Consent Event Symposium

Rose Napoli and Ellie Moon - photos by Dahlia Katz

Nightwood is thrilled to expand the conversation beyond the walls of the theatre to discuss issues of consent, desire and sexuality in a gathering of experts and community in the Consent Event Symposium on October 15 from 1:00-4:00pm at Streetcar Crowsnest.

In a world where children and youth are exposed to sexual content via media and cellphones – and incidents of sexual assault and rape in social situations and on campus are all too prevalent, we need to have discussions around what constitutes consent and healthy sexual relationships. How do we speak to women and girls, men and boys about these issues?

Facilitated by Catherine Hernandez, and featuring a diverse group of experts and activists, the Symposium will engage participants with two panels – Get Consent and Sex Talk – along with a candid conversation with Consent Event playwrights Ellie Moon of Asking for It and Rose Napoli of Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells).

Covering a multitude of perspectives, panelists for Get Consent include Deepa Mattoo, Director of Legal Services at Barbra Schlifer Clinic; Wendy De Souza, ReAct Youth Program Coordinator at METRAC; Carly Boyce, MSW, a freelance facilitator working in the areas of body autonomy, queer sexual health, trauma and consent; and Alexander Waddling, grassroots organizer engaging young men and boys on gender equality issues, and founder of Ride For A Dream. Matched with this, our Sex Talk panel explores human relationships from a sex-positive perspective. Panelists include: award-winning speaker Dr. Jessica O’Reilly (Dr. Jess), sexologist; Carlyle Jansen, Founder of Good for Her; and Andrew Gurza, host of Disability After Dark, shining light on Sex and Disability.

These potent conversations will be captured visually by artist and illustrator, Izzy Treyvaud, while therapist Alexia Dyer will be on hand to offer support to attendees during the event.

Presented in conjunction with our Consent Event Series: Asking for It, by Ellie Moon, and Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells), by Rose Napoli.

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Facilitator: Catherine Hernandez
Catherine Hernandez is a proud queer woman of colour, radical mother, activist, theatre practitioner, writer and the Artistic Director of b current performing arts. Her plays include The Femme Playlist (b current, Eventual Ashes and Sulong Theatre), Singkil, (fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company in association with Factory Theatre), Eating with Lola (Sulong Theatre and Next Stage Festival, first developed by fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre), Kilt Pins (Sulong Theatre) and Future Folk (collectively written by the Sulong Theatre Collective, produced by Theatre Passe Muraille). Her children’s book M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book was published by Flamingo Rampant. Scarborough  (Arsenal Pulp Press) is Catherine’s first full-length fiction; it received the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers’ Award and has recently been shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards.


Carly Boyce
Carly is a white genderqueer femme witch-for-hire and freelance workshop facilitator in Toronto, mostly working on body autonomy, queer sexual health, trauma survivorship, and keeping people alive. She was a founding member of the residence project, a peer education project focusing on consent, sexuality, and gender in the McGill University residence system, and has been doing front-line survivor support for fifteen years. Carly is an active member of Toronto’s leatherdyke community, teaching workshops on such things as consent negotiation for shy perverts, and dislodging desires from dominant narratives. They flag black and purple on the right, and houndstooth on the left. Find out more at, or follow them on Twitter @tiny_lantern or Instagram @tinylanterntarot

Wendy De Souza
Wendy De Souza has been working with vulnerable youth for over 10 years as a Youth Advocate in marginalized communities across Toronto. As the Youth Program Coordinator at METRAC, she runs multiple after school programs and conducts hundreds of workshops a year around healthy relationships and consent in action. She uses popular education and an arts-based approach to connect today’s normalization of violence against women in the media to larger historical systemic forms of violence while supporting youth in discovering their potential to be advocates of change in today’s world.

Deepa Mattoo
Deepa Mattoo is Director of Legal Services at the Schlifer Clinic and Community Leadership in Justice Fellow at Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Deepa is a passionate defender of women’s rights to safety, access to justice and self-determination. Deepa is an alumnus of the Leader of Change program from Maytree Foundation and recipient of Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award.  She has over 19 years of experience in providing legal services, public education, advocacy and not-for-profit governance. Deepa has been involved with various projects related to migrant rights and gender violence globally. She has worked on multiple projects related to Forced Marriages and so-called “Honour Based Violence,” and has become a resident expert on the family violence issues.

Alexander Waddling
Alexander Waddling is a grassroots organizer engaging young men and boys on gender equality issues. In 2012, he established Ride For A Dream, an organization that has facilitated various forms of fundraising, educational, and awareness-raising events that address gender inequality in Canada through an intersectional lens. The largest campaign they have conducted was an educational speaking tour by bicycle from coast to coast, over 8,400 kilometers, while fundraising for local shelters for women escaping violence. He is also involved in municipal politics, cycling advocacy, and peer mentorship. More recently, he has co-organized a project called the Meatless Manifesto to educate on factory farming and subsequent ecological impact, animal rights, and the sexual politics of eating meat, with the intent of engaging men in particular.


Facilitator: Margaret Evans, Crow’s Theatre Associate Producer

Ellie Moon – Asking for It
Ellie Moon is an actor and writer. As an actor, she has worked on stages in Canada and Britain, including Soulpepper in Toronto and The Bush and Tristan Bates in London, UK, as well as in TV, film, and radio. Ellie was an invited member of the RSC Graduate Actor Young Company Workshops in 2015 and won the John Hartley Emerging Artist Prize (UK) the same year. Asking for It was developed in 2016, in Crow’s inaugural documentary theatre unit. A public workshop of the play was presented by Crow’s Theatre in partnership with Why Not Theatre; and further support for the development of the play was provided by The National Arts Centre. Ellie is currently developing a new play as part of Tarragon’s 2017-18 playwriting unit and developing a feature film with Fab Filippo. Ellie founded the Secret Shakespeare Series in 2016 and has produced each installment of the charitable project.

Rose Napoli – Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells)
Rose is a Toronto-based playwright and actress. She is a two-time participant in the Banff/Citadel Professional Theatre Program and has worked in theatres across the country. Selected acting credits include: Juliet in Romeo & Juliet (Citadel Theatre/St. Lawrence Shakespeare, Capital Critics Nomination), Jamie in The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh (Roseneath Theatre), Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage/Citadel Theatre) and The Fan (Odyssey Theatre, Rideau Nomination). As a playwright, Rose debuted her first play, Oregano, at the Storefront Theatre in 2015. She has been a member of playwright units with Nightwood Theatre, Thousand Islands Playhouse and Tarragon Theatre. Her plays include: Ten Creative Ways to Dispose of Your Cremains, Lo (Or Dear Mr. Wells) and Shrew (A Big Fat Italian Comedy Inspired by William Shakespeare).


Andrew Gurza
Andrew Gurza is a Disability Awareness Consultant and Cripple Content Creator whose written work has been featured in Huffington Post, The Advocate, Everyday Feminism, Mashable, and, as well as several anthologies. He has guested on Tristan Taormino’s Sex Out Loud Podcast, Dawn Serra’s Sex Gets Real Podcast and Dan Savage’s Savage Lovecast Podcast.  He is also the host of the DisabilityAfterDark Podcast: The Premiere Podcast Shining Light on Sex and Disability available on all podcast platforms. Andrew resides in Toronto, Canada. You can find out more about his work at or connect with him on Twitter @andrewgurza.

Carlyle Jansen
Carlyle Jansen is the founder of Good For Her, Toronto’s premiere sexuality shop and workshop centre. She has been talking to people about sex for over 20 years: teaching at numerous universities and sexuality and health conferences as well as teaching workshops at Good For Her since it opened in 1997; She also has trained sex educators and therapists, and offers private coaching, as well as making multiple media appearances. Passionate about helping people reach their sexual potential, Jansen guides participants toward an understanding of the complexity of our individual sexuality, and offers simple ideas and down-to-earth practical techniques that can transform a challenge into a new and exciting opportunity. Published works include Sex Yourself: The Woman’s Guide to Mastering Masturbation and Achieving Powerful Orgasms and Anal Sex Basics.

Dr. Jessica O’Reilly (Dr. Jess)
Dr. Jess is an award-winning speaker who has worked with thousands of couples from all over the world to transform their relationships via her Marriage As A Business program. Passionate about accessible, classroom-based education, her doctoral research focused on sexual health and relationship education. When she isn’t travelling the globe for speaking engagements, she volunteers with students, teachers and social service organizations to empower young people to embrace healthy, happy relationships. Jess is a regular contributor to Women’s Health, Men’s Fitness, SELF, Cosmopolitan, Showtime and The Movie Network; and she’s the host of the hit reality series Swing, which just finished its fifth season on PlayboyTV and features her insights on couples’ issues.

Therapist/counsellor on duty: Alexia Dyer
Alexia (Lex) Dyer is a therapist and mediator who, for the past eighteen years, has been committed to advocating for others, community building, and supporting healing and growth. Alexia moved from Winnipeg to Toronto to pursue a degree in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education with a research focus on racialized sexual violence and the need to decolonize social service practices. Her work is informed by her lived experience and professional roles as a sexual assault trauma counsellor, social justice educator, and youth counsellor. She holds a certificate in Restorative Justice from SFU, is a student at the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy and is the director of SoJust Circle. Alexia identifies as a queer, white settler.

Artist on duty, illustrating the discussion: Izzy Treyvaud
Izzy Treyvaud is a multimedia visual artist practicing and studying in Toronto. They are in the process of completing their Bachelors Degree in fine art with a major in visual art after having graduated from Sheridan College with an advanced diploma from the Visual and Creative Arts program. Izzy’s work focuses on establishing an emotional connection between artist and audience, their artwork being the bridge between the two. Izzy has experience in a multitude of mediums, often searching for new and innovative ways to combine and implement these mediums to best suit the individual expression of each artwork.


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