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Workshop descriptions

Friday, June 7 - 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday, June 7 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

C01Human rights and the duty to accommodateCo-op operations

This workshop will present an overview of the rights and obligations of housing providers under Human Rights legislation in Canada, with a focus on the ‘duty to accommodate’. It will explore certain key principles in the accommodation process (including what information you can and cannot ask for to substantiate an accommodation request), discuss the threshold of “undue hardship” and explore how to deal with competing rights.

Safia Lakani, Iler Campbell

C02Changing board of directors' habitsGovernance and leadership

This workshop will help co-op board of directors embrace new strategies for handling conflict.

Boards of directors sometimes struggle with member confrontations at the co-op. They might use strategies like avoiding, arguing, issuing warning letters or even taking legal action.

Some of these strategies can be embedded in a co-op’s processes; a board of directors may believe these strategies are appropriate and their only recourse in a conflict. However, these beliefs and actions can fuel rather than reduce co-op conflict.

This workshop will draw on participants’ experiences to consider how boards of directors react in difficult situations and what they can do to respond in a way that de-escalates conflict using an interest-based approach to problem-solving.

Shawn Conway, Professional Mediator and Alternative Dispute Resolution Trainer.

C03Demystifying co-op financial statementsCo-op futures

When it comes to money, knowledge is power! In this workshop, you will gain a better understanding of the types of financial statements housing co-ops commonly use, such as balance sheets, income/expense statements and the annual operating budget. Then, we’ll discuss creative new ways that co-ops can present this information to their members in a way that is easy to understand.


Nigel Mohammed, Director, Community Financial Centre & Small Business Distribution, Assiniboine Credit Union

C04Meeting madness: Great co-op meeting practicesGovernance and leadership

Join us for a lively discussion and get some tips on surviving challenging board of directors meetings.

Do you dread going to board meetings? Does the thought of your co-op’s upcoming AGM make you lose sleep? Are there going to be actual PEOPLE there? Yikes! At this session we will talk about:

  • agendas that work
  • meetings that finish on time
  • handling the ‘difficult’ situations

Don’t be scared – we got this.

Janine McDonald, Co-op Manager

C05The power of music in building community Inclusive co-op communities

This workshop gives participants the opportunity to play and explore music for the purpose of building and strengthening community.

Participants will engage with a variety of musical styles and instruments, discuss how and why music can be integrated into community building practices, and have the chance to create and practice together. This unique workshop will be highly interactive. Get ready to make some noise!

Elana Harte,, Executive Director, Central Ontario Co-op Housing Federation

C06Community mobilization panel: Learning from Manitoba’s social and co-op housing advocatesCo-op futures

Did you know that Manitoba was the birthplace of the first continuing housing co-op? Have you heard of the Social Housing Action Plan for Manitoba? Come hear from local community leaders about past and present efforts to grow and sustain co-op, non-profit, and social housing. This is an opportunity to learn about different approaches to development and strategize about how we can more effectively advocate together to tackle the housing crisis.

Diana Yoon, Program Manager, Policy and Government Relations CHF Canada.

Maria Vaiaso, Regional Manager Prairies, CHF Canada.

Christina Maes Nino, Executive Director, Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association.

Doug Smith, Treasurer, Old Grace Housing Co-operative.

Kristen Bernas, Director of Policy Advocacy, West Central Women's Resource Centre.

C07/P33Managing the hostile individualGovernance and leadership

This interactive workshop will focus on the unique mindset and skillset required to manage hostility. Special attention will be given to preserving one’s own well-being to ensure safety while, where possible, addressing issues effectively in the face of hostility.

Learning objectives include:

  • defining hostility
  • assessing the causes of hostility
  • recognizing the external indicators of escalation
  • assessing the impact of hostility on those engaging in it and those on the receiving end
  • self-care after engaging in or being on the receiving end of hostility
  • applying non-verbal skills to defuse hostility
  • applying neuroscience-based verbal skills to defuse hostility
  • assessing when to get support.

Raj Dhasi, M.A., B.A., C.R.C, Lead Consultant Turning Point Resolutions Inc.

C08/P34Media relations for housing co-opsCo-op operations

In this session you will learn how to navigate media attention, whether positive or negative.

Canada’s housing co-ops benefit from a positive reputation in the media thanks to our sector’s many successes. But to some extent this reputation is superficial, and we find that just as often, media do not understand how housing co-ops really work.

We’ll discuss how to approach media coverage of your co-op so that it contributes to a deeper understanding of co-ops and takes our sector beyond being a “best kept secret”.
We will examine media trends and case studies related to co-op housing, how to pitch your own good news and events, and how to support sector campaigns like Co-op Housing for All and Housing Within Reach.

Dallas Alderson, Director, Public Affairs and Policy, CHF Canada

C09/P25Human Rights Museum tourInclusive co-op communities

Take a unique journey through a selection of galleries and exhibits that connect you with compelling human right stories from across Canada and around the world. On this tour, you’ll learn what the Museum is all about. Your knowledgeable guide will invite thought and discussion as you wind your way through stunning architecture and interactive exhibits. After the tour, take time to explore the Museum on your own – including a trip up to the Israel Asper Tower of Hope. You’ll leave feeling inspired!

Friday, June 7 - 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

D01DEI and Reconciliation at work and in community: an exploration of Indigenous values for everyday lifeInclusive co-op communities

Join us for a co-facilitated session about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the role of Reconciliation in social power dynamics at work and on teams.

You will learn about important aspects of the traditional values of Treaty 1 Territory and how they can be honoured in different ways, both internally and personally, at work, and in communities. You will also learn about the All My Relations Framework and have the opportunity to participate in a discussion about land acknowledgements and language.

Karolya “KV” Vargscarr, partner, Collective Consulting

Sonja Stone, partner, Collective Consulting

D02Maintenance 101Co-op operations

Learn how maintenance helps protect your property and buildings – your co-op’s most important assets. Does your co-op spot problems before they become more serious and costly? You need skilled professionals, but members can also play a critical role in your co-op’s maintenance results. This workshop will explore:
• preventative and routine repair needs
• the importance of having clear maintenance policies
• tried and tested systems for making maintenance easy, including a maintenance calendar and work-order tracking
• what is the co-op’s and member’s responsibility, including emergency access.

Open to all members, particularly maintenance committee members if your co-op has one.


Cheryl Alsop, Education Consultant.

D03Co-op housing development & organizational readiness 101 Co-op futures

In this workshop, Cahdco and CHF Canada will provide participants with an understanding of what it takes to build affordable housing and the tools to assess their organizational readiness to undertake a development.

Are you wondering if your co-op is ready to begin a development project? Curious about how to get started and what you need to know? If yes, join us for this workshop to learn the basics of affordable housing development and how to assess if your co-op is ready. This session provides all the preliminary need-to-know information on the affordable housing development landscape in Canada, the key components necessary to get a project off the ground, the key development team, project phases, financial basics, and how to make your development goals a reality.

Ami Patel, Director, Co-operative Housing Development, CHF Canada


Paige Waldock , Project Manager, Cahdco & Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC)

D04Do the right thingGood governance

This workshop is perfect for boards of directors and people who are thinking of running for the board. Directors are often reminded: “Don’t forget to sign the Director’s Ethical Conduct Agreement”. But have you ever thought about what you’re agreeing to when you sign it and why the agreement is important? Using case studies, we’ll go through the duties of boards of directors, what it means to act as a board, and how to be respectful while still engaging in meaningful discussion at the board table.

Celia Chandler, Deputy Executive Director, Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT)

D05Co-designing proactive and participatory youth engagement approachesInclusive co-op communities

In this workshop, participants will explore transformative ways of engaging youth, learn how to ignite meaningful dialogue with youth and young people, while supporting the creation of environments that are centered in trust, reciprocity and knowledge sharing between young people and adult allies. Taking a multigenerational approach, you will learn valuable insights and wise practices as told by youth, and for youth for consideration in future succession planning and member enrollment in your co-op.

Angelina Pelletier, Associate Director, Communities Building Youth Futures, Tamarack Institute

D06Co-ops 101 panel: Exploring Principle 6, co-operation among co-opsCo-op futures

In this workshop participants will learn about the wide variety in types of co-ops and what brings them together: The International Statement of Cooperative Identity.

We will discuss and explore Co-op Principle 6: co-operation among co-ops.
Through a series of exercises and a panel discussion, we will explore the different ways that co-ops assert their co-op identity and we will brainstorm how you can strengthen and develop your own co-op by leaning into your co-op identity.

Vera Goussaert, Executive Director, Manitoba Cooperative Association (MCA)

D07/P43Green horizons panel: Funding and retrofitting co-ops for a sustainable futureCo-op futures

Green buildings provide energy savings, long-term cost efficiency, and reduce negative environmental impacts. Do you aspire for your co-op to be good for the environment? Do you need help with your energy projects, knowing when to start and how to fund them? Join us and experience a collaboration of resources with the joint efforts of CHF Canada, the Agency for Co-op Housing, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as we cover:

  • Issues and challenges for implementing green buildings
  • Energy conservation measures and how to prioritize them
  • Available funding resources to start your co-op energy retrofits
  • Co-op energy initiative success stories.

With the right resources, we can make our co-op homes sustainable and comfortable while reducing our carbon footprint.

Ofelia Guanlao, Senior Program Manager of Asset Management Services, CHF Canada.

Irfaan Hasham, P.Eng, CEM, CMVP, Regional Energy Coach, CHF Canada.

Chad Meda, Advisor, Programs Outreach, Green Municipal Fund Sustainable Affordable Housing Initiative, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Paulina Ascencio, Project Officer, Capacity Development, Green Municipal Fund, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Michel St. Denis, Manager, Technical Services, Agency for Co-operative Housing

Joanne Balmaceda, Sustainability Committee Chairperson and Co-ordinator, Technical Services, Agency for Co-operative Housing

D08/P44Risky business Co-op operations

Learn what property risk management means for housing co-ops and how communities become safer by identifying and fixing property risks.

This workshop will include:
• how to save money on property insurance premiums by preventing the unexpected
• how preventable property damages can be expensive, inconvenience members and overwhelm co-op staff, and
• an explanation of the benefits of CHF Canada’s property Risk Management

Chris Davey, Risk Specialist for the Engineering Department, Co-operators.

D09/P45Human Rights Museum tourInclusive co-op communities

Take a unique journey through a selection of galleries and exhibits that connect you with compelling human right stories from across Canada and around the world. On this tour, you’ll learn what the Museum is all about. Your knowledgeable guide will invite thought and discussion as you wind your way through stunning architecture and interactive exhibits. After the tour, take time to explore the Museum on your own – including a trip up to the Israel Asper Tower of Hope. You’ll leave feeling inspired!

No Workshops Found
Tuesday, June 4 - 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

P01Business continuity: know the risks and make a plan. (Co-op Housing Management Accreditation course)Professional development

(continued on Wednesday, June 5)

Is your organization prepared for the unexpected such as a fire, flood, no elevator service or long-term power outage? Do you have a plan for what to do and how to do it when the unexpected occurs?

This workshop will assist you in developing a plan for co-op managers and boards of directors to be prepared in the event of a disaster, no matter how big or small. You will take home suggested templates and action plans suited to your co-op.

This 2- day workshop qualifies as a half credit towards an elective for the new Co-op Housing Management Accreditation (CHMA).

The cost of this course is $150 and will be added to your Co-op Management Conference registration fee.

Course Schedule:

Tuesday, June 4 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Wednesday, June 5 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Jimmy Mellor, President, Institute of Housing Management, Director of Operations, Precision Property Management

No Workshops Found