Cultivating JOY

Morning Workshops

10:45am – 12:00pm

While originally developed to support service providers who were personally and professionally depleted during the past few challenging years of the pandemic, Communities4Families continues to offer the resiliency skills building workshop TRTS (Tapping into Resiliency Through Story Telling) as a very relevant focus on mental health. While our collective resilience was put to the test throughout the worst of the pandemic, as we navigate the present and future, we need to continue to create work cultures that promote good emotional health. By bringing resiliency and the wisdom found in global oral storytelling together, we raise the “village of service providers” who do the important and hard work raising the village in communities.

Speakers: Chris Voss, and Cheri Wright-Kaguah

Organization: Communities4Families

Level: All levels

Chris Voss is mentor and facilitator at Communities 4 Families. She is a trainer for the Wiggle Giggle and Munch activity and nutrition program and is a skilled oral storyteller for a variety of resiliency based workshops.    Chris’ goal is to make every interaction fun and meaningful. She is from Brazil and has her second degree in Applied Psychology from Booth University College. Chris has three years of training in parenting and literacy programs and six years of experience volunteering with newcomers.

Chris’s experience, knowledge, and working hours in our community reinforced her eagerness to help families and make new connections. She is all about building relationships and communities. No matter the setting, if it is online or in-person, she has the flexibility to adapt any program to the demand.

Chris is a friendly and outgoing person with a positive attitude. She loves storytelling and is up to any challenge. Living in Winnipeg since 2015 makes Chris love every moment outside. She loves everything, from +40 to -40 degrees Celsius!

Cheri Wright Kaguah is the Outdoor Play Specialist for Communities 4 Families. She facilitates
learning and program development that promotes the importance of outdoor play, storytelling as an
educational tool, and building resiliency. Though she was born in Canada, Cheri’s earliest memories are
of living in rural Zaire (now the DRC) and she has since lived and worked in 4 other countries. She met
and married her husband while working in Ghana. Her background is in anthropology (BA), adult
education (CACE) and international social work (MSW), and her passion is community building. She loves her diverse West End community and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else… she just needs regular trips to the forest – her happy place! – to thrive.

Every purchase has an economic, environmental and social impact, whether intended or not. The collective effort of leveraging social value from purchasing has a powerful and positive ripple effect on our communities. At Buy Social Canada, we believe in building community capital: healthy communities that are rich in human, social, cultural, physical and economic capital. Join this session to learn about social procurement and brainstorm what you can do to redefine how goods and services are bought and sold. Through social procurement we are taking back control from the invisible hand of capitalism and unleashing the transformative power of the market.

Speaker: Tori Williamson

Organization: Buy Social Canada

Level: All levels

With a passion for understanding the systems around us and working collaboratively on community-centred solutions, Tori believes in people and the power of shifting perspectives and objectives to create monumental change. As Director of Education and Consulting at Buy Social Canada, she spearheads works across the social procurement ecosystem. She sits on the Stronger Together Solidarity Working Group to help bring inclusion, diversity, equity, and access to the social innovation sector. Currently, she is the Project Manager for Wood Buffalo Social Procurement Implementation, Winnipeg Sustainable Procurement Action Plan, Peterborough Social Procurement Project, the lead for Buy Social Canada’s Social Procurement Supplier Readiness (SUPER) training program and Education and Training Lead for the British Columbia Social Procurement Initiative.

In 2023, the Manitoba Research Alliance (MRA) celebrates 20 years of community-led research.  With funding from 4 consecutive multi-year Social Science and Humanities Research Grants (SSHRC), the MRA, hosted by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, has supported numerous students and community researchers, and has completed many studies and reports about issues important to the community. But equally important, our community-led research model extends beyond the research itself.  In this session, a panel of long-time MRA members will reflect on the impact that the MRA has had on shaping their commitment to research with and for communities, elevating the voices of people with lived experience, engaging in advocacy toward meaningful public policy change, and the importance of community engagement in research.  Panelists will engage workshop participants in a conversation to gather ideas about research and advocacy going forward as well as their thoughts on some of the challenges for communities wanting to engage in research from the ground up.


Shauna MacKinnon is Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Inner-City Studies at the University of Winnipeg, and Principal Investigator of the Manitoba Research Alliance (MRA). The MRA is a community-led research consortium first established in 2003. In 2020 the MRA was awarded its 4th multi-year SSHRC Grant, a 7-Year Partnership Grant for the project Community-Driven Solutions to Poverty: Challenges and Possibilities.

For almost 20 years, Lynne Fernandez was doing a Master’s in economics with John Loxley who directed her MRA-funded thesis: Government Policy towards Community Economic Development.  She has been deeply associated with the MRA ever since including as a researcher and, for 13 years, the MRA coordinator. Even in retirement she remains involved on MRA committees, and helping out with various research projects.

Kathy Mallett is a long-time community activist and knowledge keeper in Winnipeg and is a band member of the Fisher River Cree Nation (Ochekwi-Sipi). She grew up in Winnipeg, and worked many years in the inner city with Indigenous organizations which she helped develop. She has been on the MRA’s Research Committee for many years.

Kirsten Bernas is the Director of Policy Advocacy at the West Central Women’s Resource Centre. She is also the chair of the Provincial Working Group of the Right to Housing Coalition and sits on the Steering Committee for Make Poverty History Manitoba. She is a community representative on the MRA’s Research Committee.

Organizations: Manitoba Research Alliance, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – MB, and the University of Winnipeg

Level: Introductory

A presentation by Healthy Muslim Families on lessons learned in starting employment and enterpreneurial workshops and services for newcomer women. Lessons learned will be shared in making programs responsive to the needs of the community.

Speakers: Sara Arnous and Afsheen Siddiqui

Organization: Healthy Muslim Families

Level: Intermediate

NPOs and charities are sometimes scolded that they don’t “show their impact”. And sometimes this is the case! The problem for smaller organizations, is that impact measurement can be pricey. This session takes participants through the process (and “behind the spreadsheet”) Local Investment Toward Development (LITE) used to better capture their impact, including a measure of social and cultural value. The session seeks to demystify the creative process of claiming and naming the value of NPO’s work.

Speaker: T. Jonah Pearce

Organization: Sixteenth Letter Collaborative (with files/support from LITE)

Level: Intermediate

Tyler Jonah Pearce is a creative thinker and strategist, and a leader in organizationaldevelopment. He has worked for over a decade in the non-profit and social enterprise sector,most recently, as the executive director of Local Investment Toward Employment (LITE). Jonahholds a PhD in economic geography and is the principal at Sixteenth Letter Collaborative, aconsultancy whose goal is to make the world more empathetic, livable, and just.

In this session, participants will be invited to envision the qualities of an ‘ideal’ community, learn about how economic action influences community, and consider how we can shape our economy to get closer to a more ideal vision. To build a more ideal community for all, the concept of Community Economic Development will be introduced, exploring key CED concepts and frameworks and considering the values, purpose, and intended impact of CED models and enterprises. Participants will be invited to think of what their organization is and can do to build toward a more ideal community and implement CED practices.

Speaker: Brendan Reimer

Organization: Assiniboine Credit Union

Level: Introductory

Brendan is the Strategic Partner of Values-Based Banking at the Assiniboine Credit Union, where he works to integrate and embed the principles and practices of values-based banking into ACU’s core functions and daily work. Brendan also provides national leadership as the co-chair of the Canadian Credit Union Association’s Community Impact Committee. Building on a previous role as the Manitoba Regional Director at the Canadian CED Network, Brendan is a passionate educator and organizer dedicated to creating inclusive, fairer, and more sustainable economies and communities.

This workshop is an open circle discussion on how we express the value we provide within our organizations. The intention is to allow time for people to volunteer to explain what it is they do, then work through varying levels of meaning and depth to find more meaningful descriptions of the value that their organization offers various stakeholders/beneficiaries. This will involve prompting questions for the person volunteering, and everyone else provides input and brainstorms how else it could be described. The intention is that through the process of helping someone else through the questions of meaning and purpose all participants will reflect on their own organizations and discover the deeper value that they provide. We will be breaking into small groups based on the number of people that attend, and it is expected that everyone contributes ideas or questions to the discussion.

Speaker: Matt Rempel

Organization: Strategy Made Simple

Level: Intermediate

Matthew Rempel is a social enterprise development coach with a marketing lens. Matthew can provide resources, workshops, as well as one on one and small group coaching.

Matthew’s skills are particularly suited to interviewing and coaching social entrepreneurs to help them clarify the core values of their operation, and to see the value that they can provide for their clients/customers and towards their social goal. He also has experience in brand development, online business startup, business planning, communications planning, product and service development, re-branding, content creation, and workshop facilitation.

Accessible data can inform and shape our programs, policies and organizations. Join us to explore data visualization and plain language principles, helping make your work relevant for the people you want to engage.

Speakers: Sara Castagna Reid, Cassandra Montanino

Organization: Leading4Impact

Level: All levels

Sara Castagna Reid

With over 10 years of experience delivering services and providing training, Sara is an effective project coordinator. She has the ability to make people feel comfortable during interviews and focus groups; analyzing and reporting on findings in a way that respects and reflects people’s voices.

An engaging communicator, Sara specializes in data visualization and knowledge exchange. Her design skills, patience and ability to process information ensure that client reports and knowledge products are accessible and useful. Sara also develops and implements L4i’s communication plan.

Sara graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. She is a Certified Change Management Practitioner.

Cassandra Montanino

With considerable experience facilitating research and evaluation projects in the non-profit and public sector, Cassandra is passionate about helping community organizations tell their story and document success through evaluation and planning for the future. Her ability to listen and reflect ensures that different perspectives are heard.

Cassandra’s experience includes policy analysis and evaluation with the provincial government, research and data analysis with the Human Rights & Health Equity Office at Mount Sinai Hospital and clinical practice social work. She brings strong skills in qualitative and mixed methods research, and facilitation and engagement. Cassandra holds a Master of Social Work from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Winnipeg. She is a certified Change Management Practitioner.

In the non-profit sector financing can be a dirty word – if revenue is not derived from grants and donations it does not exist. This presentation aims to open the door to other forms of financing that non-profits typically avoid or are unaware of. Three key areas will be looked at – Loans, Loan Guarantees, and Foundations.

Speaker: Peter Cantelon

Organization: Jubilee Fund

Level: Introductory

Peter Cantelon is the executive director at The Jubilee Fund. Peter is an experienced manager in the non-profit and for-profit sectors who stays active and engaged in social justice causes. He is founder and chair of the Pembina Valley Multifaith Council and has been a director/chair of multiple boards. He is also the founder of Diversitas—a forum for expert speakers to come to rural Manitoba and communicate/educate on themes of diversity. In his spare time, he is an avid video gamer and a technology enthusiast. He has written a column three times a month for his local weekly newspaper for the past 12 years. He also enjoys downhill skiing, biking, travel, writes poetry and short stories and consumes pop culture (and Indian food) in copious quantities. Peter is husband to Megan and a dad to three adult children: Matthew, Caleb and Itsy.

In this session, participants will learn about the co-op model and how it can be used to build stronger, resilient communities, and more fair, local economies. Panelists will share about different kinds of co-ops and what makes them special.

Speaker: Vera Goussaert, Manitoba Co-op Association; Philip Mikulec, Peg City Car Co-op; Laura Pelser, Fireweed Food Co-op; Jamie Vann, Hinterland Nature Cooperative; Evan Proven, Sun Certified Builders

Organizations: Manitoba Co-op Association

Level: Introductory

Vera Goussaert is the Executive Director of the Manitoba Cooperative Association, an organization created by its members to enhance and support the development of a strong, united and influential cooperative community in Manitoba. Vera holds a Master of Science in Economy, Risk and Society from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba. Vera has worked and volunteered her entire career with cooperatives both locally and abroad. Vera resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and currently is on the board of the Gimli Film Festival.

Laura Pelser is the Communications and Partnerships Coordinator at Fireweed Food Co-op. She is a registered dietitian with a background in long term care and clinical food service. Laura is passionate about quality food access for all and building a resilient, sustainable local food system through collaboration and support for small farmers.

Jamie Vann‘s (he/him) interest in community development and connecting people with nature has led him on a path that includes 15+ years experience in creating and managing accessible programs for inner city youth and families. He is a Certified Forest and Nature School Practitioner with Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, and facilitator of CNAC national certification course,  with a degree in Recreation Management and Community Development from the University of Manitoba. Currently, Jamie is a founding member of Hinterland Nature Worker Cooperative Limited (2021) where he is coordinator of programs and site development at Hinterland Nature Camp and Farm (near Gimli), ice maker at various local community rinks in Winnipeg, natural builder and father of two. He was born in Bavaria, Germany and lives and plays with his family on treaty one land, in Winnipeg’s Wolseley neighbourhood.

Evan Proven is a founding member and the current Vice President of Sun Certified Builders Co-operative. Evan also serves on the board of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation as the prairie representative and is a grad student in the Masters of Management in Co-operatives and Credit Unions program at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. Sun Certified has just celebrated their 10th year of operations having incorporated in 2012, the International Year of the Co-op. Sun Certified is the first multi-stakeholder co-op incorporated in Manitoba with worker and supporting share member opportunities. The co-op specializes in energy efficient construction and renovations using the Passive House standard as the basis of their building methodology. Sun Certified’s mission is to reduce carbon emissions from the construction and operation of buildings through the use of passive and resilient systems that drastically reduce the total cost of building ownership.

It’s not unusual to feel ungrounded, tangled up and unable to appreciate your work — even when the work you do is good. None of that supports a joyful career. Kerri will guide and share meditation techniques to help you detect, create, and nurture positive emotions at work – while building three mindfulness skills – concentration, sensory clarity, and equanimity that support feeling more joy in your career.

Speaker: Kerri Twigg

Organization: Career Stories

Level: All levels

Kerri Twigg is a bestselling author, coach, and mindfulness teacher. Through courses and coaching, she helps people use their stories to grow their careers. Kerri is a Certified Unified Mindfulness Teacher (the same mindfulness system that is studied at Harvard and Carnegie Mellon), she brings her 20+ year background in theatre, meditation and career development to create programs and courses that help people flourish in their work.

Afternoon Workshops

2:45pm – 4:15pm

This workshop will explore the fundamentals of mental health. Participants will learn from Indigenous traditions that are rooted in balance and wellness. Participants will also learn the basics of human rights principles and the history of mental health as a human right. Lastly, participants will explore mental health in Canada, the effects of COVID-19, and solutions for approaching mental health through a human rights-based approach.

Speakers: Mitchell DeFehr, Lea Martin, Vanessa Tufuoh

Organization: Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties (MARL)

Level: Intermediate

Mitchell DeFehr graduated from Canadian Mennonite University with a Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Transformation. He is currently writing his final research paper for the Master of Human Rights program at the University of Manitoba. Mitchell has a passion for advocacy and promoting human rights and wellbeing in the city. He has worked in various capacities coordinating programs for youth and is keen to be more involved in education, empowerment, and programming. The Right to Mental Health is vital for the promotion of Human Rights, and in turn, wellbeing.

My name is Lea Martin, and I am a student at the University of Winnipeg pursuing a double honours degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. I hope to one day work as a forensic psychologist providing treatment to those in correctional institutions, furthering the research related to crimes of a sexual nature, providing support to victims and families, and dismantling misconceptions people may hold when it comes to working within the criminal justice system. I have been an advocate for the destigmatization of mental health for as long as I can remember. I not only have lived experience, but there are many people in my life who do as well. I have always seen the first step in this movement to be education. Having these conversations will not only help to remove the stigma surrounding mental health itself, but the stigma surrounding people who are affected by it. Additionally, it will also raise awareness of the current issues with the systems and supports that are currently in place. Like I always say, the movement has already come so far, but there is still so much work to be done.

Vanessa graduated from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration(GIMPA) with a Bachelor of Law (LLB). She is currently pursuing a Joint Masters Program for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba and her interests are in children’s rights, family violence and sexual trafficking. Her passion to advocate for the vulnerable was birthed in law school and she has done numerous internships with law firms in Ghana, 2/3 of which did their work on a pro-bono basis. Vanessa has experience working with children as a CCA and has served on the board of a non-profit youth organization. She is also an executive member of the Peace and Conflict Studies Student Association. It is her hope that working with MARL will help her reach out to and advocate for vulnerable persons in Winnipeg through the creation of awareness to their rights.

Learn about Purpose Homes, an affordable housing development project by Purpose Construction in Winnipeg’s North End that combines trades training and living wage jobs for people with barriers to employment and affordable housing development using an innovative social finance model.

Speaker: Kalen Taylor

Organization: Purpose Construction

Level: Intermediate

Kalen is a social entrepreneur and co-founder of three successful social enterprises, as well as the President of Winnipeg’s Social Enterprise Centre, and a founding board member of the Social Entrepreneurship Enclave in Winnipeg’s North End.

Join Peacing It Together as they share a presentation on the Joy of Conflict. Navigating conflict can be scary. When dealing with stressful situations, despite our best intentions, we can often fall into destructive approaches. This can happen in our families, communities, and organizations. This hour-long presentation will highlight the other side of conflict, the ways in which conflict can be a gift, move conversations forward, transform relationships, and be to an extent joyful. Several tools will be shared and then practiced in small groups. By improving our conflict skills together – we can slowly shift towards seeing the hard moments as hopeful.

Speakers: Dagen Perrott and Simeon Ganda

Organization: Peacing It Together


Dagen is an undergraduate student at the University of Winnipeg pursuing a double major in Conflict Resolution Studies and Urban and Inner-City Studies with an interest in how conflict shapes and is shaped by place and people. He works for the Community Research Training Centre and volunteers with a number of grassroots organizations and boards. When not working, he loves collaborative storytelling, cartography, and caring for plants.

Simeon is currently a third-year student of Conflict Resolution Studies (CRS) and International Development Studies (IDS) of Menno Simons College of the University of Winnipeg, and a Community Development Worker and a Mediator with a Cross Cultural Restorative Justice program The We Yone Palaver Hut Project. Married with four children, he runs a registered non-profit organization operating in West Africa and manages a family Mental Health Therapy Office, Miracle S.I.M Holistic and Wellness Therapy Inc. Simeon is passionate about community development and creating meaningful impact in people’s lives. He loves reading, singing and listening to people, and aims to complete the construction of a 100 Bed Health Center in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Ryan’s project is an Indigenous Housing initiative based on the theme “Reconciliation is Housing”. This project wants to be able to attract & influence CED workers to begin thinking in a different aspect and acting through an Indigenous lens when working with Indigenous people and their attempts to find housing in Winnipeg. While sharing the goals of Ryan’s project, the “JOY” of culture and the resilience that it took to get to where we are today will be shared. Ryan plans to do this through the sharing of language, traditional stories, and hand drum songs that are meant to be shared in gathering events. Ryan will continually remind the participants that their participation on a daily basis is the only way that “Reconciliation” is going to work and be beneficial to everyone.

Speaker: Ryan Mckay

Organization: Spence Neighbourhood Association

Level: Intermediate

Ryan McKay was born and raised in Rolling River First Nation by his late grandparents, Herman & Alice Mckay. His grandparents were both residential school survivors and instilled in Ryan the importance of maintaining his cultural identity through traditional language, storytelling, singing, ceremony and dance. After leaving his First Nation in his mid 20’s, Ryan moved to Brandon, Manitoba where he obtained a diploma in Aboriginal Community Development and also attended Brandon University for three years before moving to Winnipeg in 2011. Ryan has worked in the Winnipeg community in various social service agencies and is currently employed with the Spence Neighborhood Association as the Indigenous Input into Local Housing Project Manager. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his children, playing pool and attending ceremonies and pow wows.

In the Merriam-Webster definition of cosplay, where one dresses up as a fictional character, we’re reminded that it “is as much about creativity with materials and construction as it is about the outcome”. In this workshop, we’ll be doing a different kind of “Cause Play”. While there’s no dressing up involved this time, creativity, playfulness and joy are highly encouraged alongside your efforts towards a collective win.

We’ll be playing cooperative board games such as Space Cats Fight Fascism, Co-opoly, RISE Up, Good Dog Bad Zombie, and STRIKE! Come on your own, or bring a group you want to play with. These board games were designed by TESA Collective, a worker-owned cooperative that uses creativity to design and produce board games.

Throughout the workshop, you’ll be encouraged to have fun while playfully reflecting on commonalities between the games’ themes and your own movement and community building experiences.

“Let’s play our way to a better world.” – TESA Collective

Speaker: Katie Daman (they/she) & Max Harley (they/them)

Level: All levels

Participants will be introduced to a digital storytelling approach that uses video editing tools while remaining true to oral storytelling and participatory education traditions. Its transformative capacities have been recognized internationally by social service and health providers, educators, and groups committed to social, environmental, and economic justice.

Digital storytelling has been particularly valuable for storytellers marginalized because of poverty, violence, racial and cultural membership, gender, disability…. But it is for storytellers of all ages and all backgrounds. For all of us carry stories that have shaped who we are and guide who we are in the process of becoming.

First person stories produced by Immigrant, Refugee, and Indigenous storytellers on the theme of Home and Community will be screened. Participants are invited to bring in an object/picture that holds one of their own Home and Community stories and, if comfortable, share their story in the story circle.

Speakers: Frances Ravinsky, Carolina Meneses Zamora, Dakotah Nadeau, and Nyamet Obeing

Organization: Community Works

Level: All levels

Frances Ravinsky has worked for over 3 decades as a family therapist, educator, and social development facilitator in First Nations and urban social services. Her primary focus has been on early years and parenting, healing and wellness, and socially-engaged art. The art form that most interests her at this time links oral storytelling to digital editing technology. Frances is certified as a digital storytelling facilitator through University of Colorado and Story Center.

Frances has been a story gatherer all her life; an eavesdropper and nosy parker; a seeker of stories larger than the atrocity stories her father told her as a child about pogroms and the Holocaust. She loves the way we humans use art to tell authentic, multi-layered stories; particularly stories that come out of our own life experiences and those of our ancestors. Frances believes that it is these stories that best guide us in our efforts to create a sweeter and more just world.

Addressing climate change requires a just, equitable energy transition to a low-carbon society that works for everyone. Political momentum for a just transition is building across Canada and here in Manitoba. This workshop will introduce the term and existing work on just transition internationally and in Canada, discuss the current political context and opportunities on just transition, and facilitate a conversation on ways to participate in advocacy for a just transition at various levels of government. We will explore the role of community economic development organizations in the transition to more fair, joyful, and sustainable economies.

Speakers: Josiah Neufeldt and Laura Cameron

Organization: Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition

Level: All levels

Laura Cameron is a queer settler researcher, filmmaker, and activist working for climate justice as a guest on Treaty 1 territory. She is a volunteer organizer with the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition, where her work focuses on action in solidarity with frontline resistance to fossil fuel extraction and building momentum for a just transition in Manitoba.

Josiah Neufeld is a writer, journalist, and climate justice organizer in Winnipeg, Treaty 1 territory. He volunteers with Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition and other community groups.

This presentation will be an overview of recent efforts by local community groups to take on the problem of lacking, costly, and restrictive Internet connectivity in the North End. From Participatory Action Research to community-based efforts, we are seeking to challenge the way internet service is provided in low-income neighbourhoods. This is not a technology project; this is a digital equity / social justice project with community residents at its core. We aim to challenge the current privatized, commercial models and explore the option of Community Networks where control and governance remains in the hands of the community, and so too remains the benefits that come with Internet connectivity. We hope to get the word out about our project and stimulate more connection and support across the local community and wider non-profit network.

Speakers: Joel Templeman (Internet Society Manitoba), Justin Menard (Computers for Schools MB), Shuana MacKinnon (University of Winnipeg), Jewel Pierre-Roscelli (LITE)

Organization: Internet Society Manitoba

Level: All levels

Joel Templeman is the owner and CIO of, where he does consulting work for local small businesses and non-profit organizations. Joel currently works on contract with Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology‘s Cyberwave program as an Education Specialist coordinating professional development opportunities for teachers looking to incorporate more technology, computational thinking, and coding into the classroom. Joel is also the current Executive Director of the Internet Society Manitoba Chapter supporting the expansion of open, accessible, and secure Internet for everyone. The Chapter’s primary project is called North End Connect which involves community based research and local action to address the lack of access to information and services available on the Internet.

Justin Menard is the Executive Director of Computers for Schools Manitoba, a not for profit organization that strives to bridge the digital divide. Justin completed his information technology training through Tec-Voc and is an ongoing student with Red River under the Business administration program. Justin started with the organization in 2012 under the youth internship program, moving to a management role shortly thereafter with his transition to executive director occurring in 2019. Since stepping into the role as executive director, Justin has placed a large focus on refining the internship experience and expanding into underserved northern regions. Justin in a strong supporter of environmental responsibility and digital equity and is committed to bridging the digital divide.

Shauna MacKinnon is Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Inner-City Studies at the University of Winnipeg, and Principal Investigator of the Manitoba Research Alliance (MRA). The MRA is a community-led research consortium first established in 2003. In 2020 the MRA was awarded its 4th multi-year SSHRC Grant, a 7-Year Partnership Grant for the project Community-Driven Solutions to Poverty: Challenges and Possibilities.

Jewel Pierre-Roscelli was previously the Coordinator for Indigenous Vision for the North End with a focus on community development, sharing, and celebrating the Indigenous ways of knowing, and being and bringing community organizations and residents together. LITE is pleased to welcome Jewel Pierre-Roscelli as the organization’s new Executive Director. Pierre-Roscelli is the first Indigenous Executive Director in the organization’s twenty-three year history. Pierre-Roscelli is a proud Dakota woman. LITE was created by Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists working in Winnipeg’s North End in 1999, and now serves a network of job creation partners.

An interactive session for joyful social innovation for social change, with a tour of social innovation tools, empowering learning activities, and engaging group games on three themes – The Politics of Unity, Healing for Change and Community as Classroom. These tools apply big ideas for anti-oppression and restorative practice, trauma informed approach, collaborative governance, participatory leadership, social/ecological determinants of health, climate smart just transition, experiential education for empowerment, strength-based community development to transform systems, communities, relationships, and our health and well-being. After our tools tour we will play an activity to flip the script from oppression to compassion. Enhance your toolbox, or toybox, for a joyful journey from where we are to health, sustainability and peace.

Speakers: Marianne Cerilli, Change Agent

Organization: Community Development for Health, Sustainability, Peace

Level: All levels

Marianne has a unique career moving between teaching and education, government at the staff and elected MLA levels and working in the community in various staff, activist, and volunteer roles. Most recently after teaching at RRC in Indigenous Education the CD/CED program she wanted to be back in the community to do what she was teaching and launched Marianne Cerilli – Change Agent, Community Development for Health, Sustainability, Peace. This social purpose consulting business focuses on process design to move from paternalistic colonial, corporate and charity systems to community development models, based on community principles and practices. Marianne creates the social innovation tools to do it. Visit to find the first dozen or so of more than eighty social innovation tools to create a healthy, peaceful world.

Recently, the federal government’s interest in our collective work has often fallen under the “Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy”. So far, the tangible action in this strategy has been finance focused. The Investment Readiness Program is rolling out now, and the Social Finance Fund is likely to launch later this year. We know that we need innovative resources and funding to really nurture and grow community building efforts. We also know that the world of investment and finance has often been a source of inequality for various people and communities. Social finance models aim to change that and unlock more resources for socially innovative work. But at CCEDNet, we believe finance is a tool towards social change, not an end in itself.

Part of being able to imagine a future where our collective goals are realized is just getting comfy with the environment we work in. But all of this finance stuff can feel remote and confusing against the day to day concerns of community building. Build your comfort with this part of our field by joining our chat about why CCEDNet is calling for the full adoption of the Social Innovation / Social Finance Strategy and why community builders should care about social finance.


Carinna Rosales, Co-Executive Director, SEED Winnipeg; Co-chair of the Manitoba Social Finance Working Group

Mike Toye, Executive Director, CCEDNet

Sarah Leeson-Klym, Director Regional & Strategic Initiatives, CCEDNet

Level: All levels

Carinna D’Abramo Rosales is the Co-Director of SEED Winnipeg Inc. Carinna’s 20+ years of work at SEED has focused on program and enterprise development for low income individuals, groups, neighborhoods and projects with both a poverty reduction and job creation lens, as well as local and national policy work addressing systemic barriers to economic inclusion.

She is a founding and current board member of Diversity Food Services and Manitoba Cooperative Association, founder and co-convener of the MB Social Finance Working Group and member of a National community of practice; Table of Impact Investors and Practitioners (TIIP). The TIIP table consists of leaders from across Canada that work collaboratively to advance the understanding and use of social finance mechanisms and funds to create positive social impacts.

Mike Toye (he/him) lives in the traditional territory of the Abenaki and Wabanaki Confederacy in south-central Québec. He is Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, a national association of innovative community organizations and individuals who are building more inclusive, sustainable and democratic local economies. He has been a consultant on community economic development and the social economy in two worker co-operatives he co-founded, author of numerous articles and reports, co-editor of the book Community Economic Development: Building for Social Change, lecturer, researcher and Policy Analyst for the Library of Parliament. He grew up in Southern Ontario but now lives in Tingwick, Québec, near where poutine was invented.

Sarah Leeson-Klym is Director of Regional & Strategic Initiatives for the Canadian CED Network.This part of the network’s strategy brings members and partners together to work at the local level or on focused practices or emerging trends. Sarah’s role is to support these initiatives by convening groups of leaders, providing administrative or funder management support to member-led projects and local hubs, representing the network at relevant tables and being an information and relationship connector across the network. Previously, she worked in Manitoba to convene Canadian CED Network members, advocate to local governments to support the sector, and host learning events or programs to build strength and knowledge in the field. She’s also a board member with the Social Enterprise Council of Canada.

Lenard Monkman grew up in the North End and played basketball to stay healthy. Over the years he has hosted a number of events aimed at growing the Indigenous basketball community in the inner-city. He will discuss what it means to build better neighbourhoods and communities through sport.

Speaker: Lenard Monkman

Level: All levels