Posted by Gayle Oudeh, 2020 Program Chair
When we first started planning this year’s District Conference, our theme was “We’re Better Together.” Now, as the Covid-19 Pandemic is keeping us physically distant, it’s more important than ever to focus on the strength and opportunity that comes with working together as Rotarians. That’s why we’re holding this year’s District Conference online and we’ve adjusted our theme a little bit! We’re virtually better together!
Here's your opportunity to connect, be inspired, and celebrate the work of Rotary. Join us October 16-18, 2020 for our District’s first online District Conference. There is no cost to attend and the Conference is open to everyone. Invite your friends and neighbours to attend – it’s a great opportunity to introduce Rotary to them!
Holding an online conference has allowed us to put together a program with outstanding speakers from across Canada and the United States. Here’s a quick overview of the program:
Friday, October 16
4:00 pm – District “Business” Meeting. Together we’ll celebrate the work that individuals and clubs have done by honoring them with Club Citations and other awards. This will also be an opportunity to receive the District Financial Report.
7:00 pm – Opening Plenary Session. We’re planning to formally open the Conference with some pomp and ceremony (What’s a District Conference without a Parade of Flags?) and a whole lot of fun! Make sure you bring along a drum, a pot, a box, a tabletop or a knee, and join in a collective virtual drum circle led by Julien Lepage from Circles of Rhythm. Renowned magician Shawn Farquhar will also entertain us with some magic!
8:15 pm – Virtual Cocktail Party. When the Opening Plenary Session is over, all who want to stay online can join in our virtual cocktail party. You’ll be arbitrarily placed in small break out groups online where you’ll have an opportunity to chat with others attending the conference. Meet old friends and make new ones! Just like you would if we were physically together.
Saturday, October 17
10:00 am – Plenary Session. Our keynote speaker for this session will be Michael Angelo Caruso, a Rotarian, Past District Governor (D6380) and current RI Public Image Coordinator, known for his entertaining keynotes with real substance! He’ll be talking to us about The Amazing Power of First Impressions.
11:00 am – Break Out Sessions. Five outstanding sessions to choose from!
  • You can hear more from our keynote speaker, Michael Angelo Caruso, as he takes a deeper dive into how Rotarians can do better with first impressions.
  • Find out what youth in our District have to say about the impact of our youth programs.
  • Get creative and redefine what the ideal Rotary club looks like!
  • Explore ways to get involved in a D7040 Green Initiative.
  • Hear what Rotarians, young and old, have to say about what draws them to Rotary and what keeps them in Rotary.
12:30 pm – Plenary Session. You’ll have just enough time to grab your lunch and join us for this Virtual Lunch Session where keynote speaker Todd “Bowtie” Jenkins will share with us, in his entertaining and engaging style, how we can make Rotary an inclusive organization that opens opportunities for everyone!
Sunday, October 18
10:00 am – Break Out Sessions. Another five fantastic sessions!
  • Learn about simple tech tools for sharing and telling your Rotary stories with Rushton Hurley (speaker at the final Plenary)
  • Find out more about the opportunities to serve within Rotary as Rotary International Director Valarie Wafer talks about the ABC’s and 123’s of Rotary.
  • Discover what can happen when Rotary partners with Toastmasters and other service organizations.
  • Explore the possibilities for family friendly Rotary.
  • Hear from Rotaractors about the opportunities to collaborate and work together effectively.
11:00 am – Closing Plenary Session. Our featured speaker will be Rushton Hurley who will send us off energized and motivated as he talks about The Fun and Cool of Getting Better as a Rotarian!
You will need to register for each session that you want to attend. You will then get a link for that session. Spaces are limited in the breakout sessions so make sure you register early to avoid disappointment.
Registration closes at noon on Thursday, Oct. 15. Because of all the moving parts of doing this conference online, you will not be able to join the sessions last minute if you haven’t registered!