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Richer, Deeper, Better: Greater Inclusivity, Accountability and Respect in Publishing Workshops – UPDATE

Presented by the Magazine Association of BC and the Association of Book Publishers of BC

In Vancouver, May 23 and Victoria, May 24.

Update, May 14: Due to gratifyingly high numbers of registrants, we have moved the Victoria workshop to theDock – Centre for Social Impact, 300-722 Cormorant Street.

Update, May 6: We are saddened to share the news that publisher, professor, and author Greg Younging, who was scheduled to be one of our workshop presenters, died in Penticton on May 3, 2019. 

Greg led the Canadian publishing industry in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, advocating for Indigenous editorial agency and serving as a trusted resource for publishers of Indigenous texts. He was generous with his time and knowledge, and contributed to the community in so many different ways. It’s difficult to articulate what a huge loss this is for all of us. We will miss him greatly.

We plan to hold the workshops as scheduled, in dedication to Greg’s memory.

In this blog:

  • Workshops
  • Speakers
  • When/where/how much/to register
  • Acknowledgements


The Magazine Association of BC and the Association of Book Publishers of BC are committed to promoting greater inclusivity, diversity, accountability and accessibility in publishing, and fostering dialogue around these complexities inherent in trying to create positive change in these areas.

These one-day workshops are intended to provide BC publishing professionals with an opportunity to inform themselves about different aspects of inclusivity, accountability, and respect in the workplace. The format will consist of four topics covered by industry experts, with opportunities for participant questions and discussion. Background reading material will be circulated prior to the workshops.

  • Respectful Work Environment: Lawyer Melanie Samuels will provide a legal context for an employer’s obligations regarding workplace harassment, discrimination, and bullying, and provide best practices regarding workplace policies.
  • Unpacking Diversity: Writers Chelene Knight and Jónina Kirton will address cultural appropriation, Indigenization, and decolonization as it relates to publishing. They will examine how publishing professionals can become more aware of their own cultural biases and privileges, particularly when working with BIPOC and LGBTQ2SIA+  creators, creators from other underrepresented groups, and with culturally sensitive content.
  • The Front Lines: Consultant Cicely Blain will use roleplays to give participants strategies for responding to incidents of harassment or discrimination they witness or experience. Cicely will also moderate discussions during the workshop.
  • Supporting Change: Chelene Knight and Jónina Kirton will lead this wrap-up, which will invite participants to discuss next steps forward: how can publishers – in particular, small publishers – support inclusivity and respect, and encourage diverse voices in our industry?


Cicely BlainCicely Blain is an award-winning activist and writer and the CEO of Cicely Blain Consulting. After gaining their degree in European Studies and Russian from UBC, Cicely took a small business loan and developed their wealth of social justice knowledge into transformative diversity and inclusion education. Cicely was invited to speak on LGBTQ inclusion at the United Nations Summit in Ecuador in 2016, on behalf of the Canadian delegation, and was listed as one of CBC’s 150 Black Womxn Making Change in Canada.

Chelene Knight

Chelene Knight is the author of the poetry collection Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. In addition to her work as a writer, Knight is managing editor at Room, programming director for the Growing Room Festival, and CEO of #LearnWritingEssentials. She often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling. Knight is currently working on Junie, a novel set in Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, forthcoming in 2020.

Jónina KirtonJónína Kirton is a Red River Métis/Icelandic poet. Born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (Treaty One) she currently lives in the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Sḵwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh. She received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. Until very recently she was a member of Room Magazine’s editorial board and the curator of their online news related poetry series, Turtle Island Responds. She was one of the co-founders of the reading series, Indigenous Brilliance. For a number of years, she was an active member of the Vancouver literary scene but now finds herself in semi-retirement due to health issues.

Melanie SamuelsMelanie Samuels has extensive experience in labour and employment law and has been practising in this area for more than 25 years. She advises clients on all workplace issues including providing guidance on disciplining and dismissing employees, drafting employment contracts and policies, and advising on human rights issues, which includes harassment and the duty to accommodate. A particular area of focus for Melanie is working with creative industries, to help guide and inform their harassment policies and advise them on how best to implement protocols in the workplace to effectively deal with bullying and harassment. She is a partner at Singleton Reynolds.


When/Where/How Much/To Register

Thursday, May 23, 2019 – Vancouver, The Post at 110-750 Hamilton Street, in the Startup Studio. Accessibility information for The Post is here.
Schedule: 9 a.m. registration, 9:30 a.m. start, 2 p.m. finish, with a break for lunch.
Register here.

Friday, May 24, 2019 – Victoria, NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE: theDock – Centre for Social Impact, 300-722 Cormorant Street
Schedule: 10:30 a.m. registration, 11 a.m. start, 3:30 p.m. finish, with a break for lunch.
Register here.

Cost to attend: $20 plus fees per attendee. Includes coffee and a light lunch.

If your ability to attend is impacted by financial hardship, please contact the organizers to discuss alternate options.

If you will require ASL interpretation, please inform the organizers at by April 23, 2019.

Registration ends May 15, 2019.


We acknowledge that the Vancouver workshop takes place on the unceded traditional territories of the Squamish (Skwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), and Musqueam (xwməθkwəy̓əm) Nations, and that the Victoria workshop takes place on unceded Coast Salish and W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) Nation territories, including the Lekwungen People of the Songhees First Nation, and the Tsawout First Nation.

This workshop is supported by the Province of British Columbia through Creative BC.

Creative BC | Supported by the province of British Columbia