Conference Agenda

Pre-Conference: Sunday, August 21, 2022

Pre-conference Optional Activities
Local tours
HALF-DAY WORKSHOP (1:00 pm - 4:30pm):

The CGO Career Path Project is a new undertaking by GPC to determine and develop an initial protocol, resources, and relevant documents to assist Governance Professionals in moving into the role of Chief Governance Officer within their organizations.

Join Sylvia Groves, author of AAA+ Minutes and Board Builder Orientations Workbook, and GPC’s CGO Career Path Project lead, for this fast-paced, interactive workshop that will give you more than you bargained for! 

With the role of the governance professional constantly evolving, many organizations have started to work towards creating a new executive position of Chief Governance Officer, but what would this new role look like and how can we set it up for success? 

You will walk away with a clear understanding of how to:

  • CLARIFY your role and your contribution with both the management team and the board
  • Garner SUPPORT for a formal position description and career ladder within your organization
  • Move to the NEXT LEVEL in your organization

This half-day workshop will allow participants to go through the Career Path documents and begin drafting a position description for the Chief Governance Officer in their organization. The session will also discuss steps to move forward from participants current position to the role of Chief Governance Officer and discuss rebranding of the Corporate Secretariat to the Governance Office. 

Through individual and group exercises, you will get a head start on:

  • Developing your organization’s official POSITION DESCRIPTION for the most senior governance role as it relates to the board and management (not just a newspaper job posting)
  • Creating a formal career LADDER (required by many HR departments) of governance professional roles and levels to pave your way within your organization
  • ASSESSING where you are now and the steps you need to take to move forward

Who should attend this session:

  • Those passionate about good governance and best practice in Canada
  • Governance professionals wanting to advance to a more senior role
  • Senior leaders and Human Resource professionals
  • Organizational leaders wanting to advance the governance role in their organization

All participants will receive:

  • A 10% discount code for Board Builder Orientations Workbook or AAA+ Minutes by Sylvia Groves (hard copy)
  • A PDF copy of the slide deck
  • Career Path course materials?

Sylvia Groves,
President and Creative Director, Governance Studio


Additional fee of 399.00 + GST

Day One: Monday, August 22, 2022

GPC Annual General Meeting

Opening Remark and Keynote


Sponsored by:

PLENARY SESSION: (10:30 am - 12:00pm):

Governance Professionals of Canada recently completed their 9th Annual Corporate Governance Survey, and the results are in! The data was analyzed by Compensation Governance Partners and WATSON who will discuss the results in a data-based fireside chat.

Boards have been tasked with more oversight as the global community focuses on the challenges of diversity, equity, and inclusion, climate change, and human capital resiliency. Boards must now consider a broad range of stakeholders, rights-holders, and other interests, while maintaining a strategic lens and monitoring risks. Panellists will explore and respond to the trends highlighted in the survey and answer questions from the audience

From their experience and perspective as corporate secretaries and governance advisors, panellists will answer questions such as:

  • What do the results mean for the governance professional?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities?
  • How can the governance professional guide or influence the board’s approach to these topics?
  • Should governance professionals be responsible for guiding the board to address new topics?

Christopher A Chen, Managing Director, Compensation Governance Partners
Elizabeth Watson, QC,
Watson Group



Networking Break with Exhibitors

Multiple Tracks  (1:15 pm - 2:15 pm)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals

Session 1A: Managing director conflicts of interest and the role of the governance professional

Discover how the governance professional can help directors navigate potential conflicts of interest, understand the duties that your directors have and what policies and procedures will help them (and you) ensure they meet their fiduciary obligations.

This session will furnish you with the following skills:

  • Gain a greater understanding of director duties and how to help spot a potential conflict of interest
  • Tips and tricks for managing conflicts and procedures to use to safeguard the board
  • Create trust and value for the board by being a resource for navigating conflict inquiries

Speakers: Aaron Friedenthal, VP Legal Services & Assistant Corporate Secretary Legal Services, ATB;  Toby Tamayo, Lead Governance and Board Affairs ATB Financial

Track B: Critical Issues in Governance

Session 1B: Board Diversity: An Intentional Approach

As more organizations seek to diversify representation on their boards it is important to understand the landscape of diversity, equity and inclusion in a governance context. Many boards would like to diversify their membership. But they struggle to set targets and attract qualified applicants. This session will provide important guidance on developing a strategy to set goals related to board diversity and explain how to attract, onboard and retain board members from a diversity of backgrounds. This interactive session will use real-life examples to illustrate the power of developing and sustaining relationships to leverage Canada’s diversity for organizational performance and explore:

  • How to set goals and targets related to diversifying representation on boards.
  • Best practices for accessing new and diverse talent pools regarding board opportunities.
  • How to make the screening and interview process more inclusive.
  • How to welcome board members from communities not previously represented on the board.
  • Reporting on board diversity to external stakeholders and the general public.

Speaker:  Colin Druhan, Executive Director, Pride at Work Canada 

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 1C: Regulatory Disclosure Trends: Sustainability Challenges and Opportunities for Organizations

A panel discussion on how regulatory disclosure trends are creating challenges and opportunities for corporate governance professionals to drive enhanced communications with Boards, executive management, shareholders, and communities.

Join our closer look at best practices in governance management and how to leverage innovative, digital communications to be ready for the sustainability reporting of tomorrow.

 Sponsored by:

Exhibitor Hall Opens

Multiple Tracks  (2:30 pm – 3:30 pm)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals

Session 2A: The Purpose Imperative: Why and how boards are embracing purpose governance to drive value

This session will provide insights into how boards are developing best practice in purpose governance and the role of corporate secretaries and governance professionals in supporting their efforts. It will include the drivers and benefits of becoming a purpose-driven company, the governance role boards are playing to define and implement a purpose, and steps corporate secretaries are taking to support boards on the purpose path.

Learn about:

  • the role of the board in providing oversight of purpose execution
  • the role governance professionals can play to help boards enhance their purpose governance
  • case studies of companies who are developing best practices in purpose governance
  • trends and drivers for boards and organizations to improve their purpose governance practices

Speakers: Christine Carter, Corporate Secretary & Director of Governance, British Columbia Lottery Corporation; Alexandra Wilson, Director, Board of Co-Operators; Alicia Evers, Corporate Secretary and Head of Governance, HSBC Bank Canada; Coro Strandberg, Stranberg Group 


Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 2B: Best practices in digital innovation in corporate governance

Trends and Evolution in Virtual Governance:

  • How can your board or governance team continue to adapt and improve on virtual governance? What are some of the leading trends on virtual governance coming out of the pandemic? \
  • hat tools and practices are necessary to do so as we move into 2022?
  • Tools necessary in virtual / hybrid governance world
  • How to make your directors lives easier

Speakers: Suzanne Van Sligtenhorst, New Gold Inc.; Dottie Schindlinger, Executive Director, Diligent Institute

Track C:  Key Trends in Governance

Session 2C: Transform your Ethics Reporting (and whistleblowing) to support the ESG strategy

No Board Member or Executive wants to learn their organizations environmental protections, hiring practices, or governance protocols have failed on tomorrow’s front page.  That is why leading organizations are adapting their Speak-up and Listen-up channels to ensure they are in alignment with stated ESG goals and principles. 

Join us to discuss how:

  • Providing a variety of Speak-up options can lead to a stronger culture, enhanced outcomes, and greater brand equity,
  • Enabling managers and leaders with Listen-up tools can tease out issues lurking ‘just below the surface’, which may pose significant risk to organizations, and,
  • Taking a robust approach to identifying, understanding, and learning from feedback can help your organization achieve a position of relative strength and stability.

Speaker: Joe German, Director, ClearView Strategic Partners a Syntrio company


Mini Break with Exhibitors
CLOSING PLENARY SESSION: (4:00 pm - 5:00pm):

Ivy Lumia,
CEO and Founder, Best in Governance Inc.

Edo De Vette, Founder, New Public Support and professor, Windesheim University, The Netherlands; Stuart Mckellar, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer, Strategic Sustainability, ATB; Annie Laurenson, Director, Governance and Corporate Secretary, Chair, DIARD Committee (Corporate)



Free Night - Sponsor Dinners

Day Two: Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Exhibitor Hall Opens

Opening Plenary:
Setting the organization up for success on ESG risk oversight


Sponsored by:

Mini Break with Exhibitors
Multiple Tracks  (10:10 am to 11:10 am)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals 

Session 3A: Succession: Lessons in Governance Missteps

Drawing from the popular HBO series Succession, this session will explore the many governance missteps of the fictionalized Waystar Royco company. Where did the company and its characters go wrong? What did they do right? What can governance professionals learn from the show? Using clips and themes from the show, this session aims to be an entertaining and interactive way of drawing out both basic and nuanced governance principles. From succession planning to how not to hold a vote of no confidence, participants will learn what governance looks like when done wrong and what they can do to improve their own governance practices.

Key takeaways:

  • The critical importance of succession planning
  • Chair and CEO: to split or not to split
  • Boring is good: good governance as limiting drama
  • Family and corporate governance

Speakers: Graeme Esau, Advisor, Governance and Planning, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 3B: Getting the Board on board with innovation and strategy

  • Learn strategies on how to introduce and get buy-in from your Board on something new and unproven for your organization.
  • Discover how to instill confidence in your Board on forging a new path on something unfamiliar. 
  • Learn how to create and recruit appropriate expertise that can augment the expertise and knowledge at the Board table.
  • Learn how to create an ongoing liaison between the Board and the new initiative. 

Speakers: Trish Barbato Company, President and CEO,  Arthritis Society

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 3C: Climate risk governance: Directors’ obligations and leading practices

Climate governance is evolving fast and is becoming a high priority to all corporate and pension boards. The new International Sustainability Standards Board will have climate disclosure standards in place by 2023, and the Canadian Securities Administrators is also requiring climate risk disclosure. Meet some of Canada’s Climate Governance Experts, who will unpack what this means for executives, directors and governance professionals in staying ahead of the curve, and developing winning strategies to respond to these new expectations.

  • Understanding Directors’ duties towards climate risks and opportunities
  • Understanding climate disclosure landscape and what audit committees should know
  • Practical strategies for tackling climate oversight responsibilities

Speaker: Dottie Schindlinger, Executive Director, Diligent Institute

Panel: Ravipal Bains, Partner, McMillan; Christie Stephenson, Executive Director, Peter Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics

Sponsored By:

Networking Break with Exhibitors
Multiple Tracks  (11:40 am to 12:40 pm)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals 

Session 4A: Beyond processes and bylaws: creating high performance boards

Boards are often associated with policies, mandates, and bylaws – but that’s not what makes them perform. This session will explore the dimensions of a high performing board and what really separates strong boards from the rest. 

Speakers: Clara Wakita, Principal, Hugessen Consulting

Sponsored By: 

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 4B: Stakeholder Engagement Strategy and Benefits from Converging IR and Governance

In this session, we will explore the drivers behind the emerging trend of a joined-up stakeholder engagement strategy, and the benefits issuers are seeing from a convergence of the IR and governance functions”.

Key learning outcomes:

  • Discover the key drivers behind the convergence of internal IR and governance teams
  • From operational and cost efficiencies to an improved stakeholder experience
  • Understand the benefits behind this emerging trend
  • What stakeholder engagement strategies can we expect to see in 2022, and beyond?.


Speakers: TBD

Sponsored by:

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 4C: Governance and Ethics:  AI and the Role of the Board

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cognitive Analytics, Cognitive Automation. These terms (generally referred to as “AI”) are often used interchangeably and are being adopted by organizations at an increasingly rapid pace across a broad range of industries, applications and purposes. Examples of AI applications  include: targeted marketing to customers; enhancing customer experience; identification through AI driven facial recognition technologies, screening for new employees; credit adjudication; and fraud detection, to name but a few.

This panel brings together legal and industry experts from a broad range of industries and will explore what AI means, how data is used (or potentially misused), the potential for human and machine interaction, and the impact on trust and privacy.  The discussion will highlight some of  the potential risks that could arise from the use of AI, the role of the Board when it comes to governance over the use of AI, and the risks that the board itself might face, including legal and reputational risks.  And, panel members will share best practices for board oversight of risk, use of AI to support strategy execution, and alignment of use of AI with an organization’s values.

Speakers: Sara Gelgor, LLB, LLM, MBA, ICD.D, G.Dipl SRS, Director, Human Rights & Sustainability, RBC; Molly Reynolds, LLB, Privacy, Cybersecurity, Data Governance, Partner, Torys; Robin Sooklal, JD, Senior Director, Enterprise Privacy, Loblaw Companies Limited

Mini Break with Exhibitors
Multiple Tracks  (2:00 pm – 3:00 pm)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals 

Session 5A: The future of governance and the changing responsibilities of the compliance function

This session will cover how the role of the compliance function is changing with increasing shareholder, investor, consumer and regulatory focus on a rapidly changing geopolitical environment, including sanctions; ESG and challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists will explore how companies are addressing these expectations from an organizational perspective and how compliance best practices are evolving.

Speakers: Hentie Dirker, Chief ESG & Integrity Officer, SNC-Lavalin; Alexandra Wrage, President, Trace International.

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations

Session 5B: Introduction to ISO 37000 Governance of organizations — Guidance

This session will provide participants with an understanding of: 

  • ISO 37000 and its role in governance
  • International governance best practices
  • Key governance principles
  • The practical differences between governance and management
  • Integrating risk management, technology into governance via standards

Speakers: Michelle de Cordova, Principal, ESG Global Advisors; Christopher Chen, Managing Director, Compensation Governance Partners; Gigi Dawe, Lead, Corporate Oversight and Governance Department, CPA Canada; Sara Gelgor, Vice President, Compliance, Concentra

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 5C:  Workplace mental health for leaders

Shona McGlashan, FCG, is a senior leader at Vancity Credit Union, currently leading Vancity’s mental health strategy and creating a framework for inclusive and anti-racist governance.

In this session for governance professionals, board directors, and other leaders, Shona will cover:

  • the mental health continuum
  • how to build a personal mental wellness toolkit
  • factors that influence employee mental health, and which of them organizations can control or influence
  • elements of a mental health strategy
  • leadership actions to support mental health

Speakers:  Shona McGlashan, Governance Advisor, Office of the CEO, Vancity

Mini Break with Exhibitors
Multiple Tracks  (3:30 pm – 4:30 pm)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals 

Session 5A: Why Culture Matters - How to create a culture to create connection and drive performance

Now more than ever, employees, customers and leaders need a safe environment within which to reconnect and find new ways of working, as well as clarity on the acceptable ways to move forward.  Boards must be intentional about articulating and creating a culture that will provide the psychological safety, guidance and care for their employees and customers (stakeholders/) that fosters engagement, innovation, and loyalty (or retention, whichever word you want to use). 

Join the conversation to discuss, explore and learn tips (neuroscience based and others) and tools that will help you and your Board:

  • scan your current culture's effectiveness in engaging others
  • create a culture on purpose, as opposed to by default, that will help drive performance, and attract and retain the best employees and customer
  • dig into Values and how they influence culture, and what your culture says about your Values
  • link key emotional intelligence skills to managing yourself and influencing others, as a culture role model

Speakers: Liana Bagworth, Founder, Executive Partner, Eqals, Growth & Greatness Consultant, Dare To Lead™ Certified Facilitator, EQ Practitioner and Coach.

Track B: Effective Boards and Organizations 

Session 6B: More Effective Strategy and Decision Making for Directors and Governance Professionals

This discussion will help boards and Governance Professionals enhance their strategic planning readiness for more effective strategy development and strategic decision making. Join this session to enhance your strategic thinking skills required to make better strategic decisions and create more meaningful alignment of your board and management regarding the strategic direction of your organization. Attendees will gain new skills to understand:

  • Conversations your board and management should be more equipped for
  • Specific knowledge and skills to make strategy discussions more effective and productive
  • Knowledge to allow your board to challenge management more meaningfully
  • How to determine which strategic dilemmas or questions will likely be part of your strategic planning

Additionally, you will leave with practical tools to assist your board to make more effective strategic decisions. 

Speakers: Peter Wright, The Planning Group

Sponsored By: 

Track C: Key Trends in Governance

Session 6C:  Good governance of Private Enterprise and Family-Controlled Firms

Private enterprise is the biggest source of wealth, employment, and philanthropy in Canada and around the world. In North America alone, over 60% of our GDP is generated by private enterprise. Yet, oftentimes the governance practices and structures that specifically address private enterprise are neglected by educators and by the firms themselves. 

From the scandals at Rogers Telecom to the courtroom drama of the Stronachs, these firms have the power to dominate our newsfeeds with stories of breakdowns in governance. In this session you will learn how to be an effective Director and Governance Professional for a privately-held or family-controlled enterprise or charity. 

Learn how to:

  • Govern alongside the company's ownership group.
  • Recognize the sources of influence on the board and the Shareholders. 
  • Unlock the secrets of the Shareholders' Agreement and understand its influence in the Boardroom. 

Speakers:  Kathy Bright, Telos Group Title: Consultant; Judi Cunningham, Managing Partner, Telos Group

Closing Reception, Dinner, and Entertainment (6:30 pm – 11:30 pm)

The Governance Professionals of Canada (GPC) was created in 1994, shortly after the Dey Report was published by the TSX on ‘Where Are the Directors’. GPC‘s mandate is to be the voice of governance professionals in Canada. Its members deal with all matters affecting corporate governance, from board and committee processes, management and structure, disclosure, stakeholder engagement, legal and corporate compliance, as well as issues crucial to boards, their accountability and oversight.