Spark Technical Academy

Spark Technical Academy in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada offers non-accredited skills training in Cybersecurity and other emerging technology areas, in partnership with Stratford University. This skills training academy has been created by the team of Spark Niagara Innovation Centre whom have an extensive background in both the academic and innovation sector. Spark Niagara Innovation Centre has three business incubator locations in Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, and the town of Lincoln. These centres are home to over 30 different startup companies, technology learning programs for youth, and community development using technology.

David D’Angelo
Spark Technical Academy

Phone: 289-650-1770

Niagara Knowledge Exchange & Community Calendar

Supporting Quality of Life Assessments of Frail Older Adults and Their Family Caregivers @ Online
Jan 22 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Older adults living at home facing frailty and chronic illness, and their family caregivers, often experience challenges affecting their quality of life. Their priorities must be addressed by healthcare providers. Unfortunately, these are easily overlooked in the “hustle and bustle” of care. Tools for assessing quality of life make the priorities of patients and family caregivers visible to healthcare providers and leaders. The goal of the Canadian Frailty Network is to develop resources to support the use of quality of life assessment tools.

The Network will meet with each group to identify their needs and the types of resources that would be helpful to them. Working with each group, they will develop customized resources that include education materials (for in person and self-guided learning), videos, and communication tools. These materials will be made freely available via an existing online person centred health information system, called the Quality of Life and Practice Support System (QPSS). The QPSS allows patients and family caregivers to complete quality of life assessment tools and share their information with healthcare providers.

This project will help put the voices of older adults living with frailty, and of their family caregivers, at the centre of healthcare. This goal unites patients, families, clinicians, and healthcare and government leaders in the pursuit of a Canadian healthcare system that meets the needs of all Canadians.

This webinar is hosted by the Canadian Frailty Network.

Climate Change, Vulnerability and Health Equity in Canada: Understanding Linkages to Inform Adaptation @ Online
Jan 23 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Current emissions of greenhouse gases put the world on track for warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius, a level that increases the risk of potentially severe climate change impacts on health. Climate change is increasing risks to the health of Canadians, but not all populations and communities will be affected by climate change equally. Existing health inequities are exacerbated by climate change impacts and adaptations may inadvertently perpetuate inequities if broader social, political and economic factors are not considered.

Information on the health risks to Canadians from climate change and a new framework for understanding intersecting vulnerabilities that is being developed for the next national climate change and health assessment will be discussed in this presentation.

This webinar is hosted by the Ontario Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Program.

Crossroads in Mental Health Crisis and Law Enforcement @ Online
Jan 23 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Evolving social, economic and fiscal realities have created a strain in the treatment of mental illness. As a result of this strain, police services often become the first line of contact between a person in crisis and available resources. Police services have had to adapt to this new reality and find collaborative approaches to resolve these difficult, sometimes violent situations. The emergence of mobile crisis teams, situation tables and better training for front line officers has made an impact for some, but the need for a more integrated strategy still exists.

This webinar will focus on the York Regional Police integrated strategy which includes all of the above and additional resources such as the digitized Brief Mental Health Screener, two full time social workers, a seniors safety unit which specializes in issues such as dementia and vulnerable persons, and Police/Hospitals Relations Committees as well as other resources and future plans.

This webinar is hosted by the Human Services & Justice Coordinating Committee.

The Youth Voice Report: Five Big Ideas on How to Promote Mental Health from 2500 Young Advocates @ Online
Jan 23 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The youth voice report outlines five key recommendations to promote youth mental health:

  1. Help young people navigate the complex mental health care system so they can receive care that meets their needs in a timely fashion.
  2. Deliver mental health services that meet young people’s needs by consulting young people on how to deliver mental health services and involving young people in decisions that impact their mental health.
  3. Protect, promote, and maintain positive mental health on campuses by: managing crisis, offering a range of mental health resources, identifying and responding to struggle early, and applying a mental health lens to all policies, programs, and practices.
  4. Reimagine teaching and assessment practices to alleviate mental health struggle among young people.
  5. Encourage better social media practices by developing evidence-based guidelines on healthy social media use for young people and creating digital environments that foster positive mental health.

Join the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health for a webinar to hear more about the findings and recommendations outlined in the report.

“Bland-scape” to Landscape: Start Depaving Your Community @ Online
Jan 23 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Join Green Communities Canada and experts from the field to learn how you can bring the Depave Paradise program to your community. Learn how your municipality, school, community group, or business can get involved and support this exciting trend which is making waves across Canada.

This free webinar will highlight:

  • Why we need to Depave Paradise;
  • Benefits of getting involved;
  • Success stories from our partners and supporters;
  • How Green Communities Canada can help you get depaving!

This webinar is hosted by Green Communities Canada.

Women in STEM Experiences: Car Care Clinic @ Niagara College's Green Automotive Tech Lab
Jan 23 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

In January, we will be opening the doors of Niagara College’s Motive Power shop to learn what goes on in your vehicle – how do they work, and what you should know!

This session will allow you to understand common automotive terminologies and look at under the car of exhaust system, brake system, and oil/coolant system. Stephanie Thompson will be your guide to talk about how engines work. With female mechanics and apprentices, we’ll look at brakes, oil changes and work with tools to do your own tire change.

To round out this team, Laurie Kroeker, CEO of Sunshine Automotive Solutions – an expert in the Customer Service. We’ll talk about how to ensure you have a reputable mechanic, and what to expect/ask for to not get taken advantage of in the shop.

You’ll come out of this workshop knowing how to change a flat tire, an increased sense of car maintenance, and increasing your STEM knowledge around our cars.

Bring Each Other Home: A Caregiver’s Journey @ Niagara Falls Public Library
Jan 23 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Angelina Fast-Vlaar is a retired college teacher and mother of five. She is also the author of “The Valley of Cancer: A Journey of Comfort and Hope,” “Seven Angels for Seven Days,” and “Finding Shelter: A Child’s Memoir of WWII.

Angelina walked with her second husband, Joe Vlaar, through almost ten years of dementia. In her published work, “Bring Each Other Home: A Caregiver’s Journey” she recounts the peaks and valleys of that experience with the prayer that it will inspire, encourage, and enlighten readers. Angelina lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, where she enjoys walks along the lake and visiting with family and friends.

A Q&A session will follow the author’s brief presentation.

This event is hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region.


Ontario Trillium Foundation

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Niagara Knowledge Exchange is powered by a Niagara-wide network of people for collaboration, planning, learning, innovation and community action toward a stronger future for Niagara. We work hard to help foster a culture of Niagara-focused research and evidence-informed planning to support your community development innovations. To learn more about Niagara Connects, please visit our central website: or contact us: Email:, Phone: 905-688-6236
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