Provincial GSA Coordinators

What is a GSA Coordinator?
The goal of the GSA Coordinators listed below is to foster student leadership by connecting students & teachers with resources, organizations, and the tools to support a GSA club in their school. GSA Coordinators hope to contribute to more welcoming, respectful, and safer learning environments for students of all genders and sexual orientations in Alberta schools. The GSA Coordinators aim to connect schools and organizations by providing resources, traveling across Alberta to schools who request support, and planning the annual Alberta GSA Conference.

There are many folks from different organizations across Alberta that provide support to GSAs/QSAs in schools. Below are the GSA Coordinators that are connected to the Alberta GSA Network that you can reach out to (with more to come!). We are all about info sharing!

Lauren (Alberta)

Lauren Alston (she/her) is a Provincial GSA Coordinator for Alberta, a position within the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Lauren’s role is to help start, strengthen, and sustain gay-straight alliances or queer-straight alliances in Alberta’s K-12 schools and communities, with an emphasis on developing supports in rural communities. The GSA Coordinator’s ultimate goal is to foster student leadership within their schools and communities with the purpose of creating safer and more inclusive spaces for all students. Lauren aims to help students & teachers connect with local resources & organizations and will travel to any community in Alberta to work with schools to develop GSA support networks.

If you would like information, support, or resources regarding GSA/QSA’s in Alberta you can contact the Lauren by e-mail AlbertaGSAnetwork@gmail.com or phone at (780) 492-0766.

Hilary (Calgary & Area)

Hilary Mutch (she/her) is an educator at the Calgary Sexual Health Centre and the coordinator of Camp fYrefly, a 4-day retreat for LGBTQ youth as well as the Calgary GSA Network. She was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta (Treaty 7 Territory including the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai, Stoney Nakoda and T’suu T’ina Nations as well as the Metis Nation Region III) and holds a B.A. from McGill University. As the LGBTQ+ Youth Programs and Education Coordinator she believes in bringing youth-centered, creative and anti-oppressive programming to participants.

As part of the sex education team, she loves to teach and talk about consent, LGBTQ identities, harm reduction and resisting stigma. She also helps guide the CSHC education team meeting with and supporting GSA’s in Calgary and area schools. Educators at CSHC visit schools and offer resources, activities, presentations to GSA students and teachers. Outside of her work, she’s passionate about nature, cycling, feminism, queer literature and film and hanging out with her cat.

If you would like information, support, or resources regarding GSA/QSA’s in Calgary & area, you can contact the Hilary by e-mail hmutch@calgarysexualhealth.ca or phone at (403) 283-5580.

Michael (Sherwood Park, Elk Island area, Camrose, and rural Alberta)

Michael (he/him) hales from a small town in Nova Scotia and knows firsthand the effects of communities lacking supports for the LGBTQ community. Now living in Edmonton as the altView Foundation‘s Deputy Director, he brings his passion for community engagement to Strathcona County and beyond. His role involves guiding altView to even stronger community relationships through Gay Straight Alliance facilitation, community presentations that promote empathy for LGBTQ community members and development of programs to address the needs of LGBTQ people and their allies in rural Alberta. Michael’s guiding principle is that no one should need to leave their communities to access vital services and programming.

Michael’s hobbies include walking dogs he does not own, exploring all the incredible nooks and crannies Canada has to offer, baking pies without using recipes, roadtrips far and wide, and ranting about the importance of empathy and collaboration in our diverse society. If you are someone in rural Alberta and are having difficulties finding the support you need (or you just have a really great pie recipe you think he should be aware of), Michael can be reached at mike@altview.ca

Cayley (Lethbridge)

Cayley (she/her) is the Counselling Coordinator for Lethbridge Public School District No. 51.  Cayley’s role focuses on supporting and maintaining wellness throughout the Lethbridge Public School District.  A passionate supporter of positive spaces in all public settings, Cayley’s work extends to supporting the local GSAs at both the middle and high school levels.  Cayley also works with school administrators throughout the district, at all three divisional levels, to ensure that schools are welcoming, caring, positive spaces for ALL students, staff, and families. It is a priority for the Lethbridge School District to ensure that all students and families are reflected and supported in their learning environments, resources, and support systems.

Part of Cayley’s role is to bring people together to help identify the gaps and overlaps in the public school community, and to do something about them.  In an effort to identify and nurture positive supports for the youth of southwestern Alberta, Cayley is working with a group of passionate people to put on a Teen GSA Conference in Lethbridge.    The goal of the small-but-mighty committee is to make access to a yearly conference, an affordable possibility for any youth in the region.

If you would like to speak with Cayley about some of the work going on in the Lethbridge Public School District, or you would like to have her facilitate a connection to a specific person or group, please don’t hesitate to contact her by e-mail at cayley.king@lethsd.ab.ca or by phone at (403) 380-5320.

Do you provide supports to GSA clubs in your area? Email albertaGSAnetwork@gmail.com and request to get added to our list of GSA Coordinators!