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Shelley Canning

Shelley Canning, RN, MSN, BSc, PhD (c)

Associate Professor, Nursing (BSN) Program

Faculty of Health Sciences

, CEP A2433

Phone: 604-792-0025 Ext. 2503

email Shelley


Shelley Canning is an Associate Professor in Nursing at the University of the Fraser Valley and a member of UFV’s Centre for Education and Research on Ageing. Canning is also a doctoral candidate in the School of Nursing at UBC where her dissertation research explores issues of engagement, meaning, and quality of life for older adults with advanced dementia. Canning obtained her BSN (hons) and MSN from UBC and prior to this, completed a BSc and secondary school teaching certificate at the University of Victoria. Canning's nursing practice background includes palliative oncology and community health. She has been a faculty member at UFV since 2006 primarily teaching gerontology content. Additionally, Canning has been involved in a variety of departmental and institutional committees including membership on Senate and the Senate Research Committee. Her teaching philosophy is geared towards developing professionalism and supporting best practice with a focus on care of older persons, as well as integrating an understanding of the importance of research in supporting evidence informed practice.


PhD Candidate Nursing - University of British Columbia

MSN - University of British Columbia

BSN (hons) - University of British Columbia

PDP - Secondary Teaching Certificate, University of Victoria

BSc - Microbiology & Biochemistry, University of Victoria


College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia
Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia
Canadian Gerontological Nurses Association 
British Columbia Gerontological Nurses Association
Canadian Association of Gerontology
BC History of Nursing Society
Sigma Theta Tau – Xi Eta Chapter

Teaching Interests

  • Person-centred care
  • Ageing and dementia
  • Nursing professionalism

Research Interests

  • Ageing & ageism
  • Dementia & personhood
  • Visual data gathering and knowledge translation
  • Qualitative methods

Research Grants

  • CIHR Travel Award 
  • UFV Faculty of Health Sciences Research Grant 
  • UBC Hampton Endowment Research Fund 
  • SSHRC Aid for Small Universities Grant 
  • UFV Faculty of Professional Studies Research Initiative Fund


Conference Presentations (past 3 years):

Canning, S. (2018). Sharing the sameness: a window on long-term care residents’ experiences and perspectives. Canadian Association of Ageing, Vancouver, October. (Symposium)

Canning, S., & Phinney, A.(2018). Narrative Methods for Navigating Movement Between Times and Places in Advanced Dementia. Narrative Matters, Enschede, Netherlands, July.

Canning, S., & Phinney, A.(2018). Slow data and slow data gathering narrate journeys through advanced dementia. Narrative Matters, Enschede, Netherlands, July. (poster presentation)

Canning, S., Phinney, A. (2018). Researcher roles and reflexivity: challenges and implications of the nurse-researcher.  2018 Qualitative Methods Conference, Banff, Alberta, May.

Canning, S. (2017). Exploring engagement in dementia: emerging theoretical and methodological approaches. IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, San Francisco, California, USA, July. (poster presentation)

Jessiman, L., & Canning, S. (2017). Ageing & Dementia: Curbing negative attitudes to increase meaningful connections. British Society of Gerontology, Swansea, Wales, UK, July. (poster presentation)

Blakeborough, D., & Canning, S. (2017). “They aren’t scary”: An inter-generational dance project. British Society of Gerontology, Swansea, Wales, UK, July. (symposia)

Canning, S., & Phinney, A. (2017). Understanding the Social and Emotional Engagement of Persons with Advanced Dementia living in Long-term Care Homes. Canadian Association of Ageing, Winnipeg, October.

Canning, S. (2016). Understanding the social and emotional engagement of older adults with advanced dementia living in long-term care through their participation in an inter-generational dance programme. Life with Dementia, Norrkoping, Sweden, October.

Canning, S. (2016) Supporting quality of life in persons with dementia: arts-based & inter-generational programming. Gerontological Nurses Association of BC. Vancouver, April. (Closing speaker).

Canning, S., & Nelmes, J. (2016). Directed study: an old course offering new opportunities. CASN Canadian Nursing Education Conference, Toronto, May.

Other presentations (past 3 years):

April 2018: UBC Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia

-invited panelist to discuss Arts & Health a focus on evidence and methods

April 2018: UFV PD Day

- Utilizing "Directed Study" courses to provide rich learning and research opportunities: a Nursing example

February 2018: UFV Micro-Lecture Series

-“Exploring the Enduring Abilities of People Living with Advanced Dementia to Engage in Relationships”

November 16, 2017: Research Advisory Council

-invited panelist highlighting student-engaged research

October 31, 2017: Rotary Speaker Series – “Ageing and Dementia: the current and future state of affairs”

-invited speaker

March 22, 2017: UFV Elder College Tapestry Series – “Ageism”

-invited speaker with Dr. Lesley Jessiman

March 3, 2017: Nursing History Symposium 2017 – “Arts, Crafts & Healing”

-invited panelist

February 22, 2017: UFV Retirees Presentation on Ageing and Transitioning to Retirement

-invited panel member

July 11, 2016: Partners in a Person-Centred Approach, Worthington Cottage long-term care staff

-invited speaker, Arts-based alternatives in long-term care

April 8 2016: Gerontology Nurses Association of BC

-invited key-note closing speaker

-Dementia-care: arts-based alternatives

March 18, 2016: UFV Scholarly Sharing Initiative

-Aging and Society: Increasing Understanding – Improving Quality of Life

-CERA members presenting on current research projects

Feb 19 2016: School District #34 District Professional Day

-“Imagine”- presentation to teachers from Abbotsford school district outlining benefits and opportunities of inter-generational programming partnering school aged children and older adults in facility care

- co-presenter Lee Kwidzinski, Expressive Arts Therapist

Jan 2016, Gerontological Nurses Association of BC

-Invited presenter: showing of CERA documentary “They Aren’t Scary”

- with Darren Blakeborough, UFV MACS & Lee Kwidzinski, Expressive Arts Therapist


Canning, S. E., Gaetz, M., & Blakeborough, D.It takes time: Building relationships and understanding through an inter-generational ballet programme. Dementia, (pre-published online April 2018).

Canning, S. E., & Phinney, A. (2015). Data collection and knowledge translation through documentary film: ‘They Aren’t Scary’.  Perspectives, 38(1), 6-12. 

Submitted for review:

Canning, S. E., & Blakeborough, D.Opportunities for social citizenship despite living with dementia. BC Studies (manuscript in progress for a special issue to be published in 2019 - Arts, Crafts, and Healing: Understanding Social Citizenship in British Columbia)

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