Monday, March 28, 2011

UPDATE: Call for Academic Papers

The official deadline has passed but we're not starting to review the papers until next week, so if you're a scholar or academic (or simply have something scholarly you'd like to present at Gaia Gathering) there is still time to get your submission in. We'll take submissions for the academic stream up until next Sunday, April 3rd.

The official call for papers is here. I'm also posting it below:

Released November 30, 2010

Gaia Gathering was founded in 2004 and had its first conference in 2005. Each year the conference is hosted over the Victoria Day long weekend in a different Canadian city through a bidding process similar to the Olympics. Past host cities include Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Vancouver. Legally, we are incorporated federally as a non-profit organization and operate with a national Board of Directors as well as a local host committee.

The conference is organized collaboratively by Canadian Pagans and includes three-days of discussion and workshops about Canadian Paganism. After six years of traveling across the country, the conference is finally coming to Montreal’s Concordia University! The proposed theme for 2011 will be "Language to Liturgy", which reflects the cultural diversity of Montreal and how language itself can affect our practices and beliefs.

Our keynote speakers are Lucie Dufresne, Professor at the University of Ottawa, speaking on Language, and Arin Murphy-Hiscock, published author and Priestess, speaking on Liturgy. We are also planning an opening multi-faith panel on the Friday night and live entertainment on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Conference will be held Spring 2011 (May 20-23)

We invite papers and proposals from all faculties within the humanities who touch into the realm of alternate spirituality, Paganism, New Religious Movements and related subjects. Also, if you are a retired, solitary, armchair, or aspiring academic not affiliated with an institution then you may also submit by the same criteria and to the same locations. We hope to see everyone rise to the challenge and welcome them to this opportunity to present here in Montreal with like-minded individuals.

Submissions may be sent via mail or e-mail and are to be no more than one page. They must include a publication-ready, titled abstract of 150-200 words. The name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail address, college or university affiliation and level of study of the presenter(s) must also be included. Any special requests or needs for audio-visual equipment must also be indicated. We will be accepting submissions for peer and academic review between December 21st (Yule 2010) and March 20th (Ostara 2011). Abstracts and proposals (and thus presentations) may be in English or in French. All received submissions will be acknowledged, with notification of acceptance, by mid-April 2011.

Email to:
Mail to: ATTN Scarlet (Gaia Gathering)
Department of Religion, Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West
Montréal (Québec)
H3G 1M8

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Accomodation at the Montreal YWCA

We've had a few people ask questions or express concerns about staying at our official accommodations, the YWCA Auberge and Hotel. It seems that there are some misconceptions about this kind of accommodation, and admittedly the quality can vary enormously from city to city. So we wanted to assure you that the YWCA accommodations in Montreal are safe, clean and very nice.

The entire YWCA was recently renovated, including the Auberge and Hotel. They are currently targeting their marketing to tourists and budget business travelers. When we visited the Y accommodations last spring, we found them to be cleaner and nicer than some of the budget hotels in the city. You can read some of their TripAdvisor reviews here.

The hotel rooms have an en-suite bathroom equipped with a shower (no bath), free Wifi Internet, flat screen TV, small fridge, alarm clock, hot water and fair trade coffee. The hotel rooms are on a separate floor than the auberge.

The cheaper Auberge rooms have only a sink and an alarm clock, although some may have televisions and DSL (wired) Internet access. There are shared toilets and showers in the hallways.

The Auberge also has a large, welcoming common area with a fully-equipped kitchen (including fridges and cupboards to store your food), lots of tables, and free Wifi Internet access. There is also a small common lounge with a television and a separate computer room with Internet access. These common areas will be available to all Gaia Gathering guests staying at the YWCA, regardless of whether you choose Auberge or Hotel accommodation.

Here are some pics we took of the YWCA accommodations when we visited last spring:

Finally, here is a YouTube video put togheter by the folks at the YWCA to promote their auberge and hotel.

If you have any questions, please leave us a comment below or drop Mel, our local committee member responsible for lodging, an e-mail.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gaia Gathering Open Meeting in April

Montreal folks!

Please join us to find out how the planning is going, and to provide your input into the planning process. And, of course, if you want to help, we'd be delighted!

Time: Monday, April 4 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: Concordia Multifaith Chaplaincy, 2090 MacKay, Montreal

The main focus of the discussion at this meeting will be on programming. What panels do Montrealers want to see? What panels can we put together as a community to share our skills and knowledge with he rest of Canada?

We will be upstairs in the lovely lounge area with the kitchen.

Facebook Event

Approaching GG Deadlines!

With under 10 weeks to go until the next Canadian National Pagan Conference, Gaia Gathering in Montreal, May 20 to 23rd, some key deadlines are approaching that we wanted to remind you about:

  • end of early bird registration
  • deadline to apply for travel subsidies
  • deadline to submit workshop proposals

Also, we also want to take this opportunity to update you on our plans for this year's event! So read on!

Event Overview

The dates this year are May 20th to 23rd (Victoria Day Weekend) and the theme will be "Language to Liturgy." This reflects the cultural diversity of Montreal, and reflects upon how language itself can affect our practices and beliefs.

We will be gathering at the downtown campus of Concordia University where the festivities will kick-off Friday in the afternoon with workshops, a multifaith panel, main ritual and a meet'n'greet. On Saturday and Sunday, we will have three streams of discussions and workshops during the day, as well as an afternoon of sharing chants and music. The stream of academic presentations will take place on Sunday. On Monday we have a brunch and the Annual General Meeting (AGM). We are also considering offering additional workshops or panel discussions.

From Friday to Sunday, we will have a large, sunny vending and socializing space right in the heart of the conference action, as well as an art show on Saturday and Sunday featuring the art works of local Pagan artists and those attending the conference. We are also planning social events and entertainment in the evenings at local pubs and restaurants, as well as unofficial events, like city tours, for out-of-towners arriving early or staying longer.

Our Guest Speakers this year are Lucie DuFresne from the University of Ottawa and Arin Murphy-Hiscock, a Montrealer and Pagan authour. More information about our speakers can be found here. Our invited guests for entertainment on Saturday night are the internationally acclaimed Dragon Ritual Drummers from London, Ontario.

Registration and Early Bird Deadline

Regular registration is $100 for the entire conference, including the Saturday night entertainment which is being paid for by fundraising done by the local Montreal Pagan community. Early Bird registration is $90 and ends on Wednesday March 23rd, 2011. Day passes are also available. Register online here.

Travel Subsidy
As usual, we have travel subsidy funds available for people who want to attend the conference but find the cost of getting there challenging. Montreal is so excited about welcoming Pagans from across the country that they have been fundraising for this fund. To date over $1200 has been raised! Details on how to apply for travel scholarship can be found here. The deadline to apply is March 20th, 2011.

Call for Workshops Proposals

We have several slots available for workshops and invite your proposals. Workshop topics should pertain to Paganism. The topic can be theoretical, practical, or a combination of both. We especially welcome topics pertaining to specialised knowledge or skills that may not be widely available in various Canadian Pagan communities. Gaia Gathering offers a unique opportunity for people who hold these skills and knowledge to share them with peers from across the country, who can then bring the knowledge home to their communities. Details on how to submit a workshop proposal can be found here and here. Deadline to submit your proposal is March 20th, 2011.

Panel and Roundtable Programming
The topics for the panel and roundtable discussions held at Gaia Gathering have always been determined collectively through discussions on our Yahoogroup and blog. This year discussion is also taking place on our Facebook page, as well as through discussion in the host city community. We invite you to join in!

Academic Call for Papers
The call for papers for our academic stream on Sunday went out to academic institutions and academically-focussed groups in December. There has been considerable interest from students, professors, and non-academic-affiliated scholars from across Canada and even as far away as Australia! Details on the call for papers for the Academic Stream can be found here. Deadline for the academic call is March 20th, 2011, to allow for peer review.

We have a bright sunny space for vending right in front of the conference rooms and beside the university cafeteria. The vending space will be open to non-conference participants. We have about a dozen vendors registered and paid, but still have a few limited spots available. Vending costs $60 per table and you must be registered as a conference attendee in order to vend. More details are available here.

Other Updates

The Montreal Pagan Resource Centre is coordinating an art show to be held in conjunction with the conference. The art show will be held in its own room, which will also house a community altar space for the duration of the conference.

Montreal is very excited about hosting Gaia Gathering and has been holding fundraisers every couple months to help make sure attendees have fun things to do at the conference, to offset registration fees for volunteers, and to contribute to the national subsidy fund. To date over $3000 has been raise. (Yes, you read that correctly). Wow! Fundraisers have also been held in Winnipeg and are planned in Halifax and Toronto.

Stay in Touch
If you want to stay on top of what's happening, please "like" us on Facebook, subscribe to our blog, or follow us on Twitter.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at:

We look forward to seeing you in Montreal!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

EVENT: Pagan Art Exposition 2011

Pagan Art Exposition 2011
May 21st to May 22nd, 2011
Canadian National Pagan Conference, Gaia Gathering 2011
Concordia University: Sir George Williams Campus

The Montreal Pagan Resource Centre (MPRC) is proud to coordinate Montreal's second Pagan Art Exposition as part of the Canadian National Pagan Conference, Gaia Gathering 2011. Our goal is to showcase artistic work created by pagan artists from our community, but also to give these artists a venue in which they can present their work to a larger audience.

The art exposition will be held on the 7th floor of Concordia University’s Sir George Williams Campus (1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West).

The artwork should reflect pagan themes, but this is not a requirement. In the spirit of promoting artists within our pagan community, we are looking to work with artists who themselves follow a pagan spiritualistic path.

We must receive your application no later than April 30th 2011. You can submit your completed application, along with your $20 processing fee, to Le Melange Magique (1928 Ste. Catherine Street West). For the $20 processing fee, we accept cash, cheque, or money order (made payable to John David Hickey).

You can download a copy of the application from here:
Word Document:
Adobe PDF:

Roles and Responsibilities

* All artistic submissions will be reviewed by a jury that consists of MPRC volunteers. The MPRC jury reserves the right to choose the art works as they see fit. The MPRC jury will NOT select art that promotes violence or hatred of any kind.
* All artwork must be delivered to the exposition space by the artist or proxy after 12pm, May 20th and must be removed from the exposition space by 4pm, May 22nd by the artist or proxy. Any artwork not retrieved within a week of the Art Show will become the property of the MPRC.
* All art work must be ready for display.
* All pieces must be firmly attached to a base. For three-dimensional pieces, we suggest that the artist provide proper display supports.
* IMPORTANT: Artists are responsible to insure their own art works.  The MPRC, Concordia University, or Gaia Gathering is NOT responsible any for lost, stolen, or damaged works.

Application Fees and Sales
The MPRC is asking for a $20 processing fee per artist who wishes to submit their work for the Art Exposition. If the artist’s work is not retained for the exposition, the artist will be refunded their $20.
If the artist has registered for the Gaia Gathering conference, there is no $20 processing fee.

For the $20 processing fee, we accept cash, cheque, or money order (made payable to John David Hickey).

If artists wish to sell their artwork, they must either purchase a vending space from Gaia Gathering, coordinate with other artists to reserve a vending space, or share a space with another vendor. Any sales of the artwork in the show must be made in the Gaia Gathing Vendor’s room between the purchaser and the artist.

The MPRC requests a donation of 10% of any sales made during the Art Exposition, which can be collected at the end of the exposition (Sunday, May 22nd).

If you have any questions, please contact us at