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Recap of the LC 2019 Annual Conference

The Languages Canada 12th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting took place in Winnipeg from February 25th to 27th, kicking off the Year of International Education in Manitoba. Over 150 delegates attended, including LC members, national and international partners, provincial and federal government and education representatives and international education service providers.

Theme of this year’s conference – On Common Ground: A Shared Commitment to Quality and Integrity in Language Education – set the tone for a milestone year for Languages Canada, as the association’s new membership criteria are rolled out over the course of 2019. The new membership criteria raise the bar in terms of the standards of quality, student protection and ethical practice that characterize the member programs of the association.

This year’s conference program featured speakers in three program streams - Promoting Quality Education in Canada Abroad; Student Experience and Welfare; and Leadership in Program Management, Research, Innovation and Technology. Highlights included:

  • A keynote address by Karyn Ross on Lean for Service Excellence, helping to equip language program leaders with the perspective and tools needed to introduce cost-effective, service-oriented improvements into their day-to-day operations.
  • A thought-leader dialogue featuring international education experts from the Manitoba Council for International Education, British Colombia Council for International Education and EduNova, discussing Canada’s next International Education Strategy.
  • Sessions with international partners from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico on internationalization and the role of language education across the Americas;
  • Participation of Canadian Trade Commissioners from China, Colombia, Mexico, Poland and Ukraine, providing market insights and business development support to LC members through B2B meetings.
  • Parallel sessions on issues related to teacher engagement; curriculum; student mental health; immigration laws; testing security; homestay; legalization of cannabis; as well as digital marketing and technological advancements in the sector.
  • Presentations by Bonard (formerly StudentMarketing) of data on trends and forces shaping the future of Canada’s French and English Language Travel sectors.

The conference’s closing reception was held at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, sponsored by International Insurance. Delegates had the pleasure of hearing a powerful speech from Roman Waschuk, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine, on the importance of language learning as a tool for fostering peace and cooperation between countries. During the closing reception, the association paid tribute to two outgoing Board members, thanking them for their years of service to the leadership of Languages Canada – Genevieve Bouchard, former President and CEO of Global Village Toronto (now recently retired) and Gabriela Facchini, Manager, International Business Development and Partnerships at Sheridan College.

During the Annual General Meeting, Languages Canada members welcomed their new Board of Directors, whose mandate runs February 27, 2019 to the next AGM in February 2020:

  • 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
  • Firas Alhafidh, McGill University
  • Martine Allard, Seneca College, English Language Institute
  • Veronica Cartagenova, LAB Montreal
  • 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 Languages Canada Annual Conference was made possible by the contributions of many sponsors and partners.

Languages Canada wishes to thank our Manitoba member programs and the Manitoba Council for International Education (MCIE) for their partnership and support in the organization of this year’s conference.

A resounding Thank You to our Diamond Sponsor and long-time supporter International Insurance.

Thank you to all other sponsors! Gold Sponsors: iCentapp, Western Union Business Solution (WUBS), and the British Council Canada. Silver Sponsors: FPP Media, Cambridge Assessment English, Vista Higher Learning, EDMISS, and ApplyBoard. Bronze Sponsors: Higher Education Marketing, Flywire, Canada Homestay Network, Inline Marketing, Phonebox, ISX, and Paragon Testing. Partner: ICEF Canada.

The Languages Canada 13th Annual Conference takes place in Vancouver in February 2020.