CanCon 2018: The JETAA Canada National Conference
JETAA Prairies (formerly Manitoba / Saskatchewan) hosted the 18th annual Canada National Conference, or CanCon, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, from Friday, August 10th, to Sunday, August 12th.
It was the first time for Winnipeg to host in 10 years and was a major accomplishment after they had many years of only having one or two active board members and hovered on the edge of going dormant. This year’s Canada Country Representative, Dustin Reimer, who is from Winnipeg, worked with the resurgent chapter’s co-chairs and executive team to pull everything together.
Representatives from all seven Canadian chapters gathered, along with the Canada Rep and the three US Country Reps. Unfortunately, no one from the Japanese Consulate in Calgary, which covers all the Prairies, was able to attend during the weekend, although JLGC did send three people from New York.
The venue was spectacular, with most events being held in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. The main conference room was a glass-walled box suspended several stories up in the atrium of the museum, providing stunning views of both the city and the interior of the museum.
As usual, the conference included reports by each chapter on their activities and issues, a wishlist session to brainstorm projects people would like to undertake, and a presentation by JLGC New York on CLAIR Grant-in-Aid. This year, however, much of the program was given over to the larger community, with a session on JETAA USA, given by US Country Reps Monica Yuki and Faye Valtadoros, one on Our Global JETAA Network, given by Mark Frey (creator of the KenJETkai initiative and the third US Country Rep), and on JETAA International, by Advisory Board member Matthew Gillam.
The larger chapters in Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa have been able to hold a number of sizable events and seem to be doing well. And, happily, this year the smaller chapters in Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg all reported more people getting more actively involved again. Furthermore, the chapter in Montreal, which covers the Quebec and Atlantic (Maritime) region, reports that they have finally succeeded in forming a subchapter in Halifax – something people have been working toward for years.
Among the fun events were an ice-breaker where everyone introduced examples of distinctive regional slang (“pushing bush”, “gitch”, “Give ‘er!”, etc.), a tea ceremony demonstration, and an edible omiyage exchange featuring local treats from each chapter, as well as receptions hosted by MOFA and CLAIR.
Anyone interested in obtaining a full conference report is invited to contact JLGC, New York at firstname.lastname@example.org.