Men’s forum to be held among the clouds | Squamish Chief

Men’s forum to be held among the clouds

Event planned for atop the Sea to Sky Gondola this spring

What it means to be a man is at the heart of an event coming to Squamish in April. 

The Brew Summit atop the Sea to Sky Gondola on Monday, April 18 aims to bring men of diverse backgrounds and interests together to share and help each man find his true purpose in life, according to organizers.

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“It’s a space where we can… engage with paradigms of how you want to be in the world, and a lot of that centres around doing some reflection around what is your purpose, what are you here to do,” said Val Litwin, co-chair of the event. 

The day-long forum is a result of collaboration between local author J.B. MacKinnon, the Sea to Sky Gondola’s Kirby Brown and Litwin, CEO of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce. “I think the modern man is getting more reflective and more emotional,” said Litwin, “but when you start to pull back the layers a little bit about why you respond to things the way you do as a male leader or as a husband, a son, a partner, a member of the community, you start to realize there’s a lot of narratives that are operating there in the background that are influencing the way you behave.” 

The event isn’t about how to make more money or get to the top of the career ladder, Litwin said.  “I am here to launch and lead deep projects, with brave teams,” Litwin explained about realizing his purpose. “The nice thing about that realization is I don’t have to get caught up in the trappings of ‘I have to be an executive with this title, making this kind of money.’” 

Some leaders of their respective fields who have found their own unique purpose will be on hand to interact with participants at the event, according to Litwin.

Conversations will be hosted by, among others, broadcaster Kevin Newman, UBC men’s health researcher Dr. John Oliffe and writer Masa Takei.

Former CFL linebacker Shea Emry will facilitate some of the discussions with the message that to get what they want out of their lives, men need to be vulnerable with each other. Emry describes his true calling as “unmasking masculinity.”

In pursuit of this calling, he founded Wellmen, a men’s outdoor adventure club. 

Part of the Squamish event involve getting active outside, which allows men to open up more easily, Emry said. 

“As men, generation upon generation we were the hunters and gatherers and people who were out trying to find new places to live and I feel like we as a society… we’ve gotten very sedentary,” he said.  “Providing guys with an opportunity to get outside and have conversations we used to have around a bonfire or around an activity that is recreational now, but that used to be something we needed to do to survive back in the day, it really just cultivates that connection with themselves and provides an opportunity for them to connect with other guys in a very primal experience.”

Ultimately, Emry says he wants to be part of creating a world where his 18-month-old son Rozen Oak feels free to pursue his passions, whatever they may be. “There’s a big blank canvas out there, and we have all the opportunity to provide you with whatever colour, paint brush, axe, knife – whatever you want to use to paint it, just go ahead and do it,” he said.

Brew Summit 2016: Mindfulness plus Movement in Nature will be held April 18 at the Sea to Sky Gondola. For information, search the summit title on Eventbrite.

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