It aims to be a day of self-discovery and culture that leaves attendees feeling more connected to themselves and others.
The Students Representative Council at Quest University is hosting, “Visionaries’ Gathering, an Interactive Convergence” on Saturday, Jan. 19.
The event includes a conference, workshops, ceremonies, and performances.
First-year Quest student Sussan Yáñez, the creator and organizer of the event, said the catalyst for creating the gathering came out of her own exploration.
"One of the things that I have come to acknowledge as a bit of my purpose is enabling spaces where people can really attune with who they are," she said, adding that in our modern culture, ideas of who we are become imposed on us, for example from media representations.
When she was previously in Chile taking some naturopathic training, Yáñez realized many of the things that are considered alternative medicines "are actually the ancestral way that human beings have always interacted with nature and with their own bodies," she said.
When she returned to B.C. in 2016 she continued to explore and learn from local First Nations. This event is a way to expose others to some of the so-called alternative and Indigenous ways.
"I have received so much knowledge and wisdom and care from the Nations here that it is my offering to the people in the community here that to basically experience that. These little spaces where all of the definitions that have been inherited from our past, we allow ourselves to put aside a little bit and remember who we really are."
Presenters at the Visionaries’ Gathering include T'uy't'tanat- Cease, an interdisciplinary artist; Margo Running, a Waldorf educator and Jolene Andrew, a Vancouver Aboriginal community developer with Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House..
In addition, Darrel Bob and Theresa Fenton-Bob will present on the medicine wheel and the self.
Trevor Millar, who operated an alternative medicine recovery clinic in White Rock until recently, will be presenting on healing addictions with shrub and psychedelic, Iboga.
Organizers have gone to the unusual step of requesting that attendees abstain from drugs and alcohol for four days prior to the gathering as well as during.
"To allow people to be as clear as possible to receive what is going to be shared," said Yáñez, though she noted the request is just a suggestion.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the Multi Purpose Room (MPR) at Quest.
Because Quest is on unceded territories, First Nation members can pay for tickets by donation.