Agility, Evolution, and Resilience

Public Affairs is critical during this period of intense change and uncertainty in our society, politics, and business. Our professional and personal worlds have collided as we navigate living and leading through a long-term pandemic. Organizations are addressing internal and external pressures critical to business continuity and market success. We must rethink old strategies and learn new digital tools to navigate the “new normal” alongside our clients, government, and stakeholders.

It is the role of Public Affairs professionals, both government relations practitioners and communicators, to counsel their organizations through issues and crisis. Keen awareness of the external environment, agility and change management are elements for success during this period. As professionals, we are in a unique position -- as we help our clients and organizations navigate crisis, we are also learning and needing to be resilient ourselves.

Join PAAC’s 2020 conference for the connections, insights, and knowledge to energize you and your team. We will tackle these challenges described from all sides, leaving you more prepared to lead in this dynamic period. Our guest speakers and hosts from across the country will share their expertise, answer your questions, and inform our thinking through lively and interactive sessions.

Full Conference Rates:
PAAC/GRIC members $70.00 +HST
Guests $100.00 +HST
Students $30.00 +HST

A special thank you to all our guests and generous partners who have brought our virtual 2020 conference to life.



Day 1: Monday, November 16

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm EST, 10:00 am to 11:15 am MST, 9:00 am to 10:15 am PST

Lemonade from Lemons: Seizing Opportunity in the Midst of Crisis

Speaker:  Andrew House, Counsel, Co-Leader. National Security at FASKEN

Day 2: Tuesday, November 17

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm EST, 10:00 am to 11:15 am MST, 9:00 am to 10:15 am PST

Perception versus Reality: Which Matters Most in Pandemic?

Greg Lyle, President and Founder, Innovative Research Group
Rebekah Young, Director, Fiscal and Provincial Economics, Scotiabank

Day 3: Wednesday, November 18

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST, 10:00 am to 11:30 am MST, 9:00 am to 10:30 am PST

Women in Public Affairs

The Intersectionality of Women in Public Affairs, Media and Public Dialogue
The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion


PAAC Bronze Leadership Partner, Sussex Strategy

Heather Bakken, Publisher Vice President Business Development of iPolitics & QP Briefing

Nadine Spencer, CEO of Brand EQ Group Inc. and
President/CEO of the Black Business and Professional Association

Leanne Hall, CEO, Creative Fire

Dr. Wendy Cukier, Diversity Institute Founder, Academic Director of the Women
Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and Research Lead, Future Skills Centre

1:40 pm to 2:40 pm EST; 11:40 am to 12:40 pm MST, 10:40 am to 11:40 am PST

Resilience and Wellness
Speaker: Lydia Di Francesco, Fit + Healthy 365

Day 4: Thursday, November 19

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm EST, 10:00 am to 11:15 am MST, 9:00 am to 10:15 am PST

2020 Award of Distinction Presentation and Remarks

Laura Dawson, Principal Program Manager (Americas) at Amazon Web Services Institute at Amazon Web Services

Digital policy in an analog world – Canada’s great equalizer?

Maryscott “Scotty” Greenwood, Crestview Strategy Partner and the Managing Director of the U.S

Canada-US Relations Moving Forward - Impact of the 2020 US Election

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm EST; 11:30 am to 12:30 pm MST, 10:30 am to 11:30 am PST

Pundits Panel and Close

Adrienne Batra, Editor in Chief
Toronto Sun

Melissa Caouette, Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations
Canadian Strategy Group

David Herle, LLB – Principal Partner, The Gandalf Group

Semhar Tekeste, Senior Public Affairs Consultant

Bill Tieleman, President
West Star Communications

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