Tuesday, April 30, 2024    

7:00 - 8:00 a.m.        Tradeshow & Networking Breakfast (Rivers Ballroom)

8:00 - 8:15 a.m.        Morning Remarks  (Rivers Ballroom)

8:15 - 9:15 a.m.        Keynote Session  (Rivers Ballroom)                    

The Reality of Everyday Economics

The forces of global, national and regional economics impact us all in our communities. In this keynote, our speakers will connect the often blurry lines of cause and effect, to the realities we experience everyday; from supply chains to the cost of housing, connecting the economic power of global markets to our operational realities shifts perspectives and encourages us to view our challenges through a different lens.

Andrew Ramlo, Vice President - Advisory, rennie group
Brock Dickinson, Assistant Director of the Economic Development Program, University of Waterloo

9:15 - 9:30 a.m.     Networking Break

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.      Keynote Session  (Rivers Ballroom)                 

Breaking Boundaries: Boxes, Pancakes, and Pivoting

Join us for an exhilarating exploration with Brandi into the intersectionality of diversity, resilience, and entrepreneurship within the disability community. Brandi flips the script on traditional notions, turning boxes into springboards and pancakes into power moves. With a sprinkle of humor and a dash of inspiration, she invites us to navigate through the challenges of bias, stereotypes, and the ever-evolving landscape of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility.

Embark on this journey as Brandi guides us through the obstacles faced by individuals with disabilities, presenting an opportunity to move from equal opportunity and embrace equitable partnerships. Get ready to embark on a journey of reflection, dialogue, and action as we challenge norms and pave the way for a more equitable communities.

Brandi Butts, Project Manager for the Community Futures British Columbia (CFBC) Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP)

10:30 - 10:50 a.m.    Networking Break 

10:50 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. Breakout Sessions 

  1. Economic Development in Your BIA  Rivers East

    Join local economic development leaders as they explore ideas, methods and practical opportunities to pursue economic Development in your BIAs.

    Hear from panelists on areas including:

  • Regional growth and attraction methods

  • Practical execution of economic development

  • Adaptive and innovative strategies in housing

You'll also participate in the conversation – be ready to ask questions, dive into discussion and brainstorm with your fellow delegates.

Jim Anderson, Executive Director, Venture Kamloops
Joshua Knaak, Partner, Broker, FIT Financial
Cheryl Gladu, Assistant Professor, Human Enterprise and Innovation, Thomson River University
Andrew Ramlo, Vice President - Advisory, rennie group
Brock Dickinson, Assistant Director of the Economic Development Program, University of Waterloo


2.  Embracing Equitable Partnerships Rivers West

Join us to continue the discussion started by Brandi Butts in the Breaking Boundaries session, expand the conversation with the panelists and expect to learn how to put embracing equitable partnerships into action within your organization.

Brandi Butts, Project Manager for the Community Futures British Columbia (CFBC) Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP)
Angelene Prakash, Executive Director, Downtown New West BIA
Devon Mah, Employer Relations Coordinator, Open Door Group



12:05 - 1:10 p.m.     Best in the West Awards Lunch   (Rivers Ballroom)                  SPONSORED BY STAR ILLUMINATIONS

1:10 - 2:45 p.m.       Mobile Tours

  1. Pathway to Understanding: The Residential School Legacy Tour
    We are honoured to invite delegates to a profound and educational tour of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation. This visit to the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School (1923-1977) offers a guided experience where participants can reflect, learn, and grow their understanding of the impacts of this tragic part of Canada's history. This experience is designed to foster a spirit of reconciliation and deepen our collective commitment to moving forward together. Join us in acknowledging the shared past and embracing the journey towards healing and unity.
  2. Back Alley Art Gallery Tour
    Discover inspiration and beauty in Kamloops back alleys! This walking tour takes you through the alleys of downtown Kamloops, transformed into a captivating outdoor art gallery. Explore over 30 eclectic murals, each showcasing diverse artistic styles. These works of art add a burst of color and creativity to the urban landscape while discouraging tagging and graffiti. Join us to celebrate the creativity and spirit of Kamloops, and see the city from this inspiring perspective!

1:15 - 2:30 p.m.       Breakout Sessions

  1. From Spaces to Stories: The Power of Narrative in Placemaking and Branding Rivers East
    The team from Downtown Vancouver will discuss how storytelling can be a powerful tool in shaping both the physical environment (placemaking) and the perceived identity (branding) of a place. Leaning into the organizations re-brand in 2022, case studies will include placemaking projects “Granville Block Party” “Summer Movie Nights” and POP! x Downtown Van.

    Clare Warner, Manager, Placemaking + Public Spaces, Downtown Vancouver BIA
    Joshua Davidson, Interim Director of Operations, Downtown Vancouver BIA

  2. Streamlining the Renewal Process  Rivers West 

    While some While certain BIAs may have varying term lengths, Renewals are presently mandatory for all BIAs in British Columbia. These Renewals are regarded as pivotal points of accountability for BIAs. During this session, our presenters, Tricia and Jeremy, will delve into effective approaches to the renewal process. They will explore tactics, tools, and considerations aimed at streamlining the renewal process. Leveraging their extensive experience as leaders with numerous successful renewals, they will provide invaluable guidance and advice to facilitate your achievement of a successful renewal.

    Jeremy Heighton, Executive Director, North Shore BIA
    Patricia Barnes, Executive Director, East Village Vancouver

2:30 - 3:00 p.m.       Networking Break/ Tradeshow

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.       Mobile Tour

  1. Brews and Friends Tour
    Join us for a delightful jaunt to two of Kamloops' finest brewpubs! This fun-filled tour is the perfect opportunity to network in a more casual setting. You’ll enjoy the cool comfort of Bright Eye Brewing on the North Shore and the funked up, Red Collar Pub downtown. At each stop, you’ll sample a selection of artisanal brews, complemented with tasty snacks. Don't miss this chance to mix business with pleasure and make new connections.

3:00 - 4:15 p.m.       Breakout Sessions   

  1. Authenticity and Authority in Today's Digital World (Mktg-Comms) Rivers East

    This presentation will delve into the dynamic landscape of digital marketing and communications in 2024, emphasizing the indispensable role of Digital Public Relations. It will offer insights into how artificial intelligence is reshaping consumer search behaviors and
    setting the stage for a groundbreaking shift in online search dynamics.

    Key Takeaways
    1. Navigating AI-Induced Changes: Understanding how AI is revolutionizing search behavior and the strategies brands need to adopt to maintain relevance and visibility.
    2. Revival of Public Relations: Recognizing the renewed importance of traditional public relations, reimagined for the digital age, and its integration with new media channels for effective brand building.
    3. Power of Authenticity and Human Stories: Acknowledging the irreplaceable value of authentic human connections and storytelling in establishing online authority and trust in a world dominated by artificial intelligence.

    Peter Pilarski, President, CIPR Communications

  2. Synergy in Motion: Unleashing the Potential of Collaborative Destination Development Rivers West

    Join us as we explore the transformative impact of meaningful collaboration in destination development. Discover how strategic partnerships, shared visions, and collective efforts can drive sustainable growth, enrich visitor experiences, and foster community prosperity. Learn from real-world examples and gain insights into harnessing the power of collaboration to create vibrant and resilient destinations for all.

    Nic Zdunich, Desintation Development Manager, Tourism Kamloops

4:15 p.m.        Free Night in Kamloops

Check out other fabulous Kamloops restaurants that weren't part of dine around on Monday:


Kekuli Cafe

Klasske’s Bistro

Tongdak Korean Fried Chicken

Pizza Pi Kamloops

Jacob’s Noodle & Cutlet



Peter’s Pasta

Mittz Kitchen

The Noble Pig

Casa Azul Kamloops

Underbelly by the Pig


Frick and Frack



Cordo Resto & Bar


Twisted Steak

Dorian’s Greek House



See Monday's Program Details

Registration Information

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