BC CommA

Do you belong to the communities of self-identified gay, bi, queer (GBQ) men, and gender diverse people that HIM servesAre you an artist or content creator passionate about the health of your communities? Want a paid opportunity to learn online, create content, and share it with the masses? If so, it sounds like the BC CommA 2021 program is the right fit for you!  

About BC Community Advocates (BC CommA)

BC Community Advocates (BC CommA) is an annual program that aims to keep community members up-to-date on the latest in gay, bi, queer (GBQ) men, and gender diverse people’s health. Each year, BC CommA participants are invited to attend the Summit (an annual two-day knowledge exchange and capacity building conference on gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit, and queer (GBT2Q) health)) and participate in workshops and gatherings unique to CommAParticipants build relationships with each other and professionals in the field. They exchange knowledge and resources relating to how they can engage with and support the wellbeing of their queer communities effectively.  

BC CommA 2021

Following the successes of BC COMMA 2020’s virtual format, BC CommA and the Summit 2021 will be online this year to help flatten the curve and ensure the safety of the participants. 

For BC CommA 2021, we are seeking artists and content creators to attend at least two online Summit 2021 sessions exploring specific topics related to the health and wellbeing of queer communities. Participants will then create a piece of content inspired by what they’ve learned which will be shared widely online. And we’d love for one of those people to be you!  

With the ongoing closure of live theatres, art galleries, and the art industry throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that now more than ever, artists need meaningful platform to express, and sustain themselves. During the unprecedented time in the art industry, BC CommA is seeking artists and content creators for a paid opportunity to attend at least two of the online Summit sessionsArtists and content creators will then create a work or content inspired by something you’ve learned that has resonated with you. It is our hope to empower the local communities through informed and meaningful art and media content.  

If you’re an artist or content creator who’s interested in a paid opportunity to learn about the wellbeing of your communities online, create content, and have us share it with the masses, then fill out this quick application form! 



  • Identify as a part-time, or full-time artist (e.g.: photographer, actor, poet, illustrator, drag performer) and/or content creator (e.g.: YouTubers, Tik Tokers, Instagram Influencers); 
  • Self-identify as a member of the communities of gay, bi, queer (GBQ) men, and gender diverse people;  
  • Live in British Columbia; 
  • Be 19 years of age or older; 
  • Passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of you queer communities!

Not sure you are eligible? Shoot us an email at bccomma@checkhimout.ca and we’ll get back to you ASAP. 



What are we asking you to do? 

  • Attend online orientation(s) where you will learn about what to expect attending the online Summit and meet with program participants. [Mid-October] 
  • Attend at least two online Summit sessions live. [Wednesday October 27th– Friday 29th, 2021] 
  • Create a piece of content inspired by the session you attended (to be shared alongside a short interview) [to be completed by December and shared online in January] 
  • Participate in two to three debrief/evaluation sessions [November 2021-January 2022] 


What will you receive for your contributions? 

  • Compensation: All BC CommA participants will receive a $250 honorarium in recognition of their time, talent, and efforts.  
  • Expense Reimbursement: the BC COMMA 2021 participants will be reimbursed up to $250 to cover eligible/pre-approved content creation costs (i.e. canvas for painters, honoraria for models/performers). Receipts required for reimbursement. 
  • Exposure: HIM and its partners will promote your creation via social media across the country. 
  • Support: You’ll have direct support from a HIM staff member or one of our partners to help see you through each step of the process.  

Any questions about the eligibility or commitment, please email Louis Lin at bccomma@checkhimout.ca  

How to apply? / Common FAQs

How to apply? 

Fill out this quick online application!  

Applications will be opened until October 6th, while reviewed by a committee and informed of selections by mid-October.  

Any questions about the eligibility or commitment, please email Louis Lin at bccomma@checkhimout.ca 


Who can apply? 

  • Identify as a part-time, or full-time artist (e.g.: photographer, actor, poet, illustrator, drag performer) and/or content creator (e.g.: YouTubers, Tik Tokers, Instagram Influencers); 
  • Self-identify as a member of the communities of gay, bi, queer (GBQ) men, and gender diverse people; 
  • Live in British Columbia; 
  • Be 19 years of age or older; 
  • Passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of you queer communities! 


What is the Summit? 

The Summit is an annual knowledge exchange and capacity building conference on gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit, and queer (GBT2Q) health. Since 2005, the Summit has brought together researchers, service providers, community members and organizations to present the latest in GBT2Q health. 

This year, the Summit is focusing on disrupting and reconstructing. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge disruptions and innovations, alongside significant loss, preventable death and increased criminalization. As gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit and queer (GBT2Q) people, we’ve spent decades pushing back against a so-called “universal” health care system that has often failed our communities. The pandemic, in many ways, amplified the injustices and inequities embedded within our systems and society. Rather than a “return to normal,” we must leverage the disruption caused by COVID-19 to re-imagine a system that addresses the gaps in care that existed before the pandemic and were heightened during it. 

Learn more about the Summit and the Summit 2021: Disrupt and Reconstruct here. 


Where and when is the Summit? 

The Summit is an annual conference that usually takes place in the land of Coast Salish Peoples, also known as Vancouver, British Columbia. This year, the Summit will be online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Summit 2021 will be hosted again online on October 27-29th. Each conference day will include approximately 4 hours of virtual programming to facilitate live participation across Canada. 


What if I have a question?  

If you have questions, comments, and concerns, please feel free to contact Louis Lin at bccomma@checkhimout.ca 

Past BC CommA Program

BC CommA 2018

HIM, in partnership the with Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) and Men’s Health Initiative (MHI), co-sponsored 13 community members to attend 2018’s The Summit (formerly known as Gay Men’s Health Summit). During their stay in Vancouver, the Community Advocates participated in a number of mingling lunches and dinners where they networked and exchanged their experiences and stories. This included a dinner at La Casita after the first day of the Summit where they relaxed and had a chance to get to know each other better, and a working lunch at the Summit where they shared ideas on how to advocate for the health of their queer communities.

On the Saturday after the Summit, the participants gathered at HIM on Davie for a debriefing session, and to receive a tour of the office and the Health Centre from Hans Bosgoed, the Associate Director, Clinical Services. Visiting the health centre and learning about its operations proved to be very interesting for the participants. A number of the participants got in touch with HIM to discuss implementing, lobbying for, or improving similar already-existing services in their home communities.

The BC CommA 2018 program was a big success, and the participants described their experience as inspiring and rewarding and left with new knowledge and enthusiasm for doing meaningful community work. We are excited to do what we can to continue supporting 2018’s CommA participants in their work to improve the health of their queer communities, and look forward to having a new cohort to join us at next year’s the Summit!

CommA 2018 Participants: 




Attending the 2018 Summit was a memorable and valuable experience, and I am grateful to have had this opportunity to learn about queer men’s health. I left the summit with renewed confidence to make positive change in my community.
Read More



It was both refreshing and interesting to have a talk about consent in the GBMSM community. Going into this presentation I was a little skeptical because although consent is a very basic concept,
Read More



Standing hand in hand, listening to elders welcome us to the Summit, set the tone for the conference. Unity. The feeling of acceptance, collaboration and cohesiveness of the Summit community fostered innovative thinking and discussion.
Read More


RN Overdose Prevention Worker

I would like to discuss my feeling as I left the presentation given by Vincent Francoeur, “Crystal meth Interventions.” What I enjoyed most about this presentation was the presentation style used by Mr. Francoeur.
Read More

BC CommA 2019 

Health Initiative for Men (HIM), in partnership with the Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC), sponsored 11 community members from outside of Greater Vancouver across the province to attend the 2019 BC Community Advocates program. BC CommA participants arrive with the curiosity of finding new strategies to strengthen the work they do back in their communities and create new connections.  

Throughout their stay in Vancouver, the participants attended an ice breaker dinner with an educational presentation from HIM staff about how gay men’s community organization function and history of HIM as a case study. In addition, participants were able to attend the Summit and partook in note-taking for specific sessions of their choice. The Summit (hosted by CBRC), provided a great opportunity to access and exchange the latest health promotion techniques and tools. They reported their experience to be enriching and encouraging, with many expressing renewed motivation to translate the newly established connections and gained knowledge into action plans for their respective communities.  

Much like the Summit 2019’s theme suggests, it is only through addressing barriers that we can advance as a collective and diverse community. As the BC Community Advocate Program wrapped up its second year of programming, we at HIM are proud to continue the effort of providing a time and space for folks outside of Vancouver to participate in the program, and return home to translate what they have learned into valuable resources for their own communities. 

CommA 2019 Participants: 



(now Program Coordinator at AVI Health and Community Services)

These flavours of oppression and barriers to access for the diverse array of folks in our communities brought forth new ideas of discussions and information sessions I’d like to bring into the Island Health Region.

Read More



(now Program Coordinator at Crisis Centre Prince George)

I have observed a number of tools that are already affecting my work in positive ways, whether that be better and more pertinent resource referrals for MSM, knowledge of best sex practices and how to get access to GBT friendly medical care.

Read More


SKYE (now Program Coordinator at Mpowerment Prince George)

Overall, I feel the Summit was a great asset in teaching me about the challenges that I have to overcome, but also understand some of the challenges that my fellow queer/trans community members face.

Read More

BC CommA 2020 

In 2020, Health Initiative for Men (HIM), in partnership with Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC), was able to sponsor nine artists and content creators who belong to the communities of self-identified gay, bi, queer men and gender diverse people from across the province to virtually attend the 2020 BC Community Advocates (BC COMMA) program.  

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and our effort to help flatten the curve, both BC COMMA and the Summit were held online this year. We recognized that art can be an amazing vehicle for community members to share and gain knowledge around the many issues that affect our communities. Thus, BC COMMA 2020 sponsored a total of nine artists from across BC to attend at least one online Summit workshop and then create a piece of work or content inspired by what resonated with them from that workshop. These pieces also act as ways of sharing the knowledge BC COMMA participants gained at Summit with community members who see their amazing work.  

Throughout February, we showcased a total of 13 artwork/ content produced by our nine artists via social media and the BC COMMA website. In the month-long showcase, each artist was able to receive a spotlight, highlighting their inspiration behind their artwork(s) while also demonstrating the dedication to, and product(s) of, their craft. Ranging from digital creations to a hand-painted piece with beadwork, we are proud to empower local communities through informed and meaningful art and media content that also share the knowledge gained by BC COMMA participants attending the Summit with all of us. Throughout the years, we have known that art is a strong tool of resistance and survival for our communities, and we are glad to have celebrated this long tradition of centering art and artists through the BC Community Advocates Program this year. 

Check out the Summit-Inspired Arts from the COMMA 2020 artists and content creators!