Home > Upcoming Programs > ASPIRE Foundation Program: Facilitation, Design and Leadership 2019
09 June, 2019
5:00 PM
Tatamagouche Centre, 259 Loop Route 6, RR#3 NS

*Program has been postponed with a new date TBD. Registration remains open.*



Deadline to register for this program is June 2, 2019.

This is a foundational program at the heart of Tatamagouche Centre. It allows you to learn effective facilitation skills and creative program design, leading to transformational community learning and development. Using an experiential approach participants are afforded in-depth practice, discussion, and reflection. Whether you organize meetings, workshops or design complex projects or programs, this is an opportunity for you to gain skills, clarify leadership styles and deepen insights. Designed for both experienced and novice facilitators, participants will learn and practice this popular education methodology developed and honed by Tatamagouche Centre for over 30 years.

Drawing from a number of sources including human relations training, popular adult education, participatory development, spiritual growth, and organizational planning, the ASPIRE model of the Tatamagouche Centre combines theory and practice in “action-reflection” cycles through which participants learn from their own experience and efforts. It is this participatory, “hands-on” learning process, combined with inputs from contemporary adult education, human development and social change theory, which constitute the heart of the model.

The ASPIRE Model is now foundational for many community education programs throughout the Maritime region in Canada. Educators trained in this model apply it within community, organizational, faith-based, small business, and social change settings. In addition, program resource people linked with Tatamagouche Centre have contextualized the model for use in Africa and Latin America. As well, it is basis for various adult education and training of trainers programs within the Coady International Institute, Antigonish. Participants receive a Facilitation and Design certificate at the completion of the program.

“I feel that I can apply this to my life/work”

“I feel with the ASPIRE model – the potential for personal and social change is clear.”

“Another successful, transformative, empowering experience with the Tatamagouche Centre!”

Over the past 30 years here’s what people say they like about this evolving program:

  • Its experiential nature; learning by doing and reflecting
  • The diversity of approaches and techniques used and learned
  • The openness and generosity of the facilitators
  • Working in teams, brainstorming, feeding off each other to develop something- taking the unknown to the known
  • Group work. Small group work- learning from each other
  • Team work and co-facilitation opportunities
  • Practicing while learning
  • Respecting the learner’s abilities
  • Pace, variety, wonderful people to be with
  • The balance of theory and practice
  • Congeniality – tone of program environment
  • Food, fun, friendship, learning, approach, especially the building block effect; taking one piece at a time- simple to complex


Can’t afford it?

In 2019 we have received some funding for program bursaries from the United Church Foundation, which helped to make this program accessible. Bursaries were provided by: The James Robertson Memorial Trust Fund, the Wesley C. Smith Fund, the Davey Family Endowment Fund, the Living Spirit Fund, the Brian and Belva Piercy Fund, the Jean Moore Endowment Fund, The Watkins Fund for Innovative Ministries with Senior Adults, and The William Naylor Trust Fund, at The United Church of Canada Foundation.

Leadership – Brian Braganza

Brian Braganza is an experiential educator specializing in vocational counselling, sustainability education, masculinity, and youth engagement. He was prepared by Parker J. Palmer and the Centre for Courage & Renewal as a facilitator in 2014 and has led retreats in Nova Scotia and in the U.S. Brian has a 24 year history with the Tatamagouche Centre and with HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development. Brian delivers experiential programs for men and co-designed T.O.N.E., Therapy Outside Normal Environments, a unique men’s therapeutic project, which builds men’s abilities to connect authentically and live into their wholeness. He lives in a straw-bale home he built on an old farm near Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Brian is also a wilderness traveler, poet and songwriter.

Leadership – Laura Hunter

Laura Hunter is passionate about creating spaces for diverse groups of people to do “good work” together. She is a Diaconal Minister, rooted in feminist, liberation, and eco-theology and is Minister for Justice and Mission for the Atlantic Regions of the United Church of Canada. Laura considers the Tatamagouche Centre one of her spiritual homes and is delighted to be joining the leadership team for this program.

Leadership – Rena Kulczycki

Rena Kulczycki, (pronouns: they/them) is an activist & facilitator bent on building inclusive communities that celebrate diversity. Described as an inclusive, engaging and eloquent facilitator, they believe our most transformational experiences are those shared in environments of mutual support and respect, where our limits can be challenged and our ideas collaboratively cultivated. To that end, Rena applies their wit and skill to foster spaces where people may be authentic and vulnerable striving toward stronger and more honest communities of trust and support.

Leadership – Mohamed Yaffa

Mohamed Yaffa has been working in Diversity Inclusion and Cultural Competence for nearly twenty years. From 2007 to 2018. Mohamed was the coordinator and Consultant for the Diversity and Inclusion Program with Nova Scotia Health Authority – focusing on reducing health inequities for marginalized populations in the province. He coordinated cultural and family violence prevention programs for the Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) for six years, facilitating the bridging of cultural gaps for new comers to Canada, awareness raising and skill development for private and public sector service providers.

Mohamed has been part of the Tatamagouche Centre Program Resource Group (PRG) since 2002 and has applied the ASPIRE model for educational programming for over 15 years. Mohamed has been involved in many social justice, bridge-building and inter-faith initiatives in Nova Scotia, bringing a multi-cultural perspective to the work. He is currently the Manager for Training with Nova Scotia Community Services, supporting the department’s core trainings and transformation projects.

Leadership – Rhonda Atwell

Rhonda Atwell has several years of experience working, volunteering and learning with non for profit, government and communities within the Halifax Regional Municipality and in the Greater Toronto area. Rhonda has an educational background in Health Science and Health Promotion and brings with her extensive skill sets and vast experience. She is a trained facilitator in ASPIRE and Dialogue for Peaceful change and has a strong interest in diversity & inclusion, transformational psychology, holistic wellness and real and lasting change. Rhonda currently works as a Health Promoter with the Mental Health and Addictions team at the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Rhonda is excited and humbled about being an ASPIRE program intern and looks forward to learning from the amazing senior facilitators, team and participants