Project Description

2019 CACE Convergence-logo

Saturday, October 19 to Monday, October 21, 2019

The Forks, located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, has been a meeting place for over 6,000 years. In 2019, conference delegates will meet, collaborate, and learn from school communicators across Canada.

This year’s conference will have communicators leaving inspired through issues and challenges that we deal with in education. Through keynote presentations and breakout sessions, we hope to deliver topics focused on issues/reputation management, media relations, digital communications, and equity and inclusion. This conference line-up will take our strategic communications to new heights.


For the 2019 conference, we are changing the format to three full days. The conference will begin on Saturday morning and conclude Monday afternoon with the BRAVO Awards capping off the conference on Monday night. To broaden our learning experience, the conference program will take us out of the hotel and into local attractions. Each day, the program will be held at a different venue. As we approach the conference, we will be constantly updating the conference website with new program announcements and information.

To help you plan your travel, here’s the program at a glance:

  • Friday, October 18: opening reception, starting at 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 19: conference program from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 20: conference program from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, October 21: conference program, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by the annual BRAVO Awards Gala
    *these times may adjust as the conference program is finalized


Donald Steel-headshotDonald Steel is a specialist in reputation management and an international responder and trainer in crisis communications. Formerly the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) chief media spokesman based in London, UK, he now works with individual, corporate and government clients across the world. He is an Associate Director of Crisis Communications at Kenyon International Emergency Services, the world’s leading commercial responder to incidents involving mass fatality or injury, and an Associate Director at Johnston Associates, the leading aviation PR company based at London Heathrow. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and was the first Associate Fellow of the BBC Academy. He is a regular guest lecturer at the London School of Economics and at the China Media Centre of the University of Westminster.

Keynote and Action Lab:
Donald will explore the latest trends in crisis communications and explore whether we are truly ready in the age of the ubiquitous camera phone, as citizen behaviour is rapidly changing when an emergency occurs. In the highly interactive workshop, working in teams, delegates will be invited to engage with a fictitious but very serious, crisis for an educational institution. As the crisis develops, conference attendees will be invited to make communications decisions and give media interviews, culminating in a potentially dramatic press conference. The workshop format is routinely highly rated by delegates for both learning outcomes and the participative and engaging style.


Lee Airton

Dr. Lee Airton is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in Education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. In 2012, they founded They Is My Pronoun, a Q+A-based blog about gender-neutral pronoun usage and user support with over 30,000 unique visitors in 2017 alone. Dr. Airton is also the founder of the No Big Deal Campaign, a national social media initiative that helps people show support for transgender peoples’ right to have their pronouns used. Dr. Airton’s first book, Gender – Your Guide: A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say and What to Do in the New Gender Culture offers practical steps for welcoming gender diversity in all areas of everyday life. As a university-based teacher educator for over ten years, Dr. Airton has worked with hundreds of teacher candidates to widen the circle of belonging and participation for students of all genders and sexualities. Dr. Airton’s current SSHRC-funded research explores how Ontario K-12 schools are responding to the inclusion of gender identity and gender expression protections in human rights legislation, including implications for teacher education.

Action Lab: You are welcome here: Gender-friendly communications in education

Gender is changing, and much of this change makes landfall in everyday communications, whether learning to use unfamiliar words or re-purposing words that have always been with us. For educational institutions, required to offer an environment that welcomes gender diversity, it can be challenging to translate current events and concepts into actions that impact gender-diverse students, families and community members. Drawing on their recent book, Gender: Your Guide, Dr. Airton demystifies gender diversity, offering a rationale for ‘gender-friendly’ communications in education, as well as practical suggestions that can be implemented right away.


Carla Headshot--cropped

Carla Pereira, APR, is the director of communications and community relations for the Peel District School Board, Canada’s second largest school board. Since joining the board in 2003, Carla has worked closely with individuals in senior roles, including members of the Director’s Office, the senior leadership team and the board of trustees. In this capacity, she has provided strategic counsel on issues ranging from straightforward to sensitive and complex, with high legal implications.

She is candid and reliable, providing timely and informed advice, but most importantly, she is always student-focused. Carla is comfortable leading and has experience problem-solving and working with trustees, and board and school leaders to resolve complex situations, including labour disruption and challenging media issues.

Action Lab: Managing Crises with an Equity Mindset

Incorporating equity and inclusion in our work is no longer an option—it is critical to success in managing crises. An equity mindset is essential as we navigate contentious issues and work towards resolutions that work for all. In this two-hour session, action lab participants will learn to identify equity impacts during crises, who to activate as community advocates, and will have the opportunity to work through crisis case studies and develop issues management strategies and communications plans that restore and maintain relationships with diverse stakeholders.


Conference Fees – Early bird registration opens on April 1, 2019.

Early bird rate for members: $649 *Offer ends June 28, 2019
Member rates after June 28, 2019: $799
Non-member registration rate: $999
Group rate for 3 members: $1,947 (additional members are $649)
Group rate for 3 non-members: $2,697
One-day registration rate: $399

Visit our Registration Page and become a CACE-ACACE Member 

The full registration fees include conference program, lunch vouchers, and one ticket for the BRAVO Awards. Taxes will be added to all CACE conference fees to comply with Canada Revenue Agency guidelines. Tax will be charged from the province that the conference is held. In order to ensure clear communications, CACE has a conference refund policy.

Hotel Information

We have secured group rates at two premiere hotel locations. The main accommodations for the 2019 CACE Conference will be Inn at The Forks with their sibling-hotel the Mere providing additional rooms. Limited space is available.

Inn at The Forks

75 Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0A2
1-877-377-4100 | 204-942-6555

CACE’S special rate is $209 per night (plus applicable tax), single or double occupancy. If you have questions or experiencing difficulty making a reservation, call the hotel’s reservations department at 1-877-377-4100, access our Group Rate by quoting Reservation #373091.

Mere Hotel

333 Waterfront Dr, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0V1
1-855-799-1109 | 204-594-0333


CACE’S special rate is $189 per night (plus applicable tax), single or double occupancy. If you have questions or experiencing difficulty making a reservation, call the hotel’s reservations department at 1-855-799-1109, access our Group Rate by quoting Reservation #373091. *this location is approx. a 10-minute walk from Inn at The Forks.

The group rates are available until Tuesday, September 17, 2019, or until the block is filled. Reservations made after CACE’s room block is filled or after the cut-off date will be based on availability and at the prevailing rate. Free Wi-Fi is available in guestrooms and social spaces such as lobbies and restaurants.

Fly with Air Canada

PROMO CODE: Book your flight with Air Canada and save 10%

To book a flight with your promotion code, access and enter promotion code “JWMPRZN1” in the search panel. A limited number of seats are available under this promotion code. First come, first serve. The promotional code can only be used for travel to Winnipeg, MB and return destination.

BRAVO Awards Dinner


CACE recognizes and honours exemplary work in all aspects of school public relations, communications, marketing, and engagement through the national BRAVO Awards Program. Join us for an evening of recognition at this year’s BRAVO Awards Dinner on Monday, October 21, 2019.

This year’s BRAVO Awards Gala will conclude the conference with a major celebration–hosted at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The evening will include: one-hour guided tours, reception, plated dinner, awards celebration, and live entertainment. Your conference registration will include your ticket to the BRAVO Awards Gala.


What to do While in Winnipeg

Winnipeg is an extraordinary city situated on the Canadian Prairie at the crossroads of ancient North American canoe routes. Consider lingering a while to experience the rich multicultural heritage, the prairie landscape, and illuminating attractions such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the world’s only museum that explores human rights as a concept and aspiration, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery, which has the largest collection of Inuit art in the world.

Thank you to our 2019
conference sponsors:


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