April 28 – 30, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Kitchener, Ontario
Nora Spinks, CEO of the Vanier Institute of the Family
Chris Bentley, Executive Director, Ryerson’s Legal Innovation Zone
Mark Yantzi, Restorative Opportunities Program, Corrections Services Canada
Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor, City of Kitchener
- Network with Collaborative Colleagues from across Ontario & Canada
- 22 Workshops to choose from
- Thursday Evening Reception
- Friday Evening Gala Dinner & Dance
Friday Morning Kick-off Speaker
CHRIS BENTLEY is no stranger to innovation. As Attorney General he worked with stakeholders in the family justice system to develop and implement “4 Pillars” of reform to provide families with more information, triage to needed services, options to litigation, and a more streamlined process for those who have to go to court. Chris left government to start the Law Practice Program at Ryerson, an innovative alternative to the traditional articling process for lawyers.
As Executive Director of Ryerson’s Legal Innovation Zone, Chris returned to family law reform with an open invitation for community collaboration. Family lawyers, mental health professionals, mediators, students and family law clients participated in 5 workshop sessions to develop creative, non-confrontational, client-focused, cost effective approaches for separating families. The results will be presented to Ontario’s current Attorney General this spring. Chris will share his passion for innovation with us using his recent interdisciplinary initiative as an example of a creative solution for families in transition.
Friday Noon Lunch Speaker
MARK YANTZI is a mediator in the Restorative Opportunities program of Correctional Services Canada. Restorative Justice has been recognized internationally as an innovative and healthy alternative to the retributive justice system. Mark grew up in an Amish community near Punkeydoodles Corners south west of New Hamburg. Early on in his career he recognized that Restorative Justice resonated with Amish pacifist principals and had the potential to innovate and reform our justice system.
Mark has been honoured for his unique and innovative contributions to the Kitchener-Waterloo community. He was a founder and Executive Director of Community Justice Initiatives Waterloo and served as a Regional and City Counsellor for over 22 years. He is a well-known expert in his field, with training in sexual misconduct and divorce mediation. He has written Sexual Offending and Restoration (Herald Press), as well as edited Three Paths to Healing (Pandora Press) and been a contributor to The Challenge of Forgiveness (from the Saint Paul University Research series).
Friday Evening Dinner Speaker
NORA SPINKS is CEO of the VANIER INSTITUTE OF THE FAMILY. The Institute monitors and reports on the changing face of Canada’s families. They continually seek and embrace new and innovative ways to reach out to researchers, educators, students, journalists, service providers, faith and labour leaders, policymakers and others with an interest in families and family life.
Throughout her 25-year career, Nora has worked with the research community to mobilize knowledge and connect those who study, serve and support Canada’s diverse families. With an accessible presentation style, she has not only informed but also engaged audiences at conferences, community and corporate events, on social media, through Vanier Institute publications, such as Transition magazine, and in the media through her many appearances on TV and radio. Nora will help us to better understand the changing face of Canadian families and provide us with some skills and strategies to support them through the work we do.
For conference schedules, registration forms, and workshop presenter information, click here to download the brochure.