-A +A

Imagine Canada

Strong Charities. Strong Communities.

Imagine Canada Summit 2019

What is Summit 2019?

Imagine Canada is bringing together thought leaders, accredited organizations, and hundreds of charity professionals dedicated to a stronger sector.

Summit is comprised of six one-day events designed to build community connections, provide training, and share knowledge between nonprofit organizations that aspire to excellence.

Why we're coming together

The climate in which charities and nonprofits operate changes rapidly, as do the needs of the communities we serve. How can we help our organizations become thriving, resilient, and primed for innovation to meet the challenges of the future?

Summit will highlight emergent strategies to build a culture of continuous improvement in your organization. It’s about helping you do good, better.

Peak excellence

Imagine Canada’s Standards Program is an accreditation process that recognizes the achievement of charities committed to operational excellence.

Designed by the sector, for the sector, the Standards Program strives to be responsive to the changing needs of nonprofits. Summit kicks off an ongoing process of consultation on elements of the Program, and explores the role of operational excellence in paving the way for ground breaking work and transformative impact.


Reserve your spot now

Fill out my online form.


Thank You

Imagine Canada is grateful to our Summit sponsors. Thank you for investing in the excellence and resilience of the nonprofit sector.

Platinum Partner - National



Knowledge Champion - Vancouver

Knowledge Champion - Toronto


Diamond Sponsors

Imagine Canada acknowledge Canada Life and the Lawson Foundation for their foundational support for the Standards Program,

Diamond Sponsors: Canadia Life & Lawson Foundation



Summit 2019 Event Schedule

Toronto - May 2 at Old Mill Toronto

Old Mill Toronto Hotel



Orientation and networking

Standards Consultation Sessions

Lunch with Networking and Op Talk


Design Sprints for Nonprofit Teams

Designing for Social Good with Capacity Canada

From Paper to Practice: Managing Change and Innovation

5:00pm-7:00pm Off-site social

Buy your ticket for Toronto

Winnipeg - May 10 at The Fort Garry

Fort Garry Winnipeg



Orientation and Networking

Standards Consultation Sessions

Lunch with Networking and Op Talk

Workshop: Making Meetings Meaningful

From Paper to Practice: Managing Change and Innovation

5:00pm-7:00pm Off-site social

Buy your ticket for Winnipeg

Calgary - May 13 at Fort Calgary

Fort Calgary



Orientation and Networking

Standards Consultation Sessions

Lunch with Networking and Op Talk


The Reality of Moving Through Change

From Granola to Governance

From Paper to Practice: Managing Change and Innovation

5:00pm-7:00pm Off-site social

Buy your ticket for Calgary

Vancouver - May 15 at Library Square Conference Centre

Vancouver Library Square Conference Centre



Orientation and Networking

Standards Consultation Sessions

Lunch with Networking and Op Talk


One Step at a Time: Building a Grassroots Organizational Culture of Innovation

Facing the Need for a 0-Growth Economy

From Paper to Practice: Managing Change and Innovation

5:00pm-7:00pm Off-site social

Buy your ticket for Vancouver

Halifax - June 17 at Pier 21

Pier 21 Halifax



Orientation and Networking

Standards Consultation Sessions

Lunch with Networking and Op Talk

Workshop: Adopting Design Thinking

From Paper to Practice: Managing Change and Innovation

5:00pm-7:00pm Off-site social

Buy your ticket for Halifax

Montreal- June 19 at Pointe-à-Callière

Musee Pointe-a-Calliere Montreal

8 h - 17 h


Accueil et réseautage



Réseautage et discussion ouverte

Atelier « Le Cycle adaptatif »

Planifier pour être prêt à agir : table ronde sur la gestion du changement


17 h-19 h 5 à 7

Achetez votre billet pour Montréal

*Veuillez noter que l'événement à Montréal sera en français. 



Workshops & Presenters


Buy your ticket for Toronto

Design Sprints for Non-Profit Teams

Delivered By AdaptiveX (Carlos Oliveira and Leah Oliveira)

Non-profits are under increasing pressure to be more creative and innovative, and to solve problems sooner and more effectively. But with already restrictive budgets and stretched-to-the-limit teams, gathering data and information from real stakeholders to make better business decisions is often hard – if not impossible – to do.

As a tool, the Design Sprint offers organizations an effective and transformative formula for exploring ideas and testing solutions with real people. The Design Sprint condenses an otherwise lengthy, expensive, and uncertain process into four structured days, producing a tested prototype that offers clarity and confidence in the solution direction.

Design Sprints for Non-Profit Teams is an interactive, practical workshop that takes participants through a fast-paced, condensed version of the design sprint. The workshop introduces participants to the principles of the sprint, while offering the opportunity to experience some of the key activities that make it such a powerful problem-solving tool.

Leah Oliveira

Leah Oliveira

Having worked in the private, public and non-profit sectors, Leah’s experience includes leading innovation change management, marketing, government relations, volunteer recruitment/engagement, and fundraising. She’s also worked in consumer, international economic development, and post-secondary education.

Carlos Oliveira

Carlos Oliveira

Offering 18 years of experience in strategic product development and innovation leadership, Carlos has strong expertise in applying design thinking, lean start-up, and agile practices within new ventures and corporate innovation contexts.

Designing for Social Good

Delivered By Capacity Canada (Liz Dennis and Hugh Munro)

Capacity Canada’s mission is to bring together the ideas, people and resources that fuel social innovation. One of the resources they’re bringing to social good organizations is design thinking. Come to this interactive workshop where the Capacity by Design program team will lead you through design thinking activities that highlight key elements of this approach. They will also share how social good organizations are using design thinking to drive innovation across their organizations and communities.

Liz Munro

Liz Dennis

Liz has worked for over 15 years in the non-profit sector as a program manager and senior leader with capacity-building organizations and programs. Liz is a graduate of the Leadership and Management in the Not for Profit Sector program through Conestoga College and was an ONN Connect the Sector fellow in 2014. Her recent focus has been on organizational and leadership development and helping nonprofits understand their impact.

Hugh Munro

Hugh Munro

Hugh Munro is the former MBA Director, and a Professor in the Marketing area at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. He previously served as Associate Dean of Business and Director of the Laurier Trade Development Centre. He also teaches courses in the areas of Marketing and International Business in Laurier’s graduate and undergraduate programs. Hugh received his PhD and HBA degrees from the University of Western Ontario.


Buy your ticket for Winnipeg

Making Meetings Meaningful: “Generative discussion” as a tool to drive change

Delivered By The Winnipeg Foundation (Stacy Cardigan Smith and Alan Goddard)

How do you ensure organizational adaptability and instill a culture of continuous improvement? To meet these organizational goals, The Winnipeg Foundation launched a project in Fall 2018 introducing a cross-departmental form of innovative and collaborative ‘meetings’: Generative Discussions.

Generative Discussions bring all staff together for meaningful conversations on organizational priorities and strategies; to share information, solicit insight, and to facilitate collaboration, all in the aim of supporting The Winnipeg Foundation’s continued growth and evolution.


Stacy Cardigan Smith

Stacy Cardigan Smith

Stacy Cardigan Smith has always pursued work that satisfies her curiosity, desire to make a difference, and passion to lead. She gets to do all these things as Communications Associate at The Winnipeg Foundation, where she is involved in strategic communications and marketing, and oversees The Foundation’s publications. She is currently a student in Carleton’s Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership program.

Alan Goddard

Alan Goddard

Alan Goddard’s passion involves helping organizations develop to their fullest potential. After leaving an award-winning career with the Manitoba government in 2013, Alan formed a boutique consulting firm, the NovaTuri Group, focused on enhancing organizations through governance and strategic initiatives. Prior to joining The Winnipeg Foundation in 2018 as Director of Endow Manitoba, Alan led a multi-year pilot project to advance the sustainability and growth of Manitoba’s 55 community foundations.


Buy your ticket for Calgary

From Granola to Governance

Howard looks forward to sharing with you his journey and life experiences, moving through his work as an artist, to a consultant, to a director of many of our country’s most influential arts institutions. From that journey, he will share lessons learned and things he wish he knew through his working with, and for, Board of Directors and the philanthropic community.

The title of his presentation comes from the Lifecycle Arc of leading organizations through significant benchmarks of growth and development and the ways in which to determine the path forward.

Howard Jang

Howard Jang

Howard recently moved to Banff, Alberta, from Vancouver where he has joined Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity as Vice President Arts and Leadership, responsible for Banff Centre’s Arts, Leadership and Presenting Programs. Most recently, Howard was with Simon Fraser University as Professor of Professional Practice in the School for the Contemporary Arts, and was the Director of the SFU Woodward’s Cultural Unit. At Simon Fraser University, he developed a new Creative Entrepreneurship Program in the School for the Contemporary Arts and was also responsible for the public Cultural and Community Programs at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at SFU Woodard’s.

The Reality of Moving through Change

Delivered by Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids and impact8 Inc.

In 1990, Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK) began with the mandate to provide healthy lunches to homeless children – young people who were falling through the cracks in a system focused on adult homelessness. Since then BB4CK has shifted to feed hungry kids in schools across our city through community collaborations and partnerships. Now BB4CK provides meals to 4400 kids each day, and is building a community network to support the vision of “Communities that make sure all kids are fed.”

With the support of impact8, Inc., BB4CK is implementing design thinking, systems thinking and the understanding of change and transition to transform the organization – creating a culture that will make our vision a reality. This workshop will examine our lived experience on this journey – our success, our failures and our learning – particularly around supporting people through change, applying design and systems thinking, and the importance of aligning governance and operations throughout the journey. Please join us in this interactive opportunity for reflection and practical approaches to implementing change in your own organization.

Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids

Tanya Koshowski

Tanya Koshowski has been the Executive Director of Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK) for the past six and a half years. She feels honoured to be part of a team inspiring meaningful action in Calgary by providing healthy nutritious lunches to kids who would otherwise go hungry. She is proudly leading an organization striving to achieve the goal of no hungry kids.

Meriya Dyble

Meriya Dyble is Chair of the Board of Directors at Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids. She is a human capital strategist passionate about building organizational capabilities, enhancing culture, and ensuring we are empowering communities to feed and care for kids. Meriya is continuously seeking out opportunities to connect and build relationships that provide innovative and disruptive thinking in the pursuit of inspiring people to take action and do something good.

Bill Brandon

Bill Brandon is an organizational development consultant with more than 30 years of experience. During his career he has been a leader in the nonprofit sector, a senior manager in government, and an executive with a national consulting firm. He has served on various nonprofit boards since the early 80s and worked with more than seventy organizations. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree, Bill has a Graduate Certificate in Knowledge Management.

Heidi Miller Zerr

Heidi Miller Zerr has more than thirty years of experience as a non-profit agency leader and consultant. Heidi works with organizations to navigate and thrive in the transitions inherent in growth and quality service delivery through leveraging the strategic partnership of the Board and CEO. She supports organizations in developing an appropriate balance of mission focus and business practice to achieve sustainable service to the community.


Buy your ticket for Vancouver

Facing the need for a 0-Growth Economy: Is the Non-profit Sector Ready for Leadership?

Imagine an economy that is about putting market profits to social and environmental benefit. Imagine a planet that felt nourished by the human population. Imagine income equality within and between communities. The challenges facing humanity today are not simple ones, and there is not simple fix. But no matter whether we look to governments, the private sector, or the nonprofit sector, it is clear that one sector has particular skill at aiming for a planet that is nourished, people that are cared for, and the rights and needs of marginalized people are recognized.

Alison Brewin will share her research and thinking on why it is time for the Not-for-profit sector to step into a leadership role. But are we ready to get past the scarcity mentality? To push back at the governance structures that disrupt our vision? To support the brilliant professional and voluntary leaders we engage? Come ready to participate!

Alison Brewin

Alison Brewin

Alison Brewin is the Executive Director of Vantage Point, and current Vice-Chair of the Governance Committee of UBC’s Board of Governors. Her expertise lies in supporting small and medium-sized not-for-profits to build a shared understanding of effective organizational practices. As Legal Director and then Executive Director of West Coast LEAF from 2001 to 2011, she led the organization’s work to advance women’s equality in BC. In that role, she facilitated community consultations and dialogue on complex social issues.

One Step at a Time: Building a Grassroots Organizational Culture of Innovation

In this vibrant and thought-provoking presentation, Dr. Sharon McIntyre will share the latest results of an ongoing project to build an innovation culture in a public-private partnership organization in Central-West Africa. Sharon will share the pragmatic and inclusive program design that has already lead to significant cost savings, environmental impact improvements, enhanced safety for employees and citizens, and improved stakeholder satisfaction.

Many audience members will forever shift their perspectives on where innovation can come from in an organization. The compelling stories of grassroots innovation through culture building are sure to encourage discussion and enthusiasm!

Dr Sharon McIntyre

Dr. Sharon M. McIntyre

Dr. Sharon M. McIntyre (M.Ed., DSocSci) has shared her passion for creativity, innovation, marketing, and branding with global corporations, public sector organizations, start-up enterprises, and students for 25+ years. She has held senior leadership positions and consulted in a variety of domains including software, energy, telecommunications, housing, publishing, and the arts. Co-founder of New Cottage Industries & Co. Inc., a creativity and innovation consultancy, Sharon is working at the intersection of innovation, values and creative culture.


Buy your ticket for Halifax

Adopting Design Thinking

Info to come

Jenny Baechler

Jenny is a Senior Instructor in Dalhousie’s School of Public Administration and the coordinator of Management without Borders. Jenny’s research integrates the fields of public administration/management, peace/conflict studies, international development studies and complexity theory – exploring opportunities for and barriers to multi-actor, cross-boundary collaboration in the context of international security and development efforts.


Buy your ticket for Montreal

Le Cycle adaptatif

Le Cycle adaptatif est un outil de réflexion sur la résilience d’une organisation. La résilience d’une organisation réside dans sa capacité de s’adapter à son environnement tout en maintenant l'intégrité de ses valeurs et ses fonctions clés. L'organisation doit apprendre et innover sinon la résilience s'érode et la rigidité augmente.

L’atelier proposé est une présentation de l’outil « Cycle adaptatif » comprenant 4 phases et 4 pièges. Cet outil offre une réflexion et discussion sur l’importance pour l’organisme d’être dans un mouvement constant pour demeurer pertinent et efficace dans son environnement. À partir de cette présentation, les participants pourront situer leur organisation dans le cycle et voir comment le processus d’accréditation d’Imagine Canada peut aider l’organisme à évoluer dans le cycle.

Denise Ouellette

Mme Denise Ouellette

Mme Denise Ouellette est directrice générale de la Société de Saint-Vincent de Paul de Montréal depuis 2015. La Société de Saint-Vincent de Paul de Montréal est une OSBL qui œuvre à Montréal depuis plus de 170 ans. L’organisme compte 1 200 bénévoles, 65 points de service à Montréal, Laval et la MRC de l’Assomption.


Our National Partners

  • great west life
  • Lawson Foundation
  • Muttart Foundation
  • RBC Foundation
  • Suncor
  • TD Bank
  • investors group

Learn more about our National Partners and other supporters.

Charitable Registration Number: 119218790 RR0001