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Civic Impact

CivicAction's Better City Bootcamp whips Toronto into shape

“We’re looking for a day where the big issues that matter and the big thinkers that care come together for the sake of our city and region.” Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction, doesn’t dream small. This year, the CivicAction summit, happening April 28, is called The Better City Bootcamp, and its goal is to get the Toronto region into shape.

The day will open with remarks from local political heavyweights like Toronto mayor John Tory and the Premiere of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne. In the afternoon, panel discussions will dig deep on the five areas that CivicAction has identified as being key issues for the region: affordable housing, especially for seniors; mental health in the workplace; early childhood health (what the summit calls “the first 1000 days”); infrastructure that can handle increasingly unpredictable weather and urbanization; and how public spaces affect public health.

The summit, which is held every four years, is also an opportunity for leaders like the recent winners of the ELN Showcase event to network and promote their own community-minded ideas. “The showcase’s top two groups will be profiled at the summit’s Civic Marketplace, and be given some great civic profile.” In addition to the event’s on-site programming, there will be two satellite locations, in Rexdale and Scarborough, as well as a live feed of the event online. Both are offered for the first time in 2015.

Ultimately, the event is about forward momentum for the Toronto region. Palvetzian stresses the summit’s importance when it comes to making change in the city. “We want this event to not only spur a great day of conversation, but to spur action. We’re civic action, not civic chit chat.” The goal, Palvetzian says, is “a great compilations of ideas that will have been crowd-sourced throughout the day.” CivicAction uses these summits to get forward momentum on the issues they want to tackle. “This event is the gas in CivicAction’s tank for the next four years,” Palvetzian says.

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