Opening Doors Conference

By National Housing Day




WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2019 - 8 am-4 pm



Join us for the 15th annual Opening Doors Conference - 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.


  • Morning Keynote, Zain Velji, Partner + Vice President, Strategy at Northweather, and recipient of Calgary’s Top 40 under 40, will share with us as morning keynote. Zain has extensive experience working on a variety of political campaigns (including Obama’s) and will provide insight into his government relations work and how this influences the affordable housing sector.

  • Lunch Keynote Shayne Ramsay CEO of BC Housing. Shayne will be sharing with us innovative advances being made in BC on the affordable housing front and how his organization is looking towards the future and sustainability of our sector.

Our program this year features eight breakout sessions on a variety of topics for management, front-line staff and everyone in between! Topics include:


Future of Social Housing:

Innovation in a time of change 

  • Tim Welch (Evergreen Consulting)

  • Cliff Youdale (Ottawa Community Housing)

  • Greg Dewling (Capital Region Housing)

Social Innovation:

What about it and what does it offer the Affordable Housing sector?  

  • James Stauch (Mount Royal University Institute for Community Prosperity)

Resident Outcomes Research:

What does the research tell us?

  • Katrina Milaney (University of Calgary)

  • Nick Falvo (Falvo Consulting)

Indigenous housing:

Respecting tradition, rebuilding community & reframing research approaches

  • Charla Huber (M’Akola Housing)

  • Gabrielle Lindstrom (Mount Royal University & Indigenous Researcher)

Eviction Prevention:

Case Studies from housing providers

  • Esther de Vos (Capital Region Housing)

  • Gabrielle Lindstrom (Mount Royal University & Indigenous Researcher)

Government Relations:

How relationships with government make a difference 

  • Marika Albert (BCNPHA)

  • Tim Richter (Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness)

Crisis Communications:

What to do when things wrong

  • Andrea Ranson

  • Scott Ranson

Board/Governance innovation:

How to work with your Board in future oriented ways

  • David Mitchell (Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations)

  • Vivek Warrier (Partner Bennet Jones and Center for Newcomers Board Chair)


8-8:30 AM - Registration/continental breakfast

8:30-9:30 AM - Greetings/morning keynote

9:30-10:30 AM - Breakout sessions

10:30-10:45 AM - BREAK

10:45-11:45 - Breakout sessions

Noon - Plated lunch begins*

12:30-1:30 - Afternoon Keynote

13:30-1:45 - BREAK

1:45-2:45 PM - Breakout sessions

3-4 PM - Plenary session - Government Panel

4-5 PM - Reception

*Lunch attendees register from 11:30 onwards (take advantage of the trade show)