Extensive project experience

We support diverse clients (from community groups to government agencies) to identify, discuss and seize opportunities, drive real change, and achieve lasting results.
No project is too big or too small, no setting or dynamic is too challenging.
Working closely with internal teams is often a starting point, usually paralleled by thoughtful engagement of interest groups, relevant networks, and the public. For example, the Winnipeg Public Library System's strategic plan tackled a complex web of challenges using a dynamic process that drew in thousands of community members. The result was a focused, positive, ambitious, and well-supported plan for the future.
Image credit - Drawing For Change.


Three more examples (from 175+ successful projects) demonstrate the range of our experience:

1. Our leadership of the City of Surrey’s Parks, Recreation & Culture planning process helped it win Gold in the Excellence in Policy Planning – City & Urban Areas category of the Planning Institute of British Columbia’s awards. This project also won the IAP2 Canada Core Values Award in the Respect for Diversity, Inclusion & Culture category.
https://www.surrey.ca/parks-recreation/parks-recreation-culture-plans

2. The science-based & engagement-driven Sunshine Coast Biodiversity Forum was another success. This three-day 90-person event & its detailed strategy (six linked goals) attracted federal & provincial funding support while aligning the actions of community groups, developers & other interest groups.
https://www.loonfoundation.org/sunshine-coast-biodiversity-strategy

3. For the City of Vancouver’s VanPlay 25-year Parks & Recreation Strategy, we designed & led citizen engagement. Keeping a strong focus on inclusion & equity helped land an American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) award.   https://www.asla.org/2021awards/2329.htm

Please see below for additional select project experience…

Academic Health Council (BC)

– Summit on Indigenous Health Staff Education, Placement & Retention
– Symposium on Practice Based Education

Climate Action Secretariat (BC)

– Multi Ministry Net Zero Operations Strategy
– Stakeholder Mapping Method and Strategy

Civic Synergy USA (non-profit)

– Red & Blue Student Dialogues
– Facilitators Guidebook & Training

SPARK Online (EU – Middle East)

– Forum of Technology and Social Impact Entrepreneurs (Jordan)

Sechelt Indian Band (BC)

– Regional Growth Strategy engagement
– Telus Conference Centre Input

Telus Telecommunications Inc.

– Visioning & Design Workshop for new Rural Retreat Centre ($50 million)

City of Ottawa (ON)

– Community Plan Update
– 50 yr Sustainability Strategy w/NCR

Port MetroVancouver (BC)

– Systemwide Land Use Plan Update
– Engagement & Communications Support

City of Kelowna (BC)

– OCP Update “Kelowna2040 Phase 1”
– Central Okanagan Sustainability Forum
– West Kelowna OCP

District of North Vancouver (BC)

– OCP update – ShapingDNV
– Lynn Valley Town Centre Plan
– Seylynn Village Rezoning
– Parks & Recreation Vision & Goals

Hive12 Digital Hub (TUN)

– Leadership and Staff Coaching
– Three Year Strategic Plan
– One Year Implementation Strategy
– Facilitation FUNdamentals speaker slot

TransLink Regional Transportation Authority (BC)

– HandyDart Paratransit Technical Review
– Surrey Rapid Transit Extension ($5 billion)
– Broadway Rapid Transit Extension ($5 billion)
– Region-Wide Fare System Review

City of Victoria (BC)

– Civic Engagement Policy
– Official Community Plan
– Social Sustainability Strategy Advisor

Family Practice, UBC Medicine

– Annual Retreat & Strategic Plan
– Conflict resolution re IT implementation
– Social Impacts & Education Strategy

Canada Green Building Council

– BoD Strategic Planning Session, National
– Leadership Strategy Session, BC Chapter
– Integrated Design Process Facilitation guide

Ministry of Citizen Services (BC)

– Royal BC Museum Engagement
– Branch Visioning & Strategic Plan
– Accessibility Policy & Services Engagement

Privy Council – Govt of Canada

– Global Marine Plastics Forum (3 days)
– To inform G20 strategy led by Canada

City of Red Deer (AB)

– Social Policy Framework
– Civic Engagement Policy
– Facilitation training

Ball Packaging Inc. (Europe)

– Executive Coaching Services

Fisheries & Oceans Canada

– Nationwide Conservation Partnerships Forum

CMHC (Canada)

– Granville Island Renewal Strategy

Town of Gibsons (BC)

– OCP Update
– Water Emergency Response Strategy
– Cell Tower Replacement Forum
– Secondary Suites & Views Policy
– Gospel Rock Neighbourhood Plan
– Public Hearing Modernization
– Civic Engagement Policy

City of Vancouver (BC)

– Post Paris Green & Resilient City Strategy
– Empty Homes Tax (with GoVocal)
– Arts & Culture Quarter Funding Models
– Conflict Resolution Training
– Citywide Parks & Recreation Strategy
– Heritage Density Transfer System
– Arbutus Greenway Visioning / Branding

University of British Columbia

– 2050 Strategic Plan
– Medical School Expansion
– Socially Accountable Medical Education
– Viet Nam Poverty Reduction
– Community Service Learning Forum
– Southeast Asia Coastal Cooperation
– Sustainability Centre Opening Address

Vancouver Public Library (BC)

– Ten Year Strategic Plan
– “Choose Your Adventure” engagement process

City of Calgary (AB)

– New Central Library ($275m) Engagement
– Coordinated with CPL Board of Directors
– Linked to $900m Capital Fund launch

University of Victoria (BC)

– Conflict Resolution for New Athletic Centre
– CARSA Facility Redesign Process
– Capital Development Engagement Framework

City of Regina (SK)

– Core Area Neighbourhood Plan Charrette

BC Stewardship Council (non-profit)

– Green Shores Workshops (x5) & Toolkit

National Gallery of Canada

– Annual Strategic Plan with Board of Directors

Township of Langley (BC)

– Economic Development Strategy
– Official Community Plan Update
– Community Engagement Policy
– Agricultural Viability Strategy
– Brookswood/Fernridge Neighbourhood Plan
– Staff Training in Engagement

District of Squamish (BC)

– Brennan Park Recreation Centre Renewal
– Official Community Plan (IAP2 award winner)
– LNG Facility Forum (Speak, Listen & Learn)
– Waterfront Neighbourhood Plan
– Racquet Sports Users Conflict Resolution

Credit Counselling Society (BC)

– Leadership Team & Strategic Plan
– Senior Staff Team & Strategic Plan
– All Staff Team & Strategic Plan

City of Whitehorse (Yukon)

– Municipal Development Plan Update
– Site & Programs Review, Yukon University

City of North Vancouver (BC)

– Official Community Plan (CityShaping)
– Traffic Calming Strategy
– Conflict Resolution Training

Business School, University of Tunis

– Faculty Training in EQ, Leadership, & Strategy
– Strategic Plan Development Advisor

World Urban Forum (Vancouver)

– Online dialogue re inclusion & accessibility
– Participation & Sustainability workshop

Grassland Conservation (non-profit)

– BC Green Bylaws Toolkit
– Green Community Design workshops
– in partnership w/ Ducks Unlimited

SFU Continuing Studies (Downtown)

– Certificate in Dialogue & Civic Engagement
– Practice of Dialogue & CE course (8 yrs)
– Student Practicums (x28)
– 10th Anniversary Keynote Address

Inclusion BC (Non-Profit)

– Annual Families, Clients, & Staff Dialogue

CDN Institutes of Health Research

– Best Brains Exchange: Updating Policy on Reproductive Technology

Beezit Couriers & Market (TUN)

– Leadership Coaching
– Three Year Strategic Plan

Loon Foundation (non-profit)

– Sunshine Coast Water Strategy
– Sunshine Coast Biodiversity Strategy

Ministry of Housing (BC)

– Affordable Housing Partnerships & Policy Forum

MetroVancouver (BC)

– 2040 Regional Growth Strategy

Special Olympics Intl. (DC, USA)

– Global Health Equity Strategy
– Advisory Board Development
– Health Team strategic plans x7
– Conflict Resolution
– Executive Coaching

BC Hydro (BC)

– Engagement Guide for Water License Review
– ORAC Table Facilitation Support
– Communications Strategy Advisor

Rocky View County (AB)

– Municipal Development Plan Update
– Engagement Policy
– Bear’s Paw Area Plan Update
– Glenbow Ranch Park Expansion Strategy

Alberta Energy Regulator (AB)

– Review of Indigenous Engagement Practices
– Part of the AER Pathfinder Initiative

City of Burnaby (BC)

– Citywide Sustainability Strategy
– Willingdon Avenue Bike Corridor

City of Richmond (BC)

– Citywide Social Sustainability Strategy
– Engagement Training for Planning Staff

Testimonials

  • Working with Vince Verlaan and team on a variety of projects has been an absolute pleasure. The strategic direction provided helped TransLink achieve record engagement numbers (over 28,000 in one case), build trust with stakeholders and the public, and develop better services and policies.

    Vincent Gonsalves, (former) Manager, Communications & Engagement, TransLink, BC, Canada
  • Our staff really enjoyed the customized and intensive 2-day training course in “engagement and facilitation” delivered on-site. The course was practical, highly interactive, theory and content-rich, and very effectively taught. Our planners and communications staff greatly benefited from the experience. We highly recommend it to others who want to improve their engagement game.

    Jason Chu, Manager, Long Range Planning, Township of Langley, BC, Canada