Peer Gatherings 2020


Friends for Life and Pacific AIDS Network are partnering to share costs and opportunities for 2 distinct events for people with HIV and/or with lived experience of hepatitis C. Pacific AIDS Network is managing applications for these two events.

Dates: March 10 and 11, 2020

Location: Civic Hotel (13475 Central Ave, Surrey, BC), on the unceded traditional territory of the Semiahmoo, Katzie Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen First Nations.


Event 1 – Friends for Life’s Women’s Wellness and Leadership Celebration (March 10, 2020)

This event is presented by Friends for Life and is for women living with HIV and/or lived experience of hepatitis C who have applied for or received Women’s Wellness and Leadership Project funds from Friends For Life.  For program information, please contact Friends for Life. Women applying for the Friends for Life event may also apply for the Pacific AIDS Network event on Day 2.


Event 2 – PAN’s Stories of Lived Experience (March 11, 2020)

Event 2 – PAN’s Stories of Lived Experience (March 11, 2020) The Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) Stories of Lived Experience (SoLE) will take people with lived experience of HIV and/or lived experience of hepatitis C into an exciting new space for community building. We are bringing together peers to talk about leadership in all aspects of life, as well as the issues that arise from their lived experiences, both honouring differences and discovering similarities.

For those who have attended the people living with HIV Forum at PAN Fall Conferences in years past, this is a step beyond: a place to welcome those with HIV and/or lived experience of hepatitis C to learn and support each other in health and growth. There will also be peer storytelling, and a chance to understand, inform and get involved with PAN’s work. A draft program will be posted to this page as it becomes available.

This is a learning event for us all: program planners at PAN (the planning team started by calling it Symposium of Lived Experience, and realized that didn’t capture the feeling we wanted), as well as attendees. We are excited about what this event will teach us, and how to move these important connections and conversations forward.


Please read this information carefully before making an application 

Information collected via the application form is confidential and will be used solely for the purpose of determining attendance, evaluation purposes and for post-event follow up by the event sponsors.


Creating a Safe Environment for All

We expect this event will bring together people who have met at events before and new faces making their way to a peer gathering for the first time. We ask, but don’t demand, that people share their experiences with the group and trust each individual will decide whether that is in large or small group discussion. We do require that everyone agree to our Group Safety Guidelines and make sure to respect their fellow attendees’ privacy and confidentiality at, and following the event when attendees return to their home communities. There is a gender neutral washroom available.


Who Decides Who Gets to Attend?

Friends for Life and Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) each have committees made up of people with lived experience of HIV and/or lived experience of hepatitis C, as well as members of the event planning committees. Friends for Life and PAN and will review applications for their respective events. Once the selections have been made applicants will be notified via email of application status.

The deadline for submitting an application is Monday, February 3, at 4 PM. Applicants will be informed of their status by Monday February 10, 2020.


Registration and Event Meals Sponsorship

All those who are accepted will be provided with free registration for the day(s) of their event, and breakfast and lunch on the days for which they are accepted. Dinners are the responsibility of individual delegates (although there will be a light reception after the Friend for Life Event on March 10). In exchange for this free registration all participants agree to complete post event evaluations.


Hotel Scholarship

Funds for these events is limited, and accommodation scholarships will be awarded on a case-by-case basis. People living within the Lower Mainland will NOT be awarded hotel scholarships unless they cannot reasonably travel in by transit or car on the morning of their event. The event is taking place in a central location to make it as accessible as possible for as many as possible.

People who do receive an accommodation scholarship will be eligible for one room night per day. There will be no charge for shared rooms but if you request a single room, the cost is $100.00 per night and payment is required at the event registration table before you check into your hotel room.


Travel Subsidy (flight, car, bus, transit and/or ferry)

Funds for these events is limited, and travel scholarships will be awarded on a case-by-case basis. Those requesting travel subsidy will be contacted for further information. Do not make any arrangements until you are contacted about the status of your application on February 10, 2020. Applicants approved for subsidy are expected to make their own arrangements for travel, including flights, and then apply for reimbursement AFTER the event and all travel has been completed.

For those who receive approval for travel subsidies, please note that only the BASE PRICE of an economy flight or ferry passage will be reimbursed. Additional charges are the responsibility of the individual. This includes, but isn’t limited to, baggage costs, changes to reservations, cancellation, and other fees.

We will also reimburse accepted applicant’s mileage at $0.48 per kilometer, but only to the equivalent cost of the BASE PRICE of an economy flight from that community.

If you are travelling by transit or a commercial coach line, we will also reimburse these expenses.

  • Reimbursement forms will be available at the registration desk onsite.
  • Expense claims received after 14 days following the event WILL NOT BE REIMBURSED.
  • Travel receipts and boarding passes, where available, will be required with your reimbursement submission.
  • Costs for cancelled or altered bus and/or ferry travel will not be reimbursed.


Childcare Subsidy

Applications can be made for a childcare subsidy up to a maximum of $50 per day. Childcare subsidy requests will require a letter with name of event, date(s) of care, and signature of childcare provider. You must submit the letter, along with a reimbursement form, for payment. Reimbursement forms will be available at the registration desk onsite. Expense claims received after 14 days following the event WILL NOT BE REIMBURSED.


Cancellation and No Show Policy

All attendees are responsible for notifying the event registrar (contact information below) of any cancellations 5 business days in advance of their scheduled arrival (i.e., by March 3) in order to avoid billing for event costs, food, and/or accommodation costs. In the event that a person does not arrive at the hotel for this training (a no-show) the committee will invoice the accepted applicant for accommodation costs (where applicable) and a registration fee to cover program, venue and meal costs.


If you have further questions before applying, please contact:
Simon Goff, Event Registrar
Executive Assistant and Collective Impact Network Coordinator
Pacific AIDS Network
Tel: 250.891.5249
Email: [email protected]


Please ensure you have thoroughly read the travel and accommodation information, the cancellation and no-show policy and the expense reimbursement guidelines before going to application page.  Also, by applying you are giving your agreement to adhere to our Group Safety Guidelines for the benefit of all.  Thank you!

Go to application page


Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash