Opening Notes: Our New Look
It’s a decision that, like any we make, was arrived at with much respect for our history and vision for all we aim to accomplish as a community. Changing something comfortable and familiar, as our community knows more than most, can be difficult. Though it may not be a welcome change for some, updating the name and design of our premier communications tool complements some of the other initiatives we’ve undertaken to support our three strategic priorities: expand our impact across Ontario; amplify our community’s voice and share knowledge. We’ve refined our branding style, created a new tag line (Peer to peer. Strength to strength.) and improved and integrated our materials, such as our new website, email communications and printed information pieces. We’ve supported our important advocacy efforts with tools to engage a wider audience, such as our Your move, Ontario and the upcoming #peeforfree social media campaigns. And we’ve streamlined and centralized our processes for smoother delivery of client services. This is all in aid of raising our profile and expanding our reach and network so that our goals to serve, support and advocate for and with people with SCI can be met more effectively for years to come.
Now to the choice of our magazine name: since I came to Spinal Cord Injury Ontario three years ago, I’ve been struck time and time again by the strength and vibrancy of this community. Though we’re spread out across the province and are always trying to do more with less, there is an intense feeling of community at the heart of this organization. It’s what clients feel as they get to know us, what makes donors want to share what they can for our programs, what inspires volunteers to give their time and what confirms for corporate, program and government partners that we are a viable and formidable collaborator. When we looked at possible names, Community was an obvious and unanimous choice. We feel it captures the essence of our magazine’s purpose: to inform, inspire and showcase members of our community and the work we do within our community.
And speaking of community, we’ve just come off two Community Celebration events in Toronto and Barrie, which brought together the people and organizations that work so hard to support clients and their families in these locations. We presented awards and shared stories of how much our work means to those who contribute to it in so many ways. Take a look on page 42 for more on these evenings and stay tuned for more celebrations across the province in the coming months.
I hope you enjoy this first issue of Community, and I thank you for making our community as positive and powerful as it is.