Silken Laumann and Rick Mercer Set To Inspire at the Greater Edmonton Teachers’ Convention

Release Date 2019 02 27

This Thursday and Friday, almost 9,000 teachers will gather at the Edmonton Convention Centre for the Greater Edmonton Teachers’ Convention ( It is the second largest teachers’ convention planned for our province, providing workshops, seminars and speakers dedicated to the growth of Alberta’s teaching profession. This year’s program includes a number of inspiring keynote speakers and hundreds of professional development sessions offered for teachers by teachers.

Silken Laumann—Silver Linings: Living the Up Side of Down

Silken Laumann’s greatest mentor and coach once said to her, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” This expression came in handy when she sat in a sinking boat wondering if she was going to lose her lower leg, never mind compete at the Olympics in ten weeks’ time. Laumann is no stranger to adversity: living with a mother who suffered from mental illness gave her the strength and resilience that have shaped the course of her life. To throw away the learning of the journey is to throw away the gift that comes along with the pain.
Thursday, February 28—1:00–2:15 pm, Edmonton Convention Centre: Salon 11/12

Rick Mercer—Canada: Coast to Coast to Coast

Rick Mercer is offering an epic new keynote that will make you appreciate, as never before, this unique nation we all call home. It’s a heart-soaring and laugh-out-loud funny affair, and a perfect way to celebrate what our great country has to offer. This one-time talk gathers together all his—and our—strengths. It is a talk that connects to the past, evaluates our present and looks forward, hopefully, into the future.
Friday, March 1—9:00–10:15 am, Edmonton Convention Centre: Hall D

Joe “Mr D” Dombrowski—Keep It Fun! Keep It Real! Keep It Up!

Mr D has studied the art of improv comedy for years. That said, it's no surprise that his classroom experiences can be quite comical, including a video prank that went viral (20 million views) and landed him on Ellen. His goal for education is for students to want to be in school rather than have to be in school. Mr D shares stories, strategies and practices on how he maintains a high level of engagement, fun, laughter and rigour in the classroom.
Friday, March 1—10:45 am–12 pm, Edmonton Convention Centre: Hall D 

Additional Featured Speakers

Sheldon Kennedy—Former NHL Player and author of Why I Didn't Say Anything—The Sheldon Kennedy Story
Sheldon Kennedy’s post-NHL life has been spent promoting cultural change around the issue of child abuse. He will share his commitment to convert his tragedy into positive cultural change.
Thursday, February 28—2:30–3:45 pm, Citadel Theatre: Maclab Theatre

Brian Keating—Natural Relationships
Brian Keating intends to take you on a journey to explore the importance of the "natural experience," its effects on health and psychological well-being, and the basic need to stay connected with the very substance that makes us human.
Thursday, February 28—9:00–10:15 am, Edmonton Convention Centre: Hall D

Jesse Wente—Beyond Reconciliation: Looking Towards the Future of Canada
This Ojibwa writer, broadcaster and advocate will use art and history to illuminate a pathway forward for Canada and the First Peoples of this land. 
Thursday, February 28—1:00–2:15 pm, Edmonton Convention Centre: Salon 8/9

Greg Jeffery—Teachers Want What Students Need
Join ATA president Grey Jeffery for a frank and open discussion about the state of education in Alberta today and how we can make it a central issue in the upcoming provincial election. President Jeffery will take questions and lead a discussion on various topics, from curriculum change and new standards to collective bargaining and changing political realities; nothing is off limits.
Friday, March 1—10:45 am12 pm, Edmonton Convention Centre: Salon 8/9

For a complete GETCA 2019 schedule, log onto

Greater Edmonton Teachers’ Convention
Edmonton Convention Centre (some seminars held at various off-site locations)
9797 Jasper Ave.
Thursday, February 28          8:30 am–3:30 pm
Friday, March 1                      8:40 am–3:15 pm

Background Information

All teachers’ conventions in our province are organized by teachers who voluntarily serve on convention association boards. Their mandate is to improve and elevate teaching by exploring new innovations in education, participating in professional development activities and discussing the issues facing today’s teachers.

At least one convention is held in our province every Thursday and Friday in February and early March. The largest is the Calgary City Teachers’ Convention, which hosts well over 11,000 delegates. The smallest is the Central East Teachers’ Convention with 1,400 participants. These events are fully funded by teachers through their Association fees.

For more information, or to arrange media access to the convention, contact

Benita Peitz
vice-president, publicity, GETCA 
cell: 780-718-4896