Learning Experience

We've added new features to enhance your learning at Symposium. With so much expertise to share with each other, we've added more opportunities for you to collaborate, exchange knowledge, and to spark ideas to bring back to your communities.

Learn more about the stand-alone workshops, concurrent education sessions, and plenaries we've added.

Click on the links below to learn more about each new shared learning opportunity:

Plus, Registered BCRPA Fitness Leaders can earn Continuing Education Credits. Learn more or scroll down.

HIGH FIVE® Strengthening Children’s Mental Health

Tuesday, April 28  •  8:30 am - 4:30 pm

  • Lunch is included. A Certificate will be awarded to participants 2 weeks after the training, upon completion of an evaluaton.

Join us one day early on Tuesday, April 28 for the HIGH FIVE® Strengthening Chidlren's Mental Health course. This one day course was developed for recreation staff and supervisors to be better informed about providing early intervention for children's mental health.

Participants will:

  • Learn key concepts and factors that affect children's mental health, including the impact of stress and environment on a child's ability to cope
  • Gain a better understanding of mental health issues
  • Improve understanding of how their role as a recreation leader has a greater impact beyond the confines of their recreation programs, and
  • Gain tools and strategies to promote positive mental health in children, and to respond appropriately to children with challenges and/or mental health conditions.

This course was developed in collaboration with Onatrio's Canadian Mental Health Association.

This course is an optional add-on to Symposium. Registration is required.

EARLY BIRD RATES (ending Mar 26, 2020) REGULAR RATES (starting Mar 27, 2020)
Member $50 Member $65
Non-Member $60 Non-Member $75

Opening Keynote: What is it Time for? The Magic and Logic of Leadership

Presented by Christine McLeod

Wednesday, April 29  •  9:05 - 10:05 am

Last year, Christine McLeod, led two sessions – Leading with a Coach Approach, and Five Conversations that Mateter. This year, she is back as our opening keynote speaker due to popular demand, with a topic that will benefit all, regardless of where you are at in your career.

The logic of leadership is how we use the tools and experience we have collected to make the magic happen. Whether you manage a small or large team or work independently, you will empower yourself with more confidence and inspiration to create more engaging experiences for your colleagues and customers alike. Prepare to be amazed by a few go-to tools to pull out at a moment’s notice from your leadership toolkit. You will recognize and avoid the barriers that can get in the way of both the magic and the logic.

Read more about Christine McLeod on her website.

View the Program Guide for full details.

Christine Mcleod

Spotlight on Community Issues

Wednesday, April 29  •  10:30 – 11:45 am

These concurrent education sessions will shine the spotlight on recreation and parks priorities in your communities. We will start off with community success stories, then break off into interactive discussion and brainstorming groups. Bring your ideas, innovative solutions and approaches – you just might help your peers solve their recreation and parks issues (and they might solve yours)!

Staffing Challenges and Successes – Facilitator: Christine Mcleod
Topics: Address issues related to staff recruiting, hiring, retention, and succession planning
2019 Symp Dialogue May1 9449
Aging Recreation Infrastructure – Facilitator: Mark Hentze
Topics: Issues related to asset management, replacement planning, facility revitalization, and infrastructure projects
Parks and Open Spaces – Facilitator: Chris Rutherford
Topics: Parks topics such as user groups, increasing demands for space, and environmental concerns
Balancing Small Community Demands – Facilitator: Jordan Petrovics
Topics: Small communities face particular challenges such as economic pressures, staffing challenges, and conflicting funding priorities
Programming – Shifting Focus to Arts and Culture – Facilitator: Jessie Demers
Topics: Share success stories to strengthen recreational arts and culture programs, including innovations and pilot programs


Thursday, April 30  •  8:30 – 9:25 am

Snapshots are back once more. Pay attention because these rapid-fire 6 minute presentations (with only 3 minutes to ask questions) will be sure to spark ideas you can bring back to your community.

  • Barrier-free Recreation – Tanelle Bolt
  • Kitimat Mud Games – Marcia Rice
  • Do You Walk and Bike the Talk? Top 10 Reasons to Bring Cycling Into Your Workplace – Lana Taves
  • Innovative Solutions: Increased Participation and Retention for Women and Girls in Recreational Sport – CPRA
  • Fitness Program & Innovative Change – BCRPA


Thursday, April 30  •  2:00 – 2:30 pm

This is an interactive session with quick notes from leading-edge corporate presenters. Learn about the latest innovative designs and technologies that are leading the way in the sector, and hear how they may impact your future projects.

Speakers: HCMA, HDR, MAIS Software Inc., PerfectMind, and VDA Architecture Limited

Concise Concepts

Thursday, April 30  •  2:30 – 3:30 pm

BIG ideas, compacted into 10-minute presentations. Learn about concepts you can integrate into your programs and departments.

  • Community, Culture, and Recreation Grant Funding – Laird McLachlin
  • Neighbours Engaging In Activities Together: A Successful Partnership – Laura VanDyk and Julie Wallace
  • All Ages and Abilities: Infrastructure Improvements to Encourage Active Transportation and Urban Well-Being – Sarah Webb
  • Taking the Fear Out of Asset Management in Parks – Wally Wells
  • The Power of Circle – Learn the Principles of Circle Dialogue – Ame-Lia Tamburrini

Innovative Solutions: Increased Participation and Retention of Women and Girls in Recreation Sport

Presented by Christa Costas-Broadstreet, CPRA

Thursday, April 30  •  3:30 – 4:15 pm

You'll learn about this in the Snapshots – get the full picture with this presentation from Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA).

CPRA is implementing a number of initiatives, informed by best practices and evidence, that aim to increase the participation and retention of women and girls in recreational sport in Canada. This session will discuss the critical gaps and challenges that must be addressed, and explore evidence-based solutions that can be adopted across Canada to achieve this goal.

This session is optional. Registration is required (at no additonal charge).

Panel Discussions

Friday, May 1  •  9:45 – 11:00 am

Two concurrent discussion panels will explore topics that can help you build the success of your organization, and the health of your community.

  • ŚW_,C/ENENITEL – “helping people work together” – Erich Kelch, Cheryl Bryce, and Beangka Elliot
    • This presentation focuses on the benefits of bringing people back to Nature. Explore ways Indigenous Peoples, governments, and communities can work together so we can all recreate and enjoy Nature. Challenges, successes, and learnings will be shared.
  • Recruitment and Retention: The Meaning of "Career Fit" – Davin Greenwell, Cissy Pau, and Jeff Holland
    • Attracting and retaining great staff is a challenge facing all employers. Learn about the City of Surrey's approach toward recruitment and retention, using a "career fit" focus.

Closing Keynote: We're Diverse, Now What?

Presented by Alden Habacon

Friday, May 1  •  11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Alden will deliver a one of a kind session on how to foster inclusivity across a more complex range of differences within the Recreation and Parks Sector. Delegates will walk away with a common language around when people feel included, explore the journey towards fostering more inclusive practices, acknowledge the natural turbulence created by cultural differences and present a framework for community cohesion within a multicultural community.

Read more about Alden Habacon on his website.

View the Program Guide for full details.

Alden Habacon 2 R

BCRPA Fitness Continuing Education Credits (CECs)

BCRPA Registered Fitness Leaders attending Symposium are eligible to receive the following continuing education credits (CECs):

  • HIGH FIVE® Supporting Children's Mental Health (SCMH) Certificate Course (Tuesday, April 28, 2020)  •  7 CECs
  • Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – full day attendance  •  4.75 CECs
  • Thursday , April 30, 2020 – full day attendance  •  5 CECs
  • Friday, May 1, 2020 – full day attendance  •  3.5 CECs

To qualify for Fitness CECs, Fitness Leaders must have signed out at the end of their last day of attendance. CECs will be pro-rated for partial-day attendance.

CECs earned will be added directly to Fitness Leader accounts on The Registry® of Fitness Professionals.

2020 Symp Guide Cover View the Program Guide for complete details.