Languages Canada’s 14th Annual Conference took place on April 21, 2021, with over 150 delegates, partners and sponsors attending virtually from across Canada.
This year’s pared-down, 2-hour event offered members the opportunity to come together, take stock and reflect on the unprecedented impact that COVID-19 has had on the Canadian language education sector, the global economy, and society as a whole, over the past year.
Adhering to social distancing guidelines—and to help cut down on members’ expenses—the event was held virtually, but members’ enthusiasm and delight at reconnecting with colleagues and friends could be felt through computer screens. As the association’s president, Cath D’Amico, puts it: “The 2021 Languages Canada conference may have looked different this year, however the warmth, collegiality and camaraderie of our membership and our association remarkably found its way through the two-dimensional confines of Zoom.”
Cath D’Amico’s and LC vice-president Biba Fakhouri’s opening comments were straightforward (“it has been a hard, hard year”) and full of praise for members’ hard work, dedication and capacity to reinvent themselves (“congratulations: you are here, we are here”). They also offered hope for the future, noting that LC’s 2020-2024 strategic plan (unveiled at last year’s conference right before the pandemic broke) remains a strong, solid foundation for our collective journey toward recovery. Cath D’Amico stated: “Our recovery from this tremendously challenging year will be gradual, and progressive, rooted in the strength of our strategic plan and fueled by the tireless advocacy and innovative drive of the Languages Canada team, guided by the knowledge and determination of the LC Board, and with the support and commitment of our members. As I said during the plenary and say again today, 'We are stronger together. Nous sommes plus forts ensemble'.”