In 2008, the Pan-Canadian Coalition on Community Based Research was launched by a group of Canadian universities, research networks, and community organizations at CUExpo 2008 in Victoria, British Columbia.The coalition had a vision of putting research and knowledge to work to make communities more sustainable, fair, safe, healthy, and prosperous.

CBRCanada evolved from the coalition. We have a history of fostering collaboration and engagement between higher education institutions and the broader society in Canada. Our timeline highlight key events and successes.


  • The Pan-Canadian Coalition for Community Based Research, the precursor to CBRC, was founded at CUExpo in 2008.
  • The Office of Community Based Research at the University of Victoria became the Pan-Canadian Coalition secretariat with Carleton University and the Université du Québec à Montréal as core partners.
  • Founding Steering Committee members and partners included Community Campus Partnerships for Health, the United Way, the Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning,and the Canadian Community Economic Development Network.
  • A hundred people signed up to become CBRC’s first members.


  • The CBRC Symposium “From Recession to Renewal: The Vital Contribution of Community-Based Research” was held in May. The event featured a special keynote on Aboriginal CBR and Knowledge in Canada given by Lorna Williams, who was the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge and Learning.
  • CBRC-GACER produced a brief on CBR, Community Engaged Scholarship and Social Responsibility of Higher Education. The brief was presented in July at UNESCO’s World Conference on Higher Education in Paris.
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) and International Development Research Centre (IDRC) funded Canadian and global best practice and funding model reports.


  • In June, CBRC partners with Community Campus Partnership for Health and the Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning to hold a National Knowledge Commons Summit in Montreal.
  • CBRC develops a grant submission to develop national centres for excellence. While the grant was denied, CBRC was proud to have 33 university and community bodies sign on to the application.
  • CBRC’s membership reaches 200.


  • CUExpo 2011 is held in Waterloo. CBRC and GACER present an Engagement Workshop.
  • CBRC is invited to take part in the Campus Community Collaboration Initiative supported by the Governor General of Canada. Other organizations contributing to the initiative include CCPH, CACSL, Research Impact, United Way of Canada, Imagine Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and SSHRCC.


  • A delegation from CBRC is represented at the Living Knowledge Network conference in Bonn, Germany.
  • CBRC’s Steering Committee engaged in strategic planning and organizational renewal.
  • CBRC’s membership reaches 300.


  • CBRC supports the launch of UNESCO’s Co-Chair for Higher Education and Social Responsibility for Community Based Research, which is shared between Canada and India from 2013 to 2018.
  • The United Kingdom’s National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement visits Canada. CBRC facilitates their meetings with key academic and voluntary sector funders, the development of a Global Collaboration Framework and the creation of a UK-Canada pilot project.
  • The Institute for Community University Engagement at UVic, which stemmed from the Office for Community-Based Research, becomes the new Secretariat for CBRCanada.
  • Global University Networks for Innovation (GUNI) develops a partnership with CBRC.
  • CUExpo 2013 takes place in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland. CBRC facilitates a Global Network Joint Meeting.
  • In a fall meeting in Montreal, CBRC creates their 2014-2017 Strategic Plan and Membership Outreach Plan focused on the Canadian Universities Plan.


  • Thirteen Canadian universities become CBRC Canada institutional members.
  • CBRC 2014-2017 Strategic Plan is completed and launched.
  • CBRC Sponsors CUVic Conference and Engaged Practice Day at the University of Victoria in May 2014.
  • CBRC supports a National Summit for Community-Campus Research on November 3-4, 2014.
  • CBRC conducts fall surveys to prioritize our activities focused on our member’s priorities for CBRC Communications and Services.
  • CBRC supports the Engaged Practice Learning Exchange and presents at the Engage Conference in Bristol in December 2014.
  • National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement UK (NCCPE)-CBRC Collaboration Framework developed.


  • CBRC Fall Survey Report released.
  • CUExpo2015 takes place at Carleton University in Ottawa. CBRC facilitated two preconference workshops, one related to impact and the other for CBRC’s Engaged Practice Learning Exchange.


  • CBRC becomes a national non-profit with the Office of Community University Engagement at the University of Victoria acting as the CBRC Secretariat
  • CBRC’s inaugural Board Members are Martin Taylor (Chair) at the University of Victoria, Joanna Ochocka (Co Vice-Chair) at the Centre for Community Based Research, Marcel Simoneau (Co Vice-Chair) at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Geri Briggs at Carleton University, Leslie Brown at the University of Victoria, Jody Butler Walker at the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research (AICBR), Warren Dodd at the University of Guelph, Katherine Graham at Carleton University, Budd Hall the UNESCO Chair in CBR, Linda Hawkins at the University of Guelph
  • CBRC’s inaugural Steering Committee members are Katy Campbell at the University of Alberta, Trevor Davis at Vancouver Island University, Sylvie de Grosbois at the Université du, Québec en Outaouais, Jean-Marc Fontan at UQAM, Tracey Herbert at First Peoples Heritage and Language Council of B.C., Ted Jackson at Carleton University, Ann Macaulay at McGill University, David Phipps at York University, Brenda Roche at the Wellesley Institute, Cheryl Rose at the University of Waterloo, Penelope Rowe at Community Sector Council in Newfoundland and Labrador, Julian Somers at Simon Fraser University, Marilyn Van Bibber at Canada FASD Research Network, Rosa Venuta at the Canadian Institute of
    Health Research, and Sue Weare at Wilfred Laurier University
  • CBRC hosted 5 webinars in a Winter Webinar Series on topics related to the theme of Mobilizing the Power of Community-Campus Engagement and Research Partnerships


  • C2UExpo2017: For the Common Good takes place at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia, gathering 500 people from Canada and across the globe
  • The inaugural Special Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Katherine Graham at C2UExpo17 in Vancouver
  • 4 new CBRC Board Members are appointed: Tanis Dagert at Vancouver Island University, Dr. Kathy Sanford at the University of Victoria, Dr. Monica Mulrennan at Concordia University, Dr. Karen Schwartz at Carleton University
  • The CBRC Program Development Report is released, based on a fall 2016 survey of CBRC members, stakeholders and key informants. The report identified three recommendations: 1) to develop a CBRC
    Capacity Building program, 2) to be a leader and convenor in the creation of a national community-campus engagement network and action plan with key partners, networks and funders, and 3) to develop a communications plan and strategy that includes social media functions and a simple searchable CBRC Directory and map
  • CBRC Board members, Martin Taylor, Joanna Ochocka, and Budd Hall attend the UNESCO Knowledge for Change Consortium in Ottawa
  • The Engaging Communities Through Research Capacity Building event was held on November 24-25, 2017 in Waterloo, Ontario, equipping faith-based campuses from across Canada and their constituent partners to collaborate on community-based research
  • CBRC Secretariat moves to the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) in Waterloo, Ontario


  • The CBRC launched two new programs: the CBR National Mapping initiative to map all community-based research leaders across Canada and a monthly CBRC webinar series
  • CBRC appointed 4 new board members: Michele Peterson-Badali at the University of Toronto, Catherine Graham at the National Association of Friendship Centres, Ken Carter at Memorial University, and Stephen Dooley at Simon Fraser University
  • The first Community-Based Research Excellence Tool (CBRET) workshop launched in Spring 2018 in Waterloo, Ontario. The second CBRET workshop took place in Fall 2019 in Hamilton, Ontario.  
  • In the fall, CBRC changed its governance structure from one board chair to two. Joanna Ochocka and Martin Taylor are the Co-Chairs.
  • Several CBRC Members attended Engage 2018, hosted by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) in Scotland.


  • CBRC appointed three new board members: Crystal Tremblay, Dave Heidebrecht, and Steven Hermans
  • Three CBRET workshops were held in Ottawa, Vancouver, and Toronto
  • Four sub-committees were created at the Annual Planning Meeting in Ottawa on April 26. The committees are: strategic planning, program, member recruitment and communication, and C2UExpo.
  • The Spring/Summer Webinar Series engaged the network on How CBR Theory is Put into Practice