Cultivating JOY

Celebrating 20 years!

October 21


The Gathering 2022 focused on the power of JOY – how we use it to connect to each other and strengthen our organizations and movements.




The Gathering 2022 was a momentous event – over 325 community builders came together in Winnipeg to collaborate, learn, connect, and celebrate.

The Gathering has been hosted for a milestone 20 years, originally a project of CCEDNet Manitoba and United Way Winnipeg. Now, CCEDNet Manitoba hosts the event with support from a group of fantastic community leaders from a variety of organizations.

This was the first in-person Gathering since the start of the pandemic, and our time together focused on the power of JOY – how we use it to connect to each other and strengthen our community building organizations and movements.

The opening plenary speakers collectively centered us in this year’s theme – Cultivating Joy – with personal stories and reflections. Elder Mae Louise Campbell led a blessing for the day, and offered us a pathway of healing, through laughter, joy and letting go. Michael Redhead Champagne began with his favourite joke which led into a challenge of “walking the CED talk”, and change from deficit-based measurements to measuring our strengths. Karen Sharma shared her personal journey of being saved by QPOC Winnipeg, and encouraged us to live joyful lives by centering in community, culture, spirit, and language. Katie Daman closed the morning session, earnestly sharing about being realistic in the moment we’re in – a time of low joy and high martyrdom – and to seek ways to build up your spirit – through community, therapy, and ceremony. We are thankful for the knowledge and joy shared by each of the morning speakers. 

Our collective learning continued with two workshop opportunities during the day. Workshops were presented by local community builders, focusing on a wide range of joy-centered topics – resiliency through storytelling, presenting / naming value, reconciliation through housing, building community through basketball, joy through mindfulness – as well as learning opportunities including non-traditional / social finance, co-ops 101, data visualization, mental health rights, and social procurement. Participants learned from panels and presentations, from small group sharing, and through community building board games.

The celebratory nature of JOY shone during our afternoon plenary. It was an opportunity to network with others while creating a piece of a collective art project and revel in the full expression of self through a performance by The Sunshine Bunch Drag Queens.

ArtsJunktion gathered our paper squares about what brings us joy and created this quilt.

Throughout the day, we saw JOY in the faces of people reconnecting, in the moments of new connections made, in the opportunity to rest, in the tears, and in the laughter. During this time of change, challenge, and extremes, we look to our shared purpose and vision as a source of hope. We look to the power of JOY to sustain us.

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