Empathy Week

The World’s First Empathy Week in Calgary, Canada from Humainologie on Vimeo.

What is Empathy? There are many different definitions of ’empathy’. We refer to empathy as the ability to step into the shoes of another; to imagine what they may be thinking and/or feeling. Empathy helps us create strong relationships and healthy communities. Does Empathy mean feeling exactly what someone else feels? No, it doesn’t. We can never know exactly what another person is feeling or be able to exactly replicate those feelings, but we can make an attempt or an estimation.

What is Empathy Week? Empathy Week is a seven-day festival of events which promote empathy, human connection, and the recognition of our shared humanity. Empathy Week is curated by Humainologie and is a community initiative with numerous Calgary partner organizations and individuals coming together to host a variety of events.

Are Empathy Week events free? Most events are free, some are by donation, and some require paid tickets. Low income subsidies for events with an entry fee can be requested by contacting hello@humainologie.com.

Is Empathy Week for everyone?  Empathy Week includes varied programming suitable for diverse audiences with wide-ranging interests. The diversity of programming will continue to grow as our festival does in the future. Should you wish to attend an event but would like to enquire about accessibility – whether connected to physical access, translation, or for the hard of hearing – please contact us at hello@humainologie.com to make a request to accommodate. We cannot guarantee the ability to do so in all cases however. In 2021, all of our Zoom events feature closed captioning.

Is there an Empathy Week in my city? As far as we are aware, Calgary is the first city in the world to host an Empathy Week. Contact us to find out how to establish your own event.

Can I volunteer for Empathy Week? Yes! We have an Empathy Week volunteer team. If you would like to join us, please connect at hello@humainologie.com

Who has participated in Empathy Week in the past?
Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation: Wishing Wall
The Alex Community Food Centre: Ribbon Tree
The Doorway and Living Documents Publishing: Living Documents
LOUD Art Society: LabOurea
Cree8: Indigenous Drumming Circle
Amy Badry: Dance, Connection & Empathy
People for Progress Foundation: Strive for Equal Education
Connection Curators: Building Empathy one Connection at a Time
Beltline Reconciliation Committee: Kairos Blanket Exercise
Connections Counselling: Gabrielle Film Screening Merge Movement: Cultivating Empathy
Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research: Strength in Art
Prospect Human Services: Empathy & Disability Awareness in the Arts
RESET Society of Calgary: RESET Art Exhibition
Calgary Queer Arts Society: Identities Short Film Package

Download the Empathy Week Sponsorship Kit
View the 2022 Empathy Week Program
View the 2022 Empathy Week Call for Events
View the 2021 Empathy Week Program
View the 2021 Empathy Week Request for Proposals
View the 2020 Empathy Week Program
View the 2020 Empathy Week Request for Proposals
View the 2019 Empathy Week Program
View the 2019 Empathy Week Request for Proposals
View the 2019 Empathy Week Sponsorship Invitation
View the 2018 Empathy Week Report to the Community
View the 2018 Empathy Week Program
View the 2017 Empathy Week Program


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What's Your story?

Everyday, all the time, we are all playing key roles in our corners of the world. A moment of eye contact, a smile, an extra question like "so how are you?", a pause to hold the door open, a few words to validate how someone is feeling...there are things we can do all the time to remind each other we belong, we are valued, we are part of this great and diverse human family. Tell us about something small or big that you did, or that happened to you, where the result was a sense of connection, belonging, or the recognition of our shared humanity.

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