The Manitoba Gathering of Community Builders

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Friday, October 25, 2019 

We are shifting the intention and structure of the Gathering. 

For 18 years, Manitoba community builders have gathered every October to connect over a shared meal, to learn from one another’s work, and to celebrate the challenging but necessary practice of building stronger communities. 

It has been a privilege to host this container, and to hold the stories and history of our community sector. Thank you to every single person who has participated, volunteered, coordinated, presented, worked, sponsored, provided feedback or contributed energy to this event. It continues to exist because of you. 

We know, as a network, that we have a responsibility to grow with, and adapt alongside, our members. With that in mind, we’ve been asking ourselves: does the Gathering, in its current form, still respond to the most pressing issues facing our sector? Does our learning model address the skills and practices most relevant to our work? 

We’ve also been listening. In community work, we are called to collaborate: with our colleagues, stakeholders, funders, community members, or across movements. We hear how challenging it can be to work together in collaborative arrangements or across issues, even though most people believe that solidarity and joint action would benefit us, particularly in the current political environment. 

As we consider how to work more deeply, we realize The Gathering is one logical thing we can offer to this challenge. For this reason, we are embarking on a new vision for The 2019 Gathering: an entire day focussed on building skills around collaboration across issues to explore how various movements could work together better. 

It will be an experiment and a risk, as all worthwhile work requires. Above all, we are excited to explore something new together, in hopes of weaving our movements towards stronger collective power. 


What Does This Mean? 

The Gathering will take place at St. John’s High School on Friday, October 25, 2019. 

Workshops in the morning will engage key capacities for collaboration, including (but not limited to): facilitation, power analysis & anti-oppression, conflict resolution, collective visioning etc.

In the afternoon, folks will self-select into open space sessions within a set of streams to explore how various movements could work together better. 

Each stream will be designed with sector leaders and supported by an experienced facilitator.

What Will It Look Like?


 8:00-8:45am Registration and Networking with Coffee and Refreshments

 8:45-10:00am Opening Plenary: The Future is Collaborative 

 10:00-10:30am  Networking Break/Rest

 10:30-12:00pm Morning Workshops: Collaboration Focus 

 12:00-1:30pm  Lunch catered by local social enterprises

 1:30-3:00pm Afternoon Movement Weaving 

 3:00-3:30pm Networking Break/Rest

 3:30-4:30pm  Closing Plenary: Enough for All, Forever

What Can I Do?

This experiment in emergence can’t work without your help. Collaboration happens together, not alone.

With that in mind, we are still in need of: 

  • Sector leaders who are willing to assist in co-designing sector streams, in conjunction with an experienced facilitator. This will likely include 2-3 meetings plus work in between to prepare sessions, in addition to attending the event. Please reach out to to get involved. 
  • Sector groups have been formed in response to the policy resolution areas from our 2019 Public Policy Road Map. They are:
    • Ending Poverty 
    • Local & Fair Economies 
    • Tackling Climate Change 
    • Sustainable Community Led Development 
    • Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access 
  • We are looking for 10-12 workshops in the morning focussed on collaborative practices and competencies. 
  • Potential topics include: conflict resolution in movement, anti-oppression and power analysis, specific facilitation skills (large groups, mediation), case studies, group visioning and values etc…
  • If you have a workshop session in mind, please email, subject line “Gathering 2019: Workshop Proposal” with your session proposal. This email should include: session title, 100 word description, names & affiliations of all presenters, and why this session is important for our focus on collaboration. 
  • We will need volunteers to help with various tasks during the event. If you’d like to be involved, please email
  • If you believe in the importance of this initiative, please consider donating and/or becoming a sponsor of The Gathering. To learn more about sponsorshop opportunities, please email

2018 Gathering Highlights

Previous Gatherings:

201820172016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

For more information on this year's Gathering, how to sponsor or get involved, contact gathering at

The Gathering is an annual pay-what-you-can event where Manitoba’s community builders connect, learn, and celebrate success. It is open to all from staff of community organizations, to civil servants, funders, students, academics, or anyone interested in community development and community economic development.