Conference Agenda

Pre-Conference: Sunday, August 21, 2022

Pre-conference Optional Activities
Local tours
First-Timers Welcome Reception (5:30 PM - 6:00 PM)

Welcome Reception: (6:00 PM - 7:00 PM)
Opening networking reception of the conference

Opening Sit Down Dinner (7:00 PM - 11:00 PM)

ENTERTAINMENT BY Mike D’Urzo, an international award-winning magician & mentalist. Mike was the winner of the “Canadian Entertainer of the Year” award by the Canadian Event Awards. He was the 8-time recipient of the “Performer of the Year” award presented by Festivals & Events Ontario. He was awarded in the “Top 10 Magicians Worldwide” by the Wedding Industry Experts Awards and the “Entertainment Act of the Year” by the LUXlife Global Wedding Awards. He was the 2-time winner of the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Entertainer by Special Events Magazine. He was also named in the Top 5 Magicians in Toronto by BLOG TO and won the Toronto Choice Award by Event Source. Mike is a member of the prestigious Canadian Association of Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Sponsored By:

Day One: Monday, August 22, 2022

Breakfast in the Exhibitor Hall (7:30 AM - 8:15 AM)

GPC Annual General Meeting (8:15 AM - 8:45 AM)

Opening Remark and Keynote (8:50 AM - 10:00 AM)

Come and Join Unstoppable Tracy to learn how to redefine what "possible" means in your life and your organization.

In this unique keynote presentation curated specially for governance professionals, Unstoppable Tracy will teach YOU how to exceed uncertainty by pushing and driving transformation and embrace possibilities when you are not sure how to activate change.

Tracy, a 4-way amputee, has climbed mountains in Nepal, captained 110-foot ships in the eastern Atlantic, and won a bronze medal as a para-alpine skier—all in her first 20 years of life! With much humor and motivation, Tracy helps you sift through your challenges and come out on top and walk away from this session feeling motivated and unstoppable!


Sponsored by:

Networking Break with Exhibitors (10:00 AM - 10:30 AM)
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

Jodi Butts, Senior Governance Consultant at WATSON Advisors Inc.

Rachel Carswell, Governance Manager, Vancity

Chris Main, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary, Telus


Networking Lunch in the Exhibitor Hall (12:00 PM - 01:15 PM)

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 Financial 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.

Speakers:  David Salmon, President, Laurel Hill; Martha Moen, General Manager Canada, Investor Communications Solutions, Broadridge Financial Solutions; Corina Farbacher, MBA, ICD.D, Executive Vice President, Chief Governance and Risk Officer, Affinity Credit Union

Sponsored by:

Networking Break with Exhibitors (2:15 PM - 2:30 PM)
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, President, Strandberg Consulting and Co-founder, United Way Social Purpose Institute


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?
  • What tools and practices are necessary to do so as we move into the future?
  • Tools necessary in virtual / hybrid governance world
  • How to make your directors lives easier

Speakers: Suzanne VanSligtenhorst, Corporate Governance Associate, 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


Networking Break with Exhibitors (3:30 PM - 4:00 PM)
CLOSING PLENARY SESSION: (4:00 pm - 5:00pm):

This session will take a close look at the evolution of the role of the Governance Professional, as well as explore the key challenges it faces today, and the skills and attributes that best serve the role to navigate these challenges. As a key player in the execution of good governance in an organization, the position of the GP is essential to ensure that Boards and organizations are operating in the most effective way in an environment that is ever-changing.

The panel discussion will include:

  • How can GPs better serve their Boards in an environment that is changing so rapidly?
  • What are the key skills, qualifications, and competencies that a modern GP should have?
  • How can a GP effectively manage their governance framework to ensure that the Board achieves its strategic outcomes?
  • How can a GP ensure transparent communications between Executive and the Board to effectively propel business forward?
  • What strategies can a GP use to manage Board and/or Board/Executive dynamics/politics?
  • With shareholder activism on the rise, what role can the GP play in managing shareholder proposals/dynamics?
  • Given what was expected of the GP ten years ago versus today, what will the role of the GP be in the next 10 years?

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

Edo De Vette, Founder, New Public Support and professor, Windesheim University, The Netherlands;
Annie Laurenson, Director, Governance and Corporate Secretary, Chair, DIARD Committee (Corporate), Lundin Mining Corporation, Canada; 
Stuart Mckellar, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer & Corporate Secretary Sustainability, Relationships & Impact. ATB Financial 



Free Night - Sponsor Dinners (5:30 PM - 7:00 PM)

Day Two: Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Breakfast in the Exhibitor Hall (8:00 AM - 8:40 PM)

Opening Plenary: (8:40 am - 10:15 am)

With changing regulations around climate change, diversity, and ESG disclosure more broadly, along with increased pressure from Boards around ESG, governance professionals are increasingly feeling the pressure to act as liaison for ESG at their organizations.

During this session, panelists will discuss:

  • How governance professionals can manage expectations of the Board and their management teams around ESG
  • Setting realistic and effective targets around E, S and G topics
  • How to access additional pools of capital by actively managing ESG disclosure strategies

Milla Craig, President and CEO, Millani

Nancy Brennan, SVP Sustainability and External Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Keyera; 
Hubert T. Lacroix
, Strategic Counsel, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP; 
Jamie Bonham, Director, Corporate Engagement, NEI Investments;
Annie Laurenson
, Director, Governance and Corporate Secretary, Chair, DIARD Committee (Corporate); Lundin Mining

Sponsored by:

Multiple Tracks  (10:15 am to 11:15 am)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals 

Session 3A: TV's 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, 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

Moderator: Dottie Schindlinger, Executive Director, Diligent Institute

Panel: Carol Hansell, Senior Partner, Hansell LLP; Christie Stephenson, Executive Director, Peter Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics; Harold Calla, Executive Chair, First Nations Financial Management Board

Sponsored By:

Networking Break with Exhibitors (11:15 AM - 11:45 PM)
Multiple Tracks  (11:45 am to 12:45 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. As a leverage point between the Board and Management, governance professionals can be a multiplier of value.

This session will be a presentation followed by a discussion to explore:

  • What differentiates high performing boards from the rest
  • How governance professionals can support a Boards journey to high performance
  • What good evaluations look like and why they are effective in improving board performance

Speakers: Ciara Wakita, Principal, Hugessen Consulting; Michelle Tan, Partner, 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: Denise Ferreira, Director, Shareholder Services, Sun Life Financial Inc.; Nicolas Occhionero, Director of Sales, Lumi Canada; Suzanne VanSligtenhorst, Corporate Governance Associate, New Gold Inc.

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, Partner, Privacy, Cybersecurity, Data Governance, Partner, Torys; Robin Sooklal, JD, Senior Director, Enterprise Privacy, Loblaw Companies Limited

Sit Down Lunch – GPC.D Graduation – Local Engagement Tables (12:45 PM - 2:00 PM)
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; Jon Drimmer, Partner, Litigation Paul Hastings LLP; 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:  Victoria (Vicky) Hailey, CMC HAIS, President, VHG — The Victoria Hailey Group Corporation

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

Networking Break with Exhibitors (3:00 PM - 3:30 PM)
Multiple Tracks  (3:30 pm – 4:30 pm)

Track A: Effective Governance Professionals

Session 5A: Why Culture Matters - Creating Connection and Joy to Drive Performance

What's joy got to do with organizational performance? More - 10x more. Joyful teams are 10x more likely to be high achieving and connected to each other and their purpose. Joy is deeper than satisfaction, and this sense of wellbeing and connection drive productivity. Now more than ever, as we are emerging from the pandemic, employees and leaders need a work environment conducive to reconnecting and learning new ways of working. Boards must be intentional about creating a culture that provides their team members the psychological safety, guidance and care that sparks joy, which fosters high performance.

Join the conversation to explore the latest global emotional intelligence research that measures the impact of joy on performance, and learn tips that will help you and your Board:

  • evolve your organizational culture to value connection and purpose
  • create joy at work, and boast engagement
  • 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, Consultant, Trella Advisory Group ; Judi Cunningham, Managing Partner, Trella Advisory Group

Conference End!

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.