Big West Rotaract is Multi District Information Organization in Rotary International with districts ranging from Hawaii to Arizona to Alaska and British Columbia. It offers both an Institute every July for incoming board members, president elects, and governor elects, and a conference every October/November in various locations.

This year’s fall conference, hosted in Vancouver, B.C., had a theme of sustainability. The conference programs were completely digital and we were provided reusable water bottles to reduce waste. The sustainability theme was appropriate because Vancouver is one of the greenest cities in North America.

Speakers from all over British Columbia and the West Coast presented about various community projects, including

  • Write to Read, which provides books and libraries and firefighting capabilities to the First Nations (indigenous peoples) of British Columbia.
  • Honouring Indigenous People or HIP, which is very similar to Write to Read;
  • Starfish Backpack Program, which provides backpacks with two-day’s worth of meals for a single person to more than 15,000 children in Abbotsford, BC;
  • H2OpenDoors, Laureates and Leaders, and The Ubuntu Lab, all organizations focusing on bringing peace to the world.
  • Break-out sessions ranged from topics of personal financing, self compassion, Rotaract branding, conflict transformation, and the Rotaract Movement.

According to Mary Hoskins: “The Conference offered an amazing experience from learning about projects to exploring the beautiful city of Vancouver.”