. Sign up if you want to take part! Responding to our organizations We have been listening to our member groups and hearing that for many the opioid crisis is affecting them deeply and in different ways. On Monday, March 12th more than 80 people gathered together to reflect and educate ourselves on some of the dimensions of the opioid crisis.  This event was a big milestone for GVAT – for the first time GVAT member organizations came together to act in public. We began the event with a roll call to get a feel for which organizations were represented and display our power. We listened to a series of testimonies and enjoyed some relationship building time together.  Judy Darcy, Minister for Mental Health and Addictions, attended and pledged to work with GVAT in the near future as we move forward into action.       Coming up: Stay tuned for more information about our June 5th celebration featuring the theme “Celebrating Our Power”.  At this time a fantastic group of people, representing a diverse range of member organizations is coming together to help plan it. We are pretty sure it's going to be the best show in town - if you want to help put this one of a kind event on, please reach out!    
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