S peaking to groups large and small, I use humour and story to explore how we find connection and hope in our communities. Sharing stories from my debut book Little Yellow House; Finding Community in a Changing Neighbourhood, my keynote and breakout sessions can be tailored to meet a diverse range of organizational needs.

Have an upcoming professional development day? Conference? Team building retreat? Contact me to discuss opportunities.

Keynote or Session Presentation

Our oldest neighbourhoods and their diverse residents spanning class and culture have much to teach us about our societies’ greatest weaknesses and strength. In this 45 - 60 minute talk titled Lessons from my Old, Misunderstood Neighbourhood audiences will be inspired to take a more active and compassionate role in making their communities safe, just, and inclusive. Specific and customized focuses are available including lessons on: engagement, leadership, collaboration, trust, community.


I read the book ahead so I know some of the stories but it was good to hear them tied together. Carissa was so engaging. The 90 minutes went by so quickly because of the wonderful storytelling and sense of humour. Excellent presentation!

Community Participant, City of St. Albert Neighbourhood StoriesWorkshop

In this 60 or 90-minute interactive workshop titled Finding Community in Your Neighbourhood: Building a Plan, participants will evaluate what role they/ their organization plays in the health and vibrancy of their community. Participants will develop the bones of a plan that they can take back to their home/teams to further discussion about how they will further contribute to the social fabric of their communities. I draw on my training in IAP2 (International Association of Public Participation) and experience as a strategic planning facilitator to lead this session.

Customized workshops are available.

Walk and Talk in Alberta Avenue

Carissa is engaging, funny, smart, and relatable. Her stories are inspiring and helped to bring out the best in our team and contemplate what is possible for our community. We very much enjoyed our walking tour with her, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her!

Amanda Nielsen, Norwood Dental Centre

Starting at the volunteer-run arts cafe, the Carrot Coffeehouse, join me on a walk and talk through Alberta Avenue where the stories of Little Yellow House are set. Over the 90 - 120 minute walk and talk, there will be many opportunities to discuss what our oldest neighbourhoods can teach us about relationships, social justice and successful urban design.