Speaker Series: October 18, 2017 – 7pm

Kate Humble graduated from UVic with a BA in History and a BFA in Theatre. She pursued graduate work at the University of Toronto and taught in the History department before pursuing a career in museums.

Having been the Visitor Experience Manager for Britain’s National Collection of Arms and Armour, the Education Curater for MMBC and Operations Manager for Craigdarroch Castle, she is now the Curator for Fort Rodd Hill National Historical Site.

The topic of the lecture is:

A new grassroots religion emerged in the 19th century, centred around contacting the dead. Hugely popular, the Spiritualist movement spread a gospel of hope, despite its psychics and manifestations of spirits being scientifically debunked. Most of the spiritualist leaders were women in a male-dominated society, and this talk will explore their extraordinary contributions to religion, faith and even politics.

Opening Meeting – Wed, September 20, 2017 – 7 pm

Join us for our Opening Meeting at the Salvation Army Citadel, 4030 Douglas St. (map) 7 pm - 9 pm

Pictures of the evening available on our Facebook page here

The September meeting is a wonderful opportunity to start the CFUW year by meeting up with friends, sharing a cup of tea, hearing about the exciting programming for this year and connecting with new members.

Discover all of the exciting interest groups that you can join in CFUW Victoria!  From arts and culture, book clubs, outdoor activities, social groups, bridge groups, to travel tips, expanding your mind, investing, and networking -  there is something for everyone!

Candidates Lists & All Candidates Meetings

Get active this spring—vote!

Things are starting to heat up, but I’m not talking about the weather! May 9 is our provincial election and candidates are getting into high gear. The Advocacy Committee wants to make informed voting easier for CFUW members.

Not sure who your candidates are? No problem. We’ve compiled lists of candidates (below) by Electoral District with contact information and, as we learn the dates, information about all candidates meetings by Electoral District. Not sure what Electoral District you live in? Visit http://elections.bc.ca/resources/maps/.

Along with this information, we’ve posted questions (below) about six issues of special concern to CFUW members. You’ll find reference to the appropriate CFUW policy and background information on each issue. Elections are an excellent opportunity to let candidates and their parties know what matters to us and to seek their support should they be elected. If you attend an all candidates meeting or a Meet and Greet with a candidate, please ask one or more of these questions and use the power of numbers to give our concerns weight. With over 250 members, we can capture the attention of our politicians. Because these questions have been approved by our Executive, they begin with some variation of: “I am a member of the Canadian Federation of University Women, which in the Victoria area has more than 250 members.” Our questions concern: Medical Services Plan premiums, BC’s doctor shortage, child poverty, student debt, children in care aging out, and the lack of affordable legal assistance.

Some all candidates meetings do not take questions from the floor. If you plan on attending such a meeting, contact the organizers as soon as possible: sometimes organizers want questions submitted in advance.

Finally, if you are new to British Columbia or Vancouver Island, or if you have changed residences since the last provincial election, remember to check the Voters List. Online voter registration for the May 9, 2017 Provincial General Election is now closed. You can still register or update your registration when you go to vote. Be sure to bring your identification.

Remember May 9, 2017 is the provincial election—between now and then let the candidates know what you think!
Bea Baker (Advocacy Committee Chair)

Candidates Questions

Candidates Lists & All Candidates Meetings


AGM – Tuesday, May 16, 2017 – For members only

Celebrate Canada's 150th birthday with CFUW

Join us for our annual General Meeting a delicious dinner

and to be inspired by keynote speaker, historian and author

Merna Forster

Dinner must be ordered by May 9

Order forms will be available at the March and April meetings to pay the $35 fee in person or mail the form to :
Judy Stewart at 1-1632 Rockland Ave, Victoria BC V8S 1W7

Merna Forster will give an illustrated presentation about notable women in Canadian history, highlighting some of the amazing people featured in her books; copies available for signing and purchase following the presentation.

Local historian Merna Forster led the successful national campaign calling for Canadian women to be featured on bank notes, and served on the Bank of Canada Advisory Council which reviewed nominations. A professional speaker who is frequently interviewed on radio and TV, she wrote the bestselling books 100 Canadian Heroines and 100 More Canadian Heroines. Merna also created the heroines.ca website, and helped raise funds for the Emily Carr statue in Victoria. 

Merna Forster was awarded the 2016 Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media (Pierre Berton Award). A recipient of the Canada 125 Medal and the prestigious Daughters of the American Revolution Historic Preservation Medal, she received a University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award for her accomplishments as a Canadian historian, especially her advocacy in raising awareness of Canada's unsung heroines. Full biography on her website (http://heroines.ca/about/author.html).

BC Seniors: A Study in Contrasts – April 19, 2017

Salvation Army Citadel, 4030 Douglas St. (map)
7 pm - 9 pm

Isobel Mackenzie is B.C.’s first Seniors advocate. She will present "A Study in Contrasts", her chief concerns and ideas for the self empowerment of seniors.

Isobel has over 20 years’ experience working with seniors in home care, licensed care, community services and volunteer services. She led B.C.’s largest not-for-profit agency, serving over 6,000 seniors annually. In this work, Isobel led the implementation of a new model of dementia care that has become a national best practice, and led the first safety accreditation for homecare workers, among many other accomplishments. Isobel has been widely recognized for her work and was named B.C. CEO of the Year for the not-for-profit sector and nominated as a Provincial Health Care Hero.

Prior to her appointment as the Seniors Advocate, Isobel served on a number of national and provincial boards and commissions, including the BC Medical Services Commission, the Canadian Homecare Association, BC Care Providers, BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry, and the Capital Regional District Housing Corporation. Isobel currently serves on the University of Victoria’s Board of Governors.

GWI + CFUW National
Dues Increase LATEST NEWS


Graduate Women International (Formely International Federation of Women) is undergoing some major changes. 

CFUW Victoria called an open meeting for all members on January 19, 2016 to provide an opportunity to share information and discuss the relationships of CFUW locally, nationally and internationally. This meeting was prompted by our collective concerns about changes underway at GWI and the relationship between CFUW and GWI. Eleven CFUW Victoria members attended and collectively wrote this document (names included at the end of the document).

We appreciate the work done by our national and international volunteers and staff and in no way wish our comments to be taken as criticism. Rather we present this letter respectfully in the hopes that it will help foster some positive next steps.

At our meeting, members expressed their concern about the current tension between our national and international organizations.  We understand that both organizations are feeling under threat and worry about the continued viability of both organizations. However, we also feel that at times the communication we have received has neither provided the information that we need nor been presented professionally or constructively. We want to turn that around and support open, transparent, and mutually respectful communication.

Some issues that came up during the discussion are: Continue reading "GWI + CFUW National
Dues Increase LATEST NEWS"

International Women’s Day Luncheon
CFUW Cowichan – Sunday, March 5, 2017

Director, Community Integration Cowichan Valley, Island Health


140 Trans-Canada Highway
Arrivals at 12:00 Luncheon at 12:30

Register by sending a $25.00 cheque to:
Sheila Service, P.O. Box 1143, Lake Cowichan, BC V0R 2G0
Pre-registration is a requirement.
Share this with a friend and please be assured that gentlemen are welcome..

Me & The Mosque
International Women’s Day Event 2017
March 8, 7 PM, Cinecenta

Join the Advocacy Committee at the University of Victoria’s Cinecenta for Me and the Mosque, a documentary by Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the hit TV show Little Mosque on the Prairie. We are delighted to announce that Nawaz will be our guest speaker after the film.

In her words, “I chose to focus on patriarchy and the social exclusion of women in mosques. … For me, Islam was never the problem—it was men and how they interpreted faith to their own advantage. I wondered what would happen to a mosque if it were run by an Iman that came from a culture committed to gender equity...”


She will also be available before the film to sign copies of her latest book "Laughing All the Way to the Mosque", which was shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for Humour.

This is our third annual International Women’s Day Celebration. Money raised will       benefit the Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks.

As usual, a variety of charitable organizations will have information tables in the Cinecenta lobby as of 6:15 pm. Some may have items for sale: Please bring cash. The film will be shown at 7 pm.

Advance tickets are available for $10.00 at Munro’s Books, Dig This—Broadmead, Tanner’s Books and Ivy’s Bookshop.
Tickets at the door on March 8 will be $15.00.

The Thinking Garden – Documentary – March 1, 2017

A film telling the inspiring story of
South African women seeking food justice

This documentary film is a labour of love by director Christine Welsh and Elizabeth Vibert, with Mo Simpson and Basani Ngobeni.

Elizabeth Vibert spoke at the Scholarship and Bursary Luncheon two years ago about her work in South Africa.

  • Official selection, Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, March 2017
  • Official selection, Vancouver South African Film Festival (other festival applications pending)
  • Public screenings coming up in Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver, Camrose, Calgary, Powell River, Salt Spring …
  • Screening at the Berkshire Conference on Women’s and Gender History in New York in June
  • Informal reviews from advance screenings around BC: ‘I feel reverence’ ‘Passionate’ ‘This is a film for Africa – governments need to see this film’  ‘Beautiful and inspiring’ …

This is a film about resilience – three generations of older women in a village in South Africa who came together in the dying days of apartheid to create a community garden. In the midst of severe drought and political turmoil, older women with limited access to land and little political voice joined together, beyond the household, beyond their kin, to make something new. They named their garden Hleketani – “thinking” in the local xiTsonga language – a place where women gather to think about how to effect change. The garden provides affordable vegetables to local people, nourishes those living with HIV/AIDS, helps offset some effects of climate change, and offers land, community, and opportunity for women. The Thinking Garden tells the remarkable story of what can happen when older women take matters into their own hands, and shows how local action in food production can give even the most vulnerable people a measure of control over their food and their futures.

Current context: The Thinking Garden is launched against the backdrop of the epic drought of the past two years across Southern Africa. The most severe drought in decades, this climate change- and El Nino-linked event has left over 30 million people food insecure and caused soaring food prices across the region. Women, with less access to crucial resources like irrigation, and children are hardest hit in such disasters. South Africa’s Hleketani Community Garden, the ‘thinking garden,’ demonstrates how women’s collaborative efforts and community building can mitigate some of the worst effects of climate change.

Social media: https://www.facebook.com/sathinkinggarden/
Twitter: @thinkinggarden, Web: http://womensfarm.org/ Distributor: www.movingimages.ca
‘Recipes from the Thinking Garden’ cookbooks available: $20, all funds to Hleketani Community Garden evibert@uvic.ca or jopifarm@gmail.com

Transgender Pioneer Activists – February 15, 2017

Salvation Army Citadel, 4030 Douglas St. (map)
7 pm - 9 pm

Celebrate the month of love by learning from a world renowned expert who will share his wisdom and a multimedia presentation on Feb 15 as our very special guest speaker. You are welcome to invite a friend to take a tour through an embattled history with us, and share some sweet treats and refreshments the day after Valentine's Day.

Dr. Aaron Devor, the world’s only Chair in Transgender Studies and the Founder and Academic Director of the world’s largest Transgender Archives, has been called one of the founders of transgender studies. He has published widely and has delivered lectures to audiences around the world. His first two books Gender Blending: Confronting the Limits of Duality (1989) and FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society (1997, 2016) are considered to be classics in the field.

(Photograph: Brian Sargent)
He is a national-award-winning teacher, an elected member of the International Academy of Sex Research, and an elected Fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. He is an out trans man, a former Dean of Graduate Studies (2002–2012), and a Sociology professor at the University of Victoria.
A follow up visit to the world's largest collection of historical documents in the special collection archives at UVic will be arranged for two groups later in February. A sign up sheet will be circulated after the presentation.