VIU Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

EDI events on campus

How People With Disabilities Overcome Challenges and Create Wins Out of Losses

This workshop will discuss the challenges that people with disabilities face, debunk myths and stereotypes that are linked to disabilities, and provide tips on promoting inclusion at home, work, and within the community. 

Anu Pala is a vision loss Consultant, Certified Life Coach, Trainer, and Public Speaker who has worked in the Social Services field for over 20 years in the areas of post vision loss rehabilitation, assistive technology training and career development. She has also worked on media and public relations initiatives including radio broadcasting, freelance writing and public speaking. 

In 1991, Anu lost her vision due to a retinal detachment. Despite this setback, she has not allowed it to define her, but rather uses it to fuel her towards meaningful work-to inspire and educate the public into seeing ability rather than disability. 

As an ethnic woman living with vision loss, Anu values diversity, inclusion, and equality for all. Her philosophy in life is to experience life with enthusiasm, positivity and a glass half-full attitude.

Date and time: November 5, 4:30-5:30 pm.

Location: Building 210, Room 105

Unconference: Unconscious Bias and Affirmative Action

Examining the relationship between our commitment to diversity, affirmative action and unconscious bias and how this manifests in our communities. In an unconference, it is all about the people in the room. Come prepared to participate in a lively, intelligent, and respectful dialogue.

Date and time:  November 6, 3:00-5:00 pm

Location: Building 355, Room 211

Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division

VIUFA HRISC is pleased to host Matthew Legge, author of Are We Done Fighting?  Matthew will be making a presentation based on this book; read a chapter online,

Are We Done Fighting? is brimming with the latest research, practical activities, and inspirational stories of success for cultivating inner change and spreading peace at the community level and beyond.

Matthew Legge has worked in the nonprofit sector for the last 13 years, with a focus on helping people thrive through the full enjoyment of health, dignity, and rights.  He holds a degree in Anthropology from the University of Toronto and served for six years on the board of directors of the Ontario Council for International Cooperation, where he helped develop anti-oppression strategies.

Date and time: November 18, 2:30 -4:00 pm

Location: Building 210, Room 275

World VIU Days

At Vancouver Island University, WorldVIU Days is a week-long annual event where we explore how culture influences the way we make sense of the world – our worldview. This year we will focus on creating a connected community through showcasing efforts that students, staff and faculty are making to increase social connections between people from different cultural backgrounds.

Date and time: November 4-8, 2019

For more information, please visit:

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Concepts and How VIU Fits In

Explore the concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion, and consider why these matter to the VIU community. Learn about a new project established at VIU, dedicated to  promote greater diversity and foster inclusion across campus, in the pursuit of equity. Speaker: Karen Bernard, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisor.

Date and time: November 4, 1-2 pm

Location: Building 250, Room 308

Popcorn and a Movie - Shameless: The Art of Disability

This is a documentary film about persons living with a disability, and explores culture and the transformational power of art for these persons. Hosted by Disability Access Services.

Date and time: December 3, 2019, 1:30-3.30 pm

Location: Building 200, Room 203


The Na’tsa’ maht Shqwaluwun: One Heart, One Mind learning series

The Na’tsa’ maht Shqwaluwun: One Heart, One Mind learning series includes a range of half-day, full-day and multiple-day education sessions taking place throughout the school year that are free and open to all interested faculty, staff, students and community members. Such learning series offer a variety of ways to learn more about Indigenous Perspectives and engage with others.

For more information, please visit

There are four events in the series, including:

Smudging with Auntie Stella

Smudging is traditionally a ceremony for purifying or cleansing the soul of negative thoughts of a person or place.

Date and time: Mondays, 9:00-10.30 am

Location: Shq'apthut - Gathering Place, Building 170

For more information, please visit


Soup & Bannock

This speaker’s series is held by Office of Aboriginal Education & Engagement at Vancouver Island University and sponsored by various VIU departments. These talks are Tuesday over the lunch hour once a month in Shq’apthut – A Gathering Place and provide the opportunity for students, staff, faculty and community to expand their experience and awareness in current Indigenous topics and various aspects of Aboriginal Ways of being and Knowing.

Date and time: Tuesday, monthly, 11.30 am-1:00 pm

Location: Shq'apthut - Gathering Place, Building 170

For more information, please visit


Indigenous Book Circles

The Indigenous Book Circles offer an opportunity to those interested in discussing the prominent and contemporary themes present in Indigenous literature of all genres. The Office of Aboriginal Education and Engagement at Vancouver Island University has generously offered to purchase books for up to 20 participants for each circle.

Dates and locations: 

November 6, 2019 at Strong Nations Gifts & Books

January 22, 2020 at VIU Library, Building 305, Room 509

To register, please visit


Kairos Blanket Exercise sessions

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is a facilitated two-hour interactive exercise. The exercise is facilitated by a Narrator who walks the participants through the history of treaty-making, colonization and resistance that resulted in the nation we today call Canada.

Dates, times and locations:

March 13, 2020, 9:00-11:00 am, Building 305, Room 507

For more information, please visit

Disability Access Services

The Disability Access Services Office provides information, support services and reasonable accommodation in all programs to students with documented permanent and temporary disabilities ranging from mental health, ADHD, learning disabilities, chronic health issues, hearing and visual impairments, physical disabilities and temporary impairments due to accident, illness or injury.

Date and time: Thursdays, 1:00-2:00 pm

Location: Shq’apthut – A Gathering Place, Building 170

For more information, please visit

Culture Couch

The Culture Couch Series is a place to engage in cross-cultural understanding. Each session is uniquely crafted by student volunteers who take on the role of hosts and share aspects of their culture with their peers. The evening often consists of sampling traditional foods, sharing music, and engaging in conversation.

Date and time: Every Tuesday, 5:00-6:00 pm

Location: First floor, Building 255

For more information, please visit


Local Hike

Every Friday, the Cultural Connections Team will lead a hike around Nanaimo. This is the great occasion for you to explore some of the most scenic trails and make friends.

Date and time: Fridays, 1:30-4:00 pm.

Location: meeting at Building 255

Upcoming hikes: November 15 - Englishman 

For more information, please visit


Cultural Connections Road Trip

Every semester, the Cultural Connections Road Trips team prepare a schedule of seasonal weekly Road Trips activities available to all registered VIU students.

Date: Saturdays.

Location: meeting at Building 255

For more information, please visit


No Worries Wednesday

No Worries Wednesday is a series where blog contributors speak to a topic which they were worried about before they participated in an education abroad experience.


Men’s Group

This is a male community with 8 weeks of group meetings, during in the fall and spring semesters.

-Build skills

-Receive empathy

-Be heard and understood

-Experience a safe place to talk

-Talk about what your needs are as a male

Date and time: Fridays, 10:30 am-12 noon

For more information, please call 250.740.6416, or email or drop in at the Health and Wellness Centre (B200 R308) to arrange a meeting.

                                               Or visit

Community Peace Garden

The Community Peace Garden hosts a weekly work party at the Peace Garden Educational Ecosystem on VIU campus, every Saturday from 1-3 pm. This is the great occasion for you to learn about pollinators, permaculture, urban farming, biodiversity, sustainable gardening practices, and engage with others.

Date and time: Saturdays, 1:00-3:00 pm

For more information, please visit

VIU Residence/ The ResLife

The VIU Residence Team will host exciting events either weekly or monthly, for example: Good Food Box cooking night on the second Wednesday of each month. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events.

For more information, please visit

The Indigenous Perspectives Learning Circle Group

The group made up of 10 Indigenous, five international, and five non-Indigenous students meet monthly over the school year to discuss how to better incorporate Indigenous perspectives into their work, studies and personal lives.

For more information, please visit


Positive Space Alliance

Positive Space promotes the creation of a space defined by equality, free from discrimination and hate. It is a public proclamation of support and affirmation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ+) members of our community, making the campus a more welcoming place for all. Positive Space often host some events or training sessions to promote inclusion at VIU. Checking for upcoming events through the Facebook page.

For more information, please visit


Queer and Allies Meeting - Let's Have a Kiki

Positive Space Alliance is hosting a meeting every Wednesday at the VIU Residence.

Date and time: Wednesdays, 5:00-600 pm 

Location: VIU Residences, Building 4 - Cedar Center. 

Global Groove

Global Groove is a FREE monthly concert series produced just for VIU students! Each month features a different musical genre from around the world.  Concerts are the first Thursday of every month, September-April.

Date and time: First Thursday of every month, 9:00 pm - midnight.

Location: Campus pub.

For more information, please visit



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