THE WEEK — May 16: Queer culture celebrated

Queer culture celebrated, time for a sobering survey, and one time, at Social Media Camp...

  • May. 15, 2013 6:00 p.m.

All queer, trans folk and allies will be invited to join in for “Queering the City” in Victoria’s second-annual prideful and playful event: Queerposium on May 18.

Queer culture celebrated

Exuberant Victorians are queering up the city this week, as International Day Against Homophobia will be marked with Victoria’s second-ever Queerposium on May 18.

This Saturday, from 10am-4pm, New Horizons Centre (234 Menzies) will play host to a day-long interactive event for queer and trans folk and allies. A morning of workshops and discussion will lead into a provided lunch, then onto the Queering the City bike ride. This year’s theme is simple: creating an inclusive, playful and safe space for all.

“We aim to build community engagement through discussion and play in an accessible and safe space for LGBTTIQQ2SAP folk and the people who love us,” says Anna Malkin, one of the event organizers.

Participants will be engaged in positive and non-judgmental dialogue, and presenter Jeremy Jones will lead a workshop/discussion on Reconciliation and Decolonization, followed by a gender-non-specific dance lesson courtesy of the All Genders Queer Social Dance Learning Collective.

Queerposium follows a line of queer-friendly events in the city, like last November’s community-building Bussed Out!?%#, a bus ride through Victoria that introduced participants to local LGBTQ haunts and included discussions on discrimination, trans masculinities and the hidden queer communities of Victoria.

To join in, visit the group’s Facebook page to purchase tickets: $15 sliding scale, although no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Learn more at: queerposium.org.

Time for a sobering survey

Attention anyone who has ever needed addictions support: UVic researchers want to talk to you.

“Sober Together: A Survey on Peer-Support for Problematic Alcohol Use” has been developed by UVic’s Dr. Frederick Grouzet, principal investigator and associate professor of psychology, and graduate student Tyler Carey. The two hope to collect data from over 1,000 participants across North America who have ever attended a peer-support group for problematic alcohol use.

“What we’re hoping to find out is the mechanisms by how some of these programs have helped people overcome problematic alcohol use, and also how they help these people not just recover but flourish in life,” says Carey, who adds that this initial survey is part of a much larger study that will require years of data collection.

The survey will be entirely online-based and confidential, and will ask people to volunteer information for questions like: “What has it been like to attend a peer-support group to help you with problematic alcohol use?” “Were you able to form relationships with other group members?” and “Does your life feel different today than it did before attending peer-support groups?”

LifeRing Canada, a secular recovery society of alcohol and drug peer support groups, has worked with researchers since its inception in 2008. LifeRing and other groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Smart Recovery, will be working with researchers in the project.

“LifeRing is very much research informed, and the research itself tells us the things we are doing successfully and the things we could improve upon,” says Michael Walsh, LifeRing executive director. “What people are doing in their recovery is important for us to understand in order to know where to go.”

To participate in the study, visit uvic.ca/wellbeing/sobertogether, invitation code: SOBER4YOU.

One time, at Social Media Camp

This past week saw over 600 nerds unite at the largest event of its kind in Canada: Social Media Camp, held in Victoria for the fourth year in a row.

The three-day affair collected local and international followers from May 6-8, as entrepreneurs, business owners, professionals and amateurs who just wanted to meet Twitter celebrities gathered at the Victoria Conference Centre for the networking and education event. Sessions and keynote speeches from social media giants (like Mari Smith and CC Chapman) left delegates eager for more. From “Optimizing your Facebook Feed” and “Using Pinterest for Business” to “Cyberbullying” and “Attention Economics,” those present gained top-level strategic advice and insight on how to engage customers, manage brands, empower employees and perfect social media campaigns.

Didn’t make it this year? Fear not: the camp will be shifting into a Social Media Cruise this fall, leaving Vancouver on the Norwegian Jewel Sept. 21 for a six-night journey with keynote speaker Tod Maffin and workshops by award-winning photographer Kris Krug. Learn more at: socialmediacamp.ca/social-media-cruise.

To catch all the notes from this week’s event, check out the Twitter hashtag #SMCamp. M

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