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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 Parksville  Civic Centre in Parksville. We invite members and guests to come along at 6:30 pm to catch up with each other, and meet mew members. 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 celebrated International Womens’ Day, March 08 2023,  with a talk from a distinguished speaker, Dr. Brenda Trenholme,  a retired physician who cycled from Cape Town to Cairo, and then The Silk Road, and who shared 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 was the recipient of of the 2022 Christmas Auction proceeds, during our lunch at the Bayside Inn  on December 05.

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

Speaker Series Calendar

2023-24 Programme 

September 11, Norma Cameron, Storyteller, 30 mins. OBCC

Introduction Val Gunn

October 16, Selina Pope, Winter Gardening for Birds, Bees & Butterflies. QBCC

Introduction Lisa Marshall

November 6, Andrea Blakeman, Affordable Housing, Answer for The Housing Crisis.  QBCC

Introduction Janet Farooq

December Lunch/Dinner TBD

January 8, Nancy Randall, Linda Fullalove, Climate Actions for All. Parksville CC

Introduction Catherine Khan

February 12, Silva Mangue, Vancouver Island Black History. Zoom

March 8, International Women’s Day TBD 

April 8, Resolutions and Budget. Parksville CC

May 13, Deep Bay Marine Centre, Protection of Our Coast. Parksville CC

Introduction Brenda Pengally

Recent Special Events – Red Dress Ceremony & IWD2022

Red Dress Ceremonies

To honour the MMIW of Canada, and the UN 16 Days, on Friday November 25 2022, CFUW PQ  organised two ceremonies: one in the morning in Qualicum, and the second in the afternoon in Parksville. 

The purpose of these actions was 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

From Cairo to Capetown on a Bicycle!

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

A self-described “endurance fanatic,” Brenda had completed several cycle tours through Europe when she decided to take on an even longer cycling challenge. in 2016, she set off from Cairo with 15 others to cycle 12,000 km to Capetown. This exciting adventure whet her appetite for exploring exotic places and two years later she joined 15 others to cycle 13,000 km along the so-called “Silk Road” from Beijing to Istanbul. As our speaker for International Women’s Day, Brenda’s presentation focussed on her trip across Africa and and highlight the cultural aspects unique to some of the African women she encountered.

At the CFUW National 2023 AGM, CFUW PQ was the recipient of the International Women’s Day Award for our 2023 International Women’s Day Event. 

    Next Speaker

    October 16,  QBCC

    While our gardens are not abundant with glorious blooms this time of year, there is still a lot happening in the garden.

    In this presentation, community garden steward Selina Pope will help us learn to see and appreciate the senescent beauty of, and activity in, the winter garden. She will explain how our gardening activities over the fall and winter months support the local wildlife that share our urban spaces. Learn how to choose plants that provide winter interest for humans while providing protective habitat for overwintering insects, seeds and fruit for resident birds, and critical pollen sources for early season bees and other insects.

    Introducing Selina:

    For the past 20 years, Selina has been a Vancouver-based volunteer community gardener, working with community groups to create pollinator-friendly urban green spaces, sustainable gardening practices, and community-based food security in the Little Mountain Neighborhood of Vancouver. She is an active guerrilla gardener and proud steward of community gardens and green spaces that support biodiversity and nourish the human spirit.

    Since becoming a Master Gardener in 2003, she has been
    active on the Healing Garden Committee, and involved
    with several local projects, most recently Riley Park Community Garden. Selina is also a Butterfly Ranger with the David Suzuki Foundation, taught in the pre-COVID program and was a member of the Indigenous Pollinator Map Initiative. She provides community engagement and educational outreach to Butterfly Rangers, Master Gardeners and the local community.
    Selina has recently transplanted herself to Vancouver Island and is learning about and enjoying living in a semi-rural community.

    (Contributed by Leigh Dybenko and Val Gunn.)

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