Town Hall Key Roles and Responsibilities

Here's a list of some of the key roles to get your planning started - you will want a more extensive team to plan and carry out your town hall event. 

Keep in mind that you can look outside your team for individuals who are willing to help, and this is a good opportunity to draw new members into your group. 

For Our Kids is available to support you with coaching at any stage of your event planning process. Contact hello[at]forourkids[dot]ca


This role is crucial for the success of the event. The moderator should be experienced and comfortable with speaking and hosting an event online, as well as with the moderator role, which will require them to keep speakers on topic and on time, maintain a respectful and productive context for discussion, and be familiar with the issues being discussed. Identify a back-up who can take over as moderator if necessary.

Online host

To manage the agenda, welcome participants as they join, provide housekeeping details and general context for the town hall, introduce and thank guests, and bring forward questions from the audience.

Technical host

Needs to be able to set up and run the meeting on the platform chosen, troubleshoot any issues prior to and during the town hall, make sure the event is recorded and a link is available afterward.


To keep track of issues discussed and ideas presented during the town hall so that follow-up can be planned.

Key contact

Able and available prior to and after the town hall, to provide information for speakers, media, and members of the public with questions.

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Sample Email to Elected Officials

Here's a guideline for you to compose an email of your own to the elected officials you're inviting to your town hall. It's a good idea to look up the correct salutation (for example, is your federal MP a Minister? If so, use Minister in the salutation). 

Remember to follow up with a phone call - it's always best to make a connection with a real person.


Dear [insert name]

Thank you for your ongoing work during the COVID-19 crisis that is impacting our community, Canada, and the world.

These are uncertain and anxious days, and at the same time, we are learning so much about what makes our communities strong, caring, and creative. How we recover from the economic and social impact of the pandemic is on the minds of many of us who recognize now more than ever that the direction in which we were headed prior to COVID-19 was unsustainable and critically dangerous.

I’m contacting you on behalf of [your group name] to invite you to participate in a virtual town hall meeting to look at what #GreenRecovery from this pandemic would look like in our community and across Canada. #GreenRecovery would focus the billions of dollars of investments being made by the federal and provincial governments into renewable energy projects, training and transition for those who work in high-carbon industries, and health, education, and food support systems that recognize the fundamental value of those systems and the dignity of those who work in them. You can see more about For Our Kids’ #GreenRecovery campaign here.

The virtual town hall would include elected representatives from the federal, provincial, and municipal level. I can provide more details regarding the proposed format as they are finalized. Realizing there are many demands on your time and that your schedule may be difficult to predict over the coming weeks, we have not yet set a date for this event. At this point, we’re reaching out to ask if you would be willing to commit to participating, and if so, we can begin to look at your availability and logistics of the online meeting.

I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. You can reach me at [insert your contact information].

Sample Agenda for #GreenRecovery Town Hall

The host, moderator, speakers, and anyone assisting with the logistics of the meeting should sign on prior to the meeting to have time to test connections, review roles and responsibilities, and set up a welcome screen to greet participants as they join

  • Start recording the meeting

  • On schedule, host welcomes participants and makes general announcements:

  • Introduce musical guest, if that has been arranged

  • Musical interlude

  • Host sets out guidelines for respectful participation and questions:

    • Explain procedure for asking questions

    • Briefly introduce each speaker and the moderator

  • Moderator explains basic rules of order and calls on each speaker to give brief opening remarks

    • Pre-planned question period: 30 minutes

    • Q&A from participants: 30 minutes

  • Host thanks speakers, guests and participants

    • Invites participants to contact your team or organization; provide contact information

  • Musical interlude

  • Adjournment

Hosting a Virtual Town Hall on Green & Just Recovery

As with any planning tool, this isn’t an all-inclusive list, and the steps won’t always happen in chronological order. We’re here to help, and you can also find more tips in the For Our Kids Organizing Guide.

Step one: Build a Team and a Vision

  1. If you don't have a team or group already, look for individuals and groups in your area who may be interested in partnering with you.
  2. Identify goals and guiding principles for the event that can be communicated clearly. These can include what a green and just recovery campaign is about as well as the democratic principles behind a town hall format. For example:
    • Discussions about green and just recovery are forward-facing and at the same time sensitive to the different places people are at in terms of the COVID-19 crisis and recovery

    • These are non-partisan events, intended to build relationships between communities and their elected officials, not to embarrass or call out any one individual

    • Town halls are an important tool for democratic participation and are open to the entire community

  3. If you think this is something your community needs to do and you want to put a team together, contact us! We may be able to find others in your area to work with.
  4. Get consensus among your team and partners on expected outcomes from the event
  5. Connect with For Our Kids if you have any questions or would like coaching. Email us at [email protected]

Step two: Recruit Key Participants and Plan Logistics

  1. Decide who you will invite to participate as speakers at the town hall. Aim for representation from at least two levels of government, including your federal representative. This enables questions to be answered more fully and accountability to be taken at the appropriate level. 
  2. Email your list of speakers, and follow up with a phone call to connect with someone in person.
    • Find your federal MP here

    • Provincial and municipal representatives will have similar websites for contact information

    • Here’s a sample email you could use or borrow from to draft your own

  3. Leave the timing of the town hall open for now and work on getting a commitment from your invited speakers to participate.    
  4. Once you have a commitment, find a date and time that works for your speakers. Consider timing that will also work for community members and not conflict with any other major events. Confirm the date and time by email and with a phone call. Ask each speaker for a photo and brief profile to use for promotion.
  5. For speakers who can’t commit to being there in person, ask if they would be willing to provide comments on specific questions beforehand that can be shared at the town hall.

Step three: Decide on Format and Roles for the Event

  1. Before working out a detailed schedule for the event, think about the basic format: How can you involve students and youth wherever possible in planning and hosting the event? Will questions be prepared ahead of time or asked live at the town hall, or both? Will you include additional elements like music in the agenda? 
  2. Determine which online platform you will use. It's important to have a few people in your group who are familiar with the platform and comfortable running an online event. For Our Kids has a Zoom account that allows up to 500 registrants and is available for you to use - contact us for more about this option.
  3. Identify key roles for planning and running the town hall, including a moderator, host, technical support, and note-taker. Here are some suggestions - and keep in mind that For Our Kids is available for coaching and support!
  4. Determining the basic format of the event will help you work out a detailed schedule. Here’s a sample.
  5. Once you’ve decided on the format, send a basic overview to the presenters so they are aware of how the event will go

Step four: Promote the Event

  1. Town halls are intended to be open to the public and involve communities in all their diversity, so it’s important to look for ways to share the invitation to participate as broadly as possible. Reach out to individuals and community groups who need to be represented.
  2. Share the FB event link with the invited speakers so they can share in on their sites and with their networks. For Our Kids can help with targeted FB ads to reach your geographical area.
  3. Look for free online communication networks in your community that are willing to share a link to the event
  4. Make a list of local media including radio, TV, newspapers, community magazines and local websites, and decide how you will communicate with them. Media releases, letters to the editor, and op-eds are all good ways to connect with media to enhance awareness of the event itself and of the broader campaign. Here's a bit more about each of these communication tools.
  5. Remember to post regular reminders leading up to the event, featuring different aspects that may appeal to different audiences. 

Step five: Follow up

  1. Send an individual thank you to each speaker and any special guests, and ask for feedback.
  2. Follow up on any specific actions from the town hall like requests for more information or links.
  3. Post a link to the recorded session (you may need to edit the beginning or ending, depending on when the recording began).
  4. Contact participants to thank them for attending, ask for their feedback, and most importantly, invite and encourage them to join your group to carry out local climate action. 
  5. Circulate notes from the meeting to your group and set up a debriefing session to plan next steps.