Canadian Centre for Activity and Agine

Research to Action Conference

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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 - Flemingdon (Toronto) 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018
Parkview Manor, 55 Barber Greene Rd #1, North York, ON
Accessible by TTC

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Time Presentation Presenter
8:00 - 8:50 Registration
9:00 - 9:05 Introduction and welcome
9:10 - 9:30 FFL project/accomplishments, celebrating successes, funder recognition Flemingdon Team
9:30 - 10:10 Facilitating movement in our communities Shilpa Dogra
10:10 - 10:25 Nutrition Break and Networking
10:25 - 11:00 Interventions targeting sedentary behaviour Ryan Wight
11:00 - 11:30 TEP and You – Homebased approaches to mobility Clara Fitzgerald
11:30 - 11:50 Activity Burst! Ball cardio seated Leslie McAdam 
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch & Networking TEP and Ball video
1:00 - 1:25 Brain Health – Minds in Motion®, physical activity and social recreation program of the Alzheimer Society Felicia White
1:30 - 2:15 SFIC exercise class sample Beth Munro
2:15 - 2:30 Nutrition Break and Networking
2:30 - 2:40 Michael Coteau, MPP for Don Valley East: Project Recognition
2:40 - 3:00 Lessons learned for supporting diverse communities Maria Calvachi and Valerie Haboucha
3:00 - 3:30 HIGH FIVE Older Adult – Positive experiences never get old Sarah Gallsworthy
3:30 - 4:00 End of day remarks, certificates, evaluation


Facilitating Movement in our Communities | The two most pressing issues facing our aging population are a loss of independence and loneliness. This talk will focus on the importance of facilitating the movement of older adults in their communities through initiatives that promote active transportation, and programs that support older adults in adopting leisure-time activities. Helping older adults maintain their functional fitness and social connectedness will allow them to age with confidence. Presenter: Shilpa Dogra

Interventions Targeting Sedentary Behaviour | Accumulating a large amount of sedentary time has been shown  to increase the risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancers. Older adults are the most sedentary age group such that 94% of Canadians over the age of 60 years are sedentary for 8 or more hours per day. In this session, the effectiveness of a variety of interventions targeting sedentary time and physical activity will be discussed. Practical implications for health and exercise professionals will also be discussed. Presenter: Ryan Wight

TEP and You – Homebased approaches to mobility | There are currently 2.2 million Canadians relying on help to cope with a long-term health condition, disability or age-related needs. The Tiered Exercise Program engages home-bound seniors in safe and effective home-based exercise programs geared to their functional level of ability. The exercise programs are evidence-based and include three levels with 10 exercises each that are simple yet progressive, and can be provided one-on-one, in a small group or large group, all designed and proven to help participants maintain or improve their current functional abilities, allowing them to age in place. Presenter: Clara Fitzgerald

Brain Health – Minds in Motion®, physical activity and social recreation program of the Alzheimer Society | Today, 220,000 people are living with dementia in Ontario. How can you ensure your programs are accessible for those living with dementia? How can you incorporate dementia-friendly exercise? This session will provide an interactive opportunity to learn more about; Dementia prevalence, Brain health and active living, How to incorporate dementia-friendly practices, The evidence-based program Minds in Motion®, a physical activity and social recreation program for people living with dementia and their care partners. Presenter: Felicia White

Activity Burst! Ball cardio seated | Get your blood pumping while you soak up some fresh ideas with this seated ball cardio workout. Didn't think you could sweat while sitting in a chair? Think again! Presenter: Beth Munro

Lessons learned for supporting diverse communities | Speakers will share key lessons learned throughout the lifetime of the Fit for Life Project focused on: 1) use of the peer model approach to support increased access to health promotion programming 2) discuss key learnings around supporting diverse community groups and partners in the implementation of interventions focused on initiating or increasing physical activity and management of chronic conditions. Presenters: Maria Calvachi and Valerie Haboucha

Positive Experiences Never Get Old | In this session, participants will experience parts of new evidence-based training and tools from HIGH FIVE that support a quality framework and standard for older adult recreation. Learn how the HIGH FIVE principles, design guidelines and tools are being validated and adapted for older adult recreation programs and how you can implement them to enhance participant experiences and outcomes in your programs. Presenter: Maggie Henderson


Keynote Speaker

shilpa dogra

Shilpa Dogra, PhD
Dr. Dogra is an Associate Professor in Kinesiology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Her research expertise is in the area of exercise physiology and active aging. She recently led the development of an international consensus statement on sedentary behaviour in older adults, and is currently working with data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. She is also working with the City of Oshawa on creating an age-friendly active transportation plan. Dr. Dogra has published extensively on the topic of active aging, and has presented at several national and international conferences. She was recently part of a panel on the Future of Aging at the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity in Hong Kong.

Knowledge and Activity Experts

maria calvachi Maria Calvachi, MSW, RSW
Maria is the Team Lead for Health Promotion at FLemingdon Health Centre, in this role she is responsible for overseeing development of health promotion strategies that address social determinants of health across the lifespan. She has been working in the community health sector for over 10 years and is a registered Social Worker with an interest around adult mental health.

clara fitzgerald Clara Fitzgerald 
Clara is the CCAA's Executive Director and a graduate of the University of Toronto and Brock University. 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.

greybox_portait.jpg Sarah Gallsworthy  
Sarah has been involved with sport and recreation for more than 20 years. She began her career in Recreation for the City of Victoria, BC., then moved East to develop a grass roots program for a PSO and then injury prevention at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Sarah is a sport and recreation consultant, a learning facilitator for NCCP Fundamental Movement Skills, a Physical Literacy master learning facilitator for Sport for Life, she is a Master Trainer with HIGH FIVE and teaches in the Fitness Health Promotion Program at Seneca College.

haboucha_v_115x150 Val Haboucha
Val is a mixed methods evaluation consultant whose work centers around community development, health equity and capacity building. She takes a pragmatic approach to evaluation by helping organizations turn findings into learning and action. Val holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Toronto and has experience with a variety of sectors, including health, education and recreation.

maggie henderson Maggie Henderson
Maggie is a HIGH FIVE Master Trainer and has just joined PRO as the Manager, Quality Standards and Training. She has been intimately involved in the PHA project from the beginning.

leslie mcadam Leslie McAdam 
Leslie is the CCAA’s National Education Coordinator. She promotes and delivers the CCAA’s 16 research-based physical activity leadership courses and workshops and oversees over 350 trainers nationally. Leslie is a graduate of Western University and is currently enhancing her education by completing a Masters in Professional Education at Western.

beth munro Beth Munro
Beth is an SFIC Trainer teaching in Oxford County and at the CCAA. Her dedication to fitness promotion has lasted throughout multiple careers. First, as a figure skating coach for 27 years at all levels and for all ages then her career transitioned to senior fitness promotion. Employed by the VON, she instructed daily fitness classes and trained volunteers in rural Oxford. Beth currently works as the education assistant at the CCAA.

white_f.jpg Felicia White
Felicia holds a degree in social work and has worked in the social service and not-for-profit sectors for 10 years. Currently she is the Manager of Program and Volunteer Development for the Alzheimer Society of Ontario where she has worked for 7 years. Her focus is on building volunteer capacity as well as using collaborative approaches to develop, implement and evaluate programs across Ontario. Felicia’s passion is developing inclusive community programs for people living with dementia and their care partners.

ryan wight Ryan Wight
Ryan is a Registered Kinesiologist and CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist. He is a Supervisor of Fitness & Injury Prevention for Health Systems Group at ArcelorMittal Dofasco and is a Master’s student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Ryan’s expertise is in employee wellness; managing cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes management & prevention, as well as injury prevention & rehabilitation.


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Past R2A Conference Schedules and Speakers

Research to Action 2018 (June)

Friday, June 8, 2018

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

Research to Action 2017

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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

Research to Action 2016

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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

Research to Action 2015

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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:

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Research to Action 2015 (Calgary)

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

Research to Action 2014

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Friday, June 20

Speaker(s) Topics
Jim Weese, Clara Fitzgerald Welcome, Introductions and Instructor Recognition
Dawn Gill, Michael Gregory Top FIVE research articles
Leslie McAdam Creative Cardio
Melanie Stuckey Program Design, Function vs. Chronic Condition-Specific Exercise Classes
Clara Fitzgerald Home-Based Approaches and Exercise in all Seasons
Kathy Myers Expand your Toolkit
Tony Johnston Let’s Get Moving! Exercise Class

Saturday, June 21

Speaker(s) Topics
Clara Fitzgerald Meet Centenarian Hanna Spencer
Alan Salmoni Exercise as Medicine, Disease Prevention and Management
Clara Fitzgerald Physical Activity and the Brain
Debbie Devries Choreography - Practice Makes Perfect
Lindsay Siple Sedentary Behaviour Knowledge for all Physical Activity Promoters
Diana Londono Incorporating Yoga Techniques
Leslie McAdam Muscular Training
Sarah Merkel The Role of Exercise in Falls Prevention

Research to Action 2013

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Friday, May 31

Speaker(s) Topics
Nancy Revie Morning Energizer
Liza Stathokostas Top Research Articles
Jennifer Wilson PARC/OPHEA Research Update
Afternoon Elective Workshops
Leslie McAdam, Mary Anne McCoy Option 1: Get on the Floor
Sarah Merkel Option 2: Promoting Class Adherence
Tamar Meyer Option 3: Mental Health Workshop
Bonus Workshops
Shannon Belfry Option 1: Grant Writing
Leslie McAdam, Sarah Merkel Option 2: New SFIC Manual
Toni Johnston Option 3: Sample Seniors' Fitness Class

Saturday, June 1

Speaker(s) Topics
Jan Sims Morning Address
Morning Sessions - Special Conditions
Clara Fitzgerald Lung Health and Exercise
Rose Johnston Parkinson's and Exercise
Kathy Meyer
Afternoon Elective Workshops
Leslie McAdam Option 1: One Class - Difference Abilities
Sykes Canada Team Option 2: Motivation and Health Coaching
Clara Fitzgerald Option 3: Networking Show and Share

Research to Action 2012

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Friday, July 13

Speaker(s) Topics
Daniel Keir Top Ten Physical Activity Research Articles
Jeff Timmermans Miles for Memories
Geoff Power Use it or Lose it Holds True in Old Age
Older Adult Motivation Panel
Afternoon Elective Workshops
Leslie McAdam Functional Ativity Measures
Sarah Merkel, Christina Wiggers, Ben Roberts, Jeremy Fernandes Strength and Power Training
Noah Koblinsky Walking and Gait Retraining

Saturday, July 14

Speaker(s) Topics
Clara Fitzgerald, Debbie DeVries Lung Health and Exercise
Sarah Merkel, Christina Wiggers, Ben Roberts, Jeremy Fernandes Strength and Power Training
Leslie McAdam Cardio, Cardio, and More Cardio
Afternoon Elective Workshops
Sarah Merkel, Christina Wiggers Balls and Balance
Leslie McAdam Postural Assessment and Training
Nancy Revie Exercising and Eats

Research to Action 2011

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Friday, June 24

Speaker(s) Topics
Jim Waite, Men's National and Olympic Curling Coach Keynote Address
-- The Role of Leisure for Chinese Immigrants Living in the Greater Toronot Area
-- Physial Activity Counselling and Exercise Prescription for Individuals with Diabetes
-- Motivation: What is it? Watch the Trailer
Afternoon Elective Workshops
-- Parkinson's and Exercise
-- Cardio, Cardio, and More Cardio
-- Physical Activity: The BEST Way to Prevent Falls

Saturday, June 25

Speaker(s) Topics
Don Paterson, Mary Duggan, Clara Fitzgerald Physical Activity Guidelines Panel Discussion
-- Incorporating Yoga Poses into Your Fitness Class
-- Cardio, Cardio, and More Cardio (Repeat from Friday)
-- Posture, Osteoporosis and Exercise
Afternoon Elective Workshops
-- Elite Mind Performance for Older Adults - Grow Your Brain
Angus Shuttleworth, Chartered Accountant
Jeff Boris, Marketing Expert
Toni Johnston, Certified CCAA Trainer
Starting, Growing, and Thriving Your Fitness Business
Victoria Meredith, Patti Hinton, Sue Leat Optimizing Communication with Your Participants

Research to Action 2010

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Friday, June 18

Speaker(s) Topics
Kevin Shoemaker, Neurovascular Research Laboratory, School of Kinesiology, Western University Keynote Address: Exercise, Aging, and the Brain
Dr. David Cunningham, School of Kinesiology and Department of Physiology, Western University Can You Walk the Walk?
Melanie Stuckey, Coordinator, Let's Talk Science Partnership Program, Western University Love Your Heart
Linda Norton, Rehab Education Coordinator and Margot McWhirter --
Grad Student Project Competition Winning Presentation --
Afternoon Elective Workshops
Clara Fitzgerald, CCAA Program Director Choice A: Alzheimer's and Exercise - What are we forgetting? (Low-Moderate)
Leslie McAdam, CCAA Program Coordinator Improving Stability on the Ball and Mat! (High)
Chelsie Free, CCAA Kinesiologist Fall Prevention Physical Activity Workshop (Low)
CCAA Trainer Panel Trainers dicuss and answer questions about special topics related to fitness for older adults

Saturday, June 19

Speaker(s) Topics
Clara Fitzgerald, CCAA Program Director Choice A: Restorative Care Refresher - Maximizing Client Potential (Low)
Leslie McAdam, CCAA Program Coordinator Choice B: Post Rehab Exercise for Stroke Fast Track (Low)
Sarah Merkel, CCAA Project Coordinator Choice C: Balls, Bands, and Balance (High and Low)
Chelsie Free, CCAA Kinesiologist Choice D: Improving Stability on the Ball and Mat! (Repeat from Day 1 (High)
Afternoon Elective Workshops
Dana Van Gorp, CCAA Program Coordinator Choice A: Fall Prevention Physical Activity Workshop (Low-Moderate)
Leslie McAdam, CCAA Program Coordinator Choice B: Functional Activity Measures for Older Adults (High and Low)
Clara Fitzgerald, CCAA Program Director Choice C: Alzheimer's and Exercise - What are we Forgetting? (Low)
Sarah Merkel, CCAA Project Coordinator Choice D: Nordic Pole Walking Certification Course (High)
*Additional $100 fee for certification, includes poles

Research to Action 2009

Research: July 17, 2009

Speaker(s) Topics
Dr. Quincy Almeida, Director, Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre, Wilfred Laurier University Choice A: Restorative Care Refresher - Maximizing Client Potential (Low)
Ann Hutchison, Director of Media Relations, Western University Working with the Media
Rachel Dean, PhD Candidate, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Victoria Examining Older Adults Beliefs About Strength Training
Afternoon Elective Workshops
Matt Quin, Communications Specialist, Western University Marketing to Older Adults
Julia Murias, PhD Candidate, Western University Cardiovascular responses to Edurance Training: Age and Sex-Specific Adaptations
Patricia Clark, National Executive Director, Active Living Coalition for Older Adults Physical Activity for Older Adult Cancer Survivors

Action: July 18, 2009

Speaker(s) Topics
Clara Fitzgerald, CCAA Program Director Option 1: Post Rehab Exercise for Stroke (PRES) Workshop
Leslie Brown, CCAA Program Specialist and Trainer Option 2: Functional Activity Measures Workshop
Chelsie Free, Kinesiologist, CCAA Option 3: Balls, Bands, and Balance for Active Aging Workshop
Afternoon Elective Workshops
-- Option 1: Higher Functioning Senior Fitness Class
-- Option 2: Lower Functioning Senior Fitness Class

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