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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

Building a Movement: How the Deepening Community Network went from Momentum to Movement

Posted by Heather Keam on September 1, 2021

Over the last 5 years, the Deepening Community network has been a timely and powerful response to the growing social isolation, loneliness, and disconnection occurring across Canada. This is a network where citizens and leaders are exploring the unique role that communities and neighbours play in creating positive futures. Together, we are discovering the power of community as an essential driver of social change. The foundation of the Deepening Community movement is based on the four pillars of deepening community established in Paul Born’s best-selling book Deepening Community: Finding Joy Together in Chaotic Times.

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Let's Make Community Essential

Posted by Heather Keam on July 8, 2021

We all have spent the past 14 months social distancing, with the vital components of what is at the heart of community shut down such as parks, trails, cafes, community centres, events and social gatherings. We find ourselves at a unique crossroads, working hard to find solutions to a problem whose scope is beyond anything we’ve ever encountered before and the effects are deep. The pandemic has affected our jobs, our families, and our communities. However, it is in communities that we will find the strength to not only persevere but to emerge stronger and more resilient than ever.

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What is Social Capital and How Do You Build it?

Posted by Heather Keam on April 21, 2021

Have you ever gone to a conference, workshop or event, met new people who had similar ideas, and passions and continued that relationship beyond the event? That is an example of social capital.  What about job hunting? Have you heard the saying that it is not what you know, it is whom you know? That is social capital.

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Youth Loneliness: Is it a youth problem or a community problem?

Posted by Heather Keam on March 31, 2021

Pre-COVID, there was growing evidence that loneliness was becoming a problem across all populations across Canada. It was being recognized as a public health issue.

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Building Democracy “with” Community

Posted by Heather Keam on March 29, 2021

Over the past three decades there has been a fundamental shift in informal social ties, tolerance and trust, political and civic engagement in our communities. Evidence shows that our actual experiences of being involved in a community has been steadily declining since the 1960s. This decline is evident if we look at the Canadian voting rates. We have an average of 63% of Canadians voting in the last 4 elections and in Ontario an average of 52%. Why are 40-50% of the population not voting? Is it lack of trust? Do people feel like they cannot make a difference?

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The Power of Possibilities: Deepening Community Stories

Posted by Heather Keam on January 20, 2021

We are reflecting on 2020, looking back on how communities were able to continue their programs while also wondering how they will keep them going. One of the common themes was the power of possibilities especially centered around this question - “how might we?” Communities asked how might wes as they navigated the changing landscape of COVID, for example; How might we continue to engage community virtually? How might we get more responses to our survey? How might we bring hope to our community?

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