MVA Leaders Retreat: Our Evaluation Moment

On September 8th, MVA Leaders gathered for a retreat to evaluate the past work and explore our collective vision for the future. 

We identified our values and reminded ourselves of our relational, learning and action-oriented focus as we work together as civil society organizations for the common good. 

Our key strengths are building relationships across sectors, holding large public actions and campaigning on important issues. We tend to focus on political action, and have a lot of action coming up this fall as we continue to follow up on our provincial accountability assembly and meeting with candidates for the municipal election.  Our next action is meeting with Minister Carole James on the provincial budget on October 11th.


While political action is important, we would like to strengthen our action teams by engaging in deeper listening insider our member organizations, and building understanding and relationships between us.

We reached consensus to plan next year around 3 key areas:

1. Building deeper connections within organizations

MVA Leaders identified internal organizing and relationship building as both a strength and weakness of our current structure. Leaders have a desire for more opportunities to relate with each other within organizations and between organizations.  We proposed 3 ways to work on this into 2019 - host a table talk discussion for your members, build a core team, and attend the faith, labour or community caucus meeting.

Building a Core Team

A core team is a collective of leaders within an organization that have been through the IAF leadership training and are implementing the practices by connecting with your members, identifying leaders and strengthening the culture of your organization.  We will be having quarterly trainings for core team members throughout 2019.

Would you like to join this cohort starting in January? email to be put on the mailing list.

Host an MVA Table Talk discussion!

Our housing, transit, social inclusion, economic justice and community healthcare teams research action teams are hard at work but in order to understand the impacts of these issues, we need to hear from your members! Research action teams will be connecting back to member organizations to ensure our community experience is reflected in policy development.  Our affordable housing team is ready to come to your organization now. Host a meeting with one of our research action teams is a great way of engaging your members on their interests!

Labour Caucus:  Nov 8th

After an energizing first meeting, Stephen von Sychowski, President of VDLC and Kari Michaels, Executive Vice-President BCGEU are chairing the next Labour Caucus meeting on November 8th at 6pm at VDLC. We will be sharing best practices for connecting with our members. Please RSVP

Faith Caucus : Early 2019

We will be convening the first MVA Faith Caucus in early 2019. Would you like to attend or be part of the planning team?

Community Caucus : Early 2019

  • If you would like to help plan the caucus of community organizations , please email

2. Financial Sustainability

Hundreds of volunteers have been involved in MVA this year from our 50+ member organizations but we have only 1 paid staff member.  This is not a sustainable situation, so the next few months are dedicated to organizing funding to hire a second organizer and admin support.  This means upping our budget to invest in our work to act meaningfully for the common good in Vancouver.

We are evaluating the financial future of MVA and how we can work together towards a healthy budget in 2019 and beyond. We have been saying we need a second organizer for over 5 years and this is the year we will put serious steps in place raise the money for it.  A fundraising campaign will launch before the end of the year. 

If you want to build your fundraising skills, we've got lots of workshops planned to share knowledge between our members on how to raise money for organizations and projects. Here's what we have coming up:

How to Raise Money for Anything with fundraising expert Bob Connolly
Friday November 30, 2018 - RSVP

Congregational Finances with expert Bob Connolly
Friday November 30, 2018 - RSVP

3. Expanding diversity of organizations

Mapping our membership and expanding our membership to truly reflect all people who make up our communities is a key priority for 2018.  Although our organizations have diverse memberships, it tends to be the same people who regularly attend MVA events. We collectively voiced that we need to prioritize welcoming new people from different perspectives into our work and decision making and will be making a plan at our coming meetings to think about how to do this in each of our actions in the coming year.


Deepening the work we've started on decolonizing our training curriculum, building relationships with indigenous advisors and welcoming change to the way we've always done things.  We are in a process of evaluating how we teach and practice organizing on Coast Salish Territory alongside our sister organization Greater Victoria Acting Together who is undergoing a similar transformation.  Many of our members are reading the TRC 94 Calls to Action and are implementing the recommendations in their congregations, unions, community groups and neighbourhoods. If you would like to be involved in taking this project further, please email to be put in touch with the team lead. 

Thank you to BCGEU for hosting us at this retreat and to all the MVA leaders and organizations that contributed their energy into creating our strategic plan.

Retreat follow-up: November 24, 2018

We will be mapping our our 2019 plans as they relate to these 3 priorities on November 24, 2018 at PSAC. This meeting is available to all members of MVA member organizations.  RSVP

If you are interested in joining MVA and would like to attend as an observer, please email

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