News Release: CHF BC hosts virtual conference in support of community wellness and resilience

  13 October 2021

Week-long conference looks to provide tools to support stronger communities

(Vancouver, BC) – The Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC) is pleased to host its first virtual Well-Being Conference with an original lineup of meaningful, community-focused wellness workshops and activities from October 18 to 22, 2021. This conference, happening during Co-op Week, is a week-long series dedicated to supporting the well-being and resilience of communities in the co-op housing sector, housing sector, co-op organizations and beyond.

“We’ve taken a bold and innovative approach to this conference,” stated Thom Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer, CHF BC. “What some might see as a stretch from our usual education conference, we see as an opportunity to provide complete support to co-op members and their families during a time when our wellness and resilience is tested. COVID is rippling through homes, businesses and communities. While co-ops have responded with the financial and organizational resilience we can expect, we saw this as an opportunity to activate the seventh co-op principle – concern for community. Unprecedented times call for precedent-setting decisions, and we believe this conference will benefit the well-being for all.”

“A great deal of listening and reflecting went into building out this conference,” noted Katy Bigsby, Education Director, CHF BC. “Usually, conference offerings were done over weekends and focused on practical support around governance and management of co-ops. We decided to take a bold and innovative approach to this conference by creating a program that addressed the emotional and physical well-being of the whole self. Many are coping with exceptionally high stress, uncertainty and isolation during this pandemic, and this approach was our opportunity to be a leader in offering something a bit different than we have before; something that intentionally supports all communities in BC.”

Conference Content

The conference will open with a territorial acknowledgement from Dr. Gwendolyn Point, Elder and Knowledge Keeper Representative for the BC Assembly of First Nations, followed by an Opening Plenary: From Mindless to Mindful by Comedian and Wellness speaker, Dena Jackson.

Other workshops and wellness activities throughout the week include:

  • Tools for Managing Stress & Burnout – Lu Ripley, Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Centre of BC
  • Self-Care and Wellness – Genevieve Thompson, University of Victoria
  • Mental Health & The Effective Helper – Donna Bonertz, New View Society
  • Wellness in a Time of Change and Transition: Natural Healing – Honoré France & Dr. Carmen Rodriguez de France, University of Victoria
  • Rethinking the Grieving Process – Jessica Wolf, BC Association of Clinical Counsellors
  • Mindful Parenting – Dr. Mark Sherman, Living this Moment & BC Association for Living Mindfully
  • Self-Aware for Self-Care – Anita David, University of BC & BC Centre for Disease Control
  • Anxiety – What It Is, Ways to Cope and How to Help Others – Janet Bertrand, BC Housing
  • Recognizing Declining Well-being in the Self and How to Increase Personal Well-being – Al Visram, Fine Balance Wellness
  • Wellness activities to kick-off each day: Guided Stretching, Guided Meditation and Chair Yoga

A Closing Plenary on the Alchemy of Joy – Cultivating Meaning and Peace Amidst Challenge by Dr. Mark Sherman will conclude the conference on Friday.


Healthy communities are a collaborative approach. This conference is open to everyone. To register for CHF BC’s Virtual Well-Being Conference, please visit

CHF BC Education Program Sponsors include Encasa Financial Inc., Rona/Lowes Canada , Telus Communications, Trail Appliances and Waste Connections of Canada.


About Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC)

The Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC) is a co-operative association made up of member housing co-ops and related organizations in British Columbia. Our mission is to unite, represent and serve our members in a thriving co-operative housing movement.

CHF BC respectfully acknowledges that its operations are located on the traditional unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations in Vancouver and the Lekwungen, Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples in Victoria. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Michelle Cooper-Iversen, Chief Operating Officer
Co-operative Housing Federation of BC
Community Land Trust
COHO Management Services
P: 604-343-2351

Katy Bigsby, Education Director
Co-operative Housing Federation of BC
P: 250-858-0064
Alternate: 604-879-5111 Ext. 136