Keynote Speaker

OCAD/DEEP Designing Enabling Economies and Policies, Toronto, ON

Learning to support and understand diversity and complexity. Amy was on the expert panel to discuss co-operative platforms. The development of a cooperative platform considering social implications, privacy implications, inclusion aspects and potential barriers for those with disabilities.



Kuwait City, Kuwait 

In December 2014, our Founder Amy MacFarlane, was chosen as an international expert in the field of therapeutic recreation and was invited to share her passion, skills and expertise at a day program for Adults (21+) with special needs, in Kuwait City!  The request was to teach therapeutic recreation tools, techniques and various family centered considerations that the day program could add to their current supports and services and implement, ongoing.  An additional opportunity presented itself on the trip, to address the community’s need for awareness.  Amy’s honoured and certified teaching skills were considered and she was also asked to lecture to the business students, community and community professionals at the University of Gulf for Science and Technology. The focus was on leadership in the community, advocacy and the tools to do so. The hope was that students would see an opportunity to create unique niches that address the special needs population in Kuwait City, which is extensive from many post Gulf war effects. The lecture was welcomed and the attendees were intrigued by the innovative ways in which Recreational Respite has formed partnerships with not for profit organizations in various communities. What caught most of their attention was the approach and ability to identify, develop and implement therapeutic recreation programming in partnership with these organizations to ensure optimal access and quality of programming in various capacities.

Sydney, Australia 

Recreational Respite’s Founder and CEO Amy MacFarlane was in Sydney Australia in September 2015 to be the international keynote speaker at their National Respite Conference:
When she was there she also interviewed with Community West, Perth Australia about how organizations are now partnering to collaborate service while minimizing dollars and maximizing support.

Listen here:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Amy MacFarlane is one of the international keynote speakers at the ISBA Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, 2016:

The International Short Break Association (ISBA) was established in 1995 and is a world-wide ‘community’ concerned with the effective delivery of short breaks (respite care) services. ISBA exists to create opportunities to share knowledge and experience of short break provision across international and cultural boundaries.  ISBA’s purpose is to support developments in policy and practice which improve the experience of short breaks for everyone.   Underpinning this is a shared belief that short breaks play a vital role in promoting health and well-being, and in strengthening carers and families.

Presentation is now available:

Listen here:

Ontario, Canada

International Women’s Day: Business to Bruce and Meridian were pleased to present Amy MacFarlane as she shared her story of personal journey to success. The road was not always easy. Overcoming obstacles and finding the strength to persevere, with young children by her side, proves her true entrepreneurial spirit. Discovering ways to put passion for change into action. Amy took her idea for improving community services and made it an international success.

Recreational Respite is passionate about building capacity through education, accessibility, collaboration and partnership. Our team and it’s Founder strongly believe that all communities and their programs and services should be accessible. This includes: emotional, mental, physical, social and financial accessibility. We have been serving individuals and their families in  various regions across Ontario, Canada since 2008. From this work we have identified a great deal of need to equip those working with our families in the community with some of those same tools. This has lead to our extensive work in the areas of leadership, education and training and keynote speaking. Amy MacFarlane has taken our values and passions within Canada and abroadKuwait, Australia and Scotland (to date) and has been recognized as an international leader in her field. Amy was nominated for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award (in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). As part of our education and training services, we continue to share our expanded expertise, knowledge and hands-on tools for being an accessible leader whether in businesses or community. Offering support in workplace groups as well, to support employees who may be in caregiving roles.

For more information, please contact:
Amy MacFarlane
Amy on LinkedIn, Professional Profile

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