Cities Reducing Poverty: A national network of change makers

Submitted by Kirsti Battista on January 9, 2016 - 5:43pm

What is the Cities Reducing Poverty Network?  

Vibrant Communities - Cities Reducing Poverty is a collective impact movement aimed at reducing poverty for 1 million Canadians through aligned poverty reduction strategies at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. Every year, more cities join this pan-Canadian initiative, helping to strengthen a networked learning community of over 100 cities working on local poverty reduction.

Our Story

The Tamarack Institute leads the Vibrant Communities Canada campaign which since 2002 has been building a network of cities across the country that are focused on place-based poverty reduction. In our first decade, we built the foundational technology and ideas around Vibrant Communities and place-based poverty reduction. We worked with leaders from business, government, the voluntary sector, vc logoand citizens living in poverty and, in turn, have effectively reduced poverty for more than 200,000 Canadians.

These local community efforts have been bolstered by the leadership of provincial and territorial governments as they adopt or renew their own poverty reduction strategies.  Several books have been written to document this period of learning, including Opportunities 2000, Creating Vibrant Communities, Cities Reducing Poverty and Evaluating Vibrant Communities. All of these can be downloaded at

Our Members

The Vibrant Communities - Cities Reducing Poverty network is primarily made up of citizen-led coalitions and some municipally-led strategies from all across Canada. Our members represent cities, counties, regions, rural towns and even provinces/territories.  They include volunteer leaders and paid staff who share their tools, resources, and lessons learned through the interactive website, and through online and face to face seminars, practice calls and workshops.

Today, over 50 cities have joined the network to advance the work of cities reducing poverty.

How We Work

Vibrant Communities helps deepen the connections between municipalities, provinces, territories, and citizen-led coalitions that are actively working to reduce poverty in Canada.  Our aim is to promote the co-generation of knowledge and shared learning across the network and in the learning community. We support the work of our city members through providing them with:

  •  A Common Evaluation Framework
  •  An online learning community at
  • Web and in person seminars, including an annual national gathering
  • Communities of practice, practical tools and resources
  •  Cities Connect, our monthly e-newsletter
  •  Peer-to-peer and expert coaching and funding support

Join our National Network of Cities

While we use the word “cities” to describe our focus, it is recognized that the aspiration and action plan is applicable to communities and regions of all sizes interested in moving the needle on poverty.  The communities engaged in this effort share the following characteristics: 

  • Focus on poverty reduction;
  • Embrace the idea of a collective impact;
  • Are led by a multi-sector community roundtable;
  • View the issue of poverty from a comprehensive lens recognizing that there are multiple causes and solutions;
  • Leverage the assets of the whole community to drive change; and,
  • Are committed to ensuring that the process includes learning and evaluation at every step.

Members gain incredible access to a learning community of peers when they join the Cities Reducing Poverty Network, plus access to more than $5,000 worth of tangible annual benefits.

For more information, please download our 2016 Membership Brochure:

Membership Brochure


We are more than happpy to answer questions that you may have about the Cities Reducing Poverty network as well as membership opportunities. Please contact Manager of Cities Kirsti Battista via email at kirsti(at)

vc-brochure-e_version.pdf5.45 MB