About The Event: Mentoring Catching Fire

The 2015 National Mentoring Symposium, Mentoring: Catching Fire, will take place at The Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff, Alberta from November 4 – 6, 2015. This event is a collaboration between the Ontario Mentoring Coalition, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) and The Alberta Mentoring Partnership (AMP).

Goal of Event
This will be Canada’s second national conference on mentoring and will strive to advance the unique contributions of mentoring to the well- being of children and youth, volunteer mentors and communities across Canada by highlighting innovative partnerships, promising practices or programs and the state of the research.

Thematic Areas

  • Exemplary and innovative program models and practices
  • Serving specific youth populations
  • Practical program development practices and skills (for example, how to interview, how to train, how to close a match, etc.)
  • Managing risk
  • Research


  • To explore the application and impact of mentoring in the context of various populations of children and youth (e.g. different age groups, children with disabilities, ethno-cultural groups, high risk youth, Aboriginal children and youth, children and youth with mental health or addictions problems, youth involved with the legal system, etc.), and across a continuum from promotion and prevention to intervention.
  • To learn from the latest findings in mentoring research, and identify needed directions for new research.
  • To provide an opportunity for mentoring programs to share their work and what they have found to be effective in their practice.
  • To provide opportunities for youth who have been mentored or who are mentors to share their perceptions and experiences.
  • To provide opportunities for informal networking and explore interest and potential mechanisms for ongoing linkages and sharing of practices among mentoring programs in Canada.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Increased awareness of how mentoring promotes healthy, civically engaged young people.
  • Common understanding of core components for successful mentoring
  • Identification of emerging innovations
  • Uptake of new knowledge to ensure high quality mentoring programs
  • Increased engagement of businesses and corporations in supporting mentoring
  • Future directions for mentoring research; development of research practice partnerships

Why Mentoring is Essential
In addition to teaching of skills and affording young people with an opportunity to articulate their thoughts and feelings, mentoring is thought to improve self-esteem and social skills, academic performance and school completion, peer and family relationships, and overall life success.

Improving outcomes for children and youth through mentoring means they are more likely to become engaged, productive citizens who contribute positively to their communities.

There are also benefits for those who volunteer as mentors.  Older students who take on mentoring roles experience not only the satisfaction that goes along with helping another young person grow and develop, but also improvements in their own self-esteem, sense of social responsibility and tangible outcomes such as completion of volunteer hours for scholarships.

Sponsorship Opportunities
If your organization is interested in sponsoring this world-class event, please contact either of our Sponsorship Committee Co-Chairs:

Cathy Denyer, cathy.denyer@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca
Judy Eng-Hum, judy.eng-hum@gov.ab.ca

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