Community Development Workshops

The Tri-Municipal Region Community Development Committee strives to offer informative and educational workshops to residents, and community/non-profit groups in the region. These programs are offered throughout the Tri-Municipal Region and are hosted in partnership with the City of Spruce Grove, Town of Stony Plain, and Parkland County. 

If you have a topic or theme you would like to see brought to your community in a workshop format, please email us.

Date: Saturday, September 29, 2018
Time: 9:00am - 3:30pm
Location: Border Paving Athletic Centre
Cost: $45
Register Here

Workshop Agenda:
1) Basic Anatomy of a Website: Terminology you need to know, Outline a course of action so you don't get lost.
2) Lay the Foundation:  Who to trust  (reputable on-line providers), Get over our fear of the technical stuff
3) Choose a Design: What is a template/free templates vs. paid templates, Introduction to customizing a template.
4) Build a Web Page: What goes where, Content best practices (text, images, videos)
5) Question and Answers

Instructor: Nicole Auser (See bio below)

Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Location: Border Paving Athletic Centre
Cost: Free - Must register in advance
Register Here

Program Description: How to attract, retain and recognize your volunteers. Volunteers are the lifeblood of any NFP organization. Brent's presentation on volunteerism is the inspiration and motivation you need to generate new volunteers. Through his 5-R Framework, Brent will help you identify potential volunteers, learn how to effectively ask for their help, respect and maximize their time, properly recognize their contributions and continually refresh your members. While not every idea will work in every situation, these tools are invaluable in growing and retaining your volunteer base.

Instructor: Brent Collingwood (See bio below)

Date: October 13, 2018
Time: 9:00 - 11:00am
Location: Border Paving Athletic Centre
Cost: Free - Must register in advance
Register Here

Program Description: This workshop is to provide you the tools for Financial Accountability for Non Profits and an opportunity for questions and answers.  During this workshop financial policies will be discussed, how to prepare for an audit, what to address if your organization is moving from a volunteer to a paid position and best practices for your organization to move to online banking.

Instructor: Jason Kennedy, CPA, CA, Hawkings Tinney and Rosetta Taylor, Branch Manager Spruce Grove ATB

Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018
Time: 9:00am - 3:30pm
Location: Border Paving Athletic Centre
Cost: $45
Register Here

Workshop Agenda:
-1) What to put on your website:  Learn about pages, blog posts, galleries and other types of website content.
2) Content optimization:  Best practice for engaging content so your audience doesn't bounce, How to embed complicated elements such as videos and social media feeds.
3) Search Engine Optimization: What it is and why is it crucial so your website isn't invisible. Easy SEO so people can search and find your site.
4) Open Forum:  Participants suggest & vote on "how to" topics they would like to learn about.

Instructor: Nicole Auser (See bio below)

Date: Saturday, November 3, 2018
Time: 9:00am - 3:30pm
Location: Border Paving Athletic Centre
Cost: $45
Register Here

Note: The morning will focus will be communications 101, with the afternoon focusing on Crisis Management. There will be a 30 minute lunch break, where lunch will be provided.

Program Descriptions:

Communications 101
Do you need to get your message across but don’t know where to start?
This practical, interactive workshop is perfect for those that want to effectively communicate with their target audience(s). From understanding what it means to be a brand ambassador for your organization, how to deliver key messages that are consistent with the organization’s goals & objectives and understand the need to integrate all relevant communication tools.

Good communication starts with good planning.
This workshop will cover how to create a communications plan working through your own example. You’ll think about what you’re trying to achieve, who you’re trying to communicate with (your key audiences), what you want to say, how you’re going to say it and when you’ll do this.

We then drill down to focus on developing key messages, teasing these out so you feel comfortable about explaining what you’re doing.

Throughout the workshop, participants will be lead through a variety of exercises to help them further understand their ‘why’. They will also have the opportunity to develop and practice their organization’s elevator pitch and share the top challenge faced by their board to further discussion on best practices. 

Crisis Management
It’s not a matter of ‘if’ a crisis will happen, it’s when. Are you ready?
This practical, interactive workshop is perfect for those that want to understand how to effectively communicate during a crisis. Crisis management involves understanding how to identify possible risks for your organization  and those that can serve as brand  advocates  in addition to under- standing when to communicate and what communication  vehicles should be used to reach your target audience(s).

This workshop will cover a basic crisis response plan. You’ll  think about what you’re trying to achieve, who you’re trying to communicate with (your key audiences), what you want to say, how you’re going to say it and when you’ll will communicate.

Organizations  are faced with the ever increasing challenge of monitoring  and responding to potential issues in a timely and effective manner.
•How does your organization  respond to a parent or customer using social media to share their displeasure with your organization or provide a negative review?
•How does your organization respond to a media request for an interview following  a major incident? Does your organization have key messages developed? Does your organization know how to craft  and issue a news release? When are you supposed to speak to the media?
•Is your organization  prepared to handle a potentially criminal act involving a parent,  a coach, a child, a board member?

Throughout the workshop, participants will be lead through a variety of exercises to help them:
- Identify organizational risks
- Create  the basis of a crisis  response  plan
- Create  a news release template
- Practice mock media interviews

Instructor: Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard 

Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Location: Border Paving Athletic Centre
Cost: Free - Must register in advance
Register Here

Program Description: In a time where data and cybersecurity breaches seem to make the news weekly, is your organization prepared enough?  Join Angelina, an information security professional, in a workshop that will help decode all things cybersecurity in a fun and easy to understand way.  Not just for techies, the topics that will be covered are best practices in password selection and mobile device security as well as how to avoid phishing, social engineering and a variety of other threats to your small organization.

Instructor: Angelina Van Ryswyk (See bio below)

Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018
Time: 9am - 3:30pm
Location: Border Paving Athletic Centre
Register Here

Program Description: With grants becoming more competitive and difficult to attain, we want you to gain knowledge on the best ways to get funding.

This practical, activities-based workshop is aimed to teach skills, tips and tricks to help individuals and organizations successfully apply for grants. By exploring each section of the proposal, participants will enhance their grant writing skills and gain new tools and resources to achieve success in their future grant writing endeavours.

What does this mean for a Non-Profit organization?
Thinking of adding an administrator, registrar or Executive Director (ED) to your organization? Participants will be lead through a specific grant proposal (Community Initiatives  Program (CIP)) seeking funding to increase capacity of their organization.  The group will also spend some time looking at the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP).

Topics included:
• Approaching and developing relationships with grantmakers prior to applying
• Planning programs & budgets to demonstrate intent towards developing a sustainable program
• Preparing information and materials typically required in grant applications
• Tracking and following-up grant applications after they are submitted
• The power of storytelling in grant writing

Who should attend?
Board members, Executive Directors, volunteers, professionals and individuals looking to gain new skills in grant administration. No prior experience or knowledge is required.

The workshop will be facilitated by a dynamic and passionate communications & public relations strategist, Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard (Take Roots Consulting).  Stephanie has over 20 years of experience in communications, public relations and marketing with private, public and non-profit organizations.

Participants are encouraged to bring a grant (either in process, or from a previous project) or granting opportunity to work on, with the goal of providing concrete ideas, skills and content for those same grants.

Instructor: Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard 

Stephanie Gillis-Paulgaard

When you first meet Stephanie, it’s no surprise that she was drawn to a career in communications; she’s a charismatic conversationalist, energetic spirit and has a palpable passion for whatever she chooses to dive into. While she has called Edmonton home for more than 20 years now, she is a proud native of Cape Breton, and credits her east coast roots with shaping her into who she is today.

Throughout the past almost 20 years, her tenacity has allowed her career to blossom from communications newbie to experienced entrepreneur. Whether it’s strategic communications counsel, corporate reputation management, public affairs or media relations strategy, Stephanie has seen it all. She’s worked within the Hospitality, Life Sciences and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) sectors for both public and private companies.

Her diverse background, mixed with her creativity and passion, provide clients with the insight needed to effectively tackle project objectives.

Stephanie’s zeal is not exclusive to communications – health & fitness, culinary adventures, and travel are all near-and-dear to her heart. She relishes any opportunity to volunteer in her community and actively seeks out opportunities to bring awareness to local initiatives.

Brent Collingwood

Brent Collingwood is the founding principle of Collingwood Consulting, dedicated to helping Not-for-Profit organizations refine their governance practices, improve their strategic planning effectiveness, and grow their volunteer base.

As the former Senior Director of Executive Education at the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta, Brent was responsible for the Directors Education Program and the Not-for-Profit Governance Essentials Program in conjunction with the Institute of Corporate Directors and Rotman School of Management.

He is a Certified Facilitative Leader and past Volunteer Instructor with the Board Development Program though the Ministry of Culture and Community Spirit. Brent is an active Rotarian and has held many senior leadership positions on the District Board. He recently served as Chair of the Board of the River Valley Alliance and is now its Executive Director.

Nicole Auser

Nicole Auser is a friendly and personable facilitator with more than a decade of professional communication experience.  Her love of digital communication stated when she built her first website in her early teens, and she has since specialized in all aspects of on-line communication, including website design, content management, usability and community building on social media. 

Angelina Van Ryswyk

 Angelina Van Ryswyk is a cybersecurity professional with 13 years of experience in the IT industry.  She has been involved in a variety of cybersecurity initiatives throughout her career, with the largest being the technical lead for one of the biggest energy producers in the United States during their firewall implementation project across three different states.

A communicator and people person at heart, Angelina enjoys breaking down complex technical subjects into smaller pieces so everyone can understand them and feel like a techie.  An advocate for better cybersecurity practices for all, not just large businesses, she wants everyone to know that not only is better cybersecurity awareness helpful to small organizations, but it is necessary during today's uncertain times when it comes to the threat landscape of data security.

WE ARE HERE TO HELP - Upcoming Session Topics

September 19: How to use a Computer
September 28: Grant Connect Workshop
October 3: Email Troubleshooting
October 10: Workshop
October 17: Questions Night
October 24: Grant Connect Workshop
October 31: Social Media 101
November 7: Workshop
November 14: Resumes & Cover Letters (16+)
November 21: Internet Privacy
November 28: Grant Connect Workshop

Ages 18+
Wednesdays - Border Paving Athletic Center (BPAC)
Sept. 19-Nov. 28 6:30-8:30 PM
Drop-In - Free of Charge
In Partnership w/ the City of Spruce Grove Recreation Services & Spruce Grove Library

For more information on ASK A LIBRARIAN @ BPAC sessions please visit:

Interested in receiving e-mails about upcoming workshops? If so, please visit and click on Create an Account. Under step 2 of creating your account, please make sure that you keep the check mark in the box next to, "Yes! Please e-mail me the latest news and information about the City of Spruce Grove."

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations and requests for refund must be received in writing to, by fax at 587-461-1288, or dropped off in person at the Recreation Services office, 9 Tri Leisure Way. Refund requests must be received by 4:30 p.m. 14 days prior to the program date. Upon receipt of cancellation/refund notice, the full registration fee will be refunded. Should you fail to provide the required notice, the City shall retain the entire program fee. If you register for a program but do not attend, and no request for refund was received by the deadline date, no refund will be given.