"Paula is one of the most positive, community building, consensus building people I know. Paula's warmth and energy brings life, creativity and inspiration to any group.”

Ingrid Kastens, MSW
Executive Director
Pacific Community Resources Society

contact practices services clients reviews

Let me introduce myself. My name is Paula Carr. For 22 years I was executive director of the Collingwood Neighbourhood House in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Over that time I helped to develop a unique collection of practices that has become a recognized approach to intercultural neighbourhood development. This approach resulted in the Neighbourhood House growing from a staff of 3 with 40 volunteers, to a staff of 100 with 400 volunteers.

We also developed new facilities and meeting places, revitalized geographic areas and created over 200 new integrated services for our diverse population.
In the early 1980s, 30% of Renfrew Collingwood residents spoke English as a second language. In 2011 the figure was 71%. Higher diversity usually means greater isolation and lower social capital. In Collingwood we turned this around. By working closely with local residents we managed to bridge cultural differences to create a community that people describe as welcoming, a place where everyone feels at home, and are encouraged to contribute, leading to personal and community growth.

We have been acknowledged for this work through receiving the following awards:
1999 City of Vancouver Cultural Harmony Award
2007 European based BMW Award for Intercultural Learning
2012 Nesika Award for multiculturalism from the Province of BC

Part of my approach to community development comes from my growing up in the small town of Wilcox in Saskatchewan, population 100. In a small town people are connected and they care about one another. My work focuses on creating the best of the small town in the large city.