2ND ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL GATHERING

Alberta Ecotrust is proud to announce our second annual Environmental Gathering: Breaking Through. 

We are at a unique time in Alberta with new opportunities for meaningful progress on the environment. As we all grapple with important issues like reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting watersheds and preserving valuable land and habitat, it is more important than ever to break through barriers and drive change! No one can do it alone.

Building on the success of the first Environmental Gathering in 2016, we invite you to be a part of this exciting and strategic opportunity to connect and collaborate with people from environmental nonprofits, First Nations communities, industry and government.

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation’s second annual Environmental Gathering continues the practice of coming together as environmental champions to boldly create and steward our collective vision for tomorrow. Join us to explore the urgency of the issues we face and the energy and action needed to address our most pressing concerns.

Ticket sales for the Environmental Gathering have officially closed. If you would still like to attend, please contact Rod Ruff immediately at [email protected]

EVENT DETAILS

Date: February 23-25

Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Ticket Prices 

Single: $300 per ticket

Group – 2 people from same organization: $285 per ticket

Group – 3 people from same organization: $260 per ticket

Want to stay updated on all event and program details? Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Archive: 2016 Environmental Gathering Program and Details

Bus to the Environmental Gathering

Travelling to the Environmental Gathering from southern Alberta or Calgary? Don’t miss this chance to travel with your peers and make the road-trip an experience. Plus, you reduce your carbon footprint.

We are arranging for bus transportation for delegates to travel from the Calgary region to downtown Edmonton. The bus will be departing Calgary at noon on Thursday February 23rd and will return on Saturday evening (Feb. 25) after the Gathering concludes.

The cost is $50 for a round trip ticket and they can be purchased using the link below. As they say…leave the driving to us and relax on the trip there and back. All venues in Edmonton are within walking distance of each other so cars are not required on site. First come, first served!

PURCHASE BUS TICKETS

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Thursday Evening – Gathering Kickoff & Networking Reception with Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild

Location: The Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (location)

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm   Networking, Light Snacks and Cash Bar

6:00 pm – 6:30 pm   Welcome and Remarks from Shannon Phillips and Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild

The Environmental Gathering will begin with a Networking Reception at the Art Gallery of Alberta in downtown Edmonton on the evening of Thursday, February 23rd. Open to both invited guests and Gathering attendees, join your peers from across the province to connect and discuss the current context for environmental work in Alberta.

*Come for the networking, stay for the art! All delegates will gain complementary access to all of the exhibitions at the Art Gallery of the Alberta.

Friday Morning – Breakthrough Moments

Location: Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton (location)

Registration Opens

Time: 7:30 am

Breakfast Breakthroughs: Breakfast Roundtables on Strategic Topics of Choice

Time: 7:50 am – 8:20 am

Welcome

Pat Letizia, Alberta Ecotrust

Time: 8:30 am – 8:50 am

Opening Keynote: Shannon Phillips,, Minister of Environment and Parks

Time: 8:50 am – 9:30 am

Minister Phillips will kick off the Environmental Gathering with a keynote presentation followed by a question and answer period with the audience.

Breakthrough Moments from across Alberta

Time: 9:30 am – Noon

The first session of the Gathering will feature organizations who achieved breakthroughs in their work over the last year. These breakthroughs include advancement in personal knowledge or organizational capacity to overcome an obstacle and lead to a notable success. Their presentations will inspire attendees with examples of big environmental wins, and the presenters will articulate what change in thinking or opportunity made it possible for them to overcome a barrier and achieve a new result.

Presentations:

Climate Leadership in Alberta: Training for Non-Climate Leaders

Mike Byerley & Kevin Millsip, Next Up

Presentation Summary
There is a growing appetite in Alberta of people looking for ways to take action on climate change. The Climate Leadership Program from Next Up trained 26 participants who came from labour, municipal government, post-secondary administration, education, oil and gas, energy regulators, energy transmission, public policy, foundations, women focused non-for-profits, First Nations and community based social justice groups. The program provided participants with the knowledge, skills and support to bring climate action plans back into their field of interest.
Engaging Recreationists to Protect our Rocky Mountain Headwaters

Shannon Frank, Oldman Watershed Council

Presentation Summary
Management and protection of Alberta’s Eastern Slopes has been a multi-decadal challenge worked on by many individuals within the Provincial Government and non-profit organizations. Like a giant jigsaw puzzle, breaking through has required multiple approaches and exceptional dedication and collaboration.

As an outcome of our Headwaters Action Plan, the Oldman Watershed Council launched an ambitious project in 2015 to change the behaviour of recreationists using place based and community based social marketing techniques. Initial surveys and interviews of our target audience indicated a lack of trust of scientists, environmentalists and government – a daunting discovery for a non-profit that is seen as all three.

A year and a half later, with the support of the Government of Alberta, Alberta Ecotrust and many others, we have engaged thousands of recreationists in conversations about watershed health through face to face interaction on the ground in the headwaters and through social media. We have been working with recreation based retailers and clubs to foster ambassadors of responsible use from within the recreation community. We have planted hundreds of willows to restore riparian zones and fenced off fords in partnership with Cows and Fish. Behaviour change and engaging tough audiences is a long term venture but current signs point to positive change.

Trust Building and Renewable Energy: Paths Toward Self Determination and Climate Resilient Indigenous Communities

Laura Lynes, The Rockies Institute & Dr. Greg Poelzer, School of Environment & Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan

Presentation Summary
The Rockies Institute and Kainai First Nation have formed a creative alliance that establishes trust and builds climate resilience. Together they are developing impactful solutions for building knowledge and capacity about climate change while exploring pathways for implementing renewable energy & infrastructure.
Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping and Community Engagement on Lac la Biche

Heather Leschied, Living Lakes Canada

Presentation Summary

Lac La Biche is the seventh largest lake in Alberta. It is important to the local community, economy and culture of the Athabasca Region. However, land use and development pressures have increased, raising concerns about the ecological health of the lake, a common story for many lakes in Alberta and across Canada.

In an effort to address pressures from residential, agricultural and industrial development, local and provincial governments in collaboration with lake stakeholders, developed a Watershed Management Plan for Lac la Biche in 2009. These initial steps were very encouraging for community members, however, they were disappointed that despite efforts, implementation of the plan was limited.

During the 2013 Healing Walk in Fort McMurray participants were able to share stories and by happen stance, Living Lakes Canada Programs Director, Heather Leschied, and Lac La Biche community steward, Brian Deheer shared their water stewardship strategies, which helped to catalyze their recent shared successes.

The Lac la Biche Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping project helps the community to fulfill key recommendations of the plan, including completing a comprehensive inventory of critical fish and wildlife habitats. And further, to designate these habitats as conservation through the implementation of the resulting Shoreline Management Guidelines into bylaws or policy. SHIM provides a science-based assessment of foreshore fish and wildlife habitat value in order to improve decision-making at the local, provincial and federal levels.

The project gave the community a positive process to rally around, an opportunity to participate, and based on this success garnered community enthusiasm for the growth of the Stewards of the Lac la Biche Watershed – a community voice for lake stewardship. The SHIM project is very much a collaboration of water champions – government, community, NGO, and funders, and without this mix of champions it would not be possible.

Living Lakes Canada has used the Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping (SHIM) methodology developed by Fisheries and Ocean Canada and other expert advisors, for a number of lake shoreline management projects in BC and recently, the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg. The Lac la Biche project is the first time SHIM has been applied in Alberta and has provided a successful template to support SHIM in other lake communities.

 
How Alberta Schools Can Show Climate Leadership

Colin Charlton & Shauna Kelly, Central Memorial High School

Presentation Summary
This is a story of how youth in Alberta addressed a topic important to Alberta decision-makers, and experienced a significant breakthrough that has helping advance environmental education in Alberta.

Last year, the Alberta Council for Environmental Education worked in collaboration with the Center for Global Education to engage over 3000 Alberta high school students in considering the question “How can Alberta schools show climate leadership?” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley attended our town hall in March, and both the Education and Environment and Parks ministers met with our students and received their recommendations and policy ‘asks.’

The Education Minister has committed to including climate change in new curriculum, and ensuring that all new schools are fitted with solar panels – and the Alberta School Board Association passed a resolution that it “supports sustainable development…additionally, all Alberta students must be provided access to an environmental education.”

Friday Afternoon – Alberta in Transition

Time: 12:50 pm – 1:50 pm

An expert panel will explore an Alberta ‘in transition’. We will take a look at Alberta’s future and how social and economic change will impact the environment. Following the panel, ‘deep dive’ workshops and/or engagement sessions will further explore the panel topics.

Panel speakers:

Paulette Fox, Harmony Walkers

David Dodge, Energy Efficiency Alberta

Larissa Stendie, Parkland Institute

Alison Ronson, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Northern Alberta

Workshops #1:

Time: 2:10 pm – 3:00 pm

Staying Relevant in a Changing Demographic

Alison Ronson, CPAWS Northern Alberta

Workshop Details
In “Staying Relevant in a Changing Demographic,” CPAWS Northern Alberta will be sharing its experience with Canada and Alberta’s changing demographics and asking ENGOs to discuss how changing demographics are challenging them to change message, tactic, or approach.

Over the last 30 years, Alberta’s population has changed – Alberta now boasts one of the youngest populations, in part due to interprovincial migration. Meanwhile, many ENGOs are supported by individual donations from increasingly older donors, while simultaneously trying to figure out how to build new supporters by engaging millennials in environmental issues. This demographic dichotomy has the potential to have a profound impact on ENGOs by challenging paradigms: from funding models and availability to grassroots organization to volunteerism.

This presentation will begin with a short self-evaluation undertaken by each participant related to his or her ENGO’s message and goals. We will then provide a short presentation on the province’s changing demographics, with specific examples provided of demographic challenges currently faced by CPAW S Northern Alberta. Following this presentation, we will ask participants to divide into small groups to discuss their self-evaluation as well as answer some targeted questions related to their ENGO’s mission. Individuals who do not identify as part of an ENGO will be asked to contribute their opinions based on their experience.

This presentation provides a deep dive into the theme “Alberta in Transition” by asking ENGOs to evaluate where they are positioned in the province as our demographic changes, and how they can respond. This issue has the potential to impact ENGO effectiveness in the future because a changing demographic brings changes in attitude, donor behaviour, and engagement in environmental issues.

The Big Camp: Recreating a Sense of Place for Reconciliation and Transformational Dialogue

Paulette Fox, Duane Mistaken Chief, Harley Bastien, Harmony Walkers

Workshop Details
This workshop will provide participants with an experiential and interactive platform to engage with Indigenous Knowledge holders and gain a deeper insight to the synergies between: language, culture and “place” from an Indigenous lens. Akokatssin, The Big Camp is a tradition among the Blackfoot Confederacy and will be used to share teachings on Biocultural Diversity and the need for pluralistic approaches to support reconciliation, repatriation and restoration.
Barriers and Breakthroughs: Legal Opportunities for Change

Jason Unger, Environmental Law Centre & Melissa Gorrie, Ecojustice

Workshop Details

Citizen engagement in legal processes is an essential tool and can be a driving force for transition. This workshop will focus on a discussion of identifying barriers and opportunities arising in environmental advocacy in legal processes.  A short introduction to opportunities, a canvass of experiences and lessons learned (from speakers and audience) and a path forward to become effective advocates will be the focus of this session.

The discussion will outline the nature of legal rights, the challenges in exercising those rights and how the system might work better for Albertans.

Topics will include:

  1. Participation in regulatory hearings
  2. Bringing a law suit
  3. Challenging the government
  4. New legal horizons (environmental bill of rights)
Connecting the Dots towards Sustainability: Alberta’s Economic and Social Policy Opportunities and Challenges

Larissa Stendie, Parkland Institute

Workshop Details
A lasting transition towards environmental protection will not be sustainable without also changing our economy and society; because the environment does not exist in a bubble, Parkland seeks to connect the dots between these intersecting arenas of public policy. Tax regimes, public service funding, and economic diversification will all play a part in shifting from our fossil fuel-centered economy, with the carbon tax as just a first step.

While we know that small personal steps (like the LED lights and new showerheads being offered by the province) do not have much impact on real emissions, these actions do begin bringing people up the ladder of engagement, connecting Albertans to the flurry of ‘green’ activity emerging around the globe and moving us from a resource extraction based society towards one based on knowledge and sustainability.

Join Larissa for a facilitated discussion on the challenges we face in communicating and dealing with the emergent economic and social opportunities and risks posed by climate change and shifting political realities.

Supporting the Evolution of K-12 Education

Kathy Worobec, Alberta Council for Environmental Education

Workshop Details
The Alberta Council for Environmental Education is working hard to ensure that, in this time of transition in Alberta, environmental education moves from the margins into the mainstream of our K-12 education system. In this session, ACEE Education Director Kathy Worobec and several talented high school students with whom we work will share our collaborative and systems-based work to:
• Promote the community-created ‘Curriculum for a Sustainable Future’ to curriculum designers
• Demonstrate to decision-makers how student learning can be linked to energy efficiency and conservation, and renewable energy
• Shine a light on ‘‘150 ways in which Alberta schools show climate leadership,’ through our Earth Day celebration in Edmonton
• Inspire Alberta school board trustees and superintendents – who spend over $6.5 BILLION annually to deliver education to students! – to ‘take the next step towards climate leadership’ at a Sept 2017 Summit

In the second half of the workshop we’ll access the talent in the room in a brainstorming session, asking for your suggestion on strategy and approach – and support – as we strive to support the evolution of the K-12 education system.

 
Green Energy Futures – Energy Efficiency Comes Home

David Dodge, Energy Efficiency Alberta, Green Energy Futures

Workshop Details
Around the world clean energy sources are expanding faster than anyone thought possible. What were once called “alternative energies” are breaking through new performance thresholds and becoming more and more cost effective. Planned investments are diversifying the world’s energy supply with new, cleaner sources of energy and creating new jobs and economic diversification at the same time.  Come discover how people in organizations, governments and business are breaking new ground and learn what Alberta’s first Energy Efficiency Programs are going to look like.
 
Workshops:

Time: 3:20 pm – 4:10 pm

Growing the Next Generation of Ecological Farmers in Alberta

Dana Penrice, Organic Alberta

Workshop Details

Farmers are a keystone species in Canadian society. Take the farmer out of the ecosystem and we would see a dramatic decline in our food security, our economy would shrink, and our rural communities would dwindle. While farmers are a keystone species, they are becoming an extinct species. Today, the farming population only constitutes 1.6% of the Canadian population and the number of farms and farmers has been declining for the past 70 years (Statistics Canada 2009, Statistics Canada, 2012b). Reasons for this decline have to do with aggressive export-oriented policies which promoted consolidation and industrialization of agriculture. This has caused the average farm size to increase, and the total number of farmers to decrease. Cost of inputs and land have risen alongside total income, but net farm income remains stagnant and farm debt is rising.

Despite this trend, across Canada, young people are setting out to realize their dream of farming carrying a different set of values and motivations. In a recent survey of new farmers across Canada, those with less than 10 years’ experience were more likely to use ecological production practices including organic, biodynamic, holistic management, etc. More and more aspiring farmers are also indicating that they did not grow up on a farm. We may very well be seeing a transformational shift in the nature and structure of agriculture in Canada as new farmers enter with different needs.
Young Agrarians has been working in Alberta to support this new wave of farmers. Over the past few years, we have been working to understand the opportunities and challenges facing new farmers in Alberta within its unique cultural context.

This presentation will pull together breakthroughs and lessons learned and how society can further support this transformation toward a socially, ecologically and financially resilient food and farming system.

The Value of Applying a Gender Lens in Environmental Work

Krystal Northey, The Women’s Centre of Calgary

Presentation Summary
As a non-profit working for women in the city of Calgary, part of the mandate of the Women’s Centre is to provide a gender lens to the development of public policy. In the context of our work, adding a gender lens to public policy means taking the experiences of women in our community – many of whom experience poverty and other challenges – to decision-making tables, working with policymakers and community leaders to develop policies and programs that work for everyone.  Applying a gender lens is closely tied with applying an equity lens. Both lenses are tools for policy evaluation and development, and both lenses can allow groups and policymakers to ensure diverse groups are included in the policies they implement or advocate for in social, economic, and scientific/environmental sectors.

Environmental issues and sustainable solutions impact all Albertans, but they do not impact all Albertans equally. Marginalization and limited access to resources mean the interests of certain groups can often be left out of the decision-making process. Because of this, tools like the gender lens and equity lens can be used by environmental groups when they develop programs, or when they advocate for the implementation of good public policy. As part of our mandate as a non-profit, the Women’s Centre offers “gender lens” trainings and workshops to diverse groups within our community. This gender lens training at the 2017 Breaking Through conference includes a 15 – 20 minute “Women’s Centre of Calgary and the Gender Lens” presentation. This presentation works to introduce participants to the gender lens tool, and gives participants examples of the gender lens in action at a local level. The other 30 minutes of the presentation are for group activities and group discussion, facilitated to encourage participants to explore how they could apply a gender lens to their own environmental work, and why this may be useful.

 
Can Participatory Science Open the Door to Better Conservation?

Danah Duke & Tracey Lee, Miistakis Institute

Workshop Details

Citizens are facing complex conservation challenges. Stronger sustainable solutions engage citizens in better understanding the issue, contributing personal knowledge and experience, and implementation. From an ecological conservation perspective, new collaborations and ways of considering knowledge production are critical if we are to address complex challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. In addition, citizens are demanding the incorporation of principles of accessibility, transparency, and accountability within government agencies and decision-making.

Citizen science offers an approach that can change the way information is generated and shared, improving accessibility, transparency, and credibility of the information. Citizen science can also lead to improved research questions, enhance collaboration and ultimately improved environmental stewardship.

A 2015 inventory showed that there are 82 citizen science initiatives in Alberta. Most of these are contributory and focus on biodiversity issues. There are immense opportunities to increase the use of citizen science to address diverse environmental challenges in Alberta. However, there are often barriers to implementation and sustainability.

The Miistakis Institute has been designing and implementing citizen science initiatives to address conservation challenges in Alberta for the past decade. Through many successes and a few failures we have learned many valuable lessons related to program design, tool usability, volunteer recruitment, program sustainability and evaluation. In this presentation we will share those lessons and facilitate a dialogue with session participants on the challenges they are facing with citizen science and the opportunities for advancing this powerful tool.

Mobilizing the Transition to a Green Economy

Lisa Maria Fox, Sustainability Resources

Workshop Details
Concern for climate change, and a re-focus on energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction is transforming the economy in Alberta, the greatest impact of this transitioning economy is felt in small and rural communities. Municipal leaders have urgent concerns with growing infrastructure deficit, declining economic activities and tax base, and uncertainty about long term funding security. Simple solutions to these issues are clean and integrated technologies that can fill infrastructure gaps and create economic development opportunities through partnerships with industry leaders and innovative entrepreneurs.

The barriers to implementing sustainable solutions are significant. Green technologies can be technologically novel, requiring robust feasibility assessments, and the most economical are often complex solutions that require an integration of water, waste water, waste and energy technologies. This can be seen as a considerable risk to municipalities, their financial partners and the regulators approving projects. One of the most significant aspects of mobilizing the transition to a green economy is capacity. This presentation/workshop is designed to demonstrate a process that builds capacity for identifying and implementing solutions with courage.

 
A Collaborative Blueprint for Conservation of Alberta’s Southern Eastern Slopes

Katie Morrison, CPAWS Southern Alberta & Justin Thompson, Southern Alberta Land Trust Society

Workshop Details
A coordinated group of ENGOs (CPAWS Southern Alberta, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, The Miistakis Institute, and Southern Alberta Land Trust) are working with a broad range of other land and water groups to create a bold, detailed, proactive vision for public and private lands along Alberta’s East Slopes that prioritizes conservation and unites ENGOs, working more strategically to change policy and landscape protection and management.

The South Eastern Slopes of Alberta are a treasured landscape. They provide important economic, ecological and social benefits to Albertans. They have long been recognized in policy as an invaluable headwaters landscape and deserving of special management status. However, over the past few decades competing demands for resources (agriculture, forestry, mining, and oil and gas), access for recreation, residential development, and water use have resulted in a fragile landscape, resulting in habitat loss and fragmentation, species at risk of extinction and compromised watersheds.

A common vision and plan for conservation is needed for this region so that we can work together to effectively manage the East Slopes. This presentation will look at the results of this project and how it will contribute to land and water conservation in Alberta.

 
Futuring and Gamifying Participation: Working Together to Understand and Influence the Future

Salvatore Cucchiara, Alberta Energy, Government of Alberta

Workshop Details
In today’s turbulent world, people increasingly face problems that they can’t change unilaterally or directly. Getting unstuck and moving forward on these problems requires working together with stakeholders who may disagree not just on the solutions, but also on the problems themselves. The purpose of this session is to introduce (and provide a hands-on application of) participatory foresight and gamification as potential ways to move forward on wicked problems. Participatory foresight focuses on the inclusion of diverse participants to collectively explore and influence the future. Gamification can support this collective exploration by making it more fun and memorable for people to participate in it. Together, participatory foresight and gamification hold the potential to foster shared understanding and catalyze action in difficult and complex situations.

The session will complement a 25-minute presentation with a 25-minutes demonstration of a futures game that all session participants will be invited to play. The game is designed to encourage divergent as well as convergent thinking around the future and potential responses to it in an interactive fashion.

 

Friday Evening – Dinner and Keynote with Dr. Renee Lertzman

Location: Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton (location)

Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Evening Keynote: Dr. Renee Lertzman

After a break (and optional social activities) from the day program, rejoin your peers at the Shaw Conference Centre for a networking reception followed by dinner and evening keynote presentation and discussion with Dr. Renee Lertzman.

When it comes to meeting our most urgent ecological challenges, our engagement and communications efforts require a fundamental fluency in how people not only think, but feel about our changing world. The greatest barrier facing engagement is not more education or awareness-raising. It’s how people may find it hard to process such challenging information, such as climate change threats, water and food security, threats to wildlife conservation, or our relationship with energy.

Renee Lertzman knows how to turn our aspirations for a better world into actions that make a difference. She works with leaders in business, government, NGOs, and academia to develop innovative research, insightful strategies, and transformative learning programs to engage stakeholders in responding to the most profound challenges of our time.

Saturday Morning – Mobilizing for Change

Location: Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton (location)

Breakfast Breakthroughs: Breakfast Roundtables on Strategic Topics of Choice

Time: 8:00 am – 8:50 am

Opening Keynote Panel

Time: 9:00 – 10:00 am

It’s not enough to be good at program design and delivery. We need to get better at rallying and organizing people in our communities to participate in change endeavours. Discussing a range of tools and methodologies that build public support for environmental initiatives and inspire people to change behaviour, this expert panel will kick off a day of skill building with a focus on media and mobilization.

Emma Gilchrist, Executive Director DeSmog Canada

Eriel Deranger, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

Celine Trojand, Organizing for Change

Saturday Workshops – Creating the Conditions for Breakthroughs

Skills, tools, and frameworks for achieving breakthroughs on the environment! Following the powerful discussion from three leaders in building and mobilizing communities for action, the day will feature diverse workshops ways to improve our collective ability to achieve individual, organization, and sectoral breakthroughs.

Workshops #1 – 1 hour

Time: 10:15 – 11:15 am

Mobilizing versus Organizing

Celine Trojand, Organizing for Change

Workshop Summary
Celine will detail the difference between mobilizing and organizing, and when and why we might use one approach or the other. Are we bringing people together to build trust and let priorities emerge, or are we focusing on a set of steps to get things done?  Participants will work in teams where they can craft their own engagement strategy around an event or campaign they are running.
 
Indigenous Climate Action – Resilient Communities Building Climate Solutions

Eriel Deranger, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

Workshop Summary
From the solar projects in Lubicon Wood Buffalo to the wind projects in Tsu Tina to the greenhouses in Fort Chipewyan, Indigenous communities have taken inspiring action to address climate change and support a sustainable pathway to food, energy and water security.

Despite years of colonial government that has undermined their rights, Indigenous communities have remained resilient taking a stand for lands and waters that all of us as Treaty people rely on. Building support for Indigenous leadership on climate change must go beyond the traditional tactics employed by the environmental movement, as there are historical and systemic barriers that Indigenous peoples face. As we move into an era of truth and reconciliation with the colonial past of Canada, we are met with abundant opportunities for collaborative work, but first we need to clear the way for equitable decision making through the recognition of Indigenous rights and the commitments made through the Treaty agreements.

Learn more about the work of truth and reconciliation and discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead with support more Indigenous-led climate action. Lets work together to build a foundation for sustainable long-term climate solutions that all future generations will benefit from.

 
Canada’s Changing Media Landscape

Emma Gilchrist, DeSmog Blog

Workshop Summary
How are declining ad revenues, media monopolization and the advent of online news outlets fundamentally changing Canada’s media landscape? Learn about ‘trickle up journalism,’ the rise of non-profit news and how to get your stories heard in this interactive session.

 
Cultivating Relevance in Stakeholder Relations

Stephen Legault, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative

Workshop Summary
You’ve got the best idea in the world. You’re going to solve a problem, create a park, capture carbon or set up a new recycling program. You’re passionate and dedicated. What if nobody cares? Creating meaningful relations with stakeholders, in particular those who will be making decisions about the issues you care about is critical to your success.

In this workshop we’ll look at the Three R’s of stakeholder relations (and they aren’t reduce, reuse…), ask five key questions to help make what you want relevant to what decision makers need, and examine three case studies from Y2Y’s recent work with municipal governments in the Bow Valley, Tribal governments in Montana, and the Alberta provincial government.

 
Emotional Geographies & Ecological Grief Within the Context of Alberta

Amy Spark, Alberta Ecotrust

Workshop Summary

It is well known that time in nature and connections to landscape have positive mental, emotional, and physical health benefits. When these ties are severed, lost, or denied, a person may experience negative health effects, even culminating in ecological grief. This workshop will explore these health effects within the broader context of emotional geographies in Alberta, drawing on a 2016 case study in the Ghost River Valley.

With Canada’s death-denying culture and Alberta’s politicized land-use discussions, emotional connections to landscapes are often hard to admit or even articulate. Ecological grief can be one of these ‘geographical’ emotions. However, grief is an experience that is relatively apolitical, awakens compassion for others, and is a way for people to work through loss across political lines.

In this interactive workshop we’ll look at how including the emotional dimension in discussions of landscape and land-use can bridge communities and conversations.

 
Thinking BIG! Use a Systems Approach and the Alberta Tomorrow App to Understand the Past and Design Alberta’s Future

Jennifer Janzen, Alberta Tomorrow Foundation

Workshop Summary

Alberta is at a tipping point.  Knowing what we know from our past, how are we going to move forward as a province, addressing the fact that we must balance our economic, social and environmental needs? This presentation will begin with a discussion of the necessity of using systems thinking, looking at the big picture and all the complex relationships in Alberta Education.  A thorough demonstration of the all NEW Alberta Tomorrow (www.albertatmorrow.ca), a hands-on free online planning tool, will be used to demonstrate the importance of using this approach with today’s students to foster a deeper understanding of the complexities of land-use decision making, and environmental stewardship.  With strong curriculum connections to the current curriculum as well as the proposed new curriculum, participants will leave with a complete understanding of a tool that can be used by any non-profit to enhance their own educational programming. Whether your focus is energy, water, recycling, wildlife or agriculture, Alberta Tomorrow can be used to take a step back and look at the “big picture” in planning for a sustainable future for all Albertans.  Bring a laptop and give it a try- make your own plan for Alberta’s future!

 

Workshops #2 – 1 hour

Time: 11:30 – 12:30 pm

Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Matthew Whitehead, Mikisew Cree First Nation

Workshop Summary

Workshop summary coming soon.

 
Tools for Dealing with Environmental Loss

Laura Keeth-Rowledge, Ecommunitas Consulting

Workshop Summary

Drawing guidance from Joanna Macy’s Work That Reconnects, we will explore holistic approaches to cultivating strength and inspiration while doing vital work of Breaking Through. Using a Holistic Activism model, participants will be guided through identifying their own personal sources of strength and learn about other potential sources. They will also develop approaches to connecting to these sources during times of stress and despair to avoid or reduce burn-out.

The session will involve a brief meditation, creating a personalized Tree of Contemplative Practices activity, developing a Holistic Activism Sources of Strength action plan, and potentially crafting a touchstone totem.

 
Mobilizing Citizens with Social Media

Joe Vipond, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

Workshop Summary

Facebook has become the primary source of news for the majority of citizens.  By creating an engaging Facebook page on a topic of interest, you can mobilize an army of engaged people willing to fight for your cause.  In managing the Facebook sites Alberta Acts on Climate Change, Canadian Coal Phase Out, and World Coal Phase Out, Dr. Joe Vipond has learned through trial and error the tricks to grow followers that will help change the world.  Some weeks reaching upwards of 60000 people, these three sites have been key in not only creating the space for the Alberta Coal Phase Out to occur, but also creating support for the NDP’s Climate Leadership Plan.

Topics to discuss will be: effective posts, successful Facebook advertising, troll management techniques, and other tidbits of wisdom.

 
Design Thinking and Stranded Assets: Finding Opportunity in Oil and Gas Liabilities

Juli Rohl, ReGenerate Alberta

Workshop Summary
Let’s create assets from liabilities. Oil and Gas development has provided immense value to the province of Alberta, but now the tides are turning. Companies are scrambling to keep up with their growing list of liabilities and many are going bankrupt. The remaining oil companies, Provincial government and families of Albertans are left to clean up the messes left behind by these bankrupt companies.

Rather than spending enormous amounts of money to return all of these liabilities to original land use capability, wouldn’t it be great if they could add value again? What if this action could even regenerate Alberta’s economy?

Think of the economic and carbon emissions benefit from installing renewable energy infrastructure onto un-reclaimed oil and gas leases, or the benefit for a community in creating recreational spaces from multi-well pads and seismic lines. The current economic model for oil and gas in Alberta is linear or cradle to grave. We’re pretty good at it, but what if we looked at this model as cradle to cradle instead? In this new system, the waste and by-products of one process or industry become the inputs to another one.

During this session, Juli Rohl from The Alberta ReGeneration Project will demonstrate how applying design thinking within a circular economy framework will enable you to create new opportunities for your companies and your communities. You will learn how to generate innovative socially, environmentally and economically beneficial solutions to these complex problems.

 
Creating Sectoral Breakthroughs with Sustainable Development

Michael Benson, Lund University Centre with Sustainable Development

Workshop Summary

Sustainable development is a powerful framework for achieving breakthroughs on the environment. There are the three main perspectives in sustainable development (SD): Solow-based SD (Weak Sustainability), Daly-based SD (Strong Sustainability), and Sen-based SD (Human Development). Each perspective includes the underlying assumptions of what constitutes SD, the tools and techniques that are appropriate for each SD perspective, and the strategy to achieve SD.

Often times the focus for collaboration within the environment sector is on specific topics (e.g., climate change, biodiversity, water) or geographic areas (e.g., the oil sands region). Providing practitioners with a deeper understanding of the framework of sustainable development will open the doors for new approaches across sectoral boundaries and develop greater insights to solve complex environmental challenges. Creating the opportunity for sectoral breakthroughs with the framework of sustainable development.

 
Working Better Together – What Do Alberta ENGOs Need?

Nikki Way, Alberta Environmental Network

Workshop Summary
There are a lot of moving pieces on the environmental file in Alberta – and a lot of organizations working hard to preserve and protect Alberta’s environment. Sometimes, it can be easier to try and do it on your own. The Alberta Environmental Network (AEN) wants to know – what do you need to work better with one another?  The AEN is currently growing to ensure we maximize our effectiveness in service of the environmental community in Alberta. This is an open discussion between workshop participants and AEN members to discuss needs, challenges, and possible solutions to the communication and sectoral struggles we face, and the role the AEN can help to aid the good work our sector is trying to achieve.

 

Workshops #3 – 1 hour 50 minutes

Time: 1:30 pm – 3:20 pm

Upon Reflection: Matching Intention to Outcome through Reflective Practice

Roya Damabi, Alberta CoLab

Workshop Summary
We are often asked to make quick, thoughtful, and correct decisions about the complex challenges on which we work and in our interactions with people around us. This ability to match our intention with the outcome requires practice. Through reflection, we can develop greater insight, increase adaptability, and become more centred. Linked to the concept of learning from experience, reflective practice involves thinking consciously about our actions. By cultivating a level of awareness and understanding, it helps us challenge the assumptions we hold about ourselves, others, and our environment. If we are asked to reflect at all, we often receive no guidance on how to do so. In this interactive session, you will experience ways that you can build your own reflective practice and scale it up to include others in your team and organization.

 
How to Lobby Government Effectively

Maurice Fritze

Workshop Summary
If you’re talking to government, you are lobbying. Through organized promotion of a particular viewpoint, you can effect legislative change, fine-tune regulatory regimes, and craft new laws. Learn the what, who, how, why and when of lobbying in this one-day workshop designed for nonprofits, business, labour, municipal leaders and industry. You will also discover the eight determinants of success and three critical mistakes, and review current and past local lobbying activities. Session participants will leave the session with a plan, knowledge of unwritten lobbying rules, matrixes that help form strategy and tactical advice. They will leave with a firm idea of where to focus their efforts.

 
How to Use Framing to Deliver Empathetic and Effective Climate Change Engagement

Kate Letizia, City of Calgary, Gwendolyn Blue, University of Calgary, & Amber Bennett, Upaya Consulting

Workshop Summary

A ‘wicked’ conversation about climate change: surfacing the assumptions we bring to engagement.

Most approaches to public engagement with climate change are limited from the outset, because of the ways in which the problem and causes are defined, and possible solutions are envisioned. While citizens might be invited to explore values on the issue, experts are often left to define the problem, which implicitly proposes the ‘logical’ solutions. This workshop offers an alternative way of learning, talking and engaging with climate change that opens up the multiple perspectives, values and assumptions we all bring to the issue.

This workshop will also help uncover the humans behind our audiences, and explore what may be influencing how different kinds of Albertans engage with climate change. It synthesizes recent quantitative and qualitative research to provide rich portraits of our ‘allies’ and ‘opponents’. Participants will be invited to consider more deeply the characteristics, conflicts and emotions of the people they seek to engage, in order to become more aware of the various ways our assumptions about climate change and people influence our communications, engagement and action – and their efficacy.

 
We’re All in this Together: Working Collectively and Systemically Across Organizational, Cultural, and Sectoral Boundaries

Jule Asterisk, Keepers of the Athabasca

Workshop Summary

We have our challenges … let’s find some solutions!

The more consensus building a group engages in just to become, the more thought diversity goes into its solutions.  The more thought diversity in any solution, the more likely it is to succeed.  When we bring all available talent into the mix, solutions become more clear.

Sectoral Breakthroughs require working together with people from environmental non-governmental organizations, industry, First Nations, municipalities, provincial and federal government departments, Traditional Knowledge backgrounds, the Alberta Energy Regulator, lease holders, land owners, environmental planning and remediation companies and many others.  One example of organizations working in a cross-sectoral manner are watershed councils in Alberta.  What we always need to remember is that we are all people.

In this workshop, we will examine several projects that have crossed sectoral boundaries, with various degrees of success, working cooperatively toward bridging organizational and cultural sectors.  While our information may not yet be complete, the journey to find it is in itself part of the process for a better understanding.  What we find together has more value that what we find separated into our sectors.  Because it is shared information, and the methods for achieving the information are also shared, we can have trust in the process.  It’s a new, inclusive way to describe our reality, and come up with realistic solutions.

 
How Can we Achieve Transformative Change When We Keep Saying the Same Thing?

Laura Lynes, The Rockies Institute

Workshop Summary

How can we achieve transformative change when it comes to addressing climate change when we keep saying the same words and approaching the challenge the same way? Words matter. But more importantly, it is the meaning behind the words – because that influences our actions. This workshop will explore how prevailing views on nature and non-human species written in international treaties could be obstacles to reaching climate change goals. It will also invite participants to consider how the inclusion of indigenous and traditional knowledge and Mother Earth in the new Paris Agreement could open the door to a fresh dialogue and possibly new policies on rights for non-human and natural entities – especially through the new Indigenous Peoples Platform.

UNFCCC and related treaties are entirely based on anthropocentric rationale. But many indigenous peoples do not view nature or non-human species in that way. They don’t base their beliefs on carefully constructed logical arguments about why rights should or should or should not be granted to sentiment brings or aspects of nature like rivers and trees. They don’t need to prove it in court – it is something inherently known. This fundamental difference in how rights are viewed could be a key to unlocking solutions to climate change challenges.

 
All Hands on Deck: Tools for Navigating Hard Conversations

Dr. Renee Lertzman

Workshop Summary

Summary coming soon.

 

Saturday Afternoon – An Army of Problem Solvers

Closing Keynote: Shaun Loney, AKI Energy

Time: 3:35 pm – 4:15 pm

“No better manual exists for how enterprise, community spirit, innovation and determination, really can, and do make good things happen”- Hugh Segal, Massey College

The Environmental Gathering concludes with a high energy closing keynote and Q&A with Shaun Loney. Shaun has co-founded and mentored 11 social enterprises in Manitoba and works closely with Indigenous communities. He will talk about his work, including his most recent book, written with Will Braun, “An Army of Problem Solvers: Reconciliation and the Solution Economy.

Focusing on a sea of opportunity instead of an ocean of problems, Shaun’s focus is on problem solvers and what they can do to improve Canadian society. He also considers a new role for government: it must shift from focusing on problems to focusing on and enabling problem solvers.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Shannon Phillips, Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks

Shannon Phillips represents the southern Alberta riding of Lethbridge-West. Ms. Phillips is the Minister of Environment and Parks and the Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office. Previously, she also served as the Minister for the Status of Women.

Since taking office, Ms. Phillips has led the government’s Climate Leadership Plan which is designed to diversify the economy, create new jobs and improve Alberta’s health. As Minister of Environment and Parks, she has been responsible for the creation of Alberta’s newest park in the Castle and a historic reinvestment in Alberta’s park system.

Raised in Edmonton, Ms. Phillips graduated with honours from the University of Alberta with a Master of Arts Degree in political science.

 

Dr. Renee Lertzman

When it comes to meeting our most urgent ecological challenges, our engagement and communications efforts require a fundamental fluency in how people not only think, but feel about our changing world. The greatest barrier facing engagement is not more education or awareness-raising. It’s how people may find it hard to process such challenging information, such as climate change threats, water and food security, threats to wildlife conservation, or our relationship with energy.

Renee Lertzman is an internationally recognized thought leader and adviser, and she knows how to turn our aspirations for a better world into actions that make a difference.  She does this by translating complex psychological and social science research insights into clear, applied and profound tools for organizations around the world seeking to engage, mobilize and connect with diverse populations, communities and individuals. Her unique and integrated approach brings together the best of the behavioral sciences, social sciences and innovative design sciences to create a powerful approach to engagement and social change.

 

Shaun Loney

In 2013, seven years after founding BUILD, Shaun co-founded Aki Energy. This non-profit social enterprise employs First Nations communities in green energy and health food initiatives, and reaches more communities every year. The job now is to engage the new Canadian government so that we can remove the barriers preventing the re-emergence of the local economy.

After over a decade in the social purpose field, Shaun has just written a book called An Army of Problem Solvers: Reconciliation and the Solutions Economy. The book talks about problem solvers and what they can do to improve Canadian society. Why are there no gardens in Garden Hill First Nation? What does reconciliation really mean for Canada? In all of this there is a new role for government: it must shift from focusing on problems to focusing on problem solvers.

 

Eriel Deranger

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger is an Indigenous rights advocate and member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN)43, Treaty No. 8 of Northern Alberta, Canada. She works to raise awareness about the negative climate, human and Indigenous rights impacts of the extractive industry in her Nation’s traditional lands and territory.

Eriel has worked with various Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, including the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Indigenous Environmental Network, Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network and the UN Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change. She is married and mother of two currently residing in Edmonton, AB.

 

Emma Gilchrist

Emma Gilchrist is executive director of DeSmog Canada, a non-profit online news magazine dedicated to cutting through the spin on energy and environment. DeSmog’s reporting has sparked coverage by the New York Times, Globe and Mail and CBC.

Raised in Valleyview, Alberta, Emma earned a journalism degree from Mount Royal University in Calgary. Emma has worked as a reporter and editor in Canada and the U.K., including stints at the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald. While at the Calgary Herald, Emma created a weekly environmental column called The Green Guide, which won an Alberta Emerald Award and Canadian Newspaper Association Great Ideas Award.

In 2015, Mount Royal University presented Emma with an alumni achievement award. She now lives on Vancouver Island with her two most prized possessions: her geriatric cat and her surfboard.

 

Celine Trojand

Celine was born and raised on a farm 2km from the Alberta border near Dawson Creek, BC, nestled between oil and gas developments. She cut her teeth as an organizer at Dogwood Initiative where she helped build a fierce constituency of grassroots environmental and political organizers in BC. In the last federal election her team of 1054 volunteer leaders secured an 84% turnout of supporters in their ridings.

Celine is currently the Lead Organizer at Organizing for Change where she built and now runs Campaign Accelerator, a three-month coaching, training and campaign support program for grassroots conservation groups. She is also one of the founding members and trainers at Organize BC, a non-profit group that has trained over 1000 grassroots leaders in the art and craft of engagement organizing. Last year Celine completed the prestigious engagement organizing certificate program at Harvard University with her guru and social justice legend, Marshall Ganz. She’s a political nerd, deer hunting and mushroom foraging enthusiast, and is known for going on epic road trips in search of mountains with her husky dog, Loup.

ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS

*Additional speakers and workshop hosts will be posted here as they are confirmed. 

MATTHEW WHITEHEAD

Matthew is a living example of the inter-generational transfer of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and describes IK as a non-static inter-generational knowledge system through the lens of his life experience as a First Nation person working in the western world.
Learn more about Matthew

SHANNON FRANK

As the Executive Director of the Oldman Watershed Council, Shannon has been building trust, creating effective partnerships, and leading restoration activities in Southern Alberta. 
Learn more about Shannon.

LAURA LYNES

Laura is the founder of The Rockies Institute (TRI) – a new initiative to help citizens navigate climate change challenges by building resilience and adaptive strategies.
Learn more about Laura.

ALISON RONSON

Alison is the Executive Director of the CPAWS Northern Alberta chapter. She holds a B.Sc.H. in Environmental Sciences, a J.D. and an M.A. in International Affairs with a focus on Environmental Governance. 
Learn more about Alison.

KATHY WOROBEC

Kathy is the Education Director at ACEE and has more than 25 years of experience in developing, implementing, delivering and managing environmental education programs for youth and teachers.
Learn more about Kathy.

MAURICE FRITZE

Maurice has worked on complex legal and legislative issues including education, infrastructure, the development of regulation, sports, legal aid services, health care and First Nation issues.
Learn more about Maurice.

DANAH DUKE

Danah has developed skills in various conservation related disciplines that include spatial analysis, research design, wildlife management, transportation ecology, citizen science and ecosystem services. 
Learn more about Danah.

JUSTIN THOMPSON

Justin is the Executive Director at SALTS and for the last fifteen years he has been working in the electricity industry as well as consulting on projects relating to private land conservation in southwest Alberta.
Learn more about Justin.

KATIE MORRISON

Katie Morrison, Conservation Director for CPAWS Southern Alberta, is a Professional Biologist who has been working in the environmental sector for over 15 years.
Learn more about Katie.

JENNIFER JANZEN

A former high school teacher, ecologist and environmental educator, Jennifer is now Executive Director of the Alberta Tomorrow Foundation, a not for profit organization dedicated to educating Albertans in the importance of land-use planning for a sustainable future. 
Learn more about Jennifer.

KATE LETIZIA

Kate is Community Mobilization Coordinator for The City of Calgary’s Climate Change Program, and she wants to live in a city, province and planet where climate change is taken seriously and responded to fairly, intelligently and creatively.
Learn more about Kate.

JASON UNGER

Jason Unger is Executive Director at the Environmental Law Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.  His work has focused on water law, species at risk law, environmental assessment and conservation tools on private lands. 
Learn more about Jason.

DR. JOE VIPOND

Joe Vipond has  as an emergency physician for fifteen years and is also a spokesperson for the Alberta Coal Phase Out movement, and more recently, the Canadian Coal Phase Out network.
Learn more about Joe.

AMY SPARK

Amy is an Environmental Program Coordinator with Alberta Ecotrust.  She holds an MSc in Environment, Culture & Society and his passionate about the intersection between ecological and mental health.
Learn more about Amy.

MIKE BYERLEY

As a community organizer with Next Up, Mike sees that shared purpose, common action and inclusion are successful in building the movement for justice. 
Learn more about Mike.

PAULETTE FOX

Paulette is a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy from the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta. Her work focuses on linkages between: Landscapes, Language and Lifeways of Indigenous people to support Biocultural Diversity in becoming benchmarks for restoration, reconciliation and repatriation. 
Learn more about Paulette.

MICHAEL BENSON

 Michael has spent the last 15 years trying to assess and solve the complex challenges associated with sustainable development. Within Alberta, he has experience working for energy regulators, NGOs, energy companies, government departments, and universities on promoting a more sustainable energy sector.
Learn more about Michael.

JULI ROHL

Juli is the founder of the Alberta ReGenerate project. A social enterprise aimed at finding creative approaches to repurposing old oil and gas infrastructure and addressing questions like “How can the remnants of this industry build capital rather than reduce it?” 
Learn more about Juli.

DANA PENRICE

Dana coordinates Young Agrarians a program of Organic Alberta that is working to grow the next generation of ecological farmers in Alberta. Through all her work she is helping to create resourceful and resilient people and communities with a deep sense of caring and responsibility for life systems.
Learn more about Dana.

LISA MARIA FOX

Lisa Fox is Founder and Executive Director Sustainability Resources ltd., a for-benefit environmental management & education company that delivers multi-disciplinary expertise, creative policy and economic development solutions to governments, stakeholder groups, corporations, municipalities and non-governmental organizations.
Learn more about Lisa.

LARISSA STENDIE

Larissa is a research manager at the Parkland Institute, University of Alberta. For the last decade she has worked on environmental justice issues related to extractive industries, Indigenous Peoples and communities in Sierra Leone, Peru, occupied Palestine, Canada, and Norway.  
Learn more about Larissa.

MELISSA GORRIE

Melissa has been a staff lawyer with Ecojustice since 2010. She goes to court on behalf of environmental groups and communities to demand protection for the environment. 
Learn more about Melissa.

JULE ASTERISK

Jule is extensively involved in community development including best waste management practices, local environmental testing, and renewable energy demonstration projects. 
Learn more about Jule.

LAURA KEETH-ROWLEDGE

Laura’s work focuses on synthesizing the intersection between ecology, community and communications as a way to nurture positive change in our world. 
Learn more about Laura.

DAVID DODGE

David  is the producer and host of the GreenEnergyFutures.ca multi-media series of 160 mini documentaries on green energy technologies, projects, entrepreneurs and leaders in Canada. He is also the chair of the board of Energy Efficiency Alberta and co-chair of Edmonton’s Energy Transition Advisory Committee.
Learn more about David.

ROYA DAMABI

Roya Damabi is a Systemic Designer with Alberta CoLab, an innovation lab within the Government of Alberta’s Department of Energy. Her background is in social policy, the role of civil society and social movements, and international development. 
Learn more about Roya.

SALVATORE CUCCHIARA

A political theorist by training, Salvatore specializes in the systematic exploration of future possibilities to help turn future-takers into future-shapers.
Learn more about Salvatore.

STEPHEN LEGAULT

Steph is the Program Director (Crown, Alberta, and NWT) for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. He has been a conservation activist for 30 years, 25 of which have been spent in Alberta
Learn more about Steph.

AMANDA WOODWARD

Amanda is from the beautiful Okanagan Salish Nation in Merritt, B.C. For the past 20yrs, she has worked within various school Districts throughout Alberta sharing cultural teachings and supporting student success.
Learn more about Amanda.

KRYSTAL NORTHEY

Krystal Northey is the Community Development Coordinator at the Women’s Centre of Calgary. At the Women’s Centre Krystal works to apply a gender lens to community issues, and she is excited to be exploring the intersections between gender, climate change, and environmental justice. 
Learn more about Krystal.

HEATHER LESCHIED

As Program Director with Living Lakes Canada, Heather has been involved in community based water stewardship and citizen science initiatives in the Columbia, Mackenzie, and Winnipeg Basins for over a decade. 
Learn more about Heather.

AMBER BENNETT

Amber is an award-winning communications and engagement strategist. She has honed her skills over 15-years working with government, non-profits and business.
Learn more about Amber.

KEVIN MILLSIP

Kevin is the Co-founder and Director of Next Up. Over the last ten years Kevin has focused on building the capacity of young social change leaders across Canada, food security and climate change work. 
Learn more about Kevin.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who should attend?
The Gathering is designed for people who champion and protect the environment in Alberta.  There will be a strong focus on the role of the nonprofit sector and how sustainability and environmental NGOs can learn from and work with each other. Individuals and representatives from industry and government that are interested in Alberta’s nonprofit environmental community are also welcome to attend.

How many people from my organization should attend?
The Gathering is being designed as an active learning event. There will be a strong emphasis on not only learning, but on implementing solutions. The more people that attend from your organization, the more benefit you will receive.

Why Thursday, Friday, Saturday?
The program will begin Thursday evening and finish in the afternoon on Saturday. Approximately 50% of environmental nonprofits in Alberta are volunteer run.  We feel that hosting the Gathering on a weekday/weekend is an excellent compromise for those who have other commitments during the week.

What do I receive with my ticket? 
Alberta Ecotrust and the Environmental Gathering Advisory Committee are actively developing a program. Further details will be released on this page in the future.

Is there a preferred hotel?
We have made arrangements with Chateau Lacombe Hotel in downtown Edmonton for a discounted rate for the Gathering’s delegates. The hotel contains many amenities and is within walking distance of the Shaw Conference Centre. Use the following link to obtain the discounted rate of $110/night: Book now.

Do you offer financial assistance?
Our goal is to provide a high quality event at minimal cost for attendees. Early bird pricing is available here until January 17th, 2017. We are also pleased to offer a limited number of bursaries to help participants attend. If you require financial assistance please complete this form and submit it to Natalie Odd at [email protected] by Friday, January 13th, 2017.

How can I support this event?
We are presently pursuing sponsorship and volunteer opportunities. If you would like to be involved, financially or otherwise, please contact Wanda Spooner at [email protected] or 403.209.2245.

SPONSORS

Sponsorship opportunities for the Environmental Gathering are still available. If you would like more information about sponsoring this event please download our sponsorship package or contact Wanda Spooner at [email protected].

ALBERTA ECOTRUST THANKS THE SPONSORS OF OUR 2017 ENVIRONMENTAL GATHERING

GAME CHANGER – Presenting Sponsor

 

Suncor

CHANGE AGENT – Platinum Sponsor

 

 

CHANGE CATALYST – Silver Sponsor

 

 

CHANGE SUPPORTERS – Bronze Sponsors

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FRIENDS OF CHANGE – Sessions Sponsors