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Engaging Keynotes & Workshops

Sessions that entertain and enlighten

Facilitator speaks to laughing crowd sitting around tables


Thoughtful & funny


Professional Development

Meaningful & customizable

Author speaking from podium to crowded conference room about community

Facilitated Workshops

Hands-on & action-oriented

Speaking: Speaking

Session Descriptions

Carissa's keynotes evolve from her experience as a writer, political advisor and community advocate. Her workshops draw on her strengths as a facilitator & owner/lead consultant of Halton Strategic.

All sessions are adapted for the audience and Carissa often adds unique historical facts or case studies related to the audience's field, profession, values or shared goals.

Speaking: Welcome

Lessons on Community from my Misunderstood Neighbourhood

How do you build stronger teams or safer neighbourhoods? Our most notorious neighbourhoods have something to teach us about building community!

When Carissa Halton moved into a neighbourhood with a bad reputation, people told her she would move when she had kids. Instead, she met her neighbours. In this 60-minute keynote, she shares what her misunderstood neighbourhood taught her about building community connections. Audiences will be introduced to a range of unlikely community activators and be inspired to make their neighbourhoods and workspaces more connected. She can customize the focus to specific client audience goals.

Learning Outcomes

Discover how we find and build community in our organizations and  neighbourhoods. Focus is on the building blocks of successful community action and practical tactics that contribute to strong connection.


Suitable for a 60-minute keynote, this session can be expanded into a 90- or 120- minute interactive workshop. This session can be formatted to fit your schedule or audience's needs.


Community engagement; healthy work culture; employee engagement; leadership; building healthy connections


Associations, Community-based Organizations, Municipalities, Non- Profit Organizations, Businesses and organizations striving to build better culture and connection

Speaking: FAQ

The ABCs of Successful Public Policy Change

How can we positively influence public policy? In this session, Carissa Halton will share from her experience working inside and outside of government, as well as case studies of those gone before us!

Carissa Halton’s job as Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s first Correspondence Director was a crash course in the successful and not-so-successful campaigns that contributed to policy change. In this keynote, she explores the successful ways community groups and individuals have influenced government policy and aligned goals to their cause. Through story and humour she explores what motivates policy makers and breaks down the steps on how to design and implement a basic government relations strategy. Keynote can be customized to align with client’s government relations goals and specific political or government scenarios.

Learning Outcomes

Better understand how public policy change happens from the ground up, includes dos and don’ts of successful government relations strategies based on case studies from jurisdictions relevant to each audience.


Suitable for a 60 minute keynote, this session can be expanded into a 90-120 minute interactive workshop. This session can be formatted to fit your schedule and unique needs.


Government Relations, Change-making, Public Policy Campaigns,
Democracy, Strategic Planning


Associations, Community-based Organizations, Municipalities, Non-profit Organizations, Unions

Speaking: FAQ

Tried and True Writer Hacks for Improving Business Writing

While many professionals wouldn’t call themselves writers like Carissa Halton, putting words on the page is often a large part of their job. This keynote takes a fun, practical dive into the lives of history's best writers to inspire better business writing.

Whether we’re writing reports, emails, case notes or summaries, writing is a big part of many of our daily work. Sometimes it can feel like the hardest part! In this keynote, Carissa Halton shares what she’s learned about writing (including the importance of focus and flow!) as a professional writer. With fun hacks and tips drawn from history’s greatest writers and thinkers, she pulls back the curtain on the purpose and process of writing and provides tips for drafting and editing one’s work. While not everyone wants to win a Pulitzer, this keynote will have audiences eager to think differently about their approach to writing and the final product.

Learning Outcomes

Practical tactics and tips for professionals to improve their business writing.


Suitable for a 60 minute keynote, this session can be expanded into a 90-120 minute interactive workshop.


Writing, Effective Process, Creativity, Professional Development, Flow, Focus


Professional Associations, Consultants, Professionals, Health Care Practitioners

Speaking: FAQ

Sample List of Clients

Southern Alberta Library Association

Canadian Rheumatology Association

Alberta Association of Landscape Architects

Tamarack Institute

Litfest Alberta

Word Vancouver

Norquest College

University of Alberta, Peter Lougheed Leadership School

Edmonton Public Library

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

City of St. Albert

King's University College

Catholic Social Services

Young Alberta Book Society

United Way, Capital Region

Douglas College

Speaking: Clients

Writing True: Stories that Get Noticed

Are you struggling to write all your really amazing stories down? Join award-winning non-fiction author, Carissa Halton, for a writing workshop on the techniques and tools that make non-fiction and communications writing come alive.  Using published examples, she’ll explain  techniques that make non-fiction stories sparkle.


Participants will identify the stories they or their organization have to share and clarify their audience internally and externally. Participants will leave with tips on how to write those stories in engaging ways for use in communications materials and social media.


Suitable for a 60 -90 minute interactive workshop.


Customize a focus for your team's specific communications or writing goals.

Speaking: FAQ

Audience Reviews

Carissa provided a thought provoking and uplifting presentation at our AGM. She took time to understand our Association and Members, and tailored the presentation accordingly. Her energetic and enthusiastic keynote was the perfect start to the AGM.

Alberta Association of Landscape Architects

It was an absolute joy to have Carissa Halton present at LitFest. Not only is she keen to help shape her events, she is also generous and innovative in her approach. Her savvy with promotions and social media is a great asset for organizers, and her sold-out walking tour event was one of the most memorable we've ever had at the fest. We'd invite her back any time!

Fawnda Mithrush
Executive Director
Litfest Alberta

Carissa is an engaging speaker who captivates the audience immediately with her ability to tell a story. She is as authentic as the stories she tells about her experiences with people and her environment while living in Alberta Avenue in Edmonton. I highly recommend Carissa as a featured speaker; she does not disappoint.

Sheryl Hansen
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Human Resources Manager

We chose Carissa Halton as the opening keynote speaker for our annual conference. Her warmth, authenticity, and good humour set a delightfully positive tone for the weekend. Carissa is a wonderful storyteller, and the experiences she shared are a testament to the transformative power of small kindnesses.

Robin Hepher
Chinook Arch Regional Library System

Carissa was so engaging. The 90 minutes went by so quickly because of the wonderful storytelling and sense of humour. Excellent presentation!

Neighbourhood Connector
St. Albert, Alberta

Speaking: Testimonials
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