Themes and Agenda

Welcome to the dedicated page for exploring the central themes of the 2024 Settlement & Integration Conference. Our conference this year delves into a variety of critical topics, each designed to foster understanding, collaboration, and innovation in the field of immigration and settlement.

Conference Themes

At AAISA, our mandate is to represent and reflect the unique needs and experiences of our members and the many diverse cultural groups that choose to live in Alberta.  Each theme selected for this conference addresses the diverse and evolving challenges and opportunities in the realm of immigration and settlement.  It is important to remember that as you explore these themes, we orient community collaborations and the recognition of our diversity from the many newcomers and cultural groups that choose to make Alberta their home as central in our learnings.

Here’s a glimpse of what we will explore:

  • Language & Employment: Discover how language training and employment initiatives are key to successful integration and explore innovative approaches to enhancing these critical areas.
  • Organizational Capacity Building: Learn about strategies for strengthening organizations in the settlement sector, including resource management, fund development, technological development, staff training, agency management, and adapting to change.
  • Regional Spotlight: Discuss the unique challenges and opportunities newcomers face in unique regional settings, like rural communities, local immigration partnerships, zonal immigration partnerships, community connections, and how communities can better support newcomers.
  • Vulnerable Populations and Identity: Examine the needs of vulnerable populations that are impacted by issues like intersecting health needs, issues related to the equity, diversity and inclusion spectrum, exploitation, or family separation.
  • Resettlement and Integration: Gain insights into the complexities of resettlement and the best practices for supporting newcomers as they build new lives, like refugee settlement, issues related to secondary or tertiary migration, or SWIS.

In the spirit of respect and truth, AAISA acknowledges the land and the people on which we do our work.  We acknowledge the remarkable endurance, strength and resiliency of the traditional stewards of these lands, and it is essential for us to recognize the intersection between Indigenous issues and the issues of the newcomers we serve.  Discussions on resettlement and integration must consider the unique journeys and aspirations of Indigenous individuals and families choosing Alberta as their new home. By highlighting this intersection, we aim to create a more inclusive and equitable approach to immigration and settlement that respects and uplifts Indigenous voices and experiences.

It is also crucial for us to recognize and appreciate the Francophone community in Alberta. It is essential to acknowledge the specific challenges and opportunities faced by Francophone newcomers, fostering a more inclusive environment that respects their cultural identity. Vulnerable populations within the Francophone community, impacted by health disparities and the preservation of their cultural heritage, warrant our special attention. Discussions on resettlement and integration should embrace the experiences and aspirations of Francophone individuals and families who have chosen Alberta as their new home.


Upcoming Agenda Release

Mark Your Calendars! The detailed conference agenda, featuring session times, speaker profiles, and specific events aligned with these themes, will be released on February 20th, 2024. This agenda will be your guide to navigating the conference and making the most of your experience.

Stay Updated: To ensure you don’t miss out on the agenda release and other important updates, subscribe to our newsletter.

Tentative Agenda for the Conference

Join us for an enriching two-day event designed to foster collaboration, learning, and innovation among professionals in the settlement and integration sector. Below is our tentative agenda, offering a glimpse into the structured activities, keynote addresses, and networking opportunities awaiting our attendees.

Day 1: March 4, 2024

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Registration and Welcome Coffee
Venue: Main Lobby
Kickstart the day with registration and networking over coffee, setting the stage for an engaging conference.

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM: Opening Ceremony
Venue: Grand Ballroom

Welcome speech by the AAISA Executive Director, Kathryn Friesen, and acknowledgement of the land and the traditional stewards.

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Keynote Address
Venue: Grand Ballroom
Join us for inspiring keynote addresses, setting the tone for the conference’s thematic discussions including a discussion and reflection over the recent shifts in immigration across Alberta.

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM: Coffee Break and Networking
Venue: Conference Dining Hall
A moment to refresh and connect with peers in a relaxed setting.

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Breakout Sessions (Set 1)
Engage in focused discussions on various topics of interest.  This includes discussions over the economic integration of newcomers to Alberta, some of the best practices for fostering inclusive communities and addressing the language barriers impacting integration.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: Networking Lunch
Venue: Conference Dining Hall
An opportunity for attendees to mingle and discuss the morning’s insights over lunch.

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Panel Discussion
Venue: Grand Ballroom

Theme: An open panel discussion held by experts in our sector to discuss the most relevant trends impacting newcomers arriving to Alberta and Alberta’s settlement sector.

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Afternoon Tea and Networking
An informal networking session, allowing front-line staff to connect and share experiences.

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Breakout Sessions (Set 2)
Further exploration of pertinent topics, including the challenges around credential recognition for international professionals, differences in immigrant experiences between urban and rural centres, and the dynamics of family reunification and its impact on settlement processes.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Day 1 Wrap-up and Open Forum
Venue: Grand Ballroom
Reflections and group discussions on the day’s learnings and experiences.

6:00 PM onwards: Evening Social Event (Happy Hour)
Venue: Hotel Terrace
An informal gathering to unwind and network with others in your field!

Day 2: March 5, 2024

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Morning Meetup
Venue: Grand Ballroom
Start the day with informal networking over coffee and a light breakfast.

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Breakout Sessions (Set 3)
Continued discussions on new and emerging themes, including policy responses to trends, technology and innovation in immigration, and youth integration and engagement.

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Keynote Address
Venue: Grand Ballroom

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM: Coffee Break and Networking
Venue: Conference Dining Hall
A brief interlude for attendees to connect and discuss the morning’s sessions.

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Expert Roundtables
Venue: Multiple Rooms – Join various expert-led roundtable discussions for in-depth analysis and exchange of ideas.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: Networking Lunch
Venue: Conference Dining Hall
A lunch break designed to foster connections and collaborations among participants.

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Keynote Address
Venue: Grand Ballroom

General Speaker
Theme: “PHAC and Mental Health” – Insights from leading voices on public health and mental health in the context of settlement services.

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Afternoon Tea and Networking
An additional networking opportunity for attendees to engage in informal discussions.

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Closing Ceremony
Venue: Grand Ballroom

Summary of conference outcomes and key takeaways.
Closing remarks by the AAISA Executive Director, Kathryn Friesen.

4:30 PM onwards: Farewell Mixer
Venue: Grand Ballroom
The final networking event to close the conference will offer one last opportunity for attendees to connect and reflect on the conference experience.

Please note: This agenda is tentative and subject to change as we finalize our program. Stay tuned for updates and more detailed information on sessions and speakers. For inquiries, contact us at

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Join us in Calgary to engage in these vital conversations and contribute to shaping the future of settlement and integration. We look forward to seeing you there!