The 2nd annual ClimateWest Forum will bring together a network of diverse individuals and organizations with one common goal – building climate resilience across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and beyond. Join us in Edmonton or online on May 8 and 9, 2024, as we highlight the voices, stories, and work of those at the forefront of climate adaptation and resiliency action in the Prairie region.


Why a forum, and why now?

The Canadian Prairies are a hotspot for climate change —not just within Canada, but across the world according to a recent report prepared by the Prairie Climate Centre.  One of the key takeaways from the 2023 ClimateWest Forum held in Winnipeg, is that the climate has already changed and will continue to change. In accepting the reality that we are not returning to the climate of the past, we can move forward together.


Participants at the 2023 forum also told us they value the opportunity to come together in person to hear the latest knowledge from climate experts, share experiences, and learn from each other. “The ClimateWest Forum highlighted the value of being in a community with other climate action practitioners who understand the challenges and the importance of working together to take climate action based on mutual respect, strength in diversity, and the inclusion of Indigenous ways of knowing and being. The sense of connection I felt at the forum has inspired me to attend future adaptation conferences to fill the tank for more work and progress,” said Kayla Dawson, Civil Engineer/Community Consultant and 2023 forum participant.


What to expect

This year’s forum features over 20 confirmed speakers covering topics that explore how to build climate resilience through being prepared, working together, and creating change. The keynote speaker, Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), will kick off the forum with a session on Weaving Indigenous Knowledges to Enhance Climate Resilience.  “We are delighted to have Hetxw’ms Gyetxw open the ClimateWest Forum. Creating inclusive approaches is key to building climate resilience and one of the principles at the heart of ClimateWest’s work. We look forward to bringing together diverse perspectives and knowledges in a safe, shared space that promotes cooperation and knowledge-sharing,” said Kerra Chomlak, Executive Director of ClimateWest.

Following the keynote talk, Dr. Heather Morrison (Environment and Climate Change Canada) and Dr. Richard Schneider (Nature Alberta) will shed light on the changes seen in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba as a result of a warming climate along with future projections. New for 2024 and following feedback from 2023 forum participants for more youth voices, the forum organizing committee has collaborated with The Youth Harbour to design a youth panel session. Participants will hear youth perspectives on our changing climate in the Prairie region, and practical tips for engaging with youth and incorporating youth perspectives into climate resilience planning.

Day 2 of the forum will begin with an ‘In Our Communities’ session showcasing local, grass-roots initiatives such as Resilient Rurals and For Our Kids, and a presentation on Eutrophication and Treaty Rights by Dr. Hughie Jones (Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation). This will be followed by an interactive session led by Dr. Sherilee Harper (School of Public Health, University of Alberta) on how climate change impacts mental health. The afternoon will begin with a session on being prepared and working together concerning water scarcity and emergency planning. Participants will hear from a diverse panel of speakers, including Nicola Lewin (EPCOR), Andre Asselin (Alberta Water Council), Emmeline Marshall-Hill (EMH Consulting Inc.), and Dr. Timothy David Clark (Willow Springs Strategic Solutions). The day will conclude with one of Canada’s top climate communication strategists and capacity builders, Amber Bennett (Re.Climate), sharing her tips on communicating about climate change in the Prairies and motivating change.

Chomlak reflects upon the goals of the upcoming forum. “We are excited that the forum will both bring people together and showcase the passionate organizations across our provinces that are striving for climate resilience. There is a lot of positive work being done that we hope will inspire and empower others to prepare for what lies ahead and work towards a hopeful future.”

Take a look at our full agenda here.

Photos of confirmed speakers for ClimateWest 2024 Forum

A Sustainable Event

ClimateWest is conscious of emissions from travel and, as such, the forum will once again be a hybrid event. Our goal is to balance the benefit of face-to-face collaboration with the need to travel. As our network covers three provinces, we will rotate the event throughout the three provinces each year. The 2025 Forum will be held in Saskatchewan.

Thanks to our in-kind partner, Bullfrog Power, the 2024 forum will be powered with 100% green electricity. This means that Bullfrog Power’s generators put 100% green power into the grid to match the amount of conventional electricity the forum will use, displacing energy from higher emissions sources. Across Canada, Bullfrog Power’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities.


Reserve your spot!

Registration is currently open for virtual attendance.


Land Acknowledgement

ClimateWest’s work occurs on the traditional land of Treaties 1 through 8, and 10. This area includes many Indigenous Nations. The ClimateWest office is located on Treaty 1 Territory, the historic meeting place of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Inninewuk, Anishininiwag, Dakota and Dene, and the Homeland of the Métis Nations.

The 2024 ClimateWest Forum is being held in ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Amiskwacîwâskahikan) on Treaty 6 Territory and in the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 4. The City of Edmonton is also home to one of the largest Inuit populations south of the 60th parallel.

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