What does “family” mean to you?

On June 10 and 11, 2015, the Vanier Institute of the Family will host the Families in Canada Conference 2015 at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel, a historic event that will enhance our understanding of families and family life in Canada by mobilizing research, building knowledge networks, fostering connections and inspiring minds from across the country.

Through a series of thought-provoking presentations and expert panels, speakers at this event will discuss the stories and statistics behind topics such as modern caregiving, diversity and difference, modern reproductive technologies, LGBTTQ families, multigenerational trauma, families of choice and the power of empathy.

Families are the cornerstone of society and the engine of our economy, yet the “family lens” is rarely applied to conversations about many important topics at the national level. This event will provide such an opportunity, where we will be gathering a variety of speakers, youth leaders, members of the research community and delegates from every province and territory in Canada to explore the diversity and complexity of families and the reality of family life.


The countdown is on – less than three months to go!

Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to get information and insights from inspiring speakers and panellists about families and family life in Canada! If you are currently a business, government, labour or community leader or hope to be one in the future, you won’t want to miss this unique experience!

Two days of information, insights and inspiration!

Speakers and panellists will build on what we’ve learned about families in the past, explore how families are adapting in the present and focus on the future to create and leverage opportunities for families and those who study, serve and support them.

  • Archbishop Weisgerber and Phil Fontaine will explore the impact of intergenerational trauma and share their experiences of the reconciliation process, including how they became blood brothers – their family of choice.
  • LCol Suzanne Bailey will share what has been learned from the Canadian Forces’ Road to Mental Readiness program and how these findings can be applied to workplaces and families across Canada.
  • Craig Kielburger (via video) will explain how his early family experiences inspired him and his brother Marc to create the Me to We initiative, which encourages families to volunteer together.
  • Mary Gordon will discuss how children grow and learn within their families and communities, and share her journey in creating the Roots of Empathy program.
  • barbara findlay will provide insight from a family law perspective law on topics such as multi-parent families, surrogacy, gender identity, sexual identity and family formation.
  • Dr. Janet Fast will share her findings from research examining the multigenerational impact of the cost of aging, eldercare and caregiving.
  • And much more!


Don’t forget to tell your friends and colleagues about the Families in Canada Conference 2015!

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If you have any questions about the Families in Canada Conference 2015, please contact Leslie-Ann MacKay at conference2015@vanierinstitute.ca or call 1-800-331-4937, ext. 216.