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Opening Keynote - The Dolphin Way of Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids

Dr. Shimi Kang

Award-Winning Harvard-Trained Physician | Bestselling Author | Global Social Entrepreneur

An award-winning medical doctor, researcher, and expert on human motivation and neuroscience, Dr. Shimi Kang provides science-based tools for health, happiness, and achievement in the classroom and at home. With over 15yrs of clinical experience and extensive research, Dr. Kang shows people how to cultivate key skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, and more, needed to flourish both professionally and personally.

Dr. Kang is the author of The Self-Motivated Kid and the critically acclaimed The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids. This book became a #1 Canadian bestseller, and has been translated into 10 languages. She is the former Medical Director of Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Kang has been featured as a writer in The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, The Washington Post, and Time magazine. She is a recognized media expert on health, lifestyle, motivation, and leadership and has been invited to contribute to major news outlets such as NPR, CBC, CTV and Washington Post.

An entertaining and experienced speaker, Dr. Kang has presented at events ranging from the world’s largest conferences to customized workshops for small groups. Her TEDx presentation on the power of adaptability has been viewed more than half a million times.

Dr. Kang has made promoting mental health and wellness a priority. She is the Founder and CEO of Dolphin KIDS: Achievement Programs in Canada and Dolphin Early Learning Online. These organizations offer positive mindset & social-emotional training programs for students, teachers, and parents around the world.

Closing Keynote

Honourable Rob Fleming

Minister of Education

Prior to his election as an MLA, Rob served two terms as a Victoria city councillor. He chaired the city’s finance committee and represented Victoria at the Capital Regional District, the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, the Capital Region Housing Corporation and Tourism Victoria. As a city councillor, Rob was a leading advocate for public transit and affordable housing. He was instrumental in the creation of the Capital Region’s Affordable Housing Trust and the region’s transportation plan.

Rob has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Victoria. He worked in research and communications, and was a research and policy analyst for the Ministry of Advanced Education. He was involved in many community organizations and traveled to El Salvador to monitor elections there.

Rob lives in Victoria with his wife Maura, daughter Rory and son Jack. He is a dedicated soccer fan and player, and is now helping coach his son’s team.

Minister Fleming has spoken with parents on many occasions at BCCPAC events and across the province at schools and other functions. Most recently, Rob spoke to our DPAC leaders at the Fall Summit last November. Again this year at our Conference, the Minister will speak to delegates and will be asked questions submitted from attendees earlier in the day.

Breakout Sessions

Social-Emotional Skills Thru Childhood: From Research to Practice with CHEQ, EDI & MDI in Schools

Dr. Almas will provide highlights from the latest research on social-emotional learning at different stages in childhood and how it translates into practical applications at home. In addition, she will discuss how tools developed in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, including the Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (CHEQ), Early Development Instrument (EDI), and Middle Development Instrument (MDI), are used in schools, districts, and communities to support children as they move through these different stages of development.

Dr. Alisa Almas

Dr. Alisa Almas is a Faculty Research Associate at the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), an interdisciplinary research institute at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on social development across childhood and adolescence, with a special interest in at-risk or atypical populations. Dr. Almas leads the CHEQ Project at HELP, developing a population-level tool for assessing the experiences children have prior to Kindergarten across multiple domains. Information gathered using the CHEQ provides actionable data to school districts and communities that can be used to support children and families.

Treasurer & Gaming Bootcamp - A Must Attend Session for DPAC/PAC Execs

During this session, you will hear from three presenters and have the opportunity to ask questions throughout. Bring your queries, your questions and your stories - this session will be a great learning and sharing experience for anyone on your DPAC or PAC Executive...not just the Treasurer.

Matt will provide an overview of the Community Gaming Grant program including: how to apply for more funds, ideas of how other PACs/DPACs are spending their Gaming grant funds and provide an overview of some of the exciting projects and performances completed with Gaming support. Gillian will discuss the importance of budgets and documentation, best practices in fundraising, what makes for good cash handling policies, and transparency with meaningful reporting to parents. And you don't need to be a Treasurer to understand what your Executive team should be putting in place to ensure financial responsibility. Karen will provide best practices for what to do when your DPAC/PAC falls victim to fraud and how to avoid getting into this situation by better understanding the indicators and how to notice them before it’s too late.

Gaming Branch staff will be available throughout the day to answer general questions or provide one-on-one support with gaming grant applications.

Matt Dell - Manager of Policy and Community Outreach, Community Gaming Grants Branch

Matt Dell is the main contact for the Community Gaming Grant program. As part of his job, Matt is involved with community outreach, stakeholder relations and policy development. Matt has traveled the Province giving workshops and presentations on Community Gaming Grants, and can help new and existing PAC/DPAC board members with their gaming grant questions. Matt is from the South Okanagan, but now resides in Victoria with his wife and two young kids.

Karen Hansen - Compliance Gambling Auditor, Gaming Policy & Enforcement Branch

Compliance Gambling Auditor Karen L. Hansen, CPA, CMA, CFE, CIA has been employed with Gaming, Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB), Province of British Columbia since 2007. Her role involves conducting inspections under the Gaming Control Act for the purposes of monitoring compliance under the Act. As a Certified Fraud Examiner, Karen assists GPEB Investigations with fraud reports which have led to convictions.


Gillian Burnett - Treasurer, BCCPAC

Gillian has been involved in public education since her eldest child entered kindergarten. She has held various positions on PAC and DPAC and looks forward to understanding the public education system at a provincial level. Her work experience has provided her with a wealth of knowledge, exposure to diverse settings, and growth opportunities at every turn. With a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting, Gillian brings financial knowledge and experience to the organization. She is passionate about ensuring equitable, inclusive and quality education for every student. She believes that when many work together respectfully and collaboratively, great things happen. She will work hard to establish and foster relationships with educational partners and parents for the betterment of all students.

Using your Parent Voice at Your School and Beyond

Families benefit when parents understand their role and responsibilities within the school community but also the process and protocols of the school and the district. This session will focus on educating parents to better equip them to navigate and understand the process, protocols and procedures of the district; why positive relationships with teachers and admin staff at the school level are important, and clarity on the roles and responsibilities of all involved. Individual parent voices within school interactions or collective voices within a PAC or DPAC, each are important and they overlap when advocating within the public education system.


John Gaiptman - CEO, BCCPAC

John has been involved with public education for over 35 years. He spent 14 years as a Superintendent of Schools; twelve of which were with the Greater Victoria School District and two with the New Westminster School District. John is married with two daughters and three grandchildren. It is his hope, through his vast experience in public education, that he can continue to support and empower parents for the success of each learner.

PAC A to Z - Everything You Should Know

There is so much to know and often a scarcity of people and time. Whether your PAC is large or small, we know that turnover and policies with documentation can be challenging. During this session Andrea will provide an overview of the key things PACs should be aware of and practicing, such as: the importance of the PAC/DPAC and their role within the school and the district; why an updated Constitution and Bylaws is critical; why communication and transparency are important and can be done easily; social media do’s and don’ts; how to remain non-partisan when being political; difference between advocacy and activism; benefit of being involved at DPAC level, and a few general tips and tricks for ensuring your PAC is more knowledgeable.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout. Bring your queries, your questions and your stories - this session will be a great learning and sharing experience for anyone involved in their PAC or DPAC.


Andrea Sinclair - President, BCCPAC

Andrea is a long-time Vancouver resident, public education advocate and parent of two children in high school. She is currently President of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils and on the PAC at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary. In her role as President, Andrea regularly presents to parents on DPAC and PAC related issues to help educate and inform. Andrea served on her elementary school PAC for six years: as Chair for two years, preceded by Vice Chair, Secretary, and Member at Large. During her tenure as PAC Chair, Andrea increased parent engagement and parent communication, ensured documentation of our processes, created structure for succession, and led the governance and revisions of Constitution and Bylaws.

Plenary Session with Ministry of Education Senior Staff

New this year, with the gracious support of the Ministry of Education, we have senior officials from different departments onsite to provide in-depth updates and they are seeking your input. During this 2.5hr session, you will hear from senior Ministry staff with updates on initiatives in key focus areas. As you are all aware, there are ongoing conversations regarding a revised funding formula. This is your opportunity to provide face-to-face input. We will be spending 90 minutes with senior Ministry officials who are leading the the Funding Model review. They want to hear what parents/caregivers believe is needed for all our children to be successful and we want to ensure that they understand our perspective. There will be time devoted to learning about projects and initiatives regarding mental health, early learning and child care and the family portal (MyBCEd). There will also be a discussion on teaching diverse learners and understanding Truth and Reconciliation.

Throughout the session attendees will have opportunities to provide input and ask questions. Bring your questions and come prepared for engaged dialogue. Opportunities to give direct input to Ministry staff in this type of setting don't happen often. We urge you to join us for this important 2.5 hour session. 


Reg Bawa

Reg Bawa is the Assistant Deputy Minister for Resource Management & Executive Financial Office Division. He has been in the public service for over 25 years; starting in 1992 with the Ministry of Finance, Superannuation Commission and progressing to Executive Director, Banking & Cash Management Branch with the Provincial Treasury prior to the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Reg’s other career stops have included the Office of the Comptroller General, Provincial Treasury, Service BC, Provincial Revenue and the Ministry of Education as Director of Funding and Compliance. In addition to his professional experience, Reg sits on the boards of the Teachers’ Pension Board of Trustees, the Healthcare Benefits Trust and the Community Social Services Employers’ Association. Reg is a former member of the Canadian Payments Association’s Stakeholder Advisory Council.


Kim Horn

Kim Horn is the Executive Director of the Sector Resourcing and Service Delivery Branch within the Ministry of Education. Kim oversees the allocation of almost $7B in operating funding to BC’s 60 Boards of Education, and also has responsibilities for financial oversight and accountability, as well as the Service Delivery Initiative – a shared services initiative aimed at building capacity within and across school districts. Kim has held numerous management positions in public service, including within the Ministries of Finance, Advanced Education, and Economic Development. Prior to working with the provincial public service, Kim worked in the federal public service, specializing in strategic policy development around learning and education issues. Kim holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. 


Sally Barton

Sally has an extensive, international Information Technology background with diverse experience in the public, private and charitable sectors. Sally joined the Provincial Government in June 2006, after emigrating from the United Kingdom, where she worked for a large IT consultancy, leading projects across Europe and Australia; and for the National Trust, the UK’s largest conservation charity. MyEd BC, the student information service, will be in all 60 school districts by the end of this year. One of the most used features in MyEd BC is the family portal. Eleanor will provide an overview of the updates coming to the service for the upcoming school year and how the family portal is being used to support better communication between parents, teachers and learners.


Cloë Nicholls 

Cloë Nicholls is the Executive Director of Learning Supports in the Learning Division of the Ministry of Education. She oversees a number of portfolios aimed at helping learners, including Indigenous education, inclusive education, French education, student safety and mental health. She has a wide range of experience in the provincial government, mostly in the area of Aboriginal relations, disability policy and immigration and labour market issues. Cloë has an Honours degree in political science from the University of British Columbia and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation from the University of Waterloo, where her team project focused on relationship building and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.