Who We Are

About Tamarack

The Tamarack Institute is a connected force for community change.

We work with leaders in non-profits, governments, businesses and the community to make the work of advancing positive community change easier and more effective. We do this by teaching and writing about collective impact, community engagement, collaborative leadership, community development, and evaluating community impact. We turn theory into action by connecting people into networks to share and learn together, and we work one-on-one with organizations to help advance their specific agendas.

We work deeply in two Practice Areas to advance community change: Vibrant Communities: Cities Reducing Poverty and Deepening Community.

  • Vibrant Communities: Cities Reducing Poverty is a network of 57 cities who are creating comprehensive poverty reduction strategies to impact the lives of 1 million Canadians living in poverty.

  • Deepening Community explores programs, policies and practices that strengthen communities, neighbourhoods and enhance social capital.

Our belief is that when we are effective in strengthening community capacity to engage citizens, lead collaboratively, deepen community and innovate in place, our work contributes to the building of peace and a more equitable society. Our deepest hope is to end poverty in Canada.

Our Story

Tamarack was founded in 2002 by Alan Broadbent of the Avana Capital Corporation and Maytree (Foundation) and Paul Born, President of Tamarack. Their hope was to create an institute that would deeply understand community change and would help organizations and citizens work better together for a collective impact.

As a small organization, Tamarack had two big goals. The first was to establish a learning centre that would provide research and document real stories, exemplary practice and effective applications for community change. Today more than 20,000 members participate in the Tamarack learning community and we provide nearly 14,000 people days of training a year. Our learning community members support our work by co-generating knowledge and they contribute more than $2 million annually to sustain this activity.

Our second big goal was to apply what we learned to end poverty. Since then, we have effectively helped more than 200,000 households rise out of poverty and have engaged more than 70 cities as partners as we continue pressing toward our goal of changing cities into places that work for all.

As communities everywhere face increasingly complex challenges – from climate change to economic inequality to disruptive technologies – Tamarack’s expertise is more relevant than ever. We will continue to grow our learning community to engage citizens in working together to deepen community, rebuild neighbourhoods, make it easier for us to care for each other, and improve our cities.

We embrace the words of Margaret Wheatley, that “all change, even very large and powerful change, starts from very small conversations held among people who care.” We welcome you to the conversation. 


Learn more about the work we do

2016 Tamarack Annual Report.pngWe invite you to read our 2016 Annual Report which features highlights from 2016 and our plan forward over the coming years. We also welcome your feedback and invite you to share ideas or your own stories about the work of this Institute and its meaning for you.

We thank you - our partners, members and key supporters - for your contributions to this robust learning network. Your combined efforts enable this network to be a connected force for community change.

 Read the 2016 Report

Annual Reports from previous years are also available:


Our Donors

Thank you to all of our generous funders and partners who make our work possible.

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Our Partners

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Consulting ServicesRegister for the 2017 Community Change Institute

Join us for the 2017 Community Change Institute - Cities of the Future: Co-Creating Tomorrow taking place in beautiful Vancouver, BC. Learn through inspiring keynote speakers, peer discussion, design labs, arts and creativity, community tours, and over 30 workshops.

 Learn more about this workshop