Heads & Chairs Conference

What is the Heads & Chairs Conference?
The Heads & Chairs Conference offers an excellent opportunity for leaders in the Canadian independent school system to gather in one place to learn and share with colleagues.

The 2021 Conference details:
Dates: October 17 - 18, 2021
Timing: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET (both days)
Format: Virtual
Theme: Leadership in times of change: Building trust and accountability

Register here

Visit the Conference microsite here to see what we have in store for you over the two days!


2021 Heads & Chairs Speakers

Carolyn Kirkwood
Crofton House School

Chief Ian Campbell
Squamish Nation

Chris Grieve
Aberdeen Hall

Claude Steele
Stanford University

Drew Stephens
Southridge School

Emily Greenberg
Vancouver Talmud Torah

Fiona Macfarlane
Shawnigan Lake School

His Worship Mayor Naheed Nenshi
City of Calgary

Honourable Anne McLellan
Bennett Jones

Jim Nelles
CAIS Board of Directors

Larry Lamont
Shawnigan Lake School

Lisa Evans 
Collingwood School

Martha Tory
CAIS Board of Directors

Patti MacDonald

Peter Lee
Tekara Organizational Effectiveness Inc.

Phillip Mincher
Lycée international de Calgary

Rebecca Winthrop
The Brookings Institution

Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Environmental, Cultural, and Human Rights Advocate

Susan Wright
Wright Management Consulting

Conference Vision

The National Conference provides Heads and Chairs with the opportunity to:

  • Listen to visionary speakers about significant issues focused on the selected conference theme
  • Listen to speakers about educational issues, as well as national and international trends
  • Engage in discussions around the theme and/or school improvement
  • Attend the Annual General Meeting
  • Be inspired and re-energized
  • Enjoy a new area of Canada
  • Spend time with Heads and Chairs all together; Heads and Chairs in separate groups; and individual school Heads and Chairs
  • Network with colleagues from across the country
Membership Requirements

An important benefit of membership in our national organization is participating in the annual Heads and Chairs Conference. Heads of School and the Chairs of their Boards are expected to attend the annual Heads and Chairs Conference during which the CAIS Annual General Meeting is held.

If a Head is not able to attend, the CAIS Executive Director must be contacted prior to the conference.

Outgoing Chairs may choose to send an incoming Chair in their place if they are in a transition year.

Given that participation is an expectation of membership, the invoice for the annual CAIS membership fee will include conference registration fees for the Head and Board Chair.

Who Should Attend?

  • All Heads of School, Board Chairs and their spouses/partners that are members of CAIS;
  • Heads of Schools and Board Chairs that are interested in becoming members of CAIS are invited to attend one conference;
  • Executive Directors from aligned associations are invited by the CAIS Executive Director;
  • Corporate sponsors and exhibitors that are strategically aligned with CAIS` vision and mission are invited to certain sections.

Interested in Sponsoring a CAIS event?

Visit our Sponsor a CAIS event page for more information. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact: