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Click through the day tabs below to see our three day program.

Day One

Monday, October 28


8:30 – 10:00   OPENING PLENARY

Central Challenges and Key Opportunities for Building Climate Resilient Healthy, and Equitable Communities

The impacts of climate change are being felt across social, built, natural, and economic systems in complex, interconnected ways. More than ever, collaborative community-level action is required to build sustainable, healthy, and equitable communities that are resilient to the risks posed by the changing climate. Actions that transform and protect our cities must play a role in fostering livable, thriving communities. The Opening Plenary of the Forum will kick-off with a chance to meet the partners who will introduce the this year’s themes and highlight the importance of taking a synergistic approach to advance resilience at the local level. Following this, we will transition to a panel discussion among leaders from various sectors to consider the central challenges and key opportunities to address climate change while building more resilient, healthy, and equitable communities?

The plenary will close with an opportunity for delegates to share in table discussions what drew them to the Forum, and through the Thoughtexchange platform the burning question that they are holding on the challenges and opportunities ahead.


Lisa Helps, Mayor, City of Victoria

Courtney Howard, Emergency Physician and board President of Canadian Institute of Physicians for the Environment

Barbara Turley-McIntyre, Vice-President, Sustainability and Citizenship, The Co-operators Group Limited

Mary Rowe, President and CEO, Canadian Urban Institute

Sharmarke Dubow, Councillor, City of Victoria

Plus remarks from Livable Cities Forum 2019 organizers and partners: ICLEI Canada, SHIFT Collaborative, and ACT-SFU.



Coming Together: Collaborative Co-governance as a key Towards Resilience

Climate change response requires collaborative, community-based approaches where governments and non-government actors work together to assess risks, co-produce plans, and take action. Partnerships can take many forms – ranging from collaboration on ad-hoc projects, to completely integrative models that involve co-creation, shared risks and responsibilities, interdependency, and organizational transformation. This session will present several case studies of cross-sector partnerships, including ingredients for success and key challenges, as well as the importance of equity in partnership planning.


Hana Lapp, Climate Change Project Coordinator, ICLEI Canada

Amy Coomes, Sustainability Coordinator, Earthcare, City of Thunder Bay

Angela Danyluk, Senior Sustainability Specialist, City of Vancouver

Andrea Hamberg, Program Supervisor, Multnomah County Environmental Health


Jonas Roberts, Manager Met-Ocean Services and Atlantic Sciences, Wood

Infrastructure for the People

Our infrastructure provides critical core services like clean drinking water, flood protection, and transportation – but what else could it do for us? Is there an opportunity to achieve other benefits without significantly increasing costs? This session will have participants explore the ways in which investments in infrastructure systems can be leveraged to achieve benefits beyond the traditional services these systems have typically been designed for. Speakers will provide examples of real world applications, successes, and challenges. Participants will contribute to an interactive discussion designed to uncover further examples and identify new opportunities in their own communities.


Lisa Butler, Manager of Engineering Strategy, City of Courtenay

Lory Obserst, Director of Operations, Skwah First Nation

David Blain, Director of Planning and Engineering, City of Chilliwack

Masheed Salehomoum, Program Lead, Park People


Jody Rechenmacher, Community Infrastructure Consultant and Principal, Urban Systems Ltd.

Stories of Resilience in the Face of Climate Change

From sea to sea, communities in Canada are facing unprecedented conditions that are increasing the risk of floods and wildfires. How can we prepare for, respond to and recover from such devastating events, to discover and enhance the resilience in each other and collectively? Join us as we hear stories about the firsthand experiences of communities who have recently lived through such extreme events, what has been learned and where we need to turn next.


City of Grand Forks

Fawna Bews, Community Capacity Project Strategic Lead, Our High River

Pamela Gerardo, Youth Voices Rising, Fort McMurray

Nigel Deans, Research Coordinator, Royal Roads University

Moderator: Erica Crawford, Director and Co-founder, SHIFT Collaborative

Low carbon resilience (LCR): Synergies between Adaptation and Mitigation in Practice

Both adaptation and mitigation act to lower the risks and impacts of climate change. While the two responses have evolved separately, current research and practice suggests that there are benefits to coordinating both strategies in climate action planning and implementation. Low carbon resilience provides a new lens to contribute to municipal strategy and operations in an integrated manner, internalizing climate evidence and data while also streamlining approaches that save municipal resources, synergize policies and co-benefits, and coordinate planning and implementation for effective climate governance in practice. This session will provide an overview of LCR, highlighting emerging research and best practices.


Leslie King,Professor and Director, Canadian Centre for Environmental Education, Royal Roads University

Leya Barry, Climate Change Specialist, City of Mississauga

Tamsin Mills, Senior Sustainability Specialist, City of Vancouver

Paul Ross, Branch Manager, Regional and Economic Development, City of Edmonton

Tami Rothery, Sustainability/Alternative Energy Coordinator, District of Summerland


Deborah Harford, Executive Director, ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Alison Shaw, ICABCCI Research Lead, Low Carbon Resilience, ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), Simon Fraser University (SFU)

12:00 – 1:30   NETWORKING LUNCH


Social Resilience, Healthy Communities, and Climate Change

How can we intentionally build community resilience as part of the process of responding and adapting to climate change, as well as other shocks and stressors facing communities? What are the capacities and mindsets that support resilience, and how can we pro-actively foster these? Sharing learnings from community case studies, this session will highlight initiatives and approaches focused on increasing resilience through fostering greater social connectedness in local neighbourhoods.


Michelle Hoar, Project Director, Hey Neighbour Collective at the Simon Fraser University’s Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Stacy Barter, Director and Co-founder, SHIFT Collaborative

Sheila Murray, Co-founder, CREW Toronto (Creating Resilience to Extreme Weather)

Sarah Hunn,  Emergency Management Community Liaison, City of Victoria

Who's got the Power?

Different departments, professions, actors, and orders of government develop and administer adaptation and mitigation policies and plans. Effective climate action is increasingly determined by its alignment and coherence with existing and emerging policies, programs, and practices. In order to promote effective LCR it is important to align these influencers – their goals and practices. This session will explore the key influencers and the nested inter-dependencies that either enable or hinder the development and implementation of integrated climate action at the municipal scale. Discussion of key influencers and potential levers that can mobilize LCR co-benefits at various scales of governance and practice will be explored.


Roy Brooke, Executive Director, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative

Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada

Johanna Wolf, a/Director, Economics and Analysis, Climate Action Secretariat, BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Edward Nichol, Senior Policy and Planning Analyst, Metro Vancouver

Wilma Leung, Senior Manager, Technical Research and Education, BC Housing

Robert LePage, Building Science Research Engineer, RDH Building Science


Deborah Harford, Executive Director, ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Alison Shaw, ICABCCI Research Lead, Low Carbon Resilience, ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), Simon Fraser University (SFU)

People, Pipes, or Both: Applying integrated thinking for resilient solutions

Canadian municipalities are in a period of infrastructure assessment, renewal, and investment; as decisions and investments in infrastructure are made, it is vital that these not only consider a climate adjusted future, but also what the function and possible co-benefits of that infrastructure in a community could be. This session will unpack resiliency both as an engineered (hard infrastructure) response and as a community planning (people-based) response, strengthening the voice of and need for integrated thinking and solutions.


Shane O’Hanlon, Sustainable Development and Resilience Consultant, Stantec

Sarah Webb, Manager, Sustainable Transportation Planning and Development, City of Victoria

Jade Yehia, Regional Built Environment Consultant, Island Health


Graham Twyford-Miles, Principal, Vancouver Sustainability and Resilience Team, Stantec

The Economics of Resilience: Understanding the business case for adaptation

There are many lenses through which to look at the economics perspectives of climate change, particularly from a municipal perspective. With extreme weather being more frequent and perceived as the new normal, decision makers are looking to understand the financial impacts of these events, as well as the business case for adapting and minimizing risk. This session will explore the economics of resilience through three perspectives – the economic and social costs of climate change, climate-related financial risk disclosures, and investment opportunities for adaptation and resilience.


Richard Boyd, Director of Research, All One Sky Foundation

Paul Shorthouse, Senior Director, The Delphi Group


Al Douglas, President, Climate Risk Institute

3:00 – 3:30    COFFEE BREAK


Health and Equity in a Changing Climate: Understanding vulnerability to the health impacts of climate change

Climate change will affect all of us, but some communities and populations are at greater risk of experiencing health impacts from a changing climate. We know that our social and physical environments matter in determining our exposure to risk, but also our ability to respond and build resilience. Factors such as housing, income, social support networks, and community capacity all affect our ability to respond and adapt to climate change. This workshop will explore what health equity means in the face of climate change and present ‘climate and health vulnerability assessments’ as an approach to inform adaptation actions to reduce negative health impacts and increase local resilience.


Paivi Abernethy, Climate Change and Health Specialist, First Nations Health Authority

Denni Clement, Indigenous Engagement Consultant and Writer (specialization in climate change)

Louise Aubin, Acting Director of Health Protection, Region of Peel Public Health

Chris Buse, CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia

Rebekka Schnitter, Policy Analyst, Climate Change and Innovation Bureau, Health Canada


Kerri Klein, Director and Co-founder, SHIFT Collaborative

Why Green Your City? Aligning LCR and Eco-Based Planning

All Canadian municipalities are caught between failing infrastructure and unprecedented impacts on infrastructure. Much of the responsibility for infrastructure governance has been devolved to the local scale. A compelling area for alignment is the integration of adaptation and mitigation in considerations of infrastructure remediation, forecasting, and financing. This session explores the opportunities available to local governments to retain and/or rehabilitate ecosystem services, conserve and/or enhance biodiversity, utilize green infrastructure to buffer against projected climate risks while also deriving local strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve co-benefits for overall property and cultural values, human health, social equity, and biodiversity. Viewing the current infrastructure challenge as an opportunity to create alignment and coherence in policy and planning, this session will work with participants to identify municipal co-benefits of green infrastructure planning.


Erin Desautels, Sustainability Planner, City of Surrey

Virginie Dufour, City Councillor for Sainte-Rose, City of Laval

Emanuel Machado, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Gibsons

Sarah Dal Santo, Natural Resources Planning Manager, Tsleil-Waututh First Nation

Susan Todd, President, Solsticeworks


Deborah Harford, Executive Director, ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Alison Shaw, ICABCCI Research Lead, Low Carbon Resilience, ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Livable Cities Require Resilient Infrastructure and Resilient People

Our city infrastructure is inextricably linked to the well-being of residents and the economy. Too often however, as we are planning for and designing new infrastructure systems we do not apply a resilience lens to these decisions, instead looking solely at the physical problem the infrastructure is meant to solve – moving people from A to B, or diverting water more efficiently. This session will apply a resilience lens to infrastructure planning and highlight three innovative approaches that put people first by highlighting the human and social benefits of infrastructure as well as the value of human and social assets in municipal service delivery.


Reem Tanta, Socio-Economics Lead, Wood 

Peter Nimmrichter, Climate, Resilience, and Sustainability Lead for Canada, Wood 

Jody Rechenmacher, Community Infrastructure Consultant and Principal, Urban Systems Ltd. & Director, Urban Matters CCC


Chris Jennings, Director, Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Division, Natural Resources Canada

Does What Makes a Neighbourhood Great Also Make it Resilient?

Local governments are working to identify climate impacts, to assess key vulnerabilities, and to develop strategies that increase urban resilience. However, as we build resilience, it is important to recognize that tangible climate risks are often underpinned by an intangible system of attitudes, values, and cultural traditions that are rooted in place. This session, using a fishbowl format, will have a collaborative dialogue where the line between panelists and participants is blurred. As a group we will explore the role that placemaking (or strengthening the connection between people and the places they share) has in building resilience to both climate change and other stressors.

“Fishbowl” participants:

Shannon Miedema, Program Manager, Energy & Environment, Halifax Regional Municipality

Robert Plitt, Executive Lead, Evergreen

Masheed Salehomoum, Program Lead, Park People

Teresa Chan, Climate Change Specialist, City of Mississauga


Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada

Sarah Shenstone-Harris, Climate and Energy Planner, ICLEI Canada

6:00-9:00     MAYOR’S DINNER

An evening for all conference delegates to gather for dinner and networking, and hear from our keynote speaker.

Musical guest: Kathryn Calder, Artist in Residence, City of Victoria 

Introduction by: Lisa Helps, Mayor, City of Victoria

Keynote speaker: Jennifer Keesmaat, Former Chief Planner at City of Toronto and Renowned Urbanist 

Location: Crystal Garden, Victoria Conference Centre

Note: Crystal Garden is across the street (leave the conference centre at the Douglas Street exit and cross the Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 S road)  

Day Two

Tuesday, October 29


8:30 – 9:30   MORNING PLENARY

Day 2 Morning Plenary

Building on the conversations from the first day of the Forum, the morning plenary will set the stage for the day – a solutions focused day that will leave delegates with actionable ideas to apply in their communities. Our plenary speakers will offer some initial reflections on the issues that we are grappling with in relation to building more climate resilient, healthy and equitable communities as well as share what is hopeful and exciting as we move forward. A panel discussion will close out the plenary with the Moderator sharing a summary of the key themes from postings shared through Thoughtexchange.


Lisa Helps, Mayor, City of Victoria

Courtney Howard, Emergency Physician and Board President of Canadian Institute of Physicians for the Environment

Barbara Turley-McIntyre, Vice-President, Sustainability and Citizenship, The Co-operators Group Ltd.

Mary Rowe, President and CEO, Canadian Urban Institute

Moderator: Stacy Barter, Director and Co-founder, SHIFT Collaborative


Trends and Emerging Issues World Café

During this world cafe workshop, participants will have an opportunity to discuss specific issues or emerging topics relating to the themes of the 2019 Forum: Making the Links between climate change and health; Role of infrastructure; Low carbon resilience. The individual topics selected represent the issues that are being talked about on a national stage or the ‘next’ things to think about. Participants will be led through a series of short conversations by Table Hosts who are familiar with each of the topics. Table conversations will have delegates consider the work they have done to date on the issue, challenges with making progress, and finally what is needed to advance action on the issue. Together, hosts and participants will explore these emerging as well as ways to take collaborative action on them.

Table topics and hosts:

  • Managing climate change and health outcomes – Louise Aubin, Acting Director of Health Protection, Region of Peel Public Health
  • Using climate data in strategic planning – Lo Cheng, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Climate Services
  • Harnessing the power of youth – Kyle Empringham, Co-Founder, The Starfish Canada
  • Supporting small and rural municipalities – Summer Goulden, Climate Change Planner and BC Lead, ICLEI Canada
  • Regional approaches to resilience building – Cait Murphy, Program Coordinator, Climate Change & Air Quality, Fraser Basin Council
  • Financing climate action – Yvonne Ritchie, Project Coordinator, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
  • Addressing climate equity and energy poverty – Sarah Shenstone-Harris, Climate and Energy Planner, ICLEI Canada
  • Updating and maintaining infrastructure – Peter Nimmrichter, Climate, Resilience and Sustainability Lead for Canada, Wood
  • Advancing nature-based solutions – Laniel Bateman, Executive Director, Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Policy, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Greening and Cooling Playgrounds in Canada

Designing for thermal comfort is vital in the context of climate change. Because of climate change, the numbers of extremely hot days (≥ 30°C) in much of Canada is expected to become more common, with significant impacts on human health. Researchers have called for a change in policies and regulations to improve thermal comfort in playground design. Making play equipment and spaces thermally comfortable in summer not only could minimize heat-related illnesses but also help ensure that children can safely exercise and play outdoors in moderately hot conditions. Greening playgrounds with trees, shrubs and vegetated open-space is a key mechanism for providing shade and cooling in summer. This panel discussion will bring together experts from different professional backgrounds and disciplines to discuss promising tools and actions for greening and cooling playgrounds in Canada.


Karina Richters, Supervisor, Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, City of Windsor

Heather Olsen, Executive Director, National Program for Playground Safety

Christian Walli, Community Adivsor, Tree Canada


Marla Desat, Sector Specialist, Strategic Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Standards Council of Canada

Healthy Cities Research: The role city research partnerships play in building livable, learning cities

Over the next decade, factors including climate change, aging populations, technological innovation and more than $180 billion of Federal Government investment in community infrastructure projects will contribute to significant change in Canadian cities. Innovative policy, program and infra-structure responses to this change present an enormous opportunity to learn about how to maximize the health potential of cities. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s new interdisciplinary Healthy Cities Research Initiative aims to capitalize on this learning opportunity to better understand how we can design, build and support healthier, more equitable cities. This session will explore how municipalities and local decision-makers can harness city change to improve health and resilience at home and in other communities. The session will:

  • Showcase the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Healthy Cities Research Initiative and highlight opportunities for municipalities and local organizations to benefit;
  • Demonstrate how intervention and implementation science can empower decision-makers and improve health and health equity; and
  • Identify strategies to facilitate municipal-academic partnerships that address local needs and create a network of ‘learning cities.’


Lisa Helps, Mayor, City of Victoria

Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, City of Toronto

Meghan Winters, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University


Marisa Creatore, Assistant Director, CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health

Building Resilience Through the Intersection of Climate, Food and Health

Food is at the crux of the intersections between climate change and individual and community health – it plays a significant role in the social and cultural resilience of a community, as well as being integral to local ecologies and economies. And yet, the nexus of food, climate change and health, together, has been scarcely addressed to date. There is growing attention to issues of food security and food system resilience at a community and regional level; the impacts of climate change for food systems and, separately, for health, are increasingly gaining attention; and the connections between food and individual and community health are well understood. The table has been set for us to take the next step of addressing the intersections between all three and the implications for the well-being and resilience of our communities moving forward.

In this session we will be introduced to a newly developed framework that links climate change impacts, food security, the food system and health outcomes, and hear from leading examples of practice and research into pieces of this picture. Through facilitated small group discussions between presenters and participants, we will engage in dialogue to explore what’s next: how can we bring these pieces together to elevate and inspire more integration across these three fields of research and practice?


Liese Coulter, Research Fellow in Climate Risk Storylines, University of Leeds

Jill McDowell, Health Promotion Specialist, Toronto Food Strategy, Toronto Public Health

Rebekka Schnitter, Policy Analyst, Climate Change and Innovation Bureau, Health Canada

Active Transportation for a Better World

How we move matters, whether we walk, ride or roll. The built environment has a profound impact on shaping how active and healthy we are as individuals, and how livable, sustainable, and resilient we are as communities.

As part of the Province of British Columbia’s CleanBC plan to build a better future, the BC Active Transportation Design Guide was released along with Move Commute Connect – BC’s Active Transportation Strategy to help transform how we get around in a way that preserves dignity, reduces pollution, and leads to better health outcomes, while making communities cleaner and more livable. The Design Guide responds to the increasingly important role that active transportation infrastructure is playing to improve public safety and reduce automobile dependency.

Move Commute Connect and the Design Guide are available at:

In this interactive session, come learn how we can achieve livable cities through people powered transportation!


Jesse Skulmoski, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Active Transportation Grants, BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Brian Patterson, Active Transportation Specialist, Urban Systems Ltd.

11:00 – 11:30    COFFEE AND NETWORKING

11:30 – 1:00      CONCURRENT SESSIONS

#climatechange: Workshop exploring climate communications

Try your hand at identifying target audiences, framing key messages, and choosing messengers. This interactive workshop will explore the tips and tricks for how to engage different groups in resilience planning and implementation. Participants will learn from experienced communicators how to segment audiences, frame messages, seize timing, and much more. Using real life climate change solutions this workshop will give participants a chance to ask questions, try their hand at developing a communications strategy, and leave with some tools they can apply in their day-to-day work.


Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada

Leya Barry, Climate Change Specialist, City of Mississauga 

Stephen Sheppard, CALP, UBC

Extreme Heat, Health, and Collaborative Responses for Resilient Communities

Canadians are experiencing more frequent and extreme heat events. As the risk of health impacts from extreme heat is expected to continue rising, it is critical we work together across sectors to prepare and increase the resilience of our communities. Fortunately, efforts are underway to address the health risks of extreme heat in a number of communities and sectors across the province. This workshop will explore the impacts of rising temperatures on health and well-being and introduce short and long-term actions (e.g. Heat Alert and Response Systems) to adapt to rising temperatures and increase community resilience to heat.


Kevin Behan, Deputy Director, Clean Air Partnership

Amy Lubik, Policy Analyst, Fraser Health Authority and Councillor, City of Port Moody

Magdalena Szpala, Senior Sustainability Advisor, BC Housing


Kerri Klein, Director and Co-founder, SHIFT Collaborative

Preparing for climate change workshop: Using climate data in adaptation planning

This interactive workshop will introduce participants to one of the first steps of adaptation planning. Participants will explore how to find climate data and how to use it to explore system-wide, localized impacts from climate change through a hands-on activity. The workshop will highlight freely available online sources of Canadian climate data and ICLEI’s Building Adaptive and Resilient Communities (BARC) framework. This session will be at an introductory level. No previous experience with climate data required.


Kari Tyler, User Engagement and Training Specialist, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium

Isabelle Charron, Training Coordinator, OURANOS

Lo Cheng, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Climate Services

Hana Lapp, Climate Change Project Coordinator, ICLEI Canada

Christina Schwantes, Climate Change Project Coordinator, ICLEI Canada

Stephanie Austin, Policy Advisor, Canadian Centre for Climate Services

Renewable Energy Transition: From commitment to implementation

Only a small number of cities in Canada have committed to 100% renewable energy. Being the first to do so means that these cities will face new challenges (and opportunities) such as approaching the transition towards renewable energy with a lens of equity and social resilience. This session will draw on examples, best practices, and lessons learned from municipalities and community renewable energy transition projects. The session will focus on how renewable energy transition can have an impact on health, broader infrastructure decisions, and at the same time be an integral step towards low carbon resilience.


David Mayberry, Past Warden, Oxford County & Mayor, Township of South-West Oxford

Shannon Miedema, Manager, Energy & Environment, Halifax Regional Municipality

Steve Young, Climate and Environmental Sustainability Specialist, City of Victoria

Sheri Young, Climate Change and Energy Specialist, Town of Okotoks


Devin Causley, Manager, Capacity Building, Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

1:00 – 2:00    NETWORKING LUNCH

Special performance

Łakwala nukwan tłus

“A love letter to mother earth”

become a compass. stand still in your body. you are the fire in your belly that burns away and consumes relentlessly. you are the resilient stones of your bones that ground. you are the lung trees breathing in and out the heart wind of your words. you are river ways of life giving liquid. what would it be to give voice to your intrinsic elemental form? how would you move and speak? what questions would you ask? what reflection would you offer?

Performers: Denni Clement, Krystal Cook, Teka Everstz, Monique Salez


One & All: Climate impacts on mental health & wellbeing

Canadian communities have been facing extreme, and in some cases repeated, wildfire and flood events in recent years. In addition to these types of extreme events, many communities and individuals are experiencing more ongoing, chronic stresses related to the impacts of climate change such as drought, impacts on traditional foods, and rising food costs. Experiencing and anticipating increasingly intense or repeated shocks and stressors has significant implications for mental health and well-being, which will have cascading effects on our individual and collective resilience. In addition to the increasing need for individual supports, we will also need to strengthen community connectedness and our collective capacity to process trauma, in order to enhance resilience. Join this session to hear perspectives from academia and the frontlines of community experience, about the impacts of climate change for mental health and well-being, and to discuss the opportunities for communities to enhance resilience, together.


Laura Dewar, Community Wellness Manager, United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo

Katie Hayes, PhD Candidate, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto

Courtney Howard, Emergency Physician and Board President of Canadian Institute of Physicians for the Environment

Facilitator: Stacy Barter, Director and Co-founder, SHIFT Collaborative

Challenges and opportunities in resilient building design

Climate change impacts facing the BC building sector translates into a growing need to procure, design renovate and run our buildings in a way that will reduce emissions while simultaneously improving local health and enhancing community resilience. These multiple layers of requirements are posing increasing challenges for designers, owners and managers, with important implications for how we regulate and support the building industry.

Fortunately, with constraint comes the opportunity for creativity. To deepen our understanding of how to create healthy, resilient and low-carbon buildings, we will hear from the experiences of two local property owners, as well as lessons learned from participants in BC Housing’s Mobilizing Building Resilience and Adaptation (MBAR) project. Participants will also be given an opportunity to share and learn from their colleagues’ expertise and insights, and brainstorm means of overcoming the regulatory, perceptual, informational, and financial barriers to resilient buildings. 


Lisa Westerhoff, Principal, Climate and Sustainability Policy, Integral Group

Dave Ramslie, VP Sustainability, Concert Properties

Matthew Strand, National Manager of Health & Safety, & Christa Wilcock, Director of Development, QuadReal

Moderator: Lisa Westerhoff, Principal, Climate and Sustainability Policy, Integral Group

Low Carbon Resilience Linkages: Synergies for infrastructure and health planning

Low carbon resilience (LCR) provides a new lens to design and develop communities, accounting for climate evidence and data, while also streamlining approaches that save municipal resources, synergize policies for more effective integration, and coordinate planning and implementation for effective governance in practice. This session will explore strategic linkages between climate action planning and infrastructure planning, including opportunities to consider co-benefits with broader community health planning.


Anita Ely, Environmental Health Officer, Healthy Communities Interior Health

Katia Tynan, Lead Social Planner, Resilient Neighbourhoods Program, City of Vancouver

Chris Osborne, Acting Supervisor, Long Range Planning & Sustainability, City of Campbell River

Karina Richters, Supervisor, Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, City of Windsor

Angie Woo, Climate Resilience and Adaptation Lead, Fraser Health Authority

Advancing our Knowledge for Action: Canada’s climate change assessment and you

This interactive session will allow participants to learn more about Canada’s National Climate Change Assessment process, and provide their input on the draft key messages from the report that are relevant to the themes of the conference. Selected lead authors will present their draft key messages, then, during World Café session, participants will have the opportunity to provide their input on the key messages and discuss emerging issues, challenges and future directions. This will help ensure that the assessment is relevant to the important target audiences represented by Livable Cities’ attendees.


Richard Boyd, Director of Research, All One Sky Foundation

Sean Manners, Memorial University

Craig Brown, Project Lead, Climate Change and Health Adaptation Planning, Vancouver Coastal Health

Al Douglas, President, Climate Risk Institute

Fiona Warren, Knowledge Assessment Manager, Natural Resources Canada

Robert Gifford, Professor, University of Victoria

3:30 – 5:00   CLOSING PLENARY

Closing Plenary: 24/24/24

The final plenary session will offer delegates a chance to reflect on what they have learned and how it will affect their thinking moving forward. Working in tables, participants will share their thoughts and discuss two questions:

  • Given your learning over the last two days, share one or two key insights you have had around building more climate resilient, healthy, and equitable communities.
  • How will what you have learned affect your thinking and action moving forward?

Following these conversations, we will end the day with a personal call to action where each of us will commit to three actions – one we can take within 24 hours, one we can take within 24 days, and finally one we can take within 24 months. Together we can set the baseline for what we will achieve by the time we gather again in Victoria in 2021!


Deborah Harford, Executive Director, Adaptation to Climate Change Team

Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada

Kerri Klein, Co-founder and Director, SHIFT Collaborative

Remarks from: Finn Kreischer


Location: Shaughnessy Ballroom, Fairmont Empress

Day Three

Wednesday, October 30



Study tours give you a chance to see first-hand a variety of local resilience and sustainability projects in action. The tours are designed as half day excursions that allow delegates to explore Victoria and the surrounding area via walking, cycling, and transit (and more!), visiting community-based and municipally managed projects. These “travelling workshops” provide a hands-on opportunity to learn about best practices, ask questions, and get to know what community resilience looks like in Victoria.


Workshop: Victoria Idea Camp

Time: 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM

Location: Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BC

Description: An opportunity for municipalities to connect, share, and ask questions around smart cities, which achieve meaningful outcomes for residents through the use of data and connected technology. The conversation will explore the connection between smart cities approaches and how digitization and information technology can provide opportunities to achieve broader resilience goals.

Opening remarks: Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria


Erin Desautels, Sustainability Planner, City of Surrey

Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada

Sasha Sud, Director, Smart Cities, MaRS Solutions Lab


Ewa Jackson, Managing Director, ICLEI Canada

Hana Lapp, Climate Change Project Coordinator, ICLEI Canada

Carly Livingstone, Senior Program Manager, Evergreen

Note: Workshop runs until 2:30 PM. Lunch will be provided.

Click here for the workshop agenda.


Exploring Urban Food Systems

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Departing from Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BCagriculture-basket-beets-533360

Description: Learn about the innovative ways Victoria is cultivating community while increasing the amount of food grown in the city. Join us on a tour exploring community gardening and commercial urban agriculture! Visit a community commons garden, a youth learning garden, a community orchard, an allotment garden and boulevard gardens. We will also visit a small-scale commercial urban food producer, growing and selling food crops right here in the City.

Note: The tour includes a 2 km walk (round trip), rain or shine, come prepared. Snacks will be provided.

Leaders: Alex Harned, Food Systems Coordinator, City of Victoria and Aaren Topley, Senior Consultant, Public Health Association of BC


Community Building, Equity, and Wellbeing: A multi-modal tour in Victoria

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location: Departing from Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BC after introductory presentationBikelane on Pandora Ave_Darren Stone

Description: Victoria is a city on the move. In order to accommodate new growth and support objectives on climate action, health, economic development and community resiliency, the City of Victoria is transforming the built environment to increase mode share for cycling, walking and public transit. This free tour will showcase examples of transportation infrastructure and how it contributes to safety, access and equity by increasing mobility options for residents and visitors. On the journey, participants will have a chance to visit different sites to learn about City programs, investments, partnerships and projects that improve the well-being of residents, encourage social connections, demonstrate community building and celebrate the important history and culture in the Capital City.

Note: This tour will be a true multi-modal experience. Participants should expect moderate physical activity and be prepared for an all-weather tour. Bicycles and helmets will be provided for the cycling portion of the tour.

Leaders: Sarah Webb, Manager, Sustainable Transportation Planning and Development, & Tim Hewett, Interdisciplinary Planner, Transportation Division, Engineering and Public Works, City of Victoria


People, Place & Community Passion: Building Connectedness through

Placemaking Across Victoria

Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Location: Departing from Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BCVictoria,_BC_-_Market_Square_04_(20473563926)

Description: Like other cities across Canada, Victoria is alive with activities and projects that aim to improve community connectedness and shape our public spaces for the common good. This interactive bicycle tour will visit some Victoria’s most creative placemaking sites, experience different neighbourhoods, and hear from local champions about initiatives that are all about connecting people to the places they live. From traffic calming and “pocket places,” to public art and emergency preparedness, come on a journey to be inspired by projects and processes that foster healthier, happier and more resilient communities.

Co-hosted by: Greater Victoria Placemaking NetworkCity of Victoria’s Neighbourhoods Team, and SHIFT Collaborative’s Building Resilient Neighbourhoods initiative.

Note: This tour is by bicycle. Participants should expect moderate physical activity and be prepared for an all-weather tour. Bicycles and helmets will be provided.

Leaders: Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, City of Victoria’s Neighbourhoods Team, and SHIFT Collaborative’s Building Resilient Neighbourhoods initiative.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Wednesday, Oct. 30th activities (above) are included with your registration for the Livable Cities Forum, but are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can choose a Study Tour or Workshop when you register for the Forum. If you have already registered, we will reach out to you for your study tour/workshop selection.

Email for more information about study tours.

Program Themes

Three themes will be interwoven throughout this event to help highlight how integrated action can enhance the social capital, economic security, equity, and vitality of our communities.


Exploring the Climate Change and Health Nexus

This theme will build an understanding on how approaches to climate change can not only protect, but also improve community health and well-being. Climate change action that uses a health and social equity lens can help to protect the most vulnerable, while at the same time providing a mechanism to build better neighbourhoods, promote social inclusion, and facilitate deeper collaboration and impact.

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 Role of Infrastructure in Building Better Neighbourhoods

Through this theme the Forum will delve into the role that infrastructure – both built and natural – plays in creating more livable, healthy, and equitable communities. Sessions will look at how to consider the co-benefits associated with various infrastructure types, the trade-offs involved with infrastructure decisions, and the relationship between  infrastructure, resilience, and communities.


Advancing Low Carbon Resilience for more Livable Communities

Under the theme of low carbon resilience, the conference will explore how considering both climate resilience and moving towards a low carbon future in an integrated way can highlight the multiple co-benefits for communities and ecosystems. This theme will look at the role of green infrastructure, integrated planning, and collaborative action and how these can be tools to advance action on low carbon resilience.

This year’s program will be delivered in a variety of unique formats including panel discussions, plenaries and several interactive and dynamic sessions.  Sessions are uniquely designed to go beyond presentation-style information delivery, and include several interactive and engaging workshops and world cafes for more networking and hands-on learning opportunities

We hope you will join us at what is sure to be an exciting and inspiring event.