Creating space for transformative conversations


Building a Culture of Participation with Dave Meslin, May 29

May 10, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 7-8:30pm (reception to follow)
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at Woodward’s, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, Room 3200
This lecture is free, however pre-registration is required.
Click here to RSVP by Friday, May 24

Join Dave Meslin and Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue on Wednesday, May 29 for Building a Culture of Participation. Meslin will present ideas from his groundbreaking project, The Fourth Wall, that empower residents to shape their cities far beyond the simple act of voting. Participants will have an opportunity to interact and present their own ideas for strengthening Vancouver’s civic democracy. An after-event reception will allow the conversation to continue in an informal setting over complimentary snacks.

Special thanks to Bruce and Lis Welch for their continued generous support of community dialogue programming.

About The Fourth Wall

In theatre and film, the 'fourth wall' describes the imaginary barrier separating an audience from the stage. When an actor speaks to the audience, or an audience member interacts with the cast, the fourth wall has been broken.

City Hall also has a fourth wall. Most residents are simply spectators, passively witnessing local politics through headlines and sound bites.

How can we break this fourth wall and create a culture of local citizen engagement? How can we open the doors to meaningful dialogue and participation, allowing us to collectively build the city we want to live in?

About Dave Meslin

Dave Meslin is one of Canada's most influential citizen engagement change-makers. His TED Talk has received almost one million views, and his work has helped cities revisit the myth of citizen apathy and confront the barriers that prevent community members from actively engaging in local politics. 

Meslin's ideas for civic reform, such as holding elections on weekends to increase voter turnout and making public notices more engaging, have received widespread coverage in the Globe and MailNational Post, Vancouver Sun and Toronto Star. A self-described "community choreographer," Meslin's grassroots projects have included the 2006 City Idol competition, a project that allowed everyday Toronto residents to present their vision for the city to a public audience. In a loose parody of Canadian Idol, the audience selected candidates to run for Toronto City Council with Meslin’s organizational backing. 

While in Vancouver to present the Welch Community Dialogue, Meslin also will work with the Centre for Dialogue, SFU Public Square, City of Vancouver staff, the Mayor's Engaged City Task Force and community stakeholders to explore further empowering citizens in official City of Vancouver decision-making. 

About the Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue

This annual event is generously supported by the Bruce and Lis Welch Award, and engages the community at large to explore innovative approaches to local issues through dialogue.