SHAPING THE FUTURE 2023 WRAP UP
Another Shaping the Future is in the books!
The 14th annual Shaping the Future conference, sponsored by TeachNutrition.ca, has officially come to a close. The team at Ever Active Schools is both exhausted and grateful! This year, we sold out weeks in advance, confirming what we already know: investing in healthy futures for all children truly matters to educators, researchers and health and wellness professionals.
Shaping the Future 2023 Day One
With more than 500 people in attendance, Nancy Luyckfassel kicked off Shaping the Future on Thursday afternoon with her keynote address on What Matters Most. Nancy is the Associate Co-ordinator of Professional Development for the Alberta Teachers’ Association and a board member for Ever Active Schools. She shared stories of positive role models and her own lived experiences to remind us all how we can give our best to others – and ourselves – both personally and professionally.
Following the first keynote were three sets of concurrent sessions. Content ranged from Indigenizing the classroom, to empowering mentorship, to sleep strategies for school communities, and more. After a break for dinner, delegates were invited to join the Exhibitor MarketPLAYce: an opportunity for fun, games, and to engage with the awesome businesses in attendance. We first launched the MarketPLAYce at Shaping the Future 2022, and it was a massive success for both delegates and exhibitors.
Shaping the Future 2023 Day Two
The most eager of folks were up and running (some quite literally) on Friday morning with some guided wellness opportunities: a smudge, a run/walk group, and a WILDLY entertaining Richard Simmons-themed cardio workout with our resident hype gal, Erynn. (Yes, there were costumes, yes, there are photos here for your entertainment, and yes, at least one person confused Richard Simmons and Gene Simmons.)
Friday at Shaping the Future is always workshop day, meaning a chance for a deeper dive into some more complex content! Delegates chose from topics like weaving the outdoors into school experiences, sparking curiosity with Canada’s Food Guide, a how-to on offering protocol to Indigenous knowledge keepers, and there was even an opportunity to get out on the ski slopes, led by a group of students from Livingstone Range Ski Academy.
In between workshops, Daley Laing of SOGI 1 2 3 presented on Well-being Beyond the Binary, exploring why the inclusion of all genders is good for everyone. They provided tangible practices for use in classrooms, schools and communities, making this keynote address easily applicable to everyone in the room. To learn more about this topic, you can check out this episode of The Podclass: Gender Equity in the Classroom with Daley Laing.
The evening was filled with fun. After some afternoon wellness breaks, we moved into a cocktail hour and banquet dinner. The catering team at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise did an incredible job with the meal, as always, which is extra impressive when you consider just how many folks were in the room! Our aforementioned hype gal, Erynn, got the dance floor started by playing a little game of guess that tune. A few members of our leadership team were given headphones and a song to dance to while the audience tried to guess the song based on their dance moves!
Shaping the Future 2023 Day Three
Somehow, a few folks managed to attend the 7:30am wellness opportunities Saturday morning, including skating on the lake! At breakfast, everyone was treated to a mini-documentary on the ASAA Cross Country Championships hosted by Enoch Cree Nation and Ever Active Schools. Who doesn’t love a little movie with breakfast?
Matthew Corkum rounded out Shaping the Future’s keynote speakers for 2023 with a presentation on tapping into the ability in disability in school. Having been excluded, bullied and discriminated against, Matt shared that we need to collectively do a better job of educating others not to be afraid of “different”. He reminded us all that if everyone is included, everyone wins. This keynote speaker was sponsored by Alberta Mentoring Partnership.
Two final blocks of concurrent sessions wrapped up the content for the conference, with topics such as physical literacy challenges, risky play, mental health promotion in schools, and even wellness lessons all the way from New Zealand! At lunch, just before everybody packed up to head home, we drew names for some incredible prizes. Some folks took home equipment from Gopher Sport, hotel stays and even 50% off their registration for Shaping the Future next year.
Our hearts are full after these busy and exciting days. Thank you to everyone that helped make Shaping the Future 2023 a success: delegates, exhibitors, sponsors, EAS staff, venue staff, and everybody else who played a role. You. Are. Awesome.
We hope you’ll join us for Shaping the Future 2024! Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when dates are announced and tickets go on sale.
Great conference. Trying to locate a speaker for one of the sessions – Stacy Harrison. Please forward me his contact email. Thanks.
Hi Darryl, thanks for reaching out! I’ll send you an email with his contact information. – Rebecca