The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) is proud to recognize National Volunteer Week 2023 by reflecting on the invaluable contributions of our volunteers. This year’s theme is Volunteering Weaves Us Together, which emphasizes the important role of volunteering in ensuring the strength, vibrancy, and interconnectedness of our communities.

CIP’s volunteers commit themselves to sharing their time, talent, and energy in the pursuit of a stronger planning community across Canada. Stretching from coast-to-coast-to-coast, and representing every career stage, their dedication helps to sustain CIP’s programs and plays an instrumental role in ensuring that the organization embodies the Mission, Vision, and Values of our Strategic Plan—1,835 Days of Impact.

This week and every week, CIP celebrates and appreciates our volunteers for their commitment. Thank you for helping us to achieve our vision of more inclusive and vibrant communities for all.

In celebration of National Volunteer Week, we asked four CIP members to share how their volunteer experience with the organization has helped them feel connected to the Canadian planning community. Here is what they said:

Last year, I attended and volunteered at the CIP national conference. This was truly an extraordinary experience that opened my eyes to the different directions planning can take you. As a student, getting insight from experienced planners, as well as those just beginning their careers was an invaluable experience. The conference is a way to not only expand your network but to explore the different ways of doing and thinking about planning. The inspirational nature of the conference pushed me to get more involved with CIP and submit my own work for this year’s upcoming conference. The conference is a must-attend event for anyone starting or interested in a career in planning! – Marika Butzelaar (she/her), MPlan, CIP Student Representative, uCalgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape

I have met so many passionate planners across the country who are working hard every day to make positive changes in our communities and for generations to come. I am truly inspired by them. They keep me motivated and they will for the rest of my career as a professional planner. – Tatsuyuki Setta (he/him), RPP, MCIP, AICP, Manager of Planning and Lands at City of Yellowknife

My experience volunteering with CIP has been extremely rewarding! I have had the opportunity to collaborate with planners from across Canada serving in the Arctic (2007 – 2010), serving as a senior reviewer of the Climate Lens Guide with Infrastructure Canada (2018), serving on the Federal Land Use Guide for Flood Risk Areas Working Group (2019 +), and serving as a CIP External Representative on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Municipal Asset Management Program’s Technical Working Group (2019 +). With these opportunities to serve my profession, I am awarded increased awareness and capacity to better serve communities. Beautiful! – Christine Callihoo (she/her), RPP, MCIP, MSc., Adjunct Professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University

Serving as a CIP External Representative has connected me with a multidisciplinary team tasked with developing a conservation plan for Species at Risk and the urban ecosystems that support them. Volunteering allows me to express the important role of land use planning in conservation, and my planning background has prepared me to focus on the methodical development of our team’s conservation plan. – Vince Deschamps (he/him), RPP, MCIP, Associate at MHBC Planning
Open Volunteer Positions

  • Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Canada National Steering Committee: CIP is seeking an external representative to join the GEM Canada National Steering Committee, working with earthquake risk and reduction to ensure communities have access to knowledge and tools. Applications are due on Friday, April 21.
  • Navigation Student Volunteers: CIP and API are looking for student member volunteers to help onsite at Navigation. If you are a CIP student member planning to attend in person, then don’t miss this great opportunity to learn, network, and connect with others in the planning field, all while saving money on your conference registration! Applications are due on Friday, April 21.
  • Plan Canada Editorial Committee: Volunteer to join the Plan Canada Editorial Committee, which is responsible for encouraging high-quality, timely, relevant, and engaging planning-related content for Plan Canada magazine. Applications are due on Wednesday, May 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
  • CIP-PSTF Board of Directors: The CIP/ICU Planning Student Trust Fund (CIP-PSTF) serves as the Canadian planning profession’s national charity, providing a scholarship and bursary program to students in accredited planning programs across Canada. Nominations for the CIP-PSTF Board of Directors are now open for the 2023/2025 term. Anyone interested in supporting future generations of planning professionals is encouraged to apply! Applications are due on Friday, May 12 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Stay tuned to our social media pages all week long to learn more about our volunteers, their role in supporting CIP initiatives, and opportunities to get involved!