top of page

Newsletter 2020

Updated: Oct 12, 2022



Not long after our 2019 newsletter came out, the world swirled into a pandemic, and we had to quickly shift the way we worked together.

Despite restrictions, lock down, and a world of worry, we maintained good momentum thanks in huge part to the tireless energy and commitment of our community. But this newsletter fell silent as we focused on keeping community members connected and engaged. Now that the world has opened up again to a larger extent, we want to catch you up on what we got done since our last update.

Here’s what happened in “the gap.”


February, 2020

The Building Capacity Project hosted its official launch event, bringing members of Thunder Bay’s Northwest Dementia Working Group to Vancouver for a two-day conference.

DAY ONE: Westside Seniors Hub members toured their Thunder Bay guests around Vancouver, introducing them to Hub Partners like Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, Dunbar Residents Association, and Brock House who hosted a fantastic lunch for all. Angus McIntyre of the Dunbar Residents Association conducted an historical tour of the Jericho Lands that afternoon too.

DAY TWO: featured inspired keynote addresses from Vancouver-based dementia advocate Myrna Norman, and Marigrace Becker of Seattle’s Momentia Project. An audience of seventy gathered to listen at UBC’s Cecil Green House, later interacting with presentation panelists like Building Capacity Project’s two Primary Investigators Dr. Elaine Wiersma and Dr. Alison Phinney, and program leaders from Burnaby, the Sunshine Coast and Seattle.


Spring 2020

Spring marked the release of the Building Capacity Project’s Implementation Seed Fund, which allocated $2500 to each participating Westside Seniors Hub organization under an initiative branded as Dementia Ventures. Five organizations received funds this round including Dunbar Residents Association, ASK Friendship Society, South Granville Seniors Centre, and Kitsilano Neighbourhood House.

The Building Capacity Project pivoted online, organizing a series of Zoom-based webinars focused on programming in a pandemic. Thunder Bay’s Urban Abbey leader Elaine Wiersma kicked off the series discussing how their Dementia Café continued to operate in a virtual environment. Other topics included: getting outside safely, stigma and best practices for interacting with people with dementia, adapting creatively and running arts programs for people with dementia, and understanding and working through the challenges of lock down.


Fall 2020/Winter 2021

We produced a second series called Community Conversations tackling the various phases of moving ideas into action. Topics included: engaging people with lived experience, program planning, implementation, and evaluation.


Learn More about the Building Capacity Project

26 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page