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BOLDFest 2017 Workshops & Presenters

Here's your chance to learn something new, engage in lively, possibly controversial discussions (!), laugh a lot, perhaps shed a tear or two. It's all part of being a BOLDFestee! It's a lesbian thing! Date and time noted for each workshop.

Note: Workshops are included in BOLDFest registration fee. For women not registered who want to take in a workshop or two, please show up 15 minutes ahead of time and pay at Registration Desk, 2nd floor foyer. $15 - 20 per workshop. Nametag iadmits you into workshop. 

with Heather Bishop
Monday Sept 4, 2:00-4:00 pm

 Heather Bishop came out publicly in 1972. It was a lonely time because while the majority of her community was forced to hide to protect themselves, their family, and their jobs, Heather was standing tall and catching strong, hate-filled winds.

We all have a story.   But by keeping them to ourselves, we foster difference – and difference often feeds fear – and then fear leads to a wall of judgment that manifest in all kinds of ways – racism – homophobia – sexism – all forms of oppression that disempower us.  Fear is the foundation of bullying.

 When you tell your story, you not only teach others about your journey, but you give voice to our sameness – and the fears around our difference begin to disappear.  It opens up the space for others around you to change and thus do we change the world.

with barbara findlay
Friday Sept 1, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Lots of U.S. folks have been asking if it is possible to immigrate to Canada. Sometimes one partner is Canadian, the other a US citizen. What does it take to be able to live together in Canada?   barbara findlay is a queer feminist lawyer committed to making the law work for all. To her, this means everything from helping someone prepare their will, to fighting ground breaking equality rights cases, to drafting conception agreements for three parent families planning a child by assisted insemination.

with Val Wilkins
Friday Sept 1, 9:45 am - 11:45 am

Val is back to teach you her version of how to flirt.  This workshops is for everyone - singles or couples, all ages.    Come prepared to practice! For those who have attended this workshop there will be additional instruction on how to flirt online.

Val has attended every BOLD Conference and has been dubbed the 'Flirting Coach' by some. "It takes guts to say you'll teach people to flirt when there are so many good flirts attending the conference. However, I'm up for the challenge and encourage those of you who are shy and tend to hold back to attend my workshop!"  

Getting Your Writing Out There

with Claire Robson                           Sat Sept 2. 9:45 am - 11:45 am

 Worn out patriarchal notions about who can write, who can publish, and whose stories matter prevent many great women’s stories from being told. In an age where women’s presses and bookstores are under threat, it’s still possible for anyone to get their work in print, and this workshop will show you how. Claire will offer strategies and ideas for publishing your stories, poetry, memoir, photography, artwork, and essays. The workshop will cover both print and online options, and professional and self publication. She’ll offer practical tips and guidelines as well as more personal advice about how to stop shooting yourself in the foot! 


Then and Now: The Art of Intergenerational Storytelling

with Shilpa Narayan, Caroline Doerksen, Sylvie Traphan and Jen Marchbank                             Friday Sept 1, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

These 4 women, a generation apart, will host a workshop that focuses on the importance of community building through intergenerational conversation and connection. In this hands on discussion based workshop, participants will engage in meaningful dialogue about  intergenerational activism and the way in which it has evolved overtime. It is important to keep our stories alive amongst generations of LGBTQ activists and this workshop will provide a space to do just exactly that. The workshop is meant to share and inspire each other through collaborative discussions on the "then and now" of queer and feminist activism.

Shilpa Narayan is a 21 year old Gender Sexuality Women Studies student, a provincial mental health advocate and an LGBTQ youth who is striving to make the world an inclusive and accessible space as much as she can. She identifies as an intersectional feminist and has done work throughout the province to educate youth, teachers, and community members of the importance of connection, conversation, and community through practises of mental wellness and social justice. This year at BOLD Fest, Shilpa has put together a workshop on the importance of community building through intergenerational conversation and connection. In this hands on discussion based workshop, participants will engage in meaningful discussion about  intergenerational activism and the way in which it has evolved overtime.It is important to keep our stories alive amongst generations of LGBTQ activists and Shilpa wants to provide a space to do just exactly that. Inspire each other

Caroline Doerksen is a 4th year Gender, Sexuality and Women's studies major and Labour studies minor at Simon Fraser University. She is the former president of the Gender, Sexuality and a Women's Studies Student Union and the current Department Representative. She is a four year member of Youth For A Change, an LGBTQ+ advocacy and activist youth group in Surrey. She is a creative committee member of the SFU Gerontology's LGBT Elder Abuse Prevention Project, being the first to create materials in Canada on LGBT elder abuse. She is a member of the New Westminster SD.40's Gender and Sexual Diversity Inclusion Committee, creating and implementing policies for the school district on gender and sexual inclusion. She is a research assistant for InclusionBC, a non profit organization working to create inclusive policies for students with disabilities. She is the host of CJSFS 90.1fm's feminist radio show IntraVenus. 

Sylvie Traphan and Jen Marchbank

Sylvie and Jen founded Youth for A Change, an LGBTQ2SAI+ youth advocacy and activist group in 2012. Based in Surrey they work all over the Greater Vancouver Area and have worked with QUIRK-E for several years on a range of intergenerational arts projects.

ZUMBA® Gold (for the active older adult
 and beginners) is back!
with Denis Galay
Friday Sept 1, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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. 

Gitta Ridder

is a yurt maker, a martial artist who has taught self defence to women in India and elsewhere to give them courage and sense of self, a lover of women's community and women's land, a world traveller,  a woman who keeps on re-inventing herself.  

WOMYNLINK Kitchen Table Conversations                                    Sat Sept 2, 9:45 am -11:45 am                                 is a unique on-line community of lesbians and feminists (55+) forming a global web of connection and support.

What is Womynlink's vision and goals?

  • Share & utilize the skills & insights in our multi-cultural aging lesbian feminist circles around the planet
  • Discuss issues that matter (to us) via live (online) bi-monthly KitchenTable conversations across continents
  • Access quality workshops offered by any of our members for a fee, online  while staying at home. 

Workshop facilitator and Womynlink originator, Gitta Ridder, will discuss how womynlink has been utilized to date, as well as its successes and challenges now in its 2nd year of existence.  Expect a lively exchange of inspirational ideas on the potential of this platform in the future.                          personal- community- global- environmental activism 

Polyamory, Non-Monogamy and other alternative romantic and sexual arrangements

Sunday Sept 3, 2 pm - 4 pm

What do these mean? What are the values that drive these choices? What are the benefits of living and loving this way? What are some common challenges and how can we best navigate them?Come join us for a fun and interactive workshop to discuss all this and more.

Bozena Zdaniuk is a social psychologist currently working as a female sexuality researcher and academic teacher at the University of British Columbia. She has taught Human Sexuality and Gender classes for almost 20 years and has recently published a chapter on same sex relationships in middle and late adulthood. She is a life-long practitioner of non-monogamous relationships and encourages the values of transparency, honesty, love and self-growth. She sees non-monogamy.

Jody Jewdyke is a social worker with over 20 years experience facilitating groups and leading workshops.  “I have been practicing non-monogamy/polyamory since I came out 25 years ago. I have an ongoing commitment to the values of love, kindness, community, respect for differences, open and clear communication, honesty, and lifelong learning and self-growth. I think the joys of polyamory are summed up nicely in a comment a lover once made: "If I find you lovable, others will too!". I see polyamory and non-monogamy as gifts of possibility that come with the freedom we have as lesbians to create our own families and communities, and ways of living and loving that work for us.”

                        Bozena Zdaniuk                                                   Jody Jewdyke


From A to Q: Evolving LGBTQ2S+ Language
with Qmunity Staff member (TBA)                                                       Friday Sept 1, 9:45 am - 11:45 am

Words can hold a great amount of power, in both oppression and liberation.  Inclusive language within and for the LGBTQ2S+ communities is complex and evolving.

QMUNITY has created and published a glossary to explore language and terms of significance within the LGBTQ2S+ community, and we're due for an update (last revised: 2013).  

In this interactive workshop, we invite participants to share and discuss language and concepts that have informed and influenced who we are, and how we walk through this world.  Some questions to get you thinking...

Are words like faggot or dyke hate terms, or can some people use them, some of the time?
How does heteronormativity influence queer relationships?  And what does homonormativity mean?
While "trans" is a perceived as a broad umbrella term, how do we differentiate or articulate differences (and similarities!) in experiences between genderqueer, genderfluid, and/or gender non-binary folks?

WALKING TOURS, Saturday and Sunday

Women & The Arts: A Stanley Park Historical Tour  (Saturday)

Women East of Denman Historical Tour (Sunday)

with historical interpreter Jolene Castillou Cumming 

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

BOLDFest 2012- 2017 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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