Vancouver Mediators’ Lounge


Back in 2015, a colleague who lives on the Island, told me about a group of mediators who casually gather once a month to talk about conflict resolution (and other topics). This group was and is still called the Victoria Mediators’ Lounge. A lightbulb moment happened when I realized Vancouver had nothing like this. It was time. The idea of the Vancouver Mediators’ Lounge ('VML' or 'The Lounge') was born. Our first meeting was June 18, 2015.

Attendance and excitement at the first few Lounges made us realize how important it is for us to have a safe space to drink and to complain about stuff. Alas! No one except other conflict resolution professionals understand what a Mediator, Arbitrator, Collaborative Lawyer, Family Law Lawyer or Divorce Coach goes through.

Years later, our meetings continue each month, on the third Thursday of the month, from 6 to 7:30 pm and alternate between two cities – Vancouver and New Westminster and always near a skytrain station. The venue currently alternates between the Rogue at Waterfront Station, the Rogue Convention Centre and the Hub at New West Station.

If anyone is interested in hosting a Lounge outside these two areas, please let me know and follow the principles of the VML, below.

Principles of VML

1. No agenda and few rules.

2. Should be fun: This time should be set aside for alternative dispute resolution practitioners (ADRPs) to relax, tell jokes and talk about stupid TV shows or get some mentoring from other ADRPs.

3. All ADRPs are welcome regardless of how busy they are or how slow their practice is, their geographical location or personal characteristics such as sports team preferences, dietary restrictions, etc.

4. As soon as an ADRP arrives, s/he should be greeted with enthusiasm and raised glasses.

5. ADRPs should be supportive. At any time an ADRP needs to vent, that ARP should invoke the sacred words “I need to vent,” in which case, all conversation must stop and everyone must listen to the venting and offer encouragement. The same sort of support must be offered to any ADRP who invokes “I need advice” or “I need another drink.”

6. Confidential. This is obvious, but it should be stated anyway: Anything confidential discussed at The Lounge will remain among the ADRPs present.

No meetings July, August or December.

2018 schedule:
Day Place
Jan 18 Residence. Email me for info
Feb 15 Rogue Waterfront Station
March 15 The Hub (New West Station)
April 19 Rogue Waterfront Station
May 17 The Hub (New West Station)
June 21 Rogue Waterfront Station
July No Lounge
August No Lounge
Note: Locations are subject to change, please check in a few days before event