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Pre-conference Activities

April 30  Noon - 3:00 pm  Professional Community & Economic Developer Certification Exam

April 30  1:00 pm Finetune Business Attraction with our 'Cold Calling' Workshop sponsored by the BDC

April 30  3:30 pm to 5:30 pm Regina Warehouse District "Economics of Craft Brewing "Experience

Conference Program May 1-2


Hot Breakfast served 7:00 am to 8:00 am both days. The program runs to 4:30 pm both days

OPENING KEYNOTE: Economic Outlook with Pierre Cleroux , Vice President Research, Chief Economist, BDC

Economic outlook: challenges and opportunities ahead for Canada Should Canadians be optimistic or pessimistic regarding the current economic situation? Join Pierre Cléroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist of BDC, as he presents the most up-to-date information on the performance of national and global economies. From challenges related to labour shortage to interest rates, discover how Canadian businesses should navigate the economy to position themselves for growth.

TRACK 1 Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. Entrepreneurship is not a buzzword. It is an economic development strategy. We need to increase the rate at which our entrepreneurs start companies if we want to increase the number of jobs in our communities.

PLENARY Growing from Within: Import Replacement Strategy Presenter Robert Cervelli from the Centre of Local Prosperity in Nova Scotia will talk to providing a more balanced and integrated approach to local economic development and sustainability. Import replacement is not a substitution for exports, but a way of decreasing a region or community’s vulnerability to external pressures—a story the Atlantic Provinces know too well. Homegrown industries diversify and expand the local economy and they naturally begin to look toward regional, national, and global markets as they expand and grow.

Scaling up small business. Around the world, regions are starting to thrive because they are activating stakeholders from different sectors to focus on one common goal: promoting growth by more local firms. This session will provide successful examples and discuss steps to make it happen! Presenters: Phyl Symchych, SME Business Wealth Builders; Kyle White Co-operatives First

Investment ready and entrepreneur-friendly!  Building a sustainable effective entrepreneurial infrastructure is not for the faint of heart - but a long-term strategy that will pay off for the future of your community and region. How can we rise to this challenge? Presenter: Monica Krueger, Global Info Brokers/Praxis School of Entrepreneurship

Leveraging the Federal Government. The Office of Small to Medium Size Business (Government of Canada) is here to help local businesses succeed.  Learn how to access their support to ensure the federal procurement system open to your local small and medium and regionally based businesses. Presenter: Sheena Simonsen, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises

Filling Management Gaps. Arguably one of the most challenging areas in any organization is Human Resource Management. From hiring and firing to addressing ad hoc demands, what are some potential solutions for communities, businesses, and non-profits in Saskatchewan? Presenter Kevan McBeth, Affective Consulting

TRACK 2 Widening the Circle. Social and rural innovation, shared histories and reconciliation, are several examples of how we can expand the circle of who can benefit from economic development efforts.

PLENARY: Our esteemed panel of leaders will discuss the differences and/or similarities between the leadership of Metis, First Nation and non-Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan – and specifically – what is their role in reference to economic development. Panellists include Mayor Michelle McKenzie, Town of Maple Creek; Mayor Nick Daigneault, Northern Village of Beauval; Thomas Benjoe, President & CEO, FHQ Developments.

PLENARY: Taking Ownership of Infrastructure Presenter Ken Sanderson, Executive Director Broadband Communications North, CEO Mahkesis Group. Taking ownership of our connectivity is essential to maintain and grow an inclusive Saskatchewan economy. Discover how this growing Indigenous broadband network was developed in Manitoba, how it is leading the way now with respect to Indigenous and non-Indigenous connectivity and the potential for adoption of this best practice in Saskatchewan.

Multigenerational Living. Find out more about Regina’s Orange Tree Village, the first multi-generational care home facility in Saskatchewan.  Orange Tree is leading the charge to advance the senior living industry and improve the care home experience for seniors and their families. Presenter Crystal Spooner, Developer CEO Orange Tree Living

The Future of Pay for Success Financing. Also known as social impact bonds, this session will profile examples of how the private and public sector have collaborated in Saskatchewan to support not-for-profit initiatives and lead the way in social innovation. Is this option the way of the future? Presenter: Eric Dillon, CEO Conexus Credit Union

Our Shared History: Cross-Cultural Trails. Saskatchewan has numerous trails, used pre and post-colonization. Today, many are known only to the locals, part of their unique folklore. Is there a potential to use this shared history on our journey of healing and reconciliation? Can these trails bridge the past and form authentic tourism offerings? Presenter: Christian Boyle, Glyph Creative

Attracting Immigrant Entrepreneurs.  Scaling up the entrepreneurship ecosystem means 1) more business growth and 2) successful business succession efforts. Find out more about the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (for Entrepreneurs) and its success rate in rural communities.  Presenter: Stewart Low, Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program 

TRACK 3 Reimagining Opportunities. Our place-based assets form the basis for opportunities in housing, tourism, cultural industries and more.  How can we strengthen these assets and use data to drive our efforts in attracting new investment?

PLENARY: Ken Coates, Research Chair in Regional Innovation with Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy will discuss the scientific and technological innovation necessary to improve quality of life in rural and remote communities as well as the challenging task of creating economic and employment opportunities in a troubled and rapidly changing time.

Rural & Remote Innovation Hubs: Rural and remote communities have always had to be innovative. Presenter Ashleigh Weeden will illustrate how we can leverage traditional rural/remote strengths in order to position ourselves as not just an alternative to an urban lifestyle, but as a competitive and attractive choice for people to build their lives and livelihoods in our communities. Presenter: Ashleigh Weeden, Phd Candidate University of Guelph; Former Community Development Practitioner Grey County Ontario 

Placemaking as a Driver.  Leaders are seeking new approaches for regional place-based economic development to harness creativity and foster collaboration within and across communities. We will look at some existing examples and unexplored potential. Presenters: Samantha Mark, Prairie Wild Consulting and Brendan Manz, Watrous Manitou Marketing Group 

Regions that Work. Regardless of structure and whether communities have come together voluntarily or have been mandated by a higher power, economies of scale are essential to the future of rural and remote communities in Canada. Discover how regions and trade corridors in Alberta are making a difference in the future of their rural and First Nations communities. Presenter; Peter Casurella, Southgrow Regional Initiative

Blockchain for Dummies:  Increasing attention is being paid to the potential of blockchain to present new opportunities for economic development. This 'plain speak' session will break down the technology and illustrate how it can enhance our development efforts. Presenter: Kristie Schaffer, ISM Canada

Leveraging the industrial ecosystem. Leveraging the industrial ecosystem. Instead of depending on a narrow industry view for cluster development, Economic Development Regina with support from several private and public partners examined how related sectors are essential to the expansion of an “industrial ecosystem” or a “cluster” - and how they could benefit from being part of a broader strategy. Discover how this can translate to your community or region. Presenter: Shaadie Musleh, Economic Development Regina. 

Experiential Tourism:  The Beardys & Okemasis Cree Nation has developed a multi-faceted regional tourism strategy that will engage their community members who can tell stories through art and theatre.  Presenters: Councillor D. Kevin Seesequasis and Jasna Eyahpaise, Community Development Officer.

The Tourism Sentiment Index
Online sharing of experiences are having a growing impact on resident & business attraction and tourism. Jonathan Potts of Tourism Saskatchewan will share new research on what is being said about Saskatchewan destinations and where our key opportunities lay.

Beyond Oil and Gas: Our Untapped Natural Resources Learn more about the worldwide shortage of helium and how Saskatchewan is set to meet the demand with helium deposits blanketing one-third of the province. Discover the emerging market application for potassium salt that will stimulate significant diversification for our plentiful natural resource. Presenters: Gavin Connacher and Rick Musleh, Ministry of Trade and Export Development, Province of Saskatchewan.

ThriveSask Community Pilot: Delegate Discussion. In 2018 SEDA implemented a new approach to community-based action planning within five pilot communities.  A panel of Program Partners(SEDA, Heritage Saskatchewan, Tourism Saskatchewan, Ministry of Parks Culture  & Sport will discuss what worked and what didn’t, and how can we move forward. Delegate input invited.

LEARNING LABS: Economic Developer Roundtable
Bring questions or challenges to share and build new relationships to support your community endeavours year round.

IGNITESask2019 Join us for a lively series of 10-minute presentations on community and economic development in Saskatchewan.

Conference Program Subject to Change.

CANCELLATION POLICY. No refunds will be made on conference registrant cancellations after March 22. 2019. Delegate substitutions are welcome.