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Laurier Hub to celebrate and inspire at inaugural summit

Local NewsLaurier Hub to celebrate and inspire at inaugural summit

The Laurier Hub for Community Solutions will be hosting the inaugural Summit for Creative Community Solutions event on Thursday, May 16, 2024.

In partnership with the City of Brantford, Laurier’s Sustainability Office, Belonging Brant, the Chamber of Commerce Brantford-Brant and Enterprise Brant, the six-hour long summit will highlight a variety of innovative projects in the City of Brantford and surrounding area.

Laurier is now inviting both its students and the community members to submit ideas, projects or stories that revolve around the event’s three themes of innovation, sustainability and inclusion.

The goal of the event is to celebrate creative community solutions, inspire change, create an opportunity for learning, network and share knowledge all while sparking innovation and honouring community leaders and changemakers.  

“My whole vision behind it is to really showcase all the creative and amazing work that has been happening in Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations of the Grand River,” said Christina Han, Director of the Laurier Hub for Community Solutions. “We have a lot of people doing amazing work and I wanted to really showcase their ideas and really inspire people to create more changes.”

Han said that guests can expect plenty of activities throughout the summit, including the opportunity to listen to four keynote speakers throughout the free public event.

“I’ve invited Ellie Joseph and Jay Bailey, founders of Two Row on the Grand, for their talk is titled ‘Creating community along the Grand River,’” she said. “In the middle, Christian Clauwers, photographer and EU Climate Pact Ambassador, will give his ‘Using image to bridge the gap between science, education and policy’ talk. And finally, Robert McLeman, professor for the department of geography and environmental studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, will close with his talk, ‘What you and I can do to create sustainability in a rapidly changing world.’

Over 40 people were in attendance for the launch of the Laurier Hub for Community Solutions (LCHS) on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.

She also noted that the day will include presentations and interactive workshops that feature community leaders, academics, creators and entrepreneurs.

“As well, we will have a panel discussion and I have invited some amazing speakers to talk about creative solutions to community challenges in various areas like culture, society, history or economy, and they will be there sharing their expert opinions and experiences,” she said. “There will also be performers and artists to showcase their works too because we have artists who are actively using art to address community challenges. And of course, we will have those whose submissions were chosen, to share as well.”

Attendees will also enjoy free breakfast and lunch, as well as live music from James Wilson from Six Nations of the Grand River, and a performance snippet of Grandview Theatre and the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity’s presentation of “A Grand Spring.”

Han said that she has high hopes for the event and is looking forward to being able to carry the event on for years to come.

“I really hope we can have an annual event that is kind of like a festival, you know?” she said. “It’s not going to be very academic and it’s not a conference either. I’m really just picturing a celebration of building community and creativity so that we can get a lot of new ideas and be inspired to go out to do amazing work that will make our community an even better place.”

For those interested in submitting their own creative community solution, the application deadline is Thursday, April 25, 2024. The form can be found  by visiting https://wlu.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_etUBMJoTUCnLJwG 

The summit will take place at Laurier Brantford’s Research and Academic Centre, and will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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