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Registration is now open for the 2019 Sex in the City Conference!


About Us

The Sex in the City Conference is presented by Compass Centre for Sexual Wellness to provide space for professionals across the health-care, education, and social work fields as well as community members to learn new skills and updated information regarding best practices in sexual wellness. The goal of this conference is for individuals to leave with a larger capacity to support and educate folks within marginalized communities.

The theme for this years conference is "Supporting Communities in Sexual Health". The facilitators of this conference intend for attendees to leave the conference with the tools, skills and understanding to better support communities regarding Women’s Sexual Health, LGBTQIA2S+ Sexual Health, and Sexual Health and Disabilities. 

This event will cover workshops regarding: Sex and Disabilities, Gender Diverse Folks and Sexuality, Pelvic Floor Exercises, Sex Positivity and How to be Approachable, and Kink Aware Professionals.  

For more information about Compass or the Sex in the City Conference, please email or call 780-423-3737 

2019 Presenters

Tracy Bear
Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Director, Indigenous Women’s Resilience Project Faculty of Native Studies & Department of Women’s Gender Studies
A Cree scholar from Montreal Lake First Nation, Tracy is an Assistant Professor cross-appointed with the Faculty of Native Studies and Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. Her PhD dissertation: Power in My Blood: Corporeal Sovereignty Through a Praxis of Indigenous Eroticanalysis won the Governor General Gold Medal award in 2016. She was the Academic Lead and Professor of Record on the hugely successful Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called Indigenous Canada (which now has almost 30,000 online learners). Her research areas are rooted in decolonial methodologies often found within Indigenous Studies, specifically, she engages in the areas of: Indigenous Erotics & Eroticanalysis; Indigenous Feminism, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Sovereignty, Land & Body Politics; and Contemporary Indigenous Art.
Jessica Blake
M. ED. Registered Psychologist
Jessica Blake is a Registered Psychologist, with a special interest in Human Sexuality. She completed both her undergraduate thesis and master’s level thesis in Human Sexuality, specializing in the "fringes" of Human Sexual Experience, including but not limited to, Swinging & Non-Monogamy, Kink, Fetish, & BDSM, LGBTQ+ & Sexual Minorities, and Gender Diverse individuals. She is currently completing her Certified Sex Therapist designation, and a master’s level certificate in Sexual Health. Jessica strives to blend her professional and academic knowledge, with her own personal and life experience, to create a unique perspective that is contemplative, reflective, and provoking.
Nicola Fairbrother
Director - Neighbourhood Bridges
 Nicola Fairbrother is the Principal with Fairbrother Consulting and Director of Neighborhood Bridges, a human rights organization committed to supporting the citizenship of people with intellectual disabilities in Edmonton, Alberta. Her community based research includes, most recently, Team Leader with the Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada ( where she was responsible for the collection of survivor testimonies from victims of Alberta’s Sexual Sterilization Act and survivors of current eugenic practices. Most recently she has expanded her work with a foray into filmmaking and is co-director of the documentary film ‘Surviving Eugenics’ released though Moving Images Distributors in 2015.

Along with the Neighborhood Bridges Community she has spent the last 10 years exploring what citizenship looks like for parents who have intellectual disabilities and people who are co-morbid with dual diagnosis and severe trauma histories. Together this community has used human rights models, research, community activism and community development projects to challenge the broader community to see disability as part of natural human variation.

Brian Parker
PhD, EdD, AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator
Brian is a highly respected sexologist and sex educator with a Ph.D. from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. He is a counsellor and educator with Compass Centre for Sexual Wellness. Over the past 18 years, Brian has taught sexual health education to over 100,000 students in numerous colleges, universities, and junio/senior high schools. His humorous, interactive, and informative presentations are often regarded as the ’highlight of the school year’. Brian has also trained sexual health professionals from post-secondary institutions, health authorities, government agencies, and the non-profit sector across Canada.
Angel Sumka
BA-PSYC, Sex Coach, Sex Positive Consultant
Angel Sumka is one of the original founders of ASPECC. She is unapologetic about being kinky, an exhausted feminist, and a passionate advocate for consent and sex positivity.
Mary Wood
Inspired by the Latin word for healing, and fueled by a genuine passion for orthopedic and pelvic health, Mary Wood opened CURA Physical Therapies in 2003. With a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from the University of Alberta, she remains as passionate about her practice now as when she started.
Mary is actively involved with the Pain Society of Alberta, Alberta Council of Professionals for Sexual Health and Pelvic Health Physiotherapists. She is a member of a number of national and International groups. she also maintains an active treatment practice of her own.


Red Erotic: The Fall and Rise of Indigenous Erotics
Presenter: Tracy Bear
In the realm of Indigenous erotics, re-imagining encompasses acts of nonconformity, resistance, and subversion. These are alternative ways of envisioning the past, present and future. Indigenous writers and artists are generating new landscapes, and new possibilities of “Indigenous subjectivity, sociality, and spatiality … a process of creating newness from existing materials, seemingly out of nowhere” (Rifkin 99). While Rifkin states these new possibilities come from seemingly ‘nowhere’, there is in fact, a rich Indigenous archive from which to draw from and these landscapes are the collective Indigenous identity stemming from individual and collective experiences of Indigenous people. Re-imaginings do not conform to the current logics of settler colonial power; they resist the colonial ‘managing’ of Indians by the Indian Act and avoid impositions of legal definitions of our selves. Re-imaginings are also subversive actions taken up by Indigenous authors to disrupt colonial stereotypes. This talk presents Indigenous erotics as a state of re-imagining the corporeal coalescence of our sexualities, genders, histories, memories and emotions, and functions as a powerful decolonizing mechanism.
So How Many Genders and Orientations Can You Name? - The intersection and divergence of sexual orientation and self-identity; from a therapeutic perspective and why it’s important
Presenter: Jessica Blake
Many therapists still feel at a loss when working with, and understanding the unique challenges that come with working with LGBTQ+ individuals, sexual minorities, Trans Folks, and Gender Diverse Individuals. Additionally, many therapists report they are afraid of making errors or appearing to be un-knowledgeable when faced with labels, terms, and definitions they are unfamiliar with.
This presentation is to help differentiate between Orientation and Identity (And why this is important), as well as, providing background and scope regarding many common and not so common terms you may be faced with. Lastly, this presentation will cover some challenges and successes when working in these areas from a therapeutic stand point, to help facilitate positive outcomes for both clinician and client.
Being a Sex-Positive and Approachable Professional
Presenter: Dr. Brian Parker
Join sexologist Dr. Brian Parker as he guides you through a series of exercises to help you become a sex-positive and approachable professional. This interactive workshop will give participants the opportunity to explore their own values and beliefs around sexuality and give tips to talking to youth and adults about sexual health. Dr. Parker will also discuss the importance of sex-positivity and how to be approachable when working with people in the area of sexual health.
This workshop is applicable to anyone looking to improve their comfort level working with clients and their sexual health. This workshop is suitable to individuals in the helping professions including; teachers, nurses, doctors, youth workers, physiotherapists, and social workers.
Kink Aware Professionals
Presenter: Angel Sumka

This certificate-based workshop and discussion is led by our resident sex positive consultant, Angel Sumka (BA-PSYC). Angel has presented this workshop at several health conferences and organizations throughout Western Canada.  Attendees will learn about Kink and BDSM, (what it is, common terminology, typical activities), the cultural roots behind attitudes and values regarding sex, gender, and sexuality, and then explore the various frameworks often used by folk practicing these activities.

The objective of this workshop is to present information to professionals in a shame-free, straight forward manner, in hopes of  decreasing barriers to services, and increasing the resiliency of individuals who engage in alternative lifestyles and relationship practices. When time is available, discussions regarding these barriers, as well as strategies for differentiating between healthy alternative relationships and abusive/toxic ones is included.

Sex and Disabilities
Presenter: Nicola Fairbrother
This 1 hour interactive presentation will provide participants with context relating to the right to Love and the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities. It will explore the intersection between Alberta’s history of sexual sterilization and institutionalization of people with developmental disabilities and the implications for healthy relationships and sexual expression today. Participants will explore how our perception of disability impacts love, marriage, sexual identity and parenting in a population of people often not seen as sexual at all.
Pelvic Health, Physio’s Perspective on Sex and Menopause; Sexercises and Other Body Secrets
Presenter: Mary Wood
Menopause is known as the "Second Spring" in Oriental Cultures and a positive time for females to blossom and grow. Yet in North America, females hear primarily the negative of the "Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause", the loss of sexuality and sexual function. in this 60 minute session learn more about the physical changes during this stage of life and what all females should know to have the sex they desire. The session will focus on strategies to minimize the negative, improving each person’s awareness of their own body and sexercises (including pelvic floor muscle training).

 Thanks to Birdies for Kids, all 2019 Sponsorships are matched 50% to let                                          sponsorship dollars go further and reach more people.

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