Dis-Orientation Week 2023

September 25th – October 1st, 2023


What Is Dis-Orientation Week?

Dis-Orientation Week (Dis-O Week) is paramount to our organization’s mission and values. What began as an activist initiative against Trent administration’s attempts to push for a more neoliberalized school, has now become an annual tradition for OPIRG – an emblem of courage, resistance and student activism against the recklessly violent systems of greed, oppression, and destitution.

Every year since 2005,  Dis-O Week has sought to cater our beloved students and community members by bringing events aimed at immersing them in a six-day event full of an array of activities, tours and social gatherings put together by OPIRG with the help of local community organizations and student groups. Dis-O Week offers a transformative experience to and immerse them in the realms of social and environmental justice, activism, action and knowledge. Dis-O Week incentivizes individuals to become active and politically engaged members of our local and international community, coming to be known as  an alternative orientation to university students and members of the Peterborough/Nogojiwanong community. 

Dis-O Week strives to render an exciting, interactive ecosystem that strives to encourage thought-provoking conversations, creative DIY and skill-building workshops, fun social gatherings, and active efforts of community organizing, resistance and activist development. It is one of many efforts to incentivize and foster collective action, as well as community and self development!

Feel free to reach out to us at if you have any questions or concerns.

Rebirth And Disruption

Solidarity, Identity, and New Imaginaries

This year’s theme “REBIRTH AND DISRUPTION: Self-Exploration, Solidarity, and New Imaginaries” revolves around creating awareness of existing systems of oppression and of the individual as the embodiment of unlimited possibility and creative, radical change.  The theme seeks to challenge the ways these systems continue to disempower and dispossess people on various levels by creating celebratory spaces of love and compassion that teach and inspire resistance and resilience. 

This week is aimed at allowing individuals to navigate new possibilities by accessing a diverse range of knowledge while also taking part in difficult conversations. By offering these spaces, our objective is to deconstruct imposed identities and beliefs and encourage a sense of self-efficacy and solidarity. In essence, this is an opportunity to revitalize and encourage systemic advocacy and leadership by inspiring personal transformation rooted in a shared sentiment of community empowerment and interconnectedness. 

DisOrientation Week 2023 Events

Monday, September 25

Leading with-values to Interrupt Dominant Discourses in Early Learning and Care

Hosted by: Compass Early Learning and Care
10:00AM – 12:00PM, In-person @ Multi-Purpose Room, Peterborough Public Library

Join us to discuss the dominant discourses at play in early learning and care and how Compass ELC interrupts these discourses. Dominant narratives often reflect children as blank slates or as working bodies of the future. At Compass ELC, we lead with values so our children are valued as citizens of today; where the principles of democracy guide our relationships with children, families, colleagues and our community.

Art Activism: Community Storytelling & Collective Art Making

Hosted by: Community Race Relations Centre
1:30PM – 5:30PM, In person @ Artspace

A two part workshop where participants will have the opportunity to learn from various poets, artists and activists on how to utilize the written word and art forms as a way to disrupt, resist and create social change. 

Participants will start with a writing workshop designed to get the brain flowing! We will utilize storytelling through poetry and writing that will inform our community art piece. 

The art making portion of the workshop will be done collectively and as a community to create a banner that we hope to be hung in many places in Peterborough as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done in our community 

Slam 101

Hosted by: Peterborough Poetry Slam
7:00pm – 9:00pm, In-person @ Dreams of Beans Cafe, 138 Hunter St W, Peterborough

The workshop will be facilitated by members of the Organizing Committee of the Peterborough Poetry Slam Collective who will talk a little about the history of Poetry Slam on Turtle Island and in Nogojiwanong – Peterborough, Ontario and it’s relationship to Spoken Word. We will also engage in discussion around the various ways community, art and activism converge as we slam. We will review the rules of slam, the various ways in which they are bent and broken, as well as engage in questioning the highly neuanced practice of publicity scoring art. Finally, we will have an opportunity to write and share some work. Participants will be invited to come with works that they feel reflect on the theme of Dis-Orientation Week and will be given time to share and write new pieces inspired by what they’ve heard.

Tuesday, September 26

Farm to Table Tour

Hosted by: Seasoned Spoon and Trent Vegetable Gardens
11:00AM – 2:00PM, In-Person Walk-In Tour

Tour begins @ The Seasoned Spoon

These two organizations have partnered together for almost two decades to create an accessible and sustainable local food system at Trent where organic vegetables are grown, harvested, processed, cooked and eaten all right here on campus!

Join us to learn about your campus farm-to-table food system first hand in this exciting tour of the Trent Vegetable Gardens and the Seasoned Spoon Café.

This tour will take you to the Seasoned Spoon kitchen, café space, off-grid root cellar, rooftop garden, field garden and community gardens. Throughout the tour, we will discuss the work these organizations do to build alternative food systems at Trent and all the ways you can get involved including volunteering, research projects, workshops, community meals and more! Food has amazing potential to build community and initiate conversations about broader social and environmental struggles and movements.

Find out how you can join the food movement at Trent!

Amplifying Gender Equality: Applications Through Workshops

Hosted by: Kawartha World Issues Centre
3:30pm – 5:00pm, In-person @ Sadleir House

Join us for a workshop on how to Amplify and Advance Gender Equality Locally here in Nogojiwanong/Peterborough. KWIC’s 2023 Amplifying Gender Equality (SDG 5) Locally project has engaged local community members in Community Conversations to learn more about the state of gender equality in Nogojiwanong. Using popular education, we will learn together with participants on how to amplify and achieve gender equality, including what is “gender equality”, what issues are most pressing in Nogojiwanong, what the barriers and gaps currently exist and what our local victories/resources. Weaved throughout, we will explore the United Nations SDG framework, with a focus on SDG 5 – Gender Equality, and make global to local connections.

United for Housing Justice: Tenants Union Info Session with ACORN

Hosted by: Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) & OPIRG Peterborough
6:00pm – 8:00PM, In-person @ Dreams of Beans Cafe, 138 Hunter St W, Peterborough

Join ACORN members for an info session about union organizing in Peterborough-Nogojiwanong. We will learn together about how to mobilize our community for positive change, especially with regards to the current housing crisis. Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss the issues they feel are most pressing and what we can do together to demand change. We will also discuss how you can become involved in helping start an ACORN chapter here in Peterborough-Nogojiwanong.

ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) Canada is a multi-issue, membership-based community union of low- and moderate-income people. We believe that social and economic justice can best be achieved by building community power for change. Our members fight landlords and corporations through direct action. Our members also fight for new and improved laws to protect their rights. Each member has a vote, and only members speak for the organization and have the authority to set the policy and determine the tactics of each group.

Wednesday, September 27

Supportive Streets: Community Building Through Ending Stigma, Healing and Harm Reduction

Hosted by: Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough
10:00AM – 1:00PM, In person (Virtual Option Available) @ The John, Sadleir House

Coordinators from the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough’s Community Programs, Act Out 2SLGBTQIA+ Services, and Peer Support teams will facilitate a talk and information session that unpacks stigma surrounding the intersections of substance use, our unhoused neighboUrs, the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and criminalization.

Participants will be lead through a brief overview of each of our free, self-led community programs which include: Anger Solutions Healthy Relationships Self Esteem Goal Setting and Stress Management Connected Caregiving Truth and Integrity: Anti-Theft Program Wevole: Understanding and Being Kinder to Oneself Empowered and Thriving: Nurturing Black Voices for a Resilient Future Inhale, Exhale: Weekly Wellness Course Understanding Substance Use.

The first 50 participants will also have the opportunity to take home Into the Rainbow: A Welcome Guide for Loved Ones. This guide is a gentle introduction to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbours of 2SLGBTQIA+ people don’t always know where to start, when someone they love comes out. This booklet includes definitions, local art, words of advice, resources, and so much more. All participants will have access to a digital copy of this guide. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions in an open discussion/ talking circle format.

Comprehensive Naloxone Training will also be provided as a part of the info sessions.

Requirements: Participants need to be masked or to be able to produce a doctor’s note and self-administer a rapid test on the spot to ensure safety for immunocompromised community members.

This is a free event that only offers free support and services so no financial barriers to access exist.

We may be able to support participants with single ride bus passes who are unable to attend otherwise.

Refreshments will also be provided!

Trent Market Garden Rock Painting Social

Hosted by: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Society(SAFS)
1:30PM – 4:30PM, In-Person, Environmental Science Greenhouse, Trent University

Students and Faculty are invited to paint rocks from the Trent Market Garden (TMG) any design of their choice at the Environmental Science Greenhouse while the SAFSS team will guide a discussion about the importance of permaculture and innovative agriculture and its role in climate change and the environmental crisis.

Paint and rocks will be provided to all attendees and the discussion will be in the format of an informative open conversation focusing on the sustainability of our local and global food systems and agricultural systems.

Nothing Without Us: Screening and Photography Exhibition

Hosted by: Women and HIV/AIDS Initiative (WHAI) at PARN

5:00PM- 8:00PM, In Person @Sadleir House, Lecture Hall

This event showcases the film “Nothing Without Us: The Women Who Will End AIDS” as well as a photography exhibition about women living with HIV in Peterborough. The aim of this event is to provide incoming students with key information about HIV and harm reduction, to center the voices of women living with HIV and to provide a safe space to discuss important topics surrounding drug use, safe sex and stigma.

Thursday, September 28

Inwendaamin Oki (How We Are Related to the Land)

Hosted by: Inwendaamin Oki with Elder Dorothy Taylor
9:30AM – 12:00PM, In-person

@ Mnidoowag A’Kiing (The Spirit Lands) Traditional Area, Gzowski College, Trent University.

We are Trent students, staff, alumni, and community members who love this place known as the Trent land, air, and waters. Together we celebrate and strive to protect the living landscape to which we belong and are related.  

We invite you to participate in a Land and Water Acknowledgement Ceremony, led by Elder Dorothy Taylor of Curve Lake. A sacred Fire and prayer will be followed by an opportunity to tour the Trent Lands for yourself. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Collective Liberation through Art:
A Conversation with Faith Nolan & Will Ward

Hosted by: BLM Peterborough
1:00PM – 3:00PM, In Person,

@ Artspace – 378 Aylmer St. N, Peterborough

Image of Faith Nolan, a Black woman with short hair and twists with a harmonica and guitar smiling while playing

Join us in large conversations with a mini microphone with special guest Faith Nolan, hosted by Will Ward. Faith is a renowned African, Mi’kmaq and Irish singer, songwriter, carpenter and activist from Nova Scotia. Faith is also a humble poet with deep roots in anti-racist, abolitionist and feminist activism and stand up comedy. Will is a trans queer Black musician and activist born and raised in Michi Saagiig territory and finds inspiration in cows, gardening, and social justice, AKA the piano prince. Together, they will explore music as a tool of storytelling, identity and community.

Wit and Wisdom: Satire’s Place in Social and Political Conversations

Hosted by: Arthur Newspaper and Absynthe Magazine

4:00PM- 6:00PM, In Person (Virtual option available), @ Sadleir House, Lecture Hall

A writing workshop with the editors of Arthur and Absynthe about how to write effective satire and political commentary. There will be a presentation about “what is satire” and why it’s important including examples from the backlog of Arthur and Absynthe. We will then have writing exercises to get people writing and then share and discuss the pieces in the group.

Mission Miniseries: Hummingbirds Screenings

Hosted by: Reframe Film Festival and The New Canadians Centre

7 PM -10 PM, In person @Trail Amphitheatre

The Mission Mini-Series is series of screenings in partnership with local social and environmental justice organizations to highlight the important work being done in our community. Other events/partners include Peterborough Action for Tiny Homes at Artspace, GreenUp Summer Ride Program Celebration at Nicholls Oval, Peterborough Pride at the Library and a ReFrame Donors appreciation event. The Dis-Orientation screening of Hummingbirds at Traill’s Amphitheatre is the last screening in the series. We hope to include a panel discussion in collaboration with the New Canadian Centre. Hummingbirds is a documentary feature about two young people who live under threat of deportation on the Texas-Mexico border and includes a focus on political action for legal abortion and against border control abuses.

Friday, September 29

Eco-Emotions: Art in Action

Hosted by: Kawartha World Issues Centre
10:00AM – 11:30AM, In person @ KWIC E.Y.E Centre – Room B101, Environmental Science Centre (ESC), Trent University

Join KWIC as we explore eco-emotions using art. Eco-emotions, defined as “distress, anxiety, trauma, grief, or depression in relation to environmental decline and anticipated climate change” and climate joy, is a pressing area to explore as we continue to work towards climate justice. Using prompts to inspire art creation, participants will join us art making (drawing, painting, sculpting, etc.) to explore their eco-emotions and move towards actions for the climate. We will also provide information on eco-emotions, global perspectives on climate change and the climate crisis and ways we can engage in change here locally in Peterborough.

De-Stress With Trent Oxfam: Houseplant Potting Social

Hosted by: Trent Oxfam

12:00PM – 2:00PM, In-person

@ Gzowski College Quad, Trent University

This event is meant to facilitate a positive and stress free space for people to connect with like minded individuals on campus and learn about ways to get involved in creative activism and social justice movements while making lasting relationships and memories. Playing in the dirt and being creative are helpful to calm and de-stress people so hopefully the event can be a safe place to enjoy some time away from the hyper productive demands of schooling and work. Oxfam will provide the space, materials needed, refreshments and conversation!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Radical Radio and The Politics of Liberation

Hosted by: Trent Radio
6:00PM – 8:00PM, In-person (Virtual option available)

@Sadleir House, The John

Community radio has always played a critical role in collective arts expression, information sharing, and empowerment, especially for marginalized individuals in our community. Join Trent Radio volunteer programmers David King and Mikaela Lewis for a discussion on Trent Radio and its historical mandate to identify, cultivate and broadcast underrepresented voices.


Sunday, October 1

Free Market Giveaway and Vegan BBQ

Hosted by: OPIRG Peterborough, The Free Market & Food Not Bombs Ft. The Flamingo House
11:00AM – 2:00PM, In person @ Sadleir House Lawn

OPIRG Peterborough and The Free Market welcome everyone to come over to the Sadleir House lawn to swap, donate, and collect any gently used clothes, books, and small household items!

As we face a climate crisis alongside increasing economic inequity, we believe this is one way to collectively challenge capitalism and nurture sustainability by reducing items that might head into landfills and sharing with our community.

Food Not Bombs will also be on the lawn providing free and delicious vegan BBQ!

A “Mending Communities” Station will also be on site. Join The Flamingo House in fixing broken clothes. We would also like to encourage people from the community to drop items off to get fixed. Depending on the fix required we can teach community members how to mend their own clothes! .

*If you are unable to attend on Sunday, but would like to donate to the Free Market, please contact to book a drop-off appointment during office hours from 10 AM – 6 PM.

Climate Conversations and Cathartic Collaging

Hosted by: Student Rebellion
2:00PM- 4:00PM In person @ Sadleir House, Lecture Hall

Student Rebellion Trent wants participants to feel grounded in the action they take to fight against the global ecological crisis. Saving the world can seem daunting, but there’s lots of work to do on our doorstep. Trent University is complicit. Participants will learn about some of the ways in which Trent is contributing to the global ecological crisis with a brief introduction to divestment and the Sustainable Guyana program partnership. Participants will be encouraged to respond to this information through collaging. Both in art and in their university, we want students to be inspired to take what they like and leave the rest and to be empowered to make something better out of what they’ve been given.

Student Rebellion Trent will provide resources that teach about collaging as resistance art and the nuances of harnessing eco-emotions for climate action.

OPIRG Peterborough