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Every Child Belongs Conference

Strengthen, Nourish, Grow: Learning about the Mind and Wellness.

  June 9, 2023

A good state of mind is a key coping mechanism for daily challenges and countless responsibilities. Our self-care affects how we connect, build relationships and care for others in our personal lives and communities. The last few years significantly impacted our emotional and physical health and shifted our perspectives on wellness. We are encountering burnout and a lack of motivation to prioritize our mental well-being. 

At this conference, you will have an opportunity to enhance your knowledge of best practices and evidenced-based research that support you in nourishing your mind and strengthening your inner self. Throughout the day, you will learn how to optimize your quality of life and happiness, boost your self-confidence, increase resilience, and develop connections in diverse communities. The event will also provide engaging and dynamic team-building opportunities to enhance a sense of camaraderie and belonging.  

This year the Every Child Belongs conference is open to all professionals working in licensed early learning and care programs in the City of Toronto.

This opportunity is funded in partnership with the Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada under the new Canada-Ontario Early Childhood Workforce Agreement, which provides one-time federal funding to support the retention and recruitment of high-quality child care and early years workforce.


Date: June 9, 2023

Cost: No cost for this conference

Location: BMO Training Centre

3550 Pharmacy Ave, 
Scarborough, ON M1W 3Z3



portrait of Sarain Fox9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Keynote: Sarain Fox

Sarain Fox is a Canadian Anishinaabe activist, broadcaster and filmmaker. A storyteller at heart, Sarain combines various mediums to amplify the voices of her people in hopes of creating meaningful dialogue between Indigenous and settler communities. Sarain has built her career at the cross-section of activism and media. Her mother and great aunt are the oral record keepers of the family. They have passed down ancient teachings from generations of knowledge-keepers and have raised her to be proud of her Indigenous roots. As a result, Sarain has become a powerful and vibrant voice for the Indigenous community.

In 2020 she founded Land Back Studios a production company focused on authentic storytelling in new-media, television and film. She is most noted for her 2020 documentary film Inendi, for which she received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Host or Interviewer in a News or Information Program, and currently runs on CBC GEM.

You’ve seen Sarain in the larger than life billboards & videos for Sephora’s ‘We Belong to Something Beautiful’ initiative, or as the host for APTN’s Future History & Viceland’s RISE. As an Indigenous Entrepreneur, AMEX Canada partnered with Sarain for the launch of their Blueprint campaign to support BIPOC Businesses. As a brand ambassador, Sarain uses her platform to celebrate the immense knowledge and talent of Indigenous people, designers and brands. She has leant her voice to international brands such as Sephora, Canada Goose, Nike N7, and Manitobah Mukluks. Sarain sees each partnership and campaign as an opportunity to highlight her culture in the mainstream, share the stage with up-and-coming Indigenous talent and change the world for her people.

Sarain is also an ambassador for TreadRight Foundation (a non-profit focused on sustainable travel and cultural preservation) and sits on the board of directors of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Keynote Overview:

Community First: Rebuilding Trust & Reconnecting to Purpose

Without question, our communities have been facing significant challenge, trauma, and divisiveness throughout this pandemic. At work, school, and with our families & friends, how do we begin to reconnect with each other and with our purpose?

In this presentation, Sarain shares how she’s found hope for communities despite challenges of inequity and the toll of the pandemic. She highlights the power of the Indigenous response to the pandemic in calling us to return to the land, prioritize our time with children and elders, and learn about our histories and traditions. The path forward relies on strengthening our communities with innovative approaches and best practices for building trust, disrupting the status quo, and taking care of our of each other.

portrait of Ricardo Cabete2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m

Keynote - Ricardo Cabete

(Lisbon, Portugal)

Ricardo Cabete is an emotional intelligence expert, interactive keynote speaker and executive coach who helps Fortune 500 companies, like Novartis, PwC and HSBC, to increase employee engagement. 

In a world of technology and artificial intelligence, Ricardo helps corporate leaders communicate with their teams in a way that spark emotional connection. The main outcome is higher employee engagement that boost business results like staff retention, productivity, and profitability. 

He speaks at global corporate events and international conferences for several industries, including HR, Insurance and Banking. Ricardo loves to create Keynotes and Masterclasses that are impactful for the audience and at the same time create high ROI results for his clients. 

His signature keynotes, The Master of Emotions and The Engagement Sherlock Holmes, are best-sellers around the world, driving the audience into an interactive, insightful and powerful experience. 

Ricardo is also a rock band lead singer! He performed at international rock festivals with bands like The Black-Eyed Peas, The Prodigy or Iggy Pop. 

Ricardo brings his 18 years of rock band lead singing experience to his engaging keynotes, helping your audience to become high performing leaders and teams. He ́s not only an expert, he is also a performer! 

In 2017 he was awarded as the European Champion of Public Speaking by Toastmasters International, placing in the top 30 speakers in the world in a contest with more than 30.000 speakers globally. 

Ricardo speaks with Emotion and always has a surprise impact element in his talks that make them memorable.

Keynote Overview

The Inner Fire:

How to "Feel on Fire" without "Burnout", using the power of the "Buffalo Mindset" and emotional intelligence practical strategies.

In this Keynote you will learn science-based self-care daily practices that will improve your mood, energy, and focus. Ricardo will also share emotional intelligence strategies for higher resilience, engagement, accountability, and connection. You will learn how to deal with changes and face daily challenges while keeping lower stress levels, in your personal and professional life.

Ricardo always brings surprising impactful elements to his Keynotes. Get ready to feel engaged!

portraing of Nikki Shawana

Presenter - Moira Pena

Moira Peña, BScOT, MOT Reg. (Ont.) is an occupational therapist working at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto who has dedicated her career to supporting children and youth who experience sensory processing differences. Moira holds credentials from the STAR (Sensory Therapies and Research) Institute for Sensory Processing and is a certified Solution-Focused Healthcare Coach & Facilitator (C-SFHCF). Moira is also an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto and an Authorized Provider of Professional Development by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

Portrait of Ivan Joseph

Presenter - Dr. Ivan Joseph

Award-Winning Performance Coach | Leadership and Cultural Transformation Expert

Dr. Ivan Joseph inspires people and teams to achieve more than they dreamed. An award-winning coach, educator, and leader, Joseph has spent his career leading cultural transformation, helping people believe in themselves, and creating cohesive teams. He holds a PhD in Sport Psychology, with a focus on the links between self-confidence, grit, and high-performance. Ivan served as the Director of Athletics at Ryerson University in Toronto. During his tenure, Ryerson teams won their first-ever conference banners and national championship — all while setting records for academic excellence, spectator attendance, and fundraising.

Ivan is now the Vice President of Student Affairs at the esteemed Wilfrid Laurier University.

Ivan is a sought-after thought leader on the topics of Self-Confidence, High-Performance, Grit & Resilience, and Diversity & Inclusion. His TEDx Talk, “The Skill of Self-Confidence”, has 21+ million views, and was named by Forbes as “One of The Top TED Talks About the Meaning of Life”. He’s also the author of the bestselling book, You Got This – Mastering the Skill of Self-Confidence.

Portrait of Lori Short Zamudio

Presenter - Lori Short-Zamudio

Lori has been a registered dietitian for over 15 years working predominately in the area of eating disorders, LGBTQI nutrition and more recently neurodivergent nutrition.  Lori has been a faculty member at Humber College since 2012 in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness.  In 2022 Lori completed her Master of Professional Education in Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice with her capstone project being on the erasure of transgender and nonbinary folks in nutrition education.  Lori's main goal is creating safe, inclusive spaces for those that are often othered in our society.  

Portrait of Joseph Gibbons

Presenter - Joseph Gibbons

Joseph is a full-time faculty member at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber where he holds exemplary faculty status. His passion is researching and educating people about the optimal ways in which they can improve their energy, immunity, and happiness.  

He is licensed through the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology to certify Personal Trainers (CSEP-CPT); and licensed through the Mental Health Commission of Canada to certify groups and individuals in Mental Health First Aid Training.

Additionally he holds the designations of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Functional Movement Specialist, and Clinical Exercise Physiologist.

Portrait of Jeremy Staple

Presenter - Jeremy Staple

Jeremy Staples has been a post-secondary educational leader for almost 30 years. His work focused on developing opportunities that created exceptional student learning experiences, prioritizing the development of the students’ critical, creative and reflective thinking capacity to prepare them for the workplace demands of the 21st Century.  An advocate of the importance of a growth mindset and learning, Jeremy has collaborated with a variety of teams to create innovative programs that develop self-awareness and an understanding of others as drivers of change. In 2017, Jeremy started a consultancy focused on developing the capacity of individuals and teams to navigate the new world of work through adopting a growth mindset, leaning into the discomfort associated with creativity, and building cohesive teams through vulnerability-based trust.

Current clients include not-for-profit organizations such as the Ontario Ministry of Education, a school board, a college and an employment agency. Jeremy is a certified facilitator for the Empathy Toy; the Mindset and Toolset Creative Thinking System for Innovation by Foursight; Everything DiSC; the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team and the Six Working Geniuses. 


Morning Sessions: 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Success, Self-Confidence, and Performance

Presented by: Dr.Ivan Joseph

Success begins and ends with self-confidence. Your belief in yourself is the foundation for thriving, achieving your dreams, and unlocking your potential. With self-confidence, you live the happy, inspired, connected life you deeply desire.

As an award-winning coach and PhD sports psychologist, Dr. Ivan Joseph has focused on understanding the skill of self-confidence. He has developed, applied, and refined dozens of techniques that lead to high performance and excellence.

In this energizing and motivational talk, you’ll learn the secrets Joseph used to help individuals and teams reach goals they never thought possible. Humour, visualization, and immersive activities keep everyone engaged and create a memorable experience.

You’ll learn practical techniques to:

  • Develop and sustain self-confidence, especially in times of adversity.
  • Promote self-confidence in your team and others.
  • Use the power of positive self-talk and setting higher expectations.

Audiences will leave with a renewed sense of self-confidence and belief in themselves, inspired to overcome challenges and ready to accelerate their performance!

BEST Strategies that Support Kids’ Mental health in a Post-Pandemic World

Presented by: Moira Pena

Concerns regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health are increasingly being identified and recognized across all healthcare and educational settings. This workshop will equip participants with a better understanding of the presenter’s key BEST* (Body, Emotional, Sensory and Thinking) evidence-based  strategies that can be implemented right away to support children’s mental health and well-being in the early childhood education setting. Participants will also learn how stress affects children’s neurobiology, ability to self-regulate and their behaviours. Practice opportunities, ongoing reflection and discussion will be utilized throughout the workshop. 


  1. To better understand factors affecting children’s mental health
  2. Learn how neurobiological correlates of stress affect behaviours and identify how to use this new information to better address challenging and/or interfering behaviours in the early childhood setting.
  3. Learn how to support’s children’s mental health through the implementation of key sensory-based concepts of the presenter’s evidence-based BEST (Body, Emotional, Sensory and Thinking) Strategies Framework.

Navigating the Galaxy of Gender: what do we need to Know?

Presented by: Lori Short-Zamudio

In this workshop participants will work towards a clearer understanding of the expansiveness of gender and the role it plays in childcare facilities.  Participants will learn about the importance of language around gender, the differences between gender, sex and sexuality, the role caregivers can play in creating gender inclusive environments and will discuss strategies to be an advocate for children anywhere in the galaxy of gender.

Optimizing Your Health and Happiness 

Presented by: Joseph Gibbons

Learning to consistently prioritize and enhance your mental and physical wellbeing is paramount if you are to live an optimized life. Too many people are tired from morning to night, “require” caffeine to start their day, and regularly struggle to get deep, restful sleep. Endless to-do lists and consistent stress have depleted them to the point of utter exhaustion. The concept of waking up refreshed, having sustainable energy all day, and falling asleep easily might be a truly foreign concept to you, but it doesn’t have to be.

There is another path you can take; one that is both universal and specific. This experiential presentation will help participants understand the biological and psychological factors contributing to mental wellbeing, energy, immunity, and happiness. You will be encouraged to reflect introspectively on the ways in which you might optimize your health and happiness, even when inundated with countless responsibilities and daily stresses.

Exploring the Empathy Toy®

Presented By: Jeremy Staple

This play-based workshop explores empathy using The Empathy Toy®. The Empathy Toy® is a puzzle game that can only be solved when players learn to understand each other.  Simple in design and appearance, each toy piece has a different shape and texture. One player starts with a pattern of assembled puzzle pieces, and everyone works together to recreate the same shape with the matching pieces. But wait – there's an unexpected challenge! Join this workshop to discover how empathy driven dialogue enables you to identify and challenge gaps and assumptions in your own understanding thereby strengthening the connections you have with others.

12:00 p.m to 1:15 p.m. Lunch & Networking

Food: all meals are halal; gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options are included. Please indicate any allergies or additional dietary requirements by emailing with the subject line: ECB Conference- food requirements.

1:15 p.m to 2:30 p.m.  Engaging Team Building Opportunities

2:30 p.m to 2:45 p.m- Afternoon Refresments

2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.  Closing Keynote

3:45 p.m.  to 4:00 p.m. Closing Remarks

Accessibility: The BMO Institute for Learning is a fully accessible space with one all-gender washroom. Please indicate any specific supports required by emailing with the subject line: ECB Conference- accessibility.

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