CAOT President  

Nicola MacNaughton, CAOT Presidents

Giovanna Boniface, MRSc., OT, CCLCP

As of October 1, 2020, we are pleased to announce Giovanna Boniface as President and Chair of the CAOT Board of Directors.  Giovanna will serve a two-year term and has outlined a few priorities she looks forward to;

  • continuing to build on successful advocacy and representation initiatives that increase awareness, understanding and use of OT,
  • ensuring practice excellence through delivery of high quality, timely and relevant education, 
  • advancing an OT human resource strategy to meet the needs of Canadians, and
  • advancing CAOT's work in sharing truth and moving toward reconciliation through the CAOT Truth and Reconciliation Task Force

Giovanna is known to many through her previous contributions to CAOT as Managing Director of CAOT-BC  and later as National Director of Professional Affairs. These are roles in which she established and nurtured CAOT chapter growth in BC, Quebec and the North; provided visibility and voice to numerous BC advocacy initiatives, and served as senior occupational therapy advisor to CAOT regarding strategy and tactics. 

In her 24 years as an occupational therapist, Giovanna has developed and held leadership positions regionally and nationally and, as a life-long learner, has added achievements including a Masters of Rehabilitation Science (2018) and a Certified Life Care Planner (2012).  Giovanna currently works for the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada as vice president of corporate affairs. We look forward to having Giovanna’s passion, wisdom and business acumen aimed at evolving CAOT’s Strategic Plan to best position and advance the occupational therapy profession.  

Giovanna can be reached through board@caot.ca

CAOT Chief Executive Officer

Helene Sabourin Hélène Sabourin, RN, BScN, MHA
As of January 2019, Hélène is the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

Reporting to and collaborating with the President and Board of Directors, Hélène is responsible and accountable for the Association’s overall performance through the implementation of the strategic plan, achievement of corporate goals, and effective development and stewardship of corporate resources.

Hélène holds a Bachelor of Science Nursing as well as a Master’s degree in Health Administration and brings over 25 years of experience of not-for-profit management experience with proven expertise across the health systems at the international, national, and regional levels. Prior to her appointment, Hélène served as Senior Director, Governance & Corporate Strategy at Accreditation Canada; Executive Director for the Canadian Nurses Foundation; and as Senior Consultant at the Canadian Nurses Association where she led the Certification Program for over 6 years thus bringing knowledge in exam development and administration. Hélène worked as a registered nurse in several settings such as acute care, community care, occupational health & safety and correctional services.

Hélène is honoured to take on the chief executive role at CAOT to advance the profession of occupational therapy and to work with its members to support the creation of client-centred solutions for all Canadians by improving lives each and every day.

Hélène can be reached at hsabourin@caot.ca


CAOT Board of Directors 2020-2021

President  Giovanna Boniface Vancouver, BC
Christine Fleming
Saskatoon, SK
Lisa Diamond-Burchuk
Winnipeg, MB
Margaret Collingwood
St. John’s, NL
British Columbia
Donna Drynan
North Vancouver, BC
Shaniff Esmail 
Edmonton, AB
Saskatchewan Suzanne Lendvoy Regina, SK
Manitoba Brenda Semenko Winnipeg, MB
Ontario Karen Rebeiro Gruhl Sudbury, ON
Nathalie Veillette
Boucherville, QC
New Brunswick
Claudia Martin
Charlo, NB
Nova Scotia Karen Joudrey Dartmouth, NS
Prince Edward Island Yvonne Thompson Cornwall, PE
Newfoundland and Labrador Sarah Burt  Mount Pearl, NL
Northwest Territories/Nunavut/Yukon Kaitlynn Dewhirst Yellowknife, NT 
External Member Dirk Silversides Regina, SK
WFOT Director Andrew Freeman Quebec City, QC 

The CAOT Board likes to hear from you. Please direct any inquiries to board@caot.ca

CAOT Presidential Hand Off

CAOT hosted a virtual President Hand Off session on October 16, 2020. Catherine Backman (outgoing President), Giovanna Boniface (incoming President) and Hélène Sabourin (CAOT CEO) reviewed the past two years of Catherine’s term as President and discussed Giovanna’s ideas on how to guide CAOT forward over the next 2 years during her term as CAOT President.  They also answered questions from the attendees. For those not able to attend, a recording of the event is available.

CAOT Board Meeting Dates

Friday, February 12, 2021, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET  Web Supported Teleconference
Monday, March 22, 2021, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm ET  Annual General Meeting, Web Supported Teleconference
Thursday, April 15, 2021, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET Web Supported Teleconference
June 17 and June 18, 2021, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm ET Web Supported Teleconference 
Thursday, September 23, 2021, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET Web Supported Teleconference 
Friday, November 19, 2021, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm ET Face to Face meeting
Saturday, November 20, 2021, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm ET Face to Face meeting 

CAOT Bylaws

Governance at CAOT

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