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Fleming College Reimagines Peterborough’s Future with IGNITE: The Electric City 2023 Summit


Peterborough, ON (April 21, 2023) – The future of Peterborough was reimagined Thurs. April 20 during Fleming College’s inaugural Ignite: The Electric City 2023 Summit.

Speakers, leaders, builders and thinkers from the region and across Canada came to Fleming College in Peterborough, ON at the invitation of College President Maureen Adamson to tackle some of the city’s challenges head-on.

Those challenges are serious. Like many mid-sized cities in Canada, Peterborough is dealing with a housing crisis, an opioid epidemic and environmental challenges due to a changing climate.

“We wanted to bring recognized thought leaders into the room to help us address these challenges,” said Fleming President Maureen Adamson. “The Summit was about listening and creating solutions to tackle these issues, and to work out ways in which we, as a community, can turn those solutions into actions.”

Former Calgary Mayor and keynote speaker Naheed Nenshi said that now is the precise moment for communities like Peterborough to rethink its future.

“I call it a ‘wet clay’ moment, a moment where, because of the pandemic and everything else that has been going on, we really don’t know what our future looks like. And for some people that’s scary. But for me, it means opportunity. It means a chance, for the first time in a lifetime of anyone living today, that we have the chance to create a brand-new future. And I’m thrilled that Fleming College is going to be at the forefront of that conversation for Peterborough,” Nenshi said.

Keynote speaker Naheed Nenshi addresses guests during the inaugural IGNITE: The Electric City Summit 2023.

Other guests included Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Marie Wilson, who spoke about moving forward while holding true to Truth and Reconciliation. Economist and professor Mike Moffatt led the conversation around the housing crisis mid-sized cities are facing. Peterborough Regional Health Centre President and CEO Dr. Lynn Mikula spoke at length on how to address the health issues facing the region.

Mary Rowe, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, discusses how mid-sized cities can seize the moment and build better.

Keynote speaker Mary Rowe, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute said, “We’re in a really critical moment, as cities evolve and develop after the pandemic or through the end of the pandemic and there’s a particular opportunity for mid-sized cities the size of Peterborough to really take stock of where they want to go. It is important for people to be here to put a stake in the ground and say we’re going to collectively work together to figure out what the future of the city should be.”

Panels made up of local business and development leaders, health care services, non-profit and green organizations led discussions around engaging civic activity, creating a compassionate city and ensuring Peterborough becomes a leader in sustainability as it moves forward.

City councillors Joy Lachica and Alex Bierk were part of a panel discussion on how to create a city that engages its citizens.

For more information on IGNITE: The Electric City 2023 please contact Fleming College Communications Officer Sarah Deeth at sarah.deeth@flemingcollege.ca.

A drawing by artist Shannon Loomer captures some of the key phrases and images of the day.

About Fleming College
Fleming College respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg lands and territory. Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 6,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 80,000 alumni.

For more information, please contact:
Sarah Deeth
Communications Officer
705-749-5530 ext. 1161

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