Stephen is an active listener who approaches his work in a respectful, non-prejudicial manner. He has an innate ability to listen to numerous points of view and to successfully capture the essence of each individual’s thoughts.  He is then able to effectively summarize a group’s input into a strategic context.

~ Danella Parks, Community Investment Manager – Victoria Community Branch, VanCity


Change Advertising was founded by Marc Stoiber with the express vision of making sustainable companies famous, making sustainable products desirable, and making sustainability sexy. Highwater Mark and Change worked together to help BC Hydro improve the effectiveness of its Power Smart Program.

Ethos JWT is one of the world’s largest advertising and brand management agencies. Highwater Mark has worked with JWT on a research to determine best practices in aligning internal values with social brand promise.

Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) is Canada’s largest retailer of outdoor equipment and clothing. As a member owned Cooperative, MEC has 1.2 million members – each of whom shops at MEC because they enjoy Canada’s parks, natural areas, and wilderness. In 2005, Highwater Mark Strategy and Communications worked with MEC to develop a manual for MEC to use to implement their recently adopted advocacy policy.

Salt Spring Coffee Company was founded on the belief that a business could provide an excellent product, while taking care of the people who produced that product, and the earth that sustains it. In the fall of 2005 Highwater Mark Strategy and Communications helped Salt Spring Coffee develop an Engagement Strategy to help turn its coffee drinking customers into advocates for its social and environmental programs.

“We got a great product by working with Highwater Mark Strategy and Communications. The working relationship was the most positive we’ve ever had with a contractor.”

~ Mickey McLeod, CEO, Salt Spring Coffee Company

Wellspring Facilitation and Planning works with municipalities, businesses and citizens organizations to help them work together to solve the complex challenges that face their communities. Highwater Mark Strategy and Communications was retained by Wellspring to help create simple, clear messages that communicate what Wellspring does.

VanCity Credit Union is Canada’s largest credit union. With more than 350,000 members in BC’s lower mainland and on Vancouver Island. VanCity has extraordinary reach into the lives of BC residents. In 2005 Highwater Mark Strategy and Communications worked with VanCity to help scope opportunities for engaging its members in the social and environmental vision of the Credit Union. Stephen will be working with VanCity further in 2007 to help guide their social and environmental programs.

Communicopia is a Vancouver, BC based internet firm that worked with BC Hydro on their web strategy in 2008 and 2009. Stephen worked with these two businesses to harness the creativity of the non-profit community in building the citizen engagement component of the web strategy.

Social Profit/Educational was created in 2004 by to provide online tools and strategy to Canadian civil society. When opted to close up shop in the summer of 2005, Highwater Mark Strategy and Communications was asked to assist the Board of Directors of find a purchaser for In December of 2005 Advocacy Online purchased

The Brainerd Foundation protects the environmental quality of the Northwest and builds broad citizen support for environmental protection. Highwater Mark is doing a small piece of work for the foundation helping them assess the effectiveness of a grant made to organizations working in BC and the Yukon.

Hollyhock Leadership Institute (HLI) is a leading provider of training programs for North American civil society. HLI offers an annual program called  The Social Change Institute, with a goal of creating new opportunities for civil society and ethically driven businesses to come together to advance social change. Highwater Mark helped HLI pilot an online engagement program, designed to seed conversations before the event, and build on the vibrant learning and direction created during the event.

The Pacific Resource Conservation Society’s (PRCS) mission is to promote the conservation of natural resources by providing education that inspires and empowers individuals and communities towards environmental, social and economic responsibility. Highwater Mark is facilitating a strategic planning process for PRCS in the fall of 2005.

The Ontario Association of Youth Employment Centres (OAYEC) is a province wide network of organizations dedicated to helping young people reach their employment and life goals. Highwater Mark worked with OAYEC to develop a strategic communications plan to help this network ensure that changes occurring to youth employment programs, at the federal and provincial level in Ontario, result in the best possible policies and programs for the province’s young people.

Open Cinema is dedicated to exploring the innovative use of film as a tool for community engagement. Based in Victoria, BC, Open Cinema has been presenting community screenings of film, and engaging the audiences in vibrant discussion of some of today’s most pressing issues, for several years. Open Cinema decided to develop a Strategic Plan, and approached Highwater Mark in the fall of 2005.

“Stephen Legault recently guided OPEN CINEMA on a Strategic Planning process, and we are delighted with the results. Stephen is an excellent facilitator, an effective listener and a joy to work with. His years of experience with leading non-profit community-minded organizations was a great gift to us, and he contributed a wealth of ideas, inspiration and entrepreneurial wisdom. Stephen’s calm professionalism, dedicated focus and sense of humour are rare gifts which make him a pleasure to work with.”

~ Mandy Leith, Founder and Executive Director, Open Cinema

The Pole to Pole Leadership Institute, based in Vancouver, will select 24 young people from around the world to take the journey of a lifetime. Highwater Mark Strategy and Communications has been providing project management support, membership engagement strategy, and communications assistance.

The Sierra Club of Canada, BC Chapter has retained Highwater Mark Strategy and Communications in April of 2007 to develop a 3 year Strategic Plan for this dynamic and highly respected voice for conservation in BC, and Canada.

Highwater Mark has also provided campaign and communications assistance to the Sierra Club BC’s Flathead Wild campaign, undertaken in partnership with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society BC Chapter and Wildsight.

The Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) encourages stewardship of our natural world through environmental education and action, and builds awareness of the fragile balance that exists between urban populations and nature. Highwater Mark will facilitate strategy sessions and write a Strategic Plan for SPES.

Voices for Children is a Toronto, Ontario-based children’s advocacy organization dedicated to turning knowledge into action for the well being of Ontario’s young people. VOICES retained Highwater Mark to develop a communications strategy. In addition to developing the communications plan, Highwater Mark has been retained to complete a Strategic Plan for Voices for Children, and to assist in the development of Communications strategies for Voice’s 7th Generation Project, which aims to address youth suicide in the northern Nishnawbe First Nation of Ontario.

Of the twenty-two submissions we received in response to our call for proposals for the development of a comprehensive communications plan, Stephen Legault’s approach and vision for what Voices for Children could accomplish stood apart from the rest. We engaged Stephen and early in the process he identified that some of our challenges stemmed from a strategic plan which was not providing sufficient focus and direction for our activities. It was like an ‘a-ha’ moment for all of us — we finally began to understand why we were still talking about our potential as opposed to actually accomplishing our mission. Stephen’s steady guidance, flexibility, keen insight, creativity, and dedication to working through these challenges with us has enabled Voices for Children to undertake the needed strategic work and develop a communications plan to achieve our goals.

~ Cathy Vine, Executive Director, Voices for Children

Government / Educational

The Bateman Centre for Environmental Education is a program of Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. Renowned Canadian painter Robert Bateman has asked the University to set up a centre for environmental education, learning, outreach that will feature Mr. Bateman’s art, spawning his 65 years as a painter. Highwater Mark Strategy and Communications will work with the RRU Foundation and others to create a Strategic Narrative to tell the story of this remarkable undertaking, and help direct the project through to completion in 2010.

The North Shore Recycling Project serves the three Vancouver north shore communities, moving these municipalities towards Zero Waste. Highwater Mark facilitated a strategic planning process for the NSRP, and coached their staff in the writing of a strategic plan.

Royal Roads University – After the launch of Carry Tiger to Mountain: the Tao of Activism and Leadership, Royal Roads University, in Victoria, BC, approached Stephen to teach a course in the school’s Continuing Education department. Stephen latter served the University Foundation for more than a year in the position of Senior Development Officer (Sustainability).

University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine, Special Population Fund (SPF) serves communities across BC that are under represented by traditional health services. First Nations, immigrants, people who live in poverty, and those in crisis are provided health care assistance by partners of the Special Populations Fund. Highwater Mark has worked with the USC Faculty of Medicine SPF to communicate the value of its work with key decision makers in BC.

The Victoria Steering Committee on Homelessness (VSCH) was formed in November 2000 and includes representation from a wide variety of public stakeholders, including the Government of Canada and the City of Victoria. Together with James Pratt Consulting, Highwater Mark created a preliminary Community Based Social Marketing Strategy for the Greater Victoria region.

BC Ministry of Labor and Citizen Services hired Highwater Mark to work with its Accommodation and Real Estate branch to develop an internal communicaitons strategy to better serve its government clients in the effort to meet the province of BC’s goal for greenhouse gas emission reductions.