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BOLDFest 2019 Workshops & Presenters

 BOLDFest's interactive workshops are: stimulating, sometimes challenging, often funny and  welcomes all participants. Topics are as diverse as the presenters. We  learn, explore ideas, perhaps change our mind about a thing or two, share our personal stories. We laugh, cry, feel safe to say what we need to say! It's a lesbian thing!

BOLDFest reserves the right to make changes to schedule as needed. Changes will be available at registration desk.  Workshops (and much more) are included in BOLDFest registration fee. See Registration form on website.  Individual events registration is also available if you are unable to attend the entire weekend.

Workshops are held on the 3rd floor of the Hotel. Check with Registration desk for workshop location . If you're dropping in for only a workshop,  please go first to Registration to pay and get name badge.

Let's talk Decrim! Oral History on the 50th Anniversary of the Decriminalization of Homosexual Acts in Canada: An Intergenerational Approach

Presenter: Shilpa Narayan

Friday Afternoon October 12  2:00 - 4:00 pm

 To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada this project created oral histories of those persons whose lives were affected (or not) by this policy change. Led by Dr. Jen Marchbank, Dr. Gloria Gutman and Shilpa Narayan from Simon Fraser University, this project takes a look at the relationship of decriminalisation to LGBTQ+ individual's social, cultural, health and mental health experiences. These oral histories have been written up and recorded as aural testimony and curated as an educational display exhibited in Surrey City Hall and Surrey Libraries. This workshop highlights the process of this very special intergenerational project which includes the method, the process, and the outcome. Combining academic research with grassroots LGBTQ+ activism, an open dialogue has been created and continues to be created about this important event in Canadian LGBTQ+ History.

 Shilpa Narayan is a 23 year old award-winning mental health and social justice activist as well as Gender/Sexuality/Women’s Studies student at SFU. Her work involves locally, provincially and internationally educating communities, creating workshops, and resources around the intersections between mental health education, intergenerational art activism and the LGBTQ+ community.

Shilpa is a Team BOLD volunteer member for the past 4 years and helps facilitate BOLDFest's Intergenerational discussions. We love our younger BOLDFestees!  They keep us hopping!

Retirement: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

 Presenters: Kathy Jones (right) & Millie Dietrich (left) 

Saturday morning Oct 12, 9:45 am - 11:45 am

 Nothing creates more emotions in older lesbians than preparing for retirement. Some women look towards retirement with FEAR (do I have enough money? how will it affect my social life? what will I do with my day?), some, JOY (finally I can get to that project I have been wanting to do), others worry about their HEALTH (will there be enough resources when they need them). No matter what- it’s a huge change. 

This workshop will present results from a study undertaken in Manitoba on issues facing LGBT2SQ+ seniors as well as the development of a Seniors centre for LGBT2SQ+ Manitobans. Using that study the presenters share stories of their own experiences and lead a discussion with others on the fun and fears of retirement. 

Kathy Jones is a retired Social Worker and Instructor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba.  She spends her day renovating her turn of the century house, knitting, spinning and sitting on the Board at the Rainbow Resource Centre. 

Millie Dietricis a retired Nurse who spent most of her career working in Northern First Nations and Inuit communities. Her passions include watching Toronto Blue Jays and Winnipeg Jets games, cycling and going to the gym.   She is also an active member of the ‘Over the Rainbows’ group at the Rainbow Resource Centre. 

The Politics of LGBTQ2 Memorialization 

Presenter: Elise Chenie 

Saturday afternoon Oct 12, 2:30 - 4:30 pm        

 In May of this year the Canadian federal government released the equality coin to celebrate 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality, but a group of lesbian and gay activists protested. 

Find out WHY at this interactive workshop on the politics of queer memorialization.

Elise Chenier is a popular public speaker who has addressed audiences across Canada, the US, Europe and the UK. She has provided expert commentary for the Canadian and American media on everything from same-sex marriage legislation, “pinkwashing,” the labia selfie, to Justin Trudeau’s 2015 electoral victory. Her passion for thinking critically about sexuality, race, and gender carries through to the classroom. 

 Elise has been recording the life experiences of same-sex attracted women since the early 1990s. For the past decade she been putting oral testimonies online at . Elise is a Professor of History at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests concern aspects of sexuality, gender, and race from queer, feminist, and social justice perspectives. 

Makeda Zook, left, Sadie-Epstein Fine, right, Editors of Spawning Generations

Makeda will be facilitating thie workshop, "Spawning Generations - Rants and Reflections on Growing Up wth LGBTQ Parents"  

Photo Credit: Amy Gottlieb, 2018   

Spawning Generations - Rants and Reflections on Growing Up 

with LGBTQ+ Parents

Presenter:  Makeda Zook

Sunday October 13, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

 is a Lambda Literary and Foreword Indie Review nominated collection of stories by queerspawn spanning six decades, three continents, and five countries. In this workshop, we'll dive into why it's important for queerspawn to carve out a space for us to tell our own stories in all of their messiness and complexity. We'll also explore themes such as reclaimed language, poster child syndrome and cultural queerness. Finally, we'll open up space to explore in conversation, some of the tensions between communities of queerspawn and the larger LGBTQ+ community with the goal of facilitating an intergenerational dialogue that celebrates the voices of our community's elders and spawn.  Book copies available for purchase for $30 (cash only) after the workshop. For more information on the book visit:

FACILITATOR: Makeda Zook (she/her) is one of the editors behind the Lambda Literary and Foreword Indie Review nominated Spawning Generations - Rants and Reflections on Growing Up with LGBTQ+ Parents. She was born at home, in an East Van housing co-op, in 1986 to her two lesbian feminist moms. She was raised in a mixed-race family surrounded by anti-oppression politics and her OWLs (Older Wiser Lesbians). Makeda grew up in Toronto going to dyke marches and being encouraged to talk about her feelings. She currently works in sexual health promotion for a feminist NGO.

A BOLDFest Comedy Workshop with Claire Robson

Please Note:  Sadly, this workshop had to be cancelled. 

Let's Talk About Climate Change 

Presenter:  Bet Cecill  

   Saturday Oct 12, 9:45 am - 11:45 am

Climate Change is happening rapidly and we have a short period of time to respond. This workshop will open with a short film or Power Point..followed by responses and a discussion focused on  what we can do as individuals, as local, state/provincial and national governments. The emphasis is on actions leading to hope. 

Bet has been an activist since coming out in 1979 and has been involved with many lesbian, gay and feminist groups. She was a co-founder of the Vancouver Lesbian Connection that opened and ran Canada’s only Lesbian centre. Since moving to the Sunshine Coast she has been on the Pride Dance Committee for many years, is on the steering committee of Alliance4Democracy and was the chair of Fair Vote Sunshine Coast. Her current focus, due to it’s extreme urgency and affect on us all,  is Climate Change. She also loves to dance and agrees with Emma Goldman.

Flirt with Flair

Presenter:  Val Wilkins

Friday Oct 11, 9:45 am - 11:45 am

Val Wilkins is back doing her Flirting workshop.  Some of you will have attended several of these workshops over the years just because the time spent is guaranteed to be filled with laughter and it allows you to meet women in a more intimate way.  Wink! Wink! For those who have never come, it doesn’t matter if you are single or coupled, are an advanced flirter already or are a nervous newbie.  Val will walk you through some of the basic flirting techniques and end with a stimulating exercise at the end.  Val has years of experience … facilitating workshops with sensitivity and humour … and yes perhaps has done her fair share of flirting as well!!!  This workshop tends to set certain energy for the whole weekend so get into the groove and attend.  Everyone is welcomed with open … arms.

VAL WILKINS isn’t as young as she used to be.  However she has been practising and feels she is up to the challenge of donning her flirting bra and boxers with hopes of presenting a really fun workshop.  She likes to say that “flirting is a skill that can be learned and practised, and relearned and practised, and …”.  Although some, including herself, may not have the best memory anymore, Val suggests you start revving your motors now and the workshop will refresh and revitalize your memory.    



Presenter:  Carolyn Anderson

Friday Oct 11, 9:45 am - 11:45 am

 What does it take to choose courage over comfort in a culture defined by scarcity, fear and uncertainty?

Every day we experience vulnerability.  As we age, we experience vulnerability from a whole new perspective. Many of us have spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, right or wrong, good and bad.  Our inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability can limit the fullness of important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy and creativity to name a few. 

Learn what it takes to lean into vulnerability as we age BOLDLY and choose to live our best lives yet!

Join us in viewing Brené Brown’s recent Netflix program “Call to Courage” and share in a discussion the vulnerability of aging and how we can lean into courage as we strive to live our most authentic lives. 

Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.

Carolyn Anderson is a life long teacher and learner. She has been an advocate in the GLBT community for many years.  Having taught social work at Mount Royal University for the past 20 years, she 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.

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PO Box 21510, 1424 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 5G2 Canada
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