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Victoria Convention Centre
Credit: Coast Mountain Photography

A new network of visionaries puts Canada’s expertise on the world stage

A new network of visionaries puts Canada’s expertise on the world stage

Photo credit: Coast Mountain Photography

From technology to life sciences and advanced manufacturing, Canada is home to visionary minds who are pushing boundaries across a range of sectors. This expertise and openness to collaborating and sharing innovative ideas truly puts Canada in a league of its own. It’s also key in attracting international conferences to the country’s diverse destinations, as it gives organizations the chance to supercharge agendas with acclaimed keynote speakers, captivating site tours, unparalleled networking opportunities and more.

Organizations are increasingly taking note of these possibilities. In 2022, Canada hosted nearly 430 business events and welcomed some 271,000 international business event delegates. Many were secured through the tireless efforts of conference ambassadors — individuals who play an instrumental part in bidding for international conferences. Recognizing their influence, Destination Canada launched a new national platform in April 2023, called the Canadian Visionaries Network (CVN).

Here’s what you need to know about it.

What is the Canadian Visionaries Network?

The primary goal of the CVN is to strengthen Canada’s reputation as a knowledge hub and leading business events hosting destination.

As academics, trailblazers and thought leaders, the 28 founding members of the CVN form a network of distinguished professionals who are leading their fields into the future. In many cases, their global reputation and influence have helped to secure high profile conference wins aligned with Canada’s six priority economic sectors: life sciences, agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, finance and insurance, technology and natural resources. Members of the CVN often participate in speaking engagements across the country and internationally. This year, one visionary took the stage at TED@Destination Canadaicons.external-link-icon, a first-of its kind partnership with TED that was held in New York this past February.

What are the key advantages to being part of the CVN?

Through their membership in the CVN, these individuals gain a platform to share their expertise and tell their story — along with a host of other benefits. By helping promote Canada’s leadership in their sector of expertise, they can:

  • Amplify their voice. Ambassadors’ work in attracting global conferences brings awareness to their field and elevates their reputation, while also putting organization in the spotlight. This increased exposure can open the door to investments and attract international talent for an organization, research, work or sector.
  • Showcase Canada’s edge. Ambassadors help strengthen Canada’s global reputation by playing a leading role in showing its expertise within a sector. That’s in large part because conferences are pivotal in spotlighting the latest innovations, disruptive thinkers and cutting-edge companies.
  • Grow their network. Conferences are a powerful way to build meaningful connections with the brightest minds in the industry. Along with sparking new ideas, this networking can lead to collaborations and research partnerships that take ambassador’s work to the next level.
  • Create lasting change. The benefits of conferences extend well beyond tourism. They have the potential to leave a lasting legacy and impact in a field of research and help accelerate an organization’s mission.
  • Influence programming. Visionaries can influence the themes and content of conferences, helping to shape the narrative and direction of their field of expertise.

What’s involved in being a member?

The Canadian Visionaries Network is focused on promoting and marketing our country’s intellectual capital through interviews and speaking opportunities.

At a base level, by joining the CVN, members agree to take part in storytelling opportunities highlighting what makes Canada a natural draw for conferences in their sector, having their perspectives featured in various marketing channels.

Visionaries keen to be more directly involved in promoting Canada — or joining the effort of bringing specific international conferences to Canada — can do so in several ways, in partnership with a Canadian city of their choice.  

The end goal: Work with a Canadian destination to bring a conference to Canada

While the Canadian Visionaries Network is focused on marketing our country’s intellectual capital through strategic storytelling, it is also designed to support the growth of local conference ambassador programs in cities across the country, which are critical to bringing international conferences to Canada.

By providing a national platform for industry leaders to tell their stories to a global audience, the CVN also hopes to inspire its members to take the next big step and work with a Canadian city to help bring those global audiences here to Canada so that they can see our innovations for themselves — through a global conference hosted on Canadian soil.

Where can I learn more?

If you’re interested in learning more about Destination Canada’s Canadian Visionaries Network, contact Robert McCreight, Director of Economic Sector Engagement, Destination Canada, Business Events –, 343-202-2042.

You can also read stories about the powerful role conference ambassadors have played in bringing some of the most prestigious business events to Canada here.

The Canadian Visionaries Network

Meet the Canadians  whose innovation and sector leadership are attracting international business events to Canada.

Learn More About the Canadian Visionaries Network