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WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 1:00 - 2:15 pm EDT


Effective Strategies for Managing Stress and Anxiety

As employees return from furlough, deployment or temporary lay offs, they may experience increased anxiety themselves or notice it in their colleagues. Possible differences in work responsibilities may also cause stress and affect productivity.

This session will help you gain a greater understanding of stress and anxiety by providing core cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) strategies for individuals to help manage anxiety. Strategies include establishing a healthy foundation, developing healthier self-talk, learning how to “dial down” physical symptoms of anxiety, and taking steps to face fears head on. This presentation will also introduce key resources for managing anxiety.

Dr- Buhr Photo 2020

About the Presenter: Dr. Kristin Buhr is a Registered Psychologist and Director at the North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic. She specializes in evidence-based treatment of anxiety and mood disorders in adolescents and adults, and regularly provides workshops on mental health issues. Dr. Buhr is a lead consultant for Anxiety Canada, where she has developed numerous self-help resources for adults, parents, and teens coping with anxiety problems including My Anxiety Plan (MAP), an on-line anxiety management course, and MindShift CBT, a comprehensive anxiety management app.


WEDNESDAY, MAY 26, 2:15 - 4:00 pm EDT

Kick A-Z Summer Tips 

Getting back into the swing of things? Do you feel like you need a way to reconnect? You've got what it takes so join us to refresh your skills in being an exceptional Caring Leader who wants to make upcoming program sessions sensational.

Presenter: Maggie Henderson, Manager, Quality Standards and Training, Parks and Recreation Ontario/HIGH FIVE National

Virtual Staff Training: What’s New? What Works?

When you picture training you normally envision a large room, a projector and people you don’t know. When COVID-19 hit everyone having previously done just in-person training needed to adapt and change not only what they did and how they did it, but also change their perception of what training looked like. Learn how to adjust your platform to meet your training needs, how to engage participants of all ages and what unique online features can help with this, and finally the do’s and don’ts in facilitating virtual training.

Panel: Kevin Mullally, Standards and Training Coordinator, and Brooke Costa, Recreation Programmer, City of Mississauga; Anthony DeLaurentis, Trainer, Community Recreation Facilities, City of Toronto

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 1:00 - 4:00 pm EDT

Are Today’s Decisions Driving Tomorrow’s Drowning Statistics? 

The past year has been a roller coaster ride for parks and recreation. While the impact has been felt throughout the sector, ripple effects continue to affect aquatics service delivery. To open or not? To drain or not? To train or not? All these questions have repercussions on the ability for aquatic facilities to open in safe and timely manner, to recruit trained (and fit) staff, and to prevent drowning, which is a serious consideration for any community. Hear from those who have, and are, being challenged in answering these questions which come from staff, council, and community. Bring your questions as this is sure to be a lively discussion.

Moderator: Shannon Scully-Pratt, First Aid, Swimming and Water Safety Representative, Canadian Red Cross; Panel: Brian Connors, Director of Parks and Recreation, City of Woodstock; Jen Knights, Executive Director, Recreation and Culture (A), City of Windsor; Kayla Dow, Aquatics Operations Supervisor, City of Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Guide to Success for Virtual Programming in a Recreational Setting 

After a year of first-hand experience, hear from a panel that have presented a diverse array of virtual live, on-demand and other ‘programs with no walls’ events. Whether they be for children, youth, adult fitness or 55+, these events can be engaging, creative, create a sense of belonging and, more importantly, fun! Learn more about the technology that was used, the challenges they have overcome, their success stories and what changes they made along the way to continuously improve program delivery and quality of the experience. This is a must-attend session for anyone considering including or enhancing their virtual programs in the summer or fall.

Panel: Jackie Ellicott, Recreation Programmer, Fitness, and Madison Piette, Recreation Programmer, Community Programs, City of Mississauga; Jeddy Wong, Recreation Programmer, City of Barrie; Michelle Cundari, Professor, School of Sport and Recreation, Canadore College

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 1:00 - 4:00 pm EDT

From Outbreak to Success: Meeting Community Needs in a Pandemic (Show Details)

Municipalities across the province struggled with balancing COVID safety protocols, health and fitness activities at the onset of the pandemic. How do you tell Canadian municipalities that they cannot play hockey? This session will focus on the Town of Pelham’s experience during COVID – from an early outbreak among town leadership to an award-winning reopening plan for its recreation operations. By creating an adaptive team culture, supported by effective communication and cohesion, Pelham was able to use its entrepreneurial savvy to meet the needs of the community while abiding by health and safety protocols. Their strategy kept citizens happy and engaged and even turned a profit! Learn the secrets behind this town’s success.

Presenters: David Cribbs, Chief Administrative Officer, and Vickie van Ravenswaay, Director, Recreation, Culture & Wellness, Town of Pelham, ON

Changing the Rules: New Approaches to Recreation Design

The definition of recreation is evolving, and yet the facilities that support these activities have remained very static and focused on competitive and higher performance sports. This presentation provides an overview of indoor and outdoor recreation spaces that embrace a more informal and social approach to sport. This approach has been demonstrated to promote recruitment into physical activity, embraces accessibility and lowers barriers to participation in both age and gender. Using examples from recent study tours to Denmark and Sweden, this presentation will discuss the application of these ideas in the North American context.

Presenters: Steven Kellock, Senior Manager, Recreation, City of New Westminster; Paul Fast, Architect and Principal with HCMA, Vancouver, BC

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 1:00 - 4:00 pm EDT

Implementing a Service Delivery Review: Challenges and Lessons Learned 

In this session, the panelists will discuss their experiences implementing a Service Delivery Review during the pandemic. Each of their municipalities took a unique approach, and each will walk-through their process, from start to finish. They will share practical knowledge and tips on communicating with staff and stakeholders, and explain the importance of employee engagement, buy-in and participation. The information will be augmented by additional learnings around engagement and buy-in during shut downs, partial closures and working remotely with staff and community members during COVID-19. This is a session you won’t want to miss if your tasked with project management or if your municipality is planning its own service delivery review.

Presenters: Julie Gonyou, Chief Administrative Officer, County of Elgin; Stephanie Potter, Policy and Research Associate, City of Stratford, ON

Rethinking Service Delivery Through Community Partnerships

As many recreation staff have been redeployed during the pandemic, they have experienced increased exposure to different departments, different community groups, and different ways of doing business. In that vein, this presentation will invite you to ‘think outside the box’ and consider creative ways to engage with other departments and agencies in promoting and delivering parks, recreation and aquatic services. Hospitals, Business Improvement Associations, and Tourism group are all interested in getting citizens active and engaged in community and the recreation sector is a natural leader and ally in this area. Join this session for quick and innovative tips to help you rethink your approach to service delivery.

Presenter: Shanna Reid, Supervisor, Tourism, Town of Saugeen Shores

Parks and the Pandemic: Strategies to Build Back Better 

ReImagine RREC (Renew, Retool, Engage, Contribute) is a national COVID-19 recovery initiative led by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) and its partners, and is supported by Sport Canada and the Government of Canada. This session will present national and international research to help inform the restart of parks management and programs, as seen through the COVID lens. In addition to information on the demand for and value of parks and green spaces, as perceived by the public, the research references the role of staff in meeting these demands safely and the need for funding to support the ‘build back better’ approach. Parks practitioners will round out the presentation with commentary how this information can help develop strategies to ensure parks and open spaces continue to be recognized as essential assets in supporting community health.

Panel: Kevin E.S. Wilson, PhD Student, Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo; Zachary Evans, PhD Student, Kinesiology, University of Windsor; Joseph Miller, MHK Candidate, Kinesiology, University of Windsor; Frank Mazzotta, Manager of Parks Development and Operations, Town of East Gwillimbury; Paul Ronan, Executive Director, Ontario Parks Association



September 22, 29 and October 6, 13

If you have not registered for the Full Forum, check back here July 12 to see the Fall Forum Program Line Up and Register Then! And, if you have already registered, check back to see the great sessions in store for your Fall professional development.