Keynote Speakers

Closing Keynote: Tuesday May 4, 1:20 - 2:05 p.m.

The Power of Collaboration: How BC’s BIAs and tourism industry can work together toward community recovery (ED)

Maya Lange, Vice President of Global Marketing, Destination BC

In the closing keynote, Maya Lange will provide an update on Destination BC’s scenarios for economic recovery, key markets and extensive marketing plans, and how BIAs and the tourism industry can align their work to benefit community businesses around the province.

About Maya

Maya Lange is the VP, Global Marketing for Destination British Columbia. Maya has a proven track record of managing strong brands on the local, national and world stage having worked in data-driven digital marketing and content marketing in Germany, France, USA and Canada. In 2018, Maya was recognized as the Canadian Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year.

At Destination BC, Maya is responsible for our global marketing efforts in 14 domestic and international markets via the Super, Natural British Columbia® brand. A passionate British Columbian raising a young family, she loves skiing and exploring BC’s hidden wonders.

Keynote: Tuesday May 4, 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Relations First, decolonizing practices for BIAs

Ta7taliya Michelle Nahanee

A virtual introduction to decolonizing your relations to the land, your work and your community. While the teachings & critical Indigenous theory shared by Ta7taliya Michelle Nahanee are grounded in Squamish world view, they are applicable across Indigenous Territories. Whether you are new to these conversations & practices, or you are wanting to reconnect to, and re-inspire, your unlearning journey, join us!


About Ta7tal?ya

Ta7taliya Michelle Nahanee, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, is a decolonial facilitator & strategist catalyzing social change to transform colonial narratives & impacts through design, communications and engagement. Ta7taliya's collaborations have influenced opinions, changed behaviours and mobilized community action. She is the designer of a life-size board game called S?nulhkay and Ladders which she uses in her workshop Decolonizing Practices. Her approach  earned her the 2019 City of Vancouver Award of Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion. Ta7taliya is also a 2020 Dialogue Associate with the Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. She is the author and designer of a decolonizing workbook called Decolonize First, a liberating guide and workbook for peeling back the layers of neocolonialism. Ta7taliya also recently co-founded a Squamish-led non-profit called M?i tel'nexw Leadership Society to work with organizations and individuals who want to activate decolonizing practices, indigenization and commitments to reconciliation led by Squamish ways of seeing, knowing & being.

Keynote: Tuesday May 4, 8:40 - 9:25a.m. 

City of North Vancouver: Leading the Economic Recovery Charge (ED)

Mayor Linda Buchanan, City of North Vancouver

City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan recognizes the important role that business and industry play in supporting the viability of the local economy, as well as the wellbeing of residents. To that end, last spring Mayor Linda Buchanan convened a Business Advisory Working Group, with representation from many sectors, to guide local recovery efforts with concrete action and policy changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. From supporting flexible outdoor dining and liquor licensing to their temporary patio program, Mayor Buchanan will highlight how the City of North Vancouver faced the pandemic head on and used it as an opportunity to create positive, lasting change for both businesses and residents.


About Linda

Linda Buchanan is Mayor, City of North Vancouver and Vice-Chair, Metro Vancouver Regional District. For 28 years Mayor Buchanan served the community as a public health nurse. Throughout her career and public life she has focused on improving the quality of living for residents by way of services, people-oriented public spaces, arts and culture, and infrastructure. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent hardships, Mayor Buchanan has convened the Business Advisory Working Group, as well as the Social Resiliency Collective, to leverage this moment to create long-lasting positive social change and equitable economic prosperity. She is a champion for an inclusive and healthy community with a vision to make the City of North Vancouver ‘The Healthiest Small City in the World.'

Keynote: Monday May 3, 8:40 - 9:25 a.m.

Downtown Retail Amidst and Beyond COVID-19: The Emergence of a New Paradigm

Michael Berne

So you are wringing your hands about retail, right?  Well, so is just about everyone else.  But in this perceptive and ultimately uplifting keynote, Michael Berne, President of MJB Consulting and one of North America's leading retail thinkers, will talk about where Downtown retail has been over the last year and where it appears to be headed now.  In the process, he will correct a few of the prevailing narratives, delve into some of the remaining uncertainties and peer inside his crystal ball to offer a preview of what tomorrow's retail mixes might look like.

About Michael

Michael J. Berne is one of North America’s leading experts and futurists on Downtown and Main Street business districts as well as the retail industry more generally.
In addition to his widely-read “Retail Contrarian” blog, Michael is a founding member and contributor to the American Downtown Revitalization Review (ADRR), has penned numerous articles for Urban Land and wrote the chapter on retail for Suburban Remix: Crafting the Next Generation of Urban Places (edited by David Dixon and Jason Beske; Island Press, 2018).  

He served two terms on IDA’s Board of Directors, including two years as a Vice Chair of its Executive Committee.  During his time on the Board, he was the lone U.S. member on the Canadian Issues Task Force.  

Michael received a B.A. degree from Columbia University (Columbia College) in New York City, and an M.Phil degree from Cambridge University (Gonville & Caius College) in the U.K.

Keynote: Monday May 3, 11:40 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.

Thriving together: Building resilience and anti-fragility in an uncertain time

Lisa Gibson

In this keynote, we will look at the impact of the pandemic on our communities and on us as individuals. We will explore the concepts of anti-fragility and resilience, and we will explore how to build individuals, families, communities and systems that can thrive even in the midst of - and because of - intensity and complexity. 

About Lisa

Lisa Gibson is a transformative coach, facilitator and systems change consultant. With 25 years experience in local and international work at multiple scales, she specializes in working with individuals, organizations and communities to embed systemic change, transform belief systems, and construct alliances across diversity. Lisa’s work focuses on a range of issues, including facilitation of complex multistakeholder processes, social justice, individual and group coaching, leadership development, curriculum design, and mindfulness for changemakers.

Lisa is a founder and instructor of the Social Innovation Certificate at Simon Fraser University, and Scale Your Impact, a Community Systems Change Certificate based in Vancouver through Collingwood Neighbourhood House. Through her consulting work, Lisa works with a diverse range of clients including nonprofits, government, and foundations, and has particular expertise in working with diverse multistakeholders around complex social and sustainability issues.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria, and a Masters in Gender and Development from the University of Sussex. She is based in Vancouver, Canada with her family on the unceded Coast Salish lands and waters of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Wauthuth Nations. For more information, go to Lisa’s website at

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