The Whistler Community Foundation Strengthens Community and Arts Whistler with Women’s Leadership Grants

The Whistler Community Foundation Strengthens Community and Arts Whistler with Women’s Leadership Grants

Imogen with the Whistler Community Foundation

The Whistler Community Foundation Strengthens Community and Arts Whistler with Women’s Leadership Grants

“Imogen was always a bossy child” – her mum

Written by: Imogen, Arts Whistler Programs & Event Manager

There are so many books and articles out there all trying to tell you how to be good at this or that, so how do you know what advice to follow? The Whistler Community Foundation has been an integral part of helping me discover just that.

In January of 2019, I embarked on a journey to complete the Executive Leadership Certificate at Simon Fraser University. Leadership has always been an area of interest for me and with a recent promotion, it was the right time to invest in expanding my knowledge.

But professional development and continuing education do not come without cost. I began researching avenues for financial assistance and learned of the granting programs offered by the Whistler Community Foundation. I applied for the Kathy Barnett Leadership Grant and the Bob and Sue Adams Leadership Grant and was lucky enough to be the recipient of both. Receiving these grants played an integral part in my decision to dive into the SFU continuing education program while continuing to work full-time.

Throughout the 10-month program, I completed four 6-week modules and a fifth module that ran concurrently for the whole 10-month certificate; one leadership development plan; a change prototype for implementation within my organization; and I participated in peer feedback and learning sessions. This 10-month program was highly beneficial to my professional development whilst empowering my team and enhancing the organization.

“Imogen’s participation in the SFU Executive Leadership Certificate is already providing a great return on investment. Imogen is excelling in her role as our Programs and Events Manager, demonstrating confidence, strategic decision-making and excellent analytical skills. I believe the program has accelerated Imogen’s leadership development, enabling her to manage projects more effectively, communicate with confidence and engage more deeply in developing her team. The Whistler community will undoubtedly benefit too, as Imogen seeks out community development opportunities as a volunteer.”

– Maureen Douglas, Arts Whistler Executive Director

Through completion of this certificate I am now better able to:

  • Identify and address habitual thinking, behaviour patterns and potential blind spots within myself and within my team.
  • Apply interventions that create greater equity and help unleash the full creative potential of others in diverse teams – incredibly important when considering options and planning rich and diverse cultural offerings for this community.
  • Examine ways that the organization can prime itself for change processes, including empowering change ambassadors and engaging change obstructers.
  • Utilize leverage points in a system and assess the processes in place from a systemic perspective to identify the most efficient course of action.
  • Articulate my own strengths and areas of learning as a leader, integrating my own and others’ perspectives.

If you have a passion that you are interested in developing, my advice to you is this:

  1. Educate yourself – invest in self-development and self-discovery. Attending workshops and speaking events, and researching courses are a great place to start.
  2. Read, research and enquire – be curious, seek knowledge!
  3. Don’t be overwhelmed by information – take on board what makes sense to you and leave the rest behind.
  4. Put it all into practice – find an environment that supports your development in your area of interest and learn from those around you.

There are so many resources available to those who seek them – whatever it is you or your organization want to achieve in the community, consider how grants and scholarships from the Whistler Community Foundation can help you get there.

The application process for Whistler Community Foundation Caring Community Grants and Leadership Grants programs and the Environmental Legacy Grants open on January 15, 2020. All applications are due February 15, 2020.

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