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June 17, 2:00 pm

Starting over with Olympic Silver Medalist Jeremiah Brown

In the span of a couple months, we've been forced into unfamiliar territory, and many of us are searching for a new way forward. If you look closely enough there's a small gift, too. It's the opportunity to reassess our approach. To reflect on what has been, and truly reset our minds and commitment to new and different ways of moving forward.

Jeremiah Brown has spent most of his adult life starting over every four years. From commercial banker, to Olympic medallist, to Canadian sport leader, to author and speaker. And, most recently, from speaking at 40+ events per year to having his calendar cleared overnight as a result of COVID-19. Jeremiah now has an opportunity to put his money where his mouth is. To adapt.

In this virtual keynote, Jeremiah will use his enlightening and engaging personality (and neat online interactive tools that he’s just learned to use!) to take us on his remarkable Olympic journey and use the power of story to articulate the psychological, emotional, and environmental factors and insights that give each of us the best chance at turning this adversity into opportunity.


July 8, 2:00 pm | Introduction to Virtual Programming 

Back by popular demand is an exploration of virtual recreation programs and camps. Learn what goes into making a safe, high quality online program and what platforms work best for our sector. Find out what you should consider to maximize your resources and keep your citizens engaged and active. Hear from organizations across Ontario that have developed successful online programs and gather ideas for your own community as you look to see how offering virtual programs in the future can be a great way to connect during off seasons, with isolated individuals, and/or to complement your in-person activities.

Adam Joiner, Chief Executive Officer, Boys and Girls Clubs of Ottawa; Heather Davidson, Board Member, Ontario Camps Association; Tammy Botham, Supervisor of Programs and Facilities, Town of Innisfil; Beth Fisher, Supervisor of Aquatics, Safety Certifications and Active Kids Programs, University of Guelph

July 15, 2:00 pm | E-Sports: Get in the Game

Electronic sports is exploding into a billion-dollar industry. In this world where technology is alive, programs are going virtual, and innovation is around every corner. This session will explore the hard data and take an honest look at the issues involved in bringing e-Sports to community centres and programs. It will cover topics such as space planning in an existing facility, design of a new facility, the legal implications, and more. The e-Sports wave is here - It’s time to get in the game!

Mick Massey, Texas Regional Director, Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, USA; Kevin Armstrong, Principal, Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, USA

July 16, 2:00 pm | A special session from our Title Sponsor, PerfectMind

August 5, 2:00 pm | Simply the Best: Parameters for Evaluating the Quality of Recreation Programs 

In this time of uncertainty and change, just getting a program out, virtual or otherwise, is not enough -  quality still matters.  This session will provide you with the parameters to evaluate your programs, such as policy and procedures, safety and supervision, administration, customer service communication, and interactions with participants and parents.  Find out how and what to begin tracking as soon as a program begins, how to log success, and how to make modifications throughout. Discover innovative ways to address areas of celebration and improvement with part-time staff, site coordinators and senior staff as you work toward the shared goal of offering top quality programs in a changing environment.

Anthony De Laurentis, Community Recreation Programmer, City of Toronto

August 19, 2:00 pm | Improving Efficiency by Standardizing Recreational Program Cancellation (Show Details)

Improving efficiency is something we all continuously seek to do in our recreation roles. In the new normal we find ourselves in, learning from the past can more effectively plan for the future. Discover how the City of Hamilton took a journey that resulted in a program cancellation process that was 70% more efficient than the previous approach. Using Lean Six Sigma Green Belt techniques and consulting at multiple levels to inform the process, staff zeroed in on cancellations caused by circumstances outside of civic control, including foul weather, flooding, and staff absence to name a few. Find out how the team employed critical thinking, analytical skills, wise facilitation and tools such as scamper brainstorming, decision-making (PICK) charts, and Value Stream Mapping to succeed.

Melissa Dale, Manager, District 4 Recreation Operations, City of Hamilton; Laura Rolph, Recreation Supervisor, City of Hamilton


September 2, 2:00 pm 

New Leaders for a Changing World of Work Post COVID-19 with Brenda Robinson

Learn all about how to be a leader in this changing world in this keynote from Brenda Robinson of the Robcon Group. What does it take to be a leader in our challenging and changing times? How has re-structuring and re-engineering affected the roles of leaders? Leadership today is an investment. Leaders must be mentors, coaches, coordinators, initiators, motivators and finely tuned communicators. They must be responsive, flexible, creative, analytical and team players. They must be able to teach, train and develop the human resources they work with. They must be capable of getting good work repeated, poor work corrected, and dead-end performance turned around. 

Leaders in today’s business world must be change-skilled. They must be adaptive and productive. They must be ready to challenge existing policies and procedures and respond quickly to needed review and changes. They must become less structural and more functional. They must be solution-seekers and not just problem-solvers. They must be able to balance “people” and “things” within their areas. Finally, they must be responsible, accountable, honest, sincere and always respectful of the people with whom they work. Leaders must lead with the concept of synergy, working together for results!


September 9, 2:00 pm | Designs, Programs, Technology: Innovative Trends Now and for the Future

Many influences are impacting community recreation centre programming, design and communication. These include what the centre looks like, what the programs are offered, what equipment is used, and what ever-evolving technology is trending. This is in addition to what the current and post COVID world of parks and recreation envisions as its future, with outdoor fitness, pickleball, virtual and interactive programs, multigenerational sport, and choreographed environments on the radar. This session will keep you ahead of the curve and suggest innovations that promise immediate gain for your department. Learn to identify the intentions and solutions behind “game changing” recreation design, program and technological innovations that are in store for community services and facilities as we usher in a new era of innovation.

Mick Massey, Texas Regional Director, Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, USA; Kevin Armstrong, Principal, Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, USA

September 23, 2:00 pm | A special session from Session Sponsor, Perkins & Will
Planning for Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Carbon

As cities rise up and begin to create plans of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 or earlier, projects currently undergoing design are a critical part to achieving cities' targets. Perkins & Will's Carbon Assessment Framework has proven to be an effective strategy to building a path to Net Zero Energy and Carbon, and informs building owners on the measures needed for their facility whether they be for immediate implementation or phased by design. This session will take you through the planning and exploration process towards Net Zero Energy and Carbon, using a Community  and Aquatics Centre located in Toronto and their pursuit of a Net Zero Energy and Carbon as a case study. Being one of the most challenging building types to achieve Net Zero, this case study will allow us to explore the many measures along the path to Net Zero. This session will aid you in starting the conversation on your next project, understand the process, and pass on our own lessons learn to help you get every project to aspire for Net Zero Energy and Carbon.

Zeina Elali, Senior Sustainability Advisor, Perkins and Will; 
Dejan Skoric, Senior Project Manager, Environment & Energy Division, City of Toronto

September 30, 2:00 pm | Rural Roundtable of Parks and Recreation Successes 

The best ideas are the borrowed ideas! Honouring that wisdom, this session sets the stage for a roundtable of varied rural ideas and success stories that you can “R & D” (Repeat Duplicate).  A perennial highlight for communities with a population under 15,000, this is a time to share and multiply rural parks, recreation, and culture initiatives. Small-town parks and recreation departments are the “melting pot for everything,” from condo developments to airports, municipal buildings, and entrance signs. Expect to hear ideas for age-friendly trails, community “eyes & ears” initiatives, waterfront parks, bike-friendly action, tourism services, partnerships, emerald ash borer action, and much more. Shared ideas are also great, so bring your learnings and questions from your COVID experiences in rural communities.

Jayne Jagelewski, Director of Community Services, Town of Saugeen Shores; Sherri Walden, Director of Parks, Recreation & Culture, Town of Hanover; Ryan Gibbons, Director of Community Services, Town of the Blue Mountains

October 14, 2:00 pm | Does Your Agency Stifle or Facilitate Innovative Ideas? 

Creativity is the key to an agency’s ongoing viability, yet creativity is too often inadvertently stifled by negative administrative and managerial procedures. During COVID, you may have felt this phenonenom from a close up perspective. This session identifies the processes, structures, and characteristics that nurture innovation, the factors frequently found in agencies that inhibit innovation, and specific action managers at all levels can take to build a pervasive culture for innovation in parks and recreation departments and other recreation service delivery groups. Now is the time to be thinking about what recreation can look like in the future. Here's your opportunity to bring out and support the creative side in your team and department.

John Crompton, University Distinguished Professor, Texas A&M University, and College Station Councilman, Texas

October 15, 2:00 pm | A special session from our Title Sponsor, PerfectMind

October 28, 2:00 pm |Fostering Resilience in the Face of Adverse Childhood 

It’s now known that adverse childhood experiences and developmental traumas such as neglect, abuse, poverty, family dysfunction, and emerging issues such as COVID-19 put children at risk. We also know that protective factors, such as positive recreation experiences help children build resilience as they grow into adolescence and adulthood. Receive the latest scientific insights in early brain development and current best  practices for fostering resilience in children, youth, and communities to help you identify and play protective role against early childhood adversity. Gain practical tools for identifying and measuring adverse childhood experiences and resilience. Participate in an interactive exercise to explore how risk and protective factors manifest themselves within recreation at various levels, from the individual child to family, program, institution, and community. Learn how you can collaboratively develop a framework for building resilience within recreation that appropriately draws on the scope of each team member while considering the important principles of cultural safety, trauma-informed care, and compassion—including compassion for one’s self.

Dr. Allison Crawford, Associate Chief, Outreach, Telemental Health and ECHO Ontario and Associate Professor, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH); Dr. David Mastey, Manager, Northern Psychiatric Outreach Program and Special Outreach Projects, CAMH; Dr. Priya Watson, Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry, CAMH; Kelvin Seow, Former District Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, City of Toronto

November 18, 2:00 pm  | How to Craft a World-Class Master Plan In-house 

With parks and recreation revenues at a standstill with months or years ahead to full recovery, how do we continue to plan our future with little to no money? Learn about the City of Grapevine, Texas, and their process of updating their Park and Recreation Master Plan and how they saved resources without hiring a consulting firm to complete the project. At the end of the day, and up for a challenge, the staff agreed: “We can do this in-house.” The goal was to produce an unbiased, World-Class Master Plan representing the views of everyone in the community. Hear about the process and approach Grapevine took to achieve that audacious goal, how it built a sense of team ownership, and how it engaged community in a meaningful way.

Amanda Rodriguez, Marketing Manager, City of Grapevine, Texas; Kevin Mitchell, Director of Parks and Recreation, City of Grapevine, Texas

November 25, 2:00 pm  | Managing Inappropriate Behaviour by Creating an Environment for Children to Succeed 

Escalating demands on staff to deal with children’s challenging behaviours are something with which many organizations are struggling. And the introduction of in-person programs may intensify these behaviours. City of Ottawa staff will share their policy and tool they have created to for creating an environment for a child to succeed and remain in programs. This session will cover how this program went from initial skepticism to widespread acceptance with an overview of the policy and procedures, the statistics gathered in five years since implementation, new trainings based on those statistics, and results achieved—including more integrated planning with the city's Inclusive Recreation department.

Pat Daly, Portfolio Manager, City of Ottawa; Matthew Perkins, Recreation Supervisor, City of Ottawa

December 2, 2:00 pm  | Retention of Women and Girls in Sport and Physical Activity and CPRA Update 

What is gender equity and how can it make sport and recreation better? Join the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) and Canadian Women & Sport to learn about this important topic. You’ll walk away with an understanding of key terms and benefits of gender equity. Plus, you’ll learn about some of the bumps that exist along the LTD pathway for girls and young women. Practical recommendations will be provided for coaches, recreation leaders, teachers, and sport administrators. Then learn what has happened and will be happening in parks and recreation at the national level. CPRA and its provincial and territorial (PT) partners have been working on Parks for All, the Parks Task Force, Green Jobs federal funding, an online national knowledge platform, the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, and the CPRA Professional Development Program.

CJ Noble, Chief Executive Office, Canadian Parks and Recreation Association


December 9, 2:00 pm

The 5 Pillars of Diversity and Inclusion

Why is diversity and inclusion important in the workforce? There are many different cultures, lifestyles, and ethnic groups out there and the only way we can attempt to view the world from all perspectives is to have representation within. Diversity is strength and in this keynote, Harrison Browne, Canada's first Transgender Professional Athlete, will map out how to ensure your organization is strong from the inside out. He will share his experiences as a transgender individual in the work force and highlight the importance of being proactive rather than reactive in this expanding business world where inclusion is crucial to success.

Browne has a decorated hockey career, which includes representing Team Canada, Team Ontario and playing on the championship NWHL team the Buffalo Beauts. He has been a trailblazer and pioneer for LGBTQ rights, helping to form the first ever transgender policy in professional sports, being appointed the Inclusion leader for the NWHL advisory bord and has working with various Gay Straight Alliance leaders within schools and local communities. For his efforts, Harrison was recognized in 2016 by the Hockey News as one of hockey's 100 Top People of Power.