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February News 2023

Updated: Feb 18, 2023


In a month known for love and connection, the Building Capacity Project wants to share some of the wonderful connections we’ve been making in our community.

Read on for good news!

We’re one month away from celebrating three years since the public launch of the Building Capacity Project. So, we’ve been reflecting on the growth and evolution of this asset-based community development work happening in both Vancouver and Thunder Bay, and expressing gratitude to our community partners, action group members, research teams, and allies across the country.

Stay tuned: party plans are in the works!



With this anniversary in mind, the Vancouver team’s been conducting evaluation interviews with all its local community partners. These conversations organized by our Community Research Coordinator aim to help us:

One such partner, Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, has decided to make The Flipping Stigma Toolkit a key part of their volunteer training going forward, for example. This online stigma-busting tool developed by an action group of people living with dementia features audio clips of people telling their own stories, sharing instances where they’ve been discriminated against on account of their condition.

The opportunity gives all staff across the board at the neighbourhood house a chance to explore the site and gain context and increased awareness around interacting with people with dementia. It sets a fantastic precedent for other groups, associations, and communities to take similar initiative. It also helps staff become better equipped at supporting families dealing with a dementia diagnosis, or even simply in detecting when someone might be dealing with dementia, and knowing how to respond. Incorporating this cross-the-board training for all volunteers, and all staff regardless of their area of expertise is an important step towards making KNH a more dementia friendly organization, and it's a move towards making their wider community more inclusive.



Vancouver’s BCP team just finished recording another episode of Dementia Dialogue hosted by Lisa Loiselle. This upcoming episode features BC-based action group member Lynn Jackson alongside Community Research Coordinator Dr. Andréa Monteiro and academic project co-lead Dr. Alison Phinney discussing challenges recruiting people with dementia both as participants in community programs, and as program leaders and advocates.

Listen in to find out what some of those barriers are and how the project plans to overcome them.



Back in March, 2021, we launched Soundbytes, an awareness building campaign featuring illustrated quotes from people with lived experience, care givers, and researchers. And this month, we've added REELS to our social media campaign!


Follow us @westsideseniorshub

- New community event listings every Tuesday

- a new reel every Wednesday

- and a new storyboard every Thursday

*Soundbytes are available in hard copy postcard format as well for distribution at community events.

Get in touch to learn more.



Lakehead University’s Taking Control of Our Lives self management program is back this spring after several successful seasons hosted by the Alzheimer Society.

This time around it will be hosted by Dr. Elaine Wiersma, academic co-lead for The Building Capacity Project and Associate Professor in Lakehead University’s Health Sciences Department. She’ll be joined by co-host Carlina Marchese, the project’s Thunder Bay-based Knowledge Broker.


Lakehead’s Building Capacity team heads outside:

Outdoor spaces and opportunities were identified as a key priority by the North West Dementia Working Group this winter so the team is looking into ways to activate programming that honours that goal. Ideas include walking groups and gardening clubs, where people can gather and share in some fresh air and social connection.

Stay tuned for news and updates on these exciting activity seeds being planted!



Dr. Wiersma and members of the North West Dementia Working Group have been invited to speak in Conmee, Ontario at the end of March. They’re excited about the road trip and a chance to connect, and exchange ideas and insights on dementia farther from home.


Tune in next month to hear about our exciting project wrap up plans,

and where our work will go from here!

Learn More about the Building Capacity Project

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