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Highlights from the Languages Canada 13th Annual Conference

The Languages Canada 13th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting took place in Vancouver from February 23 to 26, 2020. Well over 250 delegates attended, including owners, directors, program managers, marketing staff and academic leaders from Canadian public and private language education programs; provincial and federal government officials; NGOs; invited international guests; Canadian Trade Commissioners; and other key influencers in the field of international education.

The theme of this year’s conference – The Future in Focus – set the stage for Languages Canada Executive Director Gonzalo Peralta to unveil the association’s 2020-2024 Strategic Plan. Crafted by the leaders of Languages Canada, with help and insights from experts within the sector and beyond, the Strategic Plan clearly defines the association’s purpose, mission, values and guiding principles, and sets forth the goals which will guide our work over the next five years. The result is a vision that recognizes the true value of language and language education and seeks to make this a better world, and to support our members’ growth.

This year’s conference program featured speakers in three program streams:

  • Promoting Quality Education in Canada – Letting the World Know (marketing and promotion);
  • Getting Better All the Time / Student Experience and Welfare (best practices, quality, standards); and
  • Taking the Lead (program management, research, innovation and technology).

Highlights included:

  • A presentation of highlights from the past year’s activities, successes and challenges by LC president Cath D’Amico and the unveiling of the new Languages Canada 2020-2024 Strategic Plan by Executive Director Gonzalo Peralta;
  • A keynote address by Amy Baker, CEO of The PIE News, who shared insights on the global language education landscape through her eyes as a journalist;
  • A panel featuring a delegation of senior officials from the Mexican federal government and states of Guanajuato, Jalisco and Aguascalientes, sharing insights on government priorities and programs related to English and French language education, and opportunities for partnership with Canada;
  • The participation of Canadian Trade Commissioners from Japan, Spain, Italy, Russia, France and Mexico, providing market insights and business development support to LC members through B2B meetings;
  • A one-day Academic Workshop focused on pertinent pedagogical, assessment and classroom policy issues facing program directors, academic managers and teaching staff; and
  • A training session led by Bonard CEO Samuel Vetrak on using market intelligence and analysis as a tool to drive innovation and improve institutions’ marketing and sales results.

During the Annual General Meeting, Languages Canada members welcomed their new Board of Directors, whose mandate runs February 26, 2020 to the next AGM in February 2021:

  • Cath D'Amico (President), Trent University - ESL Program
  • Biba Fakhouri (Vice President), Université de Montréal
  • Anthony Stille (Vice President), ESC English School of Canada
  • Sharon Curl (Immediate Past President), Eurocentres
  • Gary Gervais, (Secretary) Heartland International English School
  • David Matthews (Treasurer), ILSC Language Schools - Vancouver
  • Martine Allard, Seneca College, English Language Institute
  • Veronica Cartagenova, The Language Gallery
  • Ginny Chien, Columbia College, English Language Centre
  • Julian Inglis, University of Guelph
  • Stéphane Lemelin, Collège de Sainte-Anne-de-La-Pocatière
  • Shaun MacLeod, Canadian College of English Language - Vancouver
  • Gregory Mattei, Académie Linguistique Internationale
  • Ernest Mulvey, Algonquin College
  • David Packer, Dalhousie University

The conference was made possible by the contributions of many sponsors and partners.

A very special thank you to our Diamond Sponsor and long-time supporter of Canada’s language education sector, International Insurance.

Thank you to all other sponsors:

Gold Sponsors
National Geographic Learning, iCent App.

Silver Sponsors
ApplyBoard, Cambridge AssessmentIELTSParagon Testing EnterprisesPearson ERPI.

Bronze Sponsors
Access Copyright, Canada Homestay NetworkCAPIC Education Partner ProgramEDMISSETS TOEFLFlywireHalladay Education GroupISP DatabaseOrion Assessment ServicesWorld Education Services (WES).


Mark your calendars! The Languages Canada 14th Annual Conference will take place in Halifax in February 2021.