Reveal | Resistance | Resilience – Empowerment Workshops

January 4 2024 / 11:00am - 8:00pm

REAVEAL | RESISTANCE | RESILIENCE — Cis-women, Trans-women, Two-Spirit + Gender Non-conforming Peoples

CVAG will be CLOSED all day on Thursday, January 4 for two private empowerment workshops co-hosted by the Comox Valley Transition Society. During this workshop, registered participants will learn together about the culture of oppression and violence that leads to sexual assault.

WORKSHOP TIMES + REGISTRATION + QUESTIONS CONTACT: Destanee Harrison (she/her) | Sexual Assault Victim Support Coordinator | 250-650-5488 |


“Together, we will look at intersecting levels of oppression, connect through art, and break the isolation of stigma. Empowered people create necessary change.” – Destanee Harrison (she/her)

Facilitator: Destanee Harrison 
Co-facilitator: Anne Davis
Filmmaker: Claire Sanford
Fibre Artist: Deb Dumka

The co-facilitators will offer a teaching about the Pyramid of Sexual Violence and actions that can be taken in response to the culture of oppression and for responding to experiences of violence. 

The filmmaker will present a screening of Violet Gave Willingly; a short film that immerses viewers in the colourful and tactile studio and inner life of textile artist Deborah Dumka. An unflinchingly intimate mother-daughter conversation, the film lays bare the continuum and legacy of gender-based discrimination, sexism, and sexual violence. As mother and daughter struggle to give voice to their experiences, power radiates from speaking uncomfortable truths. 

Art making has the potential for transformative integration of our experiences. The artist will guide participants in a felting project that can be brought to completion by the end of the time together.

This day of workshops is part of the upholding one another convergent program that includes videos, cultural teachings, exhibitions, and community engagement activities at CVAG until January 13, 2024.


Why Sexual Violence Occurs – Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services

Support Services for Gender-Based Violence – WAGE Canada

Youth Support Services for Gender-Based Violence – WAGE Canada

Research on Gender-Based Violence – WAGE Canada

National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence – WAGE Canada

Safe Passage – Native Women’s Association of Canada

Comox Valley Transition Society

Visible Labour Exhibition 

Our Young Girls Exhibition 

Violet Gave Willingly Trailer


I was raised here in the Comox Valley and moved away for almost a decade after high school. Returning in the last few years to support survivors of violence and abuse through support work and counselling. I received most of my education through Camosun College and Vancouver Island University. I am currently developing a new Sexual Assault Response Coordination Program at the Comox Valley Transition Society. This program supports anyone who has experienced or been affected by sexual violence, including a 24/7 crisis response to sexual assault. Previously, I worked on the North Island, counselling survivors of abuse, trauma, and sexual violence in rural and remote communities. I have also previously worked in multiple gender-based violence organizations as an advocate, victim service worker, crisis worker, and homeless prevention worker.

Facilitating a conversation around gender-based and sexualized violence is essential to end the silence and stigma for survivors. We know that one in three women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. That number is much higher for indigenous women, trans women, women of colour, and women with disabilities. Our systems have historically oppressed survivors of sexual violence and dismissed survivor’s experiences. Together, we will look at intersecting levels of oppression, connect through art, and break the isolation of stigma. Empowered people create necessary change.


Anne Davis is currently the Grant Writer at Comox Valley Transition Society, where she has worked for 28 years, supporting programs providing services to women and children experiencing violence, poverty, homelessness and addiction. Previously, she worked for the Ministry of Children and Family Development and Cumberland Day Care.

Anne has an extensive background as a community activist, having served on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations in her area. Ms. Davis is the past president of the Campbell River, Courtenay and District Labour Council, and currently serves as a member of the executive.  She is also a past Regional Director of Health Sciences Association of BC. Ms. Davis holds her Management of Residential Settings Certificate and her Feminist Management Certificate from the Justice Institute of BC.


Claire Sanford is a Canadian filmmaker, cinematographer and video artist working as a two- and three- dimensional documentary storyteller. Her practice focuses on sensorial stories exploring the natural world, human identity, and how they overlap. Originally from Texada Island on the west coast of Canada, Claire grew up immersed in nature and became versed in the quiet art of observation. She earned her BFA in Film Production from the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver (2009). Her work has been exhibited at film festivals and galleries internationally, most recently her intimate documentary Violet Gave Willingly which was featured at IDFA, DOC NYC and Hot Docs 2022. She is a fellow of filmmaking initiatives including the Hot Docs Accelerator program (2014), the RIDM Talent Lab (2014), the Points North Fellowship (2016) and the Redford Centre Grant Program for Environmental Storytelling (2016). She is currently creating documentary and virtual reality work that explores and distorts anthropocentric visions of the natural world in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the National Film Board of Canada.


Deborah Dumka was born in Northern British Columbia and has lived three quarters of her life in rural communities across Canada, for the most part on the shores of an ocean. She draws on the physical and emotional landscape of rural life to make functional textile work examining our important connections with nature.

Her contemporary landscape-based textile work is created using the sustainable materials and ancient techniques of traditional wet felting. Her work celebrates natural materials and the process of transformation that leaves the mark of the hands on objects, and asks the viewer to examine the importance of our experiences in nature as they imprint marks, impressions and memories. 

From a personal perspective, her work delves into the universal themes of the deep connections we have to nature, how our surroundings contribute to our sense of wellbeing and how we belong in the world. She is drawn to the intersections: of land and water, of physical and emotional experience, and of craft creation and scientific exploration. 

Her interactive functional floor carpets integrate digital technology, conductive materials and components of wearable electronics to construct immersive interactive experiences of nature using image, texture and sound. 

Deborah holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from MUN (1978) and a diploma from the Textile Studies Program of the Anna Templeton Centre (1994), St. John’s NL. She advocates for the Canadian Craft Community by serving on the board of the Craft Council of British Columbia and as a past president the Canadian Crafts Federation.

She works from her home studio on Texada Island in the Strait of Georgia. 

Her work has been shown in solo and group shows in Canada and Korea.