Although the CCSTA/ACCEC 2013 Conference isn’t on the calendar until June, it’s never too early to register for the inspiring and informative event. This year, the annual general meeting and convention is being hosted by the Archdiocese of Winnipeg Catholic Schools, the Catholic Schools Commission of the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface and the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg and is being staged June 6 to 8.
Registration is now open for the event, with an early-bird fee available until April 19. As of last month, registration is available online at www.ccsta2013winnipeg.weebly.com or by faxing completed registration forms to 204-453-8236. Delegates may also register with the French registration form available on the website.
Robert Praznik, director of education for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg Catholic Schools and event planner, said the convention will be memorable. “Our theme is Embrace the Spirit and we want the delegates to Embrace the Spirit of Manitoba,” he said. “The program will excite the senses as the delegates experience the sights, sounds and tastes of our diverse city.”
The conference kicks off on Thursday, with opening ceremonies that will prove a delight as they will showcase music and food representative of the unique province. The opening will feature the Spirit of Red River, including the First Nations Drummers and the French Canadian performers Ce Claque as well as the Boys Choir from St. Paul’s High School. Praznik said the taste buds will also be sated with mini Bison Burgers and Manitoba Fries.
Thursday sees the Administrators’ Workshop occur for directors or superintendents and associates. In addition, Thursday’s event will be inspired by keynote speaker, Fr. Stefano Penna speaking on Old Wine and New Wineskins: Religious Formation in the 21st Century Schools, which focuses on modern learners and our response to new technologies and the secular world.
Friday’s portion of the AGM and convention is all about embracing multiculturalism, and the theme that day will center around the Spirit of Multicultural Manitoba. Praznik said morning prayer will begin in the Ukrainian rite and will include the choir from the Ukrainian Catholic School. To top off the day, Friday evening’s celebration features food stations from around the world and an entertainment show that includes Ukrainian, Polish, Irish, Indian, Nigerian, Philipino and Italian singers and dancers. “Winnipeg is a very multicultural city,” he said.
Friday sees the choice of six workshop presentations available for all delegates. Workshop topics range from the Task of Catholic School Teachers to Hiring Catholic Teachers, and from the Role of a Pastor in a Catholic School to the Catholic Educational Community in a Canada of Many Religions. Praznik said the workshops have been planned to give the delegates a variety of choices on topics related to Catholic Education.
Also on Friday, the event welcomes William Sadlier Dinger of New York as a keynote speaker, talking on Religious Education: The Continuing Evolution. “Bill has been involved with Catholic Education programs for 50 years and is president of the largest Catholic Publishers in the United States,” said Praznik.
Saturday’s theme focuses on Embracing the Spirit of Manitoba Catholic Schools. “We will feature groups and performers from our various Catholic Schools throughout the day including a jazz band, violinists, singers, and dancers,” Praznik said. Saturday also sees Dr. Saundra Kennedy as the keynote speaker, hailing from New Orleans. Kennedy will be speaking about the Ministry and Vocation of the Catholic School Teacher, encouraging members of Catholic school boards to review the important roles that teachers and principals play in sustaining and continuing to build the identity of Catholic schools.
In addition to the working portion of the convention, there are tours planned such as the pre-convention tour that includes Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site as well as a traditional voyageur lunch at the Fort Bistro.
“We have the motto Friendly Manitoba on our license for a reason,” Praznik said. “The Catholic School community plans to host a CCSTA convention that will not soon be forgotten.”