November 18, 2023

We would like to invite you to join us at

Leveraging Apprenticeship II 

Come together to share ideas and best practices on supporting your team through professional development and enhancing your training culture using apprenticeship

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 | 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Landscape Ontario | 7856 Fifth Line S, Milton
In-Person Event

Full Breakfast

courtesy of
Canadian Apprenticeship Forum
Full Lunch

Do you have an Employer Peer who might benefit from Apprenticeship but doesn't know where to start?
Invite them along


Please RSVP by November 24th to confirm your attendance and any dietary restrictions
(Please fill out one form per person)

*** BONUS ***
Participants have an opportunity
to win 1 of 3
LO Congress Conference Passes
(value: over $250 each)

If you require any further information or have questions
Contact Jessica at or 1-800-265-5656 x 2316



Breakfast Networking Session
presented by 
Canadian Apprenticeship Forum Logo
Stephanie Shrum
Canadian Apprenticeship Forum Logo

Apprenticeship: A Valuable Career Path
Alex Harris
OYAP Renfrew County District School Board Logo

Break Out Session
Registration and Grant Updates
Improving Your Efficiency Through a Culture of Training
George Urvari
Knowledge Tree Consulting Logo


Apprenticeship Resources Available for Employers and Apprentices

GROW Training Programs
Embracing Apprenticeship and Breaking Down Barriers
Jim Landry
Landscape New Brunswick/PEI

The Importance of Training Your Workforce
Liana Desmarias
Plantscape Windsor

Breakout Session
Closing Remarks
Liana Desmarais

Liana Desmarais, Plantscape Windsor


Liana, a dynamic entrepreneur with a passion for transforming outdoor spaces, embarked on her second career as the proud owner of a thriving landscape business. A departure from her banking roots, Liana's journey into the world of landscaping began with a fervent immersion in all things Landscape Ontario.

In her inaugural season, Liana faced the challenges of casual labour and constant turnover within her team. Determined to overcome these obstacles, she turned to Landscape Ontario for guidance and discovered the transformative GROW and Apprentice Program. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of a seven-year journey during which Liana not only evolved into a successful business owner but also became a passionate ambassador for the very programs that had reshaped her own trajectory.

Liana's commitment to the Grow and Apprentice Program goes beyond mere advocacy – she actively supports multiple staff members as they navigate these initiatives. Her dedication to fostering a change in workplace culture has resulted in a team of long-term, dedicated individuals who view their positions as careers rather than just seasonal jobs.

Today, Liana stands as a testament to the power of embracing new opportunities and programs. Her landscape business thrives not only due to her expertise in transforming outdoor spaces but also because of her commitment to investing in her team's growth and development. Liana's story exemplifies how a change in perspective, coupled with a supportive community, can lead to not only personal success but also a positive shift in the culture of an entire industry.

Alex Harris

Alex Harris, OYAP Renfrew Country


Alex is the chair of the OYAP Coordinators Provincial Affiliation (OCPA) and an OYAP Recruiter in Eastern Ontario. Alex works with the Ministry of Education (EDU) and the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development (MLITSD), School College Work Initiative (SCWI), employers and union groups, and with Colleges and Apprenticeship Training Delivery Agents across the province.

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) offers secondary school students the opportunity to explore skilled trades careers while earning credits toward their high school diploma. OYAP also allows students to become registered apprentices while still in secondary school. OYAP is offered across the entire province and can significantly accelerate a student's journey from apprentice to journeyperson; this can include the completion of apprenticeship Level 1 training while still enrolled in secondary school.

OYAP Renfrew County District School Board Logo

Jim Landry

Alex Harris, OYAP Renfrew Country


Jim Landry, ODH, CSAE, C of Q, CLM. Jim has spent a lifetime in the field of horticulture. Starting at a local greenhouse/garden centre facility in the 70’s, whilst earning his Ontario Diploma of Horticulture from the University of Guelph (Dept of Continuing Education). Soon to be finishing up as Exec Dir of Landscape New Brunswick/ PEI. And for 30 years in the middle he managed a garden centre/nursery/ landscape. All without leaving the comfort of his chair in his hometown of Saint John’s, NB. Jim was part of a team that brought the Red Seal program to NB/PEI 12 years ago, and he successfully managed the program and its school (LHTI) for over 10 years. His association awarded him their lifetime recognition award a few years back. 
Landscape New Brunswick/PEI
  Stephanie Shrum

Stephanie Schrum, Canadian Apprenticeship Forum


Stephanie has been in the employment services field for 18 years, in a number of different roles from Employment Counsellor to Director of Employment Services with Pathways Employment Help Centre before joining the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum as a Program Manager. Stephanie has worked largely with not-for-profit organizations funded by Employment Ontario as well as Ontario Works, but also has experience working in a business school setting. Stephanie brings extensive experience working with employers and job seekers and is dedicated to enhancing the labour market and community around her.

She has served on multiple committees, including the Steering Committee of the Employment Sector Council, the Steering Committee of the Community Benefits Network, Co-Chair of the Job Developer Network, and as a member of the Apprenticeship Network in the London Economic Region. Stephanie is currently the staff support person for the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee with the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum. Stephanie is passionate about the skilled trades and is committed to working with apprenticeship stakeholders to promote and enhance careers in the trades across Canada.
Canadian Apprenticeship Forum Logo

George Urvari

Alex Harris, OYAP Renfrew Country


George Urvari, a co-founder of Oriole Landscaping Ltd. since its establishment in 1986, drove rapid acclaim through unwavering dedication to top-notch work and outstanding customer service, resulting in numerous accolades. Notably, the company was honoured with the prestigious Casey Van Maris award twice for innovative designs in Ontario and bestowed the Dunnington Grubb Award for the province's best overall landscape project.

In 2005, George and business partner Peter Guinane expanded their horizons, founding Solid Space Construction and diversifying their project portfolio to cater to a growing clientele with varying needs.

Over 37 years, George has significantly contributed to the industry. He served as President of the Toronto Chapter of Landscape Ontario, leaving an indelible mark, and actively participated in events across North America, sharing insights and wisdom.

George, an LMN authorized consultant and workshop instructor, passionately fosters excellence within the landscape industry, consulting and mentoring aspiring landscape businesses. Dedicated to streamlining business operations and alleviating common hurdles faced by emerging companies, George envisions an efficient and stable landscape industry, working diligently towards this goal as a devoted business consultant.

In Toronto, George finds joy in family moments, residing with his wife Julie, two children, and their new dog, Bobbi. An ardent tennis player, he frequently enjoys spirited games at his local Golf & Country Club. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto, a testament to his dedication to continuous learning and growth. 

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