Early-bird registration ends April 21

Event Information

Start Date

May 23, 2023

End Date

May 25, 2023

Venue Address

Hyatt Regency Calgary, 700 Centre St S, Calgary, T2G 5P6, Alberta, Canada

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Presenting Partner

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Registration Packages

Note: Rates are in Canadian dollars and do not include applicable taxes.

CCAE Member Group Discount:
Take advantage of the CCAE Group Package by registering 5 or more team members from your school and save $50 each. To access the group package rate enter in the discount code NC5PLUS.
NOTE: The discount is only applicable to the Full Conference Package and CCAE members only. Discounts cannot be combined.

Full CCAE National Conference Package

Early bird rate (on or before April 21, 2023) $1,125
Regular rate (after April 21, 2023) $1,550

Early bird rate (on or before April 21, 2023) $1,765
Regular rate (after April 21, 2023) $2,085

All National Conference professional learning sessions; keynote session; 1 ticket to all special events (opening reception event, cocktail & dinner event; social event); all breakfasts, lunches, and refreshment breaks; all recorded content, including bonus sessions that are not available at the in-person conference.
Registration deadline for this package is May 16, 2023.

1 day package (Wed or Thurs)

Members: $535
Non-members: $640

All National Conference professional learning sessions; keynote session (Wednesday only); and all breakfasts, lunches, and refreshment breaks on either Wednesday or Thursday
Additional tickets for special events can be purchased through the registration portal, see below for additional ticket pricing.
Registration deadline for this package is May 16, 2023.

Additional Special Event Tickets

Opening Reception: $99
Dinner Event: $169
Social Event: $119

Note: 1 ticket for each special event (evening events) is included in the purchase of the full CCAE National Conference Package for both members and non-members. Additional tickets for special events can be purchased by selecting the option in the registration portal.
The deadline register for special event access is May 16, 2023.

Virtual Options

CCAE understands not all interested participants will be able to participate in Calgary for the in-person program. To accommodate these participants, key sessions including the keynote presentation, will be recorded at the live event, and bonus recorded sessions outside of the live event will be available to purchase following the conference. CCAE is not offering a live-stream virtual package.

Travel & Accommodations

Fly with Air Canada and save

Air Canada is offering special discounts to National Conference delegates travelling to the Conference destination: Calgary Alberta (YYC).

The promotion code for the discount is HGKF3UE1. To book a flight with the promotion code visit aircanada.com and enter the code in the designated box.

Applicable Rules

  • The booking is to be made to the following city: Calgary, YYC (AB)
  • The travel period begins Tuesday, May 16, 2023 and ends Thursday, June 01, 2023.
  • Travel is valid Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
  • For North America’ 5% applies on standard fares, 10% on flex fares & higher. For International Travel’ 10% on standard fares & higher.
  • The promotion code is only available to 2023 CCAE Nattional Conference attendees, and cannot be used for any other reason.

Stay with your colleagues

Get the most out of the Conference by reserving your accommodations alongside your colleagues. CCAE has secured a limited number of rooms for attendees at the Hyatt Regency Calgary (700 Centre St S, Calgary, AB T2G 5P6).

UPDATE: Accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Calgary are SOLD OUT for the night of Thursday May 25th. However, you can still book accommodations for May 22-24, 2023.  CCAE is sourcing an alternative hotel, sign up to receive information regarding alternate accommodations.

Click here to make your reservation, or call 1- 888-421-1442 and indicate the booking code G-CCAE.

Individual guest calls for bookings will be treated with the same 24-hour cancellation policy as part of the hotel guidelines. Guests will be held responsible as they will be proving credit card information during the booking process.

Reservation deadline: April 24, 2023

Special Events

Opening Reception

Tuesday May 23, 2023, Time: tbc

Platform Calgary – Pitch Stage & West Hall
Supported by CCAE National Partner Manulife

Platform Calgary image of building with Calgary skyline in background

Event Details

The opening reception provides attendees with an exceptional atmosphere to start off the conference and reunite with colleagues. CCAE is taking attendees to a venue that highlights Calgary’s entrepreneurial spirit: Platform Calgary. Attendees will reconnect over appetizers and drinks as we celebrate and recognize the 2023 Outstanding Achievement Award recipient.

  • A ticket to the Opening Reception is included for all in-person full package registrants of the National Conference. If you purchased a one-day registration package, you will need to purchase a ticket to the opening reception.
  • Attendees will have a short walk (750 m) over to Platform Calgary from the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
  • Food stations and entrées will be served starting at 6pm. Attendees will receive a ticket for 1 complimentary beverage.

Learn more about Platform Calgary 

Cocktail & Dinner Event

Wednesday May 24, 2023, Time: tbc

Calgary Zoo – Safari Lodge
Supported by National Partner TD Insurance Meloche Monnex

Calgary Zoo safari lodge picture of dining room with skylight

Event Details

It’s time to celebrate and enjoy a night of fun, recognition and giraffes! That’s right this evening event is located within the Safari Lodge venue of the Calgary Zoo. Upon arrival, enjoy cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres within the Emmax Conservatory Hall while you enjoy the beautiful gardens and butterfly conservatory. Following cocktails attendees will walk over to the Safari Lodge for the seated dinner portion of the evening – you may cross a peacock en route or spot a peeking giraffe!

Throughout the evening we will pay homage to the 25th anniversary of TDIMM Fellowships in advancement and the 2023 Friend of Education Award recipient.

  • Attendees will receive a ticket for 1 complimentary beverage during the cocktail hour, followed by a full course seated dinner.
  • A ticket to the Evening Event is included for all in-person full package registrants of the National Conference.  If you purchased a one-day registration package, you will have to purchase a ticket to the awards evening.
  • Transportation from the Hyatt Regency Hotel is included for those who purchased tickets to the Evening Event and delegates who purchased the full conference package.

Learn more about the Calgary Zoo

Social Event

Thursday May 25, 2023, Time: tbc

Whisky Rose Saloon
Supported by National Partner MBNA

Whiskey Rose Saloon, image of stage and seating

Event Details

Saddle up partners for an experience that hits all the notes of Calgary’s western flare. Closing out the Conference is the highly anticipated Social Event, and this year CCAE brings you to the Whisky Rose Saloon. Join the festivities as you socialize and unwind with your colleagues. For country folk and city slickers alike – Whiskey Rose Saloon is a place to come together, listen to all kinds of music, knock back a tasty beverage and to enjoy the best that Calgary has to offer. 

  • The dress code is casual, and it is highly encouraged that you represent your school and wear your school swag to amplify this entertaining evening.
  • A ticket to Social Night is included for all in-person full package registrants of the National Conference. If you purchased a one-day registration package, you will have to purchase a ticket to this event. Attendees will receive a ticket for 1 complimentary beverage.
  • Transportation from the Hyatt Regency Hotel is included for those who purchased tickets to the Evening Event and delegates who purchased the full conference package. 

Learn more about the Whisky Rose Saloon

Meet your Keynote

Supported by Presenting Partner Blackbaud

The Amazing Couple - Team Ahkameyimok

The Amazing Couple – Team Ahkameyimok

In 2019, Dr. Makokis competed alongside his husband Anthony Johnson as “Team Ahkameyimok” on the Amazing Race Canada and won, becoming the first two-spirit, Indigenous, married couple in the world to do so. The Amazing Two Spirit Couple is on a mission to raise awareness to create equal access for LGBTQ2S+ & Indigenous populations. Thier ability to blend their personal experiences with high level expertise creates new foundations of understanding for acceptance of individuals while empowering individuals to give them tools and strategies for how they can be a part of the solution through allyship and unity.

Dr. James Makokis
Two Spirit Doctor – LGBTQ2S, Indigenous, Diversity & Inclusion Expert

Anthony Johnson
LGBTQ2S+, Two-Spirit and Diversity Expert


The Amazing Couple – Team Ahkameyimok

After travelling more than 20,000 kilometers across 6 provinces, 1 territory, and 14 cities, Dr. James Makokis (Cree) and Anthony Johnson are the first Indigenous, Two-Spirit couple to win The Amazing Race Canada, hence known as The Amazing Couple – Team Ahkameyimok. Not without its challenges during the season, they were able to continuously work together to keep resilient and work together to stay in the race and pass each stage of the race. Not without their ups and downs, the Amazing Couple turned out to be an unstoppable force by the end of the season which eventually led them to winning Season 7 of The Amazing Race Canada. The Amazing Race Canada is not an easy challenge to win, as the couple surpassed Canadian Olympic Athletes and some fierce competitors during the season.

Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson’s story goes much further than the Amazing Race Canada. They both have a unique experience as identifying as Two-Spirit, being advocates for a wide variety of social and community programs and being leaders in and outside of their communities. Two-Spirit, an umbrella term that Indigenous people use to describe people in their communities who are gender-nonconforming, giving them both the ability to access ‘male and female’ traits to accomplish anything they need to.

During their participation on the show, the Amazing Couple used the media coverage and platform to confront stereotypes, homophobia, ignorance, and racism, and raise awareness of issues faced by Indigenous Peoples in Canada, the United States and around the World. Makokis and Johnson Indigenized the race starting from their team’s name, Team Ahkameyimok (in Cree: “Don’t give up, keep going, use whatever you have to get something done.”) Their team motto was also Ahkameyimok! A phrase their elders use to encourage others to do their best and keep going no matter what the challenge or how difficult of a situation one is faced with.

“Ahkameyimok!” was not only true to their performance on the Amazing Race, but it was something true to both of their personal stories before they met each other. Both Johnson and Makokis both lived in segregated and marginalized First Nation communities that were deprived of access to social programming, equal education, and limited economic opportunities. Both identifying as Two-Spirit at an early age, they both felt segregation and bullying from their own community members, and both had to struggle everyday to find and be themselves while learning to cope the constant negative reinforcement and pressure for who they were. These were the first times they as individuals had to tap into “Ahkameyimok” every single day. Their personal struggles and relationships were a constant reinforcement of being outed as being “different” while coping with layers of discrimination, all sorts of bullies and being excluded from peer groups and everyday social interactions.

Dr. James Makokis is a Nehiyô (Neh-hee-yo) Two-Spirit doctor from the Onihcikiskapowinihk (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) in Treaty Number Six Territory. He practices Family Medicine in Kinokamasihk (Kih-no-kum-a-sick) Cree Nation in northeastern Alberta and has a transgender health focused practice in South Edmonton. He was the inaugural Medical Director at Shkaabe Makwa (Shkaa-bay Muh-kwa) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto – the first Indigenous health centre designed to lead systems’ transformation in Indigenous mental health across the country.  He is also an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta.

In 2019, Dr. Makokis competed alongside his husband Anthony Johnson as “Team Ahkameyimok” (Ah-ka-may- mook) (Never Give Up in the Cree Language) on the Amazing Race Canada and won, becoming the first two- spirit, Indigenous, married couple in the world to do so. In 2020 Dr. Makokis was named one of 30 most powerful physicians in the country by The Medical Post, but believes power is a concept that should be shared amongst others. Dr. Makokis is a regular guest on the Marilyn Denis show and commentator in the media. Dr. Makokis is enthusiastic about revitalizing the Nehiyô medical system, educating people about Treaty, and working toward the vision of Turtle Island, which is to live together in peace and friendship.

Anthony Johnson, a self-proclaimed spiritual nomad, is an artist, poet, photographer, cultural documentarian, public speaker, and strategic analyst whose mission in life is to explore the beauty of the Earth and its inhabitants. A proud Dine (Navajo) man who was born and raised on the Navajo Nation, he’s lived in many cities across Turtle Island and even had a short stint in Shanghai, China. After graduating from Harvard University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Social Anthropology of East Asia, he has worked in the tech industry, fashion world, and project consulting.

His move to Treaty 6 Territory in Edmonton, Alberta marked the beginning of the newest chapter in his life when he wed his husband, Dr. James Makokis, while running the BMO Harris Vancouver Marathon in 2017. Canada, and the world, were introduced to the couple when they competed on and won Season 7 of the Amazing Race Canada. Anthony currently works as a Project Coordinator in Kehewin Cree Nation where he is helping to revitalize Traditional Cree birthing practices, medicines, and ceremonies as they relate to the Cree 7 Stages of Life philosophy. He is an aspiring filmmaker who believes in the power of stories to bring healing.


wdt_IDTime (MT)Session/ActivityLocation
216:00New Professionals 'Meet n Greet'Grand Foyer 3/4
317:30Meet in the Hotel Lobby to walk to Platform CalgaryHotel Lobby
2118:00 - 20:00Opening Reception
Supported by National Partner Manulife
Platform Calgary – Pitch Stage & West Hall
wdt_IDTime (MT)Session/ActivitySpeaker(s)Location
18:30 - 9:45Breakfast & National Conference Opening
29:45 - 10:45Professional Learning Session A
Keynote: The Amazing Couple – Team Ahkameyimok
Supported by Presenting Partner Blackbaud
Dr. James Makokis, Two Spirit Doctor – LGBTQ2S, Indigenous, Diversity & Inclusion Expert
Anthony Johnson, LGBTQ2S+, Two-Spirit and Diversity Expert
310:45 - 11:30Meet with CCAE's National Partners, Conference Sponsors & Exhibitors
411:30 - 12:15Professional Learning Sessions B
5Becoming Strategic Partners with our Academic LeadersSherry Booth, Trent University
12Stronger Together. Formalizing town-gown relations for the betterment of community
Session Sponsor Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.
Richard Longtin, Red Deer Polytechnic
13Kirk & Spock: Lessons in LeadershipLorna Somers, Mohawk College Foundation
14A Mile in Their Shoes: Truth, Empathy, and ReconciliationRuth Dunley, Queen’s University
1512:15 - 13:30Lunch
1613:30 - 14:30Professional Learning Sessions C
wdt_IDTime (MT)Session/ActivitySpeaker(s)Location

8:30 - 9:15



9:15 - 10:15

Professional Learning Sessions E


Reimagining Regional Alumni Engagement: alumni UBC’s pandemic pilots

Michael Awmack, University of British-Columbia
Christy Nair, University of British-Columbia


Follow The Money: Gift acceptance policies and practices at Canadian universities

Ellen Dotty,  University of Alberta
Tanya Hannah Rumble, Toronto Metropolitan University


What women want: Bringing female philanthropy to the forefront of your institution
Session Sponsor Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.

Christy Miller, Global Philanthropic Canada
Tasneem Rahim, Bow Valley College


Building a Data Driven Culture
Session Sponsor Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.

Alex Campomanes, University of Manitoba
Stephanie Levene, University of Manitoba


10:15 - 10:45

Meet with CCAE's National Partners, Conference Sponsors & Exhibitors


10:45 - 12:00

Professional Learning Sessions F
Panel Discussion


12:00 - 13:00



13:00 - 14:00

Professional Learning Sessions G


Professional Learning Sessions B: May 24, 11:30-12:15 MT

Sherry Booth

Sherry Booth

Becoming Strategic Partners with our Academic Leaders

Sherry Booth, Associate Vice President, Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, Trent University

Our philanthropic work relies on the vision and inspiration of our institutional leaders. Through an interactive round table experience, learn ways to engage with our academic partners for mutually beneficial impacts. We will discuss common pitfalls and ways to overcome challenges of the academic world. Finally, we will explore success stories of best-case scenarios.



Learning Objectives:

  • Discover Opportunities to Engage with Deans, Directors & Departments.
  • Common Pitfalls and Overcoming Challenges.
  • Sharing Successes.
Richard Longtin

Richard Longtin

Session Sponsor: Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.

Stronger Together. Formalizing town-gown relations for the betterment of community

Richard Longtin, Associate Vice President, External Relations, Red Deer Polytechnic

Research shows that partnerships between post-secondary institutions and municipalities can have positive outcomes on the surrounding area and benefits for local citizens. These relationships can help to facilitate regional innovation, opportunities for research collaboration, local student recruitment and key partnerships. Municipal and postsecondary partnerships help create an open flow for knowledge, research, capacity building, for post-secondary institutions and communities. Formal and informal partnerships between institutions and municipalities have frequently been termed “town-gown relationships”. As partnerships between post-secondary institutions and municipalities have become more common in recent years, it is worth examining the key aspects of these relationships from an advancement, alumni, communications and marketing lens.



Learning Objectives:

  • To examine town-gown relationships that have been formalized and identity key considerations.
  • Showcase how these relationships can help to facilitate regional innovation, opportunities for research collaboration, local student recruitment and key partnerships that could benefit alumni, advancement, communications and marketing professionals. 
  • Examination of the benefits and or challenges associated with formalizing partnership.
Lorna Somers

Lorna Somers

Kirk & Spock: Lessons in Leadership

Lorna Somers, Executive Director, Mohawk College Foundation 

Do you aspire to be #1 to your institutional or Faculty leader – even if you’re not yet on the Bridge? Our ability to effectively build and nurture partnerships is more critical than ever to successful Advancement.  It requires time, effort and expert relationship-building skills and at the same time offers an exceptional R.O.I. when it comes to results, job satisfaction and career opportunities.  Partnerships are complex, however, and are not without challenges.  When they work, it’s a win for all concerned and a model for others because our work is most effective when it is collaborative, with shared aspirations and shared successes. Even if it feels we’re from different planets, we share the “Prime Directive” of our organization.  Let’s talk about how to build these partnerships and share what works and not so much!



Learning Objectives:

  • Career Growth
  • Relationship-building Skills
  • Leadership
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Ruth Dunley

A Mile in Their Shoes: Truth, Empathy, and Reconciliation

Ruth Dunley, Associate Director, Editorial Strategy, Queen’s University 

In the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports, Queen’s alumni called on us to help them chart a path toward Reconciliation. But how? How could we organize something with impact, and that would spur alumni to action? We learned that in order to get action, you have to create action – through experiential opportunities, collaboration, and storytelling. Working together, the Office of Advancement and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives collaborated with Ry Moran of the University of Victoria to create a one-of-a-kind experiential five-month journey for our alumni. Filled with emotion and empathy, it was a learning journey like nothing we’d ever done before, but that we know we’ll do again.



Learning Objectives:

  • Find out how we took action for Truth and Reconciliation.
  • Learn how we brought alumni together on an experiential journey of learning.
  • See how we built internal and external partnerships for the future.

Professional Learning Sessions C: May 24, 13:30-14:30 MT

Christoph Clodius

Christoph Clodius

Jane Potentier

Jane Potentier

A new normal?

Lessons learned from recruiting, retaining, and engaging staff in a pandemic era

Christoph Clodius, Vice President, The Discovery Group
Jane Potentier, Associate Vice-President, Alumni & Development, University of Victoria

The pandemic has upended and challenged conventional thinking about how to best recruit and retain staff.  The “great resignation”, work from home, travel, family scheduling, and an evolving notion of donor and alumni engagement have all been profoundly affected, with wide-ranging implications for advancement staff and leaders’ teams. While some best practices remain, other new, novel, or unexpected practices in recruitment have resulted. 

This interactive discussion session will cover these new trends, and position advancement leaders to better understand and leverage their candidates’ and teams’ needs.



Learning Objectives:

  • What candidates & staff now expect from their workplace.
  • Considerations in building a successful working culture.
  • Understanding & deploying emergent best practices in recruiting staff.
Lori Guenther Reesor

Lori Guenther Reesor

Irshad Osman

Irshad Osman

Ann Rosenfield

Ann Rosenfield

Faith & Fundraising: Three Interconnected Philanthropy Traditions

Lori Guenther Reesor, Principal, Joyful Fundraising
Irshad Osman, Senior Development Officer, University of Toronto
Ann Rosenfield, Director of Development, Temple Sinai

Our presentation includes quizzes and humour. Ann might bring kosher snacks or play Klezmer music. Three very different speakers, all comfortable talking about faith to people from beyond their own communities.  

20 minutes for questions because people have LOTS of questions. Whom could you ask about faith and fundraising? You don’t want to ask your donor.   

Bring your questions to this safe space to talk about faith and money and to get answers from three experienced fundraisers who have been on an inclusive philanthropy mission to shine the light on donor motivations at a deeper level.



Learning Objectives:

  • Learning the motivations for giving among faith-based donors who loyally contribute to a diversity of causes.
  • Understanding how to respectfully engage and fundraise with Muslim, Christian and Jewish donors.
  • Appreciating the religious sensitivities of donors to avoid professional embarrassment.
Presenter placeholder image

Karen Benner

Presenter placeholder image

Michael Forbes

Presenter placeholder image

Johanna VanderMaas

A journey toward reconciliation – renaming TMU

Karen Benner, Associate Director, University Communications, Toronto Metropolitan University
Michael Forbes, Chief of Staff, Executive Director Communications, Toronto Metropolitan University
Johanna VanderMaas, Associate Director, Leadership Communications, Toronto Metropolitan University

In April 2022, Ryerson University was the first PSE institution in North America to write a new chapter and launch a brand new name.

Public institutions around the world are dealing with challenges associated with historical names and commemoration (statues, buildings, etc.) In November 2020, the President of Toronto Metropolitan University Mohamed Lachemi convened the Standing Strong Task Force to examine and provide recommendations to address the legacy, and commemoration of, the university’s namesake, Egerton Ryerson. In August 2021, the Task Force presented a report with 22 recommendations, including to rename the university, which the university’s Board of Directors approved unanimously.

In this session, whether you are dealing with the name of a scholarship, a statue, public, art or a larger name change – we will share the strategies, tactics, and lessons learned as the MarComm team helped to lead and manage the transition to a new name – Toronto Metropolitan University.



Learning Objectives:

  • Provide context on the university’s decision to rename and the renaming process itself.
  • Share the phased communications and marketing strategy and key learnings to get community buy in for a big change.
  • Answer questions from attendees.

Professional Learning Sessions D: May 24, 15:15-16:30 MT

Community of Practice breakout discussion session

The best part of a Conference program is having a chance to connect with colleagues and discuss common challenges, goals. There is NEVER enough time in a Conference program, to do that, which is why, breakout rooms are back!

Last seen in 2019, CCAE will be hosting concurrent spaces for folks to get together and discuss all things related to job. Over the course of 75 mins, each space will be choregraphed by a Moderator. CCAE and the Moderator will provide some ideas for conversation, but the direction and conversation are in the hands of the attendees.

Bring your pressing issues, your burning questions and make the most out of connecting with your colleagues.

Sharing by Career Stage:

New Professionals

This cohort is for anyone in a non-managerial role with less than 3 year’s experience.  

Being new to the industry presents unique challenges.  Perhaps you have a lot of questions that could benefit from discussion and support from your peers. Perhaps you have received some life changing advice that has eased your transition that would be helpful to share with others!

Come prepared to share your experiences and lend support to your fellow new professional colleagues. 

Mid-career Professions (non-Managerial)

This cohort is for anyone in a non-managerial role with 3 or more years of experience.

You could be a Senior Development or Alumni Officer, a Communications Coordinator, or a Web Programmer.  As a group of professionals with a bit more experience under your belt, you may be interested in chatting about how to do things more efficiently or overcoming obstacles. Or maybe sharing a new approach that has met with some success.

Come prepared to share your experiences and lend support to your colleagues with similar work environment issues as you.

Managerial staff

This cohort is for anyone who manages people.

Managing up, down, and vertically across an organization requires distinct skills and offers unique challenges. Keep in mind that this session is not just about managing people and teams- you are free to talk about other obstacles and opportunities relating to your overall work in this session. Come prepared to share your experiences and lend support to your fellow people managers.  

Senior Leadership staff- Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents and Vice-Presidents

This cohort is for the senior leadership members of the overall advancement department.

As the top decision makers and those involved in overall strategies it’s time to come together and converse about the challenges, demands and future strategies to advance your own institution as well as the Canadian Advancement sector.

Come prepared to share your experiences and strategize with your fellow sector innovators.



Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss information directly relevant to ones own unique challenges and work experiences.
  • Meet with colleagues from different Institutions and form allyships and connections to drive conversation outside the National Conference
  • Create the conversation most conducive to what the group needs, focusing on real time feedback and exchanges.

Professional Learning Sessions E: May 25, 9:15-10:15 MT

Michael Awmack

Michael Awmack

Christy Nair

Christy Nair

Reimagining Regional Alumni Engagement: alumni UBC’s pandemic pilots

Michael Awmack, Associate Director, Communications, alumni UBC, University of British-Columbia
Christy Nair, Associate Director, Alumni Engagement, alumni UBC, University of British-Columbia

alumni UBC piloted a number of initiatives throughout the pandemic to engage regionally based alumni in the absence of staff travel and in person events. From their unique Around the World virtual event series, to a new magazine section featuring alumni living around the world, to the launch of My Town Meetups where regional alumni can host casual gatherings in their location, alumni UBC has been busy connecting their global alumni community in creative ways through the most challenging of times. This presentation will provide specifics about each of these programs, what the team has learned, and what’s next.



Learning Objectives:

  • To share specifics of several regional alumni engagement initiatives that alumni UBC piloted during the pandemic.
  • To provide concrete examples of ways to reach regional audiences without relying solely on the traditional approach of in person events.
  • To share learnings from these pandemic pilots, so that others can implement their own initiatives.
Ellen Doty

Ellen Doty

Tanya Hannah Rumble

Tanya Hannah Rumble

Follow The Money: Gift acceptance policies and practices at Canadian universities

Ellen Dotty, Assistant Dean, Development, Faculty of Law, VER Development and Alumni Relations, University of Alberta
Tanya Hannah Rumble, Director, Development, Faculty of Arts, Toronto Metropolitan University

Universities in Canada welcome gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations to help achieve their academic mission and to enhance their programs and services for students. Federal and provincial governments incentivize this voluntary gift support of charitable organizations, including universities, by providing substantial tax relief to donors. Some of the largest philanthropic gifts in Canadian history have been made to public universities. In considering whether or not to accept a gift, or to solicit one, advancement professionals have a number of policies and protocols to consider, most significantly the written gift acceptance policy. Our research examined the current principles that inform gift acceptance policies at Canadian universities and how adequately existing gift acceptance policies account for the nuanced considerations related to: ethics; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI); and reconciliation, decolonization and Indigenization when working with donors or potential donors.



Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the types of ethical dilemmas organizations may face in relation to gift acceptance
  • Work through real-life examples, weighing the pros and cons of accepting a gift and the broader societal implications that may be at play
  • Leave with a set of guidelines for updating or creating a gift acceptance policy from an EDI and reconciliation lens
Christy Miller

Christy Miller

Tasneem Rahim

Tasneem Rahim

Session Sponsor: Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.

What women want: Bringing female philanthropy to the forefront of your institution

Christy Miller, Senior Consultant, Global Philanthropic Canada
Tasneem Rahim, Director, Fund Development and Alumni Engagement, Bow Valley College

More than half of your graduates are female and in the next decade Canadian women will be the beneficiaries of an estimated $900 billion as they outlive their parents and partners. They are also more charitable than men. But make no mistake, women donors don’t give the same way as men do. What’s the difference? And how can you start engaging more women today? Christy and Tas will share with you the unique characteristics of women donors and using the real-life example of Bow Valley College’s “1000 Women Rising” program, inspire you to give women donors what they want from your school.



Learning Objectives:

  • Share research on what makes women unique as donors and philanthropists.
  • Share how Bow Valley College successfully launched a women’s philanthropy program.
  • Provide useful takeaways for post-secondary institutions to attract and keep female donors engaged.
Alex Campomanes

Alex Campomanes

Stephanie Levene

Stephanie Levene

Session Sponsor: Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.

Building a Data Driven Culture

Alex Campomanes, Executive Director, Advancement Services, University of Manitoba
Stephanie Levene, Associate Vice-President, Donor Relations, University of ManitobaThe University of Manitoba Donor Relations department has undergone a major transformation in the past 2 years. Becoming a data driven organization required a significant shift in culture, fundamental values, and expectations from the business.

Executive sponsorship and buy in from the business stakeholders was essential in the implementation of this huge initiative. This presentation will discuss the roadmap taken to achieve this in a short period of time. From the initial sponsorship at the executive level to the redefining of roles and responsibilities throughout the units. Advancement Services changed from a service driven department to an IT solutions provider. Enabling the business to quickly change the relationship they had with data and the ability to access it.



Learning Objectives:

  • Discover what the two most significant technology investments have been thus far.
  • Hear which complementary key areas have been the focus of efforts.
  • Learn what the second phase of implantation is and how to identify champions and power users who will further this effort deeper into the units, programs, and even external departments such as faculties, finance, and awards.

Professional Learning Session F: May 25, 10:45 – 12:00 MT

Panel Discussion

Session information coming soon.


Professional Learning Sessions G: May 25, 13:00-14:00 MT

Christie Nash

Christine Nash

Strategic Planning: Best (and Worst) Practices

Christie Nash, Co-Founder, Arising Collective

Strategic planning should be an exciting time for organizations. It’s a chance to rise above the daily distractions, scan the horizon, and refocus on the principles and objectives that will guide you into the future. When done right, the process of developing a strat-plan can be just as powerful as the plan itself. Yet strategic planning often falls well short of what it could be, leading to feelings of frustration,
and a sense of wasted time and resources. Instead of something to be dreaded, a great process has the potential to invigorate organizations and build stronger relationships, affirm purpose and values, align goals and strategies, and renew energy and momentum. In this session, we’ll look at some of the proven elements that make a strategic planning process successful, and some of the common pitfalls that can lead the process astray. We all could use some practical real-world tips to make sure your strategic plan stays alive and not stuck on a shelf.



Learning Objectives:

  • Assessing your organizational readiness for strategic planning and laying the groundwork for building consensus.
  • Providing tools to map out the scope and scale of your strategic plan, including data collection engagement, and (most importantly) when to do it yourself and when to hire a consultant.
  • Exploring what to consider when applying an intersectional lens to strategic planning.
Stephanie Savage

Stephanie Savage

Ask not what they can do for us, but what we can do for them: an alternative approach to alumni engagement

Stephanie Savage, Manager, Alumni & Engagement, Lethbridge College

For 65 years, Lethbridge College has been uniquely positioned as a trusted source of career-ready graduates that support and enhance southern Alberta and beyond. Our alumni are incredible people with stories to tell, aspirations to fulfill and careers to nurture. They are our industry partners, prospective students, parents, staff, advocates and, historically, donors.   

A series of surveys and candid discussions made one thing clear. We have prioritized fundraising over relationships, and as a result, the affinity to the institution had diminished. We asked what they wanted us to do differently, and they told us: they want to be part of a community, not just a fundraising entity. So, in 2022, Lethbridge College adopted a new alumni engagement strategy with one bold change – No alumni fundraising. 

This session will cover why we made this decision, how we got the buy-in, what the team has learned, and explore what happens next.



Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the benefits of putting the desires of alumni at the forefront of programming.
  • Explore how the cultivation of mutually beneficial relationships can contribute to long-term triumphs.
  • Share the challenges and successes that come along with making fundamental changes.
Cynthia Foo

Cynthia Foo

Annette Paul

Annette Paul

Session Sponsor: Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.

Facilitating Belonging: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Advancement in Higher

Cynthia Foo, Associate Director, Advancement – Strategic Initiatives, York University
Annette Paul, Executive Director, Advancement, Havergal College

Join Annette Paul, CFRE and Cynthia Foo, CFRE, in this thought-provoking, highly interactive session which asks, “what creates belonging?”. Cynthia will share her experiences as York University Advancement’s first EDI Chair while Annette will share her experiences co-Chairing EDI strategies for the University of Toronto’s first ever Advancement EDI committee. Annette will also share her experiences with advancement and EDI in her current role as Executive Director, Advancement at Havergal College, an independent girls school. All experiences provide a backdrop for unpacking.

With decades of fundraising experience as racialized fundraisers who have worked in a variety of settings, join Annette and Cynthia in this thought-provoking, meaningful and sometimes hilarious conversation.



Learning Objectives:

  • How to navigate personal discomfort;
  • How safe spaces are fostered in and by an institution;
  • A-ha moments they had during their journeys;
  • How to balance donors’ expectations and those of other stakeholders; and
  • How do we really talk about privilege?

Professional Learning Sessions H: May 25, 14:30-15:00 MT

Georgina Altman

Georgina Altman

Stacey Ruller

Stacey Ruller

Session Sponsor: Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.

Putting Students in the lead of Donor Engagement

Georgina Altman, CFRE, Vice-President of External Relations & Infrastructure, Lakeland College
Stacey Ruller, Manager of Donor Relations, Lakeland College

At Lakeland College, we challenge every student to go beyond the classroom and be part of student-led, and student-managed experiences. This approach to learning ensures our students become highly capable thinkers and doers with the knowledge to become great collaborators and the power to make an immediate impact after graduation. Lakeland has recently focused on a student-led donor engagement model that supports our donor relations team and has seen tremendous success. The combined efforts of donor relations, faculty and students has ensured that donors are connected to students often, and students understand the value of the donors supporting their learning.



Learning Objectives:

  • Student-led model has supported donor engagement.
  • Coordinated efforts within schools and teams contributed to our success.
Josh Adler

Josh Adler

Testing is Winning, optimizing digital marketing and fundraising

Josh Adler, Associate Director, Digital Engagement, Queen’s University

This session explores how a culture of testing, trial & error, and pilot programs can help teams easily optimize their work and make data-informed decisions. Testing can enhance the performance of digital marketing and digital fundraising, and even improve relationships and engagement with alumni, donors, and internal employees. Even tests that ‘fail’, yield meaningful insights. In this session, examples of real pilots will be shared; from the initial question a team set out to explore, the test (and creative) the team ran, and the results and learnings. This session will inspire all teams to win through testing.



Learning Objectives:

  • To teach how data-informed decision-making can improve digital channels, digital fundraising, and marketing communications.
  • To show how to build a culture that isn’t afraid to ‘fail fast’ and where testing, trial & error, and pilot programs are part of how we operate.
  • To inspire teams to think creatively and strategically about how to increase the performance of their digital marketing, digital fundraising, and internal communications.
Ryan Kelly

Ryan Kelly

The 5 pillars of building a winning social media alumni engagement strategy

Ryan Kelly, Alumni Coordinator, Engagement, Sheridan College

This session will focus on the core fundamentals of developing a social media strategy for alumni departments that have their own accounts or who are developing content to be shared on institution-specific accounts.

The 5 pillars broadly speaking are: 

  1. Have a plan that is connected to organizational goals 
  2. Know when to change course 
  3. Focus more on strong content as opposed to platform-specific content 
  4. Resist the urge to jump on new platforms if you don’t have the resources to manage them 
  5. Measure effectiveness using both qualitative and quantitative analytics



Learning Objectives:

  • How to build a plan that connects with overall organizational goals.
  • How to measure effectiveness using both Qualitative and quantitative analytics.
  • How to recognize when you need to adjust your content strategy. 
Lindsey Meredith

Lindsey Meredith

Can’t stop won’t stop: Reinforcing the Rebrand

Lindsey Meredith, Director of Communications, Calgary Academy

In 2015, Calgary Academy unveiled the first formal rebrand since the school’s inception in 1981. After over a year of research, engagement, and planning, the school shifted logos, language, and colours. While extensive engagement took place during the rebrand, deep connection to the old colours and materials lingered. Years later, the community has fully adopted the new brand, which continues to evolve over time. This session will share honest reflections on what has helped the community fully adopt the updated branding, and the work still underway.



Learning Objectives:

  • Sharing examples of what worked and what didn’t in terms of brand time, money, and engagement.
  • Identifying low-cost, high-reward reinforcement strategies for your rebrand in the years following the big unveil.
  • Sharing when to bend and when to break on the “old ways” while building the foundation for the “new”.

Professional Learning Sessions I: May 25, 15:15-16:15 MT

Conference Refelction

Session information coming soon.


Recorded Sessions

As part of the Full Conference Package, registrants will receive access to ‘bonus’ recorded sessions outside of the in-person programming. These sessions will also be available to purchase a la carte following the Conference on a on-demand basis

Christina Vroom

Christina Vroom

Stephanie Wereley

Stephanie Wereley

Planned Giving for the 21st Century: How to Run a Successful Legacy Challenge

Christina Vroom, Associate Director, Bequests & Planned Gifts, McGill University
Stephanie Wereley, Communications Officer, McGill University

The 200 for 200 Legacy Challenge was McGill University’s first ever fundraising challenge dedicated to planned giving. Launched as part of the University’s Bicentennial celebrations, it aimed to secure 200 planned gifts for the 200th anniversary. This session will share the Legacy Challenge’s strategies and learnings and describe how it effectively met multiple fundraising goals – including revitalizing a legacy giving program, galvanizing donor participation, increasing the average number of annual legacy gift commitments, unearthing existing legacy donors, and more.



Learning Objectives:

  • How to leverage a milestone anniversary to promote a planned giving campaign.
  • How to leverage a legacy giving campaign to train advancement staff on planned giving.
  • How to galvanize your existing loyal volunteers to become legacy ambassadors.

2023 CCAE National Conference: National Partners & Sponsors

Questions related to sponsorship? Contact: Mark Hazlett

National Partners

Manulife Logo
TD Insurance Logo

Presenting Partner

blackbaud logo


Wifi Sponsor
Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.
Honeywell logo
tempo framing systems logo

2023 National Conference Committee Members

James Allan

James Allan, PhD
Vice-President (Advancement), University of Calgary
Committee Co-Chair

Eleanor Finger

Eleanor Finger (she/her)
Director, Alumni Relations, Mount Royal University
Committee Co-Chair

A Message from the 2023 CCAE National Conference Committee Co-Chairs

As we draw near to the end of 2022, it’s time to start looking forward to all the great things to come in 2023.  And it’s with that forward-looking spirit that we invite you to join us at our 2023 CCAE National Conference taking place in Calgary in May 2023.

Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is a city with a can-do attitude and an enterprising spirit. As we emerge from the tumultuous times of the last few years, we can all use a dose of positive energy and creativity – which is why we are so excited to foster a deeply creative mindset at the conference in May.

It’s time to ask ourselves some big questions: what are the biggest issues facing Advancement today? While it’s always easy to focus on the challenges, what are the opportunities in this moment of change and transformation?

Recently named Canada’s third most diverse city, Calgary has long been a gathering place for the people of Treaty 7 and home to the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III, and we truly value the opportunity to gather again in person with our friends and colleagues from across the country to pursue these questions together. Of course, the CCAE team is also investigating virtual options with the hope to provide this format of delivery, for those who will be unable to join the in-person fun as it relates to travel/budgets.

The program committee is already underway selecting from the outstanding presentation proposals we received this year – the content will be outstanding, timely & relevant.

At the same time, the connections, collaboration and conversations will be the key highlight of the National Conference. As we have seen through these challenging times, coming together however we can and harnessing our collective creativity is the best way to surmount the challenges we face as advancement professionals today and into the future.

On behalf of CCAE, and the 2023 National Conference committee, we look forward to welcoming you to Calgary, a historically dynamic city, with a future that hosts a fervent and deep entrepreneurial spirit. Stay tuned for details on exciting speakers, special events, and so much more.

James Allan, University of Calgary & Eleanor Finger, Mount Royal University
2023 National Conference Committee Co-Chairs

Lindsey Meredith

Lindsey Meredith
Director, Communications, Calgary Academy
Special Event Co-Chair

Sandra Harris

Sandra Harris
Executive Director, Office of Development, Centennial College
Special Event Co-Chair

Michelle Fuko

Michelle Fuko
AVP, Development, Queen’s University
Program Co-chair

Paul Lacap

Paul Lacap
Acting AVP, Marketing and Communications, University of Manitoba
Program Co-Chair

Rachel Castellano

Rachel Castellano
Associate Director, Toronto Strategy,
Queen’s University
Inclusion Co-Chair

Kathy Khouri

Kathy Khouri
Alumni Relations Officer, University of Victoria
Inclusion Co-Chair

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