Sunday April 30 2017 12:30-4:30pm


Coquitlam Public Library, City Centre Branch
1169 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam BC
Room 136 & 137


The Public library is easily accessible via public transportation, skytrain Evergreen Line. Parking is free for 4 hours. Refreshments and snack will be provided.

Membership in BC People First is required to attend the AGM, membership is free and open to Self Advocates. (people who have been labelled with a developmental disability)

Free to attend! Includes workshops, snacks and refreshments.

Email to register:

WORKSHOPS ON: BC People First, Knowing your Rights and Voting.

AGM Agenda includes Year End Reports, Choosing the focus of our advocacy work for 2018 and voting for new board members. Nominations are now open for 3 available positions.



“We’re In This Together”
BC People First Society Conference and AGM
May 4 and 5th 2016 at the Coast Westerly Convention Centre
Courtenay, BC, Vancouver Island

About the Conference

The “We’re in This Together” conference took place on May 4 and 5th 2016 at the Coast Westerly Convention Centre, in Courtenay, BC on Vancouver Island.  A total of 77 people attended the two day conference representing 12 different communities in Western Canada, and 11 different self advocacy groups.

The conference theme, “We’re In This Together” was chosen to support our goal of awareness raising and capacity building throughout the province, and creating community.  The B.C. People First Society is making sure that peo­ple who have been labelled know there is a community which is supportive, understanding and “gets” what they are going through.  This conference was created for all people who are labeled (and their supporters) to learn and share together, and to expand the provincial reach of BCPF.

People First Conference Principles:

  1. People First members take the lead in all aspects of organizing the conference. BCPF Board members decided on all conference content, including presentations, speaker selections and conference location.
  1. Workshops presenters are majority Self Advocates.
  2. Everybody gets a chance to speak up and contribute.
  3. Costs to members and self advocates are kept as low as possible. (in this case, we only charged to cover partial costs of catering)


The Conference Session Program Highlights:                           

  • Opening remarks given by Mayor of Courtenay, Larry Jangula
  • Icebreaking game created by BCPF called “JOB BINGO”
  • 6 unique workshops presented ONLY by self advocates
  • National connection with People First of Ontario and their video series, “This is My Life”
  • Chair Yoga session to teach tools for stress reduction
  • Information session from Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation on recent PWD and bus pass changes in our province
  • 3 informational presentations about BCPF Society and an invitation to join the movement


The Conference Workshops: 6 Unique Workshops provided participants with a variety of learning and speaking opportunities.  

Self Determination – led by self Advocate Sherwin Strong (shown left, with board member Conrad Tyrkin) of the Comox Valley, this workshop included the History and similarities between First Nations and residential schools and Persons with Diverse Abilities and institutions.

Taking Back Power! Self Advocates Leading, Families Following – This workshop was led by the parent of a self advocate Catorina Johnson and discussed how often families get in the way of what a self advocate can do, because they might be worried or don’t believe the person can succeed. It gave helpful ideas about how self advocates can take back their power and lead the way.

Creating a Support Network – led by self advocate Cory Fisher

Passion to Purpose – was an inspiring presentation given by BCPF board member/self advocate David Johnston on finding ways to live the life you love through meaningful employment you love.

Parenting with a Diverse-ability – led by parents who are self advocates, BCPF board members Michelle Goos and David Johnston.

Supportive Decision Making – led by BCPF Board member/self advocate Michael McLellan,  explored what the difference is between supportive decision making and someone making decisions for you as well as what a representation agreement is.

PWD rate and bus pass changes Q AND A with the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation – The recent changes to PWD and bus passes were discussed and self advocates had an opportunity to ask questions. This issue has been the source of major controversy within the province recently, and this was the first formal dialogue between the Ministry and a self advocacy group. A meaningful conversation was had and important feedback was given which was taken back to the Minister.

Membership Drive

The conference gave the Society a chance to recruit new members in a part of the province remote from the lower mainland. As a result of the conference, we now have over 35 new memberships, and exposed many people who had not heard of the Society before to our movement. (Members are people who have a label of intellectual disability).

Annual General Meeting

 The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a chance for all the People First Society members to find out how the organization works, vote on important issues, and elect the Directors who will serve on the board of directors. For People First members, it is important to have a vote in what goes on and to hear the various reports from the Directors. The presidents report and treasurer reports were made, as well as reports from all the Directors present. This year the board had elections by acclamation for 3 Directors.

Learn more about our Board of Directors by visiting here.

The board worked hard to keep registration costs low at $40.00 for the two days. Support workers were asked to pay $20.00. These costs were meant to partially cover the costs of catering during the event. We receive funding from Community Living BC, People First of Canada and the Self Advocacy Foundation of BC, portions of these funds were used towards the conference. In addition we received a grant of $300.00 from the local Coastal Community Credit Union.  Nanaimo Association for Community Living kindly donated their services and provided accessible transportation to some of our Board members to and from the ferry terminal in their shuttle bus.

What People Said About the Conference

People enjoyed the conference and we received many compliments on a job well done. Here is some of what people said: 

“Thank you for all you did towards the People First Conference.  I am glad i got to participate! “

“It was amazing and we did meet new people and make new connections. The speakers were very informative and we loved the interactive exercises. You will have a few new members now.”