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Conferences & Events

Participants at the MAC conference sitting at multiple round tables with a speaker presenting on stage.

OPSEU Conference

Sponsored by the Learning and Development Advisory Committee, this annual breakfast event is an opportunity for OPSEU staff to come together with senior leadership to celebrate OPSEU's continued contributions to the Ryerson community.

OPSEU Conference

OPSEU employees are invited to attend the 22nd annual OPSEU Conference.
  • WHAT:
    OPSEU Conference
  • DATE:
    October 31 2019
  • TIME:
    8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • WHERE:
    Upper Gym, Kerr Hall West (KHW)

Register now

Please register online before October 24, 2019. 

Please note: In order to account for non-refundable costs, departments will be charged $50 for withdrawals submitted after October 28 or no-shows to the conference.

Event details

This year’s event will focus on inspiring and empowering OPSEU employees to be more engaged in their union and work environments. The day will provide inspiring information and strategies to bring their thoughts to action.

Key highlights of the agenda include: 

  • Address from Dr. Denise O’Neil Green, vice-president, equity and community inclusion and Ian Mishkel, vice-president, university advancement and alumni relations 
  • Keynote: The power of a courageous voice - Olivia Chow, Founder of the Institute for Change Leaders 
  • A workshop on influencing without authority 
Olivia Chow.

Keynote presentation - The power of a courageous voice

This year’s keynote presentation will be presented by Olivia Chow. 

For over thirty years, Olivia Chow has been an effective and well-known public figure, receiving numerous awards and accolades for her work, and serving in Toronto’s municipal politics and on the national stage as a Canadian Member of Parliament. 

As a founder of the Institute for Change Leaders, Olivia and her team of 30+ trainers have taught community and political organizing to thousands of organizers since March of 2015. 

Olivia’s career has been all about creating lasting change. Olivia was born in Hong Kong and moved to Toronto with her parents when she was thirteen. She studied Philosophy and Fine Art at university and has worked as a college professor, an ESL teacher, a counsellor for new immigrants, and a sculptor.  Olivia was previously a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson and continues to share her knowledge in her capacity as a Contract Lecturer. 

She became an activist as a young woman, fighting for the rights of refugees and immigrants. For over 20 years, she was at the forefront of the ultimately successful campaign to achieve a national apology and redress for the discriminatory “Chinese Head Tax”. 

Throughout her career, Olivia has reached across party lines and travelled across the country, forging alliances with municipal and provincial leaders, business and advocacy groups.  

Upon marrying Jack Layton in 1988, they forged one of Canada’s most remarkable political partnerships, sharing a passion for life and a commitment to change. Jack became the leader of the New Democratic Party and Canada’s Leader of the Opposition in Parliament before he died of cancer in 2011. Since his passing, Olivia has continued the quest to make Toronto a better city and Canada a better country for all. 


If you have any questions, please contact David Han, organizational and employee effectiveness assistant, at or 416-979-5000, ext. 3780.