Our Courses

The Sandbox Series – Fall 2022

November 1, 2022

The Sandbox Sessions have been designed to bring together small groups of industry colleagues to “play” around with a series of FREE themed sessions delivered in a very informal and interactive setting.   Each session will be led by an industry leader who will provide a brief presentation on a practice or idea they have been focusing on within their business or community.   The goal of these sessions is to create a space to share ideas during these crazy times and to share thoughts, questions and ideas with like-minded colleagues!


The Sandbox Sessions have a very simple and informal format.  We will be using the online platform Zoom to bring together 12-16 industry colleagues.  What we ask is that you come ready to interact, share your ideas, ask your questions and simply just be willing to share.  Registration for these sessions are taken on a first come, first served basis and are free to industry.   We will record and post the sessions.

The Sandbox Sessions

Topic: Collaborating with Indigenous Tourism Partners

NEW DATE!  Tuesday, December 6 , 2022 – 10:00 – 11:15 AM AST (10:30 – 11:45 AM NT) 

Indigenous tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry in Canada as more and more travellers are coming here to experience Indigenous culture and heritage.  Join Tara Saunders, Director of Development with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), as she discusses collaborating and working with indigenous tourism partners.  She will touch on forming partnerships, cultural awareness, respecting traditions and she will provide some helpful do’s and don’ts.  Tara, a member of the Qalipu First Nation, is responsible for implementing programs, tools and resources to help develop the Indigenous tourism industry across Canada, as well as helping to develop and stabilize regional Indigenous tourism associations.  Prior to her work with ITAC, Tara worked as the Director of Culture, Tourism and Community Development for Qalipu First Nation, which, with close to 24,000 members, is one of the biggest First Nations in the country.  She oversaw the Nation’s tourism development strategy, Experience Qalipu, and led the development of the provincial Indigenous Tourism strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador.  Tara is a proud community member and is passionate to find strategic ways to work together to showcase all Indigenous communities to the world.

Presenter: Tara Saunders, Director of Business Development, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Register HERE

Topic: Volunteers and their Critical Contribution to the Non-profit Sector

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 – 10:00 – 11:15 AM AST (10:30 – 11:45 AM NT) 

Finders – Keepers. Volunteers make a critical contribution to the sustainability of the nonprofit sector, enabling our organizations to deliver programming and services. They are our ambassadors in the community to help make connections and increase the impact of our efforts. This session will explore tips and best practices to engage individuals, provide meaningful volunteer opportunities, and discover what motivates a person to give their time, talent or skill and how we need to meet that motivation in order to retain our precious resource of volunteers. The nonprofit sector is an enormous contributor to the social and economic well-being of our communities. Making the investment in volunteer management benefits us all.  Bettina Ford with the Community Sector Council Newfoundland and Labrador (CSC NL) will lead this session.  She has been with the CSC NL for 17 years providing training on non-profit governance and management and delivers workshops to help organizations in the non-profit and public sectors plan for and engage people in volunteering. An accomplished key-note speaker and presenter at conferences, she is a skilled facilitator who has worked with leaders province-wide, bringing people together to plan, collaborate and build communities.  She is no stranger to the volunteer sector, having served two terms on Gander town council in her twenties and this fall, after a 24 year hiatus, was elected Deputy Mayor. While her history of community involvement is vast, most relevant is her time spent in regional economic development with some focus on tourism product development.

Presenter: Bettina Ford, Voluntary Resources Coordinator, Community Sector Council Newfoundland and Labrador, Gander, NL


Topic: The 411 on Wellness Travel

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 – 1:00 – 2:15 PM AST (1:30 – 2:45 PM NT) – Note afternoon time slot for this session

This session will focus on wellness tourism, a growing segment of the industry.  Join Anne Dimon, Clark, Co-Founder and President/CEO of the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) as she reviews “What is Wellness Travel?”  Anne will also share the myths, who is driving demand and their motivations, and why wellness tourism is becoming so popular. In addition to her work with the WTA, Anne is also Owner/ Editor of TravelToWellness.com launched in 2004 as the first online magazine/resource for the wellness-minded traveler. As a travel writer and industry journalist for close to 25 years, she has traveled the world as contributor to a wide variety of publications. Prior to her life as a journalist, Anne was president of her own public relations company specializing in hospitality, and has worked in the hotel industry as a director of public relations.

Presenter: Anne Dimon, Co-Founder and President/CEO of the Wellness Tourism Association, Denver, CO


Topic: Knowing Your Numbers: Using Trail Carrying Capacity to Determine Recreation and Tourism Readiness

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 – 10:00 – 11:15 AM AST (10:30 – 11:45 AM NT) 

Recently, a number of tools and guidelines have been released that aim to help Canadian trail operators determine whether their trails are “recreation- and tourism-ready”. One crucial element is missing from most of these toolkits, and it centres around the idea of trail carrying capacity. While these toolkits provide valuable resources that can help to build quality visitor experiences, they are based on the assumption that the trail can sustain an increase in visitor numbers. Join Dr. Kelsey Johansen for a discussion of trail-based carrying capacity that asks the question “how many trail users is too many?” while making recommendations for enhancing trails and trail town’s physical, ecological, social, cultural, and economic carrying capacities to ensure sustainable trail design, development, and delivery.  Dr. Kelsey Johansen is the Chair of the Trail Research Hub, where she supports its mission to provide a central hub for the Canadian trails community to share information and resources, foster collaborative research and innovation, and create community through relationship building and collaborative research, education and outreach initiatives. Kelsey holds a PhD in Tourism from the University of Otago (New Zealand) and lectures in the areas of outdoor recreation, nature-based tourism, and leisure studies.

Presenter: Dr. Kelsey Johansen, Chair of the Trail Research Hub, Waterloo, ON


Topic: Your Wellness: Avoiding Burnout and the Importance of Self Care

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 – 10:00 – 11:15 AM AST (10:30 – 11:45 AM NT) 

As our lives get busier and busier and we are challenged on a daily basis to balance work, family and commitments, we often forget the importance of self care.  Gill Whelan, founder and owner of Whelan Wellness Inc., and creator of the Whelan Wellness Virtual Bootcamp program, will join us for this Sandbox Session focused on personal wellness. Gill works with clients globally to improve their wellness and break the diet cycle, so they can live healthier, happier lives. She also hosts the podcast titled “For the Well of it”, serving up powerful doses of every day inspiration.  Gill is on a mission to shift the way we look at wellness, in order to rebuild relationships with food and fitness and help us learn to love our present selves – inside and out. Based on her journey to overcoming her own experiences with restrictive dieting and body image issues, she developed a 4-pillar system that is helping thousands of others globally accomplish the same. Gill has studied under experts in fitness, health, nutrition, mindset, and overall wellness all over the world. Based on this knowledge, she has spent 11 years as a coach in the fitness industry and 25 years gaining more general coaching experience. As a trailblazer in the world of both online connection and holistic wellness, Gill has been recognized by VOCM, CBC, Rogers TV, CTV news, NTV News, Atlantic Business Magazine.

Presenter: Gill Whelan, CEO and Founder, Whelan Wellness, St. John’s, NL