Community Futures Meridian

Box 2167, 125 - 1st Avenue East, Kindersley, SK - Phone: (306) 463-1850

2015/2016 Annual Conference and AGM

  • February 24, 2016
  • Written by Meridian Admin

A year has come and gone and the 2015/2016 Annual Conference and AGM was another success!

I had the pleasure of attending this event and I have to tell you, it was an enjoyable experience. And that isn’t just because I didn’t have to cook for myself or make my own bed for two days. The speakers were fantastic, the food was to die for, the Radisson has stepped it up big time with their beautiful Connection Café and the buzz around all the regions upcoming projects and innovations was inspiring.

Here’s how things went down:


The brilliant Rachelle Brockman of Eureka Experience kicked off the event. She spoke about igniting your leader within and stopping with the “I have to’s”. We need to get to a place where we are motivated to do what we do and to do it for a reason, to be mindful of our communication styles, and to speak our truth with full respect.

A few things she noted to focus in on when igniting your leader within:

See it!

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” - Henry Miller

The number one way leaders have vision, is it comes from listening and paying attention to the world around us.

Believe it!

“We are what we believe we are.” – C.S. Lewis

Great leaders start with ‘why’. Then what, then how. 70% of organizational change fails because of people resistance. People resist change when they don’t understand why. Think about the why.

Do it!

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

This is where people get stuck because it’s not perfect yet.

Be open to change. There is no growth without discontent. Your potential is unlimited.

Share it!

“If you just communicate you can get by. But if you skillfully communicate, you can work miracles.” – John Rohn

Be known for being trustworthy, honest and respectful. Give and receive feedback. Practice mentorship and collaboration.


Next up was the lovely Shawna Ryan, Paralympian. She is a legally blind Occupational Therapist and she shared her life’s trials and tribulations and wow was she inspiring. You could feel her strength and determination throughout her presentation. A few of her life’s lessons she shared were the following:

· Work without fear. You’ve trained to get where you are today, be confident in who you are and believe you’ve got the skills to succeed

· Be adaptable

· Be willing

· Everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle, BE KIND ALWAYS

· Innovation cannot be held captive with unlimited imagination and desire to help each other

· Be powerful, hold your head high, accept challenges, test your limits, be proud of yourself


Our final speaker was Dr. Space, aka Dr. Bill Brooks. He spoke the praise of creativity and leadership and here are some golden nuggets he left with the audience:

You need to believe that you are a leader and that YOU ARE CREATIVE.

When the audience was asked who believed that children were more creative then adults, most in attendance raised their hand. Adults are in fact just as creative, they just don’t let it flow or expose it as much as a child. Let your creativity shine!

3 Important qualities for being a leader:

· Global thinking

· Integrity

· Creativity

Common traits for a great leader:

· Comfortable with ambiguity

· Encourage balanced risk

· Always question assumptions

· Inventive and willing to experiment

· Embrace change


Winners of the Just Watch Me! Campaign Announced

Codey Little from Saskatchewan won second place and is raising money for a new ride on mower and snowblower for his snow removal and lawn mowing company. Watch all videos and find out who the other contestants were here.



The highly anticipated Elevate program is now launched and there are some incredible opportunities for entrepreneurs with health conditions or disabilities.

Check out the beautiful new branding and website that is now live here:


Banquet and Awards

Lori was the big winner of this years’ Volunteer of the Year award. Here is the write up on just how awesome Lori is at volunteering her time:

Lori Ries has been part of the Community Futures for 13 years; currently serving as the provincial and national Chairperson. Ries is also a Councillor with the Town of Eston, sits as a member of Eston’s Economic Development Committee, is a member of the doctor recruitment initiative and also sits on the EK Water west Board that recently expanded the pipeline from the South Saskatchewan River to Eston and then on to Kindersley. In her role as Chairperson of the Community Futures Network of Canada, she has presented on the Community Futures program at the OECD conference in Memphis, Tennessee and recently delivered a presentation at the International Conference on Territorial Inequality and Development in Puebla, Mexico. Lori has been committed to the progressive nature of the loans program, assisting in implementing innovation loans, youth initiatives, and engaging communities with community economic development strategies and initiatives that include training and business development.


Community Futures Newsask was the big winner for Excellence and Innovation in 2015. Their 1,000 Miles of Snow project is a snowmobiling initiative fostered by Community Futures Newsask in collaboration with the contributing regional EDO's in the northeast. The initiative is to attract snowmobilers to northeastern Saskatchewan and promote its communities where they can explore the picturesque trails and local attractions. An added incentive is a passport contest where riders get their booklets stamped by selected community businesses.

Through collaborative work between eight communitites, including the pooling of resources, this regional initiative has become financially achievable and will benefit the area as a whole.

Congrats team Newsask!


Casino Night

Everyone was invited to a casino night following the banquet and awards. Fun viva las vegas style was had by all!

Casino Night



Need I say more? It was amazing. Spot on every meal. They kept us well fed and watered with the Connection Café running ALL DAY LONG. The Raddison is where it’s at.


Fish Bowl Discussions

Fishbowl Exercise

This was such a cool part of the event. Everyone starts out sitting in a large circle and then a question is asked and 4 people have the option to move into the centre 4 chairs and have a discussion. Anyone is able to bump out another person at any time. It’s a great way to have inspiring and innovative discussions. Here were a few questions that were asked:

If you were just starting up Community Futures, how would you do it differently?

What are some new and innovative ideas on motivating and engaging ambassadors of Community Futures? 

If you have any ideas, email us at .



Community Futures is working on a new portal for crowdfunding. This will be a beautiful tool for entrepreneurs looking to raise money for their businesses. This will be launching soon, but in the mean time check out Indigogo and Kickstarter to see how awesome this type of fundraising truly can be.

Suzanne Paschall, a crowdfunding expert gave great advice on the seven steps of success for crowdfunding

1. Setting a smart financial goal

2. Offering a variety of creative perks – know who your market is

3. Tell a compelling story

4. Effective use of social media

5. Good advance planning and launch

6. Taking advantage of existing networks

7. Ensuring ongoing communication during campaign


There is much that I have missed but it was a great event to say the least. If you have any questions on where Community Futures is heading or have any suggestions or ideas to help us move forward in a positive way please give us a call!

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