*Nelson at its Best formed in 2006. We work to strengthen community well-being through multi-sector collaboration, community participation, research and action. We are a registered non-profit society, governed by an active board of directors. (*formerly SPAN Nelson)


We start from the premise that Nelson is a wonderful place to live for many people, but it can become a healthier, an even more caring, inclusive, dignified and socially just community for all its citizens. 

We believe it is vital to identify and stress the common ground we all have, which is to make Nelson the best community it can be — a place where healthy social, economic, and natural environments give all citizens the opportunity to live to their full potential, regardless of their circumstances.

We want to be part of encouraging and helping to facilitate community participation in making our community stronger and healthier. This way, social planning becomes a local, democratic process that sets priorities based on common community interests, arrives at equitable compromises and takes action that builds and sustains our community as a whole.


We provide collaborative, action-oriented leadership to bring the community together in creating a sustainable quality of life for everyone. We identify priorities for action based on community research, participation and public dialogue.

To do this we:

  • Identify community quality of life issues as they emerge
  • Generate research and information on these issues
  • Engage and collaborate with various and diverse sectors
  • Promote participation within the larger community to discuss and deepen knowledge around key issues
  • Act as a catalyst by providing recommendations for action to appropriate community and governmental agencies



A key part of the reason why Nelson at its Best exists is to identify and explore important quality of life issues in the community by engaging and collaborating with the diverse sectors and the community at large.

We believe a safe and healthy Nelson will be a place where people come together to make their community better for themselves, their family, their friends, their neighbors, and others by everyone having an equal voice in defining problems and offering solutions.

To this end, since 2006 we have conducted community discussions around key and emerging issues. Read More….


Community health and well-being need to include all aspects of community life and their inter-connectedness, which is where the social determinants of health play out, individually and collectively — and where lasting solutions are best identified and then realized.

Nelson at its Best endeavors to facilitate a community development approach to social justice, built around the four pillars outlined in the City of Nelson’s Path to 2040 Sustainability plan, that is, Cultural, Economic, Environmental and Social.

We function in collaboration, cooperation and coordination among all sectors of the community, striving for and encouraging community participation and input from a variety of voices around a range of current and emerging social issues.

In identifying and responding to community needs, we share power and leadership; operate transparently; and share information and resources and communicate in ways that everyone can understand.

In working toward a healthy community, we feel it is particularly important to be sensitive to the most vulnerable in our community, in terms of both their needs and their capacity to contribute.



A safe and healthy community in which everyone has an equal voice in defining problems and offering solutions to improve quality of life.


Nelson at its Best strengthens the community by providing collaborative, action-oriented leadership in building a caring, inclusive, dignified and socially just community.


  • To work collaboratively across sectors to identify and respond to the major social issues of the community
  • To generate research and information
  • To build awareness on social issues and the inter-connectedness between sectors
  • To provide opportunities where people can raise existing and new community issues which need a coordinated response
  • To integrate social needs into all aspects of community planning
  • To provide recommendations to community and governmental agencies on the funding allocations, social development programming and planning initiatives
  • To develop, and provide ongoing evaluation and revision to, a community social plan


  • Collaboration, cooperation and coordination across all sectors of the community
  • Community participation and input from a variety of voices
  • Inclusiveness, diversity, and equity both within the organization and in its relations with the community
  • Transparency of process and communication in ways that everyone can understand
  • Sharing of power, information, resources and leadership
  • Action on practical, effective solutions
  • Recognition and celebration of contributions to community


Read more about the current focus of our work in our Strategic Plan 2017-2019 Strategic Plan


Find out more about our inception, history and accomplishments within the community History | Accomplishments

Membership is inclusive & multi-sectoral

Nelson at its Best is a community-based multi-sector initiative aimed at strengthening quality of life & community well-being in Nelson BC.