new moon shiningEarlier this year, a group primarily based out of Northern Ontario and collectively known as Northern Lights Collaborative (NLC), were planning the New Shining Moon Gathering. This was going to be a four day conference for around 50 young people. They were planning to offer a series of workshops that covered everything from communication, to Zumba, to sewing, to beading, and political advocacy.

Enter COVID-19. With the emergence of this virus and the safety measures required to flatten the curve, the NLC was forced to cancel their event.

That didn’t stop the team at the NLC though. The organizing team immediately changed gears to organize the event to go digital. Instead of just a four day event available for 50 people, the New Shining Moon Workshop Series offered 43 online workshops throughout the entire month of April and over 100 people participated live in those workshops from all across the country.

I was contacted by my good friend Leigh Bursey on March 25. I met Leigh while I attended school in Ottawa. Leigh is a longtime municipal Councillor for the city of Brockville and was dubbed the “Punk Rock Councillor” by the Ottawa Sun and CBC radio. He hosted his own workshops on political advocacy. Leigh approached me about participating as a Facilitator and he put me in contact with Cacelia from the NLC. Cacelia was fantastic to deal with giving me a clear sense of what they were looking for.

I was scheduled to host a workshop on April 17th on communication and public speaking. With my extensive background in politics and marketing, it seemed like a natural fit. My seminar is available online here if you would like to view it for yourself! We did have some technical issues in the recording, but if you look in the description of the video you can see all of my notes as well.

I felt very good about my workshop. The audience participation was high and the feedback I received was good. We covered many topics that have broad applications and I would encourage everyone to check it out because there are skills taught that have universal applications!

I want to commend Cacelia and the entire Northern Lights Collaborative for organizing this event. This was a success by every metric and by going digital, it allowed for more workshops from a broader group of facilitators from all across the country.

I do hope the NLC attempts to do this again in the future. The accessibility and broad range of workshops offered something for everyone. I would also like to personally thank the team and Leigh for recommending me to participate. I’ve always worked since I was legally able to and while I was at University full-time I also had a part-time job on Parliament Hill. Upon my graduation I transitioned right into full-time work and eventually launched my business at the start of this year. Once COVID-19 hit, my workload has sharply decreased and left me with almost nothing to do.

One of the stated goals of the NLC is to connect people together and they certainly helped me out in that regard. They provided me with something to work on and focus some time and effort into and I will be forever grateful to them for including me.

Please consider following them and I on social media to see some more features from the workshops and to be the first to know about any future events to come!

What this group demonstrated is that online opportunities like these present the ability to connect people together from across our country. They offered people the chance to meet people they would never otherwise meet, and learn some skills they may never otherwise have learned. That is the ultimate form of connection.

source: media release, Big Mouth Marketing