OCA celebrates the best in chiropractic care in Ontario

Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) members from across the province gathered in Niagara Falls for the 2023 OCA Thrive Conference and Gala, a day-long event last December dedicated to chiropractic education and celebration. Close to 200 guests attended the event at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre where they had the opportunity to attend continuing education workshops as well as the OCA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and black-tie awards gala.
“Every year, we gather in celebration to honour Ontario chiropractors for their tremendous impact on our profession, patient care, and health care system,” said Caroline Brereton, CEO, OCA in her remarks during the gala. “Tonight, we celebrate each of you and thank you for your continued dedication, passion, and selfless commitment to improving the lives of patients across Ontario.”
The OCA Awards Gala and Thrive conference are two of OCA’s signature events, and this year they were held on the same day, creating an unforgettable weekend of chiropractic education, networking and festivity.

Back to Basics – 2023 OCA Thrive Conference

After a few years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OCA was excited to bring back its premier continuing education event, the OCA Thrive Conference. Speakers from across the province gave presentations and workshops covering everything from the latest in chiropractic research to managing a chiropractor’s clinic’s data and finances.
Dr. Simon Wang delivers his ‘What’s that sound? The mechanics of the pop!’ presentation during the 2023 OCA Thrive Conference. In total, 90 members attended Thrive’s morning and afternoon sessions.

Humboldt Strong – Keynote Speech and AGM

During the lunch break at the Thrive conference, members were treated to a powerful and inspirational keynote speech from Kaleb Dahlgren.
Kaleb is one of the survivors of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos tragedy in Saskatchewan. Today, he’s a third-year student at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) and will be seeing his first supervised patients in the new year. Kaleb’s speech talked about his journey to recovery – including his chiropractic treatment – and how he’s used the tragedy as motivation to help make a difference for the people and communities around him.
“I’m going to live big for those who aren’t here,” he said in his speech.
Humboldt Broncos survivor and current CMCC student Kaleb Dahlgren delivers the keynote speech at the OCA Thrive Conference. Kaleb’s story was also shared in the Niagara Falls Review that covered his keynote speech and interview.

New Board Chair announced at AGM

The 2023 OCA AGM followed the keynote speech, where members were introduced to the incoming board chair, Dr. Raquel Marques. Members also approved the results of last month’s OCA Board of Directors election, which will see Drs. Janet D’Arcy, Keshena Malik and Patricia Tavares retain their seats as directors on the OCA Board. They will be joined by Dr. Nardine Bekhit, the only newcomer elected to the OCA Board of Directors. Their terms will start in early 2024 and run until 2027.
OCA’s 2024-2027 Board of Directors (front row, L to R): Dr. Raquel Marques, New Board Chair; Dr. Janet D’Arcy, Treasurer; Caroline Brereton, OCA, CEO; Dr. Reginald (Reg) Gates, Vice Chair; (back row L to R): Dr. Nardine Bekhit; Dr. Steve Gillis; Dr. Theresa Lisk; Dr. Jenny Elliott; Dr. Paolo De Ciantis; Dr. Anjelica Mazzella; Dr. Tony Anziano; Dr. Patricia Tavares; Dr. Keshena Malik

Celebrating the best in Chiropractic Care – OCA Awards Gala

The evening concluded with the OCA Awards Gala, an annual celebration of Ontario’s chiropractors and the profession. James Cunningham hosted again this year, bringing his trademark energy and humour to the event.
James Cunningham hosts the 2023 OCA Awards Gala in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Dr. Anthony Tartaglia, the OCA’s outgoing board chair who is stepping down after almost 10 years on the board, kicked off the event with a heartfelt thanks to his friends, family and colleagues for their years of support. As he introduced Dr. Marques as the new board chair, he expressed his confidence in the future of the organization.
“I want to express how grateful I am for the opportunity to have served as your board chair and how much I’ve enjoyed working with great colleagues over the years,” he said. “I am confident that under [Dr. Marques’s] leadership we will reach even greater heights while continuing to make a positive impact on our profession and patient care.” 
Following his remarks, the event recognized members who reached their 25-, 40-, 50-, and 60-year anniversaries in chiropractic care. The OCA was honoured to welcome Dr. Murray McLauchlin, chiropractor at McLaunchlin Wellness Clinic, who celebrated an incredible 60 years in 2023 as a practising chiropractor in Blenheim.
Dr. Murray McLauchlin, centre, celebrated 60 years as a practising chiropractor this year
The gala concluded with the annual awards presentations. Recognizing the incredible contributions of OCA members is a highlight of every year, with this year being no exception. In total, eight awards were presented, including the Chiropractor of the Year Award, OCA’s most prestigious recognition. This year’s winner, Dr. Tony Tibbles, dean of clinics at CMCC, was recognized for his years of service in the profession, not just as a practising chiropractor, but as an educator and mentor at CMCC. Over the course of several decades, Dr. Tibbles has become a leader in Ontario’s chiropractic care, providing critical care for underserved communities and mentorship for the next generation of chiropractors. As he accepted the award, Dr. Tibbles was met with a standing ovation.
“It’s a real honour to be awarded and it’s humbling,” said Dr. Tibbles. “But I think what so special about this is that it comes from my peers.”
Dr. Tony Tibbles, OCA’s 2023 Chiropractor of the Year Award winner

The full list of the 2023 OCA Awards winners are:

Dr. Michael Brickman Heart and Hands Award (Member’s Choice) Dr. Vincent Sinclair
Early Career Chiropractor Award (previously the Recent Graduate Award) – Dr. Nardine Bekhit
Patient Care Award – Dr. Hera Khayyam
Research and Academic Award – Dr. Glen Harris
Chiropractic Champion Award – Kristy Naulls, NP
Chiropractic Health Assistant (CHA) of the Year Award – Kate Holloway
Community Service Award (Member’s Choice)Dr. Peter Fonti
Chiropractor of the Year Award – Dr. Tony Tibbles

On behalf of the OCA, thank you to everyone who was able to attend the 2023 OCA Thrive, AGM, and gala.