Leadership Victoria Society
Our Impact Why We Exist
Leadership Victoria is a community-based, voluntary organization committed to developing, supporting and celebrating outstanding community leaders who are passionately engaged in building a vibrant community.
For the Community: A vibrant community well served by a network of capable, engaged community leaders.
For our Organization: With deep roots in the community and an active network of champions and friends, Leadership Victoria is the pre-eminent community leadership development organization in the CRD, and a resource for and facilitator of community growth and development.
Leadership Victoria believes our community’s future lies in the hands of the people. Community leadership can be taught and learned. As a community, we are accountable for developing leaders and ensuring the current generation passes on its skills and wisdom to promising new leaders. Our community faces many challenges. Experienced, trained leaders are required more than ever to tackle those challenges head-on. Leadership Victoria’s successes speak loudly — fifteen years of hands-on, tangible community legacies and an engaged network of active community leaders putting their skills to work every day.
Our Story What We Do
Leadership Victoria was established in 2000 as a collaboration between Volunteer Victoria and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. The purpose was to establish a local community leadership program to nurture the region's emerging generation of community leaders. With support from the Victoria Foundation and the United Way of Greater Victoria Foundation, Leadership Victoria was created as a program of Volunteer Victoria.
Our core program was developed with extensive cross-sector consultation among current leaders in the Capital Region. A curriculum committee engaged leaders from throughout the community to define and develop a program, drawing from models of community leadership initiatives in other cities. The aim was to create a learning experience that would focus equally on essential leadership competencies and real-life community issues, leave a legacy of lasting community impact, and establish a durable network of highly engaged, committed leaders.
The first program launched with a class of 24 participants in 2001. Since then, and through the continuing efforts of more than 100 volunteers plus staff, Leadership Victoria has grown from its infancy into a sustainable, highly-regarded leadership training organization.
In 2007, the Volunteer Victoria Board and the Leadership Victoria Advisory Board decided that the program had grown sufficiently and that the time was right for Leadership Victoria to establish itself as an independent organization. In early 2008 the Leadership Victoria Society was created. As an independent society, Leadership Victoria gained the ability to pursue new partnerships, access new funding sources, and plan for an even better leadership learning experience.
Leadership Victoria programs equip people from diverse backgrounds with the skills, connections and knowledge to take leading roles in shaping solutions to social, environmental and economic challenges facing Greater Victoria.
Our Programs How We Do It
As part of a national and international network of community-based leadership programs, we foster community collaboration and partnerships and provide opportunities for emerging leaders to really make things happen. Our three main programs include:
1. The core nine-month experiential-based learning program — a challenging and life-enriching action development program that hones the skills of emerging leaders by immersing them in solving real-world community issues.
Since its inception, Leadership Victoria has graduated over 300 participants who have completed more than 50 community action projects, leaving a tangible legacy in our community.
2. The annual Victoria Leadership Awards (VLAs), led by Leadership Victoria in partnership with the Victoria Foundation, University of Victoria, the Rotary Clubs of Victoria, and the United Way of Greater Victoria, recognizes outstanding community leaders throughout the Capital Region.
3. Regular leadership symposiums and targeted workshop programming provide opportunities for community leaders to gather and challenge conventional wisdom on pressing community issues while refreshing and renewing their leadership capacity.
What You Can Do
There are multiple ways you can get involved in our work:
- Volunteer to be a mentor, serve on our Program Committee or Board, or co-create leadership workshops with us;
- Sponsor a bursary for a program participant who is experiencing financial barriers;
- Sponsor an award or table at the Victoria Leadership Awards;
- Make a financial donation to our operations or endowment fund (held at the Victoria Foundation).