Summit 2013 Program


The Social Spaces Summit 2013 home-base will be at the Dogwood Centre located at 706 Clark Drive

google rad map link of all the spaces:

Accessibility information:

 The Dogwood Centre (summit home-base/workshop space) has one ground floor entrance followed by 6 stairs with a railing to the kitchen and common room level. There is one exterior entrance to the common room which has 3 stairs but will be equipped with a wheelchair ramp. The doorways are 38 inches in width. There are two gender neutral washrooms in the space, one of which is on the ground floor. the door to the main meeting room washroom is 30 inches across and there is a handrail above the toilet.

 Spartacus Books (workshop space) is wheelchair accessible.  It has a ground-level entry, and the entire spaces is ground level. The front door and bathroom (gender neutral) are 31 inches across. 684 East Hastings

 Redgate/855 East Hastings (workshop space/open space) is wheelchair accessible and has a ground floor washroom with a handrail. There are no stairs to enter the space. More info including measurements are to come ASAP

 The Purple Thistle (open space/kids zone/art-making space) has 16 stairs up to the second floor, they are 38 inches in width with a railing. There is no elevator. Please do contact us to discuss ideas on how to combat these challenges. There is one gender neutral washroom at the space. There are comfortable couches and a variety of chairs to sit on. 260-975 Vernon Drive

Hammock Residency: (open space)  – 6 stairs to enter the house. more info coming. 1923 Graveley Street

Program – Social Spaces Summit  - Nov 2013

Friday – Nov 8

there will be snacks and coffee/tea throughout the afternoon.

Time Dogwood Open Space Open Space
12:00 – 3:00 Check in/ Welcome & Open Space scheduling
3:00 – 5:00 Tami Starlight & Vanessa Bui – Decolonize Anti-Oppression Jenna Rudolph – Unlearn, Be radical, Rewild: (ALL AGES) @Thistle/Outside
5:00-6:00 Free time
6:00 -9:00 PM Welcoming & Dinner and Live music

Saturday – Nov 9

We will be at the dogwood at 9:30 am for coffee and tea and hangouts.

Time Dogwood 855/Redgate Spartacus Open Space
10:00-11:30 Joan Donaghey & Richard Day – Waves of Community Formation Kelsey Cham C.- Fuck our Brains! Get into Our Bodies!!: Joyful Militancy and Martial Arts (ALL AGES) closed
12:00-1:00 LUNCH
1:00-1:30 Clean up
1:30-3:00 Khari McClelland: Connecting through experiential and arts based facilitation Mayari ayala-wiebe and Kori Doty : Consent – developing good practices and habits from birth onwards Open Space
3:30-5:30 Carmen Papalia- Bodies of Knowledge: Open SourcingDisability Experience (ALL AGES) Open Space Disruption Collective – Serina & Julie : Invisible Complicity: Revealing and Resisting in Urban Spaces (@Purple Thistle)

Sunday – Nov 10

We will be at the dogwood at 9:30 am for coffee and tea and hangouts.

Time Dogwood Spartacus Open Space
10:00-11:30 Klee Benally  -Táala Hooghan Infoshop: Indigenous established anti-colonial & anti-capitalist radical resource & action center since 2007 closed
12:00-1:00 LUNCH
1:00-1:30 Clean-up
1:30-3:00 Lisa Prentice, Carmen Papalia, Kristin Lantz, and Heidi Nagtegaal –  Restoring Care to the Commons- a facilitated conversation Jill Boyd – Info-Seeking Habits for Activists
3:30-5:00 CommunityWise Resource Centre and the Calgary Icarus Breakfast Club Project – meta-workshop on anti-oppression Besh Caron –  The Worksite as a social space: building relationships and solidarity at work

Monday- Nov 11

We will be at the dogwood at 9:30 am for coffee and tea and hangouts.

Time Dogwood Open Space Spartacus Open Space
10:00-11:30 Andrea Creamer:  Making (something) happen : Coalition of Small Spaces (COSS) closed Matthew Kemshaw – Urban food commons:  (ALL AGES) @Thistle & Cottonwood
12:00-1:00 LUNCH
1:00-1:30 Clean up
1:30-3:00 Kelsey Lavoie – Lovers in a Dangerous Time: Self-Love and Psychological Warfare closed
3:30-5:00 Goodbyes! and Cleaning!

Workshop and Presentation Outlines



Tami Starlight & Vanessa Bui – Decolonize Anti-Oppression

First, facilitators will give an oral history of the colony of canada, covering the Indian Act, residential schools, assimilation, treaties, among other issues. The workshop will at the same time facilitate discussions on different forms of oppression and their interconnections, how they affect our lives, and how we can navigate them. This will be followed by a discussion on how we can move forward while understanding how entrenched we all are in colonization, grassroots community actions, meaningful allyship and solidarity with indigenous nations within the colony of canada. To include handouts, group reading, and discussion.

Tami Starlight (cree from the peguis nation Manitoba) and Vanessa Bui (vietnamese youth born on traditional Lekwungen territory, BC) will be co-facilitating this workshop with three themes of colonization, decolonization and anti-oppression.


Jenna Rudolph – Unlearn, Be radical, Rewild: (ALL AGES)

Let’s unlearn, be radical and rewild. Radical comes from the latin word radix, which means root. To be radical means to be deeply rooted. How can we be deeply rooted to our place, and to wildness around us? We will find the wildness in the city and connect with our senses and the places around us. We will celebrate the diversity and the unique gifts of creatures around us in order to connect more fully with wildness; wildness as a life force that can deeply reconnect us to the living world and to ourselves. By connecting with different forms of life, we can start the slow transition into a culture of fully realized humans using their own unique gifts in the world. This workshop will be a hands-on and sensory based experience, with a mix of skills and chatting. It will involve some walking around, some questions, all of your senses and a desire to overthrow the state, but wanting a deep connection to the earth so when the state crashes, we have that connection, that sense of place, and some skills to thrive.


MORNING DOGWOOD 10:00 – 11:30

Joan Donaghey & Richard Day – Waves of Community Formation:

This workshop will introduce a new, experimental method for mapping out and discussing our common (or divergent) goals, affinities, and priorities in community projects.  In this exercise we will decide collectively on what kind of project we want to undertake (as an exercise), and what will be important to that project.  We will then plot out our priorities, as individuals, visually expressing them as ‘waves’ on sheets of paper, and then cut them out.  Then we’ll all go around and compare our waves with others, to figure out who we might be able to work with, and hopefully coalesce into groups.  Finally, we’ll report back on the process and reflect on the usefulness of this exercise for creating and maintaining social spaces.

MORNING 855 10:00 – 11:30

 Kelsey Cham C. – Fuck our Brains! Get into Our Bodies!!: Joyful Militancy and Martial Arts: (ALL AGES)

In a patriarchal culture based on individualism and fear-based control, it is easy to learn to put up walls to protect ourselves: turn off our feelings, think rationally and build muscle. Our emphasis on the human brain disconnects us from all natural life, including ourselves. “Fuck emotions! Fuck our bodies! Fuck Spirit!” We learn our brains are the be all, end all, though we rationally destroy all of EVERYTHING!!

To tear down this system and create something better, we need to first break out of how we understand truth, and how we have learned to behave.Through partner-work, we will do a series of tests to demonstrate how our bodies can be physically more effective when we go past our brains and regain connectedness. We will also test the physical power of honesty and community support versus egotism and cheating.  I will use examples originating from the roots of karate. Karate is an art that has been almost completely destroyed, exploited and appropriated by western culture and with reason: karate was born on the battlefield of life and death, and it dangerous as fuck.

About me: I have been practicing martial arts since I was 9. By 16 I lost faith in my practice but kept doing it anyway. At 21, I met Kenji Ushiro, a sensei living in Japan and who introduced me to a completely different style of practice that is based on harmonization and depth of thought. I’ve been studying this practice on and off for the past 4 years. I still stink at it, cuz I got a lot of pride and a big ego, and I am resentful that my lessons are often about letting go. **I am not a teacher. I am just sharing experience.


 Disruption Collective – Serina & Julie : Invisible Complicity: Revealing and Resisting in Urban Spaces

Join the Disruption Collective for a rousing field-trip in the summit’s neighbourhood.

Our social spaces are deeply and inextricably woven into the urban landscape and its systems; influenced by the currents of gentrification, policing (and self policing), repression, and municipal/capitalist agendas. How can social spaces engage and resist the colonial, white supremacist, hetero-normative, ableist and capitalist narratives that play out on the streets, through the streets and in public/commercial spaces?  What do these oppressive dynamics even look like at the bus stop, in the bank or in the super market? How can we collectively and autonomously grow awareness to these dynamics and disrupt/destroy/engage/create/dialogue with these oppressive systems.  Through listening to fellow participants experiences and observations in spaces around the Summit we will share ideas for developing creative resistance.

* In every effort to work towards facilitating an accessible workshop, please contact workshop organizers at to let us know about your needs so we can work together to build a safer and more accessible experience.  There will also be an opportunity to discuss our needs at the beginning of the workshop.


Khari McClelland: Connecting through experiential and arts based facilitation

Experiential and arts based facilitation promotes self-esteem, motivation, social and emotional literacy, a sense of purpose, cross-cultural competence, community involvement, and 21st century leadership skills. During the course of the workshop we will explore getting to know one another and ourselves through simple activities. These activities will allow us to feel more comfortable, connected, understanding and empathetic amongst the folks that are in the room and beyond. We will build a sense of community and self awareness, through experiential and arts based activities.


Carmen Papalia: Bodies of Knowledge: Open Sourcing Disability Experience (ALL AGES)

I’d like to lead a 2-hour presentation and workshop for all ages and abilities about disability and access. My presentation will focus on the progression of my thought and my social art practice, and the work that I have done in museums over the last few years.

My presentation will include–project stills, a song, a video about a performance entitled Mobility Device, a show and tell involving a 30-foot mobility cane that I made, and the reading of a list of “I want” statements that I wrote a few years ago. The workshop portion will involve the eyes-closed exploration of a chosen space by whomever is interested. Participants will break into pairs and will take turns leading (and being lead on) non-visual walks. With eyes closed, participants will take note of their in-the-moment sensory perceptions as they gather a sense of place. The workshop will culminate in an activity in which the group will collectively situate their perceptions on a bare wall or sheet of paper–making a spacial narrative that will illustrate their experience.

AFTERNOON 855 1:30 – 3:00

Mayari ayala-wiebe and Kori Doty: Consent – developing good practices and habits from birth onwards

Maya brings her experience working with infants, toddlers and pre-school age while Kori brings experience from school-aged, youth and adult programming to deliver a full spectrum exploratory adventure in consent. They believe developing good consent practices at early ages helps foster empowered people with good relationships with their bodies and the ways they interact with others’. We will talk about/demonstrate a consent model diaper change. We will talk about translating lessons about power exploration and healing learned in kink communities to kids processing their own power and traumas. We will do some activities to help find our personal “bubble” and break down what that means, where our cues come from and how we can unlearn powerful blocks in being strong advocates for ourselves (and in turn demonstrating more respectful boundary respect towards others). With interest we will also get into “age of consent” and helping facilitate healthy understanding of age/power exploitation situations for our teen-age folks to avoid or navigate with care.


MORNING DOGWOOD 10:00 – 11:30

Klee Benally –  Táala Hooghan Infoshop: Indigenous established anti-colonial & anti-capitalist radical resource & action center since 2007.

Táala Hooghan Infoshop is located in Indigenous occupied territories of Northern Arizona and was established by Indigenous youth. From the strategies of infoshops, to problems with “allyship”, creative funding sources, and the fetishization of accountability, this presentation will explore the intention and varied issues faced with organizing and holding an anti-colonial space.

Presented by Klee Benally – collective member of Táala Hooghan Infoshop since 2007, Protect the Peaks, Indigenous Action Media, Outta Your Backpack Media, & Dibé Biccino Coop.


Lisa Prentice with Carmen Papalia, Kristin Lantz, and Heidi Nagtegaal – Restoring Care to the Commons: a facilitated conversation

When the act of caring is professionalised it becomes the exclusive province of a medical establishment and system.  The social body is progressively deskilled, and slowly becomes emotionally and practically underequipped to engage with pain and crisis.  As a care-giver by profession, I feel it imperative to be aware of industrial and societal processes that results in both specialization and the de-skilling of caring as an art simultaneously.  To frame the conversation, this workshop will discuss (and critique and reformulate, if necessary) different definitions of care.  This will lead into a broader discussion of caring-related experiences and practical skills specific to the group, conceiving care as an ethical practice.


Jill Boyd – Info-Seeking Habits for Activists:

How do you look something up when you want a quick answer? Most people answer “Google, of course!” But you’re not most people. You are an inherently political being who fights against the unending influence of corporations. But what if I told you that searching on Google is just like asking The Man the best way to undermine capitalism? It’s not because Google is really Skynet (I for one welcome our future robot overlords), but because of for-profit search engine optimization (ever heard of Ad-words? Look it up, but I challenge you not to Google it!), as well as the way Google weighs the validity of a web-page based on the “popularity” of sites that link is listed on! In this workshop, I’m going to do a rundown of some of the reasons that Google shouldn’t always be your first search engine choice, and what alternatives are out there. We’ll also go over some good information and research practices that you can apply to anything from asking the right questions at the library to conducting more exact searches on Google. I’d also love to have an open forum discussion on your needs as activists, when, why and how you conduct searches and research and what Librarians and other Internet People can do to help.

SPARTACUS  3:30 – 5:00

 Besh Caron – The Worksite as a social space: building relationships and solidarity at work.

Discussing the benefits of re-emphasizing the workplace as a social space. What are our relationships to these spaces? Are they negative or positive? Who is in control, is there any chance of autonomy? We tend to compartmentalize our work experiences and are often encouraged to keep our work life separate from our home life. Even though many of us feel connected to our communities, and have built up many solidarity circles, we rarely bring this into our places of work. We don’t often think of our work sites as spaces of resistance, like we do in other areas of our lives. For a place where many of us spend a considerable amount of time, we sure do let it get away with a lot.  We can identify how bosses, and Labour unions and hierarchy at work, persuade us away from solidarity building. Focus on ways to undermine the work ideology and the boss’ authority. Including, workplace solidarity (standing up for each other against the boss and/or customers, or other workers, transcending the friendships in and out of work, mutual aid,  including the community (customers), accountability, consent (not making assumptions), knowing your rights at work, looking for ways to dismantle the rigidness of boss/employee relationships, introducing direct unionism etc.

This is not about Labour unions  I can bring in some zines:  How to be a good coworker, and a bad employee / Direct Unionism / Know your rights at work / how to justify workplace theft


CommunityWise  - meta-workshop on anti-oppression: Presented by the CommunityWise Resource Centre and the Calgary Icarus Breakfast Club Project: Son Edworthy, Brett Mason, Emily Collins-Hutcheon, Sid Wozni, Kayla Bonham

Working in radical social spaces of all varieties requires explicit attention to the systemic oppression that permeates our lives. Social Spaces can be a tool for building social and environmental justice on a bigger scale, but our spaces don’t exist in a bubble. No matter how critical we are, or how radical our politics are, our behaviour and communication are influenced by these oppressive systems and the violence of oppression plays out in our social spaces despite our revolutionary, egalitarian visions. In Calgary at the CommunityWise Resource Centre, we have seen the need for more intentional anti-oppressive practice, raising consciousness and introducing more people to practical skills. We want to co-create a workshop with folks at the Social Spaces Summit, to draw on rad, diverse, collective knowledge and experience. This workshop is an opportunity to collaborate on designing a training session on anti-oppressive practice for social space participants. Seeking diverse contributions for content that represents the needs of people of all genders, ages, sizes, ethnicities, abilities… as we brainstorm the content together, the structure of the workshop will go through the principles of popular-education and workshop design and participants will take away facilitation skills transferable to any workshop topic. Facilitators have experience in designing and presenting workshops and discussion on LGBTQ sensitivity, ability spectrum, mental health and consensus based decision-making. Strategies employed have been learned through Training For Change, Next Up, Food Not Bombs, and the school of real life community organizing.


 MORNING DOGWOOD 10:00 – 11:30

 Andrea Creamer: Making (something) happen : Coalition of Small Spaces (COSS)

I am interested in starting formal and informal conversations with other artists and community organizers currently involved in small alternative spaces that can work together in gestures of solidarity, mentorship, and cross collaboration. I feel that we are a community that can create stronger ties to each other by sharing processes and experiences of dealing with bylaws, police/authority, accessibility, and funding structures. This is not about standardizing or creating linear paths for alternative spaces, but more about forming constellations of creative and passionate people working together in a city-wide effort. It is also about putting names to faces (when wanted) and navigating challenging times together, in whichever form ‘together’ takes.

 MORNING THISTLE and OUTSIDE 10:00 – 11:30

Matthew Kemshaw – Urban food commons:  (ALL AGES)

I will spend up to one hour facilitating a conversation about urban food commons. The discussion will begin with an overview of different urban food commons, their organizational structures, histories, and physical form. I will then open a dialogue about the influence that urban food commons can have on people’s relationship to dependence, trust, power, and self concept.


Kelsey Lavoie  - Lovers in a Dangerous Time: Self-Love and Psychological Warfare

Colonialism is a particularly insidious due to its ability to shape-shift, assimilate, and to manifest itself in our very efforts to dismantle it.  We can see this happening in many collective organizing efforts in the ways we judge, condemn and ostracize each other and our own selves. Colonial structures and systems exploit ego-based fears, and use these fears to dominate and control people. These include the fear of change, the unknown, powerlessness, difference etc. By drawing attention to the ways the dominant colonial culture aims to exploit these fears, we can better identify and contest the ways we perpetuate these dynamics.  The form and content of this workshop will necessarily be shaped by the needs and interests of those who attend. We endeavor to create a space where we can feel safe and courageous in exploring this very personal and tricky territory.  We’ll bring snacks for the road!


CommunityWise – collaborative zine station: OPEN SPACE/Ongoing all weekend at Dogwood and Thistle

Zines are virtual, DIY, low tech, low budget social spaces, bringing people together to share important information and stories. This way we can extend the power of the summit beyond space and time, to share with folks who aren’t able to attend this year and with ourselves in the future.

The Collaborative Zine Station will provide writing, drawing and collage supplies and tools for summit participants to create pages to contribute to the collaborative zine about social spaces, documenting the key themes, rad learning and experiences of the summit.

Besh: Diverging Tendencies: The peoples’ coffee shop // FREE COFFEE SHOP OPEN SPACE (TBA)

A people run/ not for profit/ free or pwyc/ coffee “shop,” with no workers, bosses, or customers.

The space itself is anywhere two or more people are congregating in a social capacity. It does not imply coffee will be present, or must be present.  We will reproduce the conditions we seek out, we identify this as the coffee shop, but this really means a place to hang out, where we can do work, have internet (not always), drink coffee (not always), be with others in some capacity. We will fulfill our cravings for some exchange, by providing all the necessary elements, but the one element the coffee shop is primarily centered on, profit. There will be no exploited worker, no eager boss, no demanding customer. We will serve ourselves, and make coffee for our friends and invite the community to do the same.

We will bleed out the surrounding gentrifying coffee shops, until the “coffee shop” can only be found in spaces where the people already reside. The coffee shop as we know it, will dissolve into the community.

When sitting in on discussions about “gentrification,” folks often bring up their conflicted feelings towards coffee shops, which are usually imposed on communities during the beginning phase of  a neighbourhood “rejuvenation” project. Our participation in gentrification is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we can’t play with it, and interrupt it, little by little. The session will be about brainstorming, expanding and inventing what the peoples’ coffee shop can look like.

*This project is inspired by the people’s phone booth.   A free 24 hour phone located outside of spartacus books. The phone is maintained by the community and supported by the group COMMA is a working group from the Spartacus collective, it stands for Comrades for Mutual Aid.


Travel info:

1. we will have a van and a car to drive folks to spaces for workshops!

2. If you require bus tickets, please let us know.

3. we are working on getting a few bikes (if you have extra to spare, let us know!)

Coming from the border (by car/bus):

North on the 5 out of Washington. Cross at the Peace Arch border crossing. Stay north on 99, exit Knight street. Keep north on Knight (which becomes Clark). When you get to Clark and Venables, you’re basically here.

Coming from the Ferries:

Tsawwassen: (transit) 620 bus to Bridgeport Skytrain Station, Canada Line downtown to Waterfront Station. Walk a block south to Pender and take the 22 bus east to Venables and Clark.

Horseshoe Bay: (transit) 257 bus to downtown (Burrard & Georgia) walk across the street and catch the 22 bus east to Venables and Clark.

Coming from the airport:

Take the Canada line downtown to Waterfront Station. Walk a block south to Pender and take the 22 bus east to Venables and Clark.


Food and Drinks

There will be snacks and warm drinks on all day

lunch is served Saturday, Sunday and Monday at noon

there will be one dinner on Friday, November 8th. at 6 pm

Hi, my name’s LeyAnn. Jeanette and I are bottom-lining the kitchen. I would like to take the time to address the food/meal situation during the Social Spaces Summit. Some of you, I have already been in contact with and you want to help, awesome. Others have food restrictions and have contacted us, wonderful. We are taking big steps to make sure that everyone can have something to eat during every meal, and have access to food they can eat at all times. There are some pretty serious allergies, and because of that, the collective has decided to run a gluten-free kitchen. We will have very tasty gluten alternatives. We also have a large number of dairy allergies and intolerances, therefore we will be mostly offering dairy-free prepared food. We are hoping to serve some ethically captured, wild salmon, but intend to otherwise keep the kitchen vegetarian.

Keeping in mind that some people might not find this ‘menu’ appealing, our main concern is to serve food that everyone can eat, and that the people with allergies feel safe. We will have a list of all the allergies and intolerances on the wall in the kitchen, all the food will be properly labeled, and we will be very careful when dealing with all food to assure that no cross-contamination occurs.

Everyone is welcome to come into the kitchen at any time and chat with us, check out what we’re doing, ask questions. I really aim to be approachable, and love cooking for people and especially for rad groups with amazing brains (i’m so stoked to meet ya’ll!!) so come by and say hi, and hopefully I’ll see you in some workshops too.

If you have any concerns, wondering if there is anything you can do to help, have a cool connection to free/donated food… Email me!

I’ll see you soon!