Who We Are

About Tamarack

The Tamarack Institute is a connected force for community change.

The Tamarack Institute develops and supports collaborative strategies that engage citizens and institutions to solve major community issues across Canada and beyond. Our belief is that when we are effective in strengthening community capacity to engage citizens, lead collaboratively, deepen community and reduce poverty, our work contributes to the building of peace and a more equitable society. Tamarack’s work is comprised of two key areas of impact:

Learning Centre

Our Learning Centre exists to empower community changemakers to achieve greater impact. We draw upon our 18 years of experience leading community change and advancing practice to support municipalities, funders, non-profits, and community leaders through on-demand coaching and consulting, in-person and digital training, and publications that guide change efforts. 

We support our learning network in developing five interconnected practices that lead to community change:

As a registered charity, all of your investments as clients and learners goes back into providing content and tools on an open-source platform to build the capacity in the field. By working with us, you help support the efforts of changemakers in your community and worldwide.

Vibrant Communities

In Vibrant Communities we support cities and local leaders to develop and implement large-scale change initiatives through three learning networks: 

  • Cities Reducing Poverty: is a growing network of more than 80 regional partners who are working collaboratively to end poverty in over 380 communities.

  • Cities Deepening Community: is a collective impact movement deepening a sense of community in our cities. In 2019, we established a formal membership of cities working to establish community plans to deepen community based on our successful Cities Reducing Poverty model.

  • Communities Building Youth Futures: is a network aimed at developing Collective Impact strategies with up to 13 communities to engage young people in their communities and successfully navigate transitions from youth to adulthood.

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

Our Vision

Building a connected force for community change.


Our Mission

Collaboratively create vibrant communities by engaging learning leaders. When we are effective in strengthening community capacity to engage citizens, lead collaboratively, deepen community and reduce poverty, our work will contribute to the building of a more equitable, prosperous, and peaceful society.


Our Story

Tamarack was founded in 2002 by Alan Broadbent of the Avana Capital Corporation and Maytree (Foundation) and Paul Born, Co-CEO 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. 

Read our 15 year history (2002-2017) 

Learn more about the work we do

We invite you to read our 2019 Annual report, which reflects on Tamarack’s journey through 2019 and our growth along the way. We are incredibly thankful to the 27,319 learning partners in over 2,300 cities across Canada and beyond for being a part of this journey with us over the past year. We cherish the opportunity to work together to navigate community change and to build vibrant places to live and grow.

We wrote this report as both a way of looking back and looking forward. Much was accomplished in 2019 and you will read the stories of connection and impact in throughout this Annual Report. We are proud of what we have collectively achieved and value your continued investment and support of Tamarack. 

Read the 2019 Report


Annual Reports from previous years are also available:


Our Partners

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

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Our Supporters

Thank you to our supporters for in-kind contributions.

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We also want to recognize and thank our many event and program sponsors and partners, who contribute significantly to growing our learning community. Our full list of partners and supporters is published in our Annual Report.

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