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TimeSessionSpeaker/Session Details
8:00am – 8:30am
Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30am – 8:45am
Opening Remarks, Welcome Ceremony, and Land Acknowledgement

John Brewer, Conference Bard

Kathy MacLeod-Beaver, Indigenous Mental Health Worker, Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre

8:45am – 9:00am
Welcome from GenWell

Pete Bombaci, founder of The GenWell Project

9:00am – 9:15am
Connection Exercise

John Brewer – The Conference Bard

9:15am – 9:30am
Social Connection and Physical Well-being

Troy D. Glover, Ph.D., Professor & Chair, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

The presentation endeavours to explore how neighbourhood walking facilitates authentic social interactions among neighbours to bolster the social fabric of neighbourhoods and strengthen relationships. 

9:30am – 10:15am
The Canadian Reality – Results of the Latest Genwell Survey

Dr Kiffer G. Card, Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University. 

In this presentation, Dr. Card will highlight the results of the latest Canadian Human Connection Survey and walk the audience through the recent progress in the  development of the Canadian Social Connection Guidelines, including results from an ongoing Delphi study of more than 120 experts from across the globe.

10:15am – 11:00am
Opening Keynote – The US Framework, Canadian Research

Julianne Holt-Lundstad, Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience, Brigham Young University.

Dr. Holt-Lundstad will join us, virtually, to introduce the audience to the recent release of the Social Connection Framework from the U.S. Surgeon General, on which Dr. Lundstad was the lead researcher and writer. 

11:00am – 11:30am
Q&A and Discussion with Audience

Dr. Holt-Lunstad and Dr. Card will be joining us together, to answer audience questions and to discuss the learning’s from both sides of the border on how we can create more synergies to impact the lives of Canadians and Americans more rapidly.

11:30am – 12:00pm
Poster Presentations

Learn more about a variety of research initiatives that are focused on human connectivity and social health. 

12:00pm – 1:00pm
Lunch break

Time to break bread with those you have connected with so far in the day.

1:00pm – 1:45pm
What’s Government Got to Do with It?

Sandra Allison – family physician and former public health official

Vickery Bowles – City Librarian at Toronto Public Library.

More panelists to come.

1:45pm – 2:15pm
Cards, Classrooms, & Conversations: Putting Connection into Practice

Catherine Hart, Communications and Project Specialist, Engage Nova Scotia.

The presentation tells a story about “From Me to You”, a provincewide note-writing initiative launched in December 2020 where Nova Scotians were invited to write or draw a note to someone in their community.

2:30pm – 2:45pm
Closing Remarks

John Brewer – The Conference Bard

3pm – 6:30pm
Landmark Walk & Pub Social

Join us for a landmark walk in the local community around the Toronto Reference Library, followed by a pub social with lots of time and opportunity to get connected face-to-face with other conference attendees.




  • Coming soon!

TimeSessionSpeaker/Session Details
8:00am – 8:30am
Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:30am – 8:45am
Opening Remarks

 John Brewer

8:45am – 9:15am
Healthy Cities, Neighbourhoods, & Home

Robyn Lee, Student Researcher, Hey Neighbour Collective

Tennesha Joseph, 880 Cities

These 2 presentations will focus on the role of the built environment to build greater human connectivity and support people through the common challenges of living in a community. 

9:15am – 10:00am
Social Prescribing’s Role in Building a More Connected Canada

Sonia Hsiung, Director, Community Health and the Institute for Social Prescribing, Red Cross Canada 

Cindy Yu – CISP Researcher, Social Epidemiologist

Dr. David Conn- Executive Vice-President of Education and Chief Academic Officer at the Baycrest Academy for Research & Education 

These presentations & facilitated Q&A’s will focus on the role of social prescribing as a way to social 

10:00am – 10:15am
Social Connection Break

Take some time to get connected with your fellow conference attendees.

10:15am – 11:15am
Exploring the Impact of Loneliness on Marginalized Communities & How to Build a More Inclusive Canada

Mabe Kyle, Co-founder of the Rural Ontario Community of Queer Youth

Shayna Skakoon-Sparling, Assistant Professor

Victoria McCutcheon, MPl Candidate

Han Shu, BHSc student and Research Assistant at Queen’s University School of Nursing.

These presentations & facilitated Q&A session will focus on understanding the impact of loneliness on different marginalized populations within Canada & how we can build a more inclusive Canada. 

11:15am – 11:45am
Deepening our Connections for Climate Resilience

Britt Wray, Director of the Special Initiative of the Chair on Climate Change and Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Stanford University School of Medicine

We are learning just how much climate change impacts the physical and natural world around us—but how does is it impacting our emotional wellbeing and mental health?

11:45am – 12:00pm
Wellness Exercise

Bobbie Breckenridge, The GenWell Project Community Development Manager, Registered Social Worker, & Mind-Body Coach

This wellness practice will help us sooth our minds and bodies while creating an opportunity to connect more deeply with ourselves and others. 

12:00pm – 1:00pm
Lunch break

Time to break bread with those you have connected with so far in the day.

1:00pm – 1:30pm
Managing Grief Through the Power of Human Connection

Sarah Hines, Founder and CEO, Grief Advocacy

Yvonne Heath – Founder of Love Your Life to Death 

These presentations & facilitated Q&A session will explore the role that human connection plays in supporting grief and loss as a universal human experience. 

1:30pm – 2:10pm
Connection Across the Lifespan

Cherie Ann Pereira- Registered Social Worker, Big Brothers, Big Sisters-

 Sydney Elaine Butler- Founder of Accessible Creates

These presentations and facilitated Q&A session will explore the benefits and challenges of inter-generational connections & how people can get connected throughout their life. 

2:10pm – 2:30pm
How are Our Youth Doing after the Pandemic?

Kristi Berg MacDonald- PhD student at University of Western Ontario

This presentation and facilitated Q&A session will explore the impacts of Covid-19 on adolescents’ sense of loneliness & social well-being. 

2:30pm – 3:00pm
Exploring the Role of Volunteerism & Pro-Social Behaviour for Social Health & Wellness

Julia Nakamura- second-year doctoral student and Vanier Scholar in the Health Psychology program at the University of British Columbia

Yeeun Archer Lee- PhD student, Psychology at the University of British Columbia

These presentations and facilitated Q&A session will explore how to create more accessibility for volunteerism in Canada and how to utilize pro-social behaviour to mitigate loneliness and social isolation. 

3:00pm – 3:40pm
Town Hall Discussion

John Brewer – The Conference Bard

Opportunity for all panelists and conference attendees to engage in further dialogue to explore where we go from here. 

3:40pm – 3:55pm
Closing Remarks

Pete Bombaci- Founder & Executive Director of The GenWell Project

John Brewer- Conference Bard