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For Immediate Release
Contact: Brian Puppa, e-mail or call (905) 640-8914

Gord Hume

APRIL 23, 2015 / Legacy Project / Community begins in conversation. So let's talk about what your "dream community" would be like. For the second free event in the WS YOU 177 Community Conversation series, Gord Hume will help Whitchurch-Stouffville explore possibilities to make our community stronger and more exciting, interesting, and meaningful for all. The wide-ranging presentation and open discussion takes place Thursday, May 21 from 7:00-9:00 pm at the WS Public Library. Recognized as one of Canada's leading voices on building vital communities, Hume has travelled the world to see firsthand what makes towns and cities work. Susan V. Bosak, lead social researcher with the Legacy Project based in WS, will also contribute to the event by framing the discussion in the context of Town Council's recent age-friendly resolution to make Whitchurch-Stouffville a 7-Generation Community.

Research shows that vital communities are about the quality of life for residents of all ages, the ease of doing business with local government, and the receptivity of the community.

"People live their lives in their city or town. That's where they meet their friends, enjoy sports, learn, have their coffee in the morning on the way to work, socialize on a Friday night," says Hume. "So, all of a sudden, you are seeing municipal responsibilities for dynamic streets, sidewalks, parks, libraries, festival squares; these are where people are meeting and going. That's the new trend."

"If a city or town chooses not to be fun and exciting and animated and interesting, the chances are very much that their economic prosperity will be in jeopardy. They will not attract bright young minds, and families, and investments in businesses," says Hume.

Hume also believes the historic demographic shift to an older population will transform communities, and that longer-term planning is important for councils that can often be too focused on the issues of the day.

With a background in business and media, Hume was a four-term councillor in London, ON. He chaired the Ontario Cultural Planning Partnership, and was a board member of Innovation Ontario Corporation. He's spoken at major conferences around the world, and was the keynote speaker at the UNESCO Congress on Creative Cities in South Korea.

Hume is the author of five books on building strong, creative communities. Places and Spaces is his latest – an insightful look at the public realm and how we design, use and sustain great communities. His other books include 10 Trends for Smarter Communities and Cultural Planning for Creative Communities. He's also a national columnist for the Municipal Information Network out of Montreal, and is a regular contributor to Municipal World magazine.

The Community Conversation series is part of WS YOU 177 in partnership with the WS Public Library and the Stouffville Sun-Tribune. What do you really care about as Whitchurch-Stouffville grows? All ages are being invited to share your vision of your "dream community."

WS YOU 177 is a broad-based community collaborative that includes the WS Public Library, Legacy Project, local media, service clubs, faith-based groups, schools and seniors groups. It's been made possible through grants from United Way York Region and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

YOU 177 is a social innovation initiative that empowers YOU to make a difference in a big-picture context – 1 World with 7 Generations and 7 Billion People. The first step is Dreaming Bigger. Community conversations that share dreams and ideas across generations will lead to innovative local action projects to help build a stronger community.

A "7-Generation Community" in the recent WS Town Council resolution is one in which the value of all ages is respected, from the potential of youth to the contributions of elders, and generations are brought together not only in support of each other, but to work together for a stronger community for all. As the Lead YOU 177 Innovator Community in Canada, WS is inspiring other communities across the country.

Reserve your seat at the free WS YOU 177 Community Conversation with Gord Hume on Thursday, May 21, 7:00-9:00 pm, WS Public Library, 2 Park Drive, Stouffville by visiting www.wsyou177.org or call (905) 640-8914.

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For more information, contact Brian Puppa, Legacy Project, by e-mail or call (905) 640-8914

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