PolyCon - Canada

Poly & Diversity

Workshop Summaries

Thorns in the Bouquet - Unique Problems that Occur in Polyamorous Lifestyles  

Presented by Orion Stormcrow

This workshop explores the unique problems that a poly lifestyle can potentially manifest in the practitioner’s lives. What happens, for example, when your partner falls in love with another?  Or you do. How do you integrate this new person into your life and primary relationship? What are some of the pitfalls one can avoid in such a process?

You practice safe sex, but condoms can break and one of you brings home herpes or genital warts or some other STD: how do you handle such a crisis.

You meet someone and have a "festival fling" but find a deeper connection growing and he/she lives three provinces away and is married. What now?

Some areas of Discussion:

Communications and contracts! Many Poly people I have encountered believe contracts to be too Left Brain and unromantic. After all, trust is a foundation of Polyamorous relationships. All true. But I have seen (and personally experienced) huge issues arise based on conflicting memories of what was agreed to. Above all, don’t impose restrictions that are impossible to meet. Clear communications are critical to Poly relationships!

New Relationship Energy! It’s a great roller coaster ride unless you’re sitting on the sidelines, watching. Understand the phenomenon, emotionally, psychically and physically. We will offer tools for coping without imploding.

What do we tell the kids? Kids can complicate the practice enormously. What do you tell them and at what age? What about their friends coming over?

Falling in Love! Falling in love with someone other than your primary partner can be a game changer. Sometimes your primary is the one who has fallen in love. How do we cope?

About Orion:

Orion has practiced Polyamoury since before it was known as that. For more than four decades he has been learning the ins and outs of Poly relationships —usually the hard way. He has taught and co-taught workshops throughout the US on Polyamoury, Men’s Mysteries and Breath of Fire.


Many Loves, Many Stories -

Presented by Monica Meneghetti

It's something of a mission of mine to foster writing from/about that goes beyond "how-to" or "self-help" into representing the daily lived experience of our extremely diverse community. If we don't tell our stories, mainstream media will have control over how we're represented. The danger is that these increasingly more frequent stories about non-monogamous people told from a narrow perspective will define a stereotype of us for mass consumption. It's already happening.

About Monica:

Monica was a presenter at PolyCon - Canada 2013 and we are excited to have her again this year. She has a MFA in Creative Writing and is an experienced instructor. Dagger Editions will release her (out) memoir this spring. Here's a link to her book on Amazon


A Participatory Workshop in Giving, Receiving, and Withholding Consent

Presented by David Collins and Patty Disbrow

A workshop in which we model the giving, receiving, and withholding of consent respecting each individual’s personal space and desires.  We begin with all the participants practicing with each other the non verbal approach and eye contact that we demonstrate.  Then each person has opportunities to say and hear a clear and unapologetic  ‘yes’ and ‘no.’  Each activity is followed by a partnered check-in and a large group share where we can discuss the experience.  Finally, everyone has the chance to practice these skills in a spiral procession as a group.

About David and Patty:

David Collins and Patty Disbrow have thousands of combined hours teaching and presenting.  They are trained and experienced in consent, touch, negotiation, mediation and communication in many forms.  They live on Vancouver Island and have presented this work at Polyworld, Poly Family Camp and Carnival of Resistance at UVIC.  Their interests include dancing, nature, bicycling, art and travelling.


  Strange Bedfellows:  Polyamorous Relationships and Family Law in Canada - with Alysia Wright, MSW, of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family. Discussion of their survey results.  Polyamory and the impact of Family Law decisions. 

About Alysia:

Allie Wright took her M.S.W. from the University of Calgary in 2013, after obtaining her B.S.W. from the University of Montana in 2011, and joined the Institute in 2014. As the Institute's Coordinator of Alberta-based Research Projects, Alysia builds partnerships with community groups and government agencies active in the social services sector, develops research projects that are relevant to and will benefit Albertans, and undertakes research for publication.


Poly and the Stages of Life

Facilitated by Zoe Duff

Financial and health crisis, parenting, aging perspectives.  Diversity in life experience and the impact of a polyamorous relationship.

About Zoe:

Author of Love Alternatively Expressed - the scoop on practicing polyamory in Canada.  Parent, grandparent and Director of the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association.  Long time facilitator and speaker. 


Together Independently:  Building Diverse Polyamourous Community

Presenter: Mel Mariposa Cassidy

From the tightly organized Kerista Commune, to the creation of online polyamorous networks such as Loving More, and now numerous social media fourms, Polyamory has long lent itself to the growth of communities and subculture.

But what does it mean to be part of Polyamourous Community? In a relationship form that strives to challenge societal norms, what does community stewardship look like?  How can we navigate the tricky areas of interpersonal conflict within community and grow closer, rather than more separate?

In this presentation, Mel Mariposa Cassidy, co-founder of the Solo Polyamory group on Facebook, will examine what it means to define common values amongst diverse forms of non-monogamy, the significance of community conflict intimacy, and how we can each step into roles of community service as polyamory reaches a tipping point and we move from being one close-knit community to many.



Brunch and Screening of the movie LUTINE

A director is filming a documentary on polyamory:
somewhere between documentary and fiction,
she takes risks and she cannot always measure the consequences…

Will her sweetheart be able to stand up to the challenge of polyamory?
Will she finish her film?

The screeing will be followed by an online Q & A session with Isabelle Broue (the director of the film).via Skype

For more information see the official website.


Discussions with 4-5 panel members presenting various points of view.

Questions for panel and discussion with audience.

 Poly in the Media - How do we expand on the limited media concept of the diversity in our poly community. What feels like recognition to you?  Facilitated by Kiki.

 Maintaining Safe Space When Complaints Arise - a panel discussion of consent violation and other complaints - especially geared for Admin of online and IRL groups, facilitated by Zoe Duff