Events & workshops

People, Place and The Planet Research Conference

May 2 and 3, 2024

In Person: University of Victoria; Online: Livestreamed via Zoom

Join the Faculty of Human and Social Development (HSD) and the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health (IALH) for “People, Place and the Planet,” a joint conference on May 2 and 3 at the University of Victoria. Conference sessions include three incredible plenary speakers (see below) as well as over 40 abstract-driven presentations in poster, short and long oral, and symposium format. See the Program Overview. A detailed agenda will be sent to registered attendees. 

“People, Place and the Planet” draws on UVic’s strategic plan, which calls on us all to work together to create a healthier and more resilient future that upholds the wellbeing of our region and of all life on our planet.

Plenary Speakers:

 Ageing Across Cultures: Navigating the Lifecourse through a Multicultural Lens within the Context of People, Place, and the Planet 

Dr. Jeffrey Proulx, Mindfulness Center, Brown University

Jeffrey Proulx (Mohawk, Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) is a gerontologist and psychologist whose research at Brown University's Proulx Lab for Multicultural Mindfulness focuses on the development of wellness programs tailored for underserved communities. With a keen interest in mind/body medicine and a dedication to interdisciplinary and lifecourse/lifespan approaches to aging, Dr. Proulx explores how mindfulness practices can enhance resilience and well-being across individuals' developmental trajectories. At the heart of Dr. Proulx's work lies a commitment to addressing the profound impact of historical and cultural traumas on stress levels within underserved communities. By fostering deep community partnerships and drawing upon the wisdom and healing inherent in these communities, his research seeks to mitigate the loss of culture and traditions while promoting holistic well-being. In addition to his role as Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University in Providence, RI, Dr. Proulx serves as an assistant professor in Public Health, Contemplative Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Psychiatry at Brown. His multifaceted expertise and compassionate approach make him a valuable contributor to the fields of mindfulness, aging, and community health.

“Co-Design for Care: Catalyzing change through creativity and collaboration” 

Caylee Raber, Director, Health Design Lab, Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Health Design Lab is a research and design center which specializes in the use of participatory design methods to catalyze, support and amplify local initiatives that address complex health challenges. Specializing in the engagement of people with lived experience in co-design processes, the lab collaborates on a range of health- related projects in close collaboration with community organizations, health authorities and other academic institutions. As a designer and researcher, Caylee’s practice is centred in participatory design research methods for collaboration with diverse populations in the conceptualization, development and implementation of social services, experiences and programs related to health. Through participatory and co-design methods her research seeks to ensure that people can not only inform but shape their future experiences. She is interested in how designers can work collaboratively with community to advance health equity and research engagement by people with lived experience. Current work includes collaboration with researchers at the University of Victoria related to Dementia-Friendly Communities, work on the Sunshine Coast to explore emergent models of care, and collaborations with BC Mental Health and Substance Use and BC Children’s Hospital. Caylee also teaches in the Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media and Faculty of Graduate Studies at Emily Carr University. 

“Research Partnerships in Public Health Practice” 

Dr. Réka Gustafson, Vice President of Population Health and Chief Medical Health Officer, Island Health

Réka Gustafson Is the Vice President, Population & Public Health and Chief Medical Health Officer at Island Health. In this role, Dr. Gustafson leads programs that aim to improve health and reduce inequities in health for residents of Island Health.  These programs include population health assessment, communicable disease control, immunization, maternal and child health programs, health protection and environmental health, community care facilities licensing, and population health promotion. Since substance use is one of the leading causes of poor health and early death in Island Health, Dr. Gustafson also leads the Island Health Addiction Medicine and Substance Use program.  One of her other roles as Chief Medical Health Officer is to advance public policies that improve population health and reduce health inequities in the population.  Dr. Gustafson joined Island Health from the BC Centre for Disease Control, the organization she led during the COVID-19 Pandemic.   Prior to that she was the Medical Health Officer for the City of Vancouver and Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health. She is a Clinical Associate Professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health. Throughout her career, Dr. Gustafson has worked in the areas of HIV prevention and care, outbreak control and response, and overdose prevention and response.

The conference is free to attend, though registration is required. The deadline to register is Friday, April 19, 2024. 

Register here. 


The "People, Place, and the Planet" conference is jointly organized by the Faculty of Human and Social Development (HSD) and the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health (IALH), co-sponsored by the UVic President’s Office, the UVic Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation, the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Division of Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Humanities. We thank all of these groups for helping to make this conference free for all attendees!

Masterminds Lecture Series 2024 "This is Now: University, Community and Change"

Jointly presented by the UVic Retirees Association and the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, this free lecture series will take place every Wendesday Evening in April from 7:00PM - 8:30PM. 

This year, you can join the audience on campus at the Roger J. Bishop Theatre, or via Zoom livestream.

Wednesday, April 3    7:00 - 8:30 PM

Digging for Data: Researching the Digital Humanities in the 21st Century

This talk will focus on implications on Humanities research and publishing arising from changes over the last 20 years. Starting with the Internet, but also looking at the changes due to social media, wireless devices (especially smartphones), increased network capacity, and machine learning and artificial intelligence. How have those changes affected the kinds of research and publications created, and the roles of professors, students, and technical experts?

About the speaker
Stewart Arneil is a software developer and project manager, whose academic background is in theories of Artificial Intelligence, software design and project management. For over 25 years, until his recent retirement, he supported digital scholarship innovation and excellence in the Faculty of Humanities, building UVic into an internationally-recognized hub of digital humanities expertise.

He has decades of experience collaborating with Humanities researchers to design, build, and maintain websites, databases and similar projects to fulfill academic objectives made possible by developments in computing technology. 

Wednesday, April 10    7:00 - 8:30 PM

Developing Development: How UVic Fundraising Has Evolved

Deborah Walker and Barb Roberts retired from the Development department at UVic five years ago. In this presentation, they define Development and explain how its unique approach became necessary in the face of government cutbacks and rising costs. They’ll also explore interesting trends that emerged in the field during their careers.

About the speakers
Deborah Walker grew up in Montreal, graduated from McGill and then headed west, where she worked as a journalist and broadcaster in Calgary, Edmonton, Whitehorse, and Nanaimo.

While living up-Island, she established her own business, helping small companies and non-profit organizations with publicity and advertising. One of her clients, a non-profit, hired her as their fulltime donor relations manager and her career suddenly took off in another direction.

After moving to Victoria, Deborah worked in Development at Pearson College and Glenlyon Norfolk School, before “winning” her dream job at UVic. Her 11 years in Legacy Giving at the university were both incredibly demanding and personally rewarding. She learned something new every day - really!

Deborah retired in 2020 and now donates her time to Saanich Volunteer Services. She also wraps her schedule around Jazzercise classes three times a week.

Barb Robert’s entire career was in the charitable sector in health, education and social development. In her early career, she worked with a wide array of groups including at-risk youth, young moms, food assurance and housing.

She was Executive Director of a non-profit for adults with developmental disabilities for over a decade responsible for all operations including fundraising and finance.

Since 2000, Barb worked in the post secondary institutions as Director of External Relations at Pearson College and as Major Gift Development Officer at UVic. In both positions she was responsible for a variety of functions including fundraising, alumni development and communications.

Wednesday, April 17    7:00 - 8:30 PM

Finding a Road to ReconciliACTION

Using the knowledge and experiences gained as part of the UVic community, Bruce Kilpatrick helped create a settler organization, ReconciliACTION Oak Bay, that seeks to advance Truth and Reconciliation in Oak Bay. Established in 2021 and currently made up of 12 local organizations, the ReconciliACTION Oak Bay network is deeply committed to building community-to-community relationships with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.
This talk will focus on advancing the process of Reconciliation in order to build a just future together, how the network supports public engagement and action around Truth-telling and Reconciliation, and building awareness of the importance and potential elements of Reconciliation.

About the speaker
Bruce Kilpatrick was Executive Director of Communications + Marketing at UVic until his retirement in November 2020. Since then, he has moved into leadership positions in his community as vice president of the Community Association of Oak Bay and a founding member of ReconciliACTION Oak Bay, a network that has grown since 2021 from three to 12 community-based organizations. The network is dedicated to advancing Truth and Reconciliation in Oak Bay through concrete action and building community to community relationships with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. He is also an advisory committee member for the UVic Living Lab Project which supports eco-cultural restoration, land-based learning and Indigenous resurgence.

Over 26 years at UVic, Kilpatrick worked closely with the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement on a range of initiatives, including the university’s early involvement in what was then Orange Shirt Day, and as a member of UVic’s Indigenous Academic Advisory Council. During his career, he advised governments in BC and Manitoba and served as a university ombudsperson. He is currently a member of an Academics Without Borders team in Nepal.”

Wednesday, April 24    7:00 - 8:30 PM

Journey to a Meaningful Second Act

A discussion on retirement both as a personal journey and as a changing concept in this new century.

About the speaker

Stephen Tax (Steve) completed his PhD at Arizona State University. He spent 30 years as professor of service management at the UVic Gustavson School of Business. Steve served as champion of the service management specialization and was Winspear Scholar for much of his tenure. Early in his career he was best known for failure; his research focused on how organizations can best recover from service failures. His later research explored the topics of service design, customer performance, and customer experience management.

Steve currently serves on the board of the Belfry Theatre and the Story Studio and is an active participant in storytelling events. He continues to guest lecture on the topic of storytelling, and mentor junior faculty members.

To register for one or more of these lectures, please visit:

2023 Self-Management British Columbia Greater Victoria Workshops

Self-Management BC is excited to offer in-person sessions again! Put life back into your life.  

Free 6-Session workshops for adults with any ongoing health conditions

  • Learn techniques to better manage your health
  • Set goals and problem solve
  • Communicate more effectively with your family,friends, and health care team
  • Deal with stress and difficult emotions
  • Take action and live a healthier life
  • Family members and friends welcome!

In addition to our 6-week Self-Management Workshops, we offer the following:

  • Self-Management Health Coach Program: This is a one-on-one telephone-based coaching program to support people living with chronic conditions to become better self-managers. Each individual is paired with a coach and receives a weekly, 30-minute phone call for a period of 3 months. Coaches are volunteers who may be living with chronic health conditions, and are passionate to help others to achieve wellness. For more information, please visit:
  • Better Choices, Better Health® Online Program: This workshop takes place entirely online. Participants can participate using any computer with an Internet connection, even a dial-up connection. With up to 25 people in each workshop group, interactive sessions are posted each week for six weeks. Participants log on at their convenience two or three times a week for a total of about two hours a week. Participants can remain anonymous and everything takes place on a dedicated, secure website. Participants set their own goals and make a step-by-step action plan to help them feel better and achieve their goals. 

To see workshop schedules in British Columbia, visit 

Many programs can be done online, by telephone, or independently. For more information please visit or call TOLL FREE: 1-866-902-3767