The COVID-19 virus caused everyone to change how they communicate with each other. For interVivos, it changed the way we “meet” as a board and how we run our programs, like modifying our in-person mentorship program into a virtual one

At the pandemic’s onset, interVivos evaluated if we could continue our programming through a public health emergency. We wanted to dialogue with the community-at-large in a safe and engaging way.

interVivos was fortunate enough to facilitate two mentorship program launches via Zoom in 2020. We were able to connect 23 protégés with 23 mentors in our community. In early 2021, we chatted with a Fall 2020 protégé and mentor to hear their thoughts about interVivos and the program launch.

Our protégé perspective comes from Bonnie Chiu. She graduated from the University of Alberta in 2019 with a Degree in Human Ecology and is currently working in healthcare philanthropy. She first heard about interVivos through our posts on LinkedIn and eventually decided to sign up as a protégé for the Fall 2020 Program— her very first experience with interVivos. “I wanted to expand my social and professional network. I find that those opportunities, especially now [due to the pandemic], can be more difficult to come by.” 

We asked her to share more about her experience with the mentorship program launch. “It was a very positive experience for me. I felt there was great communication from interVivos leading up to the event, on event day, and afterwards. It is tough to run a virtual event, but everything was well-planned and running very smoothly.  I enjoyed connecting with everyone— it was the most social interaction I’ve had in months beyond my usual circle.”

Bonnie loved that the event showcased the unique talents and people in Edmonton. “I walked away with a lot of great advice from the 13 mentors during the speed rotations. There were so many takeaways just in that one night!  I’m looking forward to staying involved with interVivos and whatever they plan in the future when they can run more events programs.”

Renée Williams, Vice President Customer Experience at the Fort Edmonton Management Company, was a first-time mentor for our Fall 2020 Program. She heard about interVivos through her friend, Mary Bailey of The Tomato, who was a Summer 2020 mentor. Renée decided to join as a mentor for our first program focused on highlighting Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (or BIPOC) volunteer mentors because she would have loved to have had a mentor who looked like her during her career journey. 

“I have been very successful in the communications and tourism industry, but I often feel like I did it on my own. As the only Black woman in a senior leadership position in the tourism industry across the province, I am a rarity in this field. Mentorship programs like these are important. I want my son to see himself in a career because representation is an opportunity that I did not have. I want to give him every opportunity to succeed, and these programs can help make that happen for people like him.” 

We spoke to Renée about her first-time experience with interVivos. “The launch was very well thought out and thorough. Everything was organized and easy to understand. I was impressed with the mentors at interVivos. Many of my former colleagues have been involved with interVivos in the past. There were also many mentors participating in the program that I was interested in connecting with in the future!” 

Renée was also impressed with the talent she saw in the protégé pool at the event. “There were so many protégés with diverse interests like government, politics, or simply looking to make a career shift. I learned little nuggets from each person I met. The world will be set up for great success if mentors and protégés are interested in making things better by reaching out, connecting, and asking questions.” 

Thank you to all of the fantastic mentors and protégés who have been involved with interVivos for the past 15 years! We are delighted to share the many unique talents and perspectives that our community has to offer. 

interVivos is always looking for protégés and mentors from all backgrounds for our future programs. You can follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) or join our mailing list, so you don’t miss out on your opportunity to get more involved with our organization.

Registration for Protégés is now open

interVivos is launching its Fall 2020 Mentorship Program on December 1, 2020. This Edmonton program will showcase Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) volunteer mentors. Ambitious professionals from all backgrounds are invited to take part as protégés in the ever-popular mentorship program.

Since 2006, interVivos has connected over 600 high caliber mentors and protégés through its mentorship programs. Mentors are highly sought after and come from a variety of backgrounds, careers, and perspectives. They are volunteers who are looking to give back to their community by sharing their ideas and experiences to assist protégés in their career journey. The Fall 2020 Mentorship Program is an opportunity for BIPOC mentors to empower the next generation of Edmonton’s BIPOC leaders.

“It is important to take proactive and purposeful action to ensure that different voices are heard, included, and supported across the spectrum of roles,” says Jason Syviaxy, former interVivos mentor and Fall  2020 launch event emcee. “If we fail to challenge the system, we perpetuate the norm, which means that we wait for change to catch up rather than embracing and meeting it.”

interVivos mentorship programs are offered twice per year and typically begin with an in-person launch event. Propelled by the virtual Summer 2020 mentorship launch’s success, interVivos will launch the Fall Program over Zoom. Mentors and protégés will connect through Zoom “breakout rooms” for group engagement activities, one-on-one speed rotations, and networking opportunities.

After the launch, mentors and protégés are matched up based on their preferences. The matches will work together over six months to learn from each other, collaborate, and reach professional goals. The program runs from January to June 2021, and matches are required to meet at least three times, either virtually or in-person, with appropriate COVID-19 measures in place.

The following are the confirmed mentors for the Fall 2020 mentorship program:

You can register to be a protégé by visiting:  https://intervivosfall2020.eventbrite.ca

Read the FAQs about our Fall 2020 Mentorship program.


Program Sponsors

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor: Park Power.

Thank you to our program sponsors: Incite, VSM Photo, Coffee Ring Studio, E & J Watch and Jewellery Repair West Edmonton Mall, Soni Dasmohapatra, JGR Communications, Leaders International, Anne McLellan, Doughnut Party, RSM Canada, and Altitude Investments.

Last year, our friends at the Edmonton Heritage Council (EHC) reached out for our support to pilot a mentorship program for heritage-sector professionals. interVivos immediately saw the value of sharing resources and expertise with EHC and partnered with them to support their goal of elevating diverse voices.

EHC is a local non-profit organization that connects Edmontonians to the stories of their city through leadership, support, and programs. In an effort to build professional capacity for Heritage professionals and to aid with succession and sustainability planning in the sector, interVivos mentored EHC in developing the structure for the program and hosting the mentor and protégé matching event.

Overall, the pilot mentorship program was a success and serves as a great example of how organizations can maximize their resources and experience through sharing.

You can read more about our collaboration with EHC here.

If you are interested in mentorship opportunities in Edmonton, our Summer 2020 mentorship program launches on July 14, 2020. Check out our events page for more information on how to register.

 

On the one year anniversary of our event, A Provincial Affair, we decided to look back at the event and its impact on attendees.

interVivos’ Provincial Election event, A Provincial Affair, was a sell out in April 2019.

We welcomed a diverse crowd of attendees, all of whom share a passion for political action in our community. We were also fortunate to have many first time attendees, including Derek Volker.

Derek was the first person to register for the event. We caught up with him to ask for his thoughts on the event; this is what Derek had to say:

 

Q: This was your first time attending an interVivos event, and you were the first to register. What prompted you to attend the event?

A: An invitation from a board member and also an awareness of events from following interVivos social media.

 

Q: What do you think is the most important political issue facing Albertans?

A: I think the topics selected at the event were a good representation of the important issues.

 

Q: How can others get engaged in the democratic process, and what can we all do to encourage others?

A: Write your MLA or elected official, follow the democratic process in the news, watch Assembly feeds online (including bill debate and not just Question Period), and join an advocacy campaign for an issue you are passionate about. Having conversations is critical, even if just high level. Politics shouldn’t always be avoided as a topic of conversation. That can lead to further polarization and/or lack of engagement if there are never discussions about it.  Respectful conversations can be both informative and engaging.

 

Q: This was your first time at an interVivos event. What did you think?

A: The event was well planned and had good discussions with varying perspectives. I’m looking forward to attending other events in the future.

 

Q: What was your biggest take away from the event?

A: That there are a lot of people who want to engage in policy discussions on matters that may not be the top ballot issues at any given time, but are still important to discuss and for people to be aware of. I.e. getting past the rhetoric of politics and into real policy discussions/debates.

 

Next up for interVivos is our Summer 2020 Mentorship Program launch that will take place virtually on July 14, 2020! Stay tuned for more information and make sure to check our events page often.

Would you like to submit a blog post to interVivos? Email connect@intervivos.ca.

This past fall, we partnered with Apathy is Boring to offer over 100 Edmontonians an exciting nonpartisan federal election viewing party and an evening of drag at Evolution Wonderlounge.

We thought it would be good to ask people at the party: “Why vote?”

Their responses were captured on Post-It Notes and here are some of them:

  • “For a better future for my kids!”
  • “For my future!”
  • “For my family.”
  • “For progress!”
  • “For those who can’t – to make a better future!”
  • “To change the world!”
  • “To effect change in my country!”
  • “To protect human rights!”
  • “To set a good example!”
  • “To feel heard!”
  • “To pursue equality for all!”
  • “Because we are so lucky to have the chance – many do not!”
  • “Because I can – women and minorities didn’t always have the opportunity!”
  • “Because I care about children, education, women, health and climate change!”
  • “Because rights come with responsibilities!”
  • “Because I can!”
  • “Because you and I can make a difference if we all vote!”
  • “Because why not?”
  • “I want to vote for those who can’t.”
  • “It is easy and a way to have your voice heard!”
  • “It is EASY!”
  • “It’s my right!”
  • “It’s my civic duty!”
  • “Democracy is important to me!”
  • “It’s my democratic right! I matter!”

A huge thank you to all attendees, performers, and volunteers for helping make this wonderful night a huge success!

Next up for interVivos is our Summer 2020 Mentorship Program launch that will take place virtually on July 14, 2020! Stay tuned for more information and make sure to check our events page often.

Would you like to submit a blog post to interVivos? Email connect@intervivos.ca.

 

 

 

 

We are expanding the interVivos board! We are currently looking for people who are civic minded and also have a background in one or more of the following:

  • Strategic planning
  • External communications
  • Fund development

If you have experience with one or more of the above, we invite you to apply before noon on March 15, 2020 to become an interVivos Board Member!

Why should you be an interVivos board member?
Why not? Being an interVivos board member will allow you to connect with engaged leaders, complete tasks that are not part of your normal routine, and get further involved in the community!

A former board member had the following to say of her experience on the board:
“I learned valuable lessons during my time with the board. My understanding of board governance and board accountability developed substantially. I also had the opportunity to meet an incredible amount of people and my network grew. I attribute this to the array of topics and professional paths that intersect at this organization. I was given many chances to try so many new roles and responsibilities. I am so grateful to interVivos and its board members for new friendships, many laughs and diverse experiences.”

What is expected of board members?
Board members are expected to complete a two year term during which they attend monthly board meetings, bi-weekly working sessions, interVivos special events, as well as other ad hoc activities which mostly fall on evenings or weekends. They also complete a variety of administrative tasks to keep a small nonprofit with no staff going. Also, they are interVivos ambassadors who strongly believe in our vision of a generation of inspired and informed leaders.

Interested in applying?
To apply, click here and fill out the application form and upload your resume. Applications close March 15 at noon. We will contact you on the 16th if you have been selected for an interview. Interviews will be taking place only during the evening of March 19 at Incite (10507 Saskatchewan Drive).

Successful candidates MUST be available during the evenings of March 31 and May 7 to attend the Annual General Meeting and the Spring 2020 Mentorship Launch.

Questions? Please email connect@intervivos.ca.

In April 2019, A Provincial Affair returned to Edmonton for the 2019 general election. interVivos offered engaged Edmontonians a wide range of nonpartisan expert-led discussion. We covered economic diversification, education, employment, environmental issues and healthcare.

The panelists have a photo-op with Peg!

 

We asked our attendees at the end of the evening to answer the following question on a Post-It:

“What issue should the provincial government prioritize within the first year of being elected?”

 

An attendee browses the responses on our Post It Wall

Here is what was written on the Post-Its:

Economic Diversification

  • “A concrete plan to start marketing and moving Alberta towards being a leader in innovation to move us beyond our current oil/gas identity.”
  • “Change perceptions around our resources, jobs.”
  • “Invest within Alberta and its businesses rather than outsourcing our work.”
  • “Self driving car innovation.”
  • “The provincial government should prioritize economic diversification which can lead to innovation in healthcare, environmental initiatives and improved employment opportunities.”
  • “Upskilling or re-training labour force to support economic diversification.”

Employment

  • “Enabling businesses to find efficiencies to support minimum wage but address understaffing stresses.”
  • “Livable wages for an average family.”
  • “Maintain minimum wage.”
  • “Poverty reduction.”
  • “Workers’ rights.”

Education

  • “Protect kids’ rights.”
  • “Curriculum release.”
  • “Fund education in alignment to the enrollment growth.”
  • “Increase funding for education.”
  • “NO snitch line for teachers! GSAs <3.”

Environment

  • “Carbon levy – keeping.”
  • “Climate change priority #1 for the new provincial government.”
  • “Free public transit.”
  • “Make sustainability easier and more accessible for all Albertans. No pipelines :(.“

Healthcare

  • “Continued support for safe injection sites.”
  • “Free dental care and pharmacare.”
  • “Increase healthcare efficiency reduce waiting time.”
  • “Mental health recognition.”
  • “Healthcare innovation as a model of economic diversification and development!”

interVivos thanks all attendees, speakers and volunteers who participated in the wonderful discussions at the event!

The Speech from the Throne is on May 22, 2019. We look forward to hearing if any of these ideas are featured by the governing United Conservative Party. Our next issues event will be in October on the federal election. Stay tuned to our site and social media for more information.

On September 18, 2017, interVivos hosted a non-partisan event to better inform Edmonton’s young professionals on the issues that matter to them in the upcoming municipal election. The event featured small groups and expert panel members discussing transit, homelessness and housing, residential infill, diversity on council and safe injection sites.

A protégé from the Spring 2017 mentorship program recently wrote for our blog about her experience at the pairing event. —– You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something […]