Vancouver Island Leadership Conference 2022

Leading the Future

April 1st & 2nd, 2022 — Nanaimo, BC

Watch Recap Video

Conference Theme

The Vancouver Island Leadership Conference (VILC) hosts post-secondary students across British Columbia for an event of keynotes and strength building workshops to inspire future leaders. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Leading the Future Together’ which will work to engage delegates to build a connection with others, self, culture, and earth through keynotes, connection speakers, and excursions.

This year the VILC 2022 Organizing Committee has 150 seats available at a value of $100 per participant. Be sure to register today, secure your seat at the conference and participate to win tuition awards (total value of $1000). Limited sponsored seats are available at a first come first serve basis.


Friday, April 1st
Saturday, April 2nd


6:00pm - 9:00pm
9:00am - 10:00pm


Malaspina Theatre
Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Our Keynote Speakers

Olympic Athlete - Marathon / 10,000m

Lanni Marchant

Lanni Marchant represented Canada in the 10,000m and marathon at the 2016 Summer Olympics, becoming the first Canadian athlete to double up in these two grueling events. She won a bronze medal in the 10,000 at the Pan Am Games in Toronto the previous summer. Lanni is the middle child in a family of seven. Her mom was a figure skating coach, but in grade 10 Lanni traded in her skates for running shoes after finding joy and success racing with her high school cross-country team. The London, Ontario athlete earned a scholarship to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, winning multiple conference championships and several other titles on the track and as a member of the cross-country team. Lanni attended law school at the University of Ottawa and Michigan State University. It was during these years that Lanni discovered success in road running. In 2013, Lanni broke the Canadian marathon record and a year later, did the same in the women’s half- marathon. Lanni has overcome a series of illnesses and major surgeries that tested her mentally and physically from 2017 to 2020. Using her passions for running and the law, Lanni is a dedicated athlete advocate having testified in front of Canadian Parliament Heritage Committee on Women in Sport and successfully lobbied our government to increase funds aimed towards growing and supporting women's sport in Canada. Lanni is an active member on the board of directors for the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada, sits on the SafeSport Work Group with AthletesCan, and is an athlete council member for Athletics Canada.

Best Selling Author & TedX Speaker

Nelson Soh

Nelson Soh is not your ordinary Chartered Professional Accountant; he is a TEDx Speaker, 2x best-selling author, an entrepreneur, and CFO. Nelson is a University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business graduate who brings a wealth of knowledge from a diverse experience background. Throughout his career, Nelson has worked with organizations like KPMG, Pearson Education, Cathay Pacific Airways, CPA Canada, and more. With a passion for helping others paired with his ability to teach others about money and finances in a simple and easy-to-understand way, Nelson helps people and businesses create positive changes to reach their full potential. His most recent TEDx Talk is titled, “Financial Literacy and the Social Media Generation.” An important message across all generations that financial literacy is non-negotiable. With the rise of social media, young adults may be negatively impacted and influenced which heeds the importance of financial literacy. Nelson is a professionally published author and his book is titled Life Literacy - Real life knowledge and resources for the next generation to succeed. Along with financial literacy, Life Literacy teaches personal and professional literacy to anyone that is looking to improve their life. Nelson has spoken at national conferences, recorded podcasts, and written articles on topics around financial literacy, lifestyle, and fitness, and created the 100-Day Money Mindset Journal – a tool to help people create healthy habits and a positive mindset around money. He was recently featured in the Daily Hive, in a local Mercedes-Benz commercial, and will soon be featured in the BC CPA In-Focus magazine this spring.

Founder, Rumble Supershake

Paul Underhill

Living with cystic fibrosis, Paul had a need for optimal nutrition and was struggling to find a tasty, nourishing drink, powered by natural goodness. After a visit to his local natural grocer confirmed there was nothing available that checked all the boxes, he knew he was on to something: Paul laced up his apron and fired up the blender to boost his own wellbeing.Paul needed a team to realize his vision, so he reached out to friends and the team ‘rumbled’ to life. On the journey to bring the product to market, Paul's health deteriorated to the point that he required oxygen 24/7, and was ultimately forced to undergo a life-saving double lung transplant. Just one year after the operation, Paul completed the 140KM Tour de Victoria in honour of his donor. After a few years of hard work and determination from the whole team, Paul was thrilled to finally make Rumble available for everyone at grocery stores across Canada. Soon after, Paul and the team successfully pitch to the Dragon’s Den on national television catapulting Rumble into coast to coast distribution. Paul’s personal quest has turned into something we think is pretty special: an opportunity to bring healthy, hunger-beating alternatives to people who share our appetite for life. It’s this vision that drives our young company and keeps us innovating for better living.

Conference Schedule

Day 1

April 1st — Malaspina Theatre
  1. 6:00pm - 6:45pm

    Networking & Registration

    Vaccine passport and one piece of photo ID required for entry.

  2. 6:45pm - 7:00pm

    Introductions & Formal Welcoming

    Our opening ceremony will include a Traditional Welcome by a VIU Elder and introductions from our VILC hosts.

  3. Guest Speakers
    7:00pm - 8:45pm
  4. Opening Keynote Speaker

    Nelson Soh - Best Selling Author & TedX Speaker

  5. Connection to Earth Speaker

    Sarah Dafoe - Plant Consultant & Herbalist

  6. Connection to Culture Speaker

    Seth Recalma - First Nations Engagement Coordinator, Moose Hide Campaign

  7. Connection to Self Speaker

    Nikita Paddock - Founder, I AM RESILIENT.

  8. Connection to Others Speaker

    Kate Haber - Canadian National Rower

  9. 8:45pm - 9:00pm

    Closing Remarks

    Closing remarks to learn about conference challenges for Day 2.

Day 2

April 2nd — Vancouver Island Conference Centre
  1. 9:00am - 9:30am

    Day 2 Check In

    Coffee, tea, and light refreshments available.

  2. 9:30am - 10:15am

    Morning Keynote Speaker

    Paul Underhill - Founder, Rumble Supershake

  3. 10:15am - 12:00pm

    Career Expo & Workshops

    Discover the various career opportunities on Vancouver Island and kickstart your career search.

    • Workshop #1: Career Building
      Vancouver Island University

    • Workshop #2: Community Volunteering
      Girl Guides of Canada

    • Workshop #3: Habit Forming
      Transition City Fitness

  4. Lunch
    12:00pm - 1:00pm
  5. 1:00pm - 4:00pm

    Co-Curricular Excursions

    Experience a unique excursion related to the conference sub-themes. Lunch will be provided.

  6. Break
    4:00pm - 5:30pm
  7. 5:30pm - 6:00pm

    Gala Doors Open

    Formal/business casual dress code. Vaccine passport and one piece of photo ID required for entry.

  8. 6:00pm - 6:30pm

    Closing Keynote Speaker

    Lanni Marchant - Olympic Athlete - Marathon / 10,000m

  9. 6:30pm - 7:30pm

    Gala Dinner

    Multi-course dinner will be provided. Beverages available for purchase.

  10. 7:30pm - 8:15pm

    Connection CCR Speakers

    Students and alumni present Co-Curricular Record talks related to their experiences and the conference sub-themes.

  11. 8:15pm - 9:00pm

    Closing Remarks & Social

    Closing remarks from our hosts and the opportunity to socialize with other conference delegates, speakers, and presenters.

Conference Sub-Themes

Our Conference sub-themes of connection to Earth, Culture, Self, and Others will each include a Connection Speaker, CCR Speaker as well as an interactive excursion.

Connection to Earth

Our Connection to Earth sub-theme will work to enhance students' understanding of the value in investing time into our Earth. Conference delegates will learn about our speakers stories and will engage in a self-sufficient experience to create a natural first aid kit.


Excursion Group A
Foraging & Creating a Natural First-Aid Kit

Join Sarah Dafoe at the Beaufort Food Forest in Nanaimo to forage yarrow, calendula and plantain then learn how to make these plants into a natural first aid kit.

Connection to Culture

Our Connection to Culture sub-theme will take our students on a journey through time and help them to understand the past and present stories of our land and people. Conference delegates will learn about our speakers stories and will engage in a traditional cedar workshop on Saysutshun Island.


Excursion Group B
History Walk & Cedar Workshop, Saysutshun Island

Join us on Saysutshun Island for a guided Cultural Tour and to take part in a traditional Cedar workshop.

Connection to Self

Our Connection to Self speakers and excursions will encourage students to dig deeper into understanding themselves. Conference delegates will learn about our speakers stories, be educated on the science of gratitude, and will engage in self-reflective workshops.


Excursion Group A
Yoga, Mediation & Reflection Journaling Workshop

Join Nikita Paddock, founder of I AM RESILIENT for a day of yoga, wellness activities, and to understand the science of gratitude.

Connection to Others

Our Connection to Others sub-theme will challenge students to work together to achieve a common goal. Conference delegates will learn about our speakers stories and will engage in an interactive team building exercise through the art of dragon boating.



Excursion Group B
Dragonboat Racing

Join Coach Holly Wylie from the Nanaimo Paddling Centre on the downtown waters of Nanaimo and learn how to operate and race a Dragon Boat with a team of 20 people.

Reserve your seat today!

Last year our tickets sold fast so don’t miss out. Conference will start in


Tuition Awards Presented By ROYAL BANK OF CANADA

Royal Bank of Canada

This year the Vancouver Island Leadership Conference will be offering tuition awards to our attendees. Based on the completion of the post-conference reflections, the Tuition Award Selection Committee will select 3 individuals with the best reflection based on their experience. Once you’ve registered you will receive access to complete the VILC leadership virtual workbook.

**Tuition credits are valid at any Canadian Post-Secondary Institution**



Timothy Szo



Kashmir Lesnick-Petrowicz



Danika Kromrey

Career Expo

The Career Expo is new to the Vancouver Island Leadership Conference for 2022. Here, conference delegates will be able to visit various career opportunities from within Vancouver Island. Each attendee will receive a networking box filled with volunteer and job opportunities to kickstart their career search. Be sure to check out your favourite booths and learn from professionals in the field.

Want your business to be featured at the VILC career expo?

Fill out the short form below and we will be in touch!

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Be a part of VILC 2022 and reserve your seat now!

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Our Sponsors

Thank you so much to our community partners, without you this event would not be possible.