Mark Allan

Mark Allan

Opening Keynote - 15 years of balancing vision & tradition in Regina

It is a struggle all events with a rich history face: how to maintain the vibrant history and remain loyal to what the organization is, while fostering innovative change to secure the future of the organization. Big or small, no one is immune to this juggling act and there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution. Mark will recount his own experience in Regina and explain the challenges, lessons learned and opportunities he discovered through his fifteen years as a leader at REAL.

Mark Allan - Former President & CEO Regina Exhibition Association Limited, Doing Business as Evraz Place

Exhibition business and infrastructure transformation


Mark is respected for helping organizations innovate, thrive and grow while also optimizing resources by engaging stakeholders and establishing a positive and enthusiastic corporate culture. Under Mark’s leadership as CEO at the Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL), the organization rejuvenated a century old, tired, run down exhibition property into an exciting and modern interconnected flexible multi-purpose sport, business and entertainment complex featuring Canada’s newest 30,000 seat CFL stadium, a six pad arena complex, indoor soccer centre, new International Trade Centre, Convention Centre and much more, making Evraz Place one of the largest multi-purpose event complexes in Canada. He simultaneously achieved a four-fold increase in revenues to $40M and $110M in funds attracted from three levels of government for new infrastructure. Finally, he was also able to overhaul the governance structure to a contemporary corporate model suitable for a commercial enterprise. Currently, Mark is President of Allan Leadership where his focus is on developing leadership, facilitating capital projects and fostering effective governance in organizations.

During Mark’s tenure, Evraz Place hosted the Junos, Canadian Country Music Awards, 2 Grey Cup Festivals, 2 Tim Hortons Briers, 2 Memorial Cup Championships and more. REAL attracted and hosted 7 stadium concerts for the first time ever in Regina – Rolling Stones (2), Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Sir Paul McCartney, Guns N Roses and Bryan Adams.

Pete Luckett

Pete Luckett

Turning Buyers into Believers – How to Create Raving Fans at your Fairs & Events!

Pete’s remarkable success in business can be narrowed down to one key insight – buyers buy on price, but believers buy on emotion. From his early days at an open-market fruit stand, to the expansion of a produce and then winery empire, Pete never fails to wow his customers with an experience that compels them to return – again and again. From design and merchandising, to staff training and marketing, every touch point reinforces Luckett Vineyards as a destination for community, friendship, and unique experiences. Pete will share how he creates a brand that is distinctive, memorable and can’t be replicated by his competition!

Pete Luckett - Pete is a born entrepreneur. At an early age he saw opportunity in the sights, sounds and flavours of England’s busy outdoor food markets. Part theatrical sideshow, part business-savvy–Pete saw a perfect niche for his gregarious personality and produce know how. He learned how to stand out in a crowd by offering excellent quality, unique products and a fun, exciting shopping experience. Through the years, Pete nurtured “Pete’s Fine Foods” into a multi-million dollar retail and wholesale operation. In 2011 Pete launched Luckett Vineyards. Nestled in the hillsides of Nova Scotia’s enchanting Gaspereau Valley, the vineyard produces wines that truly are worth phoning home about! In 2015, Pete sold the retail businesses to focus on his true calling—Luckett Vineyards. The move from a perishable produce business to a product that only grows better with age—makes Pete smile! (and his customers too!)

Kryssie Thomson

Kryssie Thomson

How to Recruit, Reward and Retain your Volunteers!

It is a much more difficult world gathering volunteers than paid employees as there is a greater need to feel they are making a difference INSTANTLY!

In this workshop you will learn the tools and develop the blueprint to recruit volunteers, reward volunteers and retain volunteers to keep them coming back year after year to your fair.

Recruit: How to find the RIGHT volunteers for your organization through strategic planning. Reward: How to Instantly Reward Your Volunteers which speaks to the Individual through understanding the Languages of Appreciation Retain: How to make your mission and your vision of your organization a clear purpose which gives the volunteer the passion and the purpose of their volunteering work.

You will get leave this workshop knowing EXACTLY what to do, how to do it and be energized to act on gaining the RIGHT volunteers.

Kryssie Thomson is the brain power of Smile Inside Out Consulting. As a Leadership Performance Coach of driven individuals with large vision, and a track record of success, Kryssie helps leaders with Workplace Environment Solutions which helps organizations to create harmonious experiences that leads to bottom line results and greater career success. Kryssie is Certified as a Human Resource Manager, as a Life Coach, as a Mindfulness Practitioner, as a NLP Master Practitioner, as a Cognitive Behavior Specialist as well as a Certified Facilitator of Appreciation at Work recognized throughout Canada and the UK. Kryssie inspired passion is to help others remember how powerful they are to stand out and grow exponentially.

David LePage

David LePage

Exploring the What, Why and How of Social Procurement Policy and Practice

Social procurement leverages a social value from existing purchases, both in the purchase of goods and services and through infrastructure related Community Benefit Agreements. We will review the ‘what and why’ but focus on the evolution of ‘how’. Using examples, lessons and case studies from around the globe and across Canada, this workshop will address common questions of: How can we adjust our current purchasing policy and practice to achieve greater value for existing spending? Is it legal? What about trade agreements? What social issues can we address? How will we measure outcomes? What are the best practices, tools, and resources for moving forward with next steps?

David LePage focuses on contributing to creating a social value market place, where trading generates community capital rather than merely economic capital. His work involves the developing and advocacy for social enterprise and social procurement.

David LePage is the Managing Partner of Buy Social Canada. Buy Social Canada, a network of partners across Canada which advocates for and promotes a supportive public policy environment and the practice of leveraging community value from existing procurement. Buy Social Canada offers a 3rd party Social Enterprise Certification Program and provides direct support to governments and corporations on social procurement policy, practice and measurement.

David LePage is engaged with social enterprise in multiple roles. David was the designer and initial Executive Director of Community Impact Real Estate in Vancouver’s Inner City; a founding partner of the Social Enterprise Institute, and serves on several Board of Directors, including the Social Enterprise World Forum, SEWF and the Social Enterprise Council of Canada. He is a Program Adjunct for the University of Fredericktown MBA in Social Enterprise Leadership.

Roy Wright

Roy Wright & Mike Vokey

Building Municipal Relations

This workshop will use the case study of the Fredericton Ex and the City of Fredericton and examine how those two parties worked together to achieve success. Join with Mike Vokey and Roy Wright as they explain how they approached issues from an entirely different perspective to shake things up. Expect a free-wheeling discussion where they share their experiences and the successes and challenges of working with local government, along with your experiences.

Roy Wright is an urban and rural planner with 40+ years of urban and rural planning experience in Canada and the United States. He has been the Principal of Roan Consulting Ltd. of Calgary since 2000. His consultancy has focused on government and non-profit organizations such as the Calgary Stampede. He thrives in situations where there are no templates where he can weave his love of landscapes, community and history into real life actions that help bring a sense of belonging and the spirit of “we’re all in this together”.

Dr Kyung Young Lee

Dr Kyung Young Lee

Present and Future of Smart Tourism and Smart Technologies

‘Smart Tourism’ refers to “a new buzzword applied to describe the increasing reliance of tourism destinations, their industries and their tourists on emerging forms of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) that allow for massive amounts of data to be transformed into value propositions” (Gretzel et al., 2015, P.179) . and Smart Technologies includes Smart Phones, Smart Wearables (e.g., Smartwatches, Fitness Trackers, Google Glasses, etc.), Smart Homes, Smart Speakers (e.g., Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.) and many other types of Smart Devices, equipped with Location-Based Services (LBS), AI (Artificial Intelligence) – based Chatbots, Augmented Reality (AR) Systems, or Sensor Networks (i.e., Internet of Things). Nowadays, with the help of the abovementioned ICT and telecommunication infrastructure, a lot of new smart technologies have been introduced to the consumer electronics market and rapidly adopted. Thanks to the penetration of smart technologies to end-users, many countries are now driving ‘the agenda of smart tourism’ forward, in order to attract more tourists to their tourist attractions. This concurrent session on “Present and Future of Smart Tourism and Smart Technologies” will cover the following three topics; 1) How smart technologies lead to smart tourism, 2) How smart voice assistant systems change our life, and 3) Current and future of smart wearables and its impact on smart tourism.

Dr. Kyung Young Lee is Associate Professor in the area of Technology, Innovation Management, and Entrepreneurship (TIME) and Enterprise Computing and Analytics coordinator in the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University. Dr. Lee teaches Business Analytics, Management Information Systems, and Leveraging Technologies at Dalhousie University. His research interests include electronic word of mouth (eWOM), smart technologies, smart tourism, and corporate use of social media. His work contributes to the academic literature on the impact of eWOM on consumers’ behaviours, the impact of smart applications on organizational performance and the role of smart technologies in the tourism industry.

Steven Bolgiano

Steven Bolgiano

Exploring interactive planning for your events

How to Evaluate Your Event and Facility Management Software

“The importance of Common Sense in Technology”

The Fairs Management Interactive system will be used to demonstrate and discuss aspects of Fairground Site Planning, and simplified applications of technology.

Steven Bolgiano – Farmer, Design Engineer, Events Industry Professional, 30years Owner -Fairs Management Interactive – (established 2004)

Steven began his career in the Events Industry in 1988, and as an Exhibition Contract Draftsman for multiple I&D firms in Washington D.C. He became aware of the inefficiencies his position presented to large facilities and his services’ lack of accessibility to small facilities. Over the next 10 years he worked to create a software system that would solve these challenges for exhibition facilities.

In 2004, the California Department of Fairs and Expositions contracted him to transform his software for outdoor venues (Fairgrounds) …. Which became known as Fairs Management Interactive.

Steven has spoken and conducted workshops in the USA, Canada, and even China.

A current “Fairs M.I.” User (for 10+ yrs.) and a CAFE Member, is the Canadian National Exhibition.

Scooter Korek / Lynda Franc

Scooter Korek / Lynda Franc

Crisis Communications (Public/General)

Crisis communications is almost inevitable this day in age so it is crucial to prepare yourself as much as possible. This session will take you through basic planning and systems that you can put in place to ensure that when a crisis occurs, you have some tools to ensure that you are not caught off guard. You will leave this course with a better understanding of what crisis communications means and what you can do when unpredictable situations arise for your organization.

Gregg “Scooter” Korek. There is much to say about this unique character who has worn so many hats and been so instrumental to the amusement industry since 1977 where he started his career at the Calgary Stampede. In 1990, he was Controller for Conklin Shows and in 1997 became the Vice-President. He draws from a multi-faceted, 40 year plus work history – countless layers of management, marketing, and accounting, RFP’s and Fair Liaison, as well as an award-winning photographer in the fair industry. Currently, Scooter is at North American Midway Entertainment where he has been influential in developing North American Midway Entertainment’s employee incentive program and in pioneering the E-ticket system all over North America. His advance sales programs were the 1st ever to reach a million dollars.

He is an active member and the President of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions and has also served on the Travel Alberta Advisory Council from 2000-2008.

Scooter graduated from Cornell University Department of Music and Associate of the Royal Conservatory (ARCT) in 1982 and ever the cultural enthusiast, his pursuits in travel, music and photography are an integral part of his fundamental core.


Lynda Franc - Lynda joins North American Midway Entertainment (NAME) with a wealth of knowledge having a strong background in communications, fundraising, marketing, branding and program development. She was able to work to develop various successful campaigns and events to help promote the cause while simultaneously focusing on providing a set of basic tools such as social media platforms, a functional website, online advertising and previously non-existent promotional print materials. Lynda has also spent time over the last five years taking on different roles such as finance manager, parking manager and runner at small fairs, which has given her a solid understanding of the ins and outs of the management side of Fairs and Exhibitions industry. This experience and exposure has also allowed her to fall in love with fairs and exhibitions, which makes this a very exciting transition for her.

Lynda lives in Ottawa, Canada and enjoys hiking, traveling and taking on new adventures; recently, she has gone scuba diving with sharks in Australia. She also attended her first Toronto Raptors game this past year and became an instant fan, which was great timing!

Paula Speevak

Paula Speevak

Trends in volunteering

The volunteer landscape in Canada is constantly evolving. This session will explore how, when and why people choose to volunteer and how this has, and continues to change. A review of the latest available data on volunteering, including volunteer rates, demographic differences and motivations for volunteering will be presented. New and emerging volunteer engagement opportunities and preferences will also be discussed ranging from micro-volunteering, to virtual volunteering and the concept of individual social responsibility. Participants will be encouraged to consider how existing volunteer engagement strategies can be adapted to reflect emerging trends.

Engaging youth as volunteers

Presented by Volunteer Canada, this session will provide an overview of strategies and approaches to effectively engage young volunteers. From recruitment to retention, we will explore best practices to keep in mind regardless of the age of your volunteers and some unique considerations when engaging young people.

Paula Speevak, President and CEO, Volunteer Canada

Paula joined Volunteer Canada after serving as the managing director of Carleton University Centre for Voluntary Sector Research and Development. At Carleton, in the school of public policy and administration, she taught a graduate course in non-profit Management, and at the University of Ottawa she taught undergraduate courses in governance in the voluntary sector and community service-learning. Prior to her focus on applied research, Paula enjoyed a 24-year career as a practitioner and senior manager in the non-profit and voluntary sector in both institutional and community-based settings, in Montreal, Ottawa and on pan-Canadian initiatives. She holds a master of management degree from McGill University in the McGill-McConnell Program for National Voluntary Sector Leaders.

Jean-Marc Valmont

Jean-Marc Valmont

Human Resources Fundamentals

This session will take you though some of the ground rules for effective human resources, even when your resources are limited. Know what you need to be doing and what you could be doing to help your organization run smoothly and to keep your team confident, comfortable and happy with the organization.

Jean-Marc Valmont, Human Resources Manager

Jean-Marc Valmont began his HR career in the Public Sector and transitioned into the Non-Profit arena when he joined the CNE team in 2017. He is a graduate of York University with a B.A. in Sociology, and he obtained a Post Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management from Seneca College. Jean-marc is also a Certified Human Resource Professional having met all the requirements of the HRPA. Jean-marc takes pride in being a natural relationship builder, passionate about delivering exceptional client service and resolving issues by dealing openly and effectively with management and employees at all levels.

Lisa McLean

Lisa McLean

Strategies for dealing with disruptions

Whether you’re in charge of a small community fair or a larger outreach event, there’s always the chance that your event may be disrupted. This is your chance to gain an understanding of why disruptions sometimes occur, and learn how to get your event back on track. Leave with tools to prepare for event challenges, and new strategies for dealing with difficult people professionally and respectfully. (By invitation only)

Lisa McLean, Ag & Food Exchange

Lisa McLean is a writer, editor and issues management specialist based in Guelph. She has worked with producer associations and food businesses for 15 years. Since 2012, she has worked with the Ag & Food Exchange, a private, national company. AFX offers expertise in special interest group pressures affecting animal use and related products in Canada.

George Araujo

George Araujo

How to effectively engage with the government

Government relations matters! Not only during election season or when there are hot button issues that are important to you, but all the time! Building a relationship with government officials, whether they be elected officials, political staff or bureaucratic representatives and employees, helps build better ties and foster long-term engagement. Then, when important issues do arise, you already have an established relationship that you can use.

You know your influence and how important you are in the community, you simply need to communicate that message to the government. .By dedicating time to government relations, you will help build capacity, demand accountability and allow organizations to convene, network and rally around important issues.

George Araujo,

George began in the Fair Industry in 2003 with the Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show after spending over 30 years working in and Managing Recreational Facilities. He is a graduate of Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario and has been a member of the Ontario Recreational Facilities Association since 1993 and is currently a member of the CAFE Board of Directors serving as 1st Vice President.

A lifetime of being where people are having fun has developed George’s big personality and outgoing manner. He’s passionate about his work as well as Arts and Heritage and will meet you at the latest live theatre production or the karaoke bar. They’re great places to mingle with politicians, bureaucrats and the movers and shakers in your community!

Katie Faloon-Drew

Katie Faloon-Drew

Opioid awareness

Katie Faloon-Drew from Health Canada’ Opioids Response team will give a presentation that will cover the following:

• Canada’s opioid crisis

• What are opioids?

• Opioid overdose:

o Signs of an opioid overdose

o What to do if you encounter someone overdosing

 Naloxone: what it is and where to get it

o How to reduce your risk

• Problematic opioid use and how to get help

• Suggested ways that fair and exhibition organizers can be prepared to address opioid overdose

Katie Faloon-Drew, B.Sc., M.Sc.

Katie Faloon-Drew is a Senior Policy Analyst in Health Canada’s Opioid Response Team by day, and a hockey mom of two young boys by night. Katie combines 20 years of public health education and experience with her positive and creative spirit to provide evidence-based policy advice to address the opioid crisis. She has worked on other important public health files such as physical activity promotion and the most recent Canada’s Food Guide.

Katie holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics from St. Francis Xavier University and a Master’s of Science in Health Psychology/Health Promotion from Queens University.

Daniel Tassoni

Daniel Tassoni

Proactive Risk Management, Claims Resolutions & Industry Trends

As the world is ever-changing, as are the risks that may impact business. We will look at the most common risks associated with Fairs, Exhibitions & Rodeos including industry claims examples. I will be focusing on how to combat these ongoing issues, ways to alleviate the risk from the association and transferring risk to help mediate these potential claims. At CapriCMW we have an exclusive proprietary program, which focuses on a proactive approach. After attending this session you will walk away with the knowledge, tools and resources to help ensure a successful year.

Daniel Tassoni, Commercial Risk Advisor, CapriCMW

Coming from an farming family background in Alberta & Saskatchewan, continuing with this specialization for insurance was a natural transition for Daniel. Working with clients for the past 7 years in the wine, agriculture and farm sector has given Daniel a unique perspective on the risks associated with retail as well as manufacturing operations. Daniels work passions carry through to his personal life and is continually working to reach the next level of relevant education.

Vince Brennan

Vince Brennan

Current Livestock Traceability Requirements

You may already be aware that there are possible changes coming from the federal government as it relates to livestock traceability and there will be a significant impact on all shows that host livestock on your grounds. But there are also current requirements in place that your organization needs to comply with. This session will review the current requirements and inform you of what you should be doing to support livestock traceability.

Vince Brennan resides in Stirling, Ontario. Vince and his wife Bev dispersed their Brenwood Jersey and Holstein herd in 2010. Their herd achieved numerous Jersey Canada Gold and Silver Production and Holstein Canada Superior Production awards and several World Dairy Expo and Royal Winter Fair class winners and many All-Canadian Jersey nominations over the years.

Vince is a Life Director with Quinte Exhibition and was the Livestock Committee Chairman and 4-H Regional Championship Show Chairman for many years. He is a past 4-H member and leader, an Ontario 4-H Past President, serving on the Ontario 4-H Board of Directors from 2000 to 2004.Vince was awarded the ‘Agri-Food and Communities Volunteer Recognition Award’ by the University of Guelph in 2004 and the ‘Syngenta 4-H Ontario Arbor Award’ in 2005 for his many years as a 4-H volunteer. In 2014 he was inducted into the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame. Vince was involved in the local Jersey and Holstein Breed Associations and served as Chair, International Marketing Committee, for Jersey Canada for several years. He has been an Official Dairy Judge for over 30 years and has judged several national and state shows in Brazil and Columbia and the Royal Ulster Show in Ireland.

Currently Vince is the Manager, of the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies.

Chad Findlay

Chad Findlay / Judy McFaul

How to use your grounds in the off seasons

Your organization is great at running the "big event" of the year, and has a few odds and ends throughout the rest. But there are up to 365 days that you can capitalize on with all sorts of activities and events! In this session, you will learn how to think outside the box to run other programming and some fundamental ground rules to help ensure success.

Chad Findlay is the immediate past president of the Carp Agricultural Society. He has spent his entire life in this rural Ottawa community where the annual fall fair is the social highlight of the year. He is a practicing professional engineer who specializes in the management of large scale highway maintenance.

He has been a volunteer for the Carp Agricultural Society for the past 15 years. Through this time, he has seen the organization and facility transition into the largest economic driver in the community by hosting over 400 events on an annual basis.

While Chad’s motto is “any day you don’t learn something is a wasted day” he is quick to proclaim his involvement in the fair industry has been the most personally and professionally developing event of his life. When away from work or volunteering Chad can be found on his rural property tending to his crops or his herd of registered Angus cattle, all while enjoying leisure time in the outdoors with his wife and 2 boys.


Judy McFaul resides in Russell, ON. Judy has been in the Fair Industry as a 3rd generation Clydesdale exhibitor, judge and 4-H member.

Judy has served as President of the Russell Agricultural Society in 2006-2007, not only is she involved and busy with the Fair Industry she is very community oriented, in 2008 received from Eastern Ontario Carefor Health & Community Services life award Honoring volunteers Women in the community. In 2008-2009 served as President of the Russell Curling Club during a 1.2 million expansion.

Awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 for her success in fundraising for the Russell Fair but for awareness of Russell Ladies Night. In 2015 she received the Township of Russell Volunteer Community Service award.

She has served as President of the Ontario Association of Agricultural 2017-2018 and is currently a Director on the Canadian Association of Fairs and Expositions.

Roy Wright

Roy Wright

The 21st Century Fair and Dancing with Local Government

The fair of today is facing many challenges, including its relevancy in the 21st century. It needs to be a bridge to the past as well as a vital link to the future. This session will explore how the fair, whether it be rural, suburban or urban, can exploit its history and strategic location to become a vital element in defining the character of your local community as well as a valued civic partner. Examples from across Canada will be used to highlight how to create a shared vision with your citizens and build the relationships needed to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

Roy Wright is an urban and rural planner with 40+ years of urban and rural planning experience in Canada and the United States. He has been the Principal of Roan Consulting Ltd. of Calgary since 2000. His consultancy has focused on government and non-profit organizations such as the Calgary Stampede. He thrives in situations where there are no templates where he can weave his love of landscapes, community and history into real life actions that help bring a sense of belonging and the spirit of “we’re all in this together”.

Doug van Wolde

Doug van Wolde

Our Website Is Still Here? - I thought it was a passing trend

This session will explore web marketing by means of “content” to build audiences by creating differentiating experiences. Developing a process to create, manage, organize and measure a portfolio of content experiences, a key to distinguishing your web property in a continuously-on, hyper-connected world. We’ll get back to the basics and ensure the elements of a strong, well-designed website are understood. We’ll get into technical but not complicated topics about how it all works. By the end of this session you will have an overall concept of some important content solutions and a path to creating and managing a plan that drives traffic to your web properties.

Doug van Wolde is currently a Director at Markham Fair and has been for 16 years and was President in 2018. He has volunteered for over 30 years on committees including, Photographers, Staff Support, Livestock, Finance, Advertising and Governance. He is the President of Website Developers Inc and started the business in 2001 to deliver web-based solutions for his Fair, Festival and Farm clients North of the GTA. has delivered creative, user-friendly and professional websites for clients involved in many market segments, from retailing to manufacturing and many more in the agricultural and event industries. has earned a reputation with its clients, as a comprehensive web solutions company and are proud of its customer service and attention to detail.

Doug’s goal is to create and design website solutions based on client needs, helping you grow your business by using Internet technology…All while keeping the technical communication easy to understand.