Annual Meetings

Third Annual Meeting: January 23, 2017, Ottawa, Ontario


The third annual meeting of the Leadership Circle brought together its largest group yet, with more than 60 individuals from over 50 organizations (including 38 member organizations) convening to share progress on developing military literacy in Canada.

This year’s gathering was structured around a series of HUBs that focused discussion and planning around building military literacy in Health Care; Mental Health; Education, Children and Youth Services; Employment and Labour; Research; and Transition and Outreach. Each HUB provided a strategic focal point for Leadership Circle members involved with or interested in these different facets of life. HUB leaders facilitated communication, coordination, collaboration and innovation among participants.

The event was co-hosted by Deputy Commander of Military Personnel Command, Major General Wayne Eyre, Associate Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, Karen Ellis, and Board Vice Chair of the Vanier Institute of the Family, Rina Arseneault. Opening remarks were delivered by Her Excellency Sharon Johnston and Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Deputy Minister of Defence, on behalf of the Minister Kent Hehr.


Second Annual Meeting: January 29, 2016, Ottawa, Ontario

CMVFLC Group Shot 2016


This second meeting of the Leadership Circle built on the success of the 2015 inaugural event, which saw 32 leaders from business and community organizations, the Department of Defence and Veterans Affairs, as well as Military Family Services and Military Family Resource Centres convene to build and strengthen supports for military and Veteran families.

Of the 21 organizations in attendance in 2015, 18 signed on as members and 16 more joined in 2016. In 2016, more than 40 individuals from 37 organizations came together, including all of the original members.

The event was co-hosted by the Canadian Armed Forces Commander of Military Personnel Command, Lieutenant-General Christine Whitecross, and Vanier Institute Board Chair, Victor Duret. Opening remarks were delivered by Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Deputy Minister of Defence, on behalf of the Minister Kent Hehr.

Leadership Circle members presented and gave updates on projects and initiatives under way across the country in support of military and Veteran families. Delegates discussed ways to embed supports for military and Veteran families with military literacy – awareness and understanding of the unique experiences and the “military life stressors” (such as high mobility, extended and/or unexpected separation, and risk) that have an impact on parents and children in military and Veteran families.

Moving forward, the Leadership Circle will continue to foster and strengthen relationships, to facilitate partnerships and collaborations, and to spark innovation and creativity in the design and delivery of programs and services. The Leadership Circle has created a compendium of leading and promising practices of partnerships and collaborations supporting military and Veteran families, which is now available to download.

Related resources:


Inaugural Meeting: January 14, 2015, Ottawa, Ontario


The purpose of the inaugural meeting was to develop a strategy for collaboration, cooperation and communication across the many organizations currently involved in or interested in enhancing programs and services for military and Veteran families across Canada, and to develop a shared strategic plan for implementation over the next two to five years. Discussions focused on sharing individual and collective plans and priorities, goals and objectives, strengths and capabilities, and tools and resources. By the end of the inaugural meeting, participants had a clear understanding of the unique activities and approaches being taken to support military and Veteran families, how they can leverage their collective resources to maximize the outcomes of each individual effort and how they will communicate their progress as the initiative progresses.