The haunting, sometimes agonizing, stories of trafficked girls and women play out on stage as three wildly incompatible individuals—a social activist nun, a neurotic writer, and an out-of-work film director— grapple with how to stage a production about global sex trafficking. The trio argue, voice their doubts, and struggle with their own darkness.
Written by Catherine Cunningham-Huston & directed by Catherine Cunningham-Huston and Kim Fournier.
THE WALK premiered at the 2011 Ottawa Fringe Festival, where it won “Best in Venue.” An expanded version of the play was produced, again to sell-out audiences, in 2012 at Ottawa’s Natalie Stern Theatre. The play was adapted for audio in both English and French for Public Safety Canada’s TruckSTOP Campaign and distributed in CD format to truckstops across Canada. Kelowna audiences had a sample of the show in 2016, when it was presented as a staged reading fundraiser for the Women’s Shelter.
The 2020 production will include new scenes to reflect the current trafficking of teens in Canada as well as the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
The show runs:
February 19 to 23, 2020 inclusive, Wednesday through Sunday and
February 26 to 29, 2020 inclusive Wednesday through Saturday
Karis Support Society will be the featured charity on Friday, February 21st! Please come on down and support us as a percentage from the sale of the tickets on this night will be donated to Karis.
Each performance will start at 7:30 pm, with the exception of February 23, which will be a matinee starting at 2:00 pm. The After-Show will begin immediately following each performance.
The Toolbox Theatre (home of Theatre Kelowna) located in the Rotary Centre for the Arts. The After-Show is located in the Alex Fong Gallery (the hallway/display area immediately outside the theatre doors) Ticket prices are very economical at $15 students and seniors and $20 adults.
The objective of mounting this production is to bring awareness to the issue of Human Trafficking and to highlight local and locally-based organizations which are addressing this abuse. A number of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are targeted within the scope of this event: Goal #5 Gender Equality; #10 Reduced Inequalities; #16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities; #1 No Poverty; #3 Good Health and Well-being.
THE WALK is being produced through a partnership of with thanks to the City of Kelowna & Dept. of Canadian Heritage.
We’ve received a nomination in the category of Best Local Charity for #bestofkelowna 2019. We require at least five nominations in a given category to be eligible for the voting round. We would be honored if you would consider nominating us for Best Local Charity!
These awards highlight what we do and how we contribute to addiction and recovery services in our community.
Thanks to the fine folks at Disney who just donated a few computers, we now have a computer lab here at Karis. It was an incredible gift and has allowed for the women to have a place to write resumes, research, and play some games. We’re very grateful.
Bottega Farm hosted the fifth annual charity Christmas Market on Saturday, November 28th & Sunday, November 29th with all proceeds going towards Karis. A total of $16,500 was raised and we are so honoured to have such a great event helping our organization.
Over the two days, the festive market featured over 50 of the Okanagan’s finest artists & crafters including some of our very own Karis artists selling crafts and artwork.
Thanks to everyone who helped participate and we’ll see you next year!
At Karis, we have the great privilege of seeing what dedication to recovery looks like. Overcoming addiction is by no means a linear, simple journey. It is one with many challenges that require our women to dig deep. It’s about keeping on keeping on, even when growing weary or when addiction tugs.
So, no, it’s not a holiday, and it’s certainly not a walk in the park. HOWEVER. It is one-hundred percent worth it. Because do you know what overcoming addiction look like?
Let us try to paint a visual picture.
1) Renewed families
It looks like a mother and child laughing, making memories, and (most importantly) staying together! Where children are involved, Karis is dedicated to keeping mom and baby together, to keeping families together. It’s what is best for our women, their children, and the community at large. Destructive patterns can be broken. New positive trajectories can be created; you do not need to be a victim of your upbringing or trauma. We see it with our own eyes. So, please trust that it’s possible.
2) Renewed freedom
Freedom means more than just being free from addiction. It’s far broader than that. It looks like joy and renewed confidence as participants realize they are free to reintegrate into and contribute to society. It’s the glow of freedom that flushes on cheeks as participants find their true selves. It’s eyes that are free from guilt and addiction’s shackles. It’s slow walks through nature, again noticing and appreciating the little things and moments that make souls dance.
3) Renewed connection
Saying goodbye to addiction gives our women new hellos. We witness trust and meaningful connections being formed with the people of Karis as women move through the program. This sense of connection then extends into the world, both socially and professionally. Women become part of the solution by bringing their skills and clear mindset to the fore. We see the pride and the happiness that renewed connection brings.
4) Renewed love
Once the dust settles and clarity comes, we witness participants begin to love again. This love is not just extended to friends and family. There is also self-love that is taught and grows during the Karis program. We have all heard it before, but we get to see firsthand just how important self-love is in the healing process. Yes, love yourself first, and all those loved ones around you will benefit.
Karis is built on many things. It’s built on hope, dedication, resilience, bravery, and love. It’s also built on a solid foundation of individuals that come in many forms. One just needs to walk around Karis to witness the incredible staff, participants, and volunteers that give this home (because that is what it is) its uniquely warm, loving energy.
It goes without saying that our participants are some of the strongest women we know. It takes an immense amount of courage to seek help and to love yourself enough to want change not just for oneself, but in many instances, for one’s children too. To stick your head above the dense, overwhelming haze of addiction and want to better yourself and your situation is indeed courageous.
However, even the bravest of participants needs the love and dedication of our volunteers. Karis is blessed with a bustle of gallant volunteers doing their thing in, around, and for the organization. With broad smiles and big hearts, they selflessly go about changing lives through their contributions. We are eternally grateful.
Quotes from just some of our many volunteers:
“Sometimes, you win. Sometimes you learn.” – Char, Karis sparkle-maker.
Char has been a part of our Karis community for as long as we can remember. Many have met her and shared in the many jokes she loves to tell. When the pandemic hit, Karis had to close doors to so many amazing volunteers and friends, losing out on the many services our generous community provided both in class and around the building. As the months progressed, Karis needed to step up our cleaning and sanitization to keep in line with pandemic regulations and ever-changing protocols. Char stepped in, and she has been a lifesaver!
“Volunteering at Karis Support Society allows me to witness the hope, pride, and confidence the participating women gain through the guidance and compassion of the dedicated staff.” – Colleen, much loved Karis volunteer.
“I love volunteering at Karis. I love the absolute sincere, heartfelt dedication the staff feels for the women who live there. I love the bravery, strength, and determination of the women. They make me feel empowered just by being around them and knowing the challenges they have and facing. When I teach an exercise class, they make me feel that I’m making a difference. When I leave Karis, I feel joyful and empowered. I feel proud to know these brave warriors.” – Alyson, exercise class volunteer.
To each and every one of our volunteers, thank you from all of us at Karis Support Society.
Deepest gratitude to First West Foundation and the Valley First Community Endowment for the generous contribution of $10,025 towards our Parenting Recovery Program which supports mothers and young babies living in our addiction’s recovery program.
Besides this incredible contribution Valley First has also launched their #CommentsOfKindness Campaign in celebration of their 25 years of giving in our community. We would LOVE you, our supporters, participants, volunteers and friends to help us reach a further $2,500 or perhaps the final win of $25,000!
Karis Support Society’s recovery program for women is different in many ways. One of the primary differentiators is our Aftercare Program. A common misconception is that addiction can be conquered in 21 days. Ever heard the saying: “It takes 21 days to kick a habit”? While there certainly are instances where this is possible, it is rare. Full recovery from a substance use addiction takes closer to 3 years. That is why Karis Support Society is fiercely passionate about our aftercare program. We are there for our participants for the long term.
Our Aftercare Program is delivered in 3 phases:
PHASE 1: Semi-independent/ on-site aftercare
Upon achieving first stage recovery goals, participants enter into the second stage of recovery in this phase. At this point we support participants with their transition into employment, education, and independent living. We want nothing more than to see our ladies thrive in the world. With self-belief and skills learnt at Karis, success becomes an attainable reality.
PHASE 2: Off-site Aftercare
This is when our participants graduate from on-site living and fly with the wings they have grown, but still with Karis’s support. It’s where solid connections and support in the community are further fostered as participants transition into safe, appropriate, independent living. It’s where all the work towards self-belief, confidence, and clean living really begins to pay off. It’s the time where smiles replace frowns as a new, envisaged life unfolds.
PHASE 3: Alumni
Participants no longer access Aftercare services but continue to maintain their connection to Karis
through annual social events such as Easter, Celebration, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
Karis Support Society is there for those that so desperately need it. For those that want to take their lives back and live fully and wholesomely. It’s possible to be happy and live the life the little girl in you still dreams of. We’ll take your hand. You’ll feel safe and cared for. You’re not in this alone. Take the first step and keep on climbing with our help. Your strength will grow, and you will flourish. Start believing it.
Don’t look back – that’s not where you’re headed. Contact Karis Support Society today and start moving forwards, onwards, and upwards.
Karis is a not for profit that provides recovery-focused programming for women battling substance misuse. So, seeing our clients not only survive but thrive both physically and emotionally makes our hearts burst with pride. Anyone that has experienced addiction will understand the bravery it takes to seek help. Kay (name changed) is one such brave woman, and we thank her for sharing her story.
Kay’s commitment to a better life has had an exponential effect on those around her. Not only are her children thriving, but she is touching and aiding others through her teachings of meditation and spirituality group facilitator.
Testimonial by “Kay”
Date: March 17, 2021
I am so grateful to Karis Support Society for being a safe place to heal my trauma and create a new life for myself. When I went to Karis, I believed I had many psychological disorders and felt like a victim to the circumstances of my life. My self-worth was so low, and for the year prior to arriving at Karis, I was using drugs and drinking alcohol to cope with my reality. My experimentation with drugs and alcohol started at 12 years old and slowly progressed until I finally made a choice to put myself first and move to Karis.
The staff are so warm and understanding. They treated me with respect and taught me new ways to cope with my feelings. They taught me that feeling is part of life, and I am worthy of love from myself and others. They lifted me up and helped me to experience joy naturally for the first time since I was a child.
I am now married, have a second child, and my 12-year-old daughter is thriving. I teach meditation and facilitate spirituality groups and see the good in the Universe. I hike and ride my bike for joy. I no longer have any mental health issues or addictive behaviour. I have found balance and live a healthy, holistic lifestyle.
Karis allowed me to build a strong foundation for the life I have today. They truly have figured out the most graceful way to support women in recovery and with mental health issues.
Karis Support Society is a non-profit organization. We provide recovery-focused programming, counselling, and support to vulnerable, at-risk expectant women, women with babies or toddlers, women working towards reunification with their children, and single women with no dependents living in poverty, homelessness, or at-risk of homelessness.
Karis participants are women whose negative experiences have led to substance misuse or mental health challenges, negatively impacting their lives. They are now actively working on personal recovery.
Thank you to iA Financial Group and their philanthropic contest and all our amazing donors for voting for Karis … we were awarded an incredible $10,000 towards our recovery program for vulnerable and at-risk women in our community.
We stood alongside so many worthy causes across Canada and felt honoured to be awarded such a generous contribution to our cause.
Karis Support Society is honoured to be one of five community partners in the City of Kelowna to receive funding through Canada’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy, managed by the Central Okanagan Foundation.
Our commitment to long-term care and support through our residential program is helping women struggling with substance misuse, homelessness and poverty, to rebuild their lives.
“This contribution will make a significant impact for the women in our program, offering recovery-based supports, skills and resources helping them move through our program and into stable community living,” said Deborah Klassen and Geri Pauls, Co-Executive Directors of Karis Support Society.
In November 2018 we were fortunate to meet Diana Reyers when she launched her first book in the collaborative Daring to Share Global™ storytelling series.This event resonated with a few of the women in our program as it was a dream of theirs to share their stories of struggle, addiction, trauma and recovery and to become published authors.
It turned out that this project fit so perfectly with our Dream Project that we invited Diana in to meet the class and it took off from there!!Diana worked tirelessly with the women and together they created Daring to Share: Trauma to Recovery – Special Edition 2019 which was launched in September 2019.
The six authors of this Karis Special Edition are women experiencing successful recovery and they worked with Diana for 8 months to create a masterpiece collection of stories with the degree of resilience that most of us wish we had.They are not stories of addiction, but rather, stories of moving from the trauma that led them to addiction and the courage they found to move past their adversities to full recovery.
Both Karis Support Society and the Daring to Share Global™ Movement believe in the power of Love, Grace and Inclusivity and, as a result, these writers were given the chance to, not only become published authors, but intentionally pay it forward and support others through the power of inspiration by sharing their stories.
Including the Karis book, Diana Reyers has published and self-funded 3 books in the Daring to Share series through Influence Publishing. Her intention and that of each collaborative authorshe supports is only to inspire.They want to inspire others to dig deep and find the courage to take a step forward towards leading a life that is purposeful and of service while working through the cathartic writing process and all the trade-offs that appear along the way.
In just one day we accomplished the incredible victory of achieving the Amazon Top 10 Bestseller List status in the categories of Inspiration, Spirituality and Personal Transformation.
We invite you to purchase Daring to Share: Trauma to Recovery -Special Edition 2019!! By doing so, you will be supporting Karis Support Society as partial proceeds of the sale of each book are donated to the Karis Dream Project. You can find this beautiful biographical collection at Daring to Share Global™ or online at Amazon worldwide and online and instore in select Indigo Books.Be prepared to be inspired!!
We are eternally grateful to Diana for the dedicated input, love and support she gave our women and walking through this journey with them.She quite literally made all these women’s dreams come true!
Praise for Our Karis Authors and Their Amazon Bestselling Book,
Daring to Share: Trauma to Recovery – Special Edition 2019
These stories of recovery take you from a place of awe and heartbreak to grit and resilience. They inspire you to take action in your life, no matter what is going on for you, to be a better person. Those that dared to share did so with grace, humour, and great self-reflection. As tears streamed down my face, I found myself lost in the stories as they moved from darkness to light. You can find real seeds of inspiration and by just reading one story, you could bloom to a greater perspective in your own life.
~ Tamara McLellan, Humanitarian | Wild Breath, Kelowna British Columbia
The readings of these stories bring out the real in women and their traumatized journeys through life. Their courage to manage life, to belong in a place where they finally feel safe and are able to heal and move towards a new life with new meaning is remarkable. They all believe in the hope of recovery from many injuries as this book of inspiring stories shares Trauma to Recovery.
~Angie Lohr , Founder, Hope Outreach
After reading Diana’s collected stories, I felt grateful and inspired.Grateful because it is apparent that I and many others are NOTalone in our separate journeys.Inspired because each of these women stepped up to share their stories in order to provide strength and to elevate others.They confirm that each of us walks a different path but our goals and finish-lines are the same as we all seek the love and connectionthat allows us to thrive emotionally.
~ Bill Welychka, Co-host & Co-Producer of The Morning Show
on Global News Kingston, Ontario
As a fellow author (volume 1), I was excited to read these stories and was drawn in and captivated by their beautiful storytelling. It is so telling that we all experience similar emotions and times of trauma, despair and feeling lost. The courage, commitment to doing the inner work, to love one’s self is daunting at times, yet so rewarding. These women did it with strength alongside the people – earth angels – who came into their lives to help them see their full potential. Their stories will impact and make a huge difference in the lives of others.
~ Donna Fitzgerald, Collaborative Author of Daring to Share, Volume 1
Being part of the journey of this book and meeting Diana has made a huge impact on my life, bothpersonally and professionally. Until working with Diana on this particular
Dream Project, I didn’t realize how muchauthenticity was actually missingin my life. The Daring to Sharemovement gave me insight into how powerful sharing one’s story andtrue self can be. Watching Diana walking the path of authenticity with our women inrecovery has been an inspiration.She is strong, stands in hertruth and yet has such great love and care for these women. She guidedthem to create the most amazing stories of truth they can be proud ofand I feel so privileged to have been a part of this whole movement.
Head of Fundraising, Karis Support Society
Project Coordinator of The Dream Project; Daring to Share
From the first in-class writing session Diana held with the women in our addictions recovery program she created a professional and transparent mentoring relationship with the women. This relationship has proven to be necessary as each writer entered their own personal and vulnerable journey of expression though writing. The creative experience that Diana has guided these women through has produced curiosity, purpose and hope resulting in a rich therapeutic journey. Anticipation is rising as we move closer to the release of this publication and the stories that will undoubtedly impact each reader.
~ Deborah Klassen, Co-Executive Director Karis Support Society
Praise for Our Karis Authors and Their Amazon Bestselling Book,
Daring to Share: Trauma to Recovery – Special Edition 2019
In September our women took part in a 5 week horse assisted therapy program with Lightbulb Coaching which was an incredible experience for all of them!
Working with horses is known to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing with an influence on anxiety, PTSD and depression.
We are grateful to the following sponsors who made this opportunity possible for the women in our recovery program … Dr Alex Wales of Wales of Wales Equine Vet Services, Kelowna Christian Reformed Church and Mission Rotary Club.