Opening Address

Mr. John Elkins

Retired educator! For the past 8 years, John has been working with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District as the Program Specialist for Physical Education, Health and Science. He has worked with teachers to improve assessment practices and teaching pedagogy, worked in curriculum development and also worked in the area of promoting Comprehensive School Health. 

Prior to this, John worked for 22 years in the St. John’s area, teaching High School Physical Education and Science. Throughout his career in Physical Education, John provided students with a wide range of activity choices including traditional and none traditional games. His program had a strong focus on experiential education, cooperative games and outdoor education to ensure that all students could achieve success in a positive learning environment.


Keynote Address

Dr. TA Loeffler

Kathleen ArmourDr. TA Loeffler brings 25 years of expertise leading people through significant life-changing experiences to every facet of her work. Her work and adventures have taken her to 42 different countries and all seven continents. TA has completed 6 and 4/5 of “The Seven Summits,” the highest peak on all seven continents. In 2015, TA was named to the “Canada’s Greatest Explorers 100 Modern-Day Trailblazers List” by Canadian Geographic.

As a Professor of Outdoor Recreation and Physical Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland, TA has developed a reputation for excellence in experiential education because her students are more likely to be outside chasing icebergs than sitting in a classroom. TA inspires hope, possibility, and vision in those whose lives she touches. Over the past ten years, TA has shared her message of “Big Dreams, Big Goals” with over 90,000 youth in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

TA believes that we all long for a balanced, engaged, and creative life that challenges us to be the best we can possibly be. She models this belief in her life on a daily basis and combines her broad range of skills to inspire all to create the life they truly want.

Using her vast collection of outdoor adventures to create metaphors that provide new ways to see and transform the inevitable obstacles of life, TA’s multimedia presentations inform, inspire, and motivate. As an award-winning educator and speaker, TA understands the power of metaphor to initiate and sustain life and professional change.


R. Tait McKenzie Scholar Address

Dr. Antony Card

Dr. Antony Card is an Associate Professor at the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland.  He joined Memorial University in 2002 and has been in various roles including Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Associate Director, Director and Dean of the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation (2010-12).  He was also Associate Vice-President (Research) for the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University (2012-2015).

Antony has a Bachelor of Physical Education (Hons) from the University of Bedfordshire, and Master and Doctoral degrees in Education from the University of Southampton in the U.K.  He served on the Board of Directors for PHE Canada (2007-12) and has taken a leading role around its Healthy School Communities initiatives.  He has been active with the PHE Canada Research Council and the Canadian Council of University Physical Education and Kinesiology Administrators (CCUPEKA).  He has taught Physical Education methods courses to primary/elementary education students and online Master of Physical Education courses in Comprehensive School Health and Leadership in Physical Education.

Antony’s research projects have focused on children and youth in Newfoundland and Labrador and engaging policy makers, practitioners and researchers in jointly setting priorities for youth health in schools across Canada, such as with the development of Core Indicators and Measures of Physical Activity.  In 2017, Antony will be a visiting scholar at the University of Otago, New Zealand and at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica.