, Saskatchewan enjoyed its first SHAFT conference, the Shift to Reason Conference.
By all accounts, the conference was a great success, so the organizers are planning a sequel in 2018.
Right now a crowd-funding campaign is underway to raise $5,000 to cover the booking costs for the conference. They’re already over 10% of the way, so contribute if you can and pass the GoFundMe link along to other people you think might be interested.
The conference is connected to The Brainstorm Podcast, easily one of the best SHAFT podcasts in Canada. I’m not entirely sure what the relation is – whether the conference is being organized by the podcast, or whether the both the podcast and conference are organized by the same group – but in any case, you can probably keep updated on the conference by following the podcast… which is worth doing anyway. It’s probably the least polished and least professional-sounding Canadian SHAFT podcast… but that’s part of its charm; it’s a group of hosts and sometimes guests who really know their stuff, and who usually have thoughtful, intellectual discussions about it… but who occasionally get distracted for a couple minutes here and there by a really funny dick joke or some other amusing sidetrack. As they say, they’ve got the explicit tag for a reason.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any more information about the conference to share with you yet – no idea about potential speakers, location, date, or anything like that. When more information is available, I’ll be sure to pass it along. Otherwise, as I mentioned, check with the Brainstorm Podcast.
Canadian conferences are very important for Canadian secularism, humanism, atheism, and freethought, so this is definitely something worth supporting. And Saskatchewan has been big in the news recently – with things like the Theodore decision that made public funding of non-Catholic students at Catholic schools illegal and Brad Wall invoking the notwithstanding clause to protect separate school funding – so there should be quite a lot to talk about. If the conference does happen, then judging by the 2016 conference and the general quality of the podcast, it should be an awesome conference.