Restorative Justice Initiative Grows

Hastings Sunrisers are all smiles after a session of training to become “peacemakers” under the guidance of Dr. Evelyn Zellerer (back row, 3rd from right), founder, Peace of the Circle.

New ways of addressing conflict in Vancouver are being created and nurtured – and Hastings Sunrise is in the forefront!

Since we first told Bulletin readers about Vancouver becoming a Restorative City in our Spring 2022 issue, large steps have been taken toward determining just what it would look like, starting in our community.

The vision is to have other processes beside police and courts involved in dealing with community conflict, harm and crime. To that end, an initiative has just launched and a cohort of local people are receiving training over the next few months to become “peacemakers”.

Three organizations are collaboratively leading this project: Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre (HSCPC), and Peace of the Circle, which is the coordinating host organization of Vancouver becoming the first Restorative City in Canada. 

The local initiative is the result of a consensus reached by the Restorative Collective to build restorative neighhbourhoods. Hastings Sunrise was chosen as the first seedbed neighbourhood.

“It will take time and further resources to fully implement the vision,” says Clair MacGougan, HSCPC executive director. “Ours is an inaugural project. Other neighbourhoods, including Strathcona, are also interested and planning on becoming restorative neighbourhoods.”

“We could look at dealing with neighbour disputes in peace circles,” he says. “Another area might be police and community relations.”

This project has received a grant from the City of Vancouver and from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. The coordinating team is seeking further funding to ensure continued success.

For more information, see and follow @Peace of the Circle on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn).