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BOLDFest 2016 Workshops & Presenters

Below are a range of workshops, subjects and presenters to whet your appetite for some juicy discussions and debates! Day & time is listed. Room assignment will be available at the Conference (in program and at registration desk). 

Note: Workshops are included in the BOLDFest registration fee.  If you're registering for a workshop(s) only, the fee is $15 per workshop, payable at registration desk. You will   be given a name tag for that event. You can sign up for other inidivudal events online.

There will be a limited # of opportunities for fully registered BOLDFest participants to create their own discussion group. A sign up sheet for this purpose will be available at the Thursday evening Welcoming Reception. 

Workshop: Saturday September 3,  9:45 - 11:45 am

"Making A Scene: Lesbian Community in Canada 1964-1984"

Special Presenter LIZ MILLWARD is an Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Manitoba. Her work on lesbian place-making has been published in Gender, Place and Culture, Feminist Media Studies, Women's History Review, and Australian Feminist Studies. Her book Women in British Imperial Airspace, 1922-1937 won the Canadian Women's Studies Association Annual Book Prize in 2010.

Liz recently (2016) published  "Making A Scene: Lesbian Community in Canada 1964-1984" which will undoubtedly create a buzz at BOLDFest and lots of discussion with women who were there - both in Canada and the US. In the 1960s, a youthful and ambitious lesbian movement began taking shape in Canada. After decades of being pathologized, disparaged, or erased from public view, lesbians were ready to make a scene – both by calling attention to themselves and by creating places to come together and forge their own culture.

Making a Scene documents how this unfolded, visiting the spaces lesbians created across rural and urban Canada, from physical locations, such as bars, bookstores, and members' clubs, to ephemeral sites, such as conferences, festivals, and protest marches. Enriched with interviews, this volume captures the exuberance and challenges of this transformational period.

Workshop: Friday September 2, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

BRAVE & BOLD: Where in Your Life Would You Like to Live More Brave(ly)?               Presenter:  Carolyn Anderson

Everyday we experience uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable.  Walking into a new situation, dating, in relationships, asking for what you need or simply doing something you have dreamed of doing for a long time, are all examples of situations that make us feel vulnerable.  Vulnerability is typically considered a weakness, but what if it is, in fact, our most accurate measure of courage and an opportunity to bring purpose and meaning to our lives?

In this workshop, we will explore vulnerability as an invitation to call on your courage, examine what holds you back and consider how you can show up, be seen and live brave.

Carolyn Anderson is a life long teacher and learner. She has been an advocate in the LGBTQ community for many years.  Having taught social work at Mount Royal University in Calgary Alberta for the past 18 years, she recently decided to take her day to day life back into her own hands and start a private practice called DiscoverBrave (  Carolyn is a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator-Candidate.  Her practice is based on the work of Dr. Brené Brown.

Note: Carolyn registered for BOLDFest the 1st year and, on her own initiative, started up a "Singles" Breakfast, then held at the Sylvia Hotel which has now morphed into the Singles Meet n Mingle. THANKS TO CAROLYN for starting a BOLDFest tradition for all the women who come Solo - Many!!

Workshop: Friday September 2, 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Intergenerational LGBTQ Arts Activism
Presenter: Claire Robson

For the past two years, members of Quirk-e - The Queer Imaging & Riting Kollective for Elders - and Y4AC, Youth for a Change, have been collaborating on some change making projects. The first was Call &Response, a theatrical show. The second a video project on prevention of LGBTQ elder abuse (funded by the BC Council to reduce Elder abuse). The third and current project is an intergenerational guide to LGBTQ life under contract from an international publisher. In this presentation, you¹ll get to see some of the results and meet some of the youth and senior collaborators. 

Claire Robson is a writer, teacher, community activist, researcher, author of two books, Love in Good Time, a memoir, and Writing for Change, an academic text on memoir as a form of community activism. She is guided in this work by one underlying principle – writing about one’s life can create social change. Almost ten years ago, she founded the Vancouver arts collective called Quirk-e – the Queer Imaging & Riting Kollective for Elders. Under her direction, the group has made many appearances in the city, recently in collaboration with queer youth.

Her research, which is ongoing, investigates the capacity of arts practices to build community, navigate identity, and generate social change. Most recently, she completed a federally funded postdoctoral fellowship at Simon Fraser University. Her current project, funded by the Council to Reduce Elder Abuse, brings LGBTQ youth and seniors together in artistic collaboration. 

Her awards include Xtra West Writer of the Year, the Joseph Katz Memorial Scholarship (for her contributions to social justice), and the Lynch History Prize (for her contributions to better understanding of gender and sexual minorities).

Workshop: Friday September 2,  9:45 - 11:45 am

Let’s Talk About Sex: Sexuality, Intimacy, and Desire in Lesbian Relationships  Presenters:  Kate Rossiter & Bridgid McGowan

How can we talk about sex, and more effectively express our desires to our sexual and romantic partners? This workshop on healthy sexuality in lesbian relationships will focus on developing the language to talk about sex, intimacy and desire; identifying messages older women receive about sexuality and the impact of these messages; understanding barriers to talking about sex, intimacy and desire in lesbian relationships; and strengthening communication skills around sexual needs, desires, and consent. This is one of several workshops in the Ending Violence Association of BC’s Safe Choices Program, which helps to build alternatives to abuse and violence through workshops on healthy intimate relationships for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, Two-Spirit and queer women.

Kate Rossiter is the Research & Projects Manager at the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC), and Coordinator of the Safe Choices LGBT2SQ Support and Education Program. She has been working for over 10 years as a researcher and educator in the field of violence against women, and regularly delivers service provider education workshops focused on working with LGBT2SQ women who may be experiencing same-sex/same-gender relationship violence or abuse. In her spare time, she plays soccer with her wife, and assists with organizing Queer Van Soccer, and inclusive recreational soccer league.

Bridgid McGowan is a Queer Femme who has worked in the anti-violence movement since the 1980's as an activist, counsellor, and trainer. She currently works as a therapist in private practice focusing on issues related to trauma, bereavement, chronic illness, and spirituality. Bridgid is honored to work with many LGBT2SQ folks, and is excited to return to BOLDFest!

Dance Class: Friday September 2, 4:30 - 5:30 pm

 Back by popular demand!

ZUMBA® Gold (for the active older adult and beginners) Instructor:  Denise Galay

ZUMBA® Gold is a dance-fitness class that uses the zesty Latin music, like Salsa, Cha Cha, Merengue, Cumbia, Rock & Roll (including Twist and Charleston), Flamenco and Tango with easy to follow moves to create a dynamic and fun fitness class. ZUMBA® Gold classes strives to improve our balance, strength, flexibility and most importantly, the heart. It is a "feel-happy" workout that is great for both the body and the mind. 

Workshop: Friday September 2,  9:45 - 11:45 am

Medical Tourism - Surgery for Sale!: How to Have Surgery Abroad Without It Costing Your Life.  Presenter: Janet Bristeir

Thinking of taking your surgery into your own hands? What you don't know CAN hurt you. With long wait times and limited availability, many patients opt to get surgeries done abroad. It's a consumer's market and a crap shoot all at once. But you can make a sound decision, get great value, and the outcome you want, when you know how to ask the right questions. From her experience as an operating room nurse, to advising the government on surgical instruments sterilization, Janet Bristeir knows surgical safety inside out”

Janet Bristeir: specializes in Operating Room Nursing and the reprocessing (cleaning, disinfection and sterilization) of surgical instruments and devices; registered in Canada and practice Quality Assurance in Health Care. Decades of clinical experience qualify and allow her to bring a wealth of knowledge to projects related to patient safety

Janet is the author of the #1 Amazon Best Seller: Medical Tourism – Surgery for Sale! How to have Surgery Abroad Without it Costing Your Life. More information at:

Workshop: Friday September 2, 9:45 - 11:45 am

 Generating Dialogue between the Generations (a BOLDFest tradition)

Presenters: Nadine Boulay, Caroline Doerksen  and Candice Klein 

Generations in Conversation: Creating intergenerational dialogue and community with lesbians and queer women.    Tune into the hottest topics being discussed these days. Where are you at with it all? What questions do you have for younger women, older women?  Let the dialogue begin!

Caroline Doerksen: I'm a third year Gender, Sexuality and Women’s studies major and Labour Studies minor at Simon Fraser University. My passion for lgbtqia2s activism and social justice began in 2013, when I joined ‘Youth For A Change; an lgbtq+ youth activist and advocacy group in Surrey.  Some of my achievements and activism include: the first person to bring SFU’s lgbtq+ collective ‘Out On Campus’ to SFU’s Surrey campus, recipient of Vancouver Purple Legacy award, Chair of Women’s Studies student union at SFU.  My feminism blossomed just before I entered university, and now plays a key role in who I am as a queer woman. My goal is to continue making positive and impactful changes as a queer, intersectional feminist.

Candice Klein: an interest in detective novels, the Prairies, feminism, and hip hop greatly influenced my decision to become a historian. Originally from rural Southwestern Ontario, I made the trek westward in 2003 with long pauses through Calgary and Banff, eventually settling in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2005. As a fledgling historian of gender and sexuality, the zeitgeist of the women’s movement during the “long 60s” deeply influences my current res

Nadine Boulay: After completing my BA from the University of Manitoba in 2011, I moved out to Vancouver the following year to pursue my Master's degree and be closer to the ocean. Having few older queer mentors at the time, my research used oral history to encourage intergenerational dialogue between lesbian and queer women of different ages, and to document histories of lesbian community in Vancouver during the 1970s and 80s. As a born and raised rural prairie queer, my PhD research at Simon Fraser University looks at LGBT2SQ rural histories in BC after 1965, focusing on community, politics, and settler colonialism. Aside from researching, I spend my time performing as a drag king, casting spells, and writing over-wrought queer poetry. 

Workshop:  Sunday September 4,  10 am - noon

LESBIAN TRIVIA!   Presenter:  Nic Tobias

Join  NIC for a uproarious game of Lesbian Trivia!

 A fun and loud session for teams or individuals who want to show off their knowledge  of dyke trivia. Subjects include (US & Canadian) music, literature, sports and more!  Test  your lesbian memory, learn some things to bring back home!  Win a Prize! This event is Sponsored by Qmunity, Vancouver's LGBTQ Centre.

Nic,a volunteer for Qmunity*, is described by her friends as a "loving tornado".  She is an actor and filmmaker who loves comedy, musicals and improv. Her new project is a new comedy web-series (currently on pre-production) that focuses on cultural and sexual diversity. She is a passionate believer in equality and tolerance, and is looking to expand her support and impact for LGBTQ community.

* Thank you to Qmunity, Vancouver's LGBTQ+ Centre, for organizing this workshop. 

Workshop:  Sunday September 4, 10 am - noon

Making Good Pictures Great     Presenter:  Carren Strock

Whether you're shooting for fun or profit, using a cell phone, a throw-away camera, or an expensive digital one, whether you are a novice or an experienced photographer, this workshop will help to improve your photos. You will learn how to turn a basic photo into a great one, and more important, have fun doing it. We'll study contest winning photos and discuss framing, cropping, composition, backgrounds and details that improve images. We will cover posing subjects, working with children, and shooting indoors and out. In addition,  you will learn aspects of editing on your cell phone that you never knew existed. You can bring your photos for gentle critiques and bring your cell phones or cameras for some fun exercises.

Carren is the author of the ground-breaking book on a previously undiscussed topic, Married Women Who Love Women, now in its second edition. She is also the author of A Writer’s Journey: What to Know Before, During, and After Writing a Book and In the Shadow of the Wonder Wheel.  Her newest book, Tangled Ribbons, is a lesbian paranormal romance, was published in 2015.

Herstories: A West of Denman Historical Walking Tour with historical interpreter Jolene Castillou Cumming

This is an "extra activity/extra cost" event. Click here for more information.

 BOLDFest 2012- 2016 Bold, Old(er) Lesbians & Dykes
PO Box 21510, 1424 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 5G2 Canada
Tel: 604-253-7189 - Email 

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