When women come together, great things happen. This weekend marked the first of its kind event in Calgary, Alberta, called Symposia, a celebration of Canadian women and cannabis. I can only describe the event as inspiring and like nothing I have experienced to date. The driving forces behind Symposia, Ti Fosterhad and Nancy-Anne Rose, wanted to bring women to a safe space where they could learn, engage and connect. These Alberta residents are creating a community of knowledge and learning, while having fun. Women from all walks of life gathered to make Symposia a success. Long time grass-roots pioneers, doctors, advocates, consumers, master growers, chefs, mothers, daughters, and grandmothers were all there for one reason; cannabis.
The power of cannabis still amazes me, how a single plant can do so much and bring so many people together. Throughout the weekend, we explored how the intentional work and use of cannabis enhances our lives. Many stories were shared, some emotional, others light-hearted and humorous, but all of them empowering narratives. Talks led by powerful women such as Dr. Love, Annalise Kibler, Stephanie Ostrander, Ashleigh Brown, and many more, brought different perspectives about the medicinal uses of cannabis, how people have overcome obstacles, and their triumphs along the way.
We all have to walk our own paths in life but our journeys have a commonality that has changed our lives. For some of us cannabis is more than just a plant or medicine, it has improved and allowed for a better quality of life. Legalization in Canada has permitted these opportunities and safe spaces for us to gather and share our experiences without fear of judgement or the stigmas attached to cannabis use.
Besides the captivating discussions throughout the weekend, the event also showcased vintage clothing and jewelry for sale. Beautiful floral arrangements with home grown cannabis accents from florist @bud.bloom.yeg, filled the space. Many attendees relaxed between, or even during the talks with a massage from Jaime Walsh, head Mama at cannabis friendly Sacral Health Clinic. Others, including me, got an insightful and empowering stone reading from Krista Thornhill, who also led the group in a circle chant at the end of the event that left us feeling unified and lifted by our shared experiences as women in cannabis. Necole Hines @fadedmocha gave a fabulous Cooking with Cannabis segment, where she shared some of her famous recipes. I can’t wait to try the Jerk Chicken!
Representing Canadian Women in Cannabis (CWIC) Donna Johannson lead a Cannabis Art session and Kim Ess from Ellementa held the funnest yoga class I have ever tried in my life; Face Yoga (look it up, it’s a thing).
One of my favorite sessions at Symposia was Canna Therapy, created and facilitated by Miss. D who made a special trip from Mexico to support and teach her sisters. She encouraged us to take what we needed from the session and the entire weekend, to help others once we have helped ourselves and to open those discussions, sharing our experiences safely especially when supporting new consumers. She ended her session with this inspirational message, “we can do this joyful life thing, together, and we can help each other, and be there for each other. And thank god we have an ally in Mary Jane.”
This cannabis conference left me feeling full, energized, and I actually lost my voice from all the talking and sharing I got to experience. This welcoming, warm, safe space where women came together and embraced our love for this gorgeous green plant, was a reminder of the power of women in this industry. We empower each other, free from guilt and shame, and left Symposia with our cups overflowing.