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National Leaders Conference

The annual National Leaders Conference brings together school leaders to explore a theme related to issues, trends, challenges and opportunities currently facing independent schools. 

There is an annual focus on school leadership from either School Operations, such as Advancement, Human Resources and Marketing/Communications, or Education Program.  

Over the three-day conference, participants will hear leading experts as keynote speakers and panelists as well as collaborating with colleagues from across the CAIS membership in smaller sessions related to their specific area of school function.

For further information contact Hailey Francis at hfrancis@cais.ca.


2023 Conference Details


Date, Time and Audience:

Dates: Sunday, April 2 to Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Audience: School Operational Leaders
Location: Westin Bayshore, 1601 Bayshore Dr., Vancouver, BC



Conference Theme:

Innovation through disruption

Program Schedule:

View the Program-at-a-Glance


About The Conference:

We are pleased to welcome you to the National Leaders' Conference 2023 held at the Westin Bayshore, Vancouver from April 2-4. This year's conference theme: Innovation through disruption will be of special interest to operations leaders in areas of Advancement, Enrolment/Admissions, Business Officers & Facilities, Human Resources, IT Leaders & Marketing and Communications.

Over three days, we'll gather together as a national community to share our stories, and learn from each other and experts as we continue to innovate in the face of disruptions brought to our schools by COVID, inflation, and geo-political change. The conference planning committee has taken feedback from CAIS members to create a program of keynotes, network time, and breakout groups that balances the need for new knowledge with time to reconnect, network, and share the knowledge within and among our school networks.

We look forward to welcoming school leaders to Vancouver to lead and learn together as a community! 

Conference Fees: 

Early Bird Rates (end on March 15)
Member and Candidate: $1,045
Non-member: $1,245

Regular Rates (as of March 16)
Member and Candidate: $1,145
Non-member: $1,345

Discount Codes:

CAIS has negotiated the following discount codes for the Conference (for more information see FAQs):

The Westin Bayshore
Booking link (book before Friday, March 15, 2023)
Please note: The Saturday room block has sold out.

For Saturday, April 1 - Overflow Guest Rooms are available at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. Please use this booking link.

Promotion code: ENBV2NZ1

Coupon Code (guest web/travel agent web): 4N2X5HD
Promo Code (travel agent GDS only): YBC04  

Directions from Vancouver International Airport 


Transformative Keynotes from 4 Visionary Speakers!


Peter Hall

CEO - econosphere inc

Here We Slow Again 

Seems we just had a recession. Are we tumbling again, so soon? Aggressive, inflation-fighting interest rate hikes will be hacking away at economic growth for months to come, and exposing our most vulnerable sectors. As the gloom gathers, are there growth-zones that can help us ride out the worst of what’s to come? Buckle up for a fast tour of what’s to come, and an engaging discussion of strategic options.



Shawn Kanungo

Author | Keynote Speaker | Disruption Strategist

Creating the Future, Together

Today, we are undergoing a paradigm shift. The world is becoming more dynamic, intertwined and unpredictable. Organizations must develop an ecosystem approach to innovation, leveraging talent both inside and outside of the company, to navigate the future. Shawn provides a bold, unique and contrarian view of the near term-future. He outlines some of the disruptive forces (AI, Digital Business Models, etc.) that are impacting every industry. He then explores how organizations can become more adaptable, experimental and collaborative. Weaving together storytelling, humour, inspiration and actionable takeaways, audiences will walk away with a roadmap on how organizations can create a brighter future, together.



Kari Marken

Educational Designer, UBC Sauder School of Business

Build, Break, Spark & Imagine: Creating the Future of Education, Together.

It’s 2023. Since March, 2020, education professionals have faced intensely difficult challenges and enacted brave, bold, and (often) wearying attempts at crafting responsive solutions. All of us. And the challenges keep coming, in the form of new technologies, political turmoil, climate crises, and urgent calls to shift broken, unjust systems. In this keynote, let’s pause and explore the question: How might we consider the possibilities for creativity, purposeful play, celebration and imagination to fuel our collective efforts as we build the future of education, together. Kari will share tools, mindsets and concepts that she teaches in a required Sauder MBA course called “Creativity”, and tailor our discussion to the unique needs of those of us in the ‘business’ of Education.



Kory Wilson

Executive Director, Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships, British Columbia Institute of Technology

Reconciliation: What should you do?

Everyone has a role to play in Reconciliation but often people do not know what to do. Join Kory Wilson (Kwakwaka’wakw) for this session and learn where to begin. Kori created and led the launch of BCIT’s Indigenous Vision. In June 2022, BCIT Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships was awarded the Gold Award for Excellence in Global Indigenous Education. She is Co-chair of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Indigenous Affinity Group. Kory has over 20 years of experience in post-secondary education, community development, and legal profession. She was instrumental in the creation of six open-sourced BC Campus Indigenization Guides. With a deep commitment to education, she knows innovative and creative solutions are a must to move Reconciliation into ReconciliACTION. Education and access to knowledge are key to move everyone forward. When people know better, they do better.






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 Hailey Francis:

Save The Dates

2024 National Leaders Conference

Dates: Sunday, April 14 to Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Audience: Education Program Leaders
Location: Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, BC

More information will be posted when available.