Call for proposals: Menscapes 7th Annual Conference

Menscapes 7th Annual Conference

This will be the 7th annual recurrence of the Menscapes conference, put on by the Men’s Wellness Program at AVI Health and Community Services. Menscapes is a mini-conference on health and wellness topics for gay, bi, queer men (cis, trans, and two spirit) and those whose lives are intertwined with ours. We at AVI recognize that gender is not a binary and that many folks who are not male-identified live, love, fuck, and support in queer men’s circles – you are welcome here.


2021 Theme: Nurture Culture

Date: Friday March 26th & Saturday March 27th, 2021

Location: Virtual attendance through zoom - Intended for folks living on Vancouver Island and the gulf islands, on the land of the various Coast Salish nations.


Description: This past year with COVID has put a tremendous strain on all of our communities. Minority and marginalized communities have been hit particularly hard. As much this has been a huge challenge to mental health, social connection, and community well-being, we have also seen the innovative ways people have stepped up to address these issues. The rainbow community is and always has been creative and resilient in the face of seemingly insurmountable barriers. And despite all differences within our community, we will rise again.

As community members, advocates, and activists, we help to shape the conditions for healing. Our voices and our stories have the power to shine light on the cracks in our foundation. We can come together with curiosity and creativity to nourish and support each other. We can share knowledge and resources to better equip us for these troubling times. We can envision a future that is brighter than today, even if only until the next storm. Through the ebbs and contractions of new growth, we are stronger together.

How do we build communities of caring? What does it look like to create a nurture culture? What is possible when we spread the salve of love on our tender wounds?


Some ideas of topics to explore may include, but are not at all limited to:

  • Self and community care
  • Creative community building
  • Somatics for traumatized bodies
  • Transformative justice
  • Activism tips and tricks
  • Intergenerational trauma and relationships
  • Allyship across differences
  • Destigmatizing HIV
  • Destigmatizing substance use and safer partying
  • Two Spirit identities and wellness
  • QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) wellness
  • Cultural/Healing practices
  • Accessibility and queer life with disabilities
  • Embracing gender fluidity
  • Fostering sex/body positivity
  • Addressing loneliness & building purpose
  • Non-normative relationship and family structures
  • Surviving capitalism
  • Food security


We encourage presenter proposals from folks of all experiences and backgrounds. Preference will be given to sexual and gender minority folks who experience multiple intersecting oppressions. We invite all sorts of formats and approaches to presentations. Presenters will be paid an honorarium for speaking. 


In your proposal, please include:

  • A title for your session/performance
  • A brief (one or two paragraphs) description of the session
  • A brief bio, describing yourself and any relevant experience you feel safe to share
  • A description of the format for your session – i.e. workshop, panel, story-telling, play-shop, performance, etc.
  • The amount of time you would ideally like – 5, 10, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90 mins, etc.
  • Any supplies or technology needed for your session/performance
  • Any relevant accessibility needs you may have (we are planning to have a community agreement, live captioning, a breakout room for one on one support, and periodic breaks throughout both days, but we want to hear if there is anything else you need.)
  • Indicate whether you are okay with your session/performance being recorded to post online.


The deadline for proposals is March 5th.

Applicants will be notified shortly thereafter if they have been accepted, or if we need further information from you. To submit proposals, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Marshall (Victoria-based, email: or text/call: 250-812-2670) or Jeremy (Nanaimo-based, email: or text/call: 250-816-4494). We acknowledge that written proposals can be a challenge for a lot of folks, so please reach out if you need to make other arrangements – we are here to help.