Sexual Violence Affects Everyone

In Alberta, 45% of adults have experienced some type of sexual violence (SV) in their lifetime (AASAS, 2020). SV is an umbrella term, encompassing sexual abuse, assault, harassment, as well as emerging forms like sextortion and revenge porn. Any behaviours and actions that are sexual in nature and unwanted, coerced, and committed without consent, are SV.

SV is the result of power imbalances that stem from oppressive attitudes and beliefs about those who are valued in our society and those who are not. Consequently, marginalized groups such as LGBTQ+ individuals, Indigenous women and girls, people of color, and those with (dis)Abilities experience the highest rates of SV.   

The Bow Valley Context

Sexual harassment in the restaurant and hospitality industry is widespread, particularly impacting those in the most vulnerable and precarious employment scenarios – immigrants and BIPOC individuals, members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, and those without access to grievance mechanisms or union protection (Vineburg, 2024).

Awareness is the First Step in Creating Change

Reflecting on and engaging in conversations about gender norms, societal power dynamics, and the impacts of toxic masculinity, fosters empathy and understanding, and helps to challenge attitudes and beliefs which perpetuate sexual violence.

In learning together, we can create a safer more inclusive Bow Valley.

Join us at one of our events in May!

May is Sexual Violence Awareness Month (SVAM) in Alberta. ⁠

Throughout May, the Harmony Project is working with community partners to host events aimed at creating a more informed, empathetic, and supportive Bow Valley, working toward a future free from sexual violence. Join us in creating a safer and more inclusive Bow Valley.

If you have any questions about Sexual Violence Awareness Month, please email .

Calendar of Events - SVAM 2024

Coffee with a Cop (& the Harmony Project)

Wednesday, May 1, 2024, 10 AM – 11 AM
Location: Banff McDonalds (116 Banff Avenue)

Banff RCMP members and Marisha from the Harmony project will be at the Banff McDonalds (116 Banff Avenue) on Wednesday May 1st from 10:00-11:00am and we want to meet with you!

May is Sexual Violence Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is “We All Deserve Safety and Belonging.” We want to hear from community members about what we can do to make Banff safer and give you an opportunity to ask questions and engage in conversation.

Everyone is welcome! Please stop by and say hello!

*Please note this building is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. 

Drop-in event. No registration required.

Red Dress Day

Sunday, May 5, 2024, 3 PM – 5 PM
Location: YWCA Banff (Outside + The Great Room) 

Red Dress Day is also known as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People (MMWIG2S). In 2010, Métis artist Jamie Black began The REDress Project, an art installation that hung hundreds of empty red dresses in public spaces to raises awareness about the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit people across Turtle Island (Canada). For over three decades, grassroots Indigenous women activists have marched in the streets, walked across Canada, held vigils, and taken other actions to draw attention to the scope and scale of the violence and call on governments to take action. 


  • Pick up an information pamphlet at 3pm and view the Red Dresses hung outside the YWCA as a tribute to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People. Afterwards, head to the YWCA Great Room for light refreshments and the opportunity to meet others passionate about the crisis.  
  • From 4-5pm, join Teresa Snow, a Iyarhe Nakoda Knowledge Keeper for a panel discussion on the MMWIG2S crisis 

Light refreshments will be served.  

*Please note our building is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. 

Ending Stigma, one Donut at a Time: Diverse Perspectives on Mental Health

Tuesday, May 7, 2024, 6 PM – 8 PM
Location: Pioneer Room, 101 Bear Street (above Banff Public Library)

Presented by The Harmony Project, Frankie D’s Donuts, and Kristy Wolfe Stories. Sponsored by the Pauw Foundation.

As part of Banff Mental Health and Addiction Week and Sexual Violence Awareness Month, engage in inclusive conversations with a diverse panel sharing personal stories of mental health, including newcomer experiences, poverty, discrimination, trauma, invisible disabilities and more. Discover resources, find support, and let’s break the stigma together, one donut at a time. This is a brave space for sharing stories, feelings, tackling tough topics, fostering connection, and deepening empathy.

Donuts + non-alcoholic beverages will be served.

This building is wheelchair accessible.

Full Circle

Every Thursday in May. Times and locations vary as per below.

Full Circle is a space held for safety and connection, to spend time in a place that has be curated for healing. The Harmony Project welcomes all genders to join and encourages folks to attend any session(s) that calls to them. These sessions have been developed to support those who have been impacted by sexual or domestic violence and will put focus on building your relationship with yourself, practicing mindfulness, and honoring your experiences in that ways that feel best for you.

Please note this is not a clinical therapeutic program, and no disclosure of violence is needed to attend sessions. Full Circle is a free program, and pre-registration is required.

For any questions regarding Full Circle please connect with Jenesa at

Click on the names of each session below for more event-specific details.

  • Compassion Circle: May 9, 2024, 1PM – 3PM

    Location: YWCA Banff (102 Spray Avenue)

    Join Lindsey (She/Her) for a Full Circle gathering designed for individuals who have experienced domestic or sexual violence. In this session we will be hosting a Compassion Circle, a space to engage in artistic expression and introspection as we delve into the theme of self-esteem. All necessary materials will be supplied. Throughout the event, participants will explore creative methods to express themselves and rediscover their voice, experience a supportive environment to connect with fellow survivors of violence, and utilize art and writing as tools for introspection and building self-esteem. Please note this is not a clinical therapeutic session.

    A Message from Lindsey –
    Hi, my name is Lindsey (she/her) and I’m a Residential Programs Counsellor at the YWCA Banff. I’m also a Master of Counselling student at City University, working on becoming a psychologist. When I’m not working or studying, I love getting out into the mountains, and spending time with friends and family. I am very passionate about RuPaul’s Drag Race, and a good cup of coffee. I look forward to welcoming you into our supportive space!

    *Please note this building is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. 

    This a free session for all genders to attend, light snacks will be provided and assistance with transportation to Banff via ROAM can be supported.

  • Sharing Circle: May 16, 2024, 6PM – 8PM

    Location: YWCA Banff (102 Spray Avenue)

    Join Jenesa (YWCA Banff Outreach Counsellor), Sachi (YWCA Banff Outreach Counsellor), and Marisha (Harmony Project Coordinator) to spend time in a space where you can honor your story in the way that feels best for you, whether that is to share your experience or to listen to others. We will also be joined by Heart Mountain Rescue puppies in this session to create a calm, safe and welcoming environment.

    *Please note this building is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. 

    This a free session for all genders to attend, light snacks will be provided and assistance with transportation to Banff via ROAM can be supported.

  • Nature Circle: May 23, 2024, 1PM – 3 PM

    Location: Riverside Park, Canmore

    For our Nature Circle we will be joined by Marzena (she/her) who will guide us on a herbal walk. On our herbal walk we will identify and learn about healing properties of many local spring plants. We hope to see dandelions, yarrow, bearberry, juniper and many more! We will also learn how to make pine and spruce needle tea and snack on some spring buds. Please bring a pen and notebook as there will be lots of information!

    We will walk from Riverside Park towards the Old Engine bridge, then climb the stairs towards Nordic Center. The length of the walk may be up to 1 km, depending on how many plants we see on our path.

    *Please note this event is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. 

    This a free session for all genders to attend, light snacks will be provided and assistance with transportation to Banff via ROAM can be supported.

  • Connection Circle: May 30, 2024, 6PM – 8 PM

    Location: Senior’s Centre, Canmore (600 9 St.) in the Activity Room.

    Molly Matheson (she/her) is the founder of Alpenglow Ceremonies in Canmore, AB. She is a Yoga Teacher and Ceremonialist who is passionate about creating safe and sacred spaces for humans connect and move through life transitions in meaningful ways.

    Event Description:

    This circle will be an opportunity to explore your inner landscape, reconnect with your authentic self, and cultivate self-acceptance and self-awareness. Through guided meditation, breathwork practices, reflective exercises, and gentle movement, we’ll take a journey of self-discovery and self-care. Wear comfortable clothing (we will be seated in a circle) and bring a Journal, pen, and water bottle. Yoga mats, bolsters, blankets, and tea will be provided.

    This a free session for all genders to attend, light snacks will be provided and assistance with transportation to Banff via ROAM can be supported.

Full Circle Registration Links:

Communicate to Connect

Thursday, May 9, 2024, 12 PM – 1 PM
Location: In-person & online. The ‘Boardroom’ at YWCA Banff, 102 Spray Ave. 

Presented by The Harmony Project and the Primary Care Network for Banff Mental Health and Addictions Week.

Communicate effectively when things get tough. Discover ways to manage and share your emotional needs to help foster deeper relationships with the people in your life. Bring your lunch to snack on while you learn!

with Andrei Dandridge-Evancio, Mental Health Clinician.

*This will be a hybrid class please ensure you are registering for the option you will attend, whether in person or virtual.

*Please note the YWCA Banff building is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. 

Registration closes on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 2 PM.

Register for the in-person event here.
Register for the online event here.

Empowerment Through Self Defense

Tuesday, May 28 · 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
Location: Dark Horse Martial Arts (306 Bow Valley Trail Canmore, AB T1W 0N2)

In partnership with YWCA Banff and Canmore Young Adult Network, we’re hosting a special self-defence class for Sexual Violence Awareness Month.

Step into a safe and empowering space as skilled instructors guide you through practical self-defence techniques. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced, this class offers valuable skills and insights to enhance your confidence and safety.

Remember: victim-blaming is NEVER okay. It’s never anyone’s fault if they experience violence.

Please bring comfortable clothes. You’re also welcome to bring your own equipment or share at the studio. All are welcome; registration is required.

Let’s come together, learn valuable skills, and empower ourselves mentally and physically. See you there!

Click here to register via Eventbrite.

Community Conversations: Healthy Masculinities

Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 6 PM – 8 PM
Location: Canmore Miner’s Union Hall

May is Sexual Violence Awareness Month in Alberta. This month, let’s challenge norms and break down barriers. Inspired by the film Boys will be Themselves… If We Let Them, our next Community Conversation invites you to an open discussion on healthy masculinities and what it means to be a man in today’s world.

Our hope? To create safety and belonging for all gender expressions. Join us as we spark a rich conversation aimed at creating a more informed, empathetic, and supportive Bow Valley working toward a future free from sexual violence.

All are welcome to attend this community conversation, regardless of ability, race, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, religion, nationality, age, ethnicity, or language. 

Community Conversations is designed so that each person feels safe and empowerd, and valued and respected for their contributions. 

Registration at is required by Friday May 24.

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