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  • Tuesday, February 12, 2019 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    On the NC State University website, by Jessica Jameson, a professor of communication at NC State.

    Universities are grappling with ways to help their students address a host of mental health challenges, many of which are linked to stress. One possible solution may be to train students in tools and techniques that can help them achieve balance. Luckily, there is a suite of skills that addresses those specific issues – and many universities already teach them under the heading of “mediation training.”

    Read This Article

  • Wednesday, February 06, 2019 11:38 AM | Anonymous

    Many of you will recall that I provided a lengthy reflection on our 2017 activities and accomplishments at about this time last year. My reflection on 2018 will be much shorter - not because we accomplished less last year, but because the circumstances and events that ADRIA focused on in 2018 have significantly altered the trajectory of both our profession and our organization. 
    Let's start with advocacy and the advancement of ADR practices in Alberta. The 2018 Alberta ADR Symposium was many years in the making. It represented a broad partnership of Government and Non-Profit ADR interests that banded together to host a serious dialogue about ADR practices and acceptance. As we had hoped, the Symposium attracted a broad range of participants, and meaningful feedback emerged with which to drive future decision making. ADRIA provided much of the energy and resources for this Symposium and, true to form, ADRIA members were front and centre in all of the discussions. Our own Tammy Borowiecki alone deserves much of the credit for the Symposium's success. Exceptional speakers covered a wide range of interests, and the Tamarack Foundation led us through the concepts of collective impact and a common agenda. The work of the Symposium continues, and we are hopeful that a lasting and progressive legacy will emerge. Certainly the level and nature of discussions between the Government of Alberta (GOA), ADRIA and other ADR Non-profits has intensified, and new opportunities are emerging. The Courts will soon trial, and hopefully reinstate, mandatory pre-trial ADR. Discussions with the GOA Dispute Resolution Network (GOA/DRN), and the work of our ADRIA Task Force on Training & Designation Standards, will soon encourage a greater degree of skills integration within the ADR community, higher standards, and more opportunities to access GOA rosters, practicums and employment.
    How has our organization evolved? Growing enrolment at Concordia, and in our own ADR classroom, prompted the need to find larger premises last summer. Relocating an office and developing our own educational space were not small undertakings, but the move to South Edmonton has been well received by the staff and membership alike. Smart investments in furnishings and technology have provided ADRIA's learners with an exceptional training environment, well suited to the unique needs of our profession. Our Board of Directors was also renewed in 2018 through the addition of three engaged Directors, each representing a unique sector of the ADR spectrum. Finally, through the collective efforts of several ADRIA Board members and many others, a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ADR Canada and the seven Regional Affiliates across Canada will soon be in effect. Signing the MOU will significantly enhance our ability to work collaboratively as a Federation, and advance ADR practices across the country.       
    2019 has kicked off with new premises, new opportunities, new Board and staff members, a new Federation MOU, classrooms full of learners, and a renewed sense of "we're heading in the right direction". You are invited to take an active role in your professional association: assist in our advocacy efforts, support ADRIA's networking and learning events, and/or develop your professional skills.  I outlined many of these opportunities in last month's Newsletter, so I again invite you to explore your options, get engaged, and to send me a note on any subject at any time:  

    February is a cold, cold month, but the year ahead is looking really bright! 

    - Paul Conway, Executive Director

  • Tuesday, January 22, 2019 11:29 AM | Anonymous

    On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate towards mental health initiatives in Canada by contributing 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.
    Bell Let’s Talk Toolkit
    To help you be part of the conversation, the Bell Let’s Talk Toolkit provides information and
    resources on how you can facilitate a conversation in your community, how to have conversations with people, helpful tips for the workplace as well as shareable images for you to use to show your support.
    Conversation Guide
    The Conversation Guide can be used to help people start a conversation about mental health. This guide will help you, as a facilitator, plan how to encourage your community to start
    conversations about mental illness.
    National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace
    According to the Mental Health Commission, on any given week, more than 500,000 Canadians are unable to go to work due to mental health problems.
    Download this resource to find information about the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

    Keep the conversation about mental health going all year long!

  • Thursday, January 17, 2019 11:26 AM | Anonymous

    Sandra Drake
    Executive & Membership Coordinator

    I am thrilled to be joining ADRIA as the new Executive & Membership Coordinator. My educational background is in psychology, and my work experience is primarily in administration, volunteer coordination, and program coordination. I look forward to getting to know our members and working with you over the coming months!

    Carrie Madu
    Education Coordinator

    I am excited to take on the role of Education Coordinator while Jocelyn pursues her MSW practicum. I come to ADRIA with a background in Film and Television Production. I am fortunate to have been internationally recognized for the completion of award-winning projects along with excellence in creativity, problem solving and meeting deadlines. As a producer I have had the opportunity to work with creative teams; scheduling, negotiating, and bringing multi-million-dollar projects in on time and on budget. My motto: Customer service is important, always.

  • Tuesday, January 15, 2019 1:04 PM | Anonymous

    What would your workplace look like if the employees were empowered with conflict resolution skills?

    Conflict Management for Human Resources Professionals is a stepping stone to achieving that goal. We are proudly offering this course in Grande Prairie this spring!

    This course introduces Human Resources professionals to the field of informal conflict management and the broad spectrum of conflict management approaches available to organizations.

    Understand conflict and its impact on individuals and organizations so you can:

    • develop & improve communication skills,
    • introduce new HR policies & resources, and
    • encourage managers and employees alike to act as conflict resolvers in the workplace.

    Learn about the dynamics of interpersonal conflict in the workplace, as well as how to manage conflict situations and high emotions from an HR perspective.

    Be empowered with the skills and confidence to resolve conflict situations early, locally, and informally (ELI).

    For a full course description visit our website.

    Ask us about how this course could meet CPD requirements for CPHR Alberta.

    The next dates for this course are March 25-27 + April 8-9, 2019 in Grande Prairie. 

    Register for the Grande Prairie course

  • Monday, January 14, 2019 1:46 PM | ADRIA Membership (Administrator)

    Association for Conflict Resolution

    The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) is seeking a dynamic and creative Executive Director to lead and enhance the organization. ACR is a non-profit membership association committed to educational activities that promote peaceful, effective conflict resolution, both nationally and internationally. The Executive Director, as an outside Contractor, will work closely with an active Board of Directors and will have a key role in being responsive to the needs of membership, fundraising, securing the financial sustainability of the organization, web-administration, Conference planning, and development of budgets and resources. Other duties include membership outreach, implementing programming/services for members, developing field-wide partnerships, working with ACR's Sections and Chapters, and carrying out the day-to-day operations of the organization.
    A successful candidate must have dispute resolution experience. This is a part time contractor’s position that includes coordinating and working with other contractors.
    Telecommuting is required and the Executive Director can be located most anywhere. Some travel may be involved. Applicants should consider that ACR is an international membership organization with a heavy concentration of members on the East coast of the U.S. Compensation will be commensurate with experience and responsibilities.
    To apply, please email a resume and cover letter in the form of a Response to Proposal by February 28, 2019, to with a cc to .

    Association for Conflict Resolution

    ACR Website Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Google+ Youtube

  • Tuesday, January 08, 2019 11:25 AM | Anonymous

    Embracing the New Year offers all of us an opportunity to reflect on the year past, and look forward to what 2019 has to offer.  For many, the year ahead offers new ways to reinvest in one's profession or personal skills.  ADRIA offers many such opportunities, so here are a few options:
    Get political.  So often we lament that the case for ADR has been proven many times over, yet our government and business cultures seem slow to adapt.  With the Provincial election only a few months away (followed shortly thereafter by the Federal), ADRIA & ADRIC are mounting campaigns to educate those vying for office, in an effort to raise ADR awareness in government.  While every candidate will be targeted, ADRIA is also preparing a road map of specific government ADR initiatives, projects and policies that it would like to see adopted.  ADRIA will soon create an Alberta ADR Government Relations Committee to advance this advocacy effort.  Contact if interested.
    Volunteer for a national or provincial ADR Committee.  ADRIA & ADRIC are both seeking engaged member volunteers for committees that deal with ADR activities, policies and standards.  Such opportunities include:

    Develop your instructional and coaching talents.  As ADRIA expands its Professional Development Program and Contract Training, we will be seeking skilled members who also possess adult learning experience.  ADRIA instructors usually begin as coaches, and are invested in developing their adult learning credentials.  Talk to any member of ADRIA's Professional Development team if you think ADR Education is a skill set you'd like to develop.
    Invest in your own professional development.  Take the next step - enrol in a course that will challenge and advance your ADR skill set.  ADRIA will be introducing new courses this year, so review your options as they are announced.  Other professional development options include the regular ADR luncheons in Calgary & Edmonton, or online with Bridging the Distance videoconferencing.  ADRIA offers free Learner sessions for those committed to enhancing their ADR skills, and full-day ADR Learning events will be announced in the months ahead.   Finally, there are a host of provincial, national and international conferences, details of which are often posted on the ADRIA website events page.
    Get On Board!  ADRIA has a committed Board of Directors that provide strategic direction and guidance.  Every year the Nominating Committee seeks out committed members that can dedicate time to advancing ADR in Alberta and sustaining our profession.  If serving as a Director interests you, please send an expression of interest to
    Mentor a new ADR professional.  There is nothing more rewarding than sharing your experience and wisdom with one of ADRIA's newly minted ADR professionals.  Accepting a mentee, or taking in an intern, can enhance your own love of the craft, expand your private practice, and pass on values and skills that will sustain and elevate the profession.  ADRIA can assist you in seeking out the right candidate.  Speak with the Executive Director if you are interested in offering such an opportunity.

    Update your professional profile.  Check your membership profiles - on both the ADRIA and ADRIC websites.  Keep your professional profile up-to-date and add any new qualifications.  Don't forget to upload a professional photo.  If you're interested in being considered for ADRIA selection and roster programs, make sure that you've ticked the Select & Appoint option.  Better yet, if you have an ADRIC designation, apply to be listed on ADRIA's online Directory.  Member feedback confirms that those listed are getting called. 
    Apply for a designation, or upgrade to Chartered status.  Applications are accepted every March and September, but don't wait until the last minute.  Check out the requirements and gather your documents.  A national designation attests to your commitment to excellence in ADR and to the profession.

    Make 2019 your year!

  • Thursday, December 20, 2018 1:12 PM | Anonymous

    There are a few things to highlight this month that your ADRIA Board has been working on:

    As you know, the ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC) is our national organization, responsible for advancing the practice and profile of ADR across the country. Every province or region has an affiliate organization like ADRIA. Thanks to an extraordinary effort over several years, including several ADRIA Board members, a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is now approaching finalization between ADRIC and Affiliates. The current MOU between ADRIA and ADRIC was implemented in 1996. The new MOU is a multi-lateral agreement with ADRIC and Affiliates working together as a Federation, with ADRIC in a coordinating role. The MOU outlines commitments and responsibilities of ADRIC and ADRIA, and how we’ll work together to serve our members and strengthen ADR practice.

    November 23-25th was the ADRIC National Conference. While a great opportunity for learning, it is also an important forum for ADRIC and Affiliate leaders to meet face to face. Four ADRIA Board members plus our ED had opportunities to meet with our counterparts across the country to network and discuss emerging issues.
    ADRIA Board and staff continue work to strengthen our relationship with government and our Alberta ADR community to promote and adopt ADR. This includes supporting several initiatives announced by government for use of ADR in Alberta’s Court system in 2019 and assisting Municipal Affairs in establishing their new Arbitration roster and expanding the Mediation roster.

    A Community Round Table event was held in Calgary in October by the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution (York University) together with ADRIA and the Ismaili Conciliation and Arbitration Board (CAB) as part of our ADRIA\CAB partnership. Participants explored how to create effective conflict resolution cultures to build strong vibrant and competent community organizations. A spring event in Edmonton is under discussion.
    As the opportunities and challenges for ADRIA evolve and our environment changes, your Board reviews its plan annually and renews its focus. In December the following 5 key strategies were adopted as key initiatives to meet our goals moving forward.   

    1. Promote ADR awareness and use with the general public, government and business sectors.
    2. Increase the value of ADRIA/ADRIC membership to all members.
    3. Champion standards and competencies in the practice of ADR, including existing & future regulatory frameworks.
    4. Be recognized as a leader in Alberta and an essential partner in advancing ADR.
    5. Develop new revenue streams.

    The Board and staff of ADRIA wish all our members the very best this Holiday Season.

    If you have any comments or questions for your Board – please send them to
    President: Michelle Simpson C.Med, C.Arb. 
    Vice-President: Barbara McNeil C.Med, Q.Arb. 
    Treasurer: Dora Dang, C.Med, Q.Arb. 
    Past President: J. Barrie Marshall
    ADRIC Representative: Wendy Hassen, C.Med.
    Director and Governance Committee Chair: Kevin Kelly, Q.Arb, Q.Med.  
    Director: Michelle Bonnici
    Director: Jonathan Chapman
    Director: Doug Devlin
    Director: Amin Poonja Q.Med 

  • Tuesday, November 27, 2018 3:01 PM | Anonymous

    Consensus Decision Making (CDM) is a form of collaborative decision making where diverse stakeholders agree to work together towards finding mutually acceptable solutions to complex issues.

    Consensus Decision Making works well for those who are involved in multi-party consultation processes as a stakeholder or who would like to learn to manage or lead the process.

    This style of collaborative decision making is often useful for professionals such as:

    • Oil & Gas representatives who actively engage with citizen groups
    • NGOs seeking to build collaborative relationships with other NGOs (specifically Board members and Executive Directors)
    • Land Use Planners
    • Professionals whose work focuses on public engagement
    • Government regulators whose work requires them to consult and collaborate with industry and the public
    • Forestry representatives who are involved in developing forestry management agreements

    We offer a Consensus Decision Making Certificate Program that is made up of two courses designed to prepare students to participate in or facilitate consensus building and consensus decision-making processes. The first of these courses is our foundational Communications in ADR course which is followed by the Consensus Decision Making course.

    Jay White, the President & CEO of Aquality Environmental Consulting Ltd. in Edmonton, took our Consensus Decision Making course. He uses the skills he learned daily at Aquality Environmental Consulting; they work all across western Canada on a variety of water related projects that support responsible development.

    We decided to follow up with Jay a few years after the course to see what the impact has been on his professional life.

    What advice do you have for someone who might be thinking about starting training in conflict resolution?

    Anybody involved in consultation – managers, leaders, etc. – should take this training. Make the time to invest in yourself; it’s a tremendous contribution to your professional development. I specifically wanted to learn the skills in Consensus Decision Making. I wanted to support my work on the Alberta Water Council and the Alberta Lake Management Society.

    What was your favourite part of the course?

    The group activities were very memorable, in particular I enjoyed an exercise where I couldn’t offer any input unless I was directly asked by other participants. In the exercise, I was the only person who held a key piece of information for the group’s success. So the group’s success was limited by their ability to reach out and get other’s feedback on the issue.

    What important and practical skills have you gained through taking this course?

    Every aspect of my day to day business interactions have been improved by this course. In particular, Critical Skills for Resolving Conflict was eye-opening, and quite frankly, life changing. The Four Tongues and Four Ears/Listening for Understanding is something I use every day and reference often. I have referred my staff to most of the modules in the course. Overall, the most important lesson I learned was to listen for understanding, and speak to be understood.

    If you’re interested in gaining these skills, find more information about the Certificate in Consensus Decision Making.

  • Friday, November 23, 2018 4:18 PM | Anonymous

    By: Robyn Jacobsen

    Why is collaboration so important in today’s world? 

    The main reason is that the problems we have to solve today are more complex than they have ever been. 

    Solving them requires a variety of skill sets, perspectives, and approaches, and a lot of pieces need to come together smoothly for resolution to be successful.

    Training programs like the Consensus Decision Making program offered through ADRIA provide a solid foundation for practitioners to build their skills and start to develop the experience they need to successfully manage collaborative, consensus processes.

    Collaboration means working together towards solutions. Consensus is the way the group reaches agreement. Consensus usually means that everyone involved agrees to the final solution. A collaborative, consensus approach creates durable solutions to complex issues, while ensuring that everyone can live with the outcome and there are no winners or losers.

    This way of doing business is more than just consultation. It provides a forum for participants to have meaningful discussions and to engage in conflict in a constructive way. Participants can discuss and test ideas without prejudice and then build solutions together – the reason participants engage in consensus processes is to produce something better than they can get on their own. Everyone has a unique piece of the puzzle and everyone’s interests are addressed, creating shared ownership and buy-in to the final agreement.

    An implicit benefit of consensus processes is that mutual understanding and respect develops as people search together for the solutions. Participants place a huge amount of importance on the trust and relationships they are able to build through these processes.

    When I first stumbled into this line of work, I instinctively knew it was exactly what I had been looking for and wanted to be a part of.

    Working as a facilitator and a mediator of collaborative, consensus processes that are designed to take into account everyone’s interests and find solutions that everyone can agree to is a dream come true, and a passion!

    All these years later, I have built extensive experience as a facilitator, planner, advisor, strategist and project manager for a wide range of collaborative dialogues and complex, multi-dimensional issues.

    I have recently started my own consulting practice based in Edmonton that provides facilitation and process design services. I focus on designing collaborative processes, consensus building, and interest-based approaches. I have had the amazing opportunity to work with government, industry, and non-government organizations in the resolution of complex public policy issues in Alberta. My role in these discussions requires an integrative and collaborative approach to develop solutions that everyone can live with. 

    The Consensus Decision Making program at ADRIA was a big step in my development of a strong foundation in collaborative, consensus processes.

    Robyn Jacobsen has 8 years' experience acting as a facilitator, planner, advisor, strategist and project manager for a wide range of collaborative dialogues. Robyn designs and hosts processes for groups who want to meet and work together in a more collaborative way.

    Originally posted in December 2016. Edited and updated. 

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