Conference at a Glance
Meet your conference emcees:
Patrick Hammond, APR
(view biography)

Senior Communication Advisor,
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Janice Robertson MCS, APR, LM
(view biography)

Communication Management Specialist,
Benchmark Projects Ltd

Sunday, May 25, 2014

7:30 a.m. Registration Desk opens
8:45 - 9:45 a.m. Early Birds with Twitter Canada
Steve Ladurantaye, head of news and government partnerships, Twitter Canada

9:45 - 10 a.m. Break
10 - 11 a.m.
MRP: Canada's PR Measurement Standard
Rachel Douglas, Manager, Communications, The Weather Network

  Educator Roundtable | Public Relations Research Presentations
Amy Thurlow PhD, APR, Chair, Department of Communication Studies
Mount Saint Vincent University

  Ascend in your career with an APR
Sheridan McVean, APR, President, McVean Communications Inc

  Let's Help APR Candidates ASCEND
Kathy Malley, APR, FCPRS
Vice-President, Malley Industries Inc.

  *NEW - Junior Practitioner Session
The Strategic Value of Public Relations
Ange Frymire Fleming FCPRS APR, President|Vocal Point Communications & Professor|Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)

11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Opening Ceremonies and Sunday Brunch
PRK, APR and College of Fellows Presentations
1 - 2 p.m. College of Fellows Keynote:

The Business of Awesome
(and UnAwesome)

Scott Stratten

2 - 2:30 p.m. Break - Scott Stratten book signing | Exhibit area opens
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Workshop #1
Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and how it relates to PR

  Workshop #2
The Alberta Energy Regulator - building a new brand from a 75-year regulatory tradition
Kim Blanchette, APR, VP Public Affairs, Alberta Energy Regulator

  Workshop #3
Test the Fan Before It Gets Hit: Rehearsing your Social Media Crisis Messaging Real-Time & Offline
Nikki Van Dusen, President, NikComm Inc.

3:30 - 3:45 p.m. Break
3:45 - 5 p.m. Annual General Meeting (AGM)

5 - 6 p.m. Break
6 - 8 p.m. Sunday Night Evening Event:

ASCEND 2014 Opening Reception
Upper Rundle Lounge and Ivor Petrak Room
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Monday, May 26, 2014

7:30 a.m. Registration Desk opens
8 a.m. Breakfast and Opening Remarks
9 - 10 a.m. Monday Morning Keynote:

To Infinity and Beyond – The Communications Campaign Behind Commander Hadfield's Amazing Space Adventure

Anna Kapiniari
Director of Communications
Canadian Space Agency

10 - 10:45 a.m. Break | Exhibitor Presentations

10:45 - 11:45 a.m. Workshop #1
Sink or swim: Charting a course for change
Jason Aebig, Senior Strategist, Creative Fire
Chris Shauf, ABC, APR, Senior Strategist, Creative Fire

  Workshop #2
Stakeholder Relations: Success Through Trust
Natalie Doyle Oldfield, Natalie Doyle Oldfield

  Workshop #3
Communication with Conscience: A global perspective on how PR can lead in today’s organizations
Daniel Tisch APR, FCPRS, President & CEO, Argyle Communications

11:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. Break | Exhibitors 
12 - 2:15 p.m.
Luncheon Keynote:

Crisis Communications Panel

Moderator: Heather Coleman, Senior Account Director, Hill + Knowlton Edmonton

2:15 - 2:30 p.m.
Break | Exhibitors 
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Workshop #4
Effective Issues Management in this Digital Age
Melissa Agnes, President and co-founder, Agnes + Day inc.

Workshop #5
It's not just how you say it…it's also how they hear it!
Bill Koch, APR, Fellow PRSA, Director, Public & Government Affairs, Cameco Corporation

Workshop #6
BREAKING EVEN: Leading PR teams in a time of fiscal restraint
Dan Hurley, BA, MJ, APR, Executive Director, University Relations, Vancouver Island University

3:30 - 4 p.m. Break | Exhibitors 
4:30 p.m. Buses leave for evening event 
4:30 - 9:30 p.m. Monday Evening Event:

Excursion to Lake Louise
Sponsored by Marketwired

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

7:30 a.m. Registration Desk opens
8 a.m. Breakfast and Opening Remarks
Exhibit Area opens
9 - 10 a.m.
Breakfast Keynote

Contemporary Public Relations:
Ethics, Leadership and Accountability

Jane Stoneman McNichol, Chair, Public Relations Program, Faculty of Communication Studies


  • James Arends, Arends Law Office
  • Karen McDonald, Dean, Graduate Studies and Program Development, Concordia University College of Alberta
  • Suzanne Tining, former Deputy Minister, Veteran Affairs
  • Dr. Glenn Sinclair, President and CEO of g.w.sinclair & associates
  • Mark Seland, APR, government and public affairs advisor
10 - 10:45 a.m. Break | Exhibitor Presentations | Education Research Posters
10:45 - 11:45 a.m. Workshop #1
A Higher Purpose for Public Relations: Creating Value for Business and Society
Ana Raman, Director, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, Nordion
Panel members:
  • John Paluszek APR, Fellow PRSA, Senior Counsel, Ketchum
  • Jean Valin APR, FCPRS LM, Valin Strategic Communications 
  Workshop #2
Leadership Communications During Crises
John Larsen, Senior Vice-President, Global Public Affairs

  Workshop #3
Tell me a story
Todd Babiak, Director, Story Engine

11:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. Break | Exhibitors 
12 - 2 p.m. Diana & Charles Tisdall Lecture Keynote:

Gamification: Strategies and Visions for the Future

Sponsored by McMaster MCM Program


Gabe Zichermann
CEO of
Chair, GSummit

Educational Grant provided by:

2 - 2:30 p.m. Break | Exhibitors 
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Workshop #4
More 2 the Story: How (and why) Cenovus is standing up for oil
Liz Hannah, VP Communications & Reputation Management, Cenovus Energy

  Workshop #5
Herding Cats, Finding Kids, and Rallying Dispersed Teams in a Crisis
Steve Hardy, Marketing and Sales Director, RallyEngine
Amanda Pick, Executive Director, Missing Children's Society of Canada (MCSC)

  Workshop #6
The Changing Face of Canada: Post-Multiculturalism
Kenneth Evans, Senior Vice-President, APEX Public Relations

3:30 - 3:45 p.m. Break | Exhibitors
3:45 - 5 p.m. Panel Discussion

Public Relations Strategies for Finding Common Ground

Moderator: Beth Diamond, Managing Partner, NATIONAL Public Relations - Calgary


  • Janet Annesley, Vice President, Communications, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
  • Annie Korver, Principal, Rise Consulting Group (Aboriginal engagement/economic development/energy industry)
  • Garth Rowan, President, Beready Inc

5 - 6:30 p.m. Break | Exhibitors
6:30 - 7 p.m.

Riverview Lounge
Champagne Reception
  Sponsored by
NATIONAL Public Relations

7 p.m. --

New Brunswick Room
Awards Gala and Dinner


Accreditation Maintenance Units:
The following conference events are worth accreditation maintenance units:
Full Conference Registration 2.5 units
1 day Conference 1.0 unit
½ day Conference 0.5 unit
Original presentations or speeches, including panelists 0.5 unit
National CPRS awards related to excellence in PR practice, research or teaching 2.5 units
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