2017 Convention & AGM


Registration is Open! Follow this link to CivicInfo to Register.  

Join us for the 2017 Association of Kootenay & Boundary Local Governments Convention & AGM. This year's Convention is being hosted by the City of Rossland at the Prestige Mountain Resort Hotel in Rossland’s historic downtown from April 26 - 28, 2017.    

Our 2017 Convention theme is “Becoming smarter, leaner communities”. Through workshops, presentations and study tours we will explore how technologies can help us become smarter, more efficient and more effective local governments. From drones to Internet of Things, from Community Engagement software to Tech Cluster Development, we’ll learn, share and celebrate technology in our Kootenay & Boundary communities.

BYOD! Bring Your Own Device!

To get the most from the Convention, bring an ipad, notebook, laptop, or smart phone that can connect to the internet.


The Convention Venue

 The 2017 AKBLG Convention & AGM will be hosted at the Prestige Mountain Resort, a full service hotel located right in Rossland's downtown. Most Convention sessions and meals will be hosted here. The Prestige Mountain Resort has a dining room, lounge, coffee shop, gym and a business service centre. All Rossland accommodations are within a 5 minute drive of the Convention venue. A shuttle service will be offered between the Convention venue and Rossland accommodations. See the Convention Shuttle Service below. 


Convention Schedule & Program

Our 2017 Convention theme is Becoming smarter, leaner communities. Through workshops, presentations and study tours we will explore how technologies can help us become smarter, more efficient and more effective local governments. From drones to Internet of Things, from community engagement software to tech cluster development, we’ll learn, share and celebrate the development and application of technologies in our Kootenay & Boundary communities. We'll also have conversations about other topics that are important to our communities including poverty reduction, support to families, food security, climate action and responsible government.

And in the evenings, we have planned some relaxing, unique social events featuring good food, good laughs, and plenty of time to network with your colleagues.

To see the full schedule click here. We'll be adding details of study tours, workshops, presentations and presenter bios in the weeks leading up to the Convention. Check back often to get a preview of the Convention Programming. 

A simplified version of our schedule can  be found here


Our Master of Ceremonies and Keynote Presenters


Becoming Smarter, Leaner Communities

Stay tuned for more information! 

Mike Stolte

Stay tuned for more information! 



Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks – Smart Cities and eGov

Stay tuned for more information! 

Amber Hayes, MIDAS Director & serial Technology Entrepreneur

Stay tuned for more information! 



Paying Attention – Understanding the human side of implementing new smart technologies

"Whenever a new technology is introduced into society, there must be a counterbalancing human response –" -John Naisbitt

With every introduction of new smart technologies into our organizations and communities there are intended and unintended consequences on people; citizens, public servants, and politicians who must adopt them. Often the human side is overlooked in the implementation of these new technologies. During this highly interactive workshop you will experience tools and techniques for uncovering people’s latent needs and assessing the implications for the people in adopting the technology. The tools and techniques are based on proven human-centered design principals. Applying them with a deep sense of curiosity will help you better understand the consequences of new technologies on the people in your organizations and communities. 


Dan Buchner, Founder & Principal

Dan Buchner is an award winning designer, innovator, entrepreneur and business executive. He has driven innovation in a wide range of organizations worldwide. For nearly 30 years, Dan has been developing innovative new products, creating compelling new services, and helping leaders foster innovative practices within their organizations and communities. Dan is a sought-after international keynote speaker and facilitator on innovation practices. He has directed interdisciplinary projects for leading organizations such as Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and USAID. Dan believes in the power of innovation and leadership to positively impact society

Sue Abuelsamid, Founder & Principal

Sue is a leadership coach, speaker, writer, facilitator, and educator. She is driven to help people get curious, with the goal of building better relationships, communities, and businesses, and a better world. Sue has devoted her life to cultivating authentic and powerful leadership and she strives to create an atmosphere that is transformative, engaging, and fun. She has worked successfully with organizations such as Shell, Anne Arundel Community College, Calgary School Board, and the Banff Centre in the area of leadership development. Sue has recently published a book on Curiosity titled “That’s a Really Good Question”. 


Our Plenary Presenters

Big Data & Internet of Things - Brian Fry & Pilar Portela

Building Competitive Clusters in the Basin-Boundary Region - Terri Macdonald

Metal Tech Alley: A Metals Cluster Development Initiative - Terry Van Horn from  Lower Columbia Initiative Initiatives  

Bridging Town and Country: Lesson from the Central Kootenay Food Policy Council - Abra Brynne

Place, Technology & the Future of Rural Communities - Kelly Vodden, Terri MacDonald, & Sarah Breen

Becoming an Intelligent Community: The Nelson Experience - Andrea Wilkey

Surviving City Hall: Telling Our Stories - Donna MacDonald

UBCM's Working Group on Responsible Conduct -  President Murry Kraus & Gary MacIsaac, Executive Director

Leading Conversations That Matter: Technology & Community Engagement - Lea Scherck from Thoughtexchange


Concurrent Workshops 


100% Possible: Transitioning to Renewable Energy in the Kootenays

West Coast Environmental Law and West Kootenay Ecosociety

Over 2500 Kootenay residents have signed-on to support the just transition to 100% renewable energy at the community level no later than mid-century in their towns, with thousands more anticipated to join this year. The West Kootenay EcoSociety’s 100% Renewable Kootenays initiative aims to support West Kootenay cities to transition to 100% renewable energy in order to do the region’s fair share in reducing carbon pollution, conserving wilderness for generations to come, and creating good, and long-lasting green jobs.

The West Kootenay EcoSociety will showcase leading renewable energy and energy efficiency cities in Canada and aboard, outline how 100% renewable is 100% possible in our local context, and dig into the deeper questions of what the path from fossil fuels to clean energy looks like here in the Kootenays.

A renewable energy future is inevitable; the question is which cities will lead the charge and reap the economic, social and environmental benefits?


New Developments in Broadband for Underserved Communities

Rob Gay, Kootenay Boundary Regional Broadband Committee

Stay tuned for more information!


Getting on the Bus to Healthy Communities

Andrea Winckers, Lower Columbia Healthy Communities Planning Team

Health is not health care! It’s walkable streets, healthy early childhood development, access to recreation, income & jobs, education, and social inclusion. Health is found in our parks, our infrastructure, our housing developments, and our food system. It’s found in access to life-long learning and in being able to make ends meet. Health is especially found in our ability to collaborate to create these conditions in our region.

Everyone wants to live in a healthy community, so every one of us must get on the bus and start moving together in that direction. This work has been started in many places around the province, and we are going to highlight some of what’s happened in the last few years, as well as describe the process currently underway in the Lower Columbia to build a healthy region for all.



Accelerate Kootenays: Transportation and Building Energy Initiatives

Community Energy Association

Accelerate Kootenays is an innovative regional approach to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations between the Okanagan and Alberta. Increased adoption of electric vehicles (EV) by Kootenay residents will reduce transportation emissions and support local climate action commitments. The goal is to install the base network that will make electric vehicle travel safe, reliable and enjoyable. To make electric vehicle ownership and travel realistic for both residents and tourists, the Regional Districts of Kootenay Boundary, Central Kootenay and East Kootenay endorsed a Columbia Basin-wide electric vehicle strategy.  Further, most communities have adopted Community Energy Plans with RDCK and RDEK both able to secure funding for regional Community Energy Managers to aid with energy plan “acceleration”. Regionally there is work to accelerate to better energy efficient building standard including a regional approach to adopting step-codes. Regionally we are training builders and developing policy to build to high energy efficient standards. This session will discuss the options and opportunities in the Kootenays to accelerate better buildings and better transportation options to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, build local energy resilience and community economic development. 


Which Lens Are You Using? Local Government Decision Making to Help Families ‘Stick’

Mike Stolte & Christy Anderson of the Family Action Network

Elected officials are charged with making important decisions on behalf of the community that represent the needs of their citizens. Alignment with non-profit agencies at work in your region can help inform leaders about the current issues, trends and needs of their stakeholders. We know that attracting and retaining families to our rural communities helps to keep them vibrant, increases our tax base, and provides local business with regular customers. We also know that families tend to ‘stick’ to a community, once they have arrived. How can we keep the wellbeing of our families front and central in all decision making at the local government level from setting policy, to changing bylaws to fiscal decisions on major projects, including infrastructure?  This session provides clear information on the economic benefits to investing in the early years, concrete examples of how to do that in our rural communities and offers a mechanism for keeping families at the core of our decision making at the local government level. “It takes a village to raise a child – and families to raise a region”


Open Data for Open Government

Ian Parfitt, Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre

Stay tuned for more information!


Study Tours

MIDAS Fab Lab Tour & 3D Printing Demo

Tour the MIDAS FabLab with Brad Pommen, MIDAS Lab Director. The building is a newly renovated accessible space with state of the art, enterprise-level equipment and training on that equipment including: 3D Printers, 3D scanners, CNC milling equipment, woodworking, an electronics lab, teaching and co-working space and more…

This will be a hands on demo, you might even be 3D printed!


Back to the Future: Heritage & High Tech Walking Tour with Mayor Kathy Moore

Route: Shuttle to RSS Jubilee wetland, walk over to Emcon, walk down the hill, stop in at Bank Montreal, walk to Miners Hall. Return to Prestige or walk around town.

Stop #1: Wetlands, outdoor classroom

The City has tried, unsuccessfully, to drain the natural RSS Jubilee wetlands. We will discuss what was done, the challenges, and results: the initiative of an outdoor classroom that is volunteer and community led, with support through grants and sd20 and city.

Stop #2 Emcon lot

What was once a train yard, then EMCON service lot, has sat unused for years. Purchased by the city, it now hosts an outdoor rink in the winter. With its importance of being near a school and being in a prominent place, after much public consultation, there have been plans of a skate park.

Stop #3 Bank Montreal

Transitioning from the 70s, when much of the town had lost its historic character, – when stucco was king –  we will discuss Design Guidelines and DRP and how they have enabled Rossland to recapture its heritage character and come back from being a non-descript small town.

With a Revitalization Tax exemption, renovations to the building were feasible for the owner. Although not common, this tax exemption has served the community well as is applicable throughout the township, not just for heritage buildings.

Stop #4 Miners Hall- depends on construction situation.

The role of the Miners Hall has nearly continuously been that of a community hall. With the help of RCAC and grants for renovations the hall has been kept up and used as space for a daycare, arts classes, The Gold Fever Follies (historical musical theatre company that performs in the summers), to name a few.

We will be looking at the repurposing of a heritage building to meet the needs of today.


Drone & Data Collection Demonstration - Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre 

Ian Parfitt and the SGRC team will demonstrate how to fly a highly sophisticated drone over Rossland while it collects data. Then will discuss how the data collected can inform municipalities’ decisions.

You might even get to fly a drone!



Social Events 


Opening Reception

Dinner Around Town 

Olaus Jeldness 'Tea' Party at Rafters Lounge at Red Mountain Resort



Gala Banquet at the Prestige Mountain Resort




Delegate registration is now open! Follow the link to CivicInfo to register and make payment. Sponsors with complimentary delegate registrations should contact Ann at adamude@telus.net for details on how to register sponsor delegates.

BYOD! Bring Your Own Device!

To get the most from the Convention, bring an ipad, notebook, laptop, or smart phone that can connect to the internet.


About Rossland

Right at the doorstep of the Convention venue is Rossland's historic downtown. Here you will find an abundance of coffee shops and excellent restaurants, as well as a craft brewery, boutique shopping, bike rentals and artisan-crafted chocolate. Long considered a destination for the adventurous skier or mountain biker, Rossland also boasts a growing arts, heritage and cultural scene. Lovingly restored heritage buildings are scattered along our main streets. And our whimsical public sculptures celebrate our natural environment and our sport and mining history. Be sure to set aside some time to explore the downtown.  

For more information about things to do and see in Rossland, visit the websites of the City of Rossland or Tourism Rossland.





As a tourist destination, Rossland has an abundance of accommodation options. Whether you prefer a standard hotel, a cozy room in a B&B, the home-like amenities of a condo or a quiet place to park your RV, we have an option that will meet your needs and budget. Most accommodations are located either in town or at the base of Red Mountain Ski Resort. Accommodations at the Ski Resort are a short 5 minutes drive, a 20 minute bike ride or 40 minute walk along the Centennial Trail. The Convention will be offering a shuttle service between the main accommodation sites and the Convention venue. Or consider commuting to the Convention like a Rosslander... and bring your mountain bike and your walking shoes! 

To explore the full range of accommodation available in Rossland, visit the Tourism Rossland website. All Rossland accommodations are within a 5 minutes drive of the Convention venue. For information on accommodation in the nearby community of Trail, visit the website of the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce. 



Accommodation with preferred rates for the AKBLG Convention 

The following accommodations have offered special/government rates for the AKBLG Convention. Please note that as of January 2017, the Prestige Mountain Resort is fully booked. For economical but luxurious accommodation, consider reserving a 2 or 3 bedroom condominium with some of your AKBLG colleagues. 

Consider ride sharing to Rossland, and using our shuttle service during your stay.

For those in search of standard hotel accommodation, consider staying in our neighbouring community of Trail, BC at the Best Western Columbia River Hotel. The Columbia River Hotel is a 15 minute drive from the Prestige Mountain Resort and is a good option for attendees with private or rental vehicle. We will not be offering a daytime shuttle service to the Columbia River Hotel. We will offer a shuttle to Trail, if needed, for both the Wednesday night Opening Reception and the Thursday night Banquet.

Accommodation Location Contact information
Prestige Mountain Resort (fully booked as of Jan 2017) 1919 Columbia Avenue (downtown)  Visit their website
Slalom Creek Condominiums (Red Mountain Resort Lodging)

4310 Red Mountain Rd (Red Mtn Area)

Visit the Red Reservations website or phone 250-362-7384
Red Mountain Village Condominiums 1007 Red Mountain Red (Red Mtn Area) Visit the Red Mountain Village website or phone toll free at 1-877-362-7668.  Or email Red Mountain Village
Best Western Columbia River Hotel (located in Trail) 1001 Rossland Ave, Trail, BC V1R 3N7 Visit their website or phone 250-368-3355



Getting to Rossland

Consider ride sharing to Rossland and using our Convention Shuttle Service. Or bring your mountain bike or walking shoes and take advantage of our urban trail system. Accommodations at Red Mountain are just a 20 minute ride or 40 minute walk along the Centennial Trail.  

Rossland is serviced by the West Kootenay Regional Airport (Castlegar) and the Trail Regional Airport (Trail). Car rentals and airport shuttles service are available at both airports and should be reserved in advance. Additional information on air transport, car rentals and shuttle services can be found on the Tourism Rossland website here.



Convention Shuttle Service

The Convention will be providing a shuttle service between the Red Mountain area and downtown Rossland via the Hwy 22/3A junction during regular Convention hours. Accommodation located within easy walking distance of the shuttle route includes: The Prestige Mountain Resort, The Flying Steamshovel, Casa Alpina, Red Shutter Inn, Ramshead Inn, all Red Mountain Village lodges, and the Red Mountain Resort properties of Slalom Creek, Silver Tip and Morningstar.  

Transportation will also be provided for all Study Tours and evening social events. The Red Mountain area is a 5 minute drive from downtown Rossland or a 20 minute mountain bike ride along the Centennial Trail. The Convention venue (Prestige Mountain Resort) is located on the main street of our compact and walkable downtown. 




We are very grateful to the local organizations and businesses that sponsor the AKBLG Convention. Your support allows us to deliver a dynamic, fun and informative program. If you are interested in joining us as a sponsor in 2017, please contact 2017 Convention Coordinator Ann Damude at adamude@telus.net or AKBLG Executive Director Carolyn Maher at akblg@shaw.ca.   

Sponsors who are also interested in presenting at the 2017 Convention are asked to complete a Presentation Proposal (see Call for Presenters section below).



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Contact Us!

How can we help? Please contact 2017 Convention Coordinator Ann Damude at adamude@telus.net or 250-231-0486 for inquiries about accommodation, presentations, trade show, partner programs or sponsorship. Inquiries about resolutions, nominations or multi-year sponsorship should be directed to Carolyn Maher, AKBLG Executive Director at akblg@shaw.ca


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