Spencer Lucas, the Founder of the NonCon, opened the event. The audience was eager and responsive.
This was the Second Annual NonCon. The first was held in Toronto in 2014.
For NonCon 2015, Spencer worked with the Grand River Secular Alliance (primarily the Sacred Secular Sanctuary and the Society of Ontario Freethinkers plus other local groups). With such a strong group of willing workers, many tasks were shared, and everything came together beautifully.
The topic this year was Freethought and Free Speech in today's world. The many Presenters addressed this issue in a variety of ways.
Relevant and Current
Ensaf Haider spoke on behalf of her husband Raif Badawi, who has been fined and flogged by the Saudi government and is currently sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison for speaking out about human rights and secular ideas.
Each Speaker or Panel presentation was followed by a period of Questions and Answers. Attendees would line up in the middle aisle, where a microphone was situated, and ask their questions or make comments.
This kind of active audience participation plus many opportunites for networking during the breaks and mealtimes kept the audience involved throughout the long day.
To see more pictures of the Presenters and the Exhibitor Tables, visit the second page.
||The biggest gathering of humanists, secularists and atheists in K-W... EVER!
This view, from the viewpoint of the Sacred Secular Sanctuary's table, shows the crowd of 300 people listening to Ensaf Haider (close-up on next page). You can see the two large display screens to either side of the stage, and the all-day coffee and beverage service on the left.
Lunch and dinner were provided. The white curtain you see on the left is the back of the stage you see on the previous image - the room was huge. The round tables and buffet-style meals allowed for lots of socializing and networking, building a sense of community among the attendees.
This view, taken from the stage between speakers, shows the exhibitor tables that lined the back and sides of the room, and the micorphone in the middle aisle that was used for Q & A following each speaker.
The Sanctuary had a display table at the back of the room. Several members helped with the table, but Jessica was 'in charge', and she did a fine job of presenting the Sanctuary to the rest of the Attendees.
Sanctuary President, Karis Burkowski, also had a table, to promote her new book entitled Why Men Made God.