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Heather Keam

Heather Keam
Heather is happy to be part of the Vibrant Communities team as the Manager of Cities, Cities Deepening Community. Before this position she was the Manager of Learning Services where she organized Community of Practices, learning opportunities, tools and resources for community change. Heather brings over 12 years of public health knowledge to this position.

Recent Posts

Community is All Around Us When We Open Our Eyes and Hearts

Posted by Heather Keam on March 31, 2020

I come from a small town and know firsthand that change is not always widely accepted or embraced. But in light of this pandemic, I’ve seen our community rally together and change has happened organically and fast.

A few weeks ago, my local church had planned its annual Irish Stew night. 24 hours before the event, we got notice that large gatherings were to be cancelled or suspended. This is a big social event for our church members and community, and cancelling it meant socializing would be lost. So, we got creative.

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The Importance of Stories in Community Work

Posted by Heather Keam on March 11, 2020
Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is simple, usable and transferable to any community. The basis on an ABCD approach is that local assets are identified, and unconnected assets are connected by a local connector.

The ABCD approach is also simple because it focuses on 6 assets - individual resident capacities, local associations, neighbourhood institutions, physical assets, exchange between neighbours, and lastly, maybe even most importantly, stories.

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2 Key Elements for Building Community Safety & Well-Being Plans

Posted by Heather Keam on February 5, 2020
Recently, on a webinar called Building Social Capital through Community Development, we asked the 160 participants what their ideal community looks and feels like. Here's what we heard; 
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Is ABCD a Diverse and Inclusive Approach?

Posted by Heather Keam on January 22, 2020

Having immersed myself in the Asset Based Community Development world, in my previous role in public health, and now at Tamarack, I keep seeing and hearing the same questions over and over. Is ABCD an inclusive process? How do you make ABCD address diversity? These questions have made me think about ABCD and does the approach address diversity and inclusion? 

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Five Steps For Implementing ABCD in Rural Communities

Posted by Heather Keam on December 19, 2019

Over time, the structure and dynamics of rural communities have changed. Services have moved from local to regional, young residents are moving away, long-term residents are decreasing, and new residents are coming into the community. In the past, rural communities knew how to use the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach naturally. But with changing times, how can they focus their assets to build community?

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Three Approaches That Work Well Together to Build Community

Posted by Heather Keam on November 25, 2019

I love new approaches and ways to improve how I do my community work. Here are three approaches that work well to better your community work.

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