Ontario gears up for Occulticon 2017

HOLSTEIN, Ont. – As the festival season starts to wind down for the year, organizers of the premiere edition of Occulticon are ramping up to deliver an event that is being billed as “a convention for all things curious, all things occult.”

This new addition to the festival and convention circuit will be held at the Pagan owned and operated Mythwood Campground and Private Retreat from September 8 – 10. Mythwood Campground is located an hour north of Toronto in Southern Ontario, a region of Canada that already supports a multitude of Pagan, Heathen and Witchcraft related festivals and events. From May until September, the area sees at least one large public gathering and sometimes more each weekend. Occulticon organizers are promising a unique event and are taking a distinctly different approach to how this new addition to the scene will be presented.

#HavamalWitches hashtag earns applause and backlash

CANADA – Last June, an online exchange set the stage for the creation of #HavamalWitches, a campaign that has sparked kudos and controversy in the Heathen community worldwide. On June 27, Canadian gythia and now activist, Brynja Chleirich posted a meme from the group Feminists United to her Facebook page, which described a scientific study detailing how often women are talked over and silenced by men. Along with the meme she posted the comment:
Because it’s related to how I feel within my Heathen community and I’m gonna just grow a set of fortitude and leave this right here and go ponder or shit. Working with Heimdallr the past several years? This girl.

Canada 150 sparks celebrations and protests

CANADA – July 1, 2017 marked a significant anniversary for the country. This date, known as the statutory holiday of “Canada Day” was special this year. as it has been 150 years since the first four provinces came together to create Canada in 1867. Other provinces and territories followed the initial four, and by 1949, the country looked much like it does today. The most recent change to the map came when the Northwest Territories were divided, and the new territory of Nunavut was created in 1999.

Witchcraft law closer to being stricken from Canadian criminal code

CANADA – In March of 2017, legislation was introduced to Canadian parliament which could remove outdated and antiquated laws from the Canadian criminal code. On June 6, the next step in this process was taken: bill C-51:An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, was tabled in the House of Commons. While this bill is designed to bring the criminal code closer into line with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it’s what’s buried deeper in the text that makes for interesting reading. Under the higher-profile sexual assault provisions and other amendments is a list of outdated laws have been deemed obsolete and irrelevant. These are proposed to be stricken from the criminal code with the bill’s passage.

Canada’s National Pagan Conference Gaia Gathering continues its success

CALGARY, Alb. – The Canadian National Pagan Conference (CNPC) Gaia Gathering celebrated a successful event in Calgary, Alberta over the Victoria Day long weekend May 19-22. The theme for this year’s conference was “Rhythm and Flow” and featured speakers not only from the Calgary area, but also across Canada as well. The genesis of this event came as a comment, made by Richard James of the Wiccan Church of Canada. In a post made to an email list maintained by the Pagan Federation Païenne Canada (PFPC), James asked: “Could it be that Canada is ready for a national Pagan conference?”

His question inspired two community leaders, Gina Ellis and Kit Morrison, to put the wheels in motion for the first Gaia Gathering (GG), which took place in 2004 in Edmonton.