Global Citizens Week

Global Citizens Week

February 6-10, 2023

Through campus and community events, visiting speakers, and virtual classroom dialogues, Global Citizens Week celebrates the many changemakers at VIU and beyond who are taking action on issues of global development at home and abroad. This year's theme is solidarity in action. From climate change, human rights, and equity to international trade, peace and security, global health, music, and the arts, join us as we broaden our collective horizons and learn from each other. #viuglobalcitizen 

For more information or to bring your class to an event, please contact

GCW 23

This is such a terrific and unique event that truly makes VIU stand out. I've received very positive feedback from all three of my classes about the events, and I look forward to getting involved next year. – Jocelyne Praud, Professor, Political Studies

Monday, February 6

Global Citizens Week Kickoff

11:30 am-1 pm

B300 (Upper Cafeteria)

Join us in starting the week off in a good way. A celebration of global development and social justice activities taking place at VIU, and how to get involved. Featuring music, VIU-WUSC Student Refugee Program photo exhibit, free coffee, and treats!

Hosted by International Education

Medical Assistance in Dying: Global Perspectives

1-2:30 pm

B310 (Malaspina Theatre)

Many countries across the globe, including Canada, have legalized medical assistance in dying (MAiD). During this event, a panel of experts from jurisdictions around the world that have legalized some form of MAiD will share their experiences. The panel will explore legislative criteria required to access MAiD, ethical challenges, as well as social justice-related concerns.

Hosted by Nursing 

Engaged Citizens Speaker Series: On the Brink: Herring and the Health of the Salish Sea

6:30 pm (Doors open at 6 pm)

B310 (Malaspina Theatre) & Zoom

What does the future hold for the Salish Sea in a time of climate change? Humpback whale and Pacific white-sided dolphin populations are increasing; however, Pacific herring – a cornerstone species for all marine biodiversity – are on the verge of collapse. The latest edition of the Engaged Citizens Speaker Series looks at the future of the Salish Sea and importance of protecting Pacific herring. Our featured speaker is Bryce Casavant, Director of Conservation Intelligence with Pacific Wild. His presentation, Fighting Fish: Herring/fisheries management in the context of Canadian laws, will be followed by a question-and-answer period with the audience. Those interested in joining via Zoom may register via Eventbrite.

This edition of the Engaged Citizens Speaker Series is presented by TD Insurance and the VIU Alumni Association.

Tuesday, February 7

Confronting Climate Change: An International Conference of the Parties Simulation

9:30-11:30 am


Join this fun and interactive world climate simulation, a role-playing exercise that uses an interactive computer model to rapidly analyze the results of mock-negotiations among international delegations, climate activists, and the fossil fuel industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Join delegations of the US, China, India, the European Union, climate activists, or the fossil fuel lobby to simulate a Conference of Parties to negotiate greenhouse gas emissions.

Hosted by Global Studies 

Live Group Reading: Fuenteovejuna by Lope de Vega

10-11:30 am

B310 (Malaspina Theatre Lobby)

Watch history come to life in this live group reading! Fuenteovejuna, written by Lope de Vega in the Golden Age of Spain, is the story of an uprising of extraordinarily courageous villagers against the abuses of their feudal lords and monarchs. When the people prevail in their social conflict against their violent masters, they prove that there’s power in numbers, in solidarity, and in love.

Hosted by Theatre

Live Music in Upper Cafeteria

12:00-12:45 pm

B300 (Upper Cafeteria)

Hosted by International Education (Intercultural Programs)

Film - Mrs. President: Women and Political Leadership in Iran

1-2:30 pm


In the summer of 2001, 47 Iranian women neither affiliated with nor supported by any political party registered themselves as candidates for the presidential elections. Due to the Guardian Council’s interpretation of a clause in the constitution, none of the women were allowed to run. This documentary presents the thoughts and opinions of female candidates and journalists, who discuss their efforts in trying to change both governmental and popular opinion regarding the role of women in Iranian politics and society. The documentary will be followed by a student panel discussion including Salah Baker and Katy Hamedankhah who will comment on the mobilization that has occurred within Iran and outside of Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini.

Hosted by Political Studies

Dr. Who’s T.A.R.D.I.S. 


2:30-4 pm

B300 (Upper Cafeteria) and Zoom

The TARDIS (Telecommunication And Relevant Discussions with International Students) will allow anybody to telecommunicate with international students from many different countries. Just step inside (or join via Zoom) during the posted times and you will be able to ask questions, chat with your fellow global citizens and discover what connects us! 

Hosted by International Education, Faculty of Academic and Career Prep (ESL) and Anthropology 

What Helps Me Learn: International Student Experiences in the Classroom

2:30-3:30 pm


A panel of international graduate students discuss their experiences of learning in a Canadian context and what has helped them adapt and thrive at VIU.  Their presentation and following Q&A will provide insight on the lived experiences of international students at VIU, and what conditions, behaviours, and mindsets can support international students succeed as learners.

Hosted by Education

Culture Couch: Supporting Students from Countries with Conflict

5-6 pm

B255, Student Commons (1st Floor)

Hear about the impact of conflict and war on some of VIU’s international students, and how you can support. In small groups, participants will also give and receive empathy about global crises.

Hosted by International Education (Intercultural Programs)

Wednesday, February 8

The Future of Conserved Protected Areas in Canada

10-11:30 am


Are you interested in parks, conservation, lands protection, and ecosystem management? How much do you know about OECMs, IPCAs, and the "30% by 2030" target? Join the team from VIU's Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute to learn about evolving issues and what's new on the horizon.

Hosted by MABRRI (Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute) and Geography

Forced to Flee: Understanding Refugee Experiences

11:30 am-1 pm

B255/R170 A&B

Join VIU WUSC (World University Service of Canada) for a simulation that takes participants on a journey through the difficult decisions that refugees encounter in the face of conflict and forced migration.

Hosted by VIU WUSC (World University Service of Canada)

Incorrigible: A Film about Velma Demerson

2:30-4 pm


In 1939 Velma Demerson was jailed for falling in love with a Chinese man. Pregnant and without legal counsel, she was sentenced to one year in prison. 60 years later she sued the Ontario government for wrongful incarceration; this is her story. Director Karin Lee will join for a Q&A following the screening.

Hosted by VIUFA HRISC, Sociology and Anthropology 

Making a Career and Making a Difference: NGO Employer Round Table

4-5:30 pm

B255/R170 A&B

Representatives from local and national non-profit organizations will share their career advice and personal experiences about finding work and making a positive impact through a career in the NGO sector. This panel discussion will be followed by a networking component, where students can directly ask questions of the representatives from the different organizations, which include:

  • Canadian Red Cross
  • Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society
  • Island Crisis Care Society
  • As well as free pizza!

Registration is optional via the CareerVIU event calendar.

Hosted by Career Centre and Political Studies

Intercultural Skill-Building: Introduction to Nonviolent Communication

4-5:30 pm


Non-Violent Communication (NVC) is practiced worldwide as a fundamental tool in intercultural situations. Learn the basics of NVC as an approach to embodied empathy and connecting across difference. This session will be facilitated by Mitch Miyagawa, Certified Trainer, Center for Nonviolent Communication and Intercultural Program Coordinator at VIU.

Hosted by International Education (Intercultural Programs)

Thursday, February 9

Justice Beyond Incarceration: Post-Secondary Education as a Bridge to Re-entry

10-11:30 am

B200/R203 & Zoom

A panel of former inside and outside students share the impact that the Inside-Out program has had on their lives. Formerly incarcerated students and Inside-Out think tank members speak about the struggles of re-entry post-incarceration, and how are they creating resources for newly-released individuals through VIU classroom initiatives.

Hosted by Criminology

Canada and the Middle East: A Post-American Rules-Based International Order?

10-11:30 am


During the Suez Crisis, at the height of Canada’s diplomatic influence, the country played a leading role in restoring peace and security in the Middle East. Does Canada have the capacity, or the will, to contribute to a rules-based international order for the Middle East today? Join Dr. Mark Williams, a VIU faculty member in the Political Studies and Global Studies programs, for a lecture and discussion on Canadian foreign policy in the Middle East.

Hosted by Political Studies

Something to Write Home About: Sharing Stories of Here, There, and Everywhere 

12-1 pm


Join the CREW 431 Portal magazine class, and 4 of its contributors to the 2023 issue, for a panel discussion about the places we call home—Nepal, Chile, Brazil, Mohawk territory—and the ways in which those formative memories and cultures inform our essays, fiction, poems, and scripts. These works introduce readers to parts of the world delicately nuanced through personal introduction and contrast to, and commonalities with, the Canada we define through experiences both unique and universal.

Hosted by Creative Writing and Journalism

Dr. Who’s T.A.R.D.I.S. 


12-1:30 pm 

B300 (Upper Cafeteria) and Zoom

The TARDIS (Telecommunication And Relevant Discussions with International Students) will allow anybody to telecommunicate with international students from many different countries. Just step inside (or join via Zoom) during the posted times and you will be able to ask questions, chat with your fellow global citizens and discover what connects us! 

Hosted by International Education  

Foreign Aid during the Cold War: The Politics and Business of International Development in Canada

1-2:30 pm


A history of Canadian involvement in international development since the Second World War, presented by VIU history professor, Dr. Katharine Rollwagen.

Hosted by History

Global Skills Opportunity: Faculty Fusion Mixer

3-4:30 pm


Employees and Faculty are invited to join us for mocktails, tasty morsels, and a chance to mingle with your colleagues! Learn about the GSO funding opportunity for field schools and create new connections for collaboration. Please RSVP via InVIU.

Hosted by International Education (Education Abroad)

Documentary Screening: This Changes Everything

7-9 pm


Filmed in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Hosted by Political Studies & Geography

Friday, February 10

Arts and Humanities Colloquium Series: On Bach’s Chaconne for Solo Violin (James Mark, Music)

10-11:30 am

B310 (Malaspina Theatre)

The famous Bach Chaconne for solo violin is a monumental piece of music. This presentation by James Mark will give some background about the piece and the various nuances, interpretations, and performance practices that musicians consider when playing/performing the piece. It will also discuss some of the difficulties and intrinsic technical details that make this piece particularly difficult to pull off, as well as how to overcome some of those difficulties. The presentation will culminate with a performance of the piece. James Mark was born and raised on Vancouver Island and studied music at Vancouver Island University, York University and finally CalArts where he went on to become faculty. Currently, James is a professor of music at VIU where he has been teaching for over a decade. James continues to actively perform, arrange, and compose music. He has performed with the Vancouver Island Symphony since 1994 and is the Writer/Musical Director for the Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular.

Hosted by Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Film Screening: The Issue with Tissue – A Boreal Love Story

1-4 pm


"What we do to the land, we do to ourselves.” Documenting the largely untold story of the boreal forest, the Indigenous Peoples who call it home, how it is being clear-cut for the manufacture of toilet paper, and that protecting and conserving the boreal is an existential imperative. First Nations Elders and Leaders of the boreal, leading scientists, and activists share their unified vision that the way forward lies in supporting Indigenous knowledge/stewardship, in combination with the ages-old wisdom that can be found in the life of these forests and trees. Join us for Q&A with filmmaker Michael Zelniker and ethnobotanist Nancy Turner following the screening. Pay-what-you-can donation at the door.

Hosted by Geography

All Week Long 

IDEAS Applied Research Symposium

February 9-10


You are invited to the IDEAS Applied Research Symposium on February 9 and 10, 2023, at Vancouver Island University. This event aims to inspire you to explore the how, what, why, when, and where of interdisciplinary applied research where Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) collaborates across the disciplines. TVET has considerable talent that could contribute to creating applied research solutions for the regions. To date, we have not fully leveraged this talent. We want to expand these opportunities by inspiring faculty, students, and industry to come together to explore, innovate, and design together through the world of applied research. Those interested in joining may register via Eventbrite.

Hosted by Trades and Applied Technology

Winter GoByBike Week

February 6-12

Challenge yourself, your family, friends, or co-workers, and commit to ride. Ride to work, on trails, for fun, for exercise, to relieve stress, to clear your mind, to get groceries, or to meet up for a coffee … no matter the reason, just ride your bike! Details and registration info available at GoByBike BC.

For more information, please contact us:

Global Engagement
International Education
Building 255

Darrell Harvey
Manager, Global Engagement

It was nice to come together across study areas as a VIU community, and to learn about an issue that affects our worldwide community. – GCW participant

Attended a Global Citizens Week event? Tell us what you think!