Shaping the Future Banner Image with dates and STF logo set in front of a sunset behind trees

Different Location, Same Shaping the Future!

15 years of Shaping the Future. 15 years of memories, connection and learning all in the name of creating healthy communities and schools. This year, the annual Shaping the Future conference sponsored by Teach Nutrition and Belair Direct may have been held in a different location, but the atmosphere brought the same warmth and eagerness we’ve come to expect from the amazing delegates, presenters and exhibitors who attend. 


Shaping the Future Day 1

After a day and a half of pre-conference sessions addressing wellness in post-secondary education nationally and mental health and well-being in school communities, Shaping the Future kicked off with almost 500 people gathered amid the mountains in Jasper. Elder Flora Northwest of Maskwacis greeted delegates from across the continent and opened the conference in prayer, followed by the gift of drum and prayer song welcoming delegates to the homelands of the James Gang Drummers who are ancestors and original inhabitants of the Aseniwuche Winewak people. Dianne McConnell gave the opening keynote “BE The Change in Shaping the Future”, a powerful journey of resilience and how to hang on to hope when the light ahead may seem dim. Dianne is a registered psychologist and educator and a previous Shaping the Future attendee, so hearing her story was especially impactful and uplifting for those of us at Ever Active Schools.

Following the keynote, we jumped right into three sets of concurrent sessions on topics ranging from health promotion and rethinking body image, to exploring radical empathy and creating affirming spaces in schools. After a break for dinner, delegates were invited to experience the third annual Exhibitor MarketPLAYce which was a rousing success. Delegates met with some amazing exhibitors, played some games and even made friendship bracelets! A great way to wrap up an exciting first day.



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Shaping the Future Day 2

The second day of the conference began early for those who were keen to get to a morning wellness session, which included a morning run or walk with Walking Champions, a smudge with Elders and a decades-inspired cardio workout!

Friday always brings the most active sessions and this year was no different with games and activities from Gopher Sports, ways to optimize self-regulation and the return of the popular session, the Amazing Race. Teach Nutrition also presented a session on reframing food messaging to create an inclusive classroom to a packed room.

Following a break hosted by ASEBP, we once again gathered for our second keynote of the conference. We heard from Amber Rehman and her son Hamza Sakr on their struggles with cyberbullying and how educators can support children in the online space through digital literacy. We were also blessed with a freestyle from Hamza to close out the inspiring keynote.

After lunch, we broke out into powerful sessions, such as the blanket exercise and sessions focused on equity, diversity and inclusion as well as how to support students in finding their passion and purpose. The wellness break allowed delegates to experience the amazing weather and scenery that Jasper presented, with a walk around Lac Bauvert, a skate on the lake or even from their window as they cozied up to get some rest… And then it was time to get ready to let loose on the dance floor!

We kicked off our banquet by getting people engaged with fellow delegates through some competitive Minute to Win It-style games while we were treated to a fantastic meal. With bellies and hearts full, the night was young as people hit the dance floor and then partied until the early morning hours (or in some cases got a full night’s sleep!).



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Shaping the Future Day 3

After our early morning wellness sessions and a celebration of the Alberta Medical Association’s support of our Youth Run Club, we gathered for our final keynote from Kevin Lamoureux. Many delegates described this as their highlight as Kevin not only engaged us with his stories of reconciliation but also the role educators play in delivering on Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. Kevin along with Elder Flora Northwest were met with standing ovations following the impactful session.

Afterwards, we headed into our final sessions where topics ranged from youth employment to offering protocol to Indigenous Knowledge Keepers. Following these sessions, we came together one last time to say goodbye. Elder Alex Crowchild of Tsuutʼina Nation offered a blessing before we shared our last meal together, and wished us safe journeys back to our home fires. Lastly, it wouldn’t be a Shaping the Future closing if we didn’t also hand out prizes to some lucky delegates before they travelled home.



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Thank You!

It’s no small feat to host 15 years of Shaping the Future, and without the tremendous support of sponsors and delegates, it just wouldn’t be possible. So thank you, thank you for your dedication, and your drive to provide a stronger, healthier community to youth. To quote Kevin Lamoureux “We’re not alone”. Without you, there is no Shaping the Future, thank you. Check out some amazing photos from the conference here!

We hope to see you back in Lake Louise for Shaping the Future 2025! Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when dates are announced and tickets go on sale.

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