Community Action Teams (CATs) are an integral part of responding to the overdose crisis in BC. The CAT Knowledge Exchange connects all 36 CATs throughout BC to share learning and accelerate local work to address the overdose crisis.

Recent Events

  • Anti-Stigma Media & Messaging, Project Page (March 31, 2022) The objective of this project session was to spread learnings on how to implement anti-stigma media & messaging projects effectively. Projects included social media posters, films, billboards, harm reduction material, patient literature, news releases and more!
  • Improving Communications, Capacity-Building Page (April 20, 2022) The objective of this webinar was to improve external communications, such as news releases, presentation and program outreach literature. The event presented key steps in creating effective communications in the CAT work, from identifying audiences to developing messages.
  • Developing Partnerships, Capacity-Building Page (June 16, 2022) The objective of this 1 hour webinar was to explore developing partnerships, such as with municipalities, health authorities and other community groups. The event included a panel discussion of the Cowichan, Mission, Chilliwack and White Rock CATs
  • Safer Supply, Project Page (May 19, 2022 & July 14, 2022) The objective of this project session was to discuss the need for safer supply and how to implement projects in your community. Dr. Christy Sutherland, the Medical Director of the Portland Hotel Society, presents on their work as well as the Nelson CAT & ANKORS. Part 2 on July 14 is a continued dialogue with Dr. Christy Sutherland on safer supply and how CATs can implement & bring value to these programs.
  • Overdose Awareness Month Event (August 18, 2022) Reflect upon the CATs and the toxic drug crisis with group discussions and two sets of speakers, including Comox Valley peers as well as Christie Wall, the A/Director of Overdose Community Response with the Overdose Emergency Response Centre (OERC).
  • Funding & Grants, Capacity-Building Page (September 29, 2022) The objective of this 1.5 hour webinar was to learn skills and strategies to writing more impactful grant applications as well as where to find money and organizing a project budget. Tiva Quinn, an expert grants navigator, presented and answered questions.
  • What Matters to Indigenous Partners: Culturally Safe Engagement (October 20, 2022) The objective of this 1.5 hour webinar was to learn about cultural safety & humility principles and applying them to the CATs, including reviewing the resource ‘Culturally Safe Engagement: What Matters to Indigenous Patient Partners’.  We also heard about Indigenous engagement with speakers from KANDU.
  • Overdose Prevention Sites & Safe Inhalation Project Page (December 1, 2022) The objective of this 1.5 hour project session was to understand the challenges with implementation of safe inhalation, develop ideas to improve the services & spread, as well as explore ways for community partners to support the sites.
  • Reflection & Achievements 2022 (January 19, 2023) The objective of this 1 hour session on January 19, 2022 was to share achievements and strengths of the CATs over the past year, with both the Surrey and Kamloops CATs presenting.
  • CAT Safer Supply Project Toolkit (June 23, 2023) The objective of this 1.5-hour session was to present and share the CAT Safer Supply Project Toolkit, which was developed by a multi-CAT working group. It is focused on engaging partners, developing relationships, and increasing providers’ support with safer supply programs.
  • Recruitment & Retention, Capacity-Building Page (August 17, 2023) The objective of this 1.5-hour capacity-building webinar was to learn about effectively recruiting and retaining CAT membership, with an accompanying skills sheet.

Knowledge Exchange

The CAT Knowledge Exchange aims to accelerate local action being taken to address the overdose crisis through increased connection among and between CATs. Virtual learning and networking started in October 2020, building skills and relationships locally and provincially. For 2022, the Knowledge Exchange includes project-focused sessions and capacity-building webinars. This initiative is in partnership with the Community Action Initiative and funded by the Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions, while guided by diverse individuals who represent CATs and includes people with lived and/or living experience.

Previous Virtual Events Included:

  • Peer Virtual Facilitation Training (October 27 & 28, 2020) – Focus on capacity building in a virtual setting for a minimum of two Peer Facilitators from each CAT.
  • Knowledge Exchange Event (October 29, 2020) – Open to all CAT members, focus on holding space for peer voices and leadership, including a panel and networking.
  • Peer Virtual Facilitation Training (February 3, 2021) – An additional offering of the training from fall 2020.
  • Virtual Facilitation Training 2.0 (February 24, 2021) – A continuation of the virtual facilitation training featuring more advanced Zoom skills.
  • Knowledge Exchange Session (March 17, 2021) – This two-hour session included opportunities for small group discussions, as well as presentations from CATs in different regions.
  • CAT Peer Workshop (November 8 & 15, 2021) –  Drawing Change: graphic recording, group meeting skills building session.
  • CAT Coordinator Webinar (November 29, 2021) – Teamwork & Communication (facilitated by Sarah Carriere). This session focused on skills building for coordinators.
  • CAT Knowledge Exchange (December 14, 2021) – Three CAT teams prepared 20 minute presentations to share their experiences and learnings.

Self Care & Safety for Online Events

Events can be dynamic, exciting places to learn and meet other people. However, we recognize that they can also be draining, especially in the virtual world, and we are striving to create safe virtual spaces. You can check out our full Virtual Safety Plan – this resource offers some guidance for taking care of yourself before, during and after a virtual event.


  1. Community Action Initiative. Community Action Teams [Internet]. BC; 2020. Available from:
  2. Government of British Columbia. Overdose Emergency Response Centre Terms of Reference [Internet]. BC; 2017 Nov 20. Available from: