Liminus Institute

What is Liminus? Part sustainable community development initiative, part international think tank, part Banff Centre, part Post-secondary field station, this project brings together international leaders and thinkers, regional researchers, communities, students, artists, and the general public all in pursuit of a world we’d love to live in.

Liminus has three fundamental commitments: 1) An awareness that we are a part of complex adaptive systems, necessitating 2) deeply interdisciplinary approaches, in terms of methods, disciplines, language, and epistemologies, along with a practice of 3) engagement not as a political afterthought, but as a fundamental ontological commitment. In other words, public contexts are not where we take our knowledge but where we make our knowledge.

Liminus is dedicated to problem-solving through the integration of several broad themes: arts, health, technology, sustainability, indigeneity, and the natural world. We enjoy an incredible team of researchers and guiding thinkers helping us move this unique project forward and are deeply honoured to be working with the inhabitants of Gros Morne, both human and non-human.

Where is Liminus going? Currently we are working on developing an interlinked series of sustainable development initiatives in the region, we are developing a major collaboration with Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, we are hosting international leaders in arts residency development, and we are collaborating with Western Health, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, and the Dept. of Health, to explore new approaches to the crisis of primary healthcare in Western Newfoundland. The larger goal here is to continue fine-tuning the vision as we work to realize it.

And where does the name come from? Liminus is a made up term built from combining two words: Liminal, meaning threshold, or in between, (Liminal spaces are often associated with fertility and transformation) and Luminous. It is an attempt to capture the sense that progress is unlikely to come from following well-worn paths that separate us from each other, but that we must seek out those spaces in between our institutions and traditional habits of mind.

The underlying spirit of this project is that of ‘regeneration’, first between built and natural environments, where facilities actually contribute to the integrity of the surrounding environment, second, as it applies to our different thematic areas. In contrast to prevalent defeatist narratives that suggest the world might be better off without us, we seek stories that involve humanity as indispensable to the advent of the good common world. Come join us in a place of challenge and celebration, optimism, and hard questions, a place that invites us to leave old ways of thinking behind, and embrace possibility and promise. A place to find new metaphors, new friends, and new enthusiasm for the work that lies ahead.