CANZ Annual Conference

9:00 AM
5:00 PM

Online via Zoom

First ever CANZ Virtual Conference!
Talks by Jennifer Myers, New Zealander of the Year 2021 Finalist Farid Ahmed, Robyn Hewetson, an update from BDM by Jeff Montgomery, an assortment of stimulating workshops to choose from, and more.

For 2021, we will be having our first ever one day virtual conference! In this time of COVID-19, and in line with overwhelming feedback received from the survey this year, we found it best to make this coming year's conference virtual!

Purchase your ticket and find more information at our event listing at

If you have any questions about registering for the conference or experience any technical issues while registering please email

DATE: 23 May 2021, 9am - 5pm including the AGM [11.20 to 11.50am]. The day has a starting time of 8.15am to allow you to sign in and grab a coffee. We do encourage you to join us early for a 9.00am start.

VENUE: You can attend a 'Branch Huddle' with members of your local branch (the local branch venue will be advised by branches at a later date), or as a 'Lounge Lizard' from the comfort of your own home.

Note: not all branches are offering a venue-based ‘huddle’. You can attend a ‘huddle’ in Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Manawatu-Whanganui, Wellington, Wairarapa, Blenheim, Nelson and Canterbury. Once registered, your details will be shared with the local branch committee. The venue will be advised by branches at a later date. Please register as a lounge lizard If you are not based in one of the areas listed above. You may find you can join up with others who have registered as lounge lizards closer to the time.

This conference is open to both members and non-members of the Celebrants’ Association. If you have a passion for celebrant work of any description or are just keen to learn more about the work a celebrant does, we invite you to come along to this event. All individuals attending the conference need to register through Humanitix and pay individually, even if 'Lounge Lizards' end up viewing the conference with a celebrant colleague. This will ensure all costs in providing this conference for you are covered e.g. speaker fees, technology etc.

A diverse and concise array of plenary speakers and workshop sessions promises to make for an interesting and informative day that will pique your interest about the new ways in which we can learn from each other online and will offer new directions for learning and professional work. Most importantly though, is the opportunity to recharge, refill and where possible, to connect in person at branch level. The plenary speakers and workshops are designed to stimulate and inform your thinking and will be aligned to the three domains of the CANZ Bodies of Knowledge: Professional Practice, Professional Knowledge, and Professional Education and associated competencies. Plenary sessions are those where all members attend the one session together.

The ticket types available will be shown when you get your tickets. Early bird sales close 20 April. All ticket sales for this event will end by midnight at the end of the day on 16 May -- that is your last day to get tickets.

There are two break-out sessions during the day. These options will be outlined clearly when you register through Humanitix.

At 3.00 pm there is a Q&A session (30 mins). This is a chance to have some conversation around the plenary sessions.

  • At the 'Branch Huddles,’ this will be a time for general sharing together. 
  • For 'Lounge Lizards,’ you get to choose which Plenary session you would like to have some conversation about during this time in a break-out room

At 3:50 pm there is a workshop (60 mins)

  • As a 'Branch Huddle' attendee there are 3 workshops to vote on - please note, a majority outcome will determine which workshop your ‘Branch Huddle’ will attend together. 
  • As a 'Lounge Lizard' you get to choose from any of the 5 workshops when attending from the comfort of your own home

Programme for the day

See full programme here

8.15am (45 min) Join early, then grab a coffee or early morning cuppa and get settled in ready to start.

(This is also a time to iron out any technical hitches before we open at 9am sharp so we do encourage you to join early)

9am (15 min) Mihi whakatau and karakia

Welcome by CANZ President, Lianne Fraser

Agenda and AV housekeeping

9.15am (60 min) PLENARY: Celebrate Connections: Be Visible, Be Credible, Be Yourself by Jennifer Myers

10.15am (15 min) Morning Tea

10.30am (50 min) PLENARY: We’re all in the same garden by Farid Ahmed

11.20am (30 min) AGM - view AGM booklet here

11.50am (30 min) An update from BDM by Jeff Montgomery – sponsored by The Celebrants Training College

12.20am (60 min) Lunch – enjoy your break from ZOOM!

1.20pm (50 min) PLENARY: Embracing difference as a point of connection by Liese Groot

2.10pm (50 min) PLENARY: Listening and speaking as a celebrant’s greatest gifts by Robyn Hewetson

3pm (30 min) Q&A breakouts. Conversations with each other about one of the workshop topics.

+ Branch members can use this time to share their thoughts together.

+ Those attending as a ‘lounge lizard’ will be able to choose a plenary session as their discussion topic for this break-out session. This session will be a facilitated group conversation around the plenary topic. If you need a ZOOM rest, you can take a break at this point.

3.30pm (20 min) Afternoon Tea – time for a stretch before workshopping together

3.50pm (60 min) Workshop

Workshops for attendees at ‘Branch Huddles’ - vote on your preferred workshop

+ Melissa Zgomba – Marketing and how to sell yourself

+ Shelley Brunskill-Matson – Vicarious trauma and self-care

+ Virginia Brookes – Safe practice around suicide

Workshops for lounge lizards - identify your preference for first, second, and third choice for this workshopIf a workshop is full, you will be reassigned accordingly.

+ Melissa Zgomba – Marketing and how to sell yourself

+ Shelley Brunskill-Matson – Vicarious trauma and self-care

+ Virginia Brookes – Safe practice around suicide

+ Angela Murray – The use of interpreters for New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) [limited to 20 people]

+ Amiria Anglem – A korero: conversation about te reo Maori [limited to 20 people]

4.50pm (10 min) President closes the conference

Whakamutunga – Closing and thanks.


Please read this disclaimer relating to venue changes:
If in the unexpected event, whereby a nominated branch huddle or all branch huddles need to be cancelled due to unexpected circumstances e.g. a change in alert levels, the conference will proceed as a fully virtual affair. No refunds will be made.

Please email if you encounter any issues at all with registering for the conference.

We look forward to having you with us!