Evolution 2021 October 4-6
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Our annual conference seeks to bring together the insights and experience of hundreds of planning professionals across the region. Organizers choose a different theme each year that explores the ever-present political, economic, environmental, and personal challenges of planning. Presentations, panels, keynotes, sessions, and networking opportunities provide each delegate with a learning experience that continues to impact their work throughout the year.

Registration gives you access to session recordings until June 2022.

Thank you Platinum Sponsors!

Calgary is an exciting place to start your planning career. The City of Calgary is creating the next generation of planning, with opportunities that span from local area plans to regional development. We are setting our vision for growth and it is a great time to consider The City of Calgary for career opportunities. Visit calgary.ca/careers for more details.

Sponsor Opportunities

Whether you are a local or national firm, small or large firm, or one that has a relationship with the planning profession then we invite you to review our sponsorship package and have your company featured at the conference.

Learn more

Thank you to the Alberta Real Estate Foundation
for their generous contribution!

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Speakers & Schedule

Welcome Remarks

8:00 - 8:30
Presented by

Session 1A - Evolution of Planning

8:30 - 9:45

Attendees will gain a rich appreciation of how the planning profession has evolved and continues to evolve in response to public reassessment of history. And will gain a deeper understanding of planning history in Alberta and to reconsider the role of heritage planning in reflecting societal norms.

This session features three history-related presentations that will shed light on the evolution of planning over time: 

There are strong parallels between who planners have selected as their leaders and how the organization reflected changes in the societal context. John Steil will show that the history of TPIC/CIP leadership can be best understood through acknowledging different historical periods of our evolution as a profession.

Erik Backstrom will illuminate the origins of the planning system in Alberta. Who was Horace Seymour? What led up to his appointment as Alberta's first planning director? What role did he play in institutionalizing planning even as the province tumbled into the Great Depression?

Heritage buildings and other historical resources are symbols of societal values and priorities. Are heritage inventories and designations evolving as a result of social change? Sydney Gross will report on an analysis of the City of Edmonton’s heritage resources and talk about what may be missing.

Presented by
John Steil, RPP, FCIP
John Steil, RPP, FCIP
Principal, Stantec Consulting Ltd.

John started with the City of Edmonton and has been a consultant since 1979, first with his own firm, then with integrated consulting firms. His 45-year career includes experience in community planning and design projects throughout Western and Northern Canada, from broad, regional-wide policy planning to detailed site implementation. He is Past-President of the Alberta Professional Planners Institute, Past-President of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and Past-Chair of its College of Fellows.

Erik Backstrom, RPP, MCIP
Erik Backstrom, RPP, MCIP
Senior Planner, City of Edmonton

Erik is a senior planner at the City of Edmonton, where he leads complex city-building projects and manages Edmonton’s heritage planning program. In his role as APPI historian he is working on an Edmonton planning history project. Erik was a member of APPI Council in 2004-06 and has been a lecturer at the University of Alberta School of Urban and Regional Planning.

Sydney Gross
Sydney Gross
Heritage Planner, City of Edmonton

Sydney is currently a heritage planner with the City of Edmonton, where she assists in the management of the Municipal Historic Resources program. A graduate of the University of Alberta Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning, Sydney is interested in peoples’ everyday interactions with the built environment as well as the confluence of art, community, and urban planning in cities.

Keynote - An Indigenous Conversation…Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

10:00 - 11:30

A conversation with Ryan McMahon, Anishinaabe comedian, podcaster and writer from the Couchiching First Nation in Treaty 3 Territory.  Ryan will use his unique humour to tackle heavy subjects such as colonization and reconciliation, and to challenge delegates to explore what they can do personally and professionally to re-write the next chapter of this great nation by  celebrating and embracing its vast diversity and rejecting stereotypes and racism.

Presented by
Ryan McMahon
Ryan McMahon
Digital Media Maker & Community Activator, Makoons Media Group

Ryan McMahon is an Anishinaabe comedian, writer, media maker and community activator from Couchiching First Nation in Treaty 3 Territory. As the founder & CEO of Makoons Media Group, Ryan brings indigenous stories to light through conversations, research & investigation. He provides audiences with an in-depth, challenging analysis of the indigenous experience & the reconciliation movement. Ryan inspires audiences to play their part in building a more equitable country.

Session 2A - The Evolution of Office Space: An Overview of the Calgary Market

12:30 - 1:45

This presentation will detail the key findings from our recently published research paper Obsolescence as an Opportunity: The Role of Adaptive Reuse in Calgary’s Office Market. First, we will detail the evolution of the office vacancy crisis in Calgary; then will explore local, national and international examples and case studies related to office vacancy and adaptive re-use; outline recommendations embedded within the context of Calgary; and conclude with a presentation of recently completed adaptive reuse projects in Calgary. The presentation will engage with the audience through polling questions and asking for participants to share their favourite examples of adaptive reuse from their home communities, or elsewhere. As the nature of work and the workplace continues to evolve, influenced by the COVID19 pandemic and broader economic shifts, this is a growing issue that Planners are likely to encounter in the years to come in both urban and rural contexts. Through this presentation, attendees will gain valuable insight regarding the options available to stakeholders in addressing vacant office buildings. We believe that the presentation will offer attendees informative policy and regulatory approaches that will be helpful in influencing change in their respective jurisdictions.


Presented by
Jenna Dutton
Jenna Dutton
Senior Planner - Social Policy, City of Victoria

Jenna holds a BA double major in Urban Planning and Anthropology from Concordia University, and an MA in Community Development from the University of Victoria. She has excelled in planning and project management while working in collaboration with and for local governments, as well as private sector entities, for over nine years. Her research interests include urban resilience, affordable housing, sustainability, active transportation and equitable public policy.

Rylan Graham, PhD, RPP, MCIP
Rylan Graham, PhD, RPP, MCIP
Assistant Professor, School of Planning and Sustainability, University of Northern British Columbia

Rylan’s research interests’ centre around issues related to growth management, neighbourhood change and downtown revitalization, and plan evaluation. Rylan is a Registered Professional Planner with the Planning Institute of British Columbia, a Full Member in the Canadian Institute of Planners, and has practiced as a Planner in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Rylan holds a PhD from the University of Calgary, an MA (Planning) from the University of Waterloo, and a BA (Geography) from the University of Regina.

Session 3A - Disruptive Community Building Through a Planning Lens

2:00 - 3:15

The world around us is becoming more complex and planning professionals are on the forefront of creating transformative change in their communities. 2020/2021 gave an audience to both old and new challenges communities face. Food sovereignty, houselessness, lack of access to internet are just a few that took centre stage throughout the pandemic. These are not new issues, but we know they need new solutions. The real question is how can planners become disruptive community builders and challenge the process to be seen as problem solvers when it comes to community economic development? Is it an individual level? Or should planners work towards being the voice for organizational change on how we look at social issues and shaping policies that work towards solving them?

In this session we won’t have all the answers but we will work towards looking at how to inventory your own community issues, how to have conversations and break down organizational silos and how to think about what planning policies and processes can support civic shifts.

Presented by
Barb Scully
Barb Scully
Disruptive Community Builder and Owner, Twisted Bulb

Barb is a facilitator, consultant and rural nerd. She studied Community Economic Development at Simon Fraser and has worked in rural communities for over a decade with the agricultural sector, small businesses, non-profits and rural broadband. Her last 4 years has seen her work on a variety of projects that tie technology, innovation and agricultural communities together, including leading the Parkland County, Lac Ste. Anne County, Yellowhead County and Brazeau County Smart Cities Challenge Application to the finalist round. Barb’s work has focused on supporting rural resilience, innovation, community building and food sovereignty.   When not working she spends her time with family, creating art, growing her urban food forest and exploring her weird love for compost.


Achievements: Smart Cities Challenge Finalist, ICF Smart 21 winner in 2017, Top 100 Women in Business in 2013, SEF Master Facilitator, Smart Parkland Program Manager 2015-2019, Parkland Maker Faire, Speaker

Bryanna Kumpula-Yung
Bryanna Kumpula-Yung
Owner, Bryanna Kumpula Design Ltd

Idea girl, sheep farmer, CSA farmer, entrepreneur and owner of Bryanna Kumpula Design Ltd. Bryanna is an agriculture enthusiast and holds a Bachelor of science in Agriculture from the University of Alberta, lover of coffee and box dog owner. Her business talents started at a young age and bloomed a bit more while at the U of A. After U of A, Bryanna made a few more twists working at Ranchers Beef, Northlands and National Oil Well Varco. These fine places introduced her to new people, big ideas and global concepts that helped shape the person she is today. Having a lifelong addiction to school, Bryanna is currently completing a Master’s in Arts in Community Engagement at the University of Alberta.


Bryanna and her husband Gary own and operate a CSA cut flower farm in North Central Alberta. Bryanna provides strategic direction for the farm along with marketing and communication.

Session 4A - Land Use Planning and Development in the Vicinity of Pipelines

3:30 - 4:30

Development happens in all municipalities. Pipelines exist nearly all municipalities, and a lack of collaboration between development stakeholders and pipeline operators can have major consequences for everyone involved. The CSA released Z663-18 “Land use planning in the vicinity of pipeline systems” to provide pipeline operators and development stakeholders with a toolkit of recommended protocols and best practices for municipal planners, developers, and pipeline operators alike.  


This session will address issues facing land use planning and development near pipelines, how to utilize and implement Z663-18, the issues involved between pipeline operators and land use and development near their infrastructure, and how to make policy amendments at all levels of planning to ensure the sustainability evolved planning practices.

Presented by
Russ Leedham, RPP, MCIP
Russ Leedham, RPP, MCIP
Planner, ProACTIVE Planning Inc.

Russ has over 15 years of professional experience as a planner, GIS professional and land surveyor which has given him a complete understanding of the process and issues in land development. He has nearly 5 years of unparalleled experience in connecting the influence and requirements that pipeline operators have when it comes to development near their infrastructure.

Blaise Fontaine, IAP2
Blaise Fontaine, IAP2
Director of Engagement, ProACTIVE Planning Inc.

For the last 13 years, Blaise has enjoyed a diverse and successful career in stakeholder engagement in a variety of fields, including oil and gas, community planning, Indigenous consultation, and the BC provincial government for a number of years. Her passionate, forward-thinking, and innovative approach to engagement allows her to gain the unique and important perspectives and needs of each stakeholder.

Ed Plant
Ed Plant
ProACTIVE Planning Inc.

Ed’s career includes 35 years of municipal experience from roadway and interchange design to right-of-way management.  He currently sits as the Chair for the CSA Z663 Land use planning in the vicinity of pipeline systems standard. He has a wealth of regulatory and policy-based knowledge when it comes to the intricacies of land development near all sorts of linear infrastructure.

Session 1B - Evolving Through Community Engagement: An Affordable Housing Non-Profit's Perspective

8:30 - 9:45

The Rural Development Network (RDN), through its Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) has worked over the past 5 years to support rural and remote communities in reaching their affordable housing goals through providing pre-development consultation services. We decided to evolve our practice by exploring the potential for our own affordable housing project in the City of Edmonton, so that we can take lessons learned in our own affordable housing development in the City, and apply it back to the rural and remote communities we support.

Key Takeaways

• Methods of pivoting to new areas of interest in your institution

• How to use community engagement to maximize benefits to your institution and the general

community

• Barriers to entering the affordable housing space and how all forms of governments can help alleviate these barriers

Why Attendees Should Choose Our Session

• Learn about the work of affordable housing non-profits

• Learn about innovative ways to approach community engagement as a tool for the public good

• Learn about lessons learned and approaches to shifting the focus of your work


Presented by
Daniel Morin
Daniel Morin
Planning & Community Development Specialist, Rural Development Network

Daniel is an Urban and Regional Planner who specializes in policy, governance, and sustainable development. Daniel is a graduate from the University of Alberta’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program, where his academic work focused on policy implementation and sustainable transport and design for new communities. Daniel is passionate about the implementation of policy into action, and the role different players within an institution have in building consensus and capacity for change.

Dee Ann Benard
Dee Ann Benard
Executive Director, Rural Development Network

Dee Ann has over 17 years of experience as an Executive Director and has spent over 25 years working in rural Alberta. With this experience, Dee Ann leads RDN in helping communities navigate the landscape of rural development through RDN’s initiatives such as affordable housing, homelessness, addictions, immigration and community sustainability. RDN has a vested interest in seeing communities thrive, not just survive, and is well positioned to assist them through complicated processes.


Session 2B - myMH: Home-grown Strategies for Tough Times

12:30 - 1:45

Good or bad, 2020 was a year of change. A global economic downturn, financially struggling municipalities, strides in social equity, and to top it off: a global health pandemic. But these are just some of the challenges the City of Medicine Hat faced when drafting their 2020 myMH - Medicine Hat Master Plan (Municipal Development Plan). The City of Medicine Hat has evolved substantially since the adoption of their previous MDP in 2012: a complete shift in projected population growth, decline in the value of our energy business unit, a budget crisis, and a major flooding event from dynamic climate conditions. In order for the city to adapt to these rapidly changing conditions, the myMH Master Plan would need to shift its priorities entirely from those drafted not even a decade prior.

We hope to introduce other small and medium-sized municipalities facing these same challenges to the  80/20 principle, the application of an Urban Transect and Sector Planning, the triple bottom line, pop-out features, non-traditional engagement strategies, and the development of an effective implementation plan.

Presented by
Shawn Champagne
Shawn Champagne
Planning Officer, City of Medicine Hat

Shawn has worked for the City of Medicine Hat as a Planning Officer since 2014. He’s been involved in implementing development regulations, the preparation of several Area Redevelopment Plans, and drafting the 2020 myMH Masterplan for the City of Medicine Hat. He is currently managing the city-wide implementation strategy for Medicine Hat’s MDP. He graduated with a Masters in Planning, with a focus on Sustainable Development, from the University of Aix-Marseille, France.

Robert Sissons, RPP, MCIP
Robert Sissons, RPP, MCIP
Superintendent of Planning Policy, City of Medicine Hat

Robert is a Registered Professional Planner with a Masters in Planning and 10 years of public sector experience in both development and policy planning. He currently leads a multidisciplinary team which prioritizes urban redevelopment in Medicine Hat through the creation of Area Redevelopment Plans, the recent myMH Masterplan (MDP), and the new Waterfront Development District.

Martin Knutson
Martin Knutson
Urban Designer, City of Medicine Hat

After graduating with diplomas in both Visual Communications and CADD/Technical Illustration, he joined civil engineering and planning firm Scheffer Andrew Ltd. Drawn to the planning field, he soon developed a strong interest in urban design, public spaces and public engagement. He is a Certified Technician with ASET, has a certificate in public participation from IAP2 and has achieved recognition for his work from the Canadian Association of Certified Planning Technicians.

Session 3B - Municipal-Indigenous Reconciliation: Building Relationships and Better Communities

2:00 – 3:15

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report and Calls to Action, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and recent legislative amendments all encourage Municipalities to build relationships and collaborate with Indigenous governments or community leaders, or related organizations.  Reconciliation not only involves apologies, the relearning of Canada’s national history, and public commemoration, but also involves ongoing changes to the legal, political, social, and economic context of all parties involved.  We will highlight some of the changes in context that are helping to facilitate Reconciliation, and more shared or inclusive visioning and services provision, largely from the perspective of Alberta Municipalities and municipal law.  We will overview some ongoing uncertainties and challenges, some real-life examples of municipal action and opportunities for Reconciliation, and some leading Municipal-Indigenous collaborative organizational structures and services provision.  In the municipal context, opportunities abound for taking action on Reconciliation and better relationships, to the benefit of all communities.  

Presented by
Kelley Fiske-Nielsen
Kelley Fiske-Nielsen
Associate, Brownlee LLP

Kelley is a senior associate practicing municipal, environmental and administrative law, including: planning and development and appeals, brownfield redevelopment and co-existing with oil and gas, development agreements, municipal contracts, statutory plans and bylaws and resolutions.

John McDonnell
John McDonnell
Partner, Brownlee LLP

John is a Partner at Brownlee based in Edmonton, Alberta. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours, 1996) in political science and a Diploma of Associate, Business Administration (1997), both from the University of Regina; and a law degree (LL.B.) from the University of Alberta (2000). He was called to the bar in Alberta (2001) and Nunavut (2016). He joined Brownlee in 2005.

In his municipal practice, John advises public sector clients on a broad range of corporate and commercial legal matters, including helping clients collaborate on partnerships for the regional provision of services.

Session 4B - No Table to Bang! Online Community Engagement for Land Development

3:30 - 4:30

Engaging for land development, always a controversial and complex engagement space, was made more complex with the COVID-19 pandemic. This session will cover how the City of Edmonton evolved into online engagement for land development applications in recognition of public health guidelines. Jane will tell the story of how we adapted our approach to use Bang the Table/Engagement HQ, what we learned, and whether and how we will continue using online tools once we were/are able to gather in person again. We will also reflect on how moving online impacted working with communities, for better or for worse. Part of the session will be set aside to hear from other practitioners who work in the same space, to share with and learn from each other.

Presented by
Jane Purvis, RPP, MCIP
Jane Purvis, RPP, MCIP
Engagement Lead, City of Edmonton

Jane has been an Engagement Advisor at the City of Edmonton since 2013, following 10 years as a planning and engagement consultant in the private sector. She supports staff across the organization in their engagement, currently including neighbourhood infrastructure renewal, renewal of planning policy for the City’s river valley, and creating a new Zoning Bylaw. Jane is a graduate of York University’s Masters of Environmental Studies program and a Registered Professional Planner.

Welcome Remarks

8:15 - 8:30
Presented by

Session 5A - Stop! Collaborate and Listen

8:30 - 9:45

In this presentation you’ll hear of how a willingness to branch out and a lot of serendipity led to the formation of multi-disciplinary team who together went on a journey of collaboration, embracing innovation and harnessing unproven methods to deliver a community consultation during the pandemic. Hearing from a range of voices including planners, communication professionals, engagement specialists and GIS experts detailing how the County branched out from the traditional town hall event, to using cutting edge digital tools and new methods to listen to and involve our community.

Speakers

  • Michael Klassen - Program Lead Long Range and Regional Planning, Sturgeon County: With well over 15 years of professional experience in generating and developing creative concepts and ideas within complex biophysical, social, and cultural urban/rural contexts in public and private work sectors. Michael has developed a varied skill set that includes asking questions and providing critical multi-dimensional analysis. His specific interests in system level planning, community design, program development, and community education.
  • Rachel Davies - Long Range Planner, Sturgeon County: Based in the UK for the first 10 or so years of her career, Rachel came to Alberta in 2018 with different perspectives, a passion for GIS and a necessary skill for resourcefulness and collaboration resultant of working in UK local government under austerity. With a penchant for research, sustainable development, healthy urban planning and developing innovative policy Rachel has worked on a diverse number of projects and has presented to equally diverse audiences including the South Korean Minister for Health, the Rural Municipalities of Alberta Fall Convention 2019 and the 8th Annual Meeting and Symposium of the World Health Organisation’s Health and Energy Platform of Action.
  • Tannis Topolnisky - Experience Creator, Topent Ltd: Tannis is a Certified Public Participation Professional (CP3) with almost 20 years of facilitation and engagement experience and a licensed trainer of the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) training program. She has managed over 300 different municipal, national and international projects aimed at bringing together organizations, partners, stakeholders, staff and the public to build relationships, establish trust and work together to make decisions. Impacts on health, livelihood, relationships, well-being and community are common in most of her engagement projects. Tannis has worked with organizations and on projects that have received national and international recognition of excellence.
  • Patti Schmidthiesler - GIS Technician, Sturgeon County: Patti has almost 20 years Municipal experience, with 15 of them as a GIS Technician at Sturgeon County. Combined with her previous experience as a marketing manager, Patti combines a client driven perspective with a passion for GIS. Through her works she enables 15 County departments to enjoy the benefits of GIS. Her skills range from designing & building apps to empowering staff to use GIS not only in large projects, but to improve the efficiency of their day-to-day tasks. Her favorite projects include a zombie apocalypse training scenario for Geocortex viewers, & the “Get Outside” trail application - using StoryMaps combined with Geocortex and ArcGIS desktop. When she’s not working, she’s competing in K9 Scent competitions, camping or traveling.
  • Nick Pryce, RPP, MCIP - Planning Group Director, V3 Group of Companies: Nick is a Registered Professional Planner (RPP) with over 29 years of planning, engagement and facilitation experience across Canada and internationally. He has managed a wide range of complex planning projects across Canada of varying scale that have predominately involved managing a multi-disciplinary team of experts in different fields. Nick has been the lead on numerous Master Plan projects and most recently has been working with Sturgeon County on the development of an Area Structure Plan covering 38 quarter sections of land to accommodate residential, mixed use, commercial and light industrial.  His  experience has provided him with an in-depth understanding of how to create collaborative, effective and functional planning documents and maneuver the management of projects through complex political and stakeholder environments. Nick’s approach is to be open minded when approaching a project and to understand the audience, their role and how to engage through achieving buy-in by the decision makers for the plan to be effective.
  • Lucas Warren - Manager of Corporate Communications, Sturgeon County: Lucas is the Manager of Corporate Communications for Sturgeon County. He has previously worked to support the communications and engagement efforts of a variety of municipal governments and non-profit agencies throughout Alberta.
  • Allison Zinnick - Digital Communications Officer, Sturgeon County: Allison is a Digital Communications Coordinator who wears multiple hats. She’s in charge of website management and social media – in addition to producing videos for Sturgeon County. A former journalist, Allison aims to tell stories of successes within her organization in a way that resonates with both residents and stakeholders. 

Presented by



Planning Students' Spotlight

10:00 - 11:30

This session will feature six Pecha Kucha style presentations from current planning students and new graduates. The session will highlight student work, projects and research across a variety of planning topics related to the conference theme of EVOLUTION: multiculturalism, equity in public spaces, ecosystem services heritage, public engagement, and tactical urbanism. Sessions will be followed by an opportunity for Q&A and discussion between delegates and presenters.  

Speaker Main: Jordan Zukowski, RPP, MCIP   Coordinator of Strategic Transit Planning,  City of Calgary Transit

Jordan brings a passion for public service and strategic planning to her role as Coordinator of Strategic Transit Planning with Calgary Transit. Jordan’s work involves identifying and prioritizing future transit projects, managing Calgary Transit’s land portfolio, representing Calgary Transit on corporate-wide initiatives, connecting with other departments at the City of Calgary to improve mobility, and collaborating with stakeholders to advance transit connections throughout the Calgary region. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Planning and is a Registered Professional Planner. When she is not volunteering her time to the planning profession or environmental sustainability, Jordan is most often found outdoors on a bike or skis, or enjoying a patio beer.

Student Speakers in order of presentations:

1. Social Media Platforms as Tools of Public Engagement: Connor MacDonald, Master of Planning, University of Calgary

2. Evolution in Decision-Making: Incorporating Ecosystem Services in Urban Planning and Development: Nicklas Baran, Master of Science, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Alberta

3. Planning with Multicultural Diversity in Small Cities: Brooks, Alberta: Ryan Lok, MPI, Research Assistant, Ryerson University

4. Tactical Urbanism: Small changes that lead to big impacts: Becky Poschmann, MEDes Candidate, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Calgary

Emily Kloppenburg, MPlan Candidate - School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Calgary

Beatriz Martins, BFA Candidate – University of Calgary

Cindy Nachareun, - School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Calgary

5. Evolutionary Heritage: Enhancing Edmonton’s Historic Resource Management Plan: Jared Althouse, Master of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Alberta

6. The Right to be Warm; Exploring Winter City Design Trends and Social Equity: Nicole Cronkhite, Graduate Student, MSc, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Alberta

Presented by

Session 6A - Public Art 2.0: A Conversation on Responding to Change

12:30 - 1:45

This session will feature a facilitated discussion led by a panel of subject matter experts who participated in developing the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s (RMWB) inaugural Regional Public Art Plan, which is the guiding document for Public Art Wood Buffalo. The facilitated discussion will explore how the process of developing the Public Art Plan was both informed by and responsive to the changes the RMWB has faced over the last five years. These changes include an economic downturn, two major natural disaster events, and greater community awareness about having underrepresented voices in the decision-making process, including Indigenous peoples. In addition, the panel will highlight how COVID-19 impacted the consultation process and how it was adapted to respond to community needs. Delegates will gain a deep understanding of the process involved in preparing a public art plan and will work through a process that aimed to engage often underrepresented voices. Delegates will be able to implement what they have learned into their own practice when undertaking plan developments that are responsive to changing community circumstances. 

Presented by
Nabil Malik
Nabil Malik
Planner, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

Nabil is the Vice-Chairperson of the Council-appointed Public Art Committee and a Planner and Development Officer with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Theresa Buller
Theresa Buller
Coordinator Culture & Social Development, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

Theresa is a Coordinator of Culture & Social Development Branch with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Administrative Support for Public Art Wood Buffalo.

Session 7A - Social Innovation Labs 101

2:00 - 3:15

This session will provide participants with an introduction to social innovation labs: processes that bring together diverse stakeholders to address complex problems. Building on the experience of the Better Housing Lab, which explored the intersection of affordable housing, environmentally sustainable buildings, development economics and livability, this session will: 

• Introduce participants to the intent and key elements of social innovationLabs • Describe the experience of the Better Housing Lab process, including reflections on how the process needed to evolve due to the realities of COVID-19 and • Identify the unique advantages (and challenges) of social innovation labs

The session will feature a blend of information delivery and experiential learning, using tools that were deployed in the lab to map systems, generate ideas and prototype solutions. By the end of the session, participants will have an appreciation for how these kinds of processes represent a significant opportunity to evolve the practice of building better communities. 

Presented by
John Lewis, RPP, MCIP
John Lewis, RPP, MCIP
President, Intelligent Futures

John is the President and Founder of Intelligent Futures – a firm of versatile community problem solvers. John is also the host of 360 Degree City – a podcast that explores cities from a variety of angles.

Cassandra Caiger
Cassandra Caiger
Engagement Lead, Intelligent Futures

Cassandra designs, organizes, and executes engagement activities and is an expert engagement feedback analyst. Cassandra has led the facilitation of cross-sectoral community conversations in areas as diverse as urban agriculture, electric vehicles, waste management, circular economy and social well-being. For her leadership in  championing the community’s voice in the change process, Cassandra was recognized with the 2019 Canadian Institute of Planners President’s Award for Young Planners.


Session 8A - The Importance of Park Size, Configuration, Location and Servicing

3:30 - 4:30

Parks lands are restorative public infrastructure that help planners spatially mediate the negative impacts of more dense forms of urban living. As such, the details of park provision to ensure functionality of spaces (i.e., program, size, shape, configuration, and location) are critical to the contribution of park lands to the ecological, social, economic, health and wellness of sustainable communities. The presentation will include park planning design guidelines that can be used as minimums for use in design of new parks and park systems, redevelopment of existing park sites, or redesign of urban landscapes adjacent to park lands.

Presented by
Robert Priebe, PhD, RPP, MCIP
Robert Priebe, PhD, RPP, MCIP
University of Alberta Sessional Lecturer

Bob is a University of Alberta Sessional Lecturer in Park Planning in the Human Geography and Urban Planning Program. His recently completed PhD dissertation focussed on park lands decision-making in Edmonton. He has 30+ years of professional planning in parks, facility and open space planning in the Edmonton region.

Session 5B - Not Very APPEALing: Infill Developments in Yellowknife

8:30 - 9:45

From Old Town to Up Town, Yellowknife’s built form has a number of constraints: limited land availability, housing affordability, an aging demographic, and an increase in homeless and vulnerable populations. Yellowknife’s Community Plan seeks to address these constraints by encouraging infill. There have been a number of submitted development permits that meet the goals of the Community Plan, but some vocal Yellowknifers have declared “Not In My Backyard”. Join the presenters as they discuss four Current Planning files that have had the threat of appeal during COVID-19: two multi-family housing projects, an affordable seniors housing facility, and a Sobering Centre and Day Shelter to help those in need cope with 40 below. Appellants in Yellowknife tend to be educated, well-financed, owners of their homes and grey-haired—the opposite of who would stand to benefit the most from these developments. How do you deal with a growing sentiment of restricting development, while balancing the need for a more equitable and inclusive community? Attendees should choose this session if they are interested in Northern planning issues, housing & homelessness issues, and current planning processes & how they relate to your Municipalities’ larger Community Vision.

Presented by
Rob Lok, RPP, MCIP
Rob Lok, RPP, MCIP
Manager of Planning and Lands, City of Yellowknife

With 15 years of professional planning experience, Rob has represented the current and long-range planning interests with a capital city and three other northern local governments. In addition, Rob has successfully delivered a number of planning projects at the municipal and territorial government levels, as well as the private sector. Rob has been certified as a Registered Professional Planner since 2011.

Sarah Bercu
Sarah Bercu
Planner, City of Yellowknife

A candidate member of APPI, Sarah Bercu began her planning career in the urban design unit in the Halifax Regional Municipality. She moved to Yellowknife in 2018 to work in the private sector before moving to her current position as a planner with the City of Yellowknife. She enjoys working on a variety of both current and long-range planning files. She is passionate about the built environment and social planning issues.

Libby MacPhail
Libby MacPhail
Planner, City of Yellowknife

A candidate member of APPI, Libby grew up in Northern Alberta and has been heading more North since- her positions thus far have all been above the 60th Parallel. Initially beginning with the City of Dawson, Yukon, Libby moved a Territory over a year and a half ago to be a Planner with the City of Yellowknife. Libby greatly enjoys the multitude of planning activities that cross her desk, and appreciates seeking pragmatic solutions to complex Northern issues.

Session 6B - Evolving Education: Changes to School Planning

12:30 - 1:45

School planning is often considered a niche area in the planning profession; however, schools play an integral part in community vibrancy and sustainability, and therefore, our profession. The planning, construction, and operation of schools is a collaborative effort between school divisions, municipalities, and developers. This session will highlight some aspects of school planning that you may be unfamiliar with, and/or ones that you thought you understood. Over the past few years school planners have adjusted their practices and adopted new procedures in response to the introduction of the Education Act, the modernized Municipal Government Act, revised provincial regulations, and a global pandemic.

This session will look at the transformational changes that have occurred in school planning. Some of these changes include provincial funding models, procedural processes relating to disposition of property, requirements for joint use and planning agreements, and the delivery of programming (virtual versus in-person). School Divisions across the province will be evaluating the effects of the global pandemic on the delivery of education now, and into the future. COVID-19 forced planners to think about the role schools play in our everyday lives. Could this influence how school sites look and operate in the future? If so, how?

Presented by
Josephine Duquette, RPP, MCIP
Josephine Duquette, RPP, MCIP
Supervisor, The Edmonton School Division

Josephine is a Supervisor with 16 years of experience working in the education planning field. Prior to this Josephine worked at several municipalities across Alberta and BC in their respective planning departments in a variety of roles. Josephine believes that education planners play a vital role in creating stronger, more vibrant communities.

Brent Dragon
Brent Dragon
Planner, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS)

Brent is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s School of Urban and Regional Planning. Brent has developed a foundation in education planning by taking on roles as a transportation planner and land use planner. Since 2019, Brent has worked as a planner for EIPS where he is responsible for all land use, strategic, and capital planning initiatives.

Trent Schlosser
Trent Schlosser
Planner, Edmonton Catholic Schools

Trent is a planner currently working in the field of education. Trent is responsible for creating detailed reports based on facilities data, census indicators, and socioeconomic vulnerability to assist his organization apply for capital projects and funding. Trent’s passions are data analysis, data visualization, and long-term strategic planning.

Session 7B - Managing Behind the Screen - Keys to Successful Conflict Resolution

2:00 - 3:15

In this Era, digital technology continues to transform public consultations.

Do you feel frustrated managing virtual consultations? Do you feel losing control of the situation or conversation at times? Do you ever find yourself stuck not knowing how to deal with a concerning behaviour behind the screen? Do you wonder if conflict is a very real part of relationship?  If you said yes to any of these questions, join us for a practical and engaging discussion to unlock conflict resolution strategies, discuss approaches and tools that will help you manage public consultations on and off screen.

Presented by
Shefali Khoja, MBA
Shefali Khoja, MBA
Speaker, Facilitator Public Engagements, Mediator

Shefali Khoja has obtained her Masters' degree in Community Development, Certification in International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and is the President for PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network) Edmonton. Her 15 years of experience include speaking on  topics of Inclusion, Managing Difficult Conversations, Sustainability and Succession Planning and other Leadership topics. Some of her volunteer work involve mediation for Strathcona County Mediation Society;  She is a Crucial Conversations trainer;  leading Training & Engagement for Settlement Portfolio. She has facilitated and delivered speaking assignments to many diverse groups including professionals, executive leadership, and volunteers at national and international forums.

Sal Khoja, CPA, MComm
Sal Khoja, CPA, MComm
Consultant, Speaker, Facilitator

Sal Khoja is a CPA with Master’s degree in commerce. She is a consultant and facilitator who brings in over two decades of experience working with all three levels of government in various managerial and leadership positions. She has also worked for a leading private sector  bank and as an instructor at post-secondary institutions instructing soft skill and technical subjects. As an advisor to key decision makers in the government and having closely worked with project managers, planners, engineers, architects, geologists, environmental specialists in the areas of real property, infrastructure, and capital projects, she is well aware of the issues and challenges faced by planners and managers who deliver infrastructure projects. Sal volunteers and facilitates the Quality of Life program working with vulnerable sectors of the community and as an interpreter (she is fluent in five international languages).

Session 8B - Municipal Boundary Battles: Annexation in Alberta

3:30 - 4:30

Adjusting municipal boundaries changes a municipality significantly in how and where it grows, manages its financial affairs, and provides services to its residents. Annexation is the most common and frequent form of boundary adjustment in the province of Alberta and elsewhere in Canada. This talk will present a comprehensive overview of how municipalities across Alberta weigh the risks and benefits of annexations. It will present a typology of annexations along with a few recent trends that are shaping the annexation debate in the province. The presentation will also expound on the reasons for where and why annexations happen in the province, how they impact the municipal and regional growth patterns, and whether they are economically beneficial to the annexing municipality.

The talk will elaborate on how annexations correlate with the boom and bust cycles of the province and the role of planners in shaping the annexation debate, all of which nicely dovetails the conference theme – EVOLUTION. The presentation will debunk major myths of annexations in Alberta.

Presented by
Sandeep Agrawal, PhD, AICP, RPP, MCIP
Sandeep Agrawal, PhD, AICP, RPP, MCIP
Professor and Director, School of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Alberta

Dr. Agrawal is a nationally- as well as internationally-known scholar of urban and regional planning. His most recent research has focused on municipal annexations, human and indigenous rights, and just energy transition. He is an author of two books and about a hundred publications, both refereed and non-refereed. He is a past member of the Alberta Municipal Government Board and Edmonton’s Subdivision and Development Appeals Board.

Welcome Remarks

8:15 - 8:30
Presented by

Session 9A -Adaptive Reuse of Hotels in Resource-Based Communities

8:30 - 9:45

Adaptive reuse is a mechanism for repurposing existing buildings to viable uses. Practiced for hundreds of years, adaptive reuse is a planning tool that can be used to mitigate major socioeconomic changes. Historically, the oil boom era has created demand for the accommodation sector for Alberta’s resource-based municipalities through the provision of temporary and seasonal workers. This demand has significantly decreased due to current challenges in the energy sector and travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic, resulting in decreased occupancy rates and economic challenges for those hotels. At the same time, demand for another type of accommodation grew in the seniors housing sector, sparking the conversation about adaptive reuse of hotels into assisted living homes. How can landowners, consultants, and municipalities work together to accommodate this change as this trend continues to grow?

This presentation features case studies of projects Invistec undertook within different municipalities in Alberta and the challenges and opportunities that were faced on a site-specific, neighbourhood, and municipal/regional scales. Join Lilit Houlder to discuss lessons learned in repurposing existing hotels to seniors living uses and the complex roles that provincial, inter-municipal, and municipal policies play in this process.

Presented by
Lilit Houlder
Lilit Houlder
Planner, Invistec Consulting Ltd.

Having previously worked in both public and private sectors in Edmonton and Calgary, developing skills in community engagement and policy writing, Lilit’s passion is learning and creating new ways of how planning policy impacts urban design.

Lilit graduated from the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape (SAPL)’s Master of Planning program at the University of Calgary and has completed her B.A. in Human Geography and Sociology at the University of Alberta. In addition, she values interdisciplinary collaboration and has formal training in leadership and intercultural communications from the University of Alberta.

Session 10A - My Backyard Dream Home: Past and Future Garden Suites

10:00 - 11:15

Alberta faces a home affordability crisis. Our houses are growing in price and size, but our families are shrinking. Edmonton recently removed many barriers for building secondary suites. However many other Alberta municipalities are hesitant to follow Edmonton’s lead. My Backyard Dream Home is a mini-web series that explores making use of livable spaces in backyards and small lot communities through the perspectives of people who aim to reduce their consumption by living in, building, and owning Edmonton garden suites.

Whether it is grandma enjoying her own home close to family, avid cyclists looking to reduce their carbon footprint, or an investor looking to grow her financial nest egg, the web series shows creating independent living with a small footprint is good for the environment and our peace of mind.

Join series producer and planner Adam Bentley, garden suite advocate Ashley Salvador, and Calgary realtor Laura Christie as we watch several series episodes that cover important topics such as aging in place, zero emissions living, property investment, and barrier-free living. Afterwards, we will briefly discuss the challenges and thrills of producing the series, and what the future of secondary suite development, regulations, and living holds in municipalities across the province.


Presented by
Adam Bentley, RPP, MCIP
Adam Bentley, RPP, MCIP
Producer, YEGFilm

Adam Bentley, the face of #yegfilm, is an Edmonton-based planner, filmmaker, and founder of the International Festival of Winter Cinema. He produces video works on anxiety and distance in an era of climate breakdown and isolation. Adam was twice awarded the highly competitive Edmonton Arts Council’s Cultural Diversity in the Arts grant and is a two-time recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts’ Cultural Relations grant. His works have been screened at film festivals across Canada, the United States, and Europe. His work has also been featured on Air Canada and CBC Television. When not writing or filming, he can be found biking, summer or winter, in Edmonton’s river valley.

Ashley Salvador
Ashley Salvador

Ashley is the co-founder of YEGarden Suites and Calgary Backyard Suites. Born and raised in Edmonton, Ashley completed a BA Honours in Sustainability and Sociology from Dalhousie University and is currently completing an MA in Planning at the University of Waterloo. Ashley has conducted extensive research on laneway housing, including the first-ever comprehensive study on Garage/Garden Suites in Edmonton. She is involved in Edmonton's infill community and specializes in the social and relational aspects of our built environment.

Laura Christie
Laura Christie
Realtor

Laura is a lifelong Calgarian and has been a Realtor in the city since 2010. She is passionate about creating and helping to build communities focused on people, walkability, and sustainability. She hopes that backyard housing will be the answer for many homeowners that want alternative living arrangements that help them maximize the lifestyle and financial value of the property.

Implementing Success and Avoiding Past Failures – EVOLUTION Planning Conference Wrap Up

11:30 - 1:00

Join the Conference Chairs in a conversation with Antonio Gomez-Palacio’s, founding partner of DIALOG, to reflect on what  we have learned over the course of the two and a half day 2021 APPI Conference.    Having listened to the experiences of others and reflecting on our own growth and the many ways we have adapted the way we work, think and plan, we will seek to define where we might see ourselves and the planning profession in the future: where we want to be and how we might go about planning the first step towards that goal.  We will explore how using lessons learned we can recommit to continuous improvement and adaptive management.  On a more personal level, we may have a better understanding of our own qualities, and the skills and abilities that we have gained as individuals and how we can apply this evolution to enhance lives both professionally and personally. 

Presented by
Antonio Gomez-Palacio, RPP, MCIP
Antonio Gomez-Palacio, RPP, MCIP
Principal, DIALOG

Antonio’s professional experience and research focuses on the intersection of architecture, planning, and urban design. He’s internationally recognized for transforming cities into vibrant urban places that respond to their social, economic, and environmental contexts. Antonio has worked on a wide range of projects focused on urban intensification, master planning, mixed-use, transit, heritage, economic development, and sustainability. His project work includes light-rail transit (LRT) projects for Mississauga, Brampton, and Edmonton, downtown plans for Halifax and Regina, and campus plans for Seneca College and Laurentian University. In addition to impacting communities through his professional practice, Antonio is involved with numerous industry initiatives and organizations.  As a founding partner of DIALOG, Antonio facilitates his project work through participatory processes. In 2015, he was bestowed the honour of being listed as one of the “Top 10 Most Successful Mexicans in Canada” by Latinos magazine. He became a fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada College in 2018, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the design community. Antonio is an informative and engaging speaker, internationally recognized for transforming cities into vibrant urban places that respond to their social, economic, and environmental context.

Matthew Boscariol, RPP, MCIP
Matthew Boscariol, RPP, MCIP
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Wheatland County

Matt Boscariol is currently the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Wheatland County with overall responsibility for several major areas of municipal operations. He is passionate about making communities places where people and businesses can thrive. He is a Registered Professional Planner, a full Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and a Certified Local Government Manager. Matt holds an Honours degree from the University of Ottawa, a Masters in Planning from York University, two Advanced Certificates in local government from the University of Alberta, and multiple certifications from the International Association of Public Participation. He is currently completing a degree in Public Sector Management from the University of Victoria. Matt is an avid traveller and is passionate about developing talented teams in any organization he is affiliated with.

Natasha De Sandi
Natasha De Sandi
Planning and Engagement Officer, Sturgeon County

Natasha brings her outgoing and charismatic personality to municipal government as a Planning and Engagement Officer for Sturgeon County. Natasha has a unique opportunity in her position as she is able to work on project which are both long range and current in nature. Her passion for planning is driven through the opportunity to collaborate with people, brainstorm innovative opportunities and solutions and of course, work with bright minds to create some pretty awesome communities. When Natasha is not writing policy, you can catch her exploring Edmonton while petting as many dogs as possible along the way. If you see Natasha exploring Edmonton, don’t hesitate to say hello!

Session 9B - Ask me About my Pronouns: An Introduction to LGBTQ2S+ Inclusive Planning

8:30 - 9:45

Recent social movements have brought diversity & inclusion to the forefront of our thoughts. Planners are learning and adapting practices to meet the needs of excluded and underrepresented groups. In this session we will explore one aspect of inclusion: LGBTQ2S+ inclusion. This is an introductory session that will highlight how planners can alter their day-to-day tasks in simple, cost-effective, easily implementable ways to take steps towards fostering LGBTQ2S+ inclusivity. Lessons will be on pronoun use, considerations for public engagement events, writing policy and communications, as well as sharing examples of projects and tools in other places. As planning evolves, planners must reduce barriers and provide equal access and opportunity for LGBTQ2S+ people in planning.

Presented by
Lyndsay Francis, RPP, MCIP
Lyndsay Francis, RPP, MCIP
Planner, City of St. Albert

Lyndsay combines their lived experience as a queer person and planning knowledge to provide an inclusive lens to their work. Lyndsay considers themselves to be a community builder. Creating and implementing planning policies that impact the physical community by day and fundraising and performing as a drag king building social community by night.