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“Beyond the Waves” Conference Roundup

By Lindsay Baker, Chair of Professional Development

More than 100 managers of volunteer resources from across Canada and the U.S. gathered in Halifax, Nova Scotia for three days of learning, networking, and inspiration at the 2016 VMPC National Conference hosted by the newly formed Association of Volunteer Management Professionals Nova Scotia.

The festivities kicked off in true Maritime fashion with a good ole Kitchen Party! It was an opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine and try appies like deep-fried pepperoni, dress up in wacky outfits and take Polaroid photos with your colleagues and get your dance on to the musical talents of the Broad Cove Boys. It was a must-attend event that truly set the tone for a conference that was fun, fresh and full of laughter, connection and intentional networking.

Day one kicked off with a keynote by Gerard Murphy of Barefoot Facilitation around the theme of how to unleash your volunteer management potential. He encouraged participants to be the spark, to communicate how you make an impact, to be plugged in to technology & new methods and to be persistent.

What made day 1 even more special was the fact that there were members at 9 sites across the country from BC to Quebec watching a live stream of the sessions. It was so fun to have in-person and live stream attendees posting photos, videos, comments and take-aways on Twitter using the hashtag #HFXWaves at the same time. Thanks to the assistance and support from Tony and Better Impact, this was one of the most connected and ‘plugged in’ conferences ever!

The conference continued with a number of other highlights including hosted dinners at some of the best restaurants in Halifax and behind-the-scenes site tours of places like Pier 21, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the IWK Health Centre. Then there was also the delicious food, intentional networking opportunities and non-stop giveaways from Jody from the Bargains Group!

The event wrapped up on Saturday with a panel presentation by some local volunteers and an inspiring closing keynote from Jennifer Gillivan that reminded us about the importance of the work we do. "It's not just a job. You are truly in privileged positions as volunteer coordinators." #Inspired

As the conference wrapped, folks were definitely sad that it was over (it always goes so fast!) but also excited about re-connecting with each other again May 10-12, 2017 at the other end of the country in beautiful Victoria, BC.  Save the date and start building up those air miles…

Thanks to the 2016 Conference Committee

Kylene Mellor (chair), Kim Williams, Annette Carter, Leona Conrick, Lori Sabo, Jeana MacLeod

The Better Impact Livestream Sites/Organizations were:

  • Brandon Regional Health Centre
  • Kelowna Community Resources
  • Montreal
  • Ottawa Hospital
  • Propell: us (Formerly Volunteer Calgary)
  • United Way Centraide Sudbury & Nipissing Districts
  • Volunteer Burnaby
  • Volunteer Hamilton
  • Westman Association of Volunteer Administrators in south western Manitoba

ATTENDEES – 105 total

58 members, 28 non- members and, 19 presenters (these are registration numbers and do not include un-registered additional presenters/panelists)

Provincial Breakdown 

Nova Scotia – 36

Ontario – 17

British Columbia – 12

New Brunswick – 10

Alberta – 9

Saskatchewan – 8

Manitoba – 7

PEI – 2

Quebec  - 2

USA – 2