Confluence: Where Leaders in International Cooperation Meet


ACGC is excited to launch Confluence, Where Leaders in International Cooperation Meet, a leadership program for executive directors and senior leaders working within Alberta’s international development sector beginning in March, 2021.

Leaders are experts. Together, they have a wealth of knowledge and information that drives the international development sector forward. Through a co-creative process, the facilitators of the Confluence leadership program will guide leaders to strategize on topics and issues most pressing for them in these uncertain times. 

The first session was postponed due to the challenges posed by COVID-19 Pandemic , and is now scheduled to take place September 15-17. New applications will be considered in 2022.

Leaders will come together:

  • to address opportunities and challenges leaders within Alberta’s international development sector face;
  • to identify, share and collaborate best practices that build on personal and organizations’ capacity;
  • to build community that fosters longer-term connection and support;
  • to recharge and find inspiration from peers, from guest subject matter experts, and from the space around you.
Confluence, Where Leaders in International Cooperation Meet  will be a  blended online and in-person program, running from March 2021 to June 2021 for 10 participants. This is the pilot program; a larger program will be held in Spring 2022. 
Three online sessions will be held between March and May 2021, and one two-day in person retreat in June, to be held in the Bow Valley (Banff/Canmore) area, taking Covid-19 health protocols into consideration. 
Program participation costs will be covered by ACGC. This includes all travel, accommodation and meals for the in-person retreat. 

Meet the facilitators

ACGC is excited to announce that the Confluence leadership program will be facilitated by a duo consulting team from Highwatermark Strategy and Communications and KEA Canada, Jenn Hoffman and Kathy Arney. 

The team has prepared a highly interactive and participatory program, using a range of approaches, including small group/cohort sharing, large-group discussions, structured activities, and subject matter expert presentations.

Jenn Hoffman 

Highwatermark Strategy and Communications

With twenty five years experience as a strategist, development and communications specialist, and instructor in the education, community resiliency and environmental sustainability sectors, Jenn is well positioned to help groups deliver on their mission-driven work. 

Jenn holds an MA in Education (curriculum and instruction) and an MA in Disaster and Emergency Management (community resiliency and risk reduction) and has extensive experience in project management and as a facilitator, trainer and coach. She has completed formal training in facilitating online learning and holds extensive experience in developing and delivering learning experiences, presenting at professional workshops, and creating resources on a wide range of topics including organizational risk and resiliency, fundraising and advocacy. 

Jenn has held senior positions with leading conservation and climate-resiliency organizations, including the Sierra Club, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and the Academy for Sustainable Innovation. Through her current work at Highwatermark Strategy and Communications, Jenn helps non-profits and social values-driven businesses build their capacity to create positive change. Her areas of expertise include capacity strengthening, communications and strategic planning, fundraising, risk reduction and non-profit management. 


Since 2005 Highwatermark Strategy and Communications has helped clients build their capacity, engage their community more effectively and share their learnings with the broader community, The company is passionate about social justice, environmental sustainability, and community resiliency- and about working with those who share that passion. 

They bring to their work a deep understanding of the various dimensions that both build and erode community resiliency, particularly for woen and girls. 

With a strong working understanding of the humanitarian and development landscape, the enabling philanthropic sector, and key national and international frameworks and policies that serve to guide programs and projects dedicated to eradicating poverty, championing gender equality, and globally empowering women and girls, the Highwatermark team is well aware of the challenges and opportunities that Canada’s sustainable development SMOs face as they strive to advance their mission-driven work. 

Kathy Arney

President, KEA Canada Ltd

Kathy Arney has spent her career growing organizational capacity, improving results and enabling people to reach their full potential.

Kathy’s business degree and CPA designation combined with her executive background and two decades working in philanthropy support her work helping clients strengthen their organizations and improve their impact. 

Kathy’s experience includes Chief Development Officer and Executive Director of the Banff Centre Foundation, Director, Faculty Development and Major Gifts at Carleton University and various leadership positions at UBC and Queen’s University. She has consulted with other leading universities, arts organizations, community and social service organizations, on advancement structuring, strategic and operational planning, and campaigns. She has presented at regional, national and international conferences and has a commerce degree from Queen’s University (1989), obtained her ARCT in piano performance in 1985 and obtained her CA in 1981. 

Through KEA Canada her team provides services in a variety of areas including resource development, capacity building, strategic planning, board development, campaign planning and management, coaching and interim leadership. 


KEA Canada’s mission is to contribute to a better world through nurturing generosity and philanthropy. The team provides clients with access to senior level professionals to help to build organizational capacity. 

KEA Canada also provides support in a variety of areas including resource development, strategic planning, board development, coaching, and services for families and organizations looking for advice in strategic philanthropy.

Kea Canada’s area of expertise is helping organizations build sustainable capacity.We all know that to be as effective as possible organizations must have capacity. But what does it mean to have sustainable capacity and why is this a game-changing approach that the top non-profits are adopting? 

So many non-profits focus on survival or the pressing challenge in front of them. This is important but its short-term approach can trip them up, possibly preventing mission fulfillment. 

Sustainable capacity combines meeting near-term goals while mapping long-term tactics and strategies to ensure a healthy, strong, and impactful future. Sustainable impact focuses on leadership development, financial and fundraising systems design, social media and web strategies and critical tools to create manageable growth and expansion. 

This is Kea Canada’s area of expertise.

If you are a leader (executive, staff, volunteer or board) with decision making power in your international cooperation organization who is: 

  • seeking a safe space to vision, identify and share best practices that build your personal and your organization’s capacity
  • interested in strategizing and collaborating with your peers
  • wanting to build a supportive community that fosters longer term connections and supports you as you navigate future challenges
  • able to commit three hours per month, including a 90-minute online session between March and June; and a 2 day in-person retreat in June
we invite to apply for the program using the link in the “How to Apply” section below!

Participants will be expected to commit three hours per month, including 3,  90-minute online sessions between March and May. The 2 day in-person retreat will see two full days of programming in the Bow Valley.  Acceptance to the program is unique to you as a leader, and substitutions from your organization will not be accepted for either the online sessions or the in-person event. An overview of the key dates are below:


Program Opening Session:  4 March 2021: 9-10:30am (Virtual)

Session Two:                           April (Date: TBD.  Virtual)

Session Three:                        May (Date: TBD.  Virtual)

In-Person Retreat                  Monday, June 14 – Wednesday, June 16                                                                  

                                                  Location TBD (Bow Valley, Banff/Canmore area)

ACGC prioritizes the safety and security of our participants, staff and facilitators.  At a minimum, the following risk-mitigation measures are planned to ensure a successful and safe gathering

 Health and Safety Measures:

  • All applicable Alberta Government health and safety requirement in force at the time of the program will be adhered to and enforced.
  • All participants will be required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing both during the program and in any evening/extra curricular activities. Disposable masks and sanitizer will be provided on site. 

    Additional Safety Protocols:

  • Only 10 participants and 4 facilitators/staff will be present for the gathering.
  • Participants will be asked to limit their exposure to gatherings and groups for the week prior to attending the in-person session in order to increase safety for others.   
  • ACGC will explore providing Covid-19 tests for participants and facilitators prior to the gathering, if available on a private bases at the time. 


  • The program is being designed with the use of outdoor/open air spaces a much as possible.
  •  While the program is currently being planned for the Bow Valley, the location is subject to change to comply with health measures and to ensure safe access for participants.

Consent Form:  All participants will be required to sign a consent form, which will detail all final safety protocols in place for the in-person program. 

ACGC is committed to open communication with participants at all times, and will seek continually monitor the health situation, seeking input, feedback from participants.  Logistical decisions regarding the in-person retreat will be made by May 14th. ACGC reserves the right to alter or cancel the program in order to ensure compliance with public health measures.  ACGC also will not penalize any participant who may wish to withdraw their participation at any time due to health and safety concerns.   Should you have any concerns, or wish to discuss the protocols more fully, please do not hesitate to contact ACGC’s Executive Director at