Saturday, December 21, 2013

YOUTH! Join "fYrefly in Schools" workshop in 2014!

Calling all Calgary area YOUTH!

If you are under 25 and you want to improve school climates for all students, particularly LGBTQ students, join us for our “fYrefly in Schools” training day to learn how to be a youth panelist at these amazing workshops in Calgary and area schools!
We are looking to train 20 youth to help deliver school-based presentations throughout the 2014 school year. All "fYrefly in Schools" presentations are facilitated by experienced presenters in conjunction with student panelists.

If you are interested in becoming a new youth panelist in Calgary, join us for our training on:

Saturday, February 1
st, 2014
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Calgary Sexual Health Centre
Suite 304, 301 14th Street NW

RSVP by January 29th to confirm your attendance at training.  For more information or to RSVP, email: or phone Nick at 403.283.5580 ext. 308.

See our Facebook event:

Share our info poster!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Key Area 3: Healthy Communities --> a personal story

There are three key areas that CSHC is focused on: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Relationships and Healthy Communities. These focus areas speak to the core of our work; they support our vision for the community and the mission we are on to achieve it.
In this series of blogs, we present some of our success stories that highlight a program from each of our three focus areas.
In this blog, we look at a "Healthy Communities" personal story.

Lemlem’s Story: FAIR (Families Achieving Inclusive Relationships)

When you ask Lemlem Haile what her first experience was when she became involved in FAIR – Families Achieving Inclusive Relationships, the word you’ll hear first is “surprise.”

“I thought maybe it would be a hard conversation to have, that people wouldn’t want to come to our first meeting. I was surprised by the response; people really wanted to understand and talk about sexual health, especially with their kids.”

She’s talking about her initial reaction to Calgary Sexual Health Centre’s community development project that reaches out to immigrant parents. As a Community Social Worker with The City of Calgary, she often works with immigrant communities and was invited to the first meeting as a community partner.

“The first dialogue we had was about how do we talk about this as a community? What are your strategies to talk to your kids?” says Haile. “And they had questions, like ‘how young is too young to talk to your kids?’ And we said if they’re old enough to understand, talk to them. And that was where parents were like, yeah, I’m going to go talk to my three-year-old son – it was an ‘aha’ moment for a lot of parents.”

The project offers support and information to help parents talk to their children about their family values and how they connect to healthy relationships and healthy bodies. She says parents were especially engaged once they started talking about the safety of their children.

“We talked about how the more parents make it safe for them to talk, the more these kids will come home and talk to their parents instead of going on the internet for answers.”

Haile says perhaps one of the most important aspects of FAIR is the way facilitators bring the parents in as partners and ask for their feedback.

“The parents were really engaged,” she says. “They were reviewing the information and they had a say and they gave us really good ideas. They were the ones who suggested that instead of a Sexual Health Guide, let’s call it a Parent Guide, and it really is – it’s about relationships and values.”

Most of all, Haile believes that it’s the respect for different cultures that makes FAIR successful. She says the program helps people bridge the conversations they’re already having in a religious or cultural context with accurate sexual health information.

“There’s a fear and perception that someone else might push their values on a community,” she says. “But everyone talks about sexual health, every religion talks about it – it’s just a different way of presenting the information.”

Monday, November 4, 2013

Congrats to our Blake Spence - Top 40 Under 40!

We are thrilled to congratulate our own Blake Spence - program coordinator of our Wise Guyz program - on being selected as one of Avenue Magazine's Top 40 Under 40!

He is being recognized for his amazing work with the Wise Guyz program, as well as his entrepreneurial drive in other areas of his life.

Read the full article here:

Learn more about our WiseGuyz program - and how you can support this important work - at

Friday, October 25, 2013

Key Area 2: Healthy Relationships --> a personal story

There are three key areas that CSHC is focused on: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Relationships and Healthy Communities. These focus areas speak to the core of our work; they support our vision for the community and the mission we are on to achieve it.

In this series of blogs, we present some of our success stories that highlight a program from each of our three focus areas.
In this blog, we look at a "Healthy Relationships" personal story. We believe good relationships and sexual health are inextricably linked. Our emphasis on healthy relationships means that our programs are having an impact on the issues of bullying, homophobia, and violence prevention, just to name a few. Whether it’s with parents, professionals or youth, our programs discuss healthy decision-making, communication, self-esteem and awareness of your own boundaries and values.
Healthy Relationships:  Leslie’s Story - WiseGuyz
“It’s all boys all the time,” laughs Leslie McRae, Vice Principal at Sherwood School.
Leslie McRae, Vice Principal at Sherwood School
(photo credit: Evolution New Media)
Those boys are a small group of grade nine students taking part in the WiseGuyz program at the school. Once a week they meet in a designated classroom for part of the school day and Tristan from Calgary Sexual Health Centre facilitates the program.
To someone peeking inside the classroom, sometimes it looks like a regular healthy sexuality class, sometimes it looks like boys roughhousing and joking around. But something more important is really going on.
This is a program that teaches boys about consent and healthy relationships, not just STIs and anatomy. It’s challenging the boys’ views of masculinity and teaching them to look critically at the media messages they see every day. It’s tackling bullying and homophobia. It’s a program about respect and empathy.
“This is really the only thing out there that’s just for boys,” says McRae. “It’s so important to have something directed just to them about things they wonder about, delivered by people who can address those things.”
“They have somebody who’s open to hearing things that they’re talking about and lets them be silly and ask weird questions.”
She recently saw the impact of the program when an RCMP officer came in to talk to the school.
“It was a fairly deep presentation; he talks about things like suicide and bullying, family issues that you don’t talk about. The boys who stayed behind after the assembly to shake his hand and say thank you were the WiseGuyz.”
“They grow from the program, and they feel more confident,” she says. “They start to look at bigger issues, rather than just ‘if it’s my issue’ – that’s really what I see from their actions.”
McRae also says that one of the most unexpected outcomes for her is the bonds the boys make with one another: “There are boys who are friends because of the program who never would’ve been friends without it.”
When asked why the boys want to be there and keep coming back, her answer is simple.
“They know they’re valued,” she says. “For some boys it helps keep them in school, helps keep them engaged, helps keep them connected to somebody who, if or when things go south in the future, they have one more positive adult role model to look to.”
McRae can’t say enough good things about the program and looks forward to working with WiseGuyz again in the new school year.
“It’s hard to be a teenager, whether you’re a girl or a boy,” says McRae. “The more people you have in your life telling you positive things, helping you be informed, creating a structure you can access resources from – it’s not such a big unknown world.”

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Celebrated Leader of Sex Positivity to visit Calgary

Dr. Charlie Glickman Tackles Sex, Shame and Love for Calgary’s Diverse Communities
CALGARY, AB - - Shame influences and shapes sexuality for almost everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, and individual desires.  Many experts believe that if we want to overcome and move past sexual shame, we need to understand how it works and how it affects us. Next week, Calgary will welcome Dr. Charlie Glickman, an internationally renowned sex educator and speaker, to explore and understand this issue through conversation.
At a public talk presented by the Calgary Sexual Health Centre (CSHC), Dr. Glickman will unpack the mechanisms of shame, discuss how it impacts sexuality, and what we can do to build shame resilience.
“When we have the tools to deal with this difficult but inevitable emotion, it becomes much easier to resolve jealousy, loss, and fear so we can create more space to give and receive love, explore our authentic selves, and build the relationships that suit us,” explained Dr. Glickman.
“As a sex & relationship coach, I've seen how deeply shame affects individuals and couples. Part of the challenge is that it's hard to even talk about it,” Dr. Glickman continued. “But when we can get a handle on how shame works, we can start letting go of it and create happier relationships and healthier sex lives. My presentation "Sex, Shame, and Love" has helped others take their next steps towards that and I'm looking forward to bringing it to Calgary.”
The event fits well with the overall work of CSHC, an organization that has worked in the Calgary community for over 40 years to deliver comprehensive and non-judgmental sexual health education and advocate for important changes in our society on sexual health issues.
“At our organization, our work is deeply rooted in reducing the shame connected with people’s sexuality. Our education, outreach and counseling programs help people examine the roots of shame and oppression which affect people’s ability to have healthy relationships,” said Pam Krause, Executive Director of CSHC.  “We provide people with the knowledge and resources to move forward, build confidence and address how shame is impacting their self-esteem and relationships.”
The public event is taking place at the University of Calgary’s Rosza Centre on October 10th at 7:00pm. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit Tickets are $20, however if cost is a factor, please contact CSHC at 403-283-5580.
(More details also available in the news release.)
Talks in the Series
Sex, Shame & Love
Thursday October 10th.  7:00pm-9:00pm
Rosza Centre (Evans Room). University of Calgary - 2500 University Dr NW
Presented by the Calgary Sexual Health Centre
Early Bird/General Admission Tickets at:
Don’t Blame Me. Creating a Culture of Consent on Campus
Friday October 11th. 11am – 1pm
Mount Royal University
Free Workshop Presented by SAMRU Pride & SAMRU Sustainability Centre
Earlier this month, campuses across Canada were put into the public spotlight for 1st year frosh rituals that promoted rape, assault, coercion and violent acts towards women.  Dr. Glickman, who started in peer support when attending university, will meet with students leaders and the MRU campus community to discuss why young men (--and others in their peer groups) feel compelled to perform masculinity through such acts. Little is actually known about how masculinity is defined, taught and enforced. Together with the MRU community, he will discuss new ways that compassion,  accountability and a culture of consent can be integrated on campus.


Anal Sex & Prostate Pleasure
Friday October 11th. 7:00pm-8:30pm
Advanced Tickets Only at:
Are you curious about anal play? Have you heard how much fun prostate pleasure can be? Or maybe you’ve tried it and want some tips to make it even more fun? Charlie Glickman wrote the book- literally! He'll give you all the info you need to discover the thrill anal sex. And if you or your partner (or both of you!) have a prostate, he'll tell you all about this amazing erogenous hot spot. Come learn all about easy and pleasurable anal penetration, prostate massage, which toys work best, pegging, combining prostate pleasure with other kinds of sex, and much more. Whether you’re just starting out or you already enjoy these pleasures, you'll end up with lots of new tips and ideas! You can also purchase a copy of Charlie's book The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure!


Queer is a Verb
Saturday October 12th -
1:00pm-2:00pm Workshop/2:00pm -3:00pm Q&A
Presented by Possibilities – Calgary’s Bi-sexual and Pan-Sexual Community
Community Wise Resource Centre - 223 12th Avenue SW
Regular Admission & By Donation Tickets at:
What does it mean to queer something? In a world that's full of sweeping statements and gender essentialism, what happens when we think of queering as an act that we can engage in, rather than an adjective or an identity? How does it shift our thinking about the Myth of the Normal, the gender binary, and inflexible sexual categories? When we make queer a verb, it becomes a powerful tool for exploring, transcending, and transforming boundaries and definitions. It allows us to play with the rigid limits that are often imposed on sex and gender. And it can inspire us to create new ways to build the world around us. Charlie Glickman PhD, sex & relationship coach and certified sexuality educator, will discuss some of the ways that thinking of queer as something we do rather than something we are can offer new perspectives, and explore some tools for engaging in the practice of queering sex, gender, and sexual orientation.


Saturday Night Fever - An Intimate Evening & BBQ with Charlie Glickman
Saturday October 12th
Have you ever wished you could ask a sex expert anything? What would you do if you could get any question about sex or relationships answered? Charlie Glickman PhD is a sex & relationship coach, a certified sex educator, and has been studying sexuality for over two decades. He's here for a private evening for select folks to get together and get lots of in-depth info you can't get elsewhere. Charlie is an expert on open relationships, BDSM & kink, sex & shame, gender & masculinity, top-notch communication skills, and more. Come join us for a night full of fun, insight, and discovery! Participation is Extremely Limited.

Monday, September 30, 2013

NEWS RELEASE: We want sexual health to go viral... in the social media sense of the word!

Embracing social media in the new age of non-profit sustainability

CALGARY – Sexual health is going viral – in the social media sense of the word. The Calgary Sexual Health Centre (CSHC) is launching its “#ChangeMaker” campaign which will aim to create a buzz with social media audiences in an effort to raise much needed funds. Known for innovative approaches in its work and its 40 year history of pushing for change around sexual health issues, CSHC will be looking to a few bold supporters to stand up as ChangeMakers – and to help spread the love.

“We’ve been having a lot of fun with our social media presence, and we’ve found it’s been a great tool to support our mission to normalize sexual health,” said Pam Krause, Executive Director of CSHC. “We get to interact with our followers on everything from sex ed basics to broader societal issues that drive our work, like consent and sexual rights. It gives us the ability to connect with our supporters in a whole new way and to reconnect with the underlying societal issues that have sparked our passion for over 40 years. ”

With their #ChangeMaker campaign, CSHC aims to engage supporters in reconnecting with their own personal reasons for why they choose to support CSHC’s work, and to share it online. But the organization cautions that standing up as a ChangeMaker requires bold commitment.

“We are looking for 100 people – just 100 people – to come forward with a donation of $1000 to be a ChangeMaker,” Krause explained. “It’s a big ask, but its in support of big changes on big issues.”

Our supporters have always been an audacious bunch. Together we have stood proud on so many hard-fought issues; reproductive rights, LGBT equality, non-judgmental sexual education in our schools. This campaign aims to bring public focus back to these important issues, and to rally our audacious supporters to join us in making important change.”

In keeping with their history of incorporating new approaches, the organization’s #ChangeMaker campaign will include a social media component which aims to inspire Calgarians to be a ChangeMaker – or to help find a ChangeMaker.

“Share your personal reason for creating change. Maybe you’re one of the 100 people who can donate to be a ChangeMaker, or maybe you’re a youth or parent or concerned citizen who encourages a ChangeMaker to step forward,” said Krause.
“Visit our website, print a ChangeMaker sign to write down your personal reason, then share a self pic or video with us on Twitter or our Facebook page. Together, we are using social media to bring a face to some big social issues and make some big social changes.”

The organization is also using the campaign as an opportunity to explore using Vine, a new app that lets the user record and share short looping videos. Globally, the nonprofit world has been typically slow to embrace social media in their work, including Vine. The CSHC hopes the video app will offer a creative and compelling addition to their social media toolkit.

For more information about CSHC’s #ChangeMaker campaign, visit or tweet the organization at @YYCSexualHealth.


- 30 -

Media contact:

Pam Krause, Executive Director               Office:  (403) 283-5580 ext. 314
Calgary Sexual Health Centre                   Email:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Be on the Youth Team with new "fYrefly in Schools" program!

Calgary area YOUTH!!!!
Do you want to improve school climates for all students, particularly LGBTQ students? Become part of the youth team for the new "fYrefly in Schools" workshop program!
“fYrefly in Schools” is a new educational initiative developed to help reduce discrimination against sexual and gender minority youth, increase awareness of the impacts of homophobia and transphobia, and create safe and inclusive school environments for all students.
Designed for junior and senior high school students, “fYrefly in Schools” workshops are student-centered and activity-based to focus on personal and social development and comprehensive health. Workshops follow the peer-to-peer mentorship model of our award-winning summer leadership retreat, Camp fYrefly.

► To participate in this educational program, you MUST attend the training on September 28th!

“fYrefly in Schools” Calgary Workshop Training

If you are a youth (under 25) who is interested in developing leadership skills, sharing your lived experience as a sexual or gender minority or ally, and want to give back to your community, this program is for you!

We are looking to train 20 youth to help deliver school-based presentations throughout the 2013 school year. All “fYrefly in Schools” presentations are facilitated by experienced presenters in conjunction with student panelists.
Sat Sept 28, 2013
10am – 3 pm

Calgary Sexual Health Centre
Suite 304, 301 14th St. NW
RSVP: By September 25th

Wanna know more about the program? Check out the brochure or the FAQs page for more details.
Questions? Please contact Nick Moore:
Phone: 403-283-5580 ext.308

Friday, September 13, 2013

First meeting of the new school year! --> Calgary GSA Network Roundtable Meeting

The Calgary (and area) GSA Network invites Students and Education Staff to attend the first meeting of the new school year!

Calgary Gay-Straight Alliance Roundtable
Getting Going and Setting Goals!
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
6:00pm – 8:00pm

Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association Community Centre
1320 - 5 Avenue NW, Calgary
(Free parking and just a few minutes walk from the Sunnyside C-Train station)

Bring out your GSA, friends and teachers!
FREE food and drinks will be provided!

Purpose of the meeting:

Please share this poster!
    ► Network and meet other youth and GSA’s in the city
    ► Learn about resources and supports for your GSA

    ► Brainstorming and sharing ideas and goals

    ► Tips on how to run effective meetings

    ► Discuss how to develop safe and inclusive environments in Calgary and areas schools

RSVP to:
Call Nick Moore at 403. 283. 5580 ext. 308


What is the Calgary GSA Network?

Meetings are held once a month (during the school year) for students, teachers, staff, and administrators to meet, network, and share strategies in support of sexual and gender minority (LGBTQA) youth attending schools in Calgary and surrounding communities.

The purpose of these monthly Roundtable Meetings is to provide resources, supports and connections to schools in order to assist GSA’s in creating safe, inclusive, and equitable school environments for sexual and gender minority students, questioning students, and students from same-sex parented families.

The Calgary GSA Roundtable meetings are hosted by the Calgary Sexual Health Centre and are supported by a number of different community groups and agencies and school communities.

Check out our previous blog post about the 1 year anniversary of the Calgary GSA Network!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Explore & Understand Sexuality: Sexual Attitude Reassessment Workshop

Together with the Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health (ASPSH), we are pleased to present:
Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR) Workshop
Friday Nov 22 and Saturday Nov 23, 2013
8:30 to 4:30
► UPDATE: online registration and tickets now available! ◄
What is a SAR and why should you attend?
SAR provides an opportunity to explore and understand your own beliefs, attitudes, values and biases within the realm of sex and sexuality.  This self-exploration and self-understanding facilitates comfort that ultimately fosters improved communication skills, both on a professional and a personal level.
By becoming more aware of your perceptions, beliefs and feelings you will become increasingly comfortable with the wide variation of existing sexual attitudes, behaviours, practices and even sub-cultures.  This comfort is necessary for any sexual health professional and is also beneficial for individuals striving for personal growth and the development of healthy personal relationships.
During the SAR, you will examine sexuality and sexual attitudes from numerous perspectives using a variety of images.  The nature of SAR requires that some of the media be explicit.  The use of explicit media is necessary for increasing self-awareness and personal comfort with the many areas of sex and sexuality.  In addition to the personal growth, the event involves small group discussions during which you will be challenged with the opportunity to practice your professional or interpersonal skills.
Who might be interested in attending? 
  • Professionals in the field of sexual and reproductive health
  • Sexual Health Educators
  • Counselors and Therapists
  • Anyone interested in challenging their values, perceptions and understanding of sexuality
Leader Bios
Mary Valentich, PhD, RSW is a Professor Emerita, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary and a Registered Social Worker, Alberta College of Social Workers. She is a Certified Sex Educator and Diplomate in Sex Therapy, American Association of Sex Educators, Counsellors and Therapists and has received ASSECT accreditation for the SAR.
Since 1972 Mary has had a private practice; taught sexuality for 35 years; and published 50 articles and co-edited two books related to practice in sexual problems. She has presented papers and workshops on various aspects of sexuality including development of sexual self-awareness, feminist/gender sensitive practice and ethical issues pertaining to multiple relationships in professional practice.
Edward Sandberg, MSW, RSW is a Clinical Social Worker in Private Practice in Vancouver .B.C. Edward has worked extensively in the area of sexuality for the past 25 years and has taught on a variety of sexual health subject areas at workshops, conferences and SARs.
Edward started his professional career as an HIV/AIDS counselor and educator. He has worked in the areas of sexual health disease prevention, sexual orientation, gender identity, couples counselling and extensively with members of the BDSM community, both heterosexual and queer.
Edward has a diverse clientele and deals with a multitude of issues in his practice. However, the underlying issues of sexuality are frequently present because clients seek out a therapist who is comfortable with these life and lifestyle issues even if they are not the primary issues to be addressed in the therapy.

AASECT Accredited

“This program meets the requirements of American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counsellors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 16 CE credits.  These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification.



ACSW Accredited

Calgary Sexual Health Centre sponsored workshops are approved for Level A, Alberta Social Work Credits via a partnership with the Calgary Counselling Centre.

Calgary Sexual Health Centre
#304, 301 14 Street NW, Calgary, AB
Workshop Fee: 
  • $375 ASPSH members   
  • $425 non members 
  • $275 Students

To register and purchase tickets:

Valerie Barr
403. 283. 5580 ext. 317

Becky Van Tassel
403. 283. 5580 ext. 323