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S.W.I.T.CH Speaks


Saturday, Sept 16  | 7pm-9pm


Contemporary Calgary
701 11 St SW
Calgary, AB

Join us for a captivating event, presented by S.W.I.T.CH (Skaters with Intent to Change), where we delve into the compelling stories and remarkable efforts of individuals who are utilizing skateboarding as a catalyst for positive change within their communities. This event promises to be an exploration of the intersectionality between ability, mental health, indigenous perspectives, and skateboarding.

Dan Mancina x Skate Bats:

Our first panel and video screening will spotlight the inspiring journey of Dan Mancina, an accomplished skateboarder who lost his vision in early adulthood. Despite this challenge, Dan has risen to become a semi-professional skater sponsored by leading industry brands. Furthermore, he is a Graduate-level Visual Rehabilitation Therapist and a prominent advocate striving to eliminate barriers for adaptive athletes in skateboarding. Dan competes internationally, champions the inclusion of skateboarding in the Paralympics, and actively works to enhance accessibility in public skateparks. This segment will also feature insights from Matt Janz and Curtis Ruttle of Skate Bats / Alt Route, who have been working diligently within Calgary to introduce blind and low vision individuals to skateboarding while researching ways to improve accessibility in the city’s skatepark network.

Push to Heal

The second panel discussion, “Push to Heal,” will bring together Joel Pippus and other experts who employ skateboarding as a tool for intervention and treatment of childhood trauma within therapeutic environments. They will share their firsthand experiences and explore the Neurosequential Model approach, examining how skateboarding can effectively decrease psychological distress, enhance emotion regulation, and foster self-efficacy. This segment will also showcase a thought-provoking short film produced in partnership with Hull Services, offering a tangible glimpse into the transformative power of skateboarding.

Kyle Young Pine and Piita Aapasskaan

Lastly, our third panel will feature a conversation between Kyle Young Pine, a Blackfoot skater, feather dancer, and advocate, and local filmmaker Brock Davis Mitchell. Together, they will discuss the creation of the acclaimed documentary film, “Piita Aapasskan,” which intimately follows Kyle’s personal journey of recovery and wellness, intertwined with art and tradition. The screening of this multi-award-winning film will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact, shedding light on the profound healing potential of skateboarding.

Supported by: Government of AlbertaCity of Calgary, Suncor, Red BullFunded by the Government of Canada