100 dinner conversations to improve your community

Hosts will have 10 people or fewer at the dinner table so everyone can discuss ways to improve your community.

The Central Okanagan Foundation is inviting groups and individuals to sit down at one of the more than100 dinners planned between Oct. 6 and 18 to discuss ways to improve our community.

The 100 Dinners initiative aims to engage the public in 100 different dinner conversations, focused on ideas for making the community a place to live that is secure, healthy, smart, creative and connected.

Vital Signs program coordinator Kimberly Carter organized 100 Dinners as a community engagement to complement the Central Okanagan’s 2015 Vital Signs report, which will be released to the public on Oct. 6.

The dinners will start that same night and run until the evening before the Canadian federal election.

The Central Okanagan Foundation is asking participants to use the Vital Signs report, along with their own experiences, to inform their dinner conversations about the challenges ahead and past successes  in the Central Okanagan.

100 Dinners is based on the success of similar community engagement events held in Chicago and Toronto. Any group or individual can sign up to host a dinner by registering online: https://100dinners.eventbrite.ca.

Hosts can invite family, friends, neighbours, and/or colleagues as guests. The key is to have 10 people or less at each dinner table so everyone has a chance to participate in the conversation and be heard.

Hosts will decide what kind of dinner they can accommodate based on their chosen location and budget.

Some might invite friends to a sit-down dinner in their home or to meet at a restaurant and split the bill.

Others might organize a potluck among colleagues at the office, or make it a family affair by turning this year’s Thanksgiving dinner into one of our 100 Dinners.

For those who prefer to focus on the conversation and leave the cooking and dishes aside, the Central Okanagan Foundation has partnered with La Bussola, which is offering a prix fixe menu ($25 per person) on the night of Oct. 6.

Hosts should reserve online or call 250-763-3110 and request a “100 Dinners” table.

Hosts will be asked to report back on the ideas discussed at their dinner conversation.

The Central Okanagan Foundation will compile the ideas and then share the information gathered with our community through a set of articles published in the Kelowna Capital News.

To download a free Hosting Toolkit, visit centralokanagan-foundation.org/100-dinners/.

To register as a 100 Dinners host, visit https://100dinners.eventbrite.ca.

To get your copy of the Central Okanagan’s 2015 Vital Signs report, attend the launch event on Oct. 6 at the Laurel Packinghouse, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. The event is free of charge and open to the public.