Current & Past Projects

  • Board member (ongoing)

Janet enjoys participating as a board member for a range of non-profit societies.  Presently, she is a director on the boards of: the Powell River Division of Family Practice, the Sunshine Music Festival, and the Powell River Historic Museum and Archives.  In the past, she has also served on a range of other boards, including but not limited to: The Powell River Diversity Initiative, the Powell River Employment Program Society, and Powell River Child, Youth, and Family Services Society.

  • Research/Writing (ongoing)

Janet regularly supports existing research projects from behind the scenes by: conducting interviews, reviewing and synthesizing the literature, writing, and more.  This work has covered a range of topics including but not limited to community social plans, child migrants, child protection, and youth suicide.

  • Wise Practices for Promoting Life and Preventing Youth Suicide in First Nations Communities FNIHB (2016-2018)

This project is led by Dr. Jennifer White, supported by an Advisory Committee from across the country.  It will showcase wise practices for promoting life among young people based on what is already working and/or showing promise in First Nations communities across the country, particularly in relation to preventing youth suicide. Janet is the project researcher/writer.

  • PRISMA Festival (2016-2017)

PRISMA (Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy) is a non-profit, charitable society run by its members; it takes place in Powell River on the west coast of Canada.  The academy/festival attracts world-renowned guest artists and top international music students.  Janet Newbury was the Lead Grant Writer for the organization.  It hosts daily music events, symphony and chamber music concerts, master classes, and student recitals.

  • Listening to Adolescents’ Experiences of Being Assessed for Suicide Risk MCFD (2015-2016)

Led by Dr. Jennifer White, Janet Newbury is the Research Assistant for this inquiry which aims to better understand young peoples’ experience of being assessed for suicide risk by Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) clinicians. By hearing from young people about what they find most/least helpful and most/least hopeful about the processes and practices surrounding suicide risk assessment, we can work towards the development of more youth-friendly, culturally responsive, and contextually sensitive approaches to youth suicide prevention.

  • Illuminating New Economic Possibilities VIU, HHS (2015)

Led by Alison Taplay, this project engages the business community, regional, municipal, and Aboriginal leadership, and local citizens (in the Powell River region) in conversations designed to deepen our understanding of the dynamic links among 1) economic, 2) social, and 3) environmental wellbeing.  We are focusing primarily on engagement with the business community and thinking particularly in terms of the social construction of economic reality at this time, as this presented itself as a gap in our previous research.  While our previous participants could readily see how their choices, actions, and behaviours inform social life in the community, their roles in shaping economic life in the region was less evident to them.  This initiative aims to illuminate possibilities.

  • Tracking the Groundswell  Taos Institute (2014-2015)

After a successful community-based conference called Groundswell in January, 2014, there was a call from the community for follow up activities.  This initiative is a response to that call, and is being carried out by the volunteer energy of a wide range of community members.  There are several components to this project including: a bi-monthly column in a local publication linking economic and social well-being with the everyday activities of featured community members, a series of film launches and community dialogues based on the Groundswell 2014 conference, a youth-focused collaborative Art Experience Project, and a convening table for a possible Groundswell 2015 conference.  In addition, the work is being documented and shared with the writing of articles and blog posts and with presentations.

  • Moving Beyond Disciplinary Boundaries: The Symbiosis of Diversified Approaches to Economic Development and Human Service Practice  SSHRC (2013-2015)

Drawing from interviews, secondary data, and hybrid research collectives, this inquiry explores the relationships between community based approaches to economic and social development and well-being for children and families.  How might communities prepare for and respond to changing economic and social conditions in ways that are good for community members?  What is being done, and what more can be done, to promote equitable and sustainable economic and social development. The learning from this study aims to inform community engagement efforts, municipal and provincial policy conversations, and qualitative research methods.

  • Speakers Series, Powell River Voices  Taos Institute (2013-2014)

This project engaged a diverse range of citizens in information sessions and dialogues about concrete alternatives to existing policies and practices. Built on the assumptions that a) discourses influence our visions of what is possible and b) locally generated responses to public concerns are effective and just, we created a series of forums in the hopes that new realities could be co-constructed through generative dialogues and actions that sprung from these events. A volunteer group called Powell River Voices spearheaded the organization of the speakers series, and partnered with existing institutions and organizations for the various events. Information about and videos of the events can be found here.

  • Defining Diversity, Creating Community  Vancouver Foundation (2013-2014)

This participatory action research (PAR) project is led by Alison Taplay at Vancouver Island University, with the Model Community Project and Tla’amin Health as partners (in addition to a range of individual and organizational community partners).  The project emerged after a pilot delivery of a two day course with the same name, which took place in November, 2011. The course was intentionally crafted by the Powell River Diversity Initiative (PRDI) and Vancouver Island University (VIU) to engage citizens in a deep exploration of what diversity means and to shift mindsets to capacity thinking and contribution; in particular the assets and value that traditionally marginalized groups bring. The PAR project emerged from conversations about how this course could contribute to positive community change. It involves four iterations of the course delivery (at different locations with different facilitators) followed by surveys, focus groups, and a learning circle.  It is contributing to significant learning about cross-sectoral collaboration and capacity building for citizen engagement in relation to economic and social development.  More can be learned here

  • Contextualizing care: Alternatives to the individualization of struggles and support  SSHRC (2009-2012)

This qualitative inquiry examines human service practice in the context of broader political, economic, and cultural realities.  It explores how we might expand our understandings of what it can mean to engage meaningfully with children, youth, and families and the systems designed to support them.  Drawing from existing empirical research as well as personal narratives shared by community members and policy makers, it argues that by blurring the lines between self and other, contextualizing practices, understanding change as ontological, reconceptualizing power, and recognizing justice as an ongoing and shared responsibility, we might collectively access and mobilize fruitful possibilities that are often obscured.  The research culminated in a doctoral dissertation and a book with WorldShare Books.

  • Understanding adolescent girls’ processes of moral weighting: Amphetamine use as a context  SSHRC (2006-2009)

Led by Dr. Marie Hoskins, Janet Newbury was the Senior Research Assistant for this narrative study exploring the meaning-making processes of adolescent girls who are involved with the use of methamphetamines.  The combination of both images and metaphor in research interviews and analysis has proved an effective way to access the nuanced and difficult to articulate experiences of participants.  The learning from this study has informed addiction research, relational practice with adolescent girls, and qualitative research methods.

  • ‘Even Now’: Ongoing and experiential interpretations of childhood loss  SSHRC (2005-2007)

This narrative study on the experiences of childhood loss illuminates the contextual nature of experience (in terms of both losses and support) as well as the significance of socially contingent meaning-making processes.  As such, loss is not experienced as ‘an event’ but its impact is felt throughout life as conditions change, and thus must be understood as ‘ongoing’.  The research culminated in a Master’s thesis.

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