I would like to take this opportunity to provide the report by reflecting on the most recent Conference held in June 2017 and speak to you about the next steps for the Corporation.
As most of you will know, a very successful conference was held between June 2 and June 16, 2017, opening in Whistler and closing in Ottawa.
We had 261 members, of which 55% were women and 45% men. The conference was very diverse – as it should be – and once again the conference fulfilled its goal of having a significant number of Indigenous members, 46 in total.
In Whistler, there was a line-up of exceptional speakers. I suggest you read the speech excerpts online or in the closing report.
The study tours were highly rated by the participants, with over 60% saying it was their favourite part of the conference. The closing presentations were very strong, and our incredible Governor General was a very active participant – anyone on stage with him will remember his active participation.
The post conference survey revealed the impact of the conference on the members:
And I am very pleased to announce that the next Chair of the conference will be Kathleen Taylor, Chair of the Royal Bank of Canada. This will be the third time a woman chairs the conference and, in my view, we have the tradition of alternation between male and female chairs well established with the Conference now.
I also want to mention the highly successful reunion of Conference alumni in Ottawa at the closing plenary. Over 275 alumni attended. I want to make special mention of the Board Committee that oversaw the reunion, comprising Sean Wiltshire, Michelle Campbell and Luciano D’Iorio as Chair. Ranj Pillai also was on this board Committee prior to becoming Deputy Premier of Yukon in late 2016.
Ranj was not the only alumni to rise to prominence in 2017, I should add. There were many. I should make special mention of Dominique Anglade (2004 alumna) who was named Deputy Premier of Quebec this year and Lt. Col. Josh Kutryk (2015 alumnus), who was named Canada’s next astronaut.
The next Board of Directors will be very active with Alumni Affairs. A sub-committee of the new Board will be established that will include alumni volunteers from across Canada. This sub-committee will be funded by the Corporation to encourage and assist national and regional alumni activities.
Donald R. Lindsay
Chair of the 2017 Govenor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference