Carissa Halton

Carissa Halton

Edmonton, Alberta
Community and Social Justice Advocate, Writer, Facilitator and Strategic Planner
Carissa Halton is an award-winning writer of creative non-fiction, speaker, and facilitator who explores how we find connection and hope in our communities. Carissa Halton's writing has appeared in many publications including Alberta Venture and her essays are included in the anthologies In This Together and Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose.
  • Communications
  • Employee Management
  • Leadership
  • Mental Health
  • Peak Performance
  • Resilience & Adversity
  • Teamwork
  • Business Growth
  • Community Engagement Events
  • Conference
  • Guest Panelist & Guided Q&A
  • Health and Safety
  • Infrastructure & Urban Planning
  • Inspirational
  • Lifestyle & Health
  • Philanthropy & Giving Back


Speaking to groups large and small, Carissa Halton uses humour and story to explore how we find and build community wherever we are: at work, at home, in our neighbourhoods. While she often shares stories from her book Little Yellow House; Finding Community in a Changing Neighbourhood, her keynote and breakout sessions can be tailored to meet a diverse range of organizational needs. While Carissa draws on many current experiences and case studies to entertain and enlighten, she often introduces memorable, unique historical stories and case studies. Where appropriate or requested, research is conducted by experienced historical researchers and active journalists to bring audiences unique archival photos and stories from their sector or profession. Beyond her keynotes, Carissa builds half to full-day workshops for groups who want strategic planning engagement sessions for their professional development days or issue-oriented conferences.

Carissa Halton is an award-winning writer and author. Her essays have been anthologized and won an Alberta and National Magazine Award and have appeared in many publications including: Today’s Parent, Alberta Venture, and Postmedia Newspapers.  Little Yellow House; Finding Community in a Changing Neighbourhood is her first book and was a finalist for the 2019 Edmonton Book Prize.

Carissa Halton’s leadership and community advocacy have spanned multiple sectors. She has worked as an inner-city non-profit managing director, a political advisor to government ministers, and a communications consultant. Each step of her career has inspired her belief in the power of passionate people to make a big difference in their community, which sparked the beginning of her own consultancy, Halton Strategic. When not speaking or writing, she now helps teams, boards, and organizations to strategically plan for the future and to communicate in an increasingly complex world. Trained by the International Association of Public Participation, she believes good public policy and successful programs start with engaging the people impacted the most.

No matter what work Carissa Halton has done, telling stories has been at the centre of it. Her narrative style and voice reflects storytelling forms she developed as a long-time tour guide in various Alberta historical sites. Further, the themes she returns to in her writing and speaking are shaped by strong social justice values developed in her time spent learning from individuals in Edmonton’s inner city. Sharing these stories, discovered with curiosity, empathy, and humour guides her work as a professional speaker.

Carissa Halton is active in her community school and is on the boards of the Friends of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market Society and the Right at Home Society. Carissa lives with her children and husband in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



Coming Soon!

Carissa Halton Topic Presentations

community development / workplace culture - lessons on community from a misunderstood neighbourhood

  • Keynote Presentation
  • What do our most notorious neighbourhoods have to teach us? Fifteen years ago when Carissa Halton moved into an old neighbourhood, people predicted her children wouldn’t be safe. After she started a family they insisted she would move when the children went to school. Instead of danger she discovered community. Her diverse array of neighbours taught her what it takes to make a neighbourhood (even one with a bad reputation) thrive. She shares the funny, sad, make-you-mad stories of Alberta Ave’s diverse residents. You’ll leave inspired to build community wherever we are. She will customize a focus to your specific organization, association and team community-building or work culture goals. Specific focusses are available including: engagement, leadership, collaboration, trust, and community.

    This presentation will inspire audiences to take a more active role in building community, looking out for their neighbours wherever they live or work. Audiences will be introduced to building blocks that build trust and leads to collaboration and engagement.

community development / workplace culture - change makers and resiliency builders in my misunderstood neighbourhood

  • Keynote Presentation
  • What do our most notorious neighbourhoods have to teach us? Fifteen years ago when Carissa Halton moved into a notorious, old neighbourhood, people predicted she would move when her children went to school. Instead, she met inspiring community builders, change-makers and resiliency builders. These powerful individuals who were “just doing their jobs” or “doing what they loved to do” or “just being a good neighbour”, taught her what it takes to make a neighbourhood (even one with a bad reputation) thrive.  Her stories are funny, sad, make-you-mad and audiences leave inspired to build community at work and home.

    This presentation will inspire audiences to take a more active role in building community, looking after their neighbours wherever they live or work. Audiences will be introduced to building blocks that build healthy communities and teams leading to improved collaboration and leadership.

community development / workplace culture - more than just trees

  • Keynote Presentation
  • When Carissa Halton bought a home in a neighbourhood known for its crime, people asked: “Why would you live there?” It was affordable and close to downtown. But it was only after moving in that she realized the value of Alberta Avenue’s trees and parks: legacies of planners working a century ago. In this keynote, Carissa will share her lived experience of the impact public outdoor and green spaces had on her neighbours and her community’s resiliency. She will discuss why now, more than ever, advocates who speak “for the trees” (and public, outdoor spaces) need to be heard.

    This presentation will inspire audiences to consider how environmental design impacts their bodies, teams, company, and community.

strategic planning - building a plan by starting with your strengths

  • Keynote Presentation
  • As a strategic planning consultant and IAP2-trained facilitator, Carissa Halton leads participants through a facilitated discussion based on a customized series of questions, developed in coordination with the organization’s current goals. Participants will brainstorm ideas on how they can best use their strengths to contribute to the goals of their organization. Action plans can be built depending on session length.

    In this presentation, participants will identify their strengths, feel clearer about the root cause of their barriers, and feel mobilized to move their organization forward. Leaders will better understand the assets within their organizations.

government relations - why start and how?

  • Keynote Presentation
  • Drawing from her experiences as a director in a Canadian Premier’s office and as a strategic planner and advisor for many campaign-oriented organizations, Carissa Halton will share stories of policy change for the public good. She will break down the basic steps of an effective government relations strategy. Carissa’s case studies are customized to the client’s policy interests and provide examples of how each step in the process leads organizations, non-profits, community change-makers, and associations to influence policy.

    In this presentation, participants will learn about the key elements in a proactive government relations strategy and leave excited to get to work influencing government policy with a people-first mindset.

communications - letter writing - a guide to effectively write decision-makers

  • Keynote Presentation
  • As a former correspondence director in the Premier of Alberta’s office, Carissa will share insights into effective strategies for writing decision-makers and local representatives. She will talk about the power of letter writing campaigns. She will share ways to best leverage this type of people power—as part of a broader government relations strategy, or campaign for policy and practice changes.

    In this presentation, participants will learn about how to write a letter to a decision-maker, while being entertained with stories from the mailroom of a political leader.


communications - communicating your authentic stories

  • Keynote Presentation
  • You, your family, and your organization all have really amazing stories that could be more broadly told. Have you tried writing them down and realized it doesn’t read as all that interesting? Join award-winning non-fiction author, Carissa Halton, for a conversation on the techniques and tools required to make your non-fiction and communications writing come alive.  Using published examples, she’ll explain the techniques that make non-fiction stories sparkle.

    In this presentation, participants will identify the stories their organization has to share and clarify their audience internally and externally. Participants will leave with tips on how to write those stories in authentic and interesting ways for their appropriate audience.


As the opening keynote speaker for our annual conference, Carissa’s warmth, authenticity, and good humour set a delightfully positive tone for the weekend. Carissa is a wonderful storyteller, and the experiences she shared are a testament to the transformative power of small kindnesses.

Robin Hepher

Chinook Arch Regional Library System

Carissa is an engaging speaker who captivates the audience immediately with her ability to tell a story. She is as authentic as the stories she tells about her experiences with people and her environment while living in Alberta Avenue in Edmonton. I highly recommend Carissa as a featured speaker; she does not disappoint.

Sheryl Hansen

Human Resources Manager
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

It was an absolute joy to have Carissa Halton present at LitFest. Not only is she keen to help shape her events, she is also generous and innovative in her approach. Her savvy with promotions and social media is a great asset for organizers, and her sold-out walking tour event was one of the most memorable we’ve ever had at the fest. We’d invite her back any time!

Fawnda Mithrush

Litfest Alberta

I read the book ahead so I know some of the stories but it was good to hear them tied together. Carissa was so engaging. The 90 minutes went by so quickly because of the wonderful storytelling and sense of humour. Excellent presentation!

Community Participant

City of St. Albert Neighbourhood Stories Workshop

Carissa is engaging, funny, smart, and relatable. Her stories are inspiring and helped to bring out the best in our team and contemplate what is possible for our community. We very much enjoyed our walking tour with her, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her!

Amanda Nielsen

Norwood Dental Centre

Carissa’s simply fantastic. She has facilitated two board workshops for iHuman. As with most workshops we had a set agenda but as we progressed, a few critical unexpected issues came up. Carissa deftly incorporated them, allowed a respectable discussion time and then efficiently guided us back to our original focus. She’s excellent in accessing needs, listening to, and summarizing discussions. She has an innate sense for what is important. It’s like she clears away all the distractions and presents a clear and doable pathway forward. I think Carissa will add tremendous value to non-profit and to corporate community discussions/workshops. And she has a great sense of humour, which...

Sandra Bromley

President of the Board
iHuman Youth Society

Articles & Media

Coming Soon!


Coming Soon!

How to book Carissa Halton for an event?

Carissa Halton keynote speaker is an expert presenter and has a wide range of experience speaking to a wide variety of audiences and organizations. Carissa Halton delivers keynotes, workshops & training sessions. They may also host or emcee events. Hire Carissa Halton from Edmonton, Alberta for your event to inspire the audience to take action and make change in their work and their lives. Your workplace will benefit from our keynote speaker and their keynote talks and speeches will shift the mindsets or behaviours for the audience members in Canada. 

Interested in booking Carissa Halton for an event?

Are you looking to hire Carissa Halton for your event? Carissa Halton Edmonton, Alberta is a dynamic and engaging speaker that offers audiences researched content paired with expertise and a dynamic speaking ability. Carissa Halton is also a Canadian corporate consultant and coach and facilitates workshops and training sessions for a corporate audience. Carissa Halton is an expert keynote presenter and speaks on wide variety of topics. Hiring a great speaker for your event is important and working with a thought leader like Carissa Halton from Speakers Canada’s roster will engage audiences into the content of the presentation to bring awareness and a fresh perspective for their approach to their work and their lives. Book Carissa Halton to educate, motivate and activate the audience through an interactive and entertaining presentation at corporate meetings and gatherings.

Known as a popular key note speaker in Canada, Carissa Halton creates life changing experiences for the participants with practical insights and strategic advice they can implement right after the session. Working with a one our leading expert speaker like Carissa Halton from Edmonton, Alberta offers organizations a fresh perspective to assist the people of the organization. No matter if it is a government, association, or business crowd, Carissa Halton is a perfect speaker for your event. Through unique practical insights for trending topics and years experience speaking to different organizations, Carissa Halton focuses on changing individuals to make better decisions at work and their lives. No matter if you are holding an in person or virtual event, having an influential speaker such as Carissa Halton will engage, motivate, and activate the audience to make a change in their lives and inspire action for results to meet organizational goals. Your workforce will benefit from Carissa Halton’s presentations and speeches, with measurable results set to shift the people of the organization and core direction of the company. Book Carissa Halton speaker for your annual general meeting, conference, summit, or convention in Canada.

How much does it cost to hire Carissa Halton for a keynote presentation or virtual event?

Carissa Halton is an expert professional key note speaker with a lot of experience speaking and delivering engaging talks to organizations and audiences in Canada. Each of Speaker Bureau Canada’s talent have different ways to assess their fees, and Carissa Halton speaker fee ranges depending on the size of the audience, event format (in person or virtual), event location, and if the organization booking them is a non profit, association, government department/government agency or business/corporation. The speakers we work with are flexible with their fees, and it is important for us to learn more about your event before we approach them, as it is our role to work for you, and to help you find a speaker within budget. 

Please contact Speakers Bureau of Canada and provide us with your event details so that we can contact Carissa Halton to check availability or confirm the pricing and associated costs to hire a great speaker like Carissa Halton for your event. As Carissa Halton's agent and as a Canadian top speaker bureau and talent agency for speakers, we are able to propose each event opportunity from each host organization’s behalf to try to help you get in touch with Carissa Halton and confirm them for your in person or online meeting/event. We can also provide and advise on the booking process and potentially negotiate their fee. Speakers Canada is a client focused speaker agency, and we work for you in finding good speakers for your team meetings and booking processes.

Carissa Halton Disclaimer
Speakers Bureau Canada assists companies and event planning teams seeking to hire talent like Carissa Halton for speaking engagements, virtual meetings, conference appearances, training sessions and workshops facilitations. Our Canadian speakers bureau does not claim to exclusively represent Carissa Halton, however they are represented by Speakers Canada, and we work with them closely for their Canadian speaking opportunities and bookings. As Canada’s top speaker bureau, we represent Canadian motivational keynote speakers and professional guest speakers that will be available on your upcoming events date and location that are withing the budget. Our talented bureau speaker booking agency can help find business speakers or celebrity speakers that aligns with each organization, audience, event theme and the topic themes you hope for the speaker to address in their presentation. 

When SBC receives a request to book Carissa Halton we provide you with their speaker fees, travel costs and check their schedules. We work closely with the host organization’s event planning team and the speaker to handle the logistics and to relay or negotiate associated costs. Our talented team members then will work with our talent directly or their agent/manager/assistant to confirm the Canadian speaker fee and travel expenses, so that event planning teams can receive an official quote for the speaker appearing at the event. Speaker fees and travel costs vary per speaker and our role is to contact Carissa Halton about your event, after we have connected with the event organizers to learn all the event details and/or conference program. Each booking request is unique since session durations and audience sizes can vary which may affect the speaker’s fees. If you are looking to hire Carissa Halton, we recommend filling out the booking request form so a booking agent from Speakers Bureau Canada can get in touch with our talent to help you coordinate with your team to engage the speaker for a successful event.

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