Steppin’ Out 2022

Time to Come Together Again


Thursday April 21/ Friday April 22, 2022
Riviera Plaza and Conference Centre
(formerly Ramada Plaza Airport and Conference Centre)
3515 – 26 St. N.E., Calgary, AB
T1Y 7E3



Welcome back! Rarely before has keeping well been highlighted as forcefully as during the last two years. Leaving behind the social isolation that has been a constant companion for so many, we are delighted to provide you the opportunity to come together. Come and enjoy the sessions and the opportunity to meet old friends and new.  When you arrive, you will immediately notice some changes we have made to ensure you are comfortable with the facility and arrangements.  We are reducing the attendance capacity by a hundred, modifying the menu and mealtime routines, and providing greater spacing within conference rooms, to reduce crowding and enable distancing.  As well we will follow all AHS recommendations that are in place at that time.

Thursday April 21, 2022

5:30 PM-No Host Bar
6:30 PM-Dinner
8:00 PM-Presentation

A Banquet and a spirit lifting journey into some of the planet’s best wilderness locations with Wildlife Enthusiast, Brian Keating!

In this special evening presentation, Brian Keating will take you on a visual journey illustrating some of his best international and western Canadian adventures, highlighting his latest nature education project: “Great Big Nature”.

Brian and his wife, Dee, have been exploring the wilds of the world for decades, visiting over 50 countries on all 7 continents. He will also focus on the two years of travel restrictions that have enabled some exciting and occasionally surprising local travel opportunities. Brian’s passion for nature travel will be revealed as only he can do, with his buoyant method of storytelling, punctuated throughout with humor and personal anecdotes. This presentation is a celebration of the wild places that still exist on our beautiful planet, and is designed to inspire and enthuse, offering hope for a better tomorrow.

Brian’s previous job at the Zoo was to raise money and then to spend it on environmental projects around the world. Presently, he’s the Zoo’s Honorary Conservation Advisor to their outreach efforts, and a former Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the U of C.

Plated Dinner: Organic Mixed greens, Smashed Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables, 6 oz New York Steak, Deconstructed Cannoli or Mixed Berry Sorbetto

Table Wine courtesy of TW Insurance

Friday April 22, 2022

8:30-9:15 Registration and Boxed Breakfast
9:15-9:30 Opening Remarks
9:40-10:35 Session One
10:35-11:00 Beverage and Bathroom Break
11:00-11:55 Session Two
11:55-12:10 Return to whole group session for general remarks and initial door prizes
12:10-1:10 Lunch
1:20-2:15 Session Three
2:20-3:20 Wind Down and Raffle Draws


The following sessions provide opportunities to explore the many dimensions of wellness. These sessions and presenters have been confirmed.  Please identify the THREE topics that interest you most on the INTEREST SURVEY, accompanying this registration. This will help us minimize conflicts between participant preferences and help us allocate appropriately sized rooms as we schedule the three time slots of the day.

The War to End Wars was over, so let’s party! Prohibition showed that rebellion was fun. Women used their new equality to come down to men’s level. Scandalous new fashions, movie idols, fast jazz and the freedom given by automobiles all contributed to relaxed morals. A booming economy and the new medium of radio created a consumer society. Who could imagine that the party would ever end?

Doug Coats, a frequent presenter at Steppin’ Out returns once again to intrigue us with a unique and different look at the History of Calgary. A native Calgarian, his background in teaching and interest in history combine to make his presentations fascinating and entertaining for his audience.

The internet and social media have become an amazing tool for connecting and educating, but with limited regulation, there is potential for privacy issues, and criminal activity. Michael will lead you through the evolution of social media, trends in Canada and Calgary, how to protect yourself against fraud, and how to report it. He will also review social media privacy.

Michael is the YouthLink’s Crime Prevention Education and Technology Specialist with more than 6 years’ experience in educating community members on crime prevention, diversity and inclusion, public safety and community development. In his position, working in accordance with the Calgary Police Service, he has created and delivered Gangs, Cannabis and Cyber Safety education programs.

Gary will present an update on the ARTA Benefit Plans, including plan performance and changes over the past year. Gary will also provide attendees with an update on what is occurring in the group benefits marketplace in Canada that will ultimately affect the ARTA Benefit Plans and update the attendees in ARTA’s venture into self-administration.
After working in group benefits consulting for 20 years, Gary joined ARTA to serve as their Chief Operating Officer and Director, Member Services in 2017. Gary has his Certified Employee Benefits Specialist designation, and is the Past President of the Alberta Chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.

Showing an extensive collection of photos, Gavin will provide an overview of the best places to see birds in the province and the types of birds you can find there.
Gavin first started birding after a family holiday to Point Pelée National Park in Ontario, at the young age of seven. After this first taste of birding, he was hooked and has been enjoying it ever since. In 2015 he moved from Guelph, Ontario to Calgary, Alberta, where he quickly jumped at the opportunity to explore this new home. Gavin has traveled extensively in search of birds in Canada, in addition to his travels outside of the country: United States, Panama and Ecuador. Point Pelée remains his favorite birding destination, although Cold Lake, Alberta is a close second. Gavin reviews for eight e-bird regions in Southern Alberta and compiles a Christmas Bird Count.

Join Shaun Hunter for a lively tour through the city’s literary landscape. What do writers reveal about Calgary’s history and its identity? Shaun will share her passion for Calgary’s literary landscape. This session will bring you on a tour of this place that has captivated writers since 1792.

Shaun is author of Calgary through the Eyes of Writers. Her latest project, a digital literary map of Calgary, marks more than 500 sites in the city’s storied landscape. Shaun served as the 2020 Historian in Residence at the Calgary Public Library.

For a variety of reasons, medication use typically increases as people age. While medications have a role in maintaining health, some of them may also become less appropriate over time in the context of an individual’s overall health status. Both prescribing and appropriate deprescribing need to be considered in maintaining health. Jim is a geriatrician based in the Rockyview Hospital in Calgary. He trained in the UK, Edmonton and Halifax before settling in Calgary. He has an active interest in appropriate medication use and was a member and Chair of the Blue Cross Expert Committee in Alberta for many years. He is the current Chair of the Common Drug Review, CADTH (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Therapeutics in Health) as well as being a co-founder and co-director of the Canadian Deprescribing Network (CaDeN), a national organization dedicated to promoting medication appropriateness with aging.

Downsizing from the family home and moving into something new is a frequent discussion point around the “water cooler” of our retirement lives. In this session you will explore some questions that may guide your considerations:

  • Is being taken care of a prime motivator for the move?
  • Is having your own space important to you?
  • Is a variety of opportunities to suit your interests important to you?
  • Does it make financial sense to continue owning your home

Leading the Trico LivingWell team as Executive Director, Grace Su is passionate about curating vibrant communities that empower people to thrive for an enjoyable and purposeful living. She has held senior management roles in technology, marketing, and community development that span over 20 years in the U.K., Asia and Canada. Grace has helped develop numerous communities in Calgary, including the Mustard Seed’s 1010 Centre (affordable supportive housing), Accessible Housing’s INCLUSIO (fully accessible, supportive living home) and Clover Living (culturally designed, older adult supportive living).

Chelsie’s session will shine a light on all the critters who are truly responsible for growing the food in our urban gardens. During this talk you will learn how to encourage this “village” in your own garden, meaning you can let nature take care of it! From microbes who feed your plants on demand, to robber flies who will eat almost any pest, to our native bumble bees who pollinate up to 1/3 of our crops; find out who does what and how you can employ them in your own edible backyard. Chelsie will have copies of her book The Gardener’s Gratitude Journal on hand for sale at this event for $20 each.

Chelsie Anderson is the owner and operator of Chelsie’s Garden Soil-utions, a small garden maintenance business in Calgary. She is a regular contributor to CTV Calgary’s morning show, was CBC’s “The Homestretch’s” radio gardener for two seasons. Chelsie spends her free time growing food for her 3 kids, 2 guinea pigs and millions of red wiggler worms: she knows that all good things start in the soil.

Author David Peyto’s books, The Chickadee Way and The Blue Jay Way, describe more than just walking routes. The books describe a journey through the city and bring to life long distance walking into an urban environment. The books offer a wealth of in-depth historic information as the route takes you through historic and newer communities. The routes connect coulees, escarpments, parks and environmental reserves, ponds, and wetlands. This session will take you on a “walk” through some of the neighbourhoods in these books.

David has self-published five Calgary walking guidebooks. He is presently working on his sixth Calgary walking guidebook. As an elementary physical education teacher, he organized walking clubs and walks for the students. In 1988 he organized the Calgary Schools Torch Relay prior to the Olympics

Put on your travel hat and enjoy Italy from the safety of your chair. This talk will focus on the Dolomites, the Lake District, the Cinque Terre and Tuscany, including Siena and Florence. Rosemary and Selim will share photos and experiences of their many visits to this area. Travelling independently by car provided an opportunity to see more of the smaller towns and out-of-the-way places of beauty, cultural and historic interest. They will share photos of these special locations and include interesting background information based on knowledge and research.

Rosemary and Selim have done previous presentations for the CRTA, the PEGG Women’s Club, CALL and several seniors’ residences. They love this area and are eager to share that love with you.

Chelsey will review the latest trends and nutrition strategies for adults over 50. She will debunk myths, review nutrients of concern for 50+ and simplify the latest nutrition information with practical tips you can use right away. Chelsey’s session will emphasize the importance of a positive relationship with food, and how to make realistic habit changes.

Since 2010, Chelsey Love, a Registered Dietitian shared her passion for nutrition though helping her clients set and achieve their nutrition and health goals. Chelsey believes nutrition doesn’t have to be confusing, and how you feel is more important than how you look.

As Albertans we live, recreate, and work in a landscape that is also home to about 900 grizzly bears. This gives the landscape, a wildness and a sense of adventure that many of us love, but it can also come with risks. Coexistence with grizzly bears is as much about people as it is about bears. How bears perceive interactions with people and their previous experiences influences their response and the encounter outcome. This talk will explore the human-bear relationship from the bear’s perspective, providing new insight into what coexistence means to you and your community.

Sarah Elmeligi, PhD, has been passionate about conserving Alberta’s wildlife and wild landscapes since she was a child exploring Banff National Park with her parents. Her first full length book, What Bears Teach Us, released in November 2020 focuses on the human-bear relationship and how we can achieve coexistence. She currently works as the Executive Director of the Alberta Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

Allow Dale Leckie to guide you to Alberta’s most scenic sites. Leckie tells the intriguing story of Alberta’s landscape evolution from Waterton Lakes National Park to Dinosaur Provincial Park, into the Prairies, and across the North. With trips to Edmonton, Calgary, Crowsnest Pass, and Elk Island National Park, he takes you to explore volcanoes and glaciations long past. This talk includes stops along well-travelled and not-so-well-travelled routes that the curious would be wise to see. Using eye-catching illustrations and photographs, Leckie blends storytelling with science, incorporating natural landscape beauty with art and history.

Dale Leckie, Ph.D., is a geologist who worked at the Geological Survey of Canada and as chief geologist in a large Canadian energy company. He has edited numerous books and published widely on the geology of western Canada and is adjunct professor in the Geoscience Department at University of Calgary. His most recent book, The Scenic Geology of Alberta, topped the best seller lists across the province all summer long last year.

Smudging is an integral part of many First Nations and Indigenous cultures throughout Turtle Island. Chantal will share the Teachings, Stories, History and Science behind Smudging. This session will allow you a peek into the Smudge and the opportunity to experience some Traditional music and the stories behind them.

Chantal Chignon is a Cree Metis multi-faceted artist, educator, and social justice activist. She has presented at conference, conventions, galas, and fundraisers. Chantal has also performed on stages at the National Music Centre, Jubilee Auditorium, Jack Singer Concert Hall and many others showcasing Traditional and Contemporary Indigenous music.

It looks so easy on TV! Ever wonder how those TV researchers can find genealogy information? There is a bit more to it than searching the internet. Join us for a fun and painless introduction to family history research. We’ll cover both online and offline resources and techniques that can be applied to research anywhere in the world.

The presentation will cover

  • Genealogical Societies
  • Organizing your records
  • Getting started
  • Finding records
  • Online versus offline repositories
  • Originals, indexes and transcripts
  • How and where to learn more

Christine is an information specialist at the Calgary Public Library with a focus on genealogy and local history.

Life constantly evolves. Families change, and people come and go with births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. A representative from McLeod Law will attend to present on the top five issues in Wills and estate planning.

1. joint ownership and beneficiary designations
2. loaning to the kid – what if you help with the house purchase?
3. importance of updating your will
4. dying is easy but what about incapacitated – are you prepared?
5. Is your new boyfriend/girlfriend your dependent?

Millions of tourists visit cemeteries annually, walking amongst the grave sites of those who have passed on. Why do they do it? What is the attraction of viewing the markers of others, and not necessarily with any family connections? This is a growing business for cemeteries and some places have parties, movie nights, dinners, and special events for their patrons. Celebrities who have passed on still have followers. So, follow this presentation on a new activity for retirement: tombstone tourists. A second part will describe the new cemetery research and website project of the Alberta Family Histories Society.

Jim is the president of the Alberta Family Histories Society. For several years his keen interest in genealogy has brought him satisfaction and enjoyment.

Join Padmaja on an introductory session on dementia, and risk reduction strategies. She will review

  • What is dementia
  • Different causes of dementia- symptoms and signs
  • How dementia is diagnosed and treated at this time
  • Research- new medications in clinical trials
  • Strategies we can adopt to reduce dementia risk and to slow down progression of dementia

Programs and services offered by the Alzheimer Society of Calgary

Padmaja Genesh received her medical degree from Calicut University, India, and worked as a family physician for several years in India and in the Middle East, before migrating to Canada. Her passion to work in the field of dementia stems from her experience with her father-in-law who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1999. Padmaja is a Learning Specialist at the Alzheimer Society of Calgary focusing on Supporting Learning & Excellence in Dementia Care, since September 2012.

Come enjoy a friendly and informal approach to using sketchbooks and drawing media for travel or for home. Dave will share various sketchbooks and tools and will encourage participants to doodle along. He will supply the pencils!

Dave is an artist and art educator trained in London, England. He emigrated to Canada and worked for the Calgary Board of Education as an art teacher, department head and fine arts consultant. He has been a member of the Calgary Artists’ Society for over 25 years.

Chair Yoga is a class for anyone who does not care to be getting up and down from the floor, but still want all the benefits of a yoga class! During this session, you will explore all the traditional aspects of yoga, seated in chair and/or using the chair as a support. These poses help to improve balance, joint mobility, muscle strength, flexibility and discover the importance of calming the nervous system with breath awareness. Basic experience and knowledge of yoga is not required; however, an open mind and sense of fun are encouraged! You will be asked to sign a standard disclaimer as you enter the room.

Beth Brookwell has been teaching fitness and yoga to older adults for over 10 years. She loves to encourage and empower people through movement activities that they enjoy. Her motto is “forward is forward, every step counts!” Recently Beth earned her Health and Wellness Coaching Certificates and last year she led an online series of classes for Steppin’ Out Reimagined.

SOCIAL HOUR 2:20-3:20 PM

Wind down the day and join in the Happy Hour (no host bar) with your fellow participants. Take the time to visit old and new friends, talk about the day’s highlights and enjoy the magic keyboard of Trevor Waters. While you enjoy the hospitality, the final draws for door prizes will occur. Trevor has enriched the ending of this conference for several years and we are happy to have him back. He is a retired CBE Band and Choral Teacher.


Bring one of your puzzles to exchange. You may also pay $5.00 to buy one.
Profits donated to RESET Society Calgary.


Drop your used eyeglasses – readers, prescription, sunglasses into the box. Lions Club Canada will make good use of them. No cases please.


This is our 14th Annual “Steppin’ Out” Conference, and it would not be possible without the Generosity of the following partners who have supported us for years.

More than 50% of the cost of this year’s conference has been funded by the generosity of the CRTA and these other SPONSORS. Special Thanks to:

The Calgary Retired Teachers’ Association recognizes Mohkínsstsisi [mohk-KIN-stiss] and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksiká [six-ih-GAH], the Káínai [GUY-nah], and the Piikáni [bee-GAH-nee] First Nations; the Tsúūt’ínà [soot-IN-uh] First Nations; and the Stoney Nakoda [nuh-KOH-duh] including the Chiniki [CHIN-ih-kee], Bearspaws [BEARS paw], and Wesley [WESS-lee] First Nations. We acknowledge that this territory is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland.


Apr 21 - 22 2022


Riviera Plaza and Conference Centre (formerly Ramada Plaza Airport and Conference Centre)
3515 – 26 St. N.E., Calgary, AB


Gordon Cumming

Other Organizers

Linda Manwarren