Monday, December 12, 2011

Being poly means you get TWO Santas!

A very, merry poly Christmas party was had by all -- thank you for a great year, Victoria Poly 101!  


See you in January, folks!



We just couldn't choose..  but then we realized we didn't have to!

Lawyer for the CPAA explains the polygamy law ruling

The Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association's lawyer, John Ince, wrote an open letter explaining why the BC Supreme Court's recent ruling on Canada's polygamy law is actually good news for poly people.   Read it on the CPAA website, here:  http://polyadvocacy.ca/statement-from-john-ince-what-this-decision-means-for-polyamorists

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thank you, Poly Victorians!

What a great Poly 101 last night! I feel so proud to be a part of such an intelligent, aware, sexy and proactive 
community! Thank you to everyone who came out for our last discussion of 2011, including out-of-towners. 


Special thanks to Zoe Duff, of the CPAA  for her informative and inspiring summary of the Polygamy ruling. 


You all rock my world!


-- Kiki

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Landmark BC Supreme Court decision announced: Polygamy Law is upheld.. with some compromises

The following is a link to the BC Supreme Court's decision on Canada's Polygamy Law, which was challenged by (among others) the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association on behalf of polyamorous Canadians:

http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/11/15/2011BCSC1588.htm

The Judge's decision makes a distinction between formalized poly unions and common-law cohabitation, the former being illegal, still, under the law.

Here is the CPAA's official reaction to the ruling (from their website):

http://polyadvocacy.ca/cpaa-reacts-to-bc-supreme-court-decision

Polyamorous people should be disappointed at this decision because, while it recognizes that there are some poly relationships that are NOT patriarchal, harmful and inequal, it does not decriminalize full expression of these relationships.

With these clarifications, it would seem the battle for legal recognition of ALL forms of polyamorous, adult, relationships has only begun..

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Poly 101discussion

What's the most difficult thing about poly for you?

Date :  Thursday, November 24, 2011
Time:  6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Location:  Oak Bay Guest House (dining room), 1052 Newport Avenue  Victoria, BC

What's tough about poly for you?  Come share stories, questions, and solutions at Victoria Poly 101 this month!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Poly 101 monthly discussion, October 2011


Thursday, October 27 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm (4th Thursday of every month!)
Location
The Ledge
Bedford Regency Hotel 1140 Government St
Victoria, British Columbia

Come join us for drinks and some lively and helpful discussion about polyamory!

This month's topic was suggested at September's meet:

Poly, change and strategies for coping with new relationships

How do you introduce changes in your poly dynamic while respecting your partner(s) need to process these changes? What do you do when some of you process things fast, others at a slower pace? How do you even communicate your feelings about wanting change, or wanting things to slow down?

Please bring an open mind, questions (non-topic-related questions are also fine!) and feel free to dress up since this IS very close to Halloween

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Bliss Factory: workshops for poly, open and sex positive people in Victoria, BC

My fall schedule for workshops is up!  Jealousy management, long distance relationships, threesomes, making safer sex even sexier..  these are just some of the topics I'll cover at The Bliss Factory.  "Like" me on Facebook!

--Kiki

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall schedule for UVic's PoC (Poly 101 on Campus)



Another semester, another welcome letter! :) To everyone who just signed up with us at Clubs Days, welcome to the group! To old friends, welcome back! If you couldn't make our meetings last semester, hopefully this semester the timing works out better!

This club isn't limited to in-person discussion groups. We are here as a resource for information and support, available to students and non-students, to self-identified poly folk as well as those who do not consider themselves polyamorous. This email address is a great way to get in touch: send any questions/comments this way! We'd love to hear from you.

Much Poly Love,

Esha.


News:
  • We polled you for this semester's meeting times, and it's decided! POC will be meeting once a week, alternating Saturday afternoons at a cafe downtown and Thursday evenings on campus (Clearihue C115).

    Saturdays (3 - 5pm): September 24, October 8, 22, November 5, 19.
    Thursdays (6 - 7:30pm): September 29, October 13, 27, November 10, 24.
    If a Thursday coincides with Victoria Poly 101's monthly discussion, we'll go there as a group instead! Like we are today. :)

  • This summer PoC went to Polycamp Vancouver Island 2011! I'll be posting a review in October of my experiences to the FB group, with reflections and insights from other club members who also attended.

We will be meeting once a week this semester, alternating Thursdays on campus and Saturdays at a downtown cafe. Remember, this is not a weekly commitment! You are welcome to attend as many or as few meetings as you'd like to. We welcome drop-ins--you can arrive late and leave early.
To be added to the mailing list, please contact:  poly101oncampus@gmail.com
First meeting: Saturday, Sept 24th.

Facebook vs Mailing List:


This mailing list keeps you updated with club news only. The Facebook page has club updates as well as other poly-related news and tidbits.

If you are trying to find us on Facebook, look for the page, not the group. The FB group for POC: Poly101 on Campus is a secret group, to respect the privacy of members who are closeted or not out as polyamorous. The page is public and much easier to find. If you are not out as poly, but want to be added to the group, email me privately at poly101oncampus@gmail.com. (Don't hit "reply all.")

To be removed from the mailing list, just send me an email saying so!

Link to the POC: Poly101 on Campus FB page: http://www.facebook.com/poly101oncampus

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September Poly 101 discussion


Thursday, September 22 · 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Location
Oak Bay Guest House
1052 Newport Ave.
Victoria, BC

It's back to school time, folks! I hope you all had a fantastic summer, and I'm looking forward to hearing about it at our September discussion.

Along with our usual check-in (you can tell us about your summer, or simply your name, it's all good!) our discussion topic this month will be:

What does your poly look like?

There are probably as many different poly configurations as there are polyamorous people to think them up. Come discuss the shape of your poly relationship (or your ideal poly relationship) and marvel at how many ways open relationships can work, and work well. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Victoria Poly 101 at the Victoria Anarchist Bookfair, 2011


Saturday, September 10 at 11:00am - September 11 at 6:00pm

Location
Fernwood Community Centre
1240 Gladstone Avenue
Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria Poly 101 has hosted a table at the annual Anarchist bookfair for the last two years; this will be our third year at the bookfair! We have an opportunity to connect with the larger community, to fundraise (we can sell poly-related items) and to attend some of the great workshops the Bookfair hosts.

Please consider coming to help me host the table (two people on a morning or afternoon shift works well). I promise you'll meet cool people and enjoy talking about polyamory! :)

Here's their website for more info on the bookfair itself:

http://www.victoriaanarchistbookfair.ca/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Poly Wanna: a guest post about Polycamp Vancouver Island 2011

Soo...  I promise I'll put up a big post-Polycamp Vancouver Island post soon.  Meanwhile, I have a guest post from a friend of mine from Seattle who attended our camp:


by Scott Campbell on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Been having the interesting experience lately, after being in an open relationship with Terisa for 14 years, of finally feeling ready to be truly polyamorous. I've had plenty of other girlfriends during those years, but they've always been fairly lighthearted and uncommitted, and I'm realizing now that some part of me was deliberately maintaining a distance. We've long had the joke in our family that Terisa is polyamorous, I'm a swinger, and Larry is monogamous, and there's been some truth to all three of those labels until recently.

But now I find myself wanting a more committed, emotional involvement with my other sexual partners, and in fact desiring that part of it more than the sex. I don't know whether this desire will manifest in reality or not, because currently I've got no other partners. I just feel my desires and priorities shifting. For the past couple of months I've been making deliberate efforts to be more social, after spending many months happily holed up at home not really seeing much of anybody. Been throwing a lot of darts, as they say, none of which have stuck as yet. That's a good part of why I went to Polycamp in Canada last week, and the experience there of just hanging out with a bunch of people -- none of whom I knew when I first got there -- was really eye-opening. I miss them all now like they're long-lost friends. The fact that they all live on an island that's expensive to get to intensifies the feeling of separation.

I've got no particular point to make with this ramble, I guess ... just trying to clarify some of the things I've been feeling lately. I always thought I was a good poly boy, but now I'm realizing, not so much. I've had no problems with sharing my girlfriend, but I haven't been particularly good at sharing myself. Something I'd like to try and change. Terisa is the epic love of my life, that won't be changing. But there's room for deeper feelings with other people.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

So many poly sites!


This list was compiled by Joreth, whose website can be found here.

Poly Collection Sites! Find poly therapists, movies, music, books, groups, events, clothing, news articles, conferences ... all in one place! Well, one place per topic :-) These websites rely on user submissions, so if you know of something that's missing, let me know!

Poly-Friendly Professionals: http://www.polychromatic.com/p​fp/main.php
Poly Groups: http://www.polygroups.com/
Poly Local Events: https://sites.google.com/site/​polyeventsallover
Poly Conferences: http://polyevents.blogspot.com​/
Polyamory In The News: http://polyinthemedia.blogspot​.com/
Poly Movies: http://www.theinnbetween.net/p​olymovies.html
Poly Music: http://www.theinnbetween.net/p​olymusic.html
Poly Books: http://www.theinbetween.net/po​lybooks.html
Poly clothing & jewelry: http://polyinthemedia.blogspot​.com/2010/04/poly-jewelry-clot​hing-and-other.html

Polycamp Love Letter




Living pleasurably and compassionately are not incompatible. This is especially true if the happiness of others gives us pleasure. <3


Thank you for making my wishes come true by fulfilling yours!


These are a few of the "wishing hearts" that were attached to my tent at Polycamp Vancouver Island 2011.  Campers wrote their wishes on the hearts and I could see them every time I went in and out of my tent as they fluttered in the breezes.  During the course of the camping week, people would come up to me and hug me and tell me their wish just came true!  I can't wait until next year..  :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Polycamp Vancouver Island 2011 is featured on Polyamory Weekly!

Cunning Minx's journal (part 1) of her time at Polycamp Vancouver Island is now up!  Check it out here  http://www.facebook.com/notes/poly-weekly/pw-282-naked-in-vancouver/10150250204072791:

Minx also says:  If you were at PolyCamp Vancouver Island, call in to 206-202-POLY now and leave your comments and stories for this week's episode!

Victoria Poly 101 monthly discussion: informal summer pub night

Thursday, August 25 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Location
The Ledge
1140 Government Street
Victoria, British Columbia

Come relax and catch up on Victoria Poly 101 topics and events at The Ledge. Newcomers always welcome; look for the parrot on the table

Friday, June 17, 2011

Poly 101 at the Victoria Pride Parade

Victoria Poly 101 will be marching again this year in the Pride Parade and everyone is invited to join us!

The Parade starts the morning of July 10th and details are available on our Facebook event page.

Come out and show your poly pride with us!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Polyamory and Social Change: a speech for Vancouver's Anti-homophobia breakfast

This morning I gave a short speech for the 7th Annual Anti-homophobia breakfast, sponsored by Vancouver's Qmunity (queer support organization).  It was a tremendous boost to be included among the shining starts of Vancouver's queer activists and support network, and I thought I'd repost my speech here for those who were not able to attend.  I was proud to represent the polyamorous community at this fantastic event.



Polyamory and Social Change

Introduction

Intimate relationships are the foundation of family, community and of society as a whole.  When we deconstruct pre-programmed ideas of how we relate to each other on an intimate level, eventually we change the way we feel and act towards everyone we relate to.

Polyamory -- the practice of openly and honestly loving more than one person -- poses challenges for personal growth and communication that can also create an ideal background for challenging traditional relationship structures and set the stage for sex positive culture and social change.

Those who choose polyamory as a relationship style are not the only people who experience discontinuity, cultural bias or prejudice within our larger environment of heteronormative cultural assumptions.  For example:

It took me only moments of online research to come up with this response to Facebook's relationship status choices and its inherent biases towards couple-centric values.  This is from Onely.org (a blog about celebrating and advocating the choice of being single):

By forcing users to choose one “relationship” from a narrow range of options centering around marital status and sexual habits, Facebook perpetuates our society’s entrenched mate-mania, which over-worships the sexual-couple-unit, and marriage in particular. This bias devalues other important relationships. It devalues platonic friends and non-spousal family members. And it devalues people for whom conventional coupling/marriage is either not appealing or not an option. . .

**************
Also from the Onely blog was a good definition of "heteronormative", and it's the one I will also be using today:

We use "heteronormative" to mean the hegemonic perspective that normalizes coupled relationships. "Heteronormative" historically refers to a perspective that fails to recognize “alternative” gender and sexual identities.

***************

To come back to polyamory:

As open relationships become increasingly public and politicized, we are in need of a new cultural relationship model that is distinct from monogamy but that still demonstrates the values of love, commitment and security that are important to all human beings.  Through practicing polyamory while being conscious of how we speak about and act towards everyone we relate to, it is possible to bring this model into public awareness in a way that both celebrates the unique aspects of poly while demonstrating skills that are of value to everyone.

Here are some basic aspects of polyamory which reflect and encourage social change:

- equality in relationship roles (here is where it's important to distinguish between polyamory as a choice rather than patriarchial or religious multi-partner structures, such as the polygamy practiced in Bountiful, BC).

- allowing those we love to fulfil their potential without the contraints of social expectation created by romantic or couple-centric assumptions

- embracing the fluidity of uncertainty and change within relationships, which encourages personal courage and awareness as well as good communication skills

- allowing individuals the creative ability to choose the relationship structures that work best for them

- creating new concepts and language to describe our relationships

- raising the importance of friendship to a level equal to that of "partners", creating new opportunities for social interaction and increasing value of individual qualities often overlooked in our culture (ie. loyalty, respect, honesty, simple warmth, to name a few )


Here are some ways in which we can consciously use our practice of polyamory to effect social change:

First level:  Individual Action

- exploring our own feelings and realizing where our boundaries are in relation to other people's  -- in other words, know the difference between your stuff and someone else's

- cultivate respect for yourself and those you relate to

- read and learn as much as possible about polyamory (online, books, media... )

- demonstrate your values through your careful choice of language

Second Level:  Group Action

- organize and attend group events that are either poly focused or poly-inclusive

- bring family members and friends into contact with your poly relationships and ideas so they can become comfortable with them

- seek support groups can help with the process of "coming out" if that is a difficulty

**This is where queer community organizations can help polyamorous groups by sharing their experience of alternative parenting, community building, legal battles and personal experiences such as "coming out" stories.

The model of heterosexual couples who want to swing with another couple, or to find one bisexual person to play with, is certainly an option in the poly model, but they are by no means the only or the most common options.

Queer community is coming to recognize that poly groups are becoming another haven for people who identify as bisexual, pansexual, transgendered and exploratory in terms of gender and sexual orientation.

Just as many queers embrace polyamory as heterosexuals, and there are single people who choose to date, when they do, in an open relationship structure.  Poly structures can truly span gender and sexual orientation labels and include a diverse community who are united in their desire to step outside of the heteronormative box of cultural assumptions and bias.

Third Level:  Global Action

- plan and host poly conferences and events

- talk to the media about polyamory

- create your own poly media (films, books, blogs, newsgroups... )

- bring poly into the political arena

- lobby for legal change in the areas of child custody, financial rights of multiple partners, contract law as pertaining to marriage and partnerships AND the decriminalization of multi-partner marital status (which is the goal of the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association)

Conclusion:

There is an obvious connection between individual growth and social change.  Polyamory provides a rich opportunity for both, as it presents both a personal challenge and a public one.  It reaches people on many levels:  emotional, spiritual, ethical, legal, political, economic...  and in this way, it becomes a paradigm for how we can consciously change the way we think and act socially that starts on the smallest scale -- within ourselves -- and blossoms outwards to touch others through the simplest of connection:  those of love and mutual respect.

Thank you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Polycamp Vancouver Island workshop sneak preview!

Workshop with Quintus on Larger Families: Intentional Communities and Communes


Quintus, a long-time Seattle poly facilitator, will be leading workshops on July 30 and August 6 at Polycamp Vancouver Island. Go to www.polycampvi.ca to get early-bird rates on a full week (July 29-August 6) of camping, workshops, family activities, hikes, and more.

Quintus' workshop will include a presentation on going beyond a poly relationship to build a poly community and family. He will share stories and pictures of what poly community can look like, so come and share your opinions and experiences! Quintus is CEO of the Washington Polycamp and facilitator of Let’s Talk Poly (Sharma Centre).

Early-bird registration ends May 31, so register now at www.polycampvi.ca!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Vancouver Poly 101 1st Meetup

Wednesday May 4, 2011

5:30 to 7:00pm, at the Prophouse Cafe, 1636 Venables St, Vancouver, BC.

Bringing the Victoria Poly 101 concept to Vancouver! Victoria Poly 101 is a discussion-based group on the concept of polyamory and what it means to love more than one person ethically and openly. It has become quite successful so we thought we'd come over to Vancouver and give it a try.
Kiki Christie and Cora Bilsker will facilitate this event. Please invite anyone you'd like!
If you can't make the event feel free to join the Vancouver Poly 101 FB group


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Polycamp Vancouver Island 2011 Registration Information

Don't miss out on Polycamp Vancouver Island: Poly Ever After. Early bird registration is open! Join us at beautiful Goldstream park, just 20 minutes from Victoria.

This is a family-friendly event for poly people--and the people who love them, poly or not! In addition to a fabulous workshop lineup that includes Cunning Minx, Franklin Veaux, and Quintus, we'll have kids activities, theme camps, adults-only activities, and of course, lots of chilling by the campfire. We're offering nine nights of camping at Goldstream's secluded Prospector and Goldminer sites, and if you get your registration in by May 31, it's only $110 for the whole week.

Full details and registration are at www.polycampvi.ca, but here are the essentials:

Camp dates: Friday, July 29 to Sunday, August 7 (two weekends and the week between)

Prices (all in Canadian funds):
Daily drop-in (price per day): $20 adult, $5 child
One night (price per night): $40 adult, $15 child
Weekend or mid-week (up to 3 nights): $80 adult, $30 child
Full week (up to 9 nights): $110 adult, $40 child

All overnight fees include all workshops and activities on the day before and after you camp. For example, if you pay for Saturday night, you may attend the workshops on Saturday and Sunday. Prices do not include food! details about cooking facilities at camp we be available on the website.

Early-bird deadline and refund policy:
The full-week registration fee increases to $140 after May 31.
Polycamp registrations are refundable minus a 10% fee until May 31.
Registrations are refundable minus a 25% fee until June 15.
Registrations are non-refundable after June 15.

You can pay by Paypal or personal cheque, by paying cash to the treasurer or registrar at any Vancouver or Victoria poly event, or of course, by redeeming a Polycamp VI bond. Visit www.polycampvi.ca to register instantly online and reserve your discount!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April Poly 101 discussion

Thursday, April 28 · 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Location
University of Victoria, Clearihue A202
Victoria, BC

VP101 member (many of you know Lily) will lead this month's discussion. Topic to be announced, and I'm sure it will be a good one! I will also be there to take questions about polyamory or Victoria poly community, and give a synopsis of the Vancouver "What is Polyamory?" Panel I assisted with on April 11, 2011 for the benefit of the CPAA's court case proceedings against Canada's polygamy law.  See you there!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Polycamp Vancouver Island 2011 is now taking early bird registrations!

Our theme this year is “Poly Ever After”.. and we anticipate having lots of fun with it!
Polycamp Vancouver Island 2011 is a family camp for polyamorous people to gather and enjoy workshops and social events in a beautiful natural setting on Vancouver Island. The venue (Goldstream Provincial Park) is only 20 minutes from Victoria, British Columbia.
Don’t miss out on the camping, workshops, costumes, family activities, hikes and more!
Click here for workshop information and to register!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Closing arguments posted in Canadian litigation March 2011

Greetings to all

Written closing arguments have been filed. 
Oral closing arguments are expected to be heard between March 28 and April 8 (10 days).
The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has obtained the right (a first in BC) to video tape court proceedings and will do a webcast (video and sound) of the closing arguments.  

The closing arguments, as well as all other documents are here.  
https://docs.google.com/?tab=mo&authuser=0#folders/folder.0.0B-URIT52yhx4MDVkMDU5MDctZDM0Zi00ODQ4LWJkNWEtMWVjNmRjMGE2ZjQ0

Our closing argument was designed to piggy back on the closing argument of the Amicus, who did a great job focusing on the law generally. He also has a significant section in his brief on international law, including US. The CPAA closing is focused on the facts surrounding polyamory.  John Ince intends to read the affidavits of our poly families into the record as part of the closing, as we did not present any oral evidence.  

You will see from the closing arguments of the Attorneys General of Canada/BC, that they try to minimize the meaning of the literal words of the criminal law, the extent of polyamory, and the impact of the criminal law section on polyamorists so as to convince the court that the Canadian law should be upheld. 

Regards,
Carole Chanteuse 

Vancouver Poly Panel: April 11, 2011

In conjunction with the closing arguments of the British Columbia Supreme
Court hearing on the Constitutionality of Polygamy in Canada, as it relates
to Section 293 of the Criminal Code, the Vancouver Polyamory Society and the
Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association will be hosting a Panel Discussion
on the aspects and realities of Polyamory .

The Panel Forum will take place at The Junction Pub, 1138 Davie Street, 7pm.
Vancouver, BC, on April 11th, 2011, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.*

With this court hearing generating a significant amount of discussion
regarding the validity and constitutionality of the lifestyle choice of
Polyamory within Canada’s society, this forum will allow present
practitioners of Polyamory and those interested in learning more, an
opportunity to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of this growing lifestyle
approach to consensual conjugal unions.

Presenters from North America have been gathered to speak at this
informative forum:

*Janet W. Hardy* is a writer and sex educator, and founder of Greenery
Press, living in Oregon, USA.  She has also been published as Catherine A.
Liszt and Lady Green. She is the author or co-author of ten books, including
what is commonly referred to as the Polyamory Bible: *The Ethical Slut*. She
frequently collaborates with Dossie Easton.

*Terisa Greenan* has a sharp wit and impeccable comedic timing. Based in
Seattle, she is a writer, having penned numerous short stories and two
adapted screenplays with much original content. In addition, Terisa has
directed and produced for both stage and screen. She formed Petal Films in
2007. In the fall of 2008 Terisa launched 3 Dog Pictures to showcase her new
episodic web series "Family", a series depicting a Polyamorous Triad.

*John Ince* is a lawyer, politician, an erotic arts enthusiast, and the
controversial author of a book called The Politics of Lust. He founded The
Erosha School of Erotic Massage and The Art of Loving, a sexuality center in
Vancouver, British Columbia. He is also the leader of a political party, the
Sex Party (British Columbia).

*Kiki Christie* is the founder and facilitator of Victoria Poly 101, a
polyamory discussion group in Victoria, British Columbia of over 150
members.  She's been a bi/kinky/poly educator and activist for over 6 years
and has given workshops for various poly groups in British Columbia as well
as in Washington state and Austin, Texas. She is a member of the Canadian
Polyamory Advocacy Association and she is currently the Director for
Vancouver Island Polycamp.

Contact: R.Billard, karoavga@gmail.com, 604-619-0529

Monday, February 28, 2011

Victoria Poly 101 monthly discussion: Polyamory in different cultures

Thursday, March 24 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm
University of Victoria (UVic), Clearihue A202

Does poly exist in other cultures, or has it in the past? How easy/difficult are poly relationships when your partner has a different cultural background? What does polyamory look like in other countries today? Come join in our discussion at UVic, same room as last month!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ready, set... Valentine's Day compersion check-in!

Hi polyfriends! With perhaps the BIGGEST holiday dedicated to couple-dom just around the corner, and a plethora of Valentine's advertising, merchandise and internets-hype telling us we should be reveling in the L-word with our Special Significant Other, I wanted to do a little check-in to find out how my friends in poly-land are coping with the mixed signals Valentine's Day brings.

Some of the feelings V-Day brings up for me are decidedly mixed, including:

- desire
- loneliness
- anxiety
- greed (for chocolate and/or sex and/or cuddles)
- compersion (hey, I *am* poly, after all)
- gratitude
- confusion
- guilt
- shame
- irony

Additionally, for those of us dating or relating to more than one special person, V-Day can be a scheduling nightmare.

This year, like the last few years, I am living alone and I anticipate V-Day will be a quiet affair. I will work, send some texts to my sweeties, and treat myself to a bubbly bath and some chocolate.

What are your V-Day poly plans? Will you spend it with a partner, or several of them? Will your partners be spending it with their other partners? Will you be sitting at home wondering why it feels twice as bad to be single AND poly on Valentine's Day? Will you ignore the whole thing on the grounds that it's a commercially-driven ploy designed to prey upon our need for love in order to sell merchandise and promote a heteronormative, couple-oriented agenda?

While I'm inclined to play down the romance and play up the compersion and caring, I, for one, will not object if you send me chocolate. ;)

~K

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Victoria Poly 101 monthly discussion: polyamory and asexuality

Thursday, February 24 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: University of Victoria, Clearihue A202 (*please note: this is a different room number from last month's discussion*)

Special Guest Cole Brown from Vancouver will speak about AVEN (Asexual Visibility and Education Network).

Cole Brown is a local asexual activist, volunteering her time to help bring awareness and visibility to the general public on behalf of those who identify as asexual. She has been giving lectures on asexuality for four years up and down the west coast.

The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) was founded in 2001 to help bring asexual individuals together from all around the world. It is the largest asexual resource on the web and a source of information and support for asexual individuals and their friends and loved ones.

Read more about asexuality on the AVEN website and forum here:
http://www.asexuality.org/home/

Discussion about asexuality and poly will follow Cole's presentation.

**A small donation would be appreciated to help cover Cole's travel costs. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CPAA's letter to Loving More: an update on the polygamy law case in BC

Dear Loving More organization.

I am writing to update you on the progress of the Canadian
litigation. We would also like to express our support and gratitude
for the support of the Loving More organization and of the Polyamory
Leadership Network both at the conference in Seattle (where we made a
presentation on the litigation) and since then. We have had donations
since then of approximately $3000 toward the cost of the litigation
and when combined with the volunteer efforts and donations of our
volunteers, that money provides us with the ability to cover initial
costs and cover some of the costs of the likely, upcoming appeals

You will recall that the litigation is about s.293 Criminal Code of
Canada, a law which criminalizes polygamy but also makes it a criminal
offence to enter into any kind of conjugal union with more than one
person at the same time,whether or not it is by law recognized as a
binding form of marriage. It is also criminal to celebrate such a
relationship and it is not necessary to prove that sex is or was
intended to be a part of it. Although rarely prosecuted, the Attorney
General (AG) of the province of British Columbia, wished to use the
section to prosecute an insular, highly fundamentalist Mormon sect
(Bountiful) which practices patriarchal polygyny and against whom
there were concerns alleged about abusive behaviours, marriage to
underage girls, etc. The AG was given advice by prosecutors that the
law was unconstitutional and, under political pressure to address the
issues alleged at Bountiful, decided to ask the court a constitutional
reference question (essentially, for a judicial and highly persuasive
legal opinion) as to the constitutionality of the law. That question
is what this court case is about.

The parties to the litigation are the Attorneys General of Canada and
British Columbia (for s.293) and the Amicus (friend of the court,
appointed to argue against s.293). The court allowed Interested
Parties to come forward and 12 organizations originally did so,
including one of the Bountiful communities and various children and
women's rights organizations and civil liberties groups. The Canadian
Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA) was formed to become an
Interested Party and present a polyamorous point of view to the
court.

By November all the evidence was filed with the court. Five families
from across Canada have provided to the court affidavit telling about
their family situations for which they feared they would be viewed as
criminal given the wording of s. 293. The CPAA has also filed the
results of a survey, a 500 page Brandeis Brief of research and reports
respecting polyamory, and four books supportive of polyamory all of
which are intended to show the court that polyamory is not a "fringe"
movement and that is has something of value to offer to people and
society such that it should clearly not be criminalized in any way.

In November all the opening arguments were filed and on November 22
opening arguments were begun. The AG for Canada argued that the law is
legal and could be read to require that it only become illegal to live
together as a married couple if one had a ceremony to celebrate it.
The AG for BC argued the law was legal, but if it was not, then since
the governments could only show that there were harms to patriarchal
polygyny and could not show that there were harms to polyandry, then
it was legal only if someone lived in a configuration with one man and
more than one woman. Legal counsel for the CPAA, John Ince, presented
a brilliant opening argument pointing out the challenges of both of
these positions and suggesting that the AGs might have "lost their
moral compass" in trying to argue for the constitutionality of the
section on these grounds. The BC Civil Liberties Association
arguments aligned with those of the CPAA. Other organizations argued
for reading down the law to make it constitutional or to read in
elements of abuse, disparity of power, etc.

There has been no evidence presented which indicates there are harms
to polyamory and no one has asked to cross-examine the CPAA witnesses,
so CPAA has chosen to call no witnesses or present further evidence in
court. The CPAA position is that if no harms have been shown, then
the law should be ruled as unconstitutional vis a vis polyamorous
families.

Media attention has been wide, nationally and internationally. The
CPAA has declined requests during this busy trial preparation period
to be part of a documentary and has referred requests to the Loving
More organization, which has assisted documentarians and other media
people with finding polyamorous families and people who are willing to
be interviewed. Media media attention has recently been on
patriarchal polygyny and Bountiful since the parties and many of the
witnesses, both for and against s.293, are focused on arguing about
the harms of patriarchal polygny. Some women who are members of these
communities have been able to testify anonymously to protect them from
criminal prosecution and so the court could hear their testimony.
There are also social science witnesses who have testified about the
harms of patriarchal polgyny and how they view it possible that even
in a culture such as that of Canada, we will--if polygamy is
legalized--tend toward patriarchal polygyny resulting in more
unmarried men and increased violence.
The Amicus has been questioning these experts and witnesses.CPAA legal
counsel has been working closely with the Amicus throughout the trial.

The final witnesses will be called in February and there will also
shortly be a hearing on whether the CBC--Canada's national television
station--will be able to record and televise the closing arguments.
Closing arguments will be heard sometime in late March and early
April, 2011.

Those of us volunteering with the CPAA are now promoting the holding
of Polyamory Forums by polyamorists across Canada. Polyamorists in
Victoria, British Columbia, held a forum at the University in late
2010 which received a lot of media attention. We are hoping to host
one in Vancouver shortly after the closing arguments are heard so as
to focus public attention at that time on polyamory. There may also
be one on the East Coast. We also intend to promote the Polyamory
House Party weekend.

CPAA webpage: http://polyadvocacy.ca
A blog of the proceedings: http://dearpollyamorie.blogspot.com/
Court documents and certified transcripts (caution: note that there is
a publication ban on some of the witness' statements):
https://docs.google.com/?tab=mo&authuser=0&pli=1#folders/folder.0.0B-URIT52yhx4MDVkMDU5MDctZDM0Zi00ODQ4LWJkNWEtMWVjNmRjMGE2ZjQ0

It was a pleasure to meet up with you all at the Loving More
Conference and we hope to continue our alliance and friendship in
pursuing our mutual advocacy efforts.

Carole Chanteuse
CPAA

Monday, January 24, 2011

What is Polyamory? A Panel Discussion (Part 1 of 7))

Real poly people answer the public's questions in Victoria on November 17, 2010.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vancouver Island Polycamp 2011

Announcing: PolyCamp Too is now Polycamp Vancouver Island 2011, and if you're
planning on attending, we need your help this month!

We've got a new location and a longer camping experience planned. We're moving
camp to a new site: the group sites at Goldstream Provincial Park (Victoria,
BC). They offer many of the amenities of our former site, Living Forests, but
with more privacy, more space, and a forested, secluded setting. We'll also be
offering a full week (nine days) of poly camping: weekend camping with the great
workshops and kids' programs you've come to expect, and more laid-back mid-week
camping, with fire circle chats at night (weather willing!) The dates for camp
this year are July 29 to August 7.

Here's where YOU can help out:

In order to get such a great site, we had to pay a big deposit. A member of the
planning team has put the full base fee on her credit card, in the faith that
the lovely and generous poly community will step forward to help cover the cost
during the time her credit card bill's due and when we sell enough tickets to
cover the site cost.

We know most of you can't commit to camp this early in the year, so we're asking
for you to support us by buying Polycamp VI bonds. Here's how it works: You pay
$100 now per bond. You can buy as many as you want. When tickets go on sale,
each bond is worth $110 toward Polycamp VI tickets (see below for anticipated
ticket prices). If you don't use the whole $110, you'll get a refund at Polycamp
VI for the balance. If you end up not buying a ticket, you can just redeem your
bond after Polycamp VI for $110--or donate your bond to support next year's
Polycamp VI.

We need to sell 29 bonds by February 10 to make this work. If we don't, we'll
have to cancel the site reservation and reconsider site options. It would also
mean that bonds would be refunded--by February 28--at the original $100 price.
But that's not going to happen, because you all are going to support Polycamp
VI! Right?

To buy a bond, send $100 (Canadian funds, please!) via PayPal or Interac money
transfer to stellamom@.... You can also bring $100 in cash or personal
cheque to Eve at Vanpoly in January or February, or to Zoe at any poly event
listed here: www.vanisle-polyamory.com. Your bond is a personal loan to Eve
Rickert of Vancouver, BC. Polycamp Vancouver Island is not a formal
organization, so we don't have the capacity to officially channel funds as a
group.

If you have questions about how the bonds work, or about camp fees or the site,
send a message to me or post a comment here.

Anticipated ticket prices for Polycamp Vancouver Island 2011 (to be finalized):

Weekday drop-in (not staying overnight): Free
Weekend day drop-in: $20/adult; $5/child
One night (includes 2 days programming): $40/adult; $15/child
One weekend (up to 3 consecutive nights): $75/adult; $30/child
Full week or two weekends (four or more nights): $110/adult; $40/child

Thanks for your support. We're looking forward to seeing you this summer!

Many Thanks,

Kiki Christie, Director
Polycamp Vancouver Island team