HOPE Workshops and Events

June 2023-June 2024

Upcoming Workshops & Events

Flamenco Fiesta

Date: Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Time: 6:30-8:00 PM
Presented by: Claudia and Julian of CalúJules
Location: The Hub, Woolwich Memorial Centre, 24 Snyder Ave S., Back Room, Elmira
Price: NO COST
Dinner is included
Open to all ages and the general public

Join local flamenco duo Claudia & Julian, known as CalúJules, for an exciting flamenco workshop during KW Flamenco Fest.

Meet Claudia & Julian

Learn about flamenco’s history, rhythms and cultural importance. Claudia will also share her journey into flamenco dance, influenced by her Latin American roots.

Interactive Lesson

Participate in a hands-on session where you’ll learn basic moves, including rhythms, clapping and dance steps.

Taste of Spain

Enjoy traditional Spanish food after the workshop, experiencing the full flavour of Spanish culture.

Please let us know if you require any transportation or other requests to attend the workshop series.

Past Events

Canvas Vibes: Teen Paint Night

Date: Saturday, February 17, 2024
Time: 5:30-8:00 PM
Art Workshop Led By: Simone Patricia
Location: Local Renaissance, 63 Arthur St. S., Unit #1, Elmira
Price: NO COST
Registration Deadline: February 7, 2024
On-Site Barista Making Specialty Drinks: 5:30-6:00 PM (snacks and water available throughout the workshop

Are you ready to unleash your inner artist? Get ready for an epic teen paint night!

What’s the Buzz?

Paint Magic: Let loose and express yourself on canvas! We’ve got all the supplies – just bring your vibes, and we’ll handle the rest.

Sip & Snack: Indulge in the coffee shop’s yummiest lattes, cookies, and muffins – your taste buds are in for a treat.

Meet the Artist: Say hello to the incredible Simone Patricia! She’s not just an artist; she’s your guide to creating a masterpiece you’ll be bragging about for weeks.

No Parents Zone: That’s right, teens only! It’s your chance to connect with like-minded individuals, swap stories, and maybe discover your next creative collaborator.

Endless Fun & Vibes: Expect laughter, good tunes and a chill atmosphere. This isn’t your average art class; it’s a party where creativity rules.

Take-Home Masterpiece: At the end of the night, your creation becomes a VIP guest in your room. Take it home, show it off – it’s yours to keep and treasure.

We’d love to have everyone join us BUT since Local Renaissance can’t hold a ton of people, there are only a limited spots available for this workshop so make sure you register before February 7 to confirm your spot!

The only thing we ask is that you come with an inclusive mindset! Not sure if you’re feeling our vibe, but we value diversity and inclusivity. That being said, it’s important that each participant also has an open and inclusive mindset and is completely cool with being in a welcoming environment from all backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Your commitment to inclusivity is essential to the success of this workshop.

Simply fill out the registration form (link at the top and below) to be part of the fun, and get ready for a night of artistic awesomeness!

Remember, it’s not just an event; it’s an experience.

See you at Canvas Vibes: Teen Paint Night. Let’s create memories and masterpieces together!

About Simone Patricia

Afro-Caribbean artist Simone Patricia is a contemporary artist from the Waterloo Region who graduated with degrees in both Visual Arts and Education. Her expressive colour-filled works pay homage to her African-Caribbean heritage/culture. Her works depict the diversity within the Afro community and focus on the evolution of said community in a positive light whilst being Black. Imperfection is Simone’s drive and motivation. She focuses on a combination of geometry and vibrancy to create fluidity and freedom within her works. She hopes that her viewers are continuously able to understand and gain a positive perspective while being immersed in her various creations. Simone’s goal is to continue shining light on and for her community while being able to educate the minds of the ones here now and generations to come.

Reconnect and Reconcile at Crow Shield Lodge

Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Tour Time: 1:00-4:00 PM
Shuttle Bus Pick Up: 12:00 PM; Drop-off: ~4:30 PM (depending on traffic)
Location: Crow Shield Lodge Site at Ken Seiling Museum, 10 Huron Rd, Kitchener, ON N2P 2R7
Price: FREE

Discover a profound journey of reconciliation and connection at Crow Shield Lodge, set against the breathtaking backdrop of Indigenous wisdom and land-based teachings. On November 7, 2023, from 1-4 p.m., we invite you to join us in this transformative experience.

Explore Indigenous Wisdom Delve into the beauty of First Nations philosophies, the sacred practice of smudging, and captivating Indigenous stories. The wisdom, culture, and traditions are deeply rooted in the land. Together, we’ll walk the path of reconciliation and unity.

Healing Through Land-Based Teachings Crow Shield Lodge is a place where healing, land-based teachings, and reconciliation intertwine. It’s here that we will nurture our spirits and forge connections by understanding land-based philosophies.

Disconnect to Reconnect Disconnect from modern conveniences and technology to return to the basics. The land is the greatest teacher and classroom. Land-based teachings are key to this reconnection, fostering sustainability and healing through a profound reconnection with the land.

Gather by the Fire Join us for a time of healing, sharing, and unity as we sit in the circle together. These circles provide a valuable opportunity for the community to care for themselves, nurturing a good heart to support those on the margins of our communities.

Savor a Nourishing Midday Meal As part of this transformative experience, you’ll be offered a light lunch that includes sandwiches and fresh vegetables.

Complimentary Experience H.O.P.E. is grateful to be able to offer this experience free of charge, in addition to a shuttle service from Woolwich Memorial Centre (24 Snyder Ave. S, Elmira) to Crow Shield Lodge.

A Shared Responsibility The responsibility to rebuild the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canadian society is a shared one. Join us on this profound journey towards reconciliation. Together, we are stronger as one.

Limited Space There are limited spots available. Make sure to reserve your seat by October 31st!

About CSL

At Crow Shield Lodge, we stand side by side with those in need of healing. Our mission is to offer connection and belonging through Indigenous land-based healing and education. Rooted in the Seven Grandfather Teachings, we aspire to embody respect, truth, wisdom, honesty, humility, courage, and love.

CSL’s vision for the future is one of unity, equality, and understanding. We aim to create a thriving community founded on the original instructions of sharing and caring for the land. Healing and reconciliation are at the heart of our community.

Learn more about Crow Shield Lodge here.

Past Workshops

Move with Grace – A Tai Chi Experience

Date: Monday, June 24, 2024
Time: 6:30-8:00 PM
Location: Bethany Lee Yoga & Wellness, 25 Industrial Drive, Unit 7C, Elmira
Price: NO COST
Offered by: KWCG Asian Culture Club
Dinner will be provided
Open to all ages and the general public

Join us for a unique workshop where you’ll immerse yourself in a guided lesson of Tai Chi, learn about its significance to Chinese culture, and enjoy delicious authentic Chinese cuisine. Don’t miss this opportunity to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul!

Registration deadline is June 17.

Kindly inform us if you require any transportation or have other requests to facilitate your attendance at the workshop series.

Navigating Rainbow Realities

Date: Saturday, May 25 and Saturday, June 1, 2024
Time: 1:00-3:00 PM
Speakers: Baz Kanold and Philip Charbonneau, SPECTRUM
Location: The Hub, Woolwich Memorial Centre, 24 Snyder Ave S., Back Room, Elmira
Price: NO COST
Lunch is included
Open to all ages and the general public

Join us for an engaging workshop series where we will delve into meaningful discussions and gain actionable strategies for allyship and understanding.

Session 1: Exploring Complexities in Rainbow Diversity – May 25

In this session, we will cover more complex issues that affect the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Building off some basic knowledge you may have gained in our Rainbow Diversity Training 101, we will break down some things like:

  • Is Queer a Slur?
  • What is the difference between Bisexual and Pansexual?
  • TERF Ideology and “Gender Critical” Dog Whistles
  • Allyship and Inclusion
  • Making Safer Spaces

Session 2: Uncovering Histories and Overcoming Challenges – June 1

In this session, we will take a deeper dive into concepts within the queer community and also establish some important history of 2SLGBTQIA+ issues within Canada. This session will cover things like:

  • What is Polyamory?
  • How does Drag fit into the 2SLGBTQ+ community?
  • Current issues facing Transgender and Nonbinary people in Canada
  • Systems of Oppression, and how they lead to 2SLGBTQ+ discrimination
  • Allyship & Self-Reflection Period

Please let us know if you require any transportation or other requests to attend the workshop series.

Echoes of Ancestry: Journey into Low German Mennonite Heritage

Date: Monday, May 13, 2024
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Speaker: Anna Wall, Low German Family Support Coordinator, Woolwich Community Services
Location: The Hub, Woolwich Memorial Centre, 24 Snyder Ave S., Back Room, Elmira
Price: NO COST
Registration Deadline: Monday, May 6, 2024
Dinner will be served

Begin your journey into Low German Mennonite culture with a captivating video. Then, engage in lively discussions, discover hidden insights, and enjoy interactive activities, all while uncovering fascinating aspects of this vibrant heritage together.

Exploring Indigenous Culture

Dates: Sunday, February 11 and 18, 2024
Time: 1:00-3:00 PM
Location: The Community Hub, Woolwich Memorial Centre, 24 Snyder Ave. S., Elmira
Price: NO COST
Parking: Attendees are welcome to park at the back of WMC


Join us for an engaging two-part workshop series led by Christin Dennis, a renowned Indigenous artistand educator, to learn why knowing and embracing our ancestors’ history is important for creating a vision for our future together.

Session 1 | Medicine Wheel

Explore the unity of the four races and the significance of the sweat lodge in preserving ancestral traditions.

Session 2 | Indigenous Arts

Learn songs, discuss artistic expressions and enjoy a live performance by Christin on his flute and drum. Plus, you’ll get to admire the body of Christin’s artwork, a visual demonstration of blending traditional images with 21st-century technology.

Other Details

  • Each session is 2 hours. Snacks and beverages will be available.
  • The Community Hub is directly on your right as soon as you enter the building. 
  • This is an accessible location.

About Christin Dennis

Christin Dennis is an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, spiritual healer, artist and educator. He treasures traditional teachings and spiritual development, emphasizing the significance of self-awareness and understanding one’s place in the world for individuals from Native and non-Native cultures alike. Christin utilizes cutting-edge technology to showcase his perspective on the unique position of ancient Aboriginal cultures in our intricate and diverse modern world.

Art is a means of expressing Christin’s passionate interconnection with “the spirit of all that exists.” Using a mixed-media approach, his artwork combines photography, watercolour, ink, drawing, and various printing techniques. Christin’s body of work explores and embraces his Chippewa heritage.

Christin Dennis majored in Fine Arts at Georgian College in Owen Sound, Ontario. He studied Art History, exploring drawing, painting, sculpture and graphic art. He later learned photography through an apprenticeship under Canadian Master of Photographic Arts Michael McLuhan, the son of  Marshall McLuhan. Photography became not only an important artistic medium for Christin but also a means of documenting and exploring the people, sites and events of significance to his Chippewa identity. 

Learn more about Christin Dennis here.

Finding Inner Peace: A Mindfulness Workshop

Date: Saturday, January 13, 2024
Time: 1:00-2:30 PM
Guided by: Buddhist Monk Rev. Kalubowila Ananada
Location: Bethany Lee Yoga & Wellness, 25 Industrial Drive, Unit 7C, Elmira
Price: NO COST
Light refreshments provided

Discover a transformative experience with Buddhist monk Rev. Kalubowila Ananda as we explore mindfulness and have guided meditation together.

About Our Special Guest

Venerable Kalubowila Ananda Thero, hailing from Sri Lanka, underwent a transformative journey, transitioning from a prosperous career in chemical engineering and entrepreneurship to embracing the life of a Buddhist monk in 2018. In 2021, he became a resident monk at the Waterloo Wellington Buddhist Monastery, where he generously conducts free guided meditation sessions every week.

Diversifying his impact, Rev. Ananda made significant contributions to the non-profit sector. He founded Skill2Work and served as a director for EDEX and AIESEC in Sri Lanka. At the age of 35, he chose the path of asceticism, immersing himself in the profound realms of Buddhist doctrine, meditation, Vedic, and Yoga philosophy. Since 2019, his wisdom has resonated globally through virtual sessions on Zoom and YouTube, as well as on Sri Lankan TV channels Pragna TV and Relax TV.

Rev. Ananda’s journey, transitioning from a background in engineering and management to becoming a revered Buddhist monk, underscores his unwavering commitment to disseminating mindfulness, meditation, and wisdom to individuals across the world.

Harmony in Diversity: Embracing Our Rainbow Community

Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2023
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Facilitators: Baz Kanold (they/them) and Philip Charbonneau (he/him)
Location: Gale Presbyterian Church, 10 Barnswallow Drive, Elmira
Price: FREE
Meal Provided

In Partnership with SPECTRUM Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space
With support from Woolwich Pride

Join us as we build a foundation for understanding and celebrating Woolwich Township’s 2SLGBTQIA+ community through valuable insights and engaging activities.

This workshop serves as an informative and inclusive introduction for allies and individuals who are curious about the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, fostering an environment for understanding and learning.

It Takes a Village: Parenting as a Model for Inclusive Communities

Dates: Tuesday, October 10, 17 & 24
Time: 6:30-7:30 PM
Location: Woolwich Counselling Centre, 65 Memorial Ave., Elmira
Price: FREE

In Partnership with Woolwich Counselling Centre

Session 1 | Mindful Living: A Blueprint for Change – It Starts with Us

The Emotional Brain – Creating safety so that we can respond rather than react. 

  • We will discuss the science of bias and how having bias doesn’t make us bad people, it just makes us human. 
  • We will explore how self-compassion can support us on our journey of unlearning our bias so that we can be truly compassionate with others. 
  • We will learn how to practice self-compassion.

Session 2 | Reflection: Inclusive Parenting as the Foundation for Stronger Communities

The Thinking Brain – Acknowledging and reflecting on our unconscious biases. 

  • When we know we can do better. We will reflect and examine our own lives and how it has been impacted by our biases so that we can be intentional in making change. 
  • We will examine how our everyday behaviours and words model the values we want our children to reflect in their interactions with others. 
  • We will learn how to practice and model continuous learning in our homes. 

Session 3 | Practice: Building an Inclusive Environment

Expansion – Taking action by thoughtfully expanding our context, contacts and what we’re exposed to. 

  • We will learn tangible actions we can take to change our bias for ourselves and our children by changing the environment in which we live.

Black History Month | Sunday, February 26, 2023

The Community Hub inside Woolwich Memorial Centre, 24 Snyder Ave. S., Elmira

We Are First Humans

Spotlight Speaker: Oluseun Olayinka, Executive Director, Adventure4Change

Time: 1:00-2:00 pm

Learn how to make intentional and enduring changes within ourselves, families, organizations, community and the nation.

Oluseun Olayinka is an insightful strategic communicator who has been involved in administration, organizational and human capacity development for over 16 years. She passionately designs and facilitates company-specific coaching and training programs in areas of strategy, leadership and diversity equity, and inclusion.

To learn more about Adventure4Change, please click here.

Finding the Beauty and Strength from Our History

Spotlight Speaker: Ayo Owodunni, Kitchener City Councillor (Ward 5), Management Consultant

Time: 2:30-3:30 pm

Ayo grew up during the dictatorship of General Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s former Head of State in the 1990s. In his session, he shares how the struggles of the nation led to the struggle of a people, and how the pains of his past have led to the man he is today. Learn how we could use the pains of our history and heroes to build a beautiful and impactful future.

Ayo Owodunni is a management consultant who brings over 10 years of experience in coaching, training and strategic direction to enterprise-level clients looking to achieve big-picture goals while also focusing on diversity and inclusion. His approach combines expertise, personal stories and humor-all intended to break barriers and facilitate communication.

Workshop Partners

Join Our Group!

“Woolwich Anti-Racism and Inclusion Programs” is a private Facebook group that allows members to be part of the ongoing discussion on anti-racism, become aware of and be mindful of the different cultures and races that exist, and help us reduce racial inequity – today and for the future. The group welcomes open-minded, judgement-free, empathetic community members.

How to Cultivate a Racially Inclusive Community: 3-Part Series | January 22, February 5 & 19 | 1-2PM

The Community Hub inside Woolwich Memorial Centre, 24 Snyder Ave. S., Elmira

Workshop 1: Recognizing and Responding to Racial Discrimination

Featured Speaker: Mifrah Abid, Coordinator, ‘Together Against Islamophobia’ Program, Coalition of Muslim Women of KW

Date: Sunday, January 22, 2023

Learn what racism and microaggression look like today, how we can identify them, and how we can work together as a community to reduce racial discrimination and stereotypes, ideals, and behaviours towards people from different ethnicities.

Guest speaker, Mifrah Abid works for the Coalition of Muslim Women of KW (CMW) as the coordinator of the ‘Together Against Islamophobia’ program and oversees CMW’s Anti-Hate services. She also hosts a podcast ‘Across her Table’ and writes for the Waterloo Chronicle and Waterloo Record. Mifrah is a certified TESL (Teaching of English as a Second Language) trainer and used to teach English at a University in India before immigrating to Canada in late 2017.

To learn more about CMW’s upcoming projects and initiatives, please click here.

Workshop 2: Healing, Wellness and Compassion

Featured Speaker: Shelley Campagnola, Executive Director, COMPASS Refugee Centre

Date: Sunday, February 5, 2023

Community members will learn how to show empathy and compassion towards each other, regardless of their ethnic background. In addition, community members will learn how all races can move away from feelings of hate, learn from experiences of racism and loneliness, and create healing and openness for themselves and toward others.

Guest speaker, Shelley Campagnola is the Executive Director of COMPASS Refugee Centre. She cares deeply about justice, peace and purposeful action that leads to a healthy dialogue and fair outcomes for vulnerable people.

To learn more about what COMPASS is doing for our communities, please click here.

Workshop 3: Our Racially Diverse Community: A Look Beneath the Surface

Date: Sunday, February 19, 2023

Community members can share their own personal stories on how they came to Canada (or how it has been while living in Canada), their experience with racism or how they feel about the community in which we live in. The goal is for community members to learn more about each other, gain valuable information from each person’s stories, and how they can use this information to become more open and understanding towards each other.

There will be no speaker for this workshop, as it is meant to create an open dialogue among fellow community members.

Workshop Partners

Interested in working together on a workshop?

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