Breaking down barriers at the Community Jam

April 28, 2017 – Community Foundations of Canada, Simon Fraser University and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation have joined forces to bring educational institutions, philanthropic foundations and community organizations together to explore new ways of working in an era of significant social, environmental and economic challenges.

These groups will come together at the Community Jam, a two-day learning exchange taking place in Surrey, B.C. on May 1-2 in advance of C2UExpo’s bi-annual conference, hosted this year by Simon Fraser University.

Against the backdrop of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation and recognizing the 10,000 years of Indigenous tradition before Confederation, the Jam’s interactive program is designed to encourage collaboration and innovation around building smart and caring communities for our country’s future. The theme for the Community Jam was inspired by His Excellency’s the Right Honourable David Johnston’s call to action to build a smart and caring nation by 2017.

Community Foundations of Canada, Simon Fraser University and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, together with Vancity Credit Union and the City of Surrey, are just one of the 20 community-campus delegations attending the Jam. Delegations will be joined by ‘free radicals’ – individuals working to strengthen their communities – for a total of more than 200 participants from across Canada and internationally.

Delegations attending the Community Jam include:

  • Vancouver Island, B.C. – Vancouver Island University, Vancity, the Vancity Community Foundation and the Moose Hide Campaign, working together to stand up against violence towards women and children;
  • British Columbia – Disability Alliance BC, PLAN and Plan Institute, British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, University of Victoria and the Vancouver Foundation, working to realize the government’s 2024 accessibility commitment to build and maintain B.C.’s position with the highest per capita update of RDSPs in Canada;
  • Toronto, ON – University of Toronto’s Hart House and Native Child and Family Services, using recreation and physical activity to engage youth in programs and dialogue within post-secondary spaces;
  • Surrey, B.C. – Sheldon Tetreault Consulting, Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association, Nova Metis Heritage Association, Cwenengitel Aboriginal Society, Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society and the City of Surrey, working to make Surrey a city that values Indigenous contributions to city life;
  • National – Coady International Institute, Path Family Foundation, YELL Canada, and Bryne Creek Secondary School, working together on the OceanPath Fellowship program that provides community-focused experiential learning opportunities for graduating students to become active and effective change-makers.

The Community Jam will take place May 1-2 throughout the city of Surrey, with collaborative working sessions at SFU’s Surrey campus and a series of six in-community site visits that are designed to provide diverse and contrasting perspectives on community issues.

For more information, visit

Media Contact

Shauna Sylvester
Director, SFU Centre for Dialogue
Simon Fraser University

Melody MacLean
Manager, Public Engagement
Community Foundations of Canada

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