Opening Doors Conference

By National Housing Day



Join us at Calgary's 14th annual Opening Doors Conference in celebration of National Housing Day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. MST

Best Western Premier Calgary Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre

1316 33 Street Northeast | Calgary, AB T2A 6B6 | Canada

$40 - $125

The Opening Doors Conference provides an opportunity for housing professionals and stakeholders from across Alberta to gather and discuss new and emerging trends and topics in the housing sector and engage in a day of training and networking.

Featuring two keynotes, guest emcee, television host and entertainer Dave Kelly, six breakout sessions and opportunity for networking and to explore our trade show of partners – this is a conference you won’t want to miss!

Morning Keynote: The Executive Director for the Canada Housing and Renewal Association, Jeff Morrison, will join us to discuss the tremendous amount of work that is being done within CHRA in research, policy and advocacy to ensure that all Canadians can access and afford the type of housing they need.

Lunch Keynote: The Executive Director of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, Jill Atkey, will share key advances in the BC non-market housing sector in recent months. Jill led the development of the Canadian Rental Housing Index and oversaw the 10-year Affordable Housing Plan to solve our BC’s housing affordability and homelessness crisis, which informed a $7-billion provincial investment in affordable housing in BC.

Learn from both our keynotes how a strong common voice for the sector has been created through collaboration between non-profit housing organizations, by sharing resources and aligning advocacy.

This year's conference program highlights partnerships across the housing sector, explores the changing realities of affordable housing, and provides strategies and opportunities for dealing with challenges at the operational and management levels. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about the affordable housing strategies at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

Full day conference: $125  ~  Lunch keynote only: $40

Bonus evening networking and panel discussion event – Unlocking Doors: Affordable Housing + Mixed Communities Panel!

In addition, this year’s conference will feature a co-hosted evening networking event and panel discussion in conjunction with the University of Calgary, Faculty of Environmental Design. This event will feature a panel of internationally recognized non-market housing experts from the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom who will be discussing various topics and trends in non-market housing.

This separate evening panel runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the St. Louis Hotel Building at 430 8 Avenue S.E. and will feature a cocktail networking reception, moderated panel discussion and Q+A with our international panel of experts.

Tickets for this event are only $20! Get your tickets through the Unlocking Doors event page here

Conference sessions

|Plenary session| government housing strategies

Representatives from the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, and The City of Calgary will discuss the development and release of their respective affordable housing strategies and how they are working together to advance affordable housing for all.


|Breakout one| Building wholesome communities with mixed income housing


Mixed income housing is an approach to housing that integrates a variety of housing types for a range of people at different income levels and from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Learn about some practical real-life examples of mixed income models at work, and the rationale for the emergence of this type of housing to support residents and create wholesome, diverse communities.

|Breakout two| Rights based housing and engaging residents in service design


Learn about the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) new approach to engaging and connecting with people living with mental illness in the development and design of services. Hear how CMHA is partnering with Horizon Housing Society and working on design principles for their newest development with client perspectives on housing design.

|Breakout Three| Indigenous Housing Capital Program and Culturally Informed housing desigN


The Government of Alberta’s recently released Indigenous Housing Capital Program will increase the supply of affordable homes for Indigenous peoples across the province. The investment is aligned with the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and was created after consultation with Indigenous groups around the province. Hear from a representative from the Government of Alberta on key findings from a province wide listening tour and from one of Canada’s largest Indigenous affordable housing providers on culturally sensitive housing design and multi-generational housing, with communal spaces for meetings and ceremonies.

|Breakout four| growing pains: leveraging your resources to increase your housing portfolio


Outgrown your current housing portfolio? Looking to increase the size of your stock? For organizations that are looking to grow and expand their housing portfolio, hear from financial lenders and CMHC on what it takes to leverage your current asset base to grow your portfolio and expand your organization. Come find out if there is equity trapped in your portfolio!

|Breakout five| affordable housing outcomes: what does success look like?


What does success look like for residents? For agencies? For housing organizations? You will hear from a leading non-market housing provider who will be presenting on their social sustainability framework on the long term social outcomes for residents and how we can measure housing outcomes for affordable housing in Canada, as well as a leading researcher who have examined the evidence on non-shelter outcomes internationally.

|Breakout Six| Government relations strategies: How to get your story heard


Never before have all three levels of government simultaneously released various strategies focused on affordable housing. The ability to successfully navigate public policy issues requires knowledge, understanding and relationships at all levels of government. Hear from the former Chief of Staff of the Mayor of Calgary and the former Press Secretary of the Alberta NDP on how to incorporate Government Relations into your everyday work. Whether a political junkie or new to the world of politics, this forum has something for everyone.



#NHDYYC @OpeningDoorsAB


What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

There is ample parking on site at the Coast Plaza Hotel. In addition, the Marlborough LRT Station is a 10-minute walk away.

Where can I stay?

There are rooms blocked at the Coast Plaza Hotel offering special rates as part of the conference. Mention the Opening Doors Conference when booking with the hotel to access these special rates.

I have food sensitivities/allergies. can these be accommodated?

The hotel will make note of food allergies/sensitivities and make every effort to accommodate these, however the hotel property utilizes many different ingredients in menu items and there will be products that may contain nuts, nut products, and dairy or soy products. Please contact the conference organizer directly with special requests or requirements.

Who can I contact if i have any questions?

Please feel free to contact the conference organizer at with any questions you may have.


This event sold out last year, so get your tickets today!

Connect with us #NHDYYC @OpeningDoorsAB

Program (1).png