Thank you for a hugely successful convention this year!! Please remember to evaluate your sessions. Use the online schedule and find your speaker - the “Rate this session” tab is right there.  

Ahead By A Century: Learning from the Past, Inspiring the Future

The Alberta Teachers’ Association has a storied past. Over the last century, our members have demonstrated their constant creativity, ingenuity, and compassion and have helped to elevate the reputation of Alberta’s public education system and its teaching profession to a level of excellence that is the envy of international jurisdictions. Ironically, the work of dedicated teachers seems to be increasingly the subject of criticism at a more local level. Join ATA President Greg Jeffery to reflect on what Alberta’s teachers have learned over their hundred year journey and what new courses we should set in the years to come.

Keynote and Featured Speakers:

Henry Winkler

While Winkler’s personal commitment to helping others is reward enough, his efforts have been recognized by a variety of prestigious organizations including B’nai B’rith, Peace Prize by the United Nations and Women in Film’s Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award presented to both Henry and his wife, Stacey, for their tireless efforts and devotion to the “improvement of the human condition.” Henry also received the Chevallier de l’Ordre des Artes et Lettres, the French Government’s highest honor. Last year, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded Henry with an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his services to children with special education needs. Henry was honored in July 2010 by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers for his work with the British government on the “My Way!” Campaign – an educational initiative focused on raising awareness for children with learning challenges throughout the United Kingdom.

Sue Mitchell

Portrayed by Kathy Bates as “Miss Sue” in the best-selling book and Oscar nominated movie The Blind Side, Sue Mitchell famously tutored NFL Ravens #74 Michael Oher from a .6 GPA to a 2.05 in high school, and finally to a 3.75 Dean’s List student in college. Sue Mitchell’s career spans more than four decades in education, with experience from elementary to the collegiate level. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Mitchell earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Mississippi and a Master of Science from University of Tennessee. Sue began her teaching career in Atlanta, Georgia, but after three years returned home to Tennessee and taught Elementary School for three years, Middle School for 10 years, and high school for 23 years. Her work with Oher didn’t end once he began attending Ole Miss. Mitchell retired from teaching and moved to Oxford, Miss., to be near family and accepted a position with Ole Miss as a learning specialist.

Eva Olsson

Since 1996 Eva has been speaking about her life in over 3000 schools, churches, meeting halls, conferences, colleges and universities, and over one-and-a-half million individuals throughout Canada. Eva received an Honorary Doctorate from Nipissing University, North Bay Ontario in June 2005 and is a recipient of the Order of Ontario. In September 2008, Eva was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 2013 Eva received a Doctor of Humane Letters for the University of Lakehead. Her national bestselling book titled, Unlocking the Doors: A Woman’s Struggle Against Intolerance, was released in 2001. Her second book, Remembering Forever: A Journey of Darkness and Light and a documentary film, Stronger Than Fire: The Eva Olsson Story, were released in the fall of 2008. Her third book, which she co-authored with her son Jan, is titled Every Step of the Way. It is also a national best seller.

Peter Mansbridge

PETER MANSBRIDGE is one of Canada’s most respected and recognizable figures—a true icon. For five decades, including 29 years as anchor of CBC’s The National, he has guided us through the political, economic, and cultural events that have shaped the country. Unsurprisingly, he’s also a great public speaker. In keynotes, he highlights the very real contribution of Canada, and its citizens, in building a better world.

Eddy Robinson

Born and raised in Toronto the largest city in Canada, Eddy Robinson Anishinaabe/Muskegowuk Cree did not enjoy a childhood of privilege. This narrative is not unique and is shared in similar ways by many other Indigenous people throughout North America. It was not until his adult years that he really begun to understand the legacy of his father’s experience at the Chapleau Indian Residential School and Shingwauk Indian Residential School. Mr. Robinson has worked and advocated for many Indigenous communities locally, provincially and nationally for the past 25 years. The Dewegun (Dee-Way-Gun which means Drum) first set Robinson on a good path in life leading to many other important sources that contributed to the rediscovery of his identity; Anishinaabe ceremonies, Indigenous literature & film, leaders, Traditional Teachers and Elders.

Tomson Highway

Tomson Highway is the proud son of legendary caribou hunter and world championship dogsled racer, Joe Highway, and artist-in-her-own-right (as bead-worker and quilt-maker extraordinaire), Pelagie Highway. A full-blood Cree, he is a registered member of the Barren Lands First Nation, the village for which is called Brochet (pronounced “Bro-shay”) and which village is located in northern Manitoba where it meets Saskatchewan and what is now called Nunavut. Today, he writes novels, plays, and music for a living. Having studied music and English literature at the Universities of Manitoba (Winnipeg) and Western Ontario (London), as well as in England, he earned both his Bachelor of Music Honours (Piano Performance major, 1975) and the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts (English major, 1976), both from “Western.”

Jessica Holmes

A favourite on Royal Canadian Air Farce, Jessica Holmes has brought the house down opening for giants such as Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Peters, Jerry Seinfeld, and Oprah Winfrey. Her bilingual, customized emcee and entertainment presentations — which include motivation and wellness — are always guaranteed to be a hit with all audiences.As a performer, Jessica’s productions have garnered her a “Platinum Award” at The Worldfest International Film Festival; nominations for Gemini Awards; and the prestigious Tim Sims Scholarship. Jessica also devotes much time to helping others live well. In her wellness keynotes, she mixes humour with her message about the importance of de-stressing and laughing at life’s shortcomings, and speaks with intelligence and insight on her own experiences of dealing with post-partum depression, finding work-life balance, and re-igniting passion. She recently received certification as a wellness coach from San Diego’s Life Purpose Institute.

Brent Butt

Born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, BRENT BUTT discovered early that being funny was a good way to get attention. At the age of 20 moved to the city to pursue a career in stand-up. Within months he was headlining top clubs in Toronto, within a few years he was touring internationally. He was also busy creating his own TV series – CORNER GAS. It became an instant hit was named "Funniest Show on TV" by TV Guide readers. Brent’s follow-up series HICCUPS ran for two seasons. In 2013 Brent was honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to community and country. Most recently Bell Media announced an all-new animated version of the iconic comedy franchise entitled CORNER GAS: ANIMATED. The first season is expected to premiere as part of The Comedy Networks 2017-2018 broadcast season. With Brent performing, writing, executive producing, and even directing, there is little doubt the future holds many untold achievements for one of Canada’s brightest stars.

Gabe Mancini

Dr. Gabe Mancini is psychologist but primarily a teacher for 45 years. He has published in the area of meta-cognition and has presented worldwide. He holds a B.A. in psychology and literature, a B.Ed, a M.A., M.Ed, and a PhD.

Dean Jenkinson

Dean Jenkinson is an award-winning comedian and comedy writer in Winnipeg, Canada. He’s currently a writer for CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Dean wrote the 22 Minutes sketch “Sponsor An Executive” which despite being geo-fenced in Canada has been viewed over 1.3 million times on YouTube. He’s written for several Just For Laughs specials, creating material for such acts as The Muppets, Joan Rivers, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, and cast members from The Big Bang Theory. When he's not writing comedy or performing in a comedy club, Dean entertains at corporate and community events across Canada.

Dave Hepburn

Dr. Dave Hepburn is a highly sought after speaker addressing topics on Health, the Science of Happiness, Stress, and as the influential CEO of International Medical Cannabis Advisors, he is a consultant to licensed producers of Cannabis, International Governments, Stakeholders and Businesses affected by the National Policies on Cannabis. Dr. Dave has been traveling Canada, educating fellow physicians of all specialties on why, how and when to prescribe medical marijuana. Dr. Dave is best known for Wisequacks, the nationally syndicated radio show he co-hosted with Dr. Rob Sealey. He was the medical authority on the Oprah Winfrey Network Canada show Buy.O.Logic and was an award winning syndicated columnist to more than 100 newspapers across the United States and Canada. He is the author of The Doctor Is In(sane) which was nominated for several book awards.

Aaron Paquette

Aaron Paquette is one of Canada's best-known First Nations Metis personalities. The author of the bestselling book Lightfinder, Arron is also a talented artist and illustrator. He has worked with the Royal Conservatory’s adjunct program -Learning Through the Arts- as both a Mentor Artist and as the First Nations Representative and Consultant in Alberta. This experience focused on providing the skills and background knowledge for infusing differentiated learning within the general curriculum in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Aaron has collaborated with Ministries, Teachers’ Associations and teachers, providing region wide teacher workshops and in- school experiences related to the art curriculum that also provide an FNMI perspective. A skilled communicator, Aaron has worked with Alberta Education in Professional Development, Reconciliation, Literacy, Overcoming Obstacles, Residential School & Forced Adoptions, Creativity, among other topics.

Mohamed Fahmy

Mohamed Fahmy is a multi-award winning Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist who has spent 15 years reporting from the Middle East and North Africa for CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera English, and worked with the International Committee for the Red Cross protecting the rights of political prisoners, the missing, and refugees in Beirut. In September 2013, he accepted the title of Al Jazeera English Bureau Chief in Cairo. In December of the same year the Egyptian authorities arrested him and his two colleagues and he was unjustly convicted and imprisoned in the Tora maximum security prison where he spent over 438 days living with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS. With the support of his attorney, Amal Clooney he was finally pardoned of all charges and released in September 2015. His book the Marriott Cell is his personal story and the interviews he conducted behind bars with political prisoners and extremists that provides the reader with rare insights on terrorism.

Jessica Holmes

A favourite on Royal Canadian Air Farce, Jessica Holmes has brought the house down opening for Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Peters, and Oprah Winfrey. Her hilarious and validating take on life’s challenges have audiences in stitches, and her unique knack for skewering celebrities keep her at the top of Canadian comedy. As a performer, Jessica’s received a “Platinum Award” at The Worldfest International Film Festival; nominations for Gemini Awards; and the prestigious Tim Sims Scholarship. Performing across the country, with a recent appearance on CBC’s Winnipeg Comedy Festival television special. Jessica devotes time to helping others live well. Mixing humour with her message about the importance of de-stressing and laughing at life’s shortcomings, and speaks with insight on her own experiences with post-partum depression, finding work-life balance, and re-igniting passion. Her autobiographical book, I Love Your Laugh, was published in 2010.

Michel Chikwanine

Michel Chikwanine was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and grew up amid the terror of the Great War of Africa. Much of his childhood was ravaged by the death and decay of a war that claimed the lives of 5.8 million people, his father included, and forced him to be a child soldier. Michel now inspires people to believe in their ability to make a difference and leaves audiences with a new perspective on life, and a desire for change. An accomplished motivational speaker and author, Michel addresses audiences across North America. He has spoken to over 100,000 people and has shared the stage with such distinguished speakers as Craig and Marc Kielburger, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., His Holiness The Dalai Lama, former U.S Vice-President Al Gore, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr., Nobel Peace Prize laureate Betty Williams, actress Mia Farrow and musician K’naan, just to name a few. Michel is also the author of the graphic novel, Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War.

Zach Ingrasci

Chris and Zach began their journey in college, when they produced, directed, and starred in their first film, Living on One Dollar. The film was #1 on iTunes for documentaries, featured on the homepage banner of Netflix, and called “A Must Watch” by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus. Their second feature documentary, Salam Neighbor, provides an intimate look into the lives of Syrian refugees, through their lens as the first filmmakers ever given a tent and registered inside of a refugee camp. Most recently, Chris and Zach collaborated with the UN Refugee Agency and Google to create Searching for Syria, an immersive online hub that answers the world's top searched questions about Syria. The project was featured on Google and reached over 5 million people in the first two weeks. Equal parts filmmaker and humanitarian, Chris and Zach have been on the front lines fighting for human rights, and have raised over a million dollars to directly empower disenfranchised communities through microfinan

Kevin Vallely

Kevin Vallely was named one of Canada's leading adventurers by the Globe and Mail. His adventuring resume is stacked with compelling expeditions to all parts of the world: attempting the first human powered traverse of the infamous Northwest Passage in a single season; skiing Alaska’s 1,860km Iditarod Trail; scampering over Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail in record time of 10hr-13min; attempting to bike and climb the island of Java’s thirteen 10,000-foot volcanoes in the midst of a jihad; retracing a 2,000km Klondike-era ice bike route through the dead of an Alaskan winter, and, with teammates Ray Zahab and Richard Weber, breaking the world record for the fastest unsupported trek to the Geographic South Pole. Graduating from the McGill University School of Architecture in 1988, Kevin won the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal for top graduating student and shortly afterward was awarded a prized Commonwealth Scholarship for post-graduate work at Cambridge University

Allan Kehler

Allan Kehler is a highly sought-after speaker who aims to empower his audience to live opposed to exist. Among one of the more captivating Canadian keynote and workshop speakers, Allan’s dynamic style has allowed him to conduct hundreds of presentations while gaining recognition nationwide. Allan spent a significant amount of his life persevering through mental health issues and addictions. Today he empowers his audience to use their voices in times of need. He has spent years working as an addictions counselor, clinical case manager, and instructor at several colleges. His writing has been published in many national magazines, and his first book Stepping Out From the Shadows: A Guide to Understanding & Healing from Addictions has been incorporated into college curricula. Allan has also been featured on several television and radio programs. He currently resides in Saskatoon with his beautiful wife, four sons, two dogs and cat ‘Hank the Tank’.

Bradley Bischoff

Hello, I am representing my band The Wardens. We are from Canmore Alberta. Our show is 100% original material. This is what we do: -all songs/stories by Bradley Bischoff, Scott Ward and Ray Schmidt -"Life on the trail, mountain rescue, grizzly bears, wildfire" and much more -all performed by us, real park wardens from Banff National Park Story telling is integral to our performance. Our audiences sit and listen to our entertaining songs and tales of an adventure rich mountain lifestyle. On select performances we provide an extremely engaging slide show. Awesome national park images all synced to the songs provide a mesmerizing backdrop to our one of a kind concert. We have a website.

Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay uses the power of spoken word to inspire creativity and self-empowerment in others. In her now-famous TED talk--a talk that inspired two standing ovations and has been seen by over seven million people online--she tells the story of her metamorphosis from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse in New York's iconic Bowery Poetry Club, to becoming a teacher who today connects youth with the power of self-expression through her own non-profit educational organization. Sarah is the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E., an education organization that celebrates and inspires self-expression in youth through spoken-word poetry. Through her involvement with the organization, Sarah has taught spoken-word poetry to students of all ages, in classrooms all over the world. She is the author of the book B, which was ranked the number one poetry title on, and her newest work, No Matter The Wreckage, an American poetry bestseller.

GETCA Socials


Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Riverview Room

(across from Hall D)

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Entertainment by:

Juno Award Nominee Jim Head 

Cash Bar

Complimentary Appetizers 


"Spirit of Convention"

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Hall D Foyer

Cash Bar

Music by: Funk Velvet 

Complimentary Appetizers

Great Door Prizes!

Supported by Morgex


At Harry Ainlay on Thursday and wondering where to eat?

Two food trucks have been booked for you to choose from for lunch.

Street Eats @streeteatsEDM on TWITTER


Meat Street Pies

Both can be found outside exit 11



Speakers & Schedule Information

Schedules are available!

You can create your own schedule by saving sessions as a favorite! Click here to get started now.

Alternatively you can also view the the complete schedule online or view the schedule in PDF Format.


Attendees, Teachers and Delegates who will be coming to the conference on Mar 1st & 2nd don't need to register for anything. Just show up at the conference and enjoy!

For Speakers

Speaker registration is open!

Click the register button in the top right hand corner and choose speaker registration. After you register you may submit up to 5 proposals.


For Attendees who want to pre-register for sessions

Register and reserve your seat for sessions that require pre-registration. On a first come first serve basis.


For Exhibitors

Our goal is to make the 2018 convention as fine an educational display as in previous years. Your support and early return of your completed and signed application, disclaimer, and contract for exhibitor service along with payment will help make this possible.


For Chairpersons

Chairperson registration is open for Chairpersons, if you want to chair a session please register and select a session to chair.



Trying to find your way around? Below is a list of maps to help guide you through the GETCA convention!

Shuttle Service

Shaw bus stop on Jasper Avenue outside the main doors

Harry Ainlay bus stop outside exit 11 adjacent to Confederation Leisure Centre

Bus: Harry Ainlay Route
Pick up LocationPick up TimeDrop off LocationDrop off Time
Ainlay 8:15 AM Shaw 9:00 AM
Ainley 10:30 AM Shaw 11:15 AM
Ainlay 12:15 PM Shaw 1:00 PM
Ainley 2:30 PM Shaw 3:15 PM
Bus: Shaw Route
Pick up LocationPick up TimeDrop off Location Drop off Time
Shaw 8:15 AM Ainlay 9:00 AM
Shaw 10:30 AM Ainley 11:15 AM
Shaw 12:15 PM Ainlay 1:00 PM
Shaw 2:30 PM Ainley 3:15 PM

Thanks to all the convention attendees.  Please evaluate your sessions. If you have any suggestions to improve our convention or if you would like to suggest speakers please email