As part of the Feminist Brain Drain study, we are hosting the Beyond Feminist Brain Drain Symposium. With care and solidarity, we are creating space for our sector to come together in-person after these past 2.5 long years of isolation. This event will be an opportunity for the violence against women (VAW)/anti-violence shelter sector to come together to learn, share, and help to develop a sector-led action plan for addressing the labour challenges our sector is facing.

VAW and anti-violence workers and leaders are invited to participate in this symposium. We encourage applications from across Canada, including urban, rural, northern, Indigenous, and small community shelters. We want to ensure that this event reflects the diversity of our sector. In particular, applications are encouraged from racialized people, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, queer and trans people, and women.

Event Details

Please note that this event is not a conference, but rather a fully participatory symposium. We expect a lot of immersive, engaging work to occur over the day and a half.

The symposium will take place November 9-10, 2022 on the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people (also known as Ottawa, Ontario) at the Hilton Hotel (361 Queen Street). It will include panel presentations and hands-on workshops as well as a social activity.

We are excited to share that Vikki Reynolds will be hosting an interactive workshop on the first day. Vikki is a social justice activist, therapeutic supervisor, and instructor. Her therapeutic experience includes clinical supervision and therapy with refugees and survivors of torture, mental health and substance abuse counsellors, anti-violence workers, shelter and homelessness workers, and working alongside transgender and queer communities.

On the second day, we will have a panel of experts from other areas of the nonprofit sector who are also facing these labour-related issues. Panelists will share their experiences as well as insight and examples of promising practices in their respective sectors and how we can work together to address the crisis. The panelists are:

  • Kate Cornell, Director of Public Policy, Imagine Canada
  • Debbie Douglas, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Agencies Serving Immigrants
  • Anuradha Dugal, Vice President, Community Initiatives, The Canadian Women’s Foundation
  • Pamela Uppal, Director of Policy, The Ontario Nonprofit Network


Space is limited to 50 participants and we expect demand will be high for this event, so we are asking all those interested to complete this call for participation.

Accommodation, meals, and travel will be covered by WSC.

Please contact Robyn Hoogendam at if you have any questions about the application process. If you require any form of accessibility to complete this application or during the event, please let us know by email. We are committed to providing an inclusive event that supports the participation of all.