Past Events

The SOVI Book Club

SOVI book club promo poster

New to our 2021 programming was SOVI’s Book Club. With it, we hoped to create a community of conversation and learning on social justice issues, to promote social and structural change. Also, to build a network of peers, during a time when meaningful social interaction is scarce. 

Our first book was the award-winning, The Skin We’re In, by Canadian activist and journalist Desmond Cole. From February to May, we gathered to discuss its themes and case studies. It was a joy and privilege to use this important text to learn, incite conversation and promote action.

White Allies Don't Have to Be White Saviours: Dismantling Performative Allyship

nws event promo #2

In March, SOVI partnered with the Students of Colour Collective to host a No White Saviors panel discussion. The panel explained the White Savior Complex, gave strategies for meaningful allyship, and provided a forum for community discussion and collaboration.

This event’s panelists, Wendy, Olivia, and Kelsey, are members of the advocacy campaign No White Saviors. The session was moderated by Michaella Shannon, an Indigenous mental health support worker with the Support Network for Indigenous Women & Women of Colour. 

IDW2021: Healing oppression through reconnection of the self

Instagram-Nathali Arostegui

As part of #IDW2021, SOVI hosted a workshop with expert decolonial facilitator, Nathali Arostegui. Aligning with 2021’s theme, #GoForTheGoals with a focus on gender equality, health and climate change, it was called “Healing oppression through reconnection of the self.” Participants learned to tackle the “blocks keeping them from making an impact on the world, using a holistic, trauma informed, somatic approach.”

SOVI Community Space Series

This series was created to develop a community of practice for nonprofit and international development practitioners and aspiring practitioners in the CRD.

The kickoff event was a panel discussion with practitioners working in international development and the nonprofit sector, who are focused on, or want to move towards, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and decolonization in their work. Following the panel discussion, attendees participated in short breakout sessions on topics generated from the discussion. The event speakers were Olaolu Adeleye, Dr. Moussa Magassa, Hillary Ronald and Taleetha Tait. 

Following this event, panelists developed follow up seminars/community-building discussions based on attendee interest, providing further opportunity for attendees to build community and to encourage action on anti-racism, anti-oppression and decolonization. Seminar 1 was led by Taleetha and Hillary, Seminar 2 was led by Moussa and Olaolu. These seminars were followed by a social and discussion about next steps.

SOVI Conversations: Systemic Racism in our Sector

Demystifying Partnerships with Global Affairs Canada

In the lead up to IDW week, The South Vancouver Island Chapter of BCCIC is pleased to offer a unique opportunity to attend an in-person information session with staff from Global Affairs Canada to explore the nuts and bolts of partnering with GAC and applying for GAC funding. The session will take place on Wednesday, January 22nd from 4pm to 7:30 pm in the Dr. Elmer Seniemten George M.S.M. Community Room of the sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch, Greater Victoria Public Library, located at 385 Menzies St, Victoria, BC. The session will be facilitated by a representative from Global Affairs Canada’s Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch. The event will provide information and insight into questions that are frequently asked by Global Affairs Canada’s partners, or potential partners, including:

What are the main elements of Global Affairs Canada’s international assistance?
What elements should be included when designing a project for Global Affairs Canada funding?
How do selection processes (calls for proposals and unsolicited proposals) work?
What happens after a project is selected?
How does Global Affairs Canada work with partners during project implementation?

Date: Wednesday, 22 January 2020
Time: 4:00 PM – 7:30 PM PST
Location: Dr. Elmer Seniemten George M.S.M. Community Room
James Bay Branch, Greater Victoria Public Library
385 Menzies St.
Victoria, BC

The workshop is free and open to any international cooperation organizations that are interested in partnering with GAC and/or applying for GAC grants and funding. Refreshments will be provided and as space is limited we invite you to please RSVP for the event through the link below.

International Development Evaluation “Un-Workshop”

Welcome to an evening to meet other professionals and students interested in the realms of international development and evaluation! Join us for an “Un-Workshop” led by Rebecca Mellett who will share stories, lead discussions, and get people to think through key international development and evaluation topics and issues bought forward by participants.

The event is jointly hosted by the South Vancouver Island Chapter of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) and the British Columbia Canadian Evaluation Society (BC CES).

Speaker Profile
Rebecca Mellett is a specialist in design and evaluation of international development initiatives for sustainability. Formerly the Executive Director of the Canadian Evaluation Society, she now advises not-for-profits, academia, foundations and government as a consultant on a range of topics from strategic planning, to funding and managing for results. With 20+ years of experience in the federal government, Rebecca led Canada’s field programs as Head of Aid in Peru and Honduras, and managed the Central America Regional program. Trained in systems theory with an MSc in Development Economics (LSE), an M.A. in Social Change and Public Policy and Native Affairs (Carleton) and B.A. in Linguistics (Carleton), her more recent post graduate certificates in Sustainability Management (Harvard) and Evaluation Practise (The Evaluators Institute) round things out with applied skills. Rebecca speaks French and Spanish and grew up in Montreal and Toronto with many years in Ottawa. She now lives in Brentwood Bay BC with her husband and 8-year old son.

Event Details

Price: The event is free and appetizers will be provided to all participants! A bar is available downstairs to purchase drinks.
Date: Thursday, 30 January 2020
Time: 6:00 pm, but feel free to come any time after 5pm to grab a drink and network
Location: Upstairs at The Bent Mast in James Bay
512 Simcoe Street
Victoria, BC, V8V 1L8

This un-workshop and networking event is free to all interested international cooperation and evaluation professionals and friends.

Appetizers will be provided, therefore we ask participants to register by following the link below so that we know approximately how much food to order!

World TB Day

Sunday March 24th is World TB Day and several places in our city will be lit up in red – at the Provincial Legislature, City Hall and the CRD Building.

The City of Victoria has proclaimed March 24th as World TB Day. Around downtown Victoria on Sunday look for red in these places:

  • the fountain and ceremonial entrance to the BC Provincial Legislature,
  • the City Hall Clock Tower clock faces and
  • the fascia of the Capital Regional District Building

On this day advocates across the world stand in solidarity with one another and alongside the communities affected by this devastating disease by lighting their landmarks in red, helping to build awareness of the impact of this deadly disease. Last year, a number of various buildings and monuments around the world were lit up in red – Light Up For TB – including across Canada. RESULTS Canada is part of this global movement of passionate citizens, raising our voices alongside people on every continent affected by this ancient, devastating and communicable disease that thrives in poor communities, to generate the global leadership we need to fight and eradicate TB.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading global cause of death and kills 1.6 million people globally each year. The infectious disease can be found in every continent, but predominantly affects people living in poorer conditions, including across Canada. World TB Day occurs annually on March 24th, and is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO). The day commemorates the day in 1882 that Dr. Robert Koch discovered the cause of tuberculosis, a turning point in the fight against TB, that raged across Europe and the Americas at the time

International Development Week: February 3-9, 2019

Looking for something to do for International Development Week? Join SOVI at Hillside Centre on February 9, 2019 as we celebrate the exciting work of our members and related organizations. Learn about the impact British Columbians are having – both locally and globally – and tell us what global citizenship means to you!


We’re excited to announce the South Vancouver Island Chapter of the BC Council for International Cooperation will be cosponsoring for The City Talks event on Thursday March 22nd with Erasmus+ programme of the European Union through the Jean Monnet EU Centre of Excellence at the University of Victoria.

Join our Steering Committee members from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm at Wild Coffee House632 Yates Street, as we discuss the importance of Gender Equality and Sustainable Development Goals.

Following the coffee circle, we’ll be moving to the Legacy Art Gallery630 Yates Street, for  The City Talks speaker series Sex and the City. The talk is presented by Ebru Ustundag, an Associate Professor at the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies at Brock University.  This event starts at 7:30 pm, it’s free and open to the public.

Event Details 
  • Thursday March 22nd 2018
  • 6:00 – 7:15 PM: SDG 5: Coffee Circle @ Wild Coffee House, 632 Yates Street, Victoria
  • 7:30 – 9:00 PM: The City Talks Lecture Series @ Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates Street, Victoria

The Thinking Garden

A film about South African Women sowing the seeds of change.

In the dying days of apartheid, three generations of women in a village in South Africa came together to create a community garden. They called it “the thinking garden” – hleketani in the local xiTsonga language – a place where women gather to think about how to effect change. More than twenty-five years later, the garden is still going strong, providing fresh vegetables and new opportunities for local people while helping to confront the ravages of climate change, poverty and HIV/AIDS in a community pushed to the edge. Beautifully filmed against the backdrop of an epic drought now gripping southern Africa, The Thinking Garden tells the inspiring story of what can happen when older women take matters into their own hands and how local action in food production can give even the most vulnerable a measure of control over their food and their future.

37 minutes, in xiTsonga with English subtitles

Produced with Assistance from the British Columbia Arts Council Additional Funding Provided by the University of Victoria and Indiegogo Crowdfunding Produced in Association with Prairie Girl Films Filmed on Location in Jopi Village and N’wamitwa, Limpopo Province, South Africa

International Development Week 2017

For International Development Week the South Vancouver Island Chapter (SOVI) hosted International Development Mosaic on February 9, 2017. The goal was to showcase the breadth and diversity of projects being undertaken for local and global sustainable development, and featured local organizations and individuals engaged in achieving The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

A panel was convened, the Committee compiled a list of questions, and the moderator lead the panelists through discussions of the global/local connections of their work, the significance of the SDGs in regard to their work, and the values that underpin the global goals.

Panelists include representatives from Innovative Communities, Mercy Ships, One Love Africa, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership, World Fisheries Trust and a student intern with the Victoria International Development Education Association (VIDEA) intern. Carla Funk, who facilitates resource development and capacity building with non-profit organizations, was the moderator.

There was an opportunity for interested organizations to set up displays of their projects, which were available for viewing prior to the panel discussion. By all accounts it was a very successful and informative event!


Our December 1, 2016 event GLOBAL CONNECTIONS RIGHT HERE AT HOME was a great success and we wish to thank Mike Simpson, Executive Director of BCCIC for travelling to Victoria to engage with SOVI organizations and individuals who are passionate about global sustainability.  Mike addressed the Sustainable Development Goals and discussed how they are inter-related.  Those in attendance had the opportunity to introduce themselves and identify which goal(s) they are aspiring to reach.

New connections were formed just by being in the room with like-minded people.  The benefits of being a BCCIC member were discussed and some new memberships resulted from this discussion.  We look forward to continued collaboration with globally aware citizens.

Together we are stronger!