Work Meaningfully: A Strong Message That Connected With People At The 60th HR Conference & Expo


More than 1200 participants descended into the Vancouver Convention Centre West in downtown Vancouver for CPHR BC & Yukon’s second true hybrid conference with the in-person portion taking place May 2 – 3. The virtual conference was hosted online on May 11 – 12.

The conference, which has established itself as one of Western Canada’s must attend events for HR professionals, marked its 60th year, bringing together HR leaders from across the country as well as internationally, to look at the new world of work that has emerged as we transition out of the pandemic.

The theme for this year’s conference, which was led by Conference Manager Jessica Ng, was Work Meaningfully. The event provided countless opportunities for attendees to find ways to develop meaning in their work and how to make a tremendous impact on their workplaces.

The opening keynote was a thought-provoking and insightful panel session hosted and moderated by CPHR BC & Yukon CEO, Anthony Ariganello, featuring Lisellotte Ortega, Presidente, Federación Interamericana de Gestión Humana, and Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO, Society for Human Resource Management.

Audiences were left with some key takeaways including the importance of building a strong business case for any HR initiatives and showing how that can result in and is connected to Return on Investment. Inevitably, ChatGPT came into the discussion, and the advice was that HR professionals need to embrace rather than resist this emerging, generative AI, which is here to stay. Four-day workweeks were also discussed, with the audience asked to reframe their perspective on this, looking at this more strategically through the lens of flexibility, something that has been amplified as a result of COVID-19.

Various concurrent sessions followed including an informative session with Sheh Shojaee, Director of Strategic HR & Operations, and Neha Mohan Manager, Professional Development, both at CPHR BC & Yukon, who guided HR Leaders through the data collected from two recent surveys commissioned by CPHR. The discussion focused on effective leadership strategies to lead transformational change in a pivotal time, talking about DEI considerations, and offering insights on what HR Leaders’ priorities could be doing in the already here, future of work.

Later in the day, we had a highly enriching keynote by Claude Silver, the inaugural Chief Heart Officer, for VaynerMedia. Among her many valuable pieces of advice, Claude crystallized that the key to unlocking greatness in people requires letting go of traditional HR methods and leaning into human-to-human connection. Among her many quotable moments came this: “Be someone who everyone wants in the room…your energy is what you bring with you when you walk into the room.”

The action picked back up early on Wednesday with a heartfelt keynote session featuring the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, who shared her unique perspective on leadership and Indigenous rights and reconciliation, providing some hard-hitting but meaningful observations for attendees. One of her takeaways from her well moderated session with emcee Julie Kim, which received raucous applause, was, “be audacious, be courageous, do your part.”

Several enriching concurrent sessions followed before attendees were entertained at the celebration lunch by a live performance by Cookin’ with Brass.

Before that, however, CPHR BC & Yukon was honoured to induct two distinguished and esteemed individuals – Dr. Neil Fassina as well as CPHR BC & Yukon and CPHR Canada CEO, Anthony Ariganello. Both gentlemen were recognized for their outstanding contributions to elevating the HR profession, receiving the Fellow CPHR Award – a prestigious accolade that recognizes CPHR professionals who have made exemplary contributions to the HR profession. Recipients are granted recognition as a Fellow of the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources.

A final round of additional concurrent sessions followed before a rousing closing keynote was delivered by hip-hop artist and motivational speaker Shaun Boothe. Reminding us that we all have potential, Shaun walked us through The Unauthorized Biography Series, which is a celebration of greatness. Half TED Talk, half live concert, Shaun used music, multimedia, and motivation to deliver powerful and transformative messaging in a way that left the audience incredibly inspired, closing with the words, “to admire is to aspire”.

Reminder, access to all the recorded sessions of the conference will be available to registered delegates between May 15 and July 11, 2023.   


Please visit our Facebook page to see the more than 1,400 photos from the event. 

Day 1

Day 2

Thank You

As the saying goes, “it takes a village”. Accordingly, then, CPHR BC & Yukon would first like to thank you, our delegates, for attending and participating in this year’s conference.

We hope you continue to nurture your new and renewed connections made during the two-day conference, and of course to maximize your CPD hours by taking in all parts of the conference by watching the recorded content on-demand.

We also want to thank Tanvi Prannoy Chawla for sharing her incredible talents and amazing artwork that was used in the conference branding and imagery both before and during the event.

Thank you to comedian Julie Kim, who entertained us as emcee throughout the event. Our deepest gratitude to all the speakers for the keynote and concurrent sessions for sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Thank you to Kevin Howlett, Chair, and the CPHR BC & Yukon Board of Directors for their dedication and commitment to ensuring we executed yet another successful conference.

Thank you also to Conference Chair, Tanya Ponnan, and the rest of the Conference Advisory Committee and Track Sub-Committee members for the countless hours of the time they contributed to building the program.

Thank you to our volunteers for their outstanding work over the two-day in-person conference. Your support to us is invaluable!  

Thank you to our valued sponsors and exhibitors for your support of the event and the HR profession.

Thank you to our incredible suppliers that helped make this event possible: iilo Creative Alliance, Encore Canada, Vancouver Convention Centre, Levy Show Services, and PheedLoop. Thank you also to our other service providers and entertainers: Butter Studios, BBW International, Gio Levy, Shyama-Priya, Soulful Indulgence, Maverick VR, Blue Monkey Photobooth, Cookin’ with Brass, stilt walkers, DJ Nathalie and percussionist Javier, 4imprint, Agha Studios, and The Printing House.

And last but certainly not least, thank you to the entire CPHR BC & Yukon team, with another shoutout to Conference Manager Jessica Ng, and a shout out to Annie Wong, Events Specialist, for all their hard work and efforts to put together our second true hybrid conference and creating and event experience that delegates really appreciated.

The 2024 HR Conference & Expo will be April 30 – May 1, 2024. We hope to see you there!

Please feel free to check out the CPHR BC & Yukon Facebook Page for photos from this year’s HR Conference & Expo.


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