Friends of CityU Canada – Michael Clague

Allow me to introduce you to one of the leading experts and sages of the non-profit sector of British Columbia, Michael Clague:Michael Claque

Michael works in the fields of community development, public policy, social planning and adult education. He has taught, written and published extensively on public policy issues, community development, and social planning. His most recent book is called Staying True, Staying the Course: A Study of Ten Successful Community Service Organizations in British Columbia (1997-2008). Michael is the former executive director of the Britannia Community Services Centre (Vancouver), the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, and the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC of BC, Vancouver). From 1996 to 2005 he was director of a City of Vancouver facility, the Carnegie Community Centre. It was during this period that Michael learned about the power of the arts for building community and community arts activity became the focal point of his tenure at Carnegie. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2007

The following are comments Michael made in 2010 as President, Community Arts Council of Vancouver:

Ever since I began working and volunteering in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) 11 years ago I have been trying to understand the full implications of what I experience and learn each day I am in the community. What follows are my current reflections gleaned from conversations with many friends and colleagues who live and work in the DTES.

In speaking of the Downtown Eastside during Carnegie Centre’s 100th birthday in 2003, Rick Lam, then chair of the Chinatown Revitalization Committee, quoted local poet Anthony Dunne: Look past the look and see what you see.

Seven years later the DTES “looks” to have even more stark contrasts of affluence and of poverty – poverty of the spirit, of the body and of life’s material essentials. The tragedy would be if encroaching gentrification smothers what so many who are not of the community cannot see, the spirit of resilience amongst so many of those who do live here. For herein are lessons for the rest of Vancouver.

Michael provided the opening seminar entitled Leading with Integrity in the summer, fall and winter versions of our groundbreaking Executive Leadership programStaying True, Staying the Course is available from Langara College, Continuing Studies. Contact Judi Piggott ( at Langara to place an order.