Katimavik @ Calgary Queer Arts Society

Pride Screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show; a group of Katimavik volunteers showing off the survival kits

Pride Screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show; a group of Katimavik volunteers showing off the survival kits

Hi there! My name is Olive, and I use they/them pronouns. I am with a government youth program called Katimavik, where a group of youth from across Canada volunteer in different communities and get placed with local non-profits to gain work experience and essential life skills. I was so lucky to be placed in such a wonderful placement such as Calgary Queer Arts Society (CQAS).

As a newly out non-binary youth, I was very scared to travel to the West. I’m from Ontario, so I was very ignorant about the rest of Canada. Luckily, Calgary Queer Arts Society picked me out of the group and took me under their wing. Throughout my placement, I did a multitude of things; organized and built the CQAS float for the Calgary Pride parade, volunteer and event coordination, graphic design, and built survival packs for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. 

This was my first time celebrating Pride at such a large scale, and it was so validating to be working in the queer community so closely and to see other people like me. Getting to spend time and work around people who shared the same pronouns and/identity as me made me feel less alone in the queer community. I have learned so much more about the LGBTQ+ community and want to continue this education into my life journey. 

There were a lot of challenges and things I did not know how to do, but because they were so patient with me, I was able to learn essential skills that I will be using for the rest of my life. I made some amazing friends that I hope to keep with me for a long time, as well as amazing mentors. This is the most validating and comforting placement I have had in my professional career, and I hope the next Katimaviker who takes my place will be just as excited and enthusiastic about this organization as the many passionate pals who work and breathe Calgary Queer Arts Society.