Why is interVivos organizing thank u, next? We’re saying thank u, next to all the gender-based pandemic roadblocks, and thank u, yes, to Edmonton-made solutions. 

thank u, next will allow attendees to interact with local experts about the unique struggles women and gender-diverse people have faced during the pandemic. Work-life effectiveness, mental health, career growth, unpaid labour – it’s time to discuss these realities and use community wisdom to come up with practical solutions.

Buy your tickets now!


When did interVivos organize last organize an event like this? Before the pandemic!  thank u, next is our first community engagement event in over three years.

We’ve not been idle, though! Instead, we’ve organized three virtual mentorship programs during the pandemic and focused on developing some behind-the-scenes things like a new strategic plan, our 15th anniversary, and building awareness of the critical issues in the community, such as allyship.


Do I have to live in Edmonton to participate in the event? It is recommended but not required. While this is a virtual experience, interVivos is an Edmonton-based nonprofit, and our events and programs are focused on supporting our community. Some of the conversations may have a local focus, but will still be applicable to attendees participating from other places.


How did we determine the topics being discussed at the event? In April 2022, we sought input and invited Edmontonians to share feedback and perspectives on the pandemic and its effects on women and gender-diverse people. Click here to find out more.

Over 50 diverse Edmontonians participated in the anonymous survey. In addition, the survey was advertised on social media, in our newsletter, and on our website. 

Based on the feedback from the survey, six topics were identified that our community would be most interested in discussing: 

  • Mental health impacts (31%)
  • Work-life effectiveness & setting boundaries (25%)
  • Growing a career in the face of uncertainty (12%)
  • Championing diversity & allyship (12%)
  • Access to healthy safe spaces (10%)
  • Equal partnerships & unpaid work (6%)
  • Financial impacts (4%)

For the sake of time at the event on May 11, 2022, we will only be discussing the top 5 issues. Thank you to those who participated and shared your opinions. Thank you to Doughnut Party for providing some prizes.


Are all genders invited? All genders are welcome to attend. interVivos is fiercely non-partisan, and diversity has always been one of our values.  We recognize the importance of diversity and strive to create a sense of belonging among all whom we engage with. 

In particular, men who attend the event can learn more about how to support their female and gender-diverse peers. Click here to read the reflections of a male attendee who attended our event focused on #metoo and #timesup a few years ago.


Is the event a safe space? The virtual event will provide an atmosphere unlike your typical Zoom event. Small breakout sessions will allow participants with similar challenges to connect directly with local experts and each other. The discussions in the small groups will be confidential and not recorded. Attendees will be asked to agree to a number of ground rules, including confidentiality.


How did you find the volunteer speakers?  Speakers were recommended by participants of the community survey, our board members, advisors, and former mentors. They’re diverse and were picked with an intersectional lens. They are community leaders, thinkers, and high achievers.


Why is there a cost to the event? We are a volunteer-run nonprofit. Attendees will pay a small fee to keep our operating expenses low and our events and programs affordable for all Edmontonians. For each event or program, interVivos uses a portion of revenue to offer no-cost spots to diverse community organizations.  

Typically, interVivos charges people $20 to participate in a community engagement event. However, we are hardly in a typical time, and the virtual event’s price reflects the economic reality. interVivos is proud to provide tickets on a sliding scale of either $5, $10, or $15 to allow you to pay what you can. If you would like a reduced ticket price, please contact us at connect@intervivos.ca.

Buy your tickets now.


How can you stay involved if you can’t come to the event?

interVivos is always up to something. Please visit our website at https://sarahndipity8.ca/. You can also sign up for our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/dta_Kz

We are also quite active on our social media channels:

Follow our hashtag to participate in the conversation online: #ThankUNextYeg


Have other questions? 

Drop us a line at connect@intervivos.ca

interVivos is hosting our first community engagement event in 3 years on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, from 7-9 pm MST.  This virtual event is dedicated to shining a light on the hidden, gender-based impacts of the pandemic and coming together to develop inclusive and practical solutions.

Don’t miss out on thank u, next. Purchase your tickets here.

Our board of directors is still concerned about everyone’s safety, so we will be hosting the event on Zoom. But this won’t be your typical Zoom meeting—we’ll work in smaller groups to interact and connect closely with local experts.

As everything in Edmonton starts to get back to a “new normal,” we’re saying thank u, next to all the gender-based pandemic roadblocks, and thank u, yes to practical community-based solutions. That’s where you come in!

Together, we will look at some of the biggest challenges women and gender-diverse people face, as voted by you in our recent survey. Based on the feedback from the survey, six topics were identified that our community would be most interested in tackling: 

  • Mental health impacts (31%)
  • Work-life effectiveness & setting boundaries (25%)
  • Growing a career in the face of uncertainty (12%)
  • Championing diversity & allyship (12%)
  • Access to healthy and safe spaces (10%)
  • Equal partnerships & unpaid work (6%)
  • Financial impacts (4%)

For the sake of time at the event on May 11, 2022, we will only be discussing the top 5 issues. We will use community wisdom during the event to face and overcome these challenges.

Emcee: Sarah Chan (She/Her), Community Engagement & Relationships Lead, Alberta Mentoring Partnership


 interVivos strives to make its events accessible to everyone. All genders are welcome.  Limited tickets are available for this event, as interVivos is committed to delivering an experience where everyone has an opportunity to connect, reflect and share. (Or just listen if that’s more your style.)

Tickets are available for $5, $10, and $15. Attendees are encouraged to pick a price that suits their circumstances. All proceeds are reinvested in our programs and events. If you would like a reduced ticket price, please contact us at connect@intervivos.ca.

We look forward to seeing you (virtually, of course) on May 11 and hearing your voice in our chats.

Don’t miss out on the event thank u, next. Purchase your tickets here.


If you have questions about this event, please take a look at our thank u, next FAQS.

Be sure to check us out on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tiktok, and Twitter) to stay updated on interVivos and find out more about our upcoming events. Feel free to drop us a line at connect@intervivos.ca with any questions. 

Event sponsors

Thank you to our generous sponsors.

Presenting Sponsor: Park Power

Event Sponsors: pipikwan pêhtâkwanRuby Gorgeous Salonthe bamboo ballroomThe CommonToken BittersMock-Ups MocktailsPieter deVos Consulting, and Doughnut Party.

Take part in this short survey by April 20 at 11:30 pm to help us plan our discussion. Your responses will help us create an event that best serves women and gender-diverse Edmontonians.

Beyond the epidemiological effects, the pandemic has impacted people and groups differently. While the pandemic has negatively affected everyone, we know that women and gender-diverse people have been uniquely impacted. 

“Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex,” says a United Nations policy brief. The limited gains made in the past decades are at risk of being rolled back.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has echoed this statement: “These disproportionate impacts could have long-term and far-reaching consequences. If we are to restore momentum in our efforts to bring about gender equality in Canada, social and economic recovery efforts must take a feminist approach.”

As a women-led organization, here are some facts that stand out to us:

The pandemic circumstances intensify inequalities related to gender, and other factors, such as economic status, race, culture, language, and other intersecting elements of our identities. It is important to understand the intersectional gendered implications of the pandemic. 

This spring, interVivos is putting together an event to discuss the problems and develop solutions. 

Take part in this short survey by April 20 at 11:30 pm to help us plan our discussion. Your responses will help us create an event that best serves women and gender-diverse Edmontonians.

interVivos appreciates you taking 5 minutes out of your day to complete this survey. We will be sending gift cards for coffees and doughnuts donated by queer-owned business Doughnut Party to two people who complete the survey. The winners will be chosen randomly.

Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) or join our mailing list so you don’t miss your chance to register for this event.  

Questions? Please email us: connect@intervivos.ca.

More women belong on boards. 

interVivos is committed to bringing awareness to the need for boards to be more diverse. It’s time for companies to rethink board governance to include diverse representation. Organizations need to do a better job of naming women to board of directors seats.

One of our board members attended a Direct Her workshop on the importance of enhancing the number of women on boards. The DirectHer Network is a women-led nonprofit that empowers Canadian women to serve on boards with the necessary tools and support. One of the speakers was Chelsea Hazewinkel. She is the Chief Legal Officer with Paladin Security Group, a parent of three, and a community leader. We reached out to Chelsea for her thoughts on women’s leadership

Chelsea says the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that women’s contributions lead to more powerful, dynamic, efficient teams; more resilient, efficient, and financially successful organizations; and more enjoyable and engaged workplaces.  

How can we ensure women’s voices are heard on boards?

The idea that women need to be empowered by organizations or anyone else is inherently problematic. Chelsea says, “It suggests that women have to wait to be empowered when in reality, the power is always there, and women can flip that switch on their own, anytime they want to, without an external influence. This idea of external empowerment also allows (subconsciously or otherwise) responsibility and accountability to be passed off by women, when in actuality, we are all responsible for our careers, our happiness, our contributions to the world.”

Some say one problem is that there aren’t enough qualified women who want to sit on boards. Chelsea completely disagrees.  “It’s an amazing time for women and women leaders. Everywhere I turn, I see impressive women accomplishing incredible things in business, science, medicine, government, entrepreneurship, you name it!”  

On top of that, the networks of support and encouragement that women are providing to each other, amplifying the voices and messages, looking to see equality in their vendors, and cheerleading for each other’s successes. There was this pervasive belief for a while in some circles that there weren’t enough qualified women for the boards and executive positions available, and I’m so pleased to see that myth turned on its head.  Canada, in particular, has an abundance of highly qualified women ready to take on new challenges and contribute to all aspects of society and the evolving economy”.

Experienced networks of women are coming forward to help other women amplify their voices. For example, in 2019, interVivos hosted a women and non-binary-only mentorship program.  The women mentors were intersectional and diverse. Also, the interVivos board is currently made up of nine female board members, most of whom are BIPOC. Three out of five of our advisors are female, and two are BIPOC. 

Rather than working toward one final inclusivity goal or target, interVivos believes the most important task is to be welcoming and pay attention to everyday behaviours, the beliefs held by different groups, and their drivers. This will amplify voices both on and off our board. We are committed to steering change in the right direction.

 So you’re a woman who wants to serve on a board? Now what?

  • Don’t wait and put your name out there. Get involved on a board! Your opinion is valuable. Attend sessions from organizations like Direct Her, which put on regular governance workshops. Sign up for their newsletter regularly promoting board roles.
  • Think about what you have that a board might want or need. In making your assessment, think about the skills you have acquired throughout your life. Think about the places you have been, the industries you have dealt with, the communities you understand, the groups you have been a part of, and the issues you are passionate about. Recognize that the things you have learned in one arena can often be adapted to suit another.
  • Consider whether you would prefer to join the board of a small organization, a large one, or something in between. Serving on the board of a small organization or one with a small budget will provide a much different experience than serving on the board of a large, well-funded organization. However, serving on either type of board can be very rewarding.
  • Determine your capacity. What sort of board you’d be interested in dedicating your time to? A recently formed board can have start-up issues to tackle. There may be written policies, directions to establish, a mission to articulate, and developing strategies. Such a board may be more time-consuming and challenging than one that has been around for some time and has established processes. Long-established boards can also be very demanding if they change focus or restructure. On the other hand, getting involved in a new or transitional board can bring immense satisfaction as you contribute to the building process.
  • Find a mentor. If you want to work on some leadership skills, we recommend signing up as a protégé for an upcoming interVivos mentorship program. You can find out more about an upcoming program from our newsletter and check out our mentorship program page for more information.

We hope you put your name forward for a board. If you are already on a board, consider bringing on more intersectional women and reflect on how you can make their involvement matter. interVivos will be looking for more board members soon. Sign up for our newsletter, so you don’t miss out!

White supremacy and racism are serious problems in our society that harm communities. interVivos wants to be a starting point for allies to become more informed.

Some activists have accused people of being performative allies. Performative allies share their knowledge about inequity with others but don’t use their privilege and resources to make real change. We don’t want to be performative allies. We want to take action. 

In early 2022, we announced that Katherine Swampy had joined our Advisory Council. Katherine is an elected councillor for the Samson Cree NationBefore becoming an interVivos Advisor, Katherine was a volunteer mentor in our BIPOC-focussed mentorship program in Fall 2020. As a result, she was matched with a Muslim protégé named Rabia Naseer

We talked to both Katherine and Rabia for this blog.

What is allyship?

“Allies are people who do not identify as a member of a specific group but will stand up and defend the specific group,” Katherine explained. “For example, I am an ally for LGBTQ2S+, but I do not identify as LGBTQ2S+. When we are implementing policies or events on the Samson Cree Council, I will speak out as an ally to ensure [the LGBTQ2S+ community] is included.”

Why does allyship matter?

As an Indigenous woman, Katherine says she has often felt discriminated against. “I feel like no one is speaking out to prevent the discrimination towards Indigenous peoples within many Edmonton areas,” she told us.

Katherine believes that Indigenous allies should familiarize themselves with Indigenous cultures and traditions to speak out in cases where no one else will. This is essential because, in the most practical way, Indigenous people are a minority and will often be ignored. “When non-Indigenous people become allies, they can help us to make social changes.”

How does allyship connect to mentorship?

Mentorship can help foster a culture of allyship. “I connected [with Rabia] as [we are both] women of colour,” Katherine told us. “Together, we have taught [each other] some of the loving and accepting traditions that can be shared.” 

During their mentorship experience, Rabia created a board game in partnership with the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre in Edmonton to reduce racism and poverty. The pair also set up activities to generate a relationship between the Muslim community and Samson Cree Nation. 

We asked Rabia about her experience as a protégé. “Relationships are key and Indigenous communities are so good in reminding us of the importance of taking the time to know each other, our relationships, and our connection to the land,” she reflected. 

Rabia recalled the first time she met Katherine after they were matched. “We talked about the struggles of being mothers having to juggle their households and familial responsibilities while wanting to engage in the community and make a difference.” 

Their relationship quickly grew, and soon they kept in touch over text, continuously checking in to see how the other was doing and to discuss life challenges like health, stress, or just normal frustrations. Rabia mused, “Taking time to get to know one another on a human level creates a strong [bond]”.

What can I do to become a better Indigenous ally?

Rabia said that when we engage with Indigenous communities, we should develop meaningful relationships rather than come with a project in mind with a set deadline. “One cannot imagine how many demands and expectations we set on them, which is unfair.” Instead, Rabia says that we need to learn and lay the groundwork for allyship and not rely on Indigenous communities and elders to do the work for us. Katherine added, “Be a good friend, understand that even if [you’re] different, you can still connect. And remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. 

Katherine left us with some valuable insights on the dos and don’ts for our allyship journey:

  • DO attend rallies, or activities as an ally. Be supportive and empower the specific group.
  • DO speak up when the specific group you are an ally for is unavailable.
  • DO defend the specific group when you hear negativity. However, never put yourself in a dangerous situation.
  • DO NOT speak for the specific group when they can represent themselves.
  • Be careful to know the difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation; learn the protocols.

We couldn’t agree more with Katherine and Rabia. It is essential to acknowledge the over-representation of settlers that are privileged to reside on Indigenous lands. We are so thankful to them for sharing their thoughts and perspectives and taking the time to do so. 

Moving forward, we all must become safe allies, empowering those in marginalized groups and continuously learning how we can better support them. Send an email to connect@intervivos.ca if you have other tips on becoming a better ally to share with our readers.

The start of the new year is an excellent time to showcase one of our long-term supporters: Rhys Morgan.

Rhys is a busy person, but since he is a leader of a global firm with nearly 50,000 employees worldwide, that does not come as a shock. Thankfully he always has time for interVivos.  We interviewed him this winter to find out why he supports interVivos.

Rhys works as a Partner at RSM Canada. RSM Canada is an audit, tax, and consulting firm with offices in 120 countries around the globe. As a Partner, Rhys leads the consulting service offerings across Canada. RSM Canada is one of our two co-presenting sponsors for our Fall 2021 Mentorship program. interVivos wouldn’t be able to keep putting on these programs without supporters like RSM Canada and, of course, Rhys.

Rhys has a long history with interVivos. He first learned about the organization from his wife, Ashley. She was a board member over ten years ago. Over the years, Rhys has supported many events and programs as a sponsor, and both he and his wife have served as mentors. Check out an earlier blog with Rhys here. 

Rhys knows it’s essential to engage with and give back to the community.  In particular, along with interVivos, he is passionate about and gives time and resources regularly to Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters and Little Warriors.

Mentorship is deeply valued by Rhys, who says his mentors have been instrumental in helping him achieve his goals. He shares that it was “purely by chance that I managed to luck out and find those people.” Today they’re not only his mentors but also his close personal friends, some of whom flew halfway across the world to attend his wedding.

When Rhys first learned of interVivos, he felt the cause truly resonated with him because of how mentorship impacted his own life. “It’s having an additional person looking out for you and trying to guide you and maximize your potential,” he says fondly.

RSM Canada also takes mentorship seriously, incorporating mentorship and community engagement into their workplace culture in various ways. For example, the company ensures that each team member is assigned a career advisor, who acts as a mentor. This person supports them through career planning, performance evaluations, and day-to-day support when needed.

Each RSM Canada office picks a charity of choice annually.  Rhys’  office supports Little Warriors through fundraising and volunteering efforts. Rhys and his co-workers had the opportunity to visit the  Little Warriors, Be Brave Ranch. “We did some painting and mowing of lawns and packed up some gift boxes for the children,” he recalls. RSM also has ‘Employee Network Groups’ that come together around a shared experience or community. For example, Rhys is a part of the Pride Group and the Family-first Group.

We appreciate everything Rhys has done over the years for our small nonprofit. About interVivos, Rhys says: “It’s a great cause. I’m happy to be a part of it and would like to do even more in the future.” We’d like that too!

To find out about how you can support us like Rhys and RSM Canada, please email connect@intervivos.ca.

interVivos is celebrating its 15th anniversary! Since 2006, our mentorship programs and community engagement events have brought together thousands of people from all walks of life.

To celebrate our big 15th, we’re sharing 15 facts that you didn’t know about interVivos. (Or maybe you did. Either way, let’s get started!)

1. We are championed by women.

The interVivos board is comprised of five, mostly BIPOC, women. We all come from various backgrounds and industries and are deeply passionate about inspiring and engaging Edmontonians. We are supported by two unpaid interns. Learn more about our current board members and interns here

2. We have had over 100 sponsors. 

Financial and in-kind support from local businesses helps us run our events, gives people access to our programs, and so much more! A big shout-out goes to longtime sponsors: Park Power, RSM Canada, Doughnut Party, VSM Photo, The Common, Evolution Wonderlounge, and Incite. We couldn’t do it without you!

Looking for a way to share your brand that also fosters leadership and mentorship? Partner with interVivos as a sponsor.

3. The pandemic did not stop us.

In fact, it reinvigorated us. While we’ve been stuck at home, the interVivos board has been using this time to develop more mentorship programs and resources. 

When the pandemic hit Alberta in March 2020, we quickly pivoted and launched three virtual mentorship programs. We have supported 66 mentors and protégés during the pandemic. Find out more.

4. We are 100% volunteer-run.

People are often surprised to learn that interVivos has no paid staff. Instead, our programs and events are made possible through the hard work of our volunteer board. Many volunteer hours go into producing and running our programs and events for Edmontonians. Learn more about our work behind the scenes. 

5. We have a mascot.

Meet Peg, the interVivos mascot. Peg uses gender-neutral pronouns, is shaped like a board game piece, and represents the first “i” in interVivos. 

6. We are advised by a number of Edmonton’s established leaders. 

interVivos advisors donate their time to help us make an impact in the community. In addition, they provide guidance and support in areas like strategic planning and community engagement.

Current advisors are:

Shout out to long-term advisor and former Deputy Prime Minister, The Honourable Anne McLellan who recently stepped down. 

7. Our events rock!

While many know us for our mentorship programs, interVivos also offers non-partisan community engagement events that focus on issues that matter to Edmontonians. These topics range from election discussions to gender equality, pipelines to community leadership

Edmonton, we can’t wait to be together in person again when it’s safe for everyone. So keep an eye out for interVivos events and programs in 2022!

8. We partner with other nonprofits.

interVivos has collaborated with other nonprofits to deliver our programs and events. For example, we partnered with the Edmonton Heritage Council to pilot a mentorship program for heritage-sector professionals. 

We have also partnered with national nonprofit Apathy is Boring to offer over 200 Edmontonians an exciting non-partisan federal election viewing party and an evening of drag at Evolution Wonderlounge.

Interested in partnering with us? Get in touch at connect@intervivos.ca

9. We are lighting up the bridge!

Edmonton’s High Level Bridge will be lit up in the interVivos colours black, white, and red on the morning and evening of Wednesday, November 24, 2021. This is one of the ways interVivos is celebrating all that we’ve done for Edmonton over the last 15 years. 

Come join in the celebrations (from a safe distance). Take a selfie with the bridge, tag us on social media, and use #interVivos15. We’d love to see and share your pictures. 

10. We have connected over 700 mentors and protégés.

interVivos has been organizing mentorship programs in Edmonton since 2006. While some people look to mentorship for career development, our program focuses on the importance of a reciprocal relationship between mentors and protégés.

interVivos mentors and protégés have worked on various things, such as personal growth and development, leadership, workplace challenges, career changes, building networks, questioning comfort zones, and work-life effectiveness. Find out more.

11. We are always looking for new mentors.

interVivos is always looking to amplify diverse voices and showcase the impressive people in the community. Our volunteer mentors are highly sought after and come from various backgrounds, careers, and perspectives. 

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer mentor in 2022, email us at connect@intervivos.ca

12. We amplify women and BIPOC mentors.

We believe in taking proactive and purposeful action to ensure that different voices are heard, included, supported, and amplified. This action will help to increase the diversity of the leadership teams who will become our future decision-makers. 

interVivos was over the moon to host its first all-female mentorship program in Summer 2019. We also know the importance of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (or BIPOC) mentors, which is why we hosted a program with exclusively BIPOC mentors in Fall 2020.

13. We support local. 

interVivos always looks for opportunities to support our community whenever we can. Local businesses innately have a better understanding of the community and its people. The customer service experience is much more personalized and attentive. That’s why we love to support local

Check out our favourite Edmonton businesses to shop at this fall and splurge on over the holiday season.

14. You can intern with us.

interVivos has participated in several internship programs over the past 15 years. Many of our interns have stayed on with the organization for longer board terms. Currently, we have two fantastic unpaid interns, Janette and Lauren. Meet them here.

We are always looking to collaborate with new programs interested in finding placements for students and youth. Drop us a line if you would like to be an intern with us or if you are looking for placement opportunities for your organization.

15. We just launched a quarterly newsletter.

interVivos is always up to something, and we want Edmontonians to know about it. That’s why we launched our community e-newsletter this month.

Subscribe now to find out what’s on the go at interVivos. Read stories about our programs and get inspired by what we’re doing to engage our vibrant #YEG community.  

A humble request: A donation of $15.00 in celebration of our special anniversary means that we can continue cultivating, engaging, and mentoring Edmontonians. Thank you for your birthday gift that will inspire the future leaders of Edmonton for many more years to come! Donate now.

Our 15th anniversary celebrations will be going on well into 2022. Make sure you follow the hashtag #interVivos15 to see what we have planned. Thanks for being a part of our journey over the past 15 years. We couldn’t have done it without you. 

interVivos continues to be committed to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. For us, this is an ongoing commitment to establishing respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. We need to be aware of the true history of Indigenous peoples, the harm that has been inflicted, then take action to make things right. 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission defines reconciliation as “establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada. For that to happen, there has to be awareness of the past, an acknowledgment of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behavior.”

On September 30th, 2021, interVivos joined millions of Canadians in marking the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. Unfortunately, so many more terrible things have happened to Indigenous peoples in Canada, beyond Residential Schools. For example, the Sixties Scoop,  forced adoptions, and theft of land.  

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation got us thinking more about our relationship with Indigenous peoples in our community and why it’s essential for us as an organization to continue to inform ourselves about colonialism and systemic racism. Colonialism attempts to transform Indigenous identities to conform to the governing society. As a result, colonial systems cause damage to Indigenous economies, laws, spiritual traditions, politics, and gender relations. Systemic racism, also known as institutional racism, refers to how whiteness and white superiority become embedded in the policies and processes of an institution, resulting in a system that advantages white people and disadvantages Indigenous and racialized people, notably in employment, education, justice, and social participation.

We are always looking for ways to amplify Indigenous mentors and showcase the impressive work in our community.  Indigenous peoples are generally underrepresented in leadership positions. It is important for us to create an environment that values diversity. Our Fall 2020 mentorship program was focused exclusively on Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (or BIPOC) mentors. Check out another blog post about two Indigenous mentors from that program and their experiences as leaders in the community: https://sarahndipity8.ca/meet-the-gwin-sisters/.  We’ve also held community engagement events with Indigenous leaders, such as a non-partisan discussion on the Idle No More movement. Please reach out to us with names of potential Indigenous volunteer mentors or guest speakers for our community events at connect@intervivos.ca.

Working with Indigenous peoples means allyship, prioritizing advocacy, and above all, participating in the justice of reconciliation that supports a resurgence of Indigenous sovereignty. In dealing with the effects of colonialism, we are obligated to seek reconciliation for wrongs done. So what will we do? 

  • Be fiercely committed to concrete actions because this is an act of reconciliation, returning what is owed for past and ongoing injustices inflicted on Indigenous peoples.
  • Include anti-colonialism practices in our work. 
  • Participate in Indigenous-focused anti-oppression and colonialism training.
  • Continue to intentionally include and support Indigenous peoples in our mentorship programs and community engagement events. 
  • Continue to amplify Indigenous voices, fiercely support equality, and be an ally for Indigenous causes and issues. 

Continue to follow our blog to find out more about our journey of reconciliation. Are you looking for a pledge to get you started on your commitment to reconciliation? Check out this personal pledge with some commitments you can weave into your life.  

Edmonton’s municipal election race is about to end after almost a year of campaigning, scores of Zoom debates, millions of dollars spent, and many high-profile candidates. The next step is up to you, the voter. You’ve to make your decisions on Monday, October 18, 2021. 

Usually, this time of year is a busy one for interVivos. As you know, we organize nonpartisan municipal election events to have deep discussions on issues that matter. Our board of directors is still concerned about everyone’s safety, so arranging an in-person event was not the right thing to do during the fourth wave. We also know that our audience has severe Zoom fatigue! If you’re nostalgic, you can click here to watch a short video debrief from our last municipal election event in 2017 and to read a “What We Heard Document.” Many of the top-of-mind issues from 2017 remain the same this election—housing, homelessness, transit, and diversity on council.  

This election is your opportunity to shape the direction of your community by choosing our leaders for the next four years. Sadly, it is a responsibility that too few electors have taken up in the past. Only around 30 percent of Edmonton’s eligible voters went to the polls in the last civic election. 

It is heartening that 10 percent of voters have already voted in Edmonton’s advance polls. That could herald a significantly healthier participation rate among electors. However, the pandemic might deter others who aren’t sure about the public health measures in place despite preparations to deliver a safe election: thttps://www.edmonton.ca/city-government/edmonton-elections/voting-election/safe-election

Anyone concerned about moving past the pandemic and other issues such as better urban transit, climate change, fair taxes, clean streets, efficient garbage collection and recycling, recreational facilities, and well-maintained roads has good reason to vote. So, too, does anyone who cares about the quality and future of local schools. Click here to find out more about where to vote: https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/municipal_elections/find-your-voting-station

Electing the wrong people to the local office could trigger long-term damage in all these areas of the public sector. That’s why it’s so important for voters to be informed and take the time to cast a ballot and act on their best judgment for the mayor, councilors, and school board trustees. Our friends from Taproot Edmonton have put together this handy survey to help people decide: https://edmonton.taproot.vote/2021/surveys/peoples-agenda/match. Find out who you agree with most before you go to vote!

The 2021 Edmonton Election also includes the senate nominee election and two referendum votes. We have pulled some links together to help those still struggling with their decisions on the two referendums.

Good luck making your decisions, and thank you for your commitment to democracy. The City of Edmonton has suspended election fares on October 18, making it even easier for you to cast your ballot. 

Make sure to check us out for in-person dialogue events in 2022 on issues that matter to Edmonton and area residents. If you are interested in collaborating with us on an event, please contact the board at connect@intervivos.ca

Spending more money with local businesses is always an excellent routine to begin or ramp up, particularly as we head into the holiday shopping season. 

Local businesses contribute to the overall character and uniqueness of our community. They offer a more unique product selection than national retailers, who all carry the same thing. They also innately have a better understanding of the community and its people. The customer service is often much more personalized and attentive. Local businesses are also much more likely to go above and beyond to win a sale than a big box store would.

During our Fall 2021 mentorship program launch in September, we asked all participants to tell us their favourite local businesses.  The chat box in Zoom was on fire as all of our participants reminisced about their shared love for these businesses and enjoyable experiences with them.

This is an exciting list, and we hope you’ll find some new places to enjoy and check out. Of course, we’ve included our wonderful program sponsors here too.  

Restaurants and Cafés

ACME Meat Market

Belgravia Hub

Biera Edmonton Restaurant | Food + Beer

Bon Ton Bakery


Buco Pizzeria + Vino Bar

Cafe Bicyclette

Chartier – Beaumont

Doughnut Party

Duchess Bake Shop 

European Sweetness 

Farrow Sandwiches

Graham’s Jerk House 

Kind Ice Cream


Old Country Inn

Mood Cafe

Nomiya Japanese Restaurant | Ramen | Tapas | Sushi


Swagat India Bar & Bistro | Indian food 

Transcend Coffee & Roastery

Tzin Wine and Tapas 

The Workshop Eatery 

Yelo’d Ice Cream + Bake Shoppe


Biera Market – Blind Enthusiasm

Fabloomosity | Wedding Florist and Floral Atelier in Edmonton

Face Ginch 

Kent Of Inglewood 


Mandolin Books and Coffee Company

Token Naturals | More than a plant | 

Zocalo: Edmonton Plants, Garden Centre, Flowers and Gifts

Miscellaneous Awesomeness

Alair Homes Canada

Canajan Inc.

Crimson Empire Tattoo 

Downtown Business Association 

Escape City: Escape Rooms 

Fringe Theatre Adventures



Park Power

Rapid Fire Theatre

RSM – Canada


Check out our blog post from Holiday Season 2020 that featured some fantastic local businesses shared by other mentorship participants. 

Are you a local business wanting to connect with mentors and protégés? We accept support in ways such as venue space, audiovisual equipment, live streaming capabilities, catering, and event prizes such as gift cards. Please reach out to connect@intervivos.ca  to tell us more about how you can help!