Meetings Canada


Meetings + Conventions Calgary Honors Local Champions

Clark Grue, president and CEO, Meetings + Conventions Calgary (far left) and Calgary’s Mayor, Naheed Nenshi (far right) with the Champion of the Year Award winners.

Meetings + Conventions Calgary (MCC) honored five Calgarians with Champion of the Year Awards on January 17 at the 4th Annual Calgary Champion Awards.

Presented by Calgary’s Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, the awards celebrate residents who are leaders in their fields and work with MCC to bring their industry’s conference to Calgary. Tying Calgary leaders into conferences brings local expertise to global conference programs, and leaves behind a legacy, sparking new ideas and programs in the community.

More than 60 Calgarians representing industries such as life sciences, transportation, education, and natural resources attended the event to share experiences and celebrate the 2017 honorees.

The 2017 Calgary Champion Honorees are:

Rick Istead, 2017 North American Youth Exchange Network (NAYEN) Conference: Rotarian and Conference Champion Rick Istead welcomed over 400 Rotary International members to Calgary for the North American Youth Exchange Network (NAYEN) Conference, from March 9-11, 2017. Representing 167 Rotary districts from Canada, Mexico and the United States the NAYEN Conference provides a forum for training youth exchange officers with overseas counterparts.

Dr. Jessica Theodor and Dr. Jason Anderson, 2017 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting: Bringing the conference back to Alberta for the first time in 29 years, Dr. Theodor and Dr. Anderson welcomed 1,000 of their international colleagues to Calgary. Each year, vertebrate paleontologists, preparators, writers, artists and enthusiasts convene to share the latest research, attend workshops and field trips. The Calgary program, held August 23-26, 2017 included field trips to the paleontologist bucket-list destination: Drumheller and the Canadian Badlands, which has a 100-year history of dinosaur and fossil exploration.

Heather Cowie, 2017 International Play Association Triennial Conference: This triennial conference brought together over 500 play advocates, educators, practitioners, and policymakers from 50 member countries to Calgary, September 13-16, 2017. Working with Calgarians who have a stake in play, from organizations such as the Calgary Zoo, TELUS Spark and the Calgary Board of Education, Cowie and the local organizing committee created original programming and a fostered a conference legacy benefiting the local community.

Liana Robberecht, 2017 Women Chefs and Restauranteurs Conference: A third-time Conference Champion honoree, Robberecht has positioned Calgary as the place to be for Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR). The 2017 Calgary WCR Educational Conference took place September 16, 2017, with the theme, People, Purpose, Passion. Joining Robberecht at Winsport Canada were 300 of the brightest minds in the culinary industry.

Nancy Chick, Anne Johnston and Michelle Yeo, 2017 International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Annual Conference (ISSOTL): Co-hosted by the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University, 500 attendees gathered in Calgary for the Annual Conference from October 11 to 14, 2017. The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning serves faculty members, staff, and students who care about teaching and learning as serious intellectual work.

About Conference Champion Program

Meetings + Conventions Calgary’s (MCC) Champion Program matches local leaders with MCC’s team of experts who help research, plan and coordinate all aspects of the convention bid—from arranging meeting spaces, venues and accommodations to planning support and building attendance. The program results in competitive bids to bring national and international conferences to Calgary. In four years, it has celebrated twenty Calgary Champions who have brought international conferences to the city.

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