What do Canmore, Niagara Falls and Saskatoon have in common?
No, this isn’t some bad dad joke.
These are the most recent locations of the Canadian Catholic Schools Trustees’ Association’s (CCSTA) Annual AGM and Convention, with Saskatoon being the host for the upcoming convention June 1 – 3, 2023.
Destination is one of several factors when considering attendance at a conference or professional development. Saskatoon is definitely a prairie gem that has a lot to offer. Granted, it doesn’t have Rocky Mountain peaks, and the number of wax museums pales in comparison to Niagara Falls, but there’s no disputing the Paris of the Prairies is a beautiful, vibrant city.
The South Saskatchewan River runs through the heart of the city and is a focal point of activity. Whether you’re into the bustle of a city—such as physical activity on and beside the river, restaurants, pubs, or a world-class art gallery—or prefer to sit quietly in one of the city’s many parks watching the sun set over the water as pelicans glide by, there’s something for you.
Being the first in-person CCSTA convention in three years, there’s sure to be a fair number of Catholic school trustees eager to gather. Diane Boyko, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ Board of Education chair and head of the convention’s organizing committee said, “I know we’re all excited to get back together to reconnect with one another. And it’s particularly exciting for trustees who have not had an opportunity to meet their cross-country colleagues in person.
“Focused around the theme ‘Rooted in Faith: Catholic Education in Action’, we’ve tried to make sure there’s something for everyone, that everyone will walk away from the convention with a better understanding of at least some things relevant for them in their local context,” said Boyko.
“Responding to the TRC’s Calls to Action is one tangible and necessary form of action for Catholic educators,” stated Boyko. “So I’m really excited that Chief Cadmus Delorme from Cowessess First Nation and Archbishop Donald Bolen from the Archdiocese of Regina are going to share with us how they are walking together along the path of reconciliation and healing.”
Cowessess First Nation is where 751 potential unmarked graves were discovered in June 2021, and it’s within the boundaries of the archdiocese.
Other speakers and sessions include Mike Patin, an international speaker from Louisiana; a panel who will discuss truth and reconciliation after Pope Francis’s 2022 visit to Canada; and local experts who will discuss what Catholic social teaching and inclusion looks like in a Catholic educational context.
It won’t be all work and no play. There’s planned free time to explore the city, and companion tours will allow non-registered guests to experience some unique aspects of the city. “Our planning committee has put a lot of work into the programming and the social events too,” said Boyko. “In addition to the banquet and hospitality, the pre-conference session on Thursday will be just outside the city at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, and that is really a spectacular place. It is so rich in Indigenous culture and history; it’s little wonder it’s a candidate to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You won’t want to miss that!”
Details and registration information can be found at www.ccsta.ca.