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BHPA Events

Speaker Series

We want to hear from you!

Throughout each school year, at monthly council meetings and special events, Balmoral Hall Parent Association (BHPA) hosts a series of speakers who will inspire, educate, and motivate our school community.

If you or someone you know is interested in speaking to us, please contact us at

Interviews with Past Speakers & News Archive

    • Zac Chase (October 19, 2018)

List of 6 news stories.

  • Kellie Damphousse, Joanne Kamins, and Nancy Cipryk '86


    By Elsebeth Hansen-Kriening, BHPA Communications

    On February 20, 2020, Balmoral Hall Parent Association (BHPA) was fortunate to have Board of Governors Chair Marilyn R. Robinson join us for a fireside chat in Aikins House.

    After attendees enjoyed a lovely luncheon, Marilyn presented BHPA President Kellie Damphousse with a Certificate of Appreciation. She stated that the Board is always amazed when Kellie reports on the activities of the Parent Association. She mentioned the delightful Yahoo BBQ, the fun Grade Parties for parents, the enlightening Speaker Series, the inaugural BHPA Nine & Wine Golf Classic, the thoughtful Staff Appreciation Tea, the beautiful Holiday Decorating, and the highly organized Nearly New Uniform Store as highlights to date. She also thanked the Parent Association for its mobilization of the parent community to advocate for themselves and the school with respect to the proposed traffic changes in the Wolseley neighbourhood. She ended with the oft-repeated axiom, "If you want something done, ask a busy person."

    Marilyn then spoke about how she sees the BHPA and the Board of Governors in relation to the Head of Balmoral Hall School and her team. She visualizes these entities as being a circle, with the centre filled by our girls — the reasons we all do what we do. This was a powerful way of delineating the relationship and mission of the three organizations.

    As Chair, Marilyn had been invited to speak about the role and responsibilities of the Board of Governors, as well as its relationship with the BHPA. She began by outlining the structure of the Board of Governors. It is currently composed of 15 members, and, as dictated by its bylaws, it appoints the President of the BHPA as a member, demonstrating their close relationship. Right now, 11 members of the Board are parents, four are alumnae, and two are other members of the school community. All are passionate about the school and our girls. The Board strives to have a diversity of skills and professions. In addition, the Head of School is an ex-officio member of the Board and its committees, completing the circle Marilyn referred to earlier.
    Read More

    By Rita Trautmann, Director – Centre for Learning & Wellness

    Thanks so much to Balmoral Hall Parent Association (BHPA) for bringing Dr. Michelle Warren back to our community.

    On February 10, 2020, Dr. Warren met with 18 Middle & Senior School parents at Balmoral Hall School. She spoke about understanding anxiety. Some highlights of her presentation are as follows:

    • 100% of humans feel anxiety, so we can all understand what it is.

    • 20–25% of all people will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in life, and it is the most highly treatable of all mental health concerns.

    • Tools of mindfulness for parents are important, as children take their lead from us.

    • In particular, learning how to talk to young people who are experiencing panic or extreme anxiety is critical. We are encouraged us to acknowledge that, yes, bad things can happen, but also to examine how likely it is that the worst thing will happen. By acknowledging the fear, and working through the "What would happen if?" scenario, the fear is reduced. This is preferable to repeating that "Nothing bad will happen."
    One of the parents in attendance asked whether we find that students use the mindful breathing that we teach them here at school. I answered that they do! Our girls have told me that they use it before a swim meet, before bed, before answering in anger, etc. Dr. Warren added that those who fully embrace breathing and other mindful practices are those who have been coached to use them … because they work!

    We were also fortunate to have Dr. Warren speak with grades 9 to 12 students for an hour on February 12, 2020, and her message was consistent. Her topics included mindfulness, challenging fear with reality, and knowing when to get help. Indeed, a Grade 11 student entering the session thanked me for bringing Dr. Warren to Balmoral Hall because "awareness is everything!"

    Again, we are appreciative of the support of the parent association in the area of learning and wellness.

    Preparing our families and students with tools to understand their thinking will serve them well in the full lives that they will lead.

    Read More
  • Grade 3 students at FortWhyte Alive (April 2019)


    By Elsebeth Kriening, BHPA Communications Chair

    On April 25, 2019, Balmoral Hall Parent Association (BHPA) was fortunate to listen to a presentation by Grade 3 Teacher Emily (Quinton) Mitchell '11. Emily shared how Balmoral Hall School's grades 3 to 5 educators have leveraged the resources available at FortWhyte Alive to create authentic learning experiences for their students.

    Emily began by showing attendees some photos of Grade 5 students from their fall experiential days, which focused on a weather unit, as well as photos from their recent spring experiential day. The focus of the latter changes from year to year, depending on the topic of May's Grade 5 Exhibition, and this year they explored environmental sustainability.

    As part of an energy unit, Grade 4 students created musical instruments out of items in the FortWhyte forest, with the goal of mimicking sounds heard in nature. Emily stated that she is consistently amazed by what our girls come up with. In the winter, the Grade 4s gain a practical understanding of different aspects of the rock cycle using water, snow, and ice. This helps them make several connections within a rocky landscape unit. By spring, they are studying the circle of life, a unit which focuses on birds. As FortWhyte is home to 160 different species, our Grade 4s make multiple visits. Their latest trips were particularly exciting. On the first day, the girls made nests for various biomes; small ones were placed in trees and larger ones on the ground. When they returned the next day, there were geese using one of their nests in the field!
    In Grade 3, our girls go to FortWhyte Alive five times: twice in the fall, and three times in the spring.

    The first visits focus on education within a home sweet home unit, with an emphasis on Indigenous perspectives. Students spend time in a teepee, listening to Indigenous stories, learning about the Seven Sacred Teachings, and playing Indigenous games. Emily shared how impactful it is for our girls to have this experience – how it deepens their understanding of how teepees are made, why different ones are built in various parts of Canada, and what the etiquette is for entering and walking inside them. They also go to see FortWhyte's bison, an animal that is sacred and respected by Indigenous peoples. Another highlight is free time in the forest, during which students can explore, play games, and pick up items that they have questions about.

    By April, the Grade 3s are immersed in a unit in which plants and soils figure prominently. During a trip to FortWhyte Alive in early April, our girls went on a nature walk to look for signs of insects, made insect homes, and went critter-dipping. They learned about various trees growing on the property and how they adapt to changing seasons. Aspens, for example, create a white powder that is a natural sunscreen. Students were also invited to try tree coring to see how old some of the specimens in the FortWhyte forest are.

    Read More
  • Dr. S. Trepel at Balmoral Hall School, February 21, 2019


    By Elsebeth Kriening, BHPA Communications Chair

    February 21, 2019, Balmoral Hall Parent Association (BHPA) welcomed Dr. Simon Trepel, MD, FRCPC, to our school. Dr. Trepel is an expert on social media, smartphone, and video game addiction amongst children and teens.

    In the 1980s and 1990s, young people were outside for about 18 hours a week. Today, kids interact with nature less than seven hours per week. Many of them prefer being on a screen to any other activity. Some have three devices going at the same time! In 2005, the average age of exposure was 4 years old; by 2013, it was 4 months. A study conducted in 2016 determined that 92% of 1-year-olds had used a mobile device. Nowadays, 50–60% of 4-year-olds have a TV in their bedroom and own a tablet or a mobile device. Teens send 30–100 texts for at least one hour daily. The majority of North American youth spend more time on screens than sleeping, eating, going to school, or spending time with family and friends. Is there anything parents can do to reverse this trend? Or, is this "progress"?

    Read More
  • Mrs. Kellie Damphousse, Parent Association President, and Dr. Michelle Warren (November 2018)


    By Maria Mathwig, Guidance Counsellor

    I would like to personally thank Balmoral Hall Parent Association (BHPA) for the wonderful presentation they organized for our school community on the topic of anxiety and children with Dr. Michelle Warren on November 1, 2018. As the new guidance counsellor this year at Balmoral Hall, I have a specific interest in mental health advocacy and promotional mental health programming. I believe equipping students with the skills they require in order to navigate life stressors with resiliency is one of our most important goals as educators.

    Dr. Warren normalized anxiety as something that we all deal with from time to time, highlighting that an anxiety disorder is when the anxiety starts to represent a repeated pattern that gets in the way of follow through with our normal activities.

    Some key points for supporting children and youth with anxiety shared in Dr. Warren’s presentation were as follows.
    • Ensuring that accurate information is provided to the people who interact with students the most (parents and teachers).
    • Equipping parents with parenting strategies that promote normal development and build independence (limiting reinforcement of avoidance).
    • Using mindfulness (awareness of the present moment and of our thought patterns) and centring practices.
    • Seeking out support using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) strategies.
    Read More
  • Brenley Shapiro of Heads Up High Performance at Balmoral Hall, January 2018.


    By Jennifer Pawluk, Communications Specialist

    Brenley Shapiro, a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and Certified Mental Game Coach with Heads Up High Performance, based in Toronto, Ont., shared her insights for strong, powerful, and productive thinking with members of the school community last month as part of a series of workshops scheduled at Balmoral Hall throughout Wellness Week, January 29 to February 2, 2018.

    Her lunch-and-learn workshop with parents and faculty reflected the theme, "Inspiring Greatness," whether inspiring greatness from within or inspiring greatness within others. All participants gained valuable insights and understanding with respect to the role that mindset plays in generating success, as well as the key features involved in developing that mindset and breaking down barriers that impede it.

    Such was the focus of her talks with Middle and Senior School students, as well.
    Read More

Balmoral Hall School

630 Westminster Ave. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada  R3C 3S1
Tel: (204) 784-1600 | Fax: (204) 774-5534 |
Charitable Registration No. 12994 3932 RR0001
Our mission at Balmoral Hall School is to inspire girls' imagination and the courage to excel, to reach, to lead, to care.

We are an independent day and boarding school, offering an exceptional all-girls education from child care, starting at age 2, to Grade 12.