C2UExpo 2015 has assembled a robust program complete with keynote speakers and panels whose talks you won’t want to miss! Check out the schedule below for more details!

*All plenary sessions will take place in the River Building Theatre, with the exception of Al Richmond’s keynote address, which will take place at the Shaw Centre (55 Colonel By Drive). Transportation to and from the banquet event on May 27 will be provided for delegates beginning at 5:30pm.

May 27, 2015
May 28, 2015
May 29, 2015

May 27, 2015

Opening Plenary, 8:30 – 10:00am

Opening Smudging Ceremony: Elder Paul Skanks
Featuring Keynote Speaker: 
Dr. Dawn Harvard, Interim President, Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)

Moderated by: Kim Pate, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)

HDR Bartleman 046Mohawk Traditional Teacher, Mohawk Nation – Paul Skanks was raised in Kahnawake, Quebec, A Mohawk Nation in Quebec. His spirit name is Tiao Re Hen Sere, “The First Light of Day” and is of the Turtle Clan. Since retirement, Paul has embarked on a journey of cultural rebirth. He has engaged in an active pursuit of knowledge based on teachings shared by Elders and Traditional Teachers from various First Nations on Turtle Island. Paul works with Aboriginal Communities toward the improvement of education, women’s safety and personal wellness.


Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, Ph.D., now Interim President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), is a proud member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, the first Aboriginal Trudeau Scholar, and has worked to advance the rights of Aboriginal women as the President of the Ontario Native Women’s Association for 11 years. She was also the Vice-President of NWAC for almost 3 years. Dawn is also a full-time mother of three girls. Following in the footsteps of her mother Jeannettte Corbiere Lavell, a noted advocate for Indigenous women’s rights, since joining the Board of the Ontario Native Women Association as a youth director back in 1994, Ms. Harvard has been working toward the empowerment of Aboriginal women and their families. She was co-editor of the original volume on Indigenous Mothering entitled “Until Our Hearts Are on the Ground: Aboriginal Mothering, Oppression, Resistance and Rebirth” and has also recently released new book, along with Kim Anderson, entitled “Mothers of Our Nations.”

Afternoon Plenary, 1:00 – 1:50pm

Featuring Keynote Speaker: Dr. Michel Lizée, coordinator from the Service aux collectivités de l’UQAM (retired)
Moderated by: Sylvie de Grosbois, Associate vice-rector academic and research Laurentian Campus, Université du Québec en Outaouais

Keynote Speaker Michel LizeeMichel Lizée is a retired coordinator from the Service aux collectivités de l’UQAM, where he has worked since 1972, coordinating educational and research projects between University and labour / community groups. He is also an economist specializing on pensions. He has been leading from 1991 to 2013 in co-operation with a labour organization several educational activities on pension plan administration and negotiation as well as investment. Since 2004, he has been actively supporting the establishment and development of a multiemployer plan for community groups, women’s groups and social economy enterprises, which won the Plan Sponsor Award from Benefits Canada in 2010. He holds an MA in Political Economy from Carleton University (1995), where his Master’s Research Essay focused on Pension Reform in Canada since 1980.

To download M. Lizée’s keynote presentation in advance of May 28, please click here. For a taste of what you might see from M. Lizée at C2UExpo 2015, watch this video (en français) : 

C2UExpo Banquet and Awards Night, 6:30 – 10:00pm

Featuring Keynote Speaker: Dr. Alan Richmond, Executive Director, Community Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH)
Moderated by: Zack Marshall, Board Member, Community Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) and PhD Candidate, Division of Community Health & Humanities, Memorial University

Keynote Speaker Al RichmondAl Richmond, MSW, CCPH executive director, has over 25 years of experience in a career that has uniquely blended social work and public health to address racial and ethnic health disparities. As a founding member and past chair of the Community Based Public Health Caucus and the National Community Based Organization Network – both affiliated with the American Public Health Association (APHA) – he helped to foster effective partnerships focused on community-identified health concerns and to increase the number of community leaders actively involved in APHA. For the past three years, Richmond has played significant roles locally and nationally to advance community engagement in health research, in particular through the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program. In 2012 Richmond became the first community leader to serve as co-chair of the national CTSA Community Engagement Key Function Committee, working to better understand and support the role of community leaders in the CTSA program. As an integral member of the NC TraCS Institute Community Advisory Board (the CTSA at the University of North Carolina) and liaison to its Community Engagement and Dissemination Core, he has engaged in research partnerships with academic investigators to build coalitions, disseminate health information and develop training modules. A past CCPH Board Member, Richmond served as planning committee members and speaker for all three National Community Partner Forums on Community-Engaged Research, contributing to the development of the Community Network for Research Equity and Impact. Richmond was recently selected as a participant in the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, a 2-year leadership program for North Carolina residents.

Hear a bit about CCPH, the organization for which Al Richmond is the executive director: 

May 28, 2015

Morning Plenary, 8:00 – 8:50am

Featuring Keynote Speaker: Giovanna Mingarelli, CEO and Co-Founder, PlayMC2
Moderated by: Chris Yordy, PhD Candidate School of Public Policy and Administration

Giovanna-Mingarelli-headshotAs the CEO and Co-Founder of PlayMC2, Giovanna Mingarelli plays the dual role of international technology entrepreneur and thought leader. She has contributed to and has been interviewed by: Harvard Business Review, CBC Radio-Canada, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star, amongst others, for her contributions to various social entrepreneurship and youth engagement initiatives. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Ms. Mingarelli has served in the press office of a former Prime Minister of Canada and has been a Parliamentary witness, speaking to the importance of including more young women in elected politics. With a growing global recognition as an expert on gamification of politics, social engagement and crowdsourcing, Ms. Mingarelli has attended and been an active contributor to events such as the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland and the United Nations World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in NYC.  In 2011, she was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum for her efforts to improve the state of the world through entrepreneurialism and civic engagement. To this end, Ms. Mingarelli is involved in many youth empowerment initiatives, such as Global Dignity Canada, which she Chairs in Canada. She is an Entrepreneur in Residence with 1125@Carleton, the University’s Living Labs.

What will Giovanna be talking about at the conference? Check it out: 

Afternoon Plenary, 12:45 – 1:20pm – Special Presidents’ Roundtable, “Stronger Partnerships, Greater Impacts: What should be done to increase the positive impacts of collaborative, community-based research for the well-being and sustainability of Canadian Communities”

Featuring: Dr. Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC); Guy Levesque, Director of Programs, Canada Foundation for Innovation; Dr. Nancy Edwards, Scientific Director, Institute of Population and Public Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Dr. Michelle Gauthier, Vice-President, Imagine Canada; & Pari Johnston, Director, Public Affairs and Member Relations, Universities Canada
Moderated by: Katherine Graham, Professor Emerita

Ted_HewittDr. Ted Hewitt is the president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), a federal agency in Canada that promotes and supports post-secondary–based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its programs, SSHRC works to develop talented leaders for all sectors of society; to help generate insights about people, ideas and behavior; and to establish connections within and beyond academia that will build a better future for Canada and the world. Prior to his appointment as president, Ted was executive vice-president and chief operating officer at SSHRC. From 2004 to 2011, he was vice-president, research and international relations at Western University in London, Ontario, where he became a leading figure among research-intensive universities across Canada. Ted has also served as public policy scholar at the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and as professor of sociology at Western University. A leading Canadian authority on Brazil, his work has appeared in monographs, edited works and a range of academic journals, including Cities, Journal of Latin American Studies, Journal of Developing Areas, Third World Quarterly, and Habitat International. In 2002, he was named commander of the Order of Rio Branco by Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations.

Ted’s recent research has focused on national and international innovation systems, with emphasis on the roles played by universities, industry and government in promoting economic prosperity in the 21st-century economy. He is the Canadian co-chair of the Canada-Brazil Science and Technology Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, and a member of the boards of International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada and the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce. Ted holds a PhD in sociology from McMaster University.

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Guy Levesque has spent the last 15 years working in the area of research and innovation. From 2005 to 2007, Guy provided strategic advisory services to the Vice-President (Research) University of Manitoba in support of the university’s $400 million Canada Foundation for Innovation’s portfolio and other large-scale research initiatives. From 2007 to 2010 he held the position of Manager of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council-Prairies Regional Office, with the responsibility of developing strategies to facilitate partnerships between universities, colleges, industry, and other government agencies involved in science and innovation. Having rejoined the Canada Foundation for Innovation in April 2010 as Director of Programs, Guy is responsible for the development and delivery of programs. He is also responsible for assuring that the core program processes of the CFI are maintained at the highest international standards. Guy holds a B.Sc. in Geology (magna cum laude), B.Ed. (summa cum laude), and M.Sc. in Geology, all from the University of Ottawa.

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ipph_SD_nancy_edwards20112Dr. Nancy Edwards is a Distinguished Professor, University of Ottawa, and Full Professor in the School of Nursing. She was appointed Scientific Director, Institute of Population and Public Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research in July, 2008. Dr. Edwards obtained her undergraduate nursing degree from the University of Windsor and completed graduate studies in epidemiology at McMaster University and McGill University. She is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and has been awarded two honorary doctorate degrees.

Dr. Edwards’ clinical and research interests are in the fields of public and population health. She has conducted health services, policy and clinical research both nationally and internationally. Her research has informed the design and evaluation of complex multi-level and multi-strategy community health programs. Her work in global health has spanned four continents where she has led both development-oriented and research-focused projects.

Dr. Edwards has contributed to over 170 peer-reviewed and 125 technical publications and presented nearly 400 conference papers. She has served on numerous advisory committees. Most recently these include the international expert advisory committee for Public Health Research in Horizon 2020 (EU Commission); advisory councils for the Public Health Agency of Canada National Collaborating Centres and the Canadian Population Health Initiative; and a joint technical task group of the National Research Council that is reviewing building code recommendations for ramps, stairs, handrails and guards.

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Dr. Gauthier is the Vice-President, Public Policy and Community Engagement at Imagine Canada. She leads Imagine Canada’s work to develop and implement a strategic public policy agenda for the charitable sector. She also seeks to facilitate collaboration among nonprofit and charitable organizations as they interact with individuals, communities, businesses and governments to fulfill their domestic and international missions. Prior to Imagine Canada, Michelle was the Director of the Research and Policy Analysis Division for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. She worked with university presidents from across the country to document compellingly universities’ contributions to Canada and the world. In addition,she engaged in public policy dialogue with government and other stakeholders on a wide array of higher education and research issues. Previous positions include Principal Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Executive Director for the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario. She is fluently bilingual and holds a Ph.D. from McGill University in Communications.

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Pari-JohnstonPari Johnston was named director, public affairs and member relations at Universities Canada in November 2013. She is responsible for University Canada’s advocacy, government relations and communications activities; developing and delivering University Canada’s member services, including leadership development workshops for Canadian university presidents; and overseeing research, analysis and policy development related to Universities Canada advocacy and membership issues.

Prior to this, Ms. Johnston served for three years as Universities Canada’s director, member relations and for seven years as Universities Canada’s director, international relations, where she oversaw advocacy, communications, government relations and member engagement to advance Universities Canada’s international agenda. Fluently bilingual, Pari holds a bachelor of arts degree (French literature) from the University of Regina and a master’s in international affairs from Carleton University

May 29, 2015

Closing Plenary, 10:30am – 12:45pm

10:30 – 11:00am
Featuring Keynote Speaker: Minister Steve Kent, Deputy Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Minister of Health and Community Services, and Minister Responsible for the Office of Public Engagement
Moderated by: Kim Olson, Regional Partnership Planner

Steve Kent 2Steve Kent is the Deputy Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition to this role, he is Minister of Health and Community Services, the largest government department in our province, and Minister Responsible for the Office of Public Engagement, an innovative branch of the Executive Council. Since 2007, Minister Kent has held a range of positions within the Provincial Government.

Prior to working with the Provincial Government, Minister Kent made significant contributions to local government. At the age of 19, he became the youngest elected public official in the history of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador’s second largest city. After receiving a record number of votes, he was elected Deputy Mayor of Mount Pearl in 1997 and later took on the seat of Mayor in 2003. During his involvement with local government, Minister Kent served on the Board of Directors of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador and was also an active member of the Atlantic Mayors Congress.

Minister Kent has worked extensively in the community sector as a leader, volunteer, and an executive. For over six years he served as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters for Eastern Newfoundland and is a past Chief Commissioner of Scouts Canada. He has won titles such as Youth of the Year and Youth Volunteer of the Year, and received the national YTV Achievement Award for Public Service in 1996. In 1999, Maclean’s magazine recognized Mr. Kent as one of the top 100 Canadians to watch for in the next century.

Over his career, Minister Kent has learned a great deal about the importance of research, including evidence, measurement, indicators, evaluation and results. He has learned about processes that bring about change, and the fundamental need for knowledge to inform change processes. He understands that knowledge creation is not strictly the purview of academics, and that citizens and stakeholders can play an important role in creating, translating and mobilizing knowledge. In this regard, he has supported a range of community-based research projects, recognizing their value for decision making and policy processes.

The theme for C2UExpo2015, Citizen Solutions. Better World aligns with Minister Kent’s belief that inter-agency collaboration is central to solving complex societal issues. He is keenly interested in including citizens’ expertise in the creation of improved policy solutions, as evidenced in a recent provincial health summit, where he was instrumental in leading an extensive public engagement strategy to gather public and stakeholder input to enhance the delivery of primary health care services in our province. This was an outstanding endeavor and a true collaboration between his two responsibilities, Health and Community Services and the Office of Public Engagement.

Check out a taste of what you might see from Minister Kent this May: 

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11:00am – 12:00pm
Featuring: Abra Brynne, Program Manager, Food Secure Canada; Mickey Bennington, Project Manager, Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT); Liz Weaver, Vice President, Tamarack Learning Centre; & Kim Pate, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)
Moderated by: Bessa Whitmore

Keynote Speaker Abra BrynneAbra Brynne joined Food Secure Canada in Oct 2012 as a Program Manager focusing on sustainable food systems. Among her various responsibilities with FSC, Abra co-ordinates the Local & Sustainable Food Systems Network which convenes actors across Canada who are engaging in initiatives to ameliorate their respective food systems. She is also the staff liaison with the Communities First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) project, a collaboration with Carleton University, and she convenes the leaders of the Provincial and Territorial food systems networks for peer-support and knowledge exchange.

Prior to joining FSC, Abra worked as an agriculture and food systems consultant over more than two decades of close collaboration with farmers and other actors in sustainable food systems. In 2000-2002, she was one of the two staff on the first BC-wide food security project, funded by Health Canada. Working closely with social service agencies in communities across the province, the project sought to increase the food security of residents by increasing their awareness of farming and food production in their own communities and to improve their food-related skills through means such as community kitchens and gardens.

Over the past twenty-four years she has been involved as a staff member and Board Director of one of North America’s most successful natural foods co-op, allowing her to develop an intimate understanding of alternative markets, consumers, producers and distribution. Abra also has extensive experience with environmental and social standards as they relate to food production, both in the development and revision of standards as well as certification procedures. Abra is a founding member of the Canadian Biotech Action Network, the Kootenay Local Agriculture Society, and the BC Food Systems Network. She is also a longtime associate member of the National Farmers Union, and a member of the Kootenay Organic Growers Society. She currently sits on the governing bodies of USC Canada, the BC Food Systems Network, Kootenay Organic Growers Society, the Canadian Biotech Action Network, and Certified Organic Associations of BC.

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Mikey BenningtonMikey Bennington is an active transportation and health researcher with a background in psychology. He is currently a Project Manager at the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT). At TCAT, he manages a series of community-driven participatory planning projects known as Active Neighbourhoods Canada. These projects are part of a pan-Canadian initiative taking place across Ontario, Quebec and Alberta which are linked to each other through a community of practice. Mikey is also an active researcher for The Toronto Cycling Think and Do Tank, a partnership-based research group at the University of Toronto’s School of The Environment.

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Keynote Speaker Liz WeaverLiz Weaver is the Vice President of the Tamarack Learning Centre, providing strategic direction for the design and development of learning activities.  The focus of the Tamarack Learning Centre is to work with community leaders to co-generate knowledge and become a collective force for social change.  Liz is one of Tamarack’s popular trainers and has developed and delivered curriculum on a variety of workshop topics including collaborative governance, leadership, collective impact, community innovation, influencing policy change and social media for impact and engagement.

Previous to this, Liz led the Vibrant Communities Canada team and provided coaching, leadership and support to community partners across Canada.   She helped place-based collaborative tables develop their frameworks of change, supported and guided their projects and helped connect them to Vibrant Communities and other comprehensive community collaborations.

In her career, she was the Director for the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction, which was recognized with the Canadian Urban Institute’s David Crombie Leadership Award in 2009 and was a collective impact initiative.  In her career, Liz has held leadership positions with YWCA Hamilton, Volunteer Hamilton and Volunteer Canada.   In 2002, Liz completed a Masters of Management for National Voluntary Sector Leaders through McGill University and her thesis ‘Storytelling and the Voluntary Sector’ was published.  Liz was awarded a Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2002 for her leadership in the voluntary sector, was an Athena Award finalist and in 2004 was awarded the Women in the Workplace award from the City of Hamilton. Follow Liz’s blog at

What is Liz’s work all about? See for yourself: 

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kim_pateKim Pate is the executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS), a federation of autonomous societies which work with, and on behalf of, marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized women and girls throughout Canada. A lawyer and teacher by trade, she has completed post-graduate studies in the area of forensic mental health and has worked extensively with youth and women during her 30-year career in and around the Canadian Legal and penal systems.

On June 30, 2014, Pate was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for advocating on behalf of women who are marginalized, victimized or incarcerated, and for her research on women in the criminal justice system. She has also received honorary doctorates from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, St. Thomas University and the Law Society of Upper Canada.

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