— Keynote Speaker —
Sandra (Sandy) Prather is a long-time retreat director, writer and facilitator known for an infectious joy in her faith. She holds a Master of Theology degree from Newman and served for 21 years as executive director of Star of the North Retreat Centre in St. Albert before retiring in 2012. She is in demand locally, nationally and internationally for teaching and leading retreats, seminars and workshops for educators, lay formation programs, parishes, and men's and women's religious organizations.
Sandy also serves as Provincial Animator of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Lacombe Associates, and in 2009 was named an Honorary Oblate for her dedication and service with the OMI at various levels of leadership and ministry.
Readers of the Prairie Messenger know Sandy as the author of "Breaking Open the Ordinary," a monthly column that inspires, enlightens and evangelizes her readers; she also contributes reflections to the "Living With Christ" missalette.
Just this year, Sandy was honoured by Newman Theological College as the recipient of the Kevin Carr Christian Leadership Award. An award that recognizes and honours individuals whose outstanding Christian Leadership reflects the values of Newman Theological College. Gregory Bounds, who nominated Sandy for the Carr Award, noted that: "Sandra has made service her life vocation by sharing her gifts and talents with the many groups, parishes and individuals who seek her well-honed theological and facilitation skills. It takes courage and faith to live such a public life of witness. Over the years, as she has tirelessly dedicated herself a mother, grandmother, sister and wife, she has also demonstrated at least 25 years of professional integrity travelling to cities and towns proclaiming the good news of Christ in the world. Sandy continues to be a model disciple, teacher and leader in Western Canada and beyond."
Sandy values family as a priority of her faith and service. She and her husband, Bob, have four children and 10 grandchildren. They live in Sherwood Park, where they are members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish.
Mayor Don Iveson
— Guest of Honour —
Since his election as Edmonton’s 35th Mayor in 2013, Mayor Iveson has led Edmonton’s transformation into a more uplifting, resilient and globally competitive city. Alongside his remarkable partner Sarah Chan, they both serve our community while raising two young children, working to make things better for all our kids and grandkids.
Harnessing a new confidence among Edmontonians, he is focused on the priorities of growing an opportunity economy, building a more family friendly city, accelerating our leadership on energy and climate, and planning for a million people — all while strengthening integrity and performance at City Hall.
Prior to entering public life, Iveson studied Political Science at the University of Alberta, then served as president of Canadian University Press in Toronto. He returned home to a city that appeared to be exporting young, smart leaders, thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs faster than it could attract them. As a proud Edmontonian, the challenge of attracting and retaining more people inspired Iveson to run for City Council in 2007. As a result, one of his key performance indicators — as both a Councillor and Mayor — is to build the kind of city that, when the time comes, his children will never want to leave.
— Master of Ceremonies—
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