Rob Barrs and the MODUS team were hired to conduct a design charrette to support city staff in the review and update of the Kamloops Downtown Plan. The MODUS team successfully engaged over 200 stakeholders and residents during a public lecture, intensive workshops, and an open house on the final day of the charrette. The MODUS team’s depth and understanding of planning, urban design, and engagement, helped develop a clear vision for the downtown and design concepts that not only resonated with the public, but will help enrich and inform the planning process.
-Jason Locke, Community Planning and Sustainability Manager, City of Kamloops.
MODUS was retained to design and lead a comprehensive community engagement strategy which supported the development of our new Parks Recreation & Culture (PRC) Strategic Plan. Vince Verlaan, Laurel Cowan and the team were extraordinary in their ability to understand Surrey’s complex community issues and deliver an engagement program that was inclusive and adaptable to a diverse audience. They dug deep and recorded the voices of often underrepresented citizens, while facilitating a multifaceted campaign that connected with over 5,000 residents. The MODUS team’s depth of understanding and experience in community engagement helped us shape our new plan with clear and simple materials and meaningful results.
- Patrick Klassen, Community Planning Manager, City of Surrey
With the review of its OCP, Gibsons is once again benefiting from outstanding assistance from Rob Barrs and the MODUS team. Beginning with the proposal which demonstrated a high level of understanding of the community, including innovative communication approaches and highly professional management of the overall project, MODUS provided a lot of value for our investment. We are very happy with this team and would not hesitate recommending them to others.
- Emmanuel Machado, CAO, Town of Gibsons, BC
Daniella and Vince helped us raise the bar on engagement when we updated the County Plan. The Shaping Rocky View project was a great success, with over 1200 people participating. We now have a custom-built engagement toolkit they developed for us. They consistently apply best practices and we have hired them for further support on several County projects.
- Richard Barss, Senior Planner, Rocky View County
Peter managed the MyPG Community Sustainability Plan and the 'Mackenzie in Motion' long-range strategic plan and OCP update. He did so ably, working with staff from across each organization, and engaging effectively with the public and stakeholders. Both projects were well-received by the respective Councils and helped both communities move from vision to implementation.
- Mark Fercho, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Mackenzie
I would like to extend a very sincere thank you to MODUS and District Staff, who contributed to the success of the Maplewood Design Charrette and Open House. Approximately 160 people attended and overall comments were positive. We now have a very exciting conceptual plan to work from and look forward to the next stage of refining the plan and using it as a foundation on which to build the village centre implementation plan directions and design guidelines.
- Karen Rendek, Policy Planner, District of North Vancouver
Township staff really enjoyed the two-day course in public engagement theory and practice that was delivered onsite by Vince and Laurel from MODUS. The course was practical, highly interactive, content-rich, and effectively taught. Our planners and communications staff benefited from the experience. We highly recommend it to other municipalities that want to "up their public engagement game."
- Jason Chu, Manager, Long Range Planning, Township of Langley
Thank you for such a great project launch public event last night. Accolades are pouring in - the community and Council loved it! Your vision, expertise, and attention to detail made execution easy, and we are so fortunate to be working with such professionals. We are "2 for 2" now on monumental Squamish engagement successes with the MODUS team!
- Christina Moore, Communications Manager, District of Squamish
Rob Barrs led a neighbourhood planning process for a large, environmentally sensitive area in the Silverdale area. It was a politically volatile process with a very engaged public. In his role as lead consultant, Rob went above and beyond expectations to assist Mission in achieving an economically viable and environmentally sensitive plan for the area. The plan dealt with many of the environmental and social issues raised during the process, including creative design guidelines for hillside development that enabled sufficient density to make the development feasible and ensure a range of housing.
- Sharon Fletcher, Former Director of Long Range Planning, District of Mission
Vince and his team brought both technical capacity and valuable experience to the development of our civic engagement strategy and to the award-winning update of our Official Community Plan. The use of leading-edge tools and techniques helped ensure that both strategies were highly responsive to community needs and were very well-received.
- Katie Hamilton, Director, Strategic Planning and Community Engagement, City of Victoria
One of Rob’s biggest strengths has been the methods used to communicate ideas and solutions, which have allowed the broader community and Council to fully participate in the discussion and provide informed preferences. These inclusive communication techniques have helped Coquitlam to raise awareness about the planning process, create a “buzz” about future possibilities, and allow the community to recognize that they have been heard in the final results.
- Lynn Guilbault, Senior Planner, City of Coquitlam
The District of Squamish engaged Robert Barrs, Peter Whitelaw, and Vince Verlaan in 2008. They were given the the responsibility of managing the most complex, significant community planning and engagement process in the history of Squamish. Their role in the Squamish Oceanfront planning process was to engage the community in the planning of an 80-acre brownfield redevelopment site on the Squamish oceanfront. They expertly managed a challenging mix of public and private sector owners. They developed and executed an innovative and thoroughly engaging consultation approach with the community, and they skillfully wove the consultations into successful land-use solutions.
- Cameron Chalmers, Former Director of Planning, District of Squamish
Vince and Daniella worked with our water and wastewater public involvement teams to design and deliver a workshop to review and expand our toolbox of engagement techniques. They are very personable and easy to work with and tailored the workshop to the interests of our teams. MODUS created a lively, interactive workshop focused on realistic applications with helpful handouts that we will continue to reference. Overall, staff shared that this was a valuable workshop and good use of time.
- Andrea Winkler, Program Manager, Public Involvement, Metro Vancouver
The City of Kamloops retained the services of MODUS to support development and implementation of a creative public engagement strategy for the City’s Official Community Plan Review and Update. The team’s knowledge, tools and enthusiasm added a great deal of value to what turned out to be a hugely successful project (visit Kamplan on our website).
- Maren Luciani, Community Planning Supervisor, City of Kamloops
Vince Verlaan acted as lead facilitator on a critical Grandview Woodland Community Plan workshop in July 2013. Vince’s long experience added value to the planning of the workshop and his facilitation hit exactly the right notes: thoughtful, considerate, assertive. He was invaluable to the success of this challenging event. I highly recommend Vince and his team for workshop planning and facilitation.
- Matt Shillito, Assistant Director of Planning, City of Vancouver
MODUS created a Public Participation Toolkit for the Town of Gibsons that allows us to develop engagement strategies tailored to individual projects. The toolkit has increased the Town’s commitment to the principles and practices of participation and engagement, and has empowered our organization to more confidently consult, involve or engage, as appropriate.
- Emanuel Machado, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Gibsons
MODUS’ ability to very quickly grasp a complex community issue and develop and execute a community engagement that delivered valuable input to us was admirable. Vince Verlaan gained trust and respect from community members on both sides of the issue, and facilitated a positive discussion-based meeting with close to 100 participants. The MODUS team’s depth of experience in facilitation and community engagement helped us navigate through a very tricky process with excellent results.
- Christina Moore, Communications Manager, District of Squamish