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In your reception area, can people see your vision?

In your reception area, can people see your Vision?

This 8-foot Vision Map greets visitors to the Stó:lō Wellness Centre. I loved the process of making this map because it was about consultation from beginning to end. Vision Maps give us a visual overview of a strategic plan, project, or high-level picture. But what’s as important as the drawings: when we use community consultation, the content resonates deeply with people.

This Vision Map weaves together a Stó:lō vision for wellness that includes land, history, services, and culture.

Consultation Throughout

First, I attended a consultation and engagement session with key staff and community members. I listened and used graphic recording to create a visual summary of what holistic wellness looks like for the Stó:lō. I heard how the building could be a hub for health – and that the social determinants of health surrounding the building are also interconnected, like access to childcare, trades/training, elders’ lodge, and the cultural resource centre. The first graphic recording was absolutely full of ideas about future program ideas. And there were so many ideas, that I realized we needed to refine the diagram to be more public-facing, and to also leave space for more community members to contribute. They would literally need to see more  “space” for their ideas to feel included – and this first poster was almost full.

Graphic Recording to Prototype

So we started the second poster, and we were ahead of the game: using the graphic recording meant half the work was done. And to save time gathering data by email and sending multiple drafts to the committee, we prototyped the next draft live and in-person. I returned for a smaller, more focussed meeting with more graphic recording. In a short meeting we determined the structure: the wellness centre in the middle with an elder and physician greeting a family, surrounded by Stó:lō land, a pathway that connects community, grounded by the giant cedar and key buildings to symbolize the different types of services. Then, I was encouraged to walk around the land and take photos of buildings to incorporate into the poster. I was able to meet staff and elders at the Elder’s Lodge, and while I drew their stories grounded me.

Built it in Illustrator

Back in my studio I put all of the components of the Vision Map together using Illustrator. Illustrator enables me to make changes easily in the future, in case the names of programs/services expand or change, for example. I use a Wacom tablet to draw directly into Illustrator. This Vision Map incorporates the content from the first session, the structure from the second meeting, illustrations based on my photos, and leaves room for community members to share their ideas. If you walk into the Wellness Centre, you’ll see a pair of these posters in the reception area ready to greet you.

“S’olh Temexw is the traditional territory of the Stó:lō people.  According to our swxoxwiyam, we have lived here since time immemorial.  The Stó:lō traditional territory extends from Yale to Langley, BC. – Stó:lō Nation website