Friday, December 14, 2012

Our 40th Anniversary Year-in-Review

What a year! The Calgary Sexual Health Centre (CSHC) has celebrated our 40 years of service in style. Every month we held an event, participated in a community collaboration or brought together long-time supporters and new friends to recognize the past and illustrate our community impact today.

Here's a look back at a few of the moments we celebrated with you over the past year!

MISS REPRESENTATION - a documentary film by Jennifer Siebil Newsom
On January 18th, our year-long celebrations kicked off with a screening of the acclaimed film, "Miss Representation" at the Globe Cinema. The film exposes how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. We were pleased to bring the film to Calgary and engage our audience with a panel discussion following the viewing.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week
Open House
In February, we joined our fellow members of the Canadian Federation of Sexual Health to promote "Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week". From February 12-18 we focused our social media efforts on raising awareness of important sexual health issues. The week-long initiative is an example of how sex education has evolved over the past four decades, utlizing new technologies and the power of social media in acheiving our aim toward the normalization of sexuality, in all its dimensions.

Open House
On April 18th, we invited the public to take part in our 40th anniversary celebrations as we threw open the doors to our newly expanded office space and library.

We were pleased to welcome to our Open House over 100 people from across the community to help us celebrate the 40 year journey of our work in Calgary.

Annual General Meeting, featuring author Amy Schalet

ED Pam Krause 
with author 
Amy Schalet
We hosted our 2011 AGM on June 14th at the Calgary Winter Club. While the event reflected on the previous year, it was also an important evening for celebrating our anniversary. It was moving to reflect on the challenges and progress that has been made over the past four decades, and to learn about the passionate and innovative work that continues today.

A highlight of the event was of course the keynote presentation by acclaimed author Amy Schalet. Ms. Schalet's book, "Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex", examines the regulation of adolescent sexuality in American and Dutch families. Ms. Schalet shared her stories and insights into cultural differences around teen sexuality - and the impact of those differences. The presentation resonated with our staff and guests.

Pride Celebrations
In September we were proud to take part in the Pride festivities in Calgary and celebrate our long history of supporting the LGBT community. Our float in the Pride Parade was a colourful celebration of our 40th anniversary and our strong support of LGBT rights.

40th Anniversary Gala
To celebrate 4 decades - and to look forward to many more - we brought together long-time supporters and new friends for a playful and thought-provoking celebration at Belgo on October 25th. 

The event featured a short program of speeches by some of our founding members, long-time staff and our ED Pam Krause. Our guests were regaled with a look back on how society's views on gender, sexual orientation and reproductive health has shifted over the past 4 decades - and how we have responded.

Rick Mercer's 
"Lil Stevie" woody
Another highlight of the event was our "Paint a Woody" auction. In the months leading up to the Gala, we had invited some "featured artists" to raise their brushes to paint a woody - a wooden demonstration tool we use to teach youth how to properly put on a condom. 

Thanks to blogger 
Mike Morrison
for his great job at MC!
With Woody Artists like Rick Mercer, Sue Johanson, Jon Montgomery, Mike Morrison and W. Brett Wilson, the unique art pieces fetched over $4,500 at our auction!

Nearly 200 guests attended our Gala to celebrated our milestone and raise funds to support our ongoing work.

View our photo album on Facebook for more pics from the Gala!

Thank you to everyone who joined us this year in celebrating 40 years of audacity!
We look forward to another great year of serving Calgary in 2013.

From all of us at CSHC, we wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What type of birth control is right for me?

There is no ‘best choice’ of birth control that works for everyone. You have to decide what will work best for you. Look at the options and decide on a method that feels right for you.

There are many things to consider when choosing a form of birth control. Some people need to consider such things as effectiveness, side effects, ease of use, accessibility, cost, possible allergies or other medical conditions, and comfort levels around inserting certain methods vaginally or taking hormones.

Choosing a birth control method that works for you may require some planning. It should be something that you feel comfortable with. As you move into different stages in your life your birth control needs may change. Remember, you can always switch methods if your circumstances change or if you are having concerns.

Some possible questions both men and women may want to consider when choosing a method that’s right for them are:
  • How effective is this method?
  • Can I use this method, or do I have to rely on a partner to use it effectively?
  • Does this method protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections?
  • How is this method used? Does it fit my needs and lifestyle?
  • Does this method have any side effects? If yes, what are they?
  • What is the cost of this method?
  • How available is this method and where can I find it?
  • How will this method affect my ability to have or cause a pregnancy in the future?
  • Do I have an allergy or medical condition that will affect my ability to use this method?
  • How do I feel about applying this method to my body?
  • How do I feel about taking hormones or my partner having to take hormones?

You may want to speak to a health professional about your options or to discuss your concerns or questions.

If you would like more information about the different forms of birth control that are available please check out the birth control section of our website or call or email to speak to one of our counsellors.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Pushing boundaries. Making cracks.

"There is a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in."
~ Leonard Cohen

This year we celebrated our 40th anniversary of serving the Calgary community. I have had the chance to reflect and reminisce with many of our supporters over the past year at our various celebrations, and I would like to share some of my thoughts.

We began as a grassroots volunteer organization back in 1972, with our work focused on improving access to birth control and increasing support for women facing unplanned pregnancies. Ours was, and continues to be, a leading voice in the city promoting access to choice and advocating on behalf of women.

Our pioneering work to bring sex education into schools began in 1975. Our broad and comprehensive approach, which went beyond anatomical nuts and bolts, and recognized the vital importance of teaching sexuality was a challenge at that time. It is a challenge we have faced ever since.

Our society remains uncomfortable and silent about sex and sexuality, yet it is such an important and encompassing part of our lives. That is why we need community support to continue our essential work.

At the CSHC, we work every day to shine a light on this shame-based culture and the harm that it causes. Our award-winning programming has grown and responded over the past 40 years to the growing and changing needs of our community. We are honoured to work with a variety of Calgarians, providing sexual and reproductive health resources and support to youth, women, the LGBT community, older adults, young men, the disability community, new Canadians, and more.

In our 40 years we have found that the more work we do to educate our community, the more we make cracks into new areas that need support. The cultural shifts necessary to ensure that everyone has access to the non-judgmental services and information they need won't happen overnight. We will continue to face opposition.

We've come a remarkably long way - made a lot of cracks - but we need to keep going.

We invite you to support our work by making a donation today. Your support gives us the freedom and ability to continue to push boundaries, reach new communities and make new cracks.

--> Donate online via Canada Helps    

--> Donations by mail, phone or in person

Thank you for your support of our work promoting healthy sexuality in our community.


Pam Krause
Executive Director

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Year End SALE! - Sexual Health Resource Centre

Year End SALE!
Save now at our Sexual Health Resource Centre!

Since 1991, the Sexual Health Resource Centre has been an important source of sexual health resources and teaching aids - serving professionals, educators and parents across Canada and around the world.

From now until the end of the year, all inventory is on SALE!

Birth Control Demonstration Kits - NOW $325 (save $50 off regular price)
Our top selling item! This educational resource comes in a custom-made nylon carrying case (19"x17.5"x4") that opens into a stand-up display. The kit contains demonstration samples and info pamphlets on all birth control methods and many additional resources on sexual health topics.

All other pamphlets, DVDs, woodies, and resources - NOW 10% OFF REGULAR PRICE
As Canada’s sexual health information marketplace, our Resource Centre is a comprehensive source of up-to-date and accurate sexual health information including books, pamphlets, educational kits, DVDs and other teaching aids. We are also continuously expanding our resource catalogue and building additional materials that are specific to Canada.

We invite you to visit us online to view our Resource Centre catalogue at .

Your purchases have a multiplier effect in promoting healthy sexuality!

When you purchase your sexual education resources with us, your funds help us deliver comprehensive and non-judgmental sexual health programs in our community. Its win-win.

We are a community-based organization with a 40 year legacy of providing access to nonjudgmental sexual and reproductive health services and supports across the lifespan.

For questions or assistance, please contact us at or call 403-283-5580.

SALE ENDS December 31, 2012!

To place your order, visit  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Painted Woodies: See what everyone's been talking about!

It’s the art project that has everyone talking. A few weeks ago, we called on local personalities and international celebrities to “Paint a Woody”.
Mike Morrison, Carly Myers and Fraser Tuff show off
their masterpieces at our Woody Painting Party
We weren’t really sure how people would respond to our odd request, but we’ve been surprised and thrilled with the support we’ve received.

As part of our year-long 40th anniversary celebrations, we invited a select group of "featured artists" to raise their brushes to creatively paint a "woody" - a wooden demonstration tool that our sexuality educators use to teach youth how to use a condom and practice safe sex. 
Woody Painting Kits were sent far and wide, with many beloved local personalities and revered celebrities taking on the challenge. 

Here's just a few of the names we'll drop:

     ► Rick Mercer, political humourist

     ► Sue Johanson, sex educator

     ► W. Brett Wilson, entrepreneur and philanthropist

     ► Mike Morrison, blogger at Mike's Bloggity Blog

     ► Carly Myers and Fraser Tuff, X92.9 FM

     ► Julie Van Rosendaal, food afficienado
     ► Jon Montgomery, Olympic gold medalist

     ► Jill Belland, BT morning show

     ► Mandy Stobo, Bad Portrait Project artist

     ► Sarah Crosbie, Q107 FM

The woodies will be auctioned at our 40th anniversary gala celebration on October 25, 2012 in Calgary at Belgo.

Rick Mercer's woodie is true to his political stylings!
To celebrate four decades of service in Calgary - and to look forward to many more - we will bring together long-time supporters and new friends for a playful and thought-provoking celebration.

With the theme of "A Revolutionary Retrospective", our guests will enjoy a playful exposé of how society's views on gender, sexual orientation and reproductive health has shifted over the past four decades, and how CSHC has responded.

The sexual revolution will be played out - and mirrored by the cocktails, music and legends of the times. Then we'll toast our future as we dance the night away at our after-party.

W. Brett Wilson's woodie makes us proud!

You can also get in on the bidding early with our online auction for the woodies at:

We will continue to add more Woodies to the online auction over the days ahead - so be sure to check back often!

Want to know more? Check out this great article by Avenue Magazine about our Woodies and our 40th anniversary.

To stay connected with the latest pics and buzz about our Paint a Woody artists, follow us on Twitter at @YYCSexualHealth! 


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Get to Know Us at WSKEO 100

As part of our year-long 40th anniversary celebrations, we are so excited to be taking part in the 100th instalment of the wildly popular "We Should Know Each Other" (WSKEO) party!  

The social mixer is taking place on September 29 and 30 at the former King Edward School.  The event will kick off the building's unveiling as an Arts Hub courtesy of the cSPACE Project.

For more info about the WSKEO event and to learn about other participating groups, please visit the WSKEO Facebook page at:

We will be hosting a series of FREE sex ed workshops and discussions that will have everyone talking!  Please check out the workshops below and register for any that catch your interest!

Talking With Your Kids
10:00-10:30 Sat, Sept. 29th, 2012
This workshop is designed to give parents a brief intro to talking to their kids about human sexuality. Parents will learn about ages and development stages of children and what is maybe appropriate to talk about at each stage. For many parents this may be an awkward topic so we’ll talk about ways to break the ice and participate in a lifelong conversation around healthy sexuality.

To register:

Trans and Queer Identities 101
11:00-11:30 Sat, Sept. 29th, 2012
The gender binary, transgender, genderqueer, two-spirit… These are terms and concepts that are being discussed more and more often in our society. This will be an opportunity to better understand the complexities of different gender identities and how the gender binary might be a thing of the past.

To Be A Feminist
1:00-1:30 Sat, Sept. 29th, 2012
Join us as we talk about the other “F” word. The feminist perspective deeply informs the work that we do at the CSHC. We want to hear what Feminism means to you and the impact this important movement has had on your life.
To register:

Masculinity 101
2:00-2:30pm Sat, Sept. 29th, 2012

Are men today having a crisis of masculinity? Our society, with its use of media, language and social influence, puts a lot of pressure on guys to “Be a Man.” Join us in a discussion about masculinity in today’s culture where we’ll challenge you to think outside the “Man Box.”
To register:

Know Your "O" Part One
3:00-3:30 Sat, Sept. 29th, 2012

What turns you on? In part one of two workshops, we will be talking about the anatomical and physiological responses our bodies have to stimulation. No matter what body you have, understanding what turns you on can lead to a healthier, happier sex life.

Know Your "O" Part Two
4:00-4:30 Sat, Sept. 29th, 2012

So you know what turns you on and gets you going… how do you communicate that to a partner? In part two of Know Your “O” we’ll be focusing on the more personal side of arousal. We have a fun activity that will get people talking about their fantasies and turn-ons and practice saying yes or no to sexual scenarios.

Ask The Sexperts Q&A
5:00-5:30 Sat, Sept. 29th, 2012
Not everyone has someone they know and can trust to ask sexual health related questions. As sexual health educators one of the most fun things we do is answer those questions! We’ve heard from Grade 7,8,9 and 11 students and now we want to hear from you! What’s the wildest question we’ve ever been asked? You won’t know unless you come to the workshop! Don’t worry, there are no silly questions!


The full range of our upcoming events can be found at:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Head Back to School with our Training Centre!

September means its time to head back to school!  Our Comprehensive Sexual Education team is busy with in-class sessions in junior and senior high schools, and our educators are connecting with and supporting Gay Straight Alliances in schools across our city.

But that's not all.

Our Training Centre is also revving up for a busy fall session, inviting professionals and service providers to head Back to School.

We have the following upcoming workshops scheduled for this fall:

1. Creating a Culture of Respect for LGBT Individuals
In this workshop participants explore the reality of heterosexism in society and its impact on client service delivery models and practices. Myths, language and definitions are clarified and strategies to create safe and supportive environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients and coworkers are practiced.

When:   Thur, Oct 11, 2012 (9:00 am - 12:00 pm)
Where:   Calgary Sexual Health Centre, #304, 301-14 St NE
Fee:   $50.00 per person, including workshop materials

2. Taking Sexy Back: Helping Clients Reclaim Healthy Sexuality
Unfortunately, many people have experienced sex and sexuality in a negative way, through harmful cultural messages or abuse. In this workshop, you will examine the impact of trauma on the sexual response cycle and explore a framework for healthy sex.

As well, you will learn strategies and tools to help clients reframe sex and sexuality and experience sexual well being.

When:   Fri, Nov 23, 2012 (9:00 am - 12:00 pm)
Where:   Calgary Sexual Health Centre, #304, 301-14 St NE
Fee:   $50.00 per person, including workshop materials

3. Supporting Older Adults and Sexual Health
Designed for those working with older adults, you will increase your confidence and comfort talking with clients about sexuality.

Receive practical suggestions, tips and resources to start talking about sexual health and advocating for sexual wellbeing with your older adult clients.

When:   Wed, Dec 5, 2012 (9:00 am - 12:00 pm)
Where:   Calgary Sexual Health Centre, #304, 301-14 St NE
Fee:   $50.00 per person, including workshop materials

To register for any of these workshops:
Contact Valerie Barr at 403.283.5580 ext. 317 or

Please note:  Level 'A' Alberta Social Work Continuing Education Credits are available for attendance at these workshops via a partnership with the Calgary Counselling Centre.  General public are also welcome to attend.


To sign up for our Training Centre E-bulletin and stay connected with latest research and workshop offerings, please fill out the form below:

Sign Up for our E-newsletter!

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Ticket Sales Now OPEN: A Revolutionary Retrospective

Tickets are now on sale for our 40th Anniversary Gala Celebration!

To celebrate four decades of service in Calgary - and to look forward to many more - we will bring together long-time supporters and new friends for a playful and thought-provoking celebration.

With the theme of "A Revolutionary Retrospective", our guests will enjoy a playful exposé of how society's views on gender, sexual orientation and reproductive health has shifted over the past four decades, and how CSHC has responded.

The sexual revolution will be played out - and mirrored by the cocktails, music and legends of the times. Then we'll toast our future as we dance the night away at our after-party.

Our silent auction will include a far-out selection of "woodies" (wooden props we use for condom demonstrations) - custom painted by local personalities and a few celebrities that will take our guests by surprise!

(Check the article in Metro for a sneek peek!)

October 25, 2012
501 - 8 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta

Tickets $75

Monday, August 27, 2012

What Colour is your Woodie?

We're 40 and fabulous! We're celebrating our 40th anniversary of serving the Calgary community with sexual and reproductive health programs and services.
We’ve always believed in showing our true colours – and we're inviting some surprise celebrities and local personalities to show theirs with our fun and easy creative project!

Our select group of "featured artists" will be raising their brushes to creatively paint a "woodie" - a wooden demonstration tool used by our sexuality educators to teach youth how to use a condom and practice safe sex. 

The woodies will be auctioned online and at our 40th anniversary gala celebration on October 25, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta.

Have you received a Woodie Painting Kit from us, but need help getting started?
Its easy! Here’s how:
 1. Prep your Woodie.
  • Use the sandpaper to prep the Woodie’s surface for painting.

2. Paint your Woodie.
  • Use the paints and brushes to personalize your Woodie. (Or use your own paint materials if you prefer.)
  • You may wish to use a finishing glaze to protect your finished art piece.

3. Return your Woodie.
  • Once your Woodie is completely dry, send your Woodie back to us with the return postage and package provided.
Any questions, please feel free to contact us!

Pam Krause, Executive Director
403-283-5580  ext 314

Friday, August 24, 2012

Calgary Gay-Straight Alliance BBQ

Join us at this pre-Pride social event!

Presented by the Calgary Gay-Straight Alliance Roundtable.

This social community meeting is for students, teachers, education staff, community members and their families who care about supporting LGBTQ youth in our school communities!

Free burgers, hot dogs and drinks will be provided.

Please bring lawn chairs, sun screen, and a positive attitude!

Wednesday, August 29th 2012

6:00 to 9:00 pm

Riley Park

10th Street and 5th Ave, just a few minutes walk from the Sunnyside C-Train station

RSVP to:

Lee Allard at 403. 283. 5580 ext. 310