Canadian Centre for Activity and Agine

Research to Action Conference


This conference is an annual learning and networking event for senior fitness instructors, volunteers, health promoters, students and other individuals who work with community-dwelling older adults. The event includes a mix of active and informative sessions including: practical applications of recent research, tips for safe exercise for older adults, and modifications for all levels of abilities.


Research to Action - London 2019

Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 
Mercato Hall and St. James Auditorium
Brescia University College, 1285 Western Road, London, ON 
Pre-conference workshops: Thursday, June 6, 2019


Friday, June 7, 2019

Time Presentation Presenter
8:00 - 8:50 Registration
9:00 - 9:10 Introduction and welcome Clara Fitzgerald
9:10 - 10:10 Keynote: Your Health is Truly Your Wealth Hal Johnson & Joanne McLoed
10:10-10:30 Nutrition Break and Networking
10:30-11:05 Active Session: Cardio Sarah Cartwright
11:10-11:40 Physical Literacy for Older People Clara Fitzgerald
11:45-12:30 Yoga or Lunch 1 Carol LePage
12:30-1:15 Hike or Lunch 2 TVTA
1:20-1:50 Aging and Fatigue: Mind-muscle connections. Anita Christie
1:50-2:20 Barre for Balance  Anita Findlay
2:20-2:30 Nutrition Break and Networking
2:30-3:00 Balancing Acts: optimizing exercise to prevent falls Susan Hunter
3:10-4:10 FULL SFIC Ros Banks & Kathy Meyer
4:10-4:15 End of Day Remarks and Thank You Clara Fitzgerald
4:20-4:50 Trainer Chat (Current and Potential) Clara/Leslie

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Time Presentation Presenter
8:30-8:55 Registration (Day 2 only delegates)
9:00 - 9:10 Welcome Clara Fitzgerald
9:10 - 10:10 Keynote: Health, Aging and CCAA Exercise Leaders Glen Belfry 
10:10-10:25 Nutrition Break and Networking
10:25-11:05 Active Session: Strength Kathy Meyer
11:10-11:40 Promoting Exercise in Older Adults with Arthritis-Related Pain Monica Maly
11:45-12:30 Meditation or Lunch 1 Diane Yeo
12:30-1:15 Hike or Lunch 2 TVTA
1:20-1:50 Education Session Kevin Shoemaker
1:50-2:20 The Joy of Being Active Christine Dirks
2:20-2:30 Nutrition Break and Networking
2:30-3:00 Person-centered approaches to caring for people living with dementia JB Orange
3:05-4:05 FULL SFIC Pauline White
4:05-4:10 End of Day Remarks and Thank You Clara Fitzgerald


Keynote Speakers



Hal Johnson & Joanne McLeod
For over 30 years, under the umbrella of BodyBreak, Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod have been encouraging Canadians to live healthy, active lifestyles. They are fixtures of Canadian culture, known and trusted by Canadians of all ages. In 2013, to celebrate their 25 years of healthy living, teamwork and positivity, they appeared on The Amazing Race Canada as Team BodyBreak. Most recently, they received the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada for their years of dedication to helping Canadians “Keep Fit & Have Fun”.


Hal grew up in Toronto. His love for baseball as a youth led him to a scholarship at the University of Colorado where he earned his business degree. While studying at CU he represented Canada at the Baseball World Championships in Japan in 1982. Besides having a successful baseball and business career, his extensive sales background and enthusiasm to keep fit helped launch and sustain BodyBreak's longevity. In his "spare" time you might find him golfing, playing hockey or hiking.


Joanne grew up in Scarborough. She was a member of the Canadian Track and Field Team and was a 4-time National and 7-time Provincial hurdle champion. Joanne represented Canada at several international competitions such as the World Cup, Commonwealth and Pacific Conference Games. Her business and health background in the insurance industry also helped to further BodyBreak's success over the past 30 years. Joanne now enjoys training for Ironman 70.3, marathons/trail races and playing golf.



Glen Belfry, PhD
Glen Belfry, PhD, an Exercise Physiologist within the school of Kinesiology has been a faculty member at Western since 1985. From 1985-2002 his role included a spilt between coaching both women’s and men’s varsity swim teams and teaching various courses within Kinesiology. Glen was selected to coach several national swim teams and has received teaching awards. Glen completed his PhD at the University of Toronto (2005-2010) and is now involved in research, teaching and service. The enjoyment he receives from physical activity is only surpassed by the joy he experiences from his family.

Knowledge Experts

christie_a_115x150.jpgAnita Christie, PhD
Dr. Christie is an Assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology at Western. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Master’s degree in Kinesiology from Brock University and her PhD in Kinesiology, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at UMass Amherst. She studies neuromuscular mechanisms leading to declines in motor performance with advanced age, with the ultimate goal of developing successful, evidence-based interventions to mitigate functional loss.

hunter_s_115x150.jpgSusan Hunter, PhD
Dr. Hunter is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Western. She is a Physical Therapist with 28 years of clinical experience and has a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Dr. Hunter’s research focuses on older adults’ experience of falls, frailty and mobility decline. She has a special interest in falls prevention among lower extremity amputees and people living with dementia. Her research has been supported by the Alzheimer Association (USA), CIHR Institute of Aging, Alzheimer Society of Canada and Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada.

maly_m_115x150.jpgMonica Maly, PT PhD
Monica is an Associate Professor and Director of the Mobilize Clinical Biomechanics Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. Her research goals are to promote physical activity among older adults with osteoarthritis. She uses biomechanical methods and imaging to evaluate the impact of physical activities on joint health, mobility and productivity. This work is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

orange_jb.jpgJ.B. Orange, PhD
Dr. J.B. Orange is a Professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western. He is an Associate Scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute. He also is Scientific Director of the CCAA at Western. His peer-reviewed publications and funded research address language and cognitive-communication disorders of adults and older adults. His research has a special emphasis on discourse, conversation, and communication of individuals with various forms of dementia and aphasia.

Kevin ShoemakerKevin Shoemaker, PhD 
Dr. Shoemaker is a Professor of Kinesiology, and a Canada Research Chair in the Integrative Physiology of Exercise and Health at Western University. His research focuses on the interaction between function of the neural system involved in blood pressure control, and blood flow in nervous tissues such as the brain. The impact of vascular disease on blood flow control in the brain, and possible improvements that can be induced by exercise interventions, represents a major focus of current research.

More Presenters

dirks_c_115x150.jpgChristine Dirks
Christine is a communications professional providing writing, editing and research services for the business and non-profit sectors. Previously Christine wrote weekly columns and features for The London Free Press and was a contributor to local and national publications. Her career began in the Toronto book publishing industry. Christine is 67 and has been running for more than 25 years and has completed more than 187 races.

Carol LePageCarol LePage
Carol has been practicing yoga for over two decades so when the opportunity to take her yoga teacher training in India, the birth place of yoga, presented itself, she retired from a career in the wine industry to embark on this new path. Based in Niagara where she instructs a range of ages, Carol is a certified Chair Yoga Therapeutics Teacher, Senior Fitness Instructor and has more than 25 years of experience working in the fitness industry. In November 2018, she successfully completed the Integrative Yoga for Seniors Professional Training at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, North Carolina

yeo_d_115x150.jpgDiane Yeo
Diane Yeo takes a real-life approach to teaching mindfulness. She is known and loved for her calm presence, passion for self-discovery and her ability to connect with people from all walks of life. After spending fifteen years in a sales and marketing career, Diane left it all behind in pursuit of her passion. Diane has been practicing mindfulness for over twenty years and teaching mindfulness since 2006. Diane inspires people in personal and workplace settings and is available for private coaching, courses, speaking engagements and retreats.

Clara FitzgeraldClara Fitzgerald
Clara is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Brock University and has served as the Program Director of the CCAA at Western since 2005. She is a recognized national and international presenter and educator and has presented extensively on subjects related to activity and aging. Clara’s primary focus is on promoting evidence-based and outcome-based functional exercise opportunities for older adults across the spectrum of age and mobility.

Kathy MeyerKathy Meyer
Kathy worked as a paediatric physiotherapist for more than 25 years. After retiring she turned her focus to seniors and became a Certified Senior Fitness Instructor at the CCAA in 2009 and a SFIC evaluator in 2013. Throughout her career she has presented at many physiotherapy and leadership conferences she is also a past R2A conference presenter.

Event Accommodations

New for 2019! Light continental breakfast included with overnight stays at Brescia. Food will be available from 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. (Fri and Sat only) at reception lobby and will include muffins (Gluten-free included), yogurt (lactose-free included) and orange juice as well as Keurig coffee/tea pods. The Starbucks kiosk will be open Thursday and Friday (closed Saturday) 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. for additional snacks or beverage purchases.

For more information about accommodation booking, visit Brescia's Booking page.

Bookings can be made by clicking on the “Guest Registration” link in the left sidebar of the Booking page. MAKE SURE TO mention “CCAA” or “R2A” in “Special Instructions” part of registration


Pre-Conference Workshops

CCAA Workshops

Functional Exercise for Dementia (FE4D)

In this evidence-based workshop developed in collaboration with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, participants will learn to maximize functional outcomes in dementia and Alzheimer clients by leading effective exercise programs within a variety of settings. Length: 7 hours. Registration Fee: $200.00 + applicable provincial tax.  Learn more

Partner Workshops

Certified Hike Leader (CHL) Training

Enjoying a hike is increased by the presence of a leader. An effective leader is someone who knows the way, applies safety, best practices, fun, local knowledge, and the ability to work with his or her group to make a successful outing. Take the next step in your hiking progress and become a leader. Hike Ontario’s base certification program takes you from hiker to leader, ready to bring great outings to fellow hikers and inspiring them to join you. Length: 7.5 hours. Prerequisite(s): completed Safe Hiker Program or be a Certified Fitness Instructor or Instructor in training. Completed a minimum of five (5) day hikes in the past 2 years. Registration Fee: $125.00 + applicable provincial tax.  Learn more

HIGH FIVE Principles of Healthy Aging

This one-day training provides insight into the unique needs of older adults when participating in recreation or leisure activities in municipal centers or retirement communities. It provides evidence-based approaches to improve the experience of participants by implementing the HIGH FIVE Principles of Healthy Aging.  Length: 7 hours. Registration Fee: $125.00 + applicable provincial tax.  Learn more

Note: Lunch will NOT be provided on the day of the pre-conference workshops. Please bring your own lunch or lunch may be purchased at the Mercato, Brescia's state of the art Marché and dining pavilion.


Free parking will be available in the main parking lot off of Brescia Drive. See parking map for more details.

Past Speakers and Topics



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November 8, 2018

Speaker(s) Topics
Flemingdon Team FFL project/accomplishments, celebrating successes, funder recognition
Shilpa Dogra Facilitating movement in our communities
Ryan Wight Interventions targeting sedentary behaviour
Leslie McAdam Activity Burst! Ball cardio seated
Felicia White Brain Health – Minds in Motion®, physical activity and social recreation program of the Alzheimer Society
Beth Munro SFIC exercise class sample
Michael Coteau, MPP for Don Valley East: Project Recognition Remarks
Maria Calvachi and Valerie Haboucha Lessons learned for supporting diverse communities
Sarah Gallsworthy HIGH FIVE Older Adult – Positive experiences never get old


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Friday, June 8

Speaker(s) Topics
Kirsten Bell Move over body builders
Kathy Meyer Lower Body Bands
Jenna Gibbs Too Fit to Fall or Fracture
Kevin Shoemaker Optimizing Brain Health Across the Lifespan
Clara Fitzgerald Minds in Motion
Kevin Shoemaker Expanding CCAA Research and Its Impact
Gabriella De Nino Urban Poling
Elaine Fletcher Full SFIC Class

Saturday, June 9

Speaker(s) Topics
Dr. Aric Sudicky Healthy aging myths and tips
Anne Cooke Choreography 2.0
Diane English Positive Experiences Never Get Old
Kathy Meyer Upper Body Bands
Leslie McAdam Standard Plus
Silvia Pogliaghi Determination of cardiorespiratory fitness
Lara Mylly Full SFIC Class


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Friday, June 9

Speaker(s) Topics
Dr. Stuart Phillips Successful aging: not in a pill or under a knife
Beth Munro Balance: Anywhere, Anytime
Narlon C Boa Sorte Silva Exercise, Aging and Cognition: Is it possible to mitigate cognitive decline in older adults?
Cassandra Ellis Active Session: Music and the Beat
Cori Hutton A Step in the Right Direction
Colleen McGrath Age-related vision loss: What do I need to know?
Lauren Crutchlow Show Up and Participate
Chris Moffett Full SFIC Class

Saturday, June 10

Speaker(s) Topics
Dr. Aric Sudicky Applying the Science: Creating a personalized recipe for healthy aging
YouTube channel
Anne Cooke Active Session: Building Fitness Choreography
Lauren Bechard Promoting Movement as Medicine for the Mind
Leslie McAdam Active Session:Lower Mobility Options
Shilpa Dogra Sedentary Time in Older Men and Women
Dylan Brennan Experiences of Masters Athletes
Sarah Merkel Full SFIC Class
YouTube video


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Friday, June 3

Speaker(s) Topics
Introduction and Welcome
Gillian Mandich Keynote: Getting Fitter with Age
Download Gillian's E-Book
Get a Reebok Discount
Harry Prapavessis Sedentary Behaviour
Debbie Devries, Kim Kamerman High/Low SFIC Class 1
Kathy Meyer, Leslie McAdam, Clara Fitzgerald Speed Learning 1 [Interval Training, Mat Core Training (YouTube), Evaluation]
Leslie McAdam Activity Burst: Balance
Katelyn Norton Brain Health - Exercise Your Heart!
Gillian Mandich Health and Social Media
Anne Cooke Choreography and Transitions
Clara Fitzgerald End of Day Remarks and Thank You

Saturday, June 4

Speaker(s) Topics
Clara Fitzgerald Welcome
Al Salmoni The Benefits of Green Space Physical Activity
Leslie McAdam, Sally Radisic Exercise Risk Management and Air Health Check
Toni Johnston, Chris Moffet High/Low SFIC Class 2
Kathy Meyer, Leslie McAdam, Clara Fitzgerald Speed Learning 2 [Playlists, Exercise Contraindications (YouTube), Chair Core Training]
Ros Banks Activity Burst: Minds in Motion
Anne Van Durmen, Elizabeth Dejaegher, Pat Ecclestone, Susan Haughton Instructor's Guide to Safe and Effective Exercise for Older Adults
Pat, Susan, Anne and Elizabeth
Cassie Ellis Music, Physical Activity and Enjoyment
Clara Fitzgerald Closing Remarks & Thank you



Friday, April 10

Speaker(s) Topics
Introduction and Welcome
Kaitlin McLay, Western University Practical Applications of Top Evidence-Based Research Articles
Clara Fitzgerald, CCAA Master Trainer Small Balls Workshop (active)
Joseph Levy, MRU Motivation and Engaging Older Adult Participation in Exercise
Activity Burst: Chair Exercises
Clara Fitzgerald, CCAA Master Trainer Benefits of Muscular Strength, Endurance and Power Training
Activity Burst: Balance Exercises
Tracy Rand, Fit 2 Age Contraindications and Exercising with Chronic Conditions
Sandra Gordon, MRU Collaborating with Community Partners and Stakeholders
Wrap-up and Thank you


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Friday, June 5

Speaker(s) Topics
Clara Fitzgerald Introduction and Welcome
Melanie Stuckey Top Research Articles – Practical Applications of Recent Research for Seniors’ Fitness Instructors
Denise Connelly Exercising for Chronic Conditions
Kathy Meyer Muscular Training – Strength, Resistance, and Power
Pat Ecclestone Thinking Outside the Exercise Class Format - SAGES
Erin Shellington Cognition and Exercise
Gillian Gorfine Activity Burst
Tobias Morat Sarcopenia, Mobility, and Exercise
Debbie Devries Exercise Class

Saturday, June 6

Speaker(s) Topics
Clara Fitzgerald Welcome
Clara Fitzgerald, Daphne Stevens Home-Based Exercising and Spotlight on CCAA Participant
Gillian Gorfine Activity Burst
Dr. Charles Rice The Aging Neuromuscular System and Physical Activity
Sarah Merkel Choreography and Cardio
Dr. Alan Salmoni Why is Physical Activity Such Good Medicine?
Jocelyn King Poling Demonstration and Workshop
Susan Hunter Balance, Gait, and Injury Prevention
Gillian Gorfine Closing Remarks & Thank you

Research to Action London 2015 sponsored by:

Haygarth logo

Conference Photo Galleries

For more information about CCAA conferences:

CCAA Conference Coordinator
Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging 
1490 Richmond Street London, ON N6G 2M3
Phone: (519) 661-2059 Toll Free: 1(866) 661-1603 
Fax: (519) 661-1612