topic focused on
young children

topic focused on
older children

topic for
all ages


Ann Douglas

Happy Parents, Happy Kids

Parenting doesn’t happen in a bubble. As parents, we can’t help but be affected by what’s happening in the wider world. Is it any wonder then that so many of us are feeling anxious, guilty, and overwhelmed? In this thought-provoking presentation, Ann Douglas highlights the broader cultural forces that have made everything about parenting feel incredibly high stakes. Then she pivots to solutions, explaining how parents have the unique opportunity to serve as agents of change in their families and their communities. Her takeaway message is clear, powerful, and potentially life changing: you can tame the anxiety, embrace the joy, and thrive alongside your kids while building a better world.


Allison Rees

The Five Things In Life We Can’t Change

There are certain Givens in life that we have no control over. Experiencing a wholehearted YES to life’s Givens opens us up to adventure, courage and resilience. In this presentation, Allison will give parents insights and tools to grow their children’s inner strengths and emotional wellbeing.

Session Descriptions

Gary Anaka

1. How To Grow A Child’s Brain    

Is it possible to grow a child’s brain? Definitely YES! Active living and learning builds the best brain. With the right conditions and appropriate support, the brain can grow to its fullest potential setting the path for life long learning. However, it takes years of well chosen experiences interacting with teachers, parents, elders and the community to wire the billions of complex neural circuits needed for — language, emotions, math, logic, etc. This optimistic presentation will demonstrate how to do this in a fun and interactive way. Learn priceless leading techniques and information from Neuroscience. Teachers, caregivers, parents and children need to know – “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it, EARLY!”

2. Understanding the Teenage Brain    

Today’s teenage brain is different from any other brain in history, presenting many challenges. Discover why the adolescent brain is in turmoil, how to boost its plasticity, how the teen brain learns best, plus how to engage and communicate in relevant and practical ways. Learn leading edge, easy to apply strategies from Applied Educational Neuroscience to help unleash the potential of the teenage brain. This keynote will present excellent, simple approaches on how to support teens to become healthy, happy, life-long learning adults. If you want to help teenagers in today’s world, then you need to start with their brain. This high energy, fun, surprising presentation is full of hope and optimism for the future of all teenagers.


Ann Douglas

3.  Parenting Through the Storm    

“Having a child who is struggling doesn’t make you a bad parent, just as being a child who is struggling doesn’t make your child a bad kid.” That’s a powerful and reassuring message to hear if you happen to be the parent of a child who is struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, an autism spectrum disorder, or a related challenge. In this encouraging and story-rich workshop, Ann Douglas shares some of her own hard-won wisdom about thriving as a family while weathering one of life’s many storms (the focus of her recent book Parenting Through the Storm). The workshop is based on interviews with more than 50 parents who have walked this walk and who are eager to share their best advice with other parents. Expect a workshop that is kind, encouraging, and real and that leaves you feeling anything but alone.

 Parenting Through the Storm Handout

Reg Fleming

4.  Cannabis is legal; now what?    

So cannabis use is legal for adults in BC. How will this impact youth and their families?  This interactive session will help address some of the common questions we all have related to cannabis use and youth, looking to clarify what we know from what we fear.  We will also explore what we can do to help our kids develop the knowledge and skills they need to survive and thrive. Resources will be provided to help link parents and educators to credible, local sources of information and services.


Jennifer Gibson

5.  Ready, Set, Thrive: How to prepare our young people (and us as adults!) to thrive during the big P aka Puberty    

This session will support parents and other adult allies to prepare our children for the emotional, social and physical ch-ch-changes that Puberty brings with it. You’ll learn to talk with your kids about all of the exciting (!) changes ahead so you’re all better prepared to navigate the wonder years. We’ll talk about healthy sexual and relationship development including relationships, strategies to manage the emerging feelings, and resources.

6.  Trends, Tips and Truth: Ideas for moving beyond the talk    

A workshop about positive approaches and conversations about youth sexuality.  This session will provide current information about the trends in middles/high school aged youth and sexuality issues, tips on being an askable parent/adult ally, and honest ideas about how to move through these conversations with greater comfort. Participants are encouraged to bring along their tough questions to work through. We’ll chat about the many ways to have these conversations which will help us all to feel more confident and comfortable!


Jesse Miller

7.  Understanding Social Media and Internet Culture

Supporting your child in a world of media & communications influence.

8.  Healthy Use of Mobile Technologies in Education & the Family Home

Opening dialogues about how internet technologies impact and influence our learning & home environments.


Nick Sandor

9.  Beyond Boys Will Be Boys: Role Modelling Healthy Masculinities    

Many of us are aware of issues such as gender-based violence which are often reinforced by traditional stereotypes of masculinity. However, when we aspire to go beyond boys will be boys, what does that actually look like? The conversations we are not having need to move towards what re-defining masculinity looks like towards the future as role models for future generations.

Join us for a discussion-based workshop, where we will collectively examine our own assumptions about masculinity and develop strategies for healthy and non-violent expressions of maleness. Beyond unpacking our own assumptions and judgements, we will be exploring how to create opportunities for others to reshape and rethink masculinity using a supportive and validating approach. The goal of the workshop is to think critically about identity in a way that moves male-identifying folks and those raising boys towards accountability, self-affirmation, and relational wellness.

This workshop is a good fit for parents, caregivers, and other supportive adults who want to explore both doing and role modelling masculinity differently. The workshop is open to people of all experiences, backgrounds, and identities that are interested in exploring this topic


Liz Parkinson

10.  How to Raise Great Kids in a Generation of Assholes    

Let’s face it. The world today has a problem: many of our wonderful, adorable, brilliant children are growing up to be assholes. Between struggling with boundaries, learning manners and dealing with things like SnapChat, even the most well intentioned parents are inadvertently raising insufferable monsters.  BUT…there is hope! Through humor and story telling, Liz Parkinson’s session will help navigate three areas of parenting to give you some basics tools that can be applied the same day. It all about keeping it real!