2021 Sessions & Schedule

The following schedule is based on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

opening remarks & presentation ~ 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace

Tiana Field-Ridley (Mental Health Commission of Canada)
Moderated by Jen Knoch (ECW Press)

Even before the pressure-cooker of the pandemic, many employees struggled with mental health challenges. In the last year and a half, most of us did. In this presentation and conversation with Tiana Field-Ridley, workplace implementation specialist with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, we’ll get a glimpse of how we can support the mental health of ourselves and our colleagues, useful policies and practices for employers of all sizes, and further resources for healthier, more productive workplaces.

A 30-minute presentation will be followed by a conversation with Jen Knoch from ECW Press.

         Break ~ 12:15 P.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Breakout Session OnE ~ 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 P.M.

Greening Your Publishing

EJ Hurst (New Society Publishers), Anne Bowman, (Chelsea Green Publishing), Matthew Rowland-Jones (Pearson)
Moderated by Noah Genner (BookNet Canada)

As climate action becomes more critical with every passing year, businesses in every sector are looking for ways to be more environmentally responsible. In this international panel, Noah Genner of BookNet Canada and the International Green Book Supply Chain Alliance will ask companies about the choices, policies, and processes that are making their businesses greener.

Engaging Online Book Clubs

Anna Trew (Penguin Random House Canada), Meredith Tutching (Ontario Library Association), Erin Woodward (Girly Book Club)
Moderated by Elham Ali (ECW Press)

With the pandemic cancelling in-person events, book clubs have moved online and had to navigate an entirely new landscape. In this session, we’ll learn programming and engagement strategies for adults and for kids from Erin Woodward, founder of Girly Book Club, and Meredith Tutching, director of the Forest of Reading. Anna Trew, events coordinator at Penguin Random House Canada, will outline best practices for protecting authors and preparing them, technologically and emotionally, for events in the online world.

         Break ~ 1:30 P.M. – 1:45 P.M.

Breakout Session TWO ~ 1:45 P.M. – 2:45 P.M.

Certified for Good: Balancing Purpose and Profit, Insights from the B Corp Certification Process

David Caron (ECW Press)

Certified B Corporations are held to high standards of social and environmental impact, transparency, and accountability. Certification is a rigorous process that requires a business to question the impacts of all their decisions and whether they are serving not only profit but greater good. ECW Press will be the second publisher in Canada to become B Corp certified, and publisher David Caron will provide information about both the process and the general principles that anyone can use to evaluate their policies.

Values-Driven Bookselling, during and after the Pandemic

Emily Dundas Oke (Massy Books), Jason Purcell (Glass Bookshop), Itah Sadu (A Different Booklist)
Moderated by Kyrell Grant (Penguin Random House Canada)

Bookstores have long been values-driven businesses, but some take it even further with a mandate to serve specific communities and elevate certain voices. What can we learn from this approach? In this panel, representatives from three bookstores across Canada will discuss the strengths and challenges of serving a specific audience, the impact of the pandemic, their goals outside of bookselling, trends and patterns in the last year, and more.

         Break ~ 2:45 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.

Breakout Session THREE ~ 3:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.

Hacking Digital Marketing

S. Bear Bergman (Flamingo Rampant), Laura Chapnick (House of Anansi Press), Kenn Enns (Shelf Life Books), Paige Gunning (Penguin Random House Canada), Zoe Kelsey (House of Anansi Press)
Moderated by Elham Ali (ECW Press)

In the last year digital marketing has become more important that ever. Tune in for campaign cases studies that showcase online strategies that have brought success.

Canadian Libraries in the Pandemic

Rina Hadziev (Greater Victoria Public Library), Erin Morice (Halifax Public Library), Lisa Radha Weaver (Hamilton Public Library)
Moderated by Aleks Wrobel (Penguin Random House Canada)

The pandemic has forced libraries across the country to adapt the way they serve their communities. Librarians from across the country will address how they’ve shifted their collection practices, reallocated budgets, adapted marketing strategies, and negotiated discoverability in a new, digital-first world.

         Break ~ 4:00 P.M. – 4:15 P.M.

Keynote and Closing Remarks ~ 4:15 – 5:15 P.M.

The Power of Purpose

Zahra Al-Harazi (Skillit)

Your brand is a reflection of your organization’s culture and that culture is the reflection of your purpose, daily habits, and values. It’s this that guides your employees and teams. In this presentation, Zahra Al-Harazi proves that the key to building great companies lies in how you enable learning, skills, opportunity, and connection. She will explore:

      • How to discover the reason your organization exists, and how you will survive in a world that is constantly changing.
      • How to understand the cultural DNA of all your diverse stakeholders, and how to uncover and maximize the powerful strengths of your people and their talent.
      • How to empower people and foster connections within your organization that will incentivize and motivate your teams.
      • How to reverse engineer purpose into your DNA in an authentic and meaningful manner.
      • How to harness the power of purpose to create compelling brand propositions for a new generation of socially aware employees, consumers, and clients.

Drawing on powerful stories of extraordinary organizations who have learned to build, shape, and unlock their purpose, Al-Harazi will leave you with practical strategies to effectively understand, lead, and motivate your team; move your business to the forefront; and lead by example.

This keynote is sponsored by HarperCollinsCanada.


Closing Remarks


With thanks to our government funders and industry sponsors:



This project has been made possible [in part] by the Government of Canada.


Ontario Creates logo