In Person & Online

10th Annual Saskatchewan Communications Forum

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Presented by Swansea Communications + SummersDirect!

The Saskatchewan Communications Forum is the province’s premier event that brings together communication professionals from across the province to learn from experts in the communication field, as well as learning from each other and having the opportunity to network with your peers.

We aim to bring you professional development that is high quality, usable, scale-able and relate-able. Spend your time wisely and have A LOT to show for it.

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Hotel Information

Delta Hotels by Marriott Regina

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Online via Zoom

In Person 
Delta by Marriott Hotels
1919 Saskatchewan Dr, Regina, SK

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 Julia Harvie-Shemko, APR, CEC, Founder and CEO, Red Thread Connections 

Mike Fedyk, Coordinator of Communications and Marketing
Sun West School Division

Marielle Gauthier, ABC, Conversational & Positive Intelligence Coach, Redworks Communications

Peter Pilarski, President, CIPR Communications

Megan Wolfinger, CMP, Director, Corporate Initiatives, Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement
Government of Saskatchewan

Kent Waugh,
Managing Partner,
The W Group


Monday, June 10, 2024

Megan Wolfinger, CMP, Director, Corporate Initiatives, Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement
Government of Saskatchewan

Small changes can have a big impact. As the workforce grappled with retuning to the office post-pandemic, hybrid work environments and the pressure of growing workloads, it was clear we needed to establish some new best practices that reflected the “new normal” of the workplace. In this session we will share how our organization is working to establish new norms and practices to make our workplaces healthier and more effective.

Participants can bring back to their workplaces tips and tricks about:

  • Meeting management practices
  • Email etiquette
  • Cascading messages techniques

Simple yet effective, everyone should find something they can leverage in their workplace.

Kent Waugh, Managing Partner, The W Group

Let’s face it, a lot can ride on the outcome of a community survey! Done right; it can smooth the path to Council approval and project success! Hit a few unforeseen potholes along the way and the community survey can stall the project or worse; create resident pushback and a loss of trust. Not to mention create some political fires that communications will be responsible for dousing.
In this session, you will learn the most common mistakes in community surveys and how to avoid them (including the language you need to convince planners). At the end of this session, you will feel more confident in developing all aspects of a community survey, from research objective setting to questionnaire design, effective communication to attract respondents, and how to secure sufficient quality and quantity of data to support the initiative.


  • Easily identify ‘potholes’ in questionnaires and how to avoid having them derail your community survey.
  • Help create measurable research objectives by starting with what your planners want your Council to think, do, believe or understand.
  • Learn how best to prepare your survey and all its communications to attract as many respondents and responses as possible.

Mike Fedyk, Coordinator of Communications and Marketing, Sun West School Division

Even Joe Biden has recently opened a TikTok account in the hope of reaching young people, but in this presentation, Mike Fedyk challenges the notion that it is the platform, vehicle or latest trend that is the best way to reach young people. Based on 20 years of delivering highly successful programming with young people, Mike will describe how to reach this important demographic, in authentic and engaging ways. Based on these premises:

  • Sport is a powerful model for youth engagement, and it is not a stretch to use many sports principles in communications.
  • The best motivation for young people is create opportunities for them to personally invest in outcomes. This will create bonds and loyalty that no advertising campaign can ever match.
  • The most powerful way to reach young people is through other young people. Identifying leaders and giving them a platform starts trends that others will follow.

 Julia Harvie-Shemko, APR, CEC, Founder and CEO, Red Thread Connections 

Do you often find yourself saying yes when you really want to say no? Join Julia in a session looking into the phenomenon of people-pleasing and its far-reaching consequences in the communications function. We’ll uncover the roots of people-pleasing behavior, its effects on decision-making and boundaries, and its implications for work-life balance.


  • Gain a deeper understanding of the characteristics and implications of people-pleasing disease.
  • Learn practical techniques to identify and diagnose people-pleasing tendencies in yourself and others.
  • Explore how people-pleasing can impact your professional services and relationships within the organization.
  • Connect with fellow attendees to share experiences and insights on navigating the challenges of people-pleasing.
  • Learn actionable strategies to overcome people-pleasing tendencies.

 Join Julia for an exploration into the impact of people-pleasing tendencies on personal and professional well-being.

Marielle Gauthier, ABC, Results Certified Coach,  ACC, Conversational Intelligence Coach, Positive Intelligence Coach
Redworks Communications

Every single day we actively sabotage ourselves causing us to respond to life’s challenges with a negative rather than a positive mindset. We sabotage our effectiveness and performance; wellness and happiness; and relationships. While we cannot totally eliminate our saboteurs, we can work to lower their volume by strengthening our mental fitness muscles to cultivate a growth mindset.

In this webinar, participants will:

  • Discover what mental fitness is
  • Discover the three core muscles at the root of mental fitness
  • Discover the 10 saboteurs and 5 sage powers
  • Learn about the Sage Perspective
  • Discover one technique to quiet the Saboteurs and activate the Sage

Peter Pilarski, President , CIPR Communications

In his session Peter will delve into the dynamic landscape of digital marketing and communications in 2024, emphasizing the indispensable role of Digital Public
Relations. He will offer insights into how artificial intelligence is reshaping consumer search behaviors and setting the stage for a groundbreaking shift in online search dynamics.

Through this session you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the changing paradigms in digital marketing and public relations. You’ll walk away with a nuanced perspective on how AI influences online search behavior and the implications for brands and their digital strategies. The session aims to enlighten attendees on the renewed significance of public relations, intertwined seamlessly with modern digital channels, and underscore the vital role of human stories and authenticity in an AI dominated world.


Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Optional post-conference workshops

Workshops are in person attendance only.

Peter Pilarski, President, CIPR Communications

This presentation will explore the various facets of artificial intelligence, from its potential to reshape industries to its significance in molding the future for individual businesses. The workshop will cover:

  1. Making Sense of the Noise: In an era brimming with headlines about new technologies, this part of the presentation will cut through the noise to give you an appreciation for what this AI thing is really about any why it matters to you personally and professionally.
  2. What is AI: Demystifies the complex world of artificial intelligence, breaking it down into understandable concepts, and illustrating how it’s not just a technological tool but a revolutionary approach to problem solving and innovation.
  3. AI for Your Organization: Explores how you can leverage AI to enhance your organization’s objectives and goals while fostering growth and community engagement through smart, data-driven strategies.
  4. AI Impact on Businesses and Jobs: Understand the dual nature of AI as both a disrupter and enabler, reshaping industries, redefining roles, and creating a landscape of new opportunities and challenges.
  5. How to Discover AI Superpowers: Invites you on a journey to uncover the latent potential of AI in your business, revealing how to harness these capabilities to create unparalleled competitive advantages and operational efficiencies.
  6. Embrace Digital, Stay Human: Emphasizes the crucial balance between technological advancement and maintaining the human touch – its a guide to integrating AI into your business ethos while preserving the core values that make your brand uniquely human.3 Key Takeaways
    1. Understand the real-world implications of AI for individual businesses.
    2. Discover strategies to harness AI’s potential for your business advantage.
    3. Learn from real-life examples and case studies on AI’s transformative impact.

About Peter

Peter PilarskiWith 20 years of experience in digital marketing, communications, and government relations across diverse industries, Peter excels as a versatile strategist. His standout quality lies in an unwavering dedication to simplifying technology while embracing innovation.

Peter’s mission is to demystify the AI landscape, enabling individuals and businesses to navigate it with confidence. His approach is centered on understanding the big picture and translating it to specific corporate goals and challenges that AI can solve.

Peter believes that while AI will cause disruption, organizations and individuals who take a systematic, fact-based, hypothesis-driven approach, coupled with strong change management practices, will succeed in using AI to streamline operations, enrich customer experiences, and achieve success.

Julia Harvie-Shemko, APR, CEC, Founder and CEO, Red Thread Connections 

Communications departments don’t work in vacuum. They thrive on collaboration, not isolation. To be successful, close working relationships with internal clients and their departments is crucial.

In this engaging workshop, explore the intricacies of building better relationships with internal clients. Delve into the essential skills and strategies necessary to cultivate harmonious partnerships within your organization.


  • Learn three essential skills for enhancing client relationships and strengthening your communications strategy.
  • Gain insights into effective techniques for managing client meetings and gathering vital information.
  • Understand the differences between independence and isolation, and how to foster collaborative environments.
  • Understand how to manage client meetings and the types of information to gather.
  • Identify common causes of poor client relationships and learn how to navigate and mitigate them.
  • Explore a roadmap towards fostering healthier and more productive client relationships.

This workshop is hands-on and interactive, so come prepared with your real-life client challenges for discussion and practical solution building.

Let’s embark on the journey together towards building stronger internal partnerships and achieving greater success in our communications efforts.

About Julia

Julia is on a mission to help communicators do better and be better. With her company Red Thread Connections, she focuses on moving the communications function towards strategic partnership with clients. With her more than 20 years in communication and 30 in leadership, she knows how to bring clarity, focus and strategy to the communications function.

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Cancellation & Refund Policy

Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 10 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $250 plus $12.50 for GST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 10 day period, you are also liable for the full fee. SummersDirect reserves the right to change program date, meeting place or content without further notice and assumes no liability for these changes.