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General Meetings & Special Events

General Meetings

Our General meetings start with an invited speaker, and may be followed by a business meeting, where committees report on activities, and club motions are presented and voted on. For the upcoming Speaker Series, we have a varied program of topics and speakers, covering a broad range of topics. An overview of the year is shown below in the Speaker Series Calendar. More details of the next topic and speaker are provided below in Next Speaker – Outline, and the Previous Speakers section contains summaries of previous sessions. 

We meet on the first Monday of the month either at the Qualicum Civic Centre, or at the MacMillan Art Centre in Parksville. All programs begin at 7:00 pm unless specified otherwise.

Special Events 

In addition to General Meetings and our regular Speaker Series, we have a number of special events throughout the year, to which members of the public are typically invited. Some events are hands-on activities in the community; others are with invited speakers:

  • We honour the memories of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW); and also recognise the UN 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence with civic ceremonies in Qualicum and Parksville.
  • We will celebrate International Womens’ Day, March 08 2023,  with a talk from a distinguished speaker. Our next speaker will be Dr. Brenda Trenholme,  a retired physician who cycled from Cape Town to Cairo, and then The Silk Road, and who will share some of her experiences with us.
  • Many of our events combine fun with a charitable purpose too. An example is our CFUW PQ Christmas Auction. There have been Christmas auctions for at least 25 years, and originally they were silent. When a live component was added, revenue increased. We have supported shelter/help for abused women in Oceanside for over 20 years. At one time our Christmas contribution amounted to 10% of Haven Homes’ local budget. Our connection with Haven House Parksville is long-standing and it will be the recipient of of the 2022 Christmas Auction proceeds, during our lunch at the Bayside Inn at noon on December 05.

News on upcoming events can be found below in the Special Events Updates section. 

Speaker Series Calendar

Sept. 12

From Resistance to Reconciliation? (Qualicum Beach Civic Centre) 

Speaker: Dr. Laura Cranmer: Laura is Professor of Indigenous/Xwulmuxw Studies at Vancouver Island University (VIU). She shared her personal learning journey and her perspective on the progress of Reconciliation.

Oct. 17

“Granny Stories” (McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville)

Speaker: Norma Cameron: Norma is a professional storyteller who has performed in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and across North America. In 2017 Norma was invited to perform her one-woman play, Coalmines, Council Houses and Corsets at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. In Qualicum Beach she is currently leading Guided Autobiographies, a popular course running weekly at the QB Seniors Centre.

*Program followed by CFUW PQ Business Meeting

Nov. 14 

Combatting Gender-Based Violence (Qualicum Beach Civic Centre)

Speaker: Joel Rustin: Joel is with the Nanaimo Regional John Howard Society and will speak to us about the ways victims of domestic violence can deal with the aftermath and how abusers can be helped to understand and change behaviour.

Dec. 5

Christmas Dinner – Noon at the Bayside Inn, Parksville. Details will be provided. 

Jan. 9

Protecting French Creek Estuary Land (Qualicum Beach Civic Centre)

Speakers: Dr.Lynne Brookes & Denise Foster: Lynne is a conservationist and past president of Arrowsmith Naturalists, a local environmental stewardship group. She has been involved in efforts to protect the French Creek Estuary, which is home to eagles and other wetland animals. Her talk will describe why the French Creek Estuary should be protected next steps. 

*Program followed by CFUW PQ Business Meeting

Feb. 13

Black Pioneers on Vancouver Island (McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville & via Zoom)

Speaker: Silvia Mangue Alene: Located in Victoria, Silvia is the president of the BC Black History Aware-ness Society. Her talk will focus on the Black women who came as pioneers to Vancouver Island in 1858 to avoid the oppressive racial conditions in the U.S. These immigrants became an integral part of the early formation of Victoria and contributed to the richness of the developing society.

*Program followed by CFUW PQ Business Meeting

March 08

International Women’s Day – The Silk Road (Knox Church, Parksville)

Speaker: Dr. Brenda Trenholme: A self-described “endurance fanatic,” Brenda has completed a number of cycle tours in Europe and a 12,000 km cycling trip from Cairo to Capetown in 2016. With her appetite whet for exploring exotic places by bike, in 2018 she joined a group of 15 others to cycle 13,000 km along the Silk Road from Beijing to Istanbul. Brenda, a retired family physician, will provide a slide show of her cycling adventure, highlighting the salient cultural, geographical, historical and political features of the ten Asian countries she traversed.

Apr. 10

CFUW Resolutions & Budget (McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville)

*Business meeting

May 8

“Optimizing Arts Sector Potential on Vancouver Island” (Qualicum Beach Civic Centre)

Speaker: Illana Hester: Illana, Executive Director of The Old School House (TOSH), will speak about the work being done at TOSH and island-wide with Creative Coast, a collaboration of artists and art organizations created to optimize the potential of the arts sector on Vancouver Island. Originally from Calgary, Illana received her undergraduate degree at UBC and a Master’s of Arts in Visual Arts Administration at New York University. After filling various roles in the New York art scene for 12 years, Illana moved to Vancouver Island to become head of TOSH. She is also a member of Creative Coast’s Steering Committee (

June 5

Spring Dinner – Time and place to be announced.

June 12

AGM (Qualicum Beach Civic Centre)

Below is a link to a printable version for ease of reference:

EVENTS & MEETINGS Program 2022_23

Recent & Upcoming Special Events – Red Dress Ceremony

Red Dress Ceremonies

To honour the MMIW of Canada, and the UN 16 Days, on Friday November 25, CFUW PQ  organised two ceremonies: one in the morning in Qualicum, and the second in the afternoon in Parksville. 

The purpose of these actions is to raise awareness on both gender-based violence in general, and also the targeted violence against our Indigenous sisters in particular. This activity is part of our 2022-2023 club Plan of Action Please see thee attached PDF for details on what we can do, and how you can participate.

The use of red dresses to represent missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls was originated by Métis artist Jaime Black in 2010. In her exhibit. The REDress Project, Black displayed over one hundred red dresses around the University of Winnipeg campus to raise awareness about this issue. Today, red dresses continue to be used across Canada as a representation of the Indigenous women and girls lost to violent crime and as a call for action to prevent future violence. Many CFUW Clubs spread awareness about violence against Indigenous women & girls by hanging red dresses in high-traffic areas of their communities.

Members are asked to visit the Member Area Page to view specific club-based toolkits on how to ‘take action’

International Womens’ Day

March 08, 2023 – Kno Church, Parksville, 7:00pm. We will celebrate International Womens’ Day with a talk from a distinguished speaker. Our speaker will be Dr. Brenda Trenholme,  a retired physician who cycled from Cape Town to Cairo, and then The Silk Road, and who will share some of her experiences with us.

Next Speaker – Outline

Black History Month (MacMillan Arts Centre, Parksville)

Raising awareness of Black pioneers on Vancouver Island

In honour of Black History Month, our speaker on February 13 is Silvia Mangue Alene, President of the BC Black History Awareness Society. Since Silvia lives in Victoria, her presentation will be via Zoom during our meeting at the MacMillan Arts Centre in Parksville.

In 1858, nearly 800 Blacks left San Francisco to seek a chance of equality and a new life in Victoria. Although the new immigrants still faced racism and discrimination in their new home, they played an important role in the development of the colony. As Silvia told the Times Colonist last year, “Black history runs narrow but deep in this province and it is a legacy that we are very proud of. Education is important to keep the history alive.”

Silvia’s presentation will focus on the Black women pioneers and their contributions to Vancouver Island.

Previous Speakers

Here you will find posters and outlines of our previous Speaker Series talks

Protecting French Creek Estuary Land (Qualicum Beach Civic Centre)

CFUW November 2022 speaker poster copy

Speaker info for Nov. 14 meeting