Our Courses

The Power of Community

An Asset Based Community-Led (ABCD) Workshop

How do you unlock the tourism potential within your community?  Traditional needs-based plans and strategies can only do so much, especially if they are not fully reflective of your community.  To truly move forward, development must be done by the people and not done to or for communities.   GMIST, in partnership with Coady Institute at St. Francis Xavier University, have developed a two-day Asset-Based Community-Led Development (ABCD) workshop designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to foster community development by identifying and leveraging existing assets within a community.  ABCD focuses on community strengths and citizen-led development.  The Power of Community workshop will help you to identify those assets, which are sometimes not visible, and activate them to create strong and resilient communities.

The Program

This program aims to shift the focus from traditional deficit-based approaches (what is wrong or missing in a community) to a strengths-based perspective (what is strong and prideful), empowering participants to work collaboratively within communities to create sustainable positive change.  The workshop will include a mix of presentations, interactive discussions, case studies, group activities, and practical exercises to ensure participants gain a comprehensive understanding of ABCD principles and come away with ideas about how to apply them in real-world community development scenarios.  If you are a community practitioner who is curious about taking a different approach to your work, this program offers a great introduction to ABCD as well as an opportunity to meet and network with others who are doing similar work.  The program is designed for a cluster (3-5 people) from a community/region to participate as a group.

The Objective

To provide community change makers with the opportunity to learn about the ABCD approach and understand how they can use ABCD practices/tools to engage their communities differently around tourism.

Program Outline

Over two full days participants will be introduced to the principles of ABCD, but more importantly will learn that it is more of a way of being vs. just a set of tools.  This will be done through contrasting the ABCD approach with deficit-based models and showing the impacts that community-driven development can have.  Working in groups, participants will be introduced to a number of community approaches as they begin to map out assets (gifts/strengths) in their communities and will gain practical experience on how to use the different engagement strategies in their communities.   Participants will also hear first-hand from communities who have gone through this process and what it has meant to them and their efforts.  Community development work is challenging and there is no one magic bullet that says “do this and it will lead to this.”   There is a saying that once you have seen one community you have seen one community.  While communities may share characteristics and values, each community has its own personal set of stories, values and dreams – how you unlock those gifts is up to each of you!

Who Should Apply?

The program is well suited for people working in community development in some capacity, including, but not limited to: social enterprises, economic development, non-profit organizations, government or agencies, destination development, youth, recreation, community associations and general community members.  Interested communities will apply as a cluster of 3-5 community members.  Participating in the program as a group will enrich the learning and will be very useful in applying the learnings within your community work.

Dates & Location

Monday, May 27 8:30 am – 4:30 pm & Tuesday May 28, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

The Wilds Resort | 643 Salmonier Line, The Irish Loop, NL |  www.thewilds.ca


The registration cost for the program is $350.  For all non-governmental participants accepted into the program, GMIST will waive the $350 fee and cover accommodations at The Wilds for two nights (Sunday May 26 & Monday May 27).  Should you choose to arrive early or stay later, you will be responsible to cover those additional costs.  Included for all participants are: Monday lunch, breaks and supper and Tuesday lunch and breaks.  Continental breakfast is included in the accommodations.  Participants are responsible for their own travel costs to and from The Wilds Resort.


Please note that the Power of Community workshop is designed for groups of 3-5 participants from a community/region program.  Participating in the workshop as a community cluster will enrich your learning and will help with your action planning coming out of the two day session.  Please complete one application form per community; we do not need each individual in the cluster to fill out the entire application.

This program is now full and we are no longer accepting applications.


If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact GMIST at info@gmist.ca.

Supported by: Government of Canada