The PechaKucha Night was a Gift!

PechaKucha Nanaimo

Exploring the topic Gift and Exchange, the PechaKucha Night Nanaimo Vol.8 that took place at VIU last Friday, March 29, was a true gift for all the participants. Six speakers shared their stories with an attentive audience in a very enjoyable venue, the VIU Trades Discovery Centre. The public was welcomed by volunteer students and could enjoy a social gathering before the presentations, with live music played by Mike Bauche, a welcome drink, and appetizers. Joanne Schroeder was the night's MC, and she opened the event talking about how traditions of gift giving and exchange are foundational to the human experience.

PechaKucha Nanaimo    PechaKucha Nanaimo

Aggie Weighill, professor in the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management at VIU, was the first speaker of the night. She shared her stories about the Ghana Research and Study Tour: A Decade of Unexpected Gifts. In this presentation, Aggie explored the many lessons and gifts she has received through the Ghana Research and Study Tour. Focusing on the gifts of knowledge and time from Ghanaian Chiefs, elders, and everyday citizens, the presentation highlighted the reality that foreigners receive way more from an international exchange than they can ever give back.

PechaKucha Nanaimo

The second speaker, Elissa Doerksen, is a VIU Alumni currently working as Communications and Media Producer for a local non-profit organization and is growing her freelance photography and videography business, The Swivel Project. In her presentation, Elissa talked about The gift of sharing through the lens of video. Media is all around us, and video is dominating the digital media space. So, how can we harness that kind of influence and use it for good? (Rather than marketing the next fidget spinner) Video is a powerful tool that has the ability to give back in many positive ways to the community, the client, and the creator. Elissa shares her experience seeing this in the video projects she has created. 

PechaKucha Nanaimo

Breathing Again was the title of Serena Klaver's presentation, the third speaker of the evening. Serena is a Community Planner with Islands Trust and Graduate of the VIU Master of Community Planning Program. She shared her personal story of loss and resilience, the story of a 30-year old woman and her husband living through a chronic illness and double-lung transplant, and the abundance of gifts presented along the way. 

PechaKucha Nanaimo

During the intermission, the participants could enjoy a social gathering with more live music, drinks and appies, and a fun game.

The fourth speaker, Sharon Hobenshield, Director of VIU Aboriginal Education, presented the Gitxsan Gift-Giving: A Tradition that Honors, Renews and Creates Good Relations. One of the main cultural ceremonies of the Gitxsan people is the li’ligit, feast system. Embedded in this ceremony is a very structured practice of gift giving, which acknowledges the historical and present-day relationships existing among the Gitxsan, including the metaphysical, spiritual, ecological and physical. In this presentation, four gifts representing a Gitxsan way of thinking and constructing the world and their correlating values and principles were shared, including the gift of teaching, the gift of land, the gift of sharing, and the gift of knowing.

PechaKucha Nanaimo

The fifth speaker, Garret Stone, is a professor in the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management at VIU. Garrett talked about the importance of Giving Children the Gift of Play. When the United Nations convened to discuss the rights of the child in the late 1980s, they listed PLAY as a fundamental right. Fast forward three decades and we see that play is being criminalized and childrens' space to roam is shrinking. So, in this presentation, Garrett explored ways to reverse this trend and give children the precious gift of play.

PechaKucha Nanaimo

Finally, Ken Hammer, Faculty Emeritus Designation of VIU talked about The Gift of SelfWhat does it mean to give of your self and how can I become more of me and be a gift to others? How can I receive and accept more of who I am? In this presentation, Ken explored these questions as a gift to himself and to the audience.

PechaKucha Nanaimo

The event was organized by VIU WLCE and volunteer students from the Recreation and Tourism Program, lead by Rob Ferguson, as part of their learning practice for the Event Planning Course.

Many thanks to everyone for all the support and great contributions to the PechaKucha Night Nanaimo Vol.8, and stay tuned for our next edition in the fall semester!!

PechaKucha Nanaimo     PechaKucha Nanaimo     

PechaKucha Nanaimo

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