Things You Can Do to Help Calgary’s Secular Community Grow and Thrive!

Found this (public) note on Facebook with some exciting news about the secular community in Calgary.

Keep it up!

And when I say “we,” what I really mean is you. I’m looking for people to take up some of these projects so I can proceed with the things I already have on my plate! If you are interested, contact me;I’ll provide more details and introduce you to the people you’ll be working with. If you’re not interested, I’ll have to let these opportunities slide, and that would be a shame. 🙁 So show some interest, people!

This is a summary of the suggestions I brought up at the CFI meeting on Thursday, July 18, 2013.

Aron Ra

  • He is speaking in Toronto in September, date to be announced.
  • Pending Nate’s approval (to be sought prior to making further arrangements), we would need to cover his travel, accommodations (he is willing to billet), and it would be very helpful if we could offer him a modest honourarium, enough to cover incidentals (taxi, meals, baggage claims, etc.) and to help offset lost income.
  • I am happy to be Aron’s liaison and driver, and I anticipate the usual suspects will mobilize to make this event happen.
  • We might like to collaborate with CFI Vancouver and the Greater Edmonton Skeptics Society on this, to make this a “Canadian tour” and to share expenses.

United Coalition of Reason

“The United Coalition of Reason is a national organization that works to raise the visibility of local nontheistic groups all over America. Nationally, we do this by conducting campaigns which highlight the fact that non theists live in every community across America. Locally, we do this by promoting informal cooperation among local groups, hosting local coalition websites, training group leaders, and funding publicity campaigns.”

  • Per our discussion in the meeting, these are the folks who do billboards and bus ads!
  • Vancouver is the only Canadian city represented – we can’t have that! 😉
  • Fred Edwords has offered to visit Calgary and Edmonton to help set up Coalitions in both cities. We need to identify and engage an appropriate representative in Edmonton.
  • This is a good volunteer opportunity for someone who can do website updates in a timely manner and is connected (or wants to connect) with the various groups in and around Calgary.
  • For more information:

The Secular Coalition for America is seeking Canadian participation

  • Two years ago, when Sean Faircloth was Executive Director, I was invited to attend and participate in their Bi-Annual Summit and Lobbying Day. David Niose is now President and Edwina Rogers is now Executive Director. I also attended and participated in their Bi-Annual Summit and Lobbying Day this year. Awesome organization,tackling many issues common to Canada.
  • Edwina recently approached me about the possibility of starting up a Chapter, and I told her I would help make that happen. This is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in participating in Canadian politics to align with an experienced,effective lobbying group. And with Harper running things, we clearly need this. 

Camp Quest

We’ve been talking about doing something like this in Calgary for years, and with all the great venues within driving distance of here, what better place? Let’s make it happen!

  • Due to rapid expansion the wonderful folks at Camp Quest cannot help us directly, but they have offered us access to all the relevant materials to set up our own.
  • It is useful to keep in mind that one of my contacts says volunteering for this requires a substantial year-round time commitment. He also reports that it is very rewarding and worthwhile.
  • One year lead time is required, so it’s already time to start scoping venues, checking availability, and putting together a team to help make this happen in 2014!

Garage Sale (CFI Fundraiser)

  • I still have donations from last sale.
  • Sunnyside School Fall Fair is being held on Saturday, September 28, and I recommend we do the garage sale on the same day (as was done coincidentally for our first garage sale; this will be our second). My house is across the street, with a garage that opens onto the street in a popular, pedestrian-friendly inner city district.
  • Need volunteers to receive and field donations, make signage, price items and put them on display in an appealing manner, etc., beginning AT LEAST TWO DAYS IN ADVANCE. 

Other things:

Note the amazing t-shirt I was wearing at the meeting! When I tabled at the American Atheists conference as a representative of Atheist Alliance International, I ordered too much merchandise. If you’d like anything, I can get the following items for you:Atheist Alliance t-shirt, Atheist Census t-shirt, Secular World t-shirt(limited edition – tagline is now “a positive voice for global atheism,” see photo) for $20 each; white AAI-branded water bottle for $28, shown here: Note that these prices are lower than those posted on the website. I also have “circle-A” atheist pins in gold, silver and bronze tones for $7 each. Let me know by August 15, and I’ll have them sent to me. I will also include with your order a back-issue of Secular World magazine.

Light the Night Walk

Don’t forget to join the Foundation Beyond Belief Calgary’s Light the Night team, or sponsor one of our team members: The walk takes place on Saturday, October 5, at Eau Claire.


Christine Shellska