The Key to Finding Exceptional Keynote Speakers

Canada’s local industry experts & business resources can enhance any event

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Centers of Excellence
Centers of Excellence
Canada is an ideal destination for business events in numerous innovative sectors. Click here to learn about Canada's leadership in sectors including technology, agribusiness, life sciences and more.

The right keynote speakers can make or break your conference, attracting and delivering outstanding value to attendees seeking knowledge and networking opportunities.

That’s why it’s crucial to access and leverage intellectual capital via local industry experts in your chosen destination. Rounding out session programs with speakers that live in your host city also reduces transportation and lodging costs, decreases carbon emissions and allows planners to allocate budget dollars elsewhere. Booking local experts can also drive interest from sponsors and funding agencies. 

Delegates want to learn from innovators and changemakers, and Canada boasts world-class visionaries across a range of sectors. It also has excellent teams in place to simplify the process of finding the perfect speaker for any meeting. Here’s how planners can capitalize on this country’s incomparable offerings to ensure successful international business events.

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Tap into the Power of Local Speakers

Once your team has identified relevant themes or topics for your event, turn to the networks within your chosen host city to discover the most influential speakers who will generate excitement, boost delegate registration and make your event come alive. 

Canada not only provides spectacular destinations from coast to coast to coast but is also home to a wealth of renowned sector leaders and trailblazers who can bring their invaluable expertise to your program. With its recently launched Canadian Visionaries Network, and a deep knowledge of the Canada's expertise, Destination Canada's Business Events team can connect planners with academic, government and industry thought leaders in destinations across the country. 

Once you've identified potential speakers, gather references and biographical information — and watch video highlight reels of suggested speakers — to determine whose expertise and presentation style best aligns with your event’s objectives and target audience. Ask potential keynotes to provide topic and format ideas, which can help you assess the level of collaboration you can expect. 

In Canada, it’s easy to conduct due diligence during this process, thanks to the country’s local ambassador networks and destination management organizations. For example, the Ambassadors Club in Montréal — currently led by mechanical engineering professor Hany Moustapha, a leader in Québec’s aerospace industry — can connect planners with over 300 dynamic professionals. The Champion Program in Calgary and the ThinkOttawa Local Ambassador Program in Ottawa can introduce planners to inspirational academics, scientists, researchers and global-minded business thought leaders in many sectors including technology, natural resources and life sciences.

Planners can draw from similar “one-stop-shop” ambassador networks across the country including Vancouver’s MIND Partnership, Let’s Bring It in Victoria, the Business Events Legacy Council in Edmonton, Saskatoon’s Legacy Project, Bring it Home in Winnipeg, Toronto’s Leaders Circle, Take The Lead in Halifax and the Cercle des ambassadeurs de Québec in Québec City.

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Unleash Your Event’s Potential with Canadian Expertise

Bringing an event to Canada enables planners to reap the benefits of Destination Canada’s inventive approach to conferences, which focuses on six priority economic sectors: agribusiness, finance and insurance, life sciences, natural resources, technology and advanced manufacturing. 

For example, connecting with noteworthy Canadian companies, research centers and disruptive startups in these industries means planners not only gain access to sector-specific leaders, but also to world-class facility tours and meaningful business-to-business exchanges and collaboration. 

Experts in Excellence
Experts in Excellence
Destination Canada Business Events' specific knowledge of this vast land makes this team a first stop for executives and organizers in key industry sectors seeking to tailor the right package for their event, whatever the size. Learn more at

Canada’s tech hubs are known globally for their unique approach to impact the workplace, healthcare, culture and society. Made-in-Canada solutions to our greatest challenges are routinely showcased at prominent events, and conferences held here get an advance look at the country’s enviable brain trust.

Subsectors of specialization include AI, digital media and interactive entertainment, cybersecurity and telecommunications technologies at more than a dozen centers of excellence across the country. 

For example, Vancouver has the world’s second-largest VR/AR sector and the largest cluster of top VFX and animation studios.

Montréal’s Google Brain AI research lab is advancing machine intelligence through research, systems engineering and collaboration with other teams, and the world’s largest research institute in artificial intelligence, the Montréal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), has 500 researchers specializing deep learning.

In Ottawa, headquarters to Shopify’s R&D center, leads in AI/ML and robotics, while Waterloo’s eSentire® is the largest pure-play Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service provider, which protects organizations from constantly evolving cyber-attacks.

Canadian innovators representing emerging technologies in ocean science, forestry, mining, cleantech and energy attract conferences across a wide range of natural resources sub-sectors seeking to reshape the future of the industry. Centers of excellence include Victoria, where Ocean Networks Canada developed the first regional underwater ocean observatories to connect directly to the internet so policymakers can learn about the health of the area’s coastal ecosystems. 

In the life sciences sector, Canadian treatments, therapies and technologies are powering the future of healthcare in infectious diseases research, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, and many other subsectors. 

In Winnipeg, the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health is an authority in infectious diseases laboratory science. Elsewhere, Halifax’s trailblazing medical device company, ABK Biomedical, focuses on improving treatment options for patients with hypervascular tumors. And in Québec City, Oxynov automates the delivery of oxygen to patients, revolutionizing health care with the device its scientists developed at the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ).

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Bring the World Together

Canada’s leadership fosters deep relationships between the people who come together here from around the world. 

Canadian cities have proudly hosted some of the world’s most prestigious international business events. For example, Canada’s expertise and abundant natural resources — including oil, natural gas, coal and uranium deposits — recently attracted two major gas conferences: the 20th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas in Vancouver, British Columbia and the 2024 International Gas Research Conference in Banff, Alberta.

Another major event that leveraged Canadian knowledge capital — the 2023 World Summit AI Americas, which took place in Montréal — booked local keynote speaker Yoshua Bengio to deliver the conference’s opening remarks. He’s the founder and scientific director of Québec’s MILA AI Institute and winner of the 2018 Turing Award — known as the “Nobel Prize of Computing” — for his pioneering work in deep learning. AI leaders from enterprise, big tech, startups, academia, law, government and investment came together to learn from Bengio. A stellar program prompted MILA, the world’s largest deep learning research institute, to step in as Content Partner. The world’s leading AI summit returns to the city in 2024.

And in Toronto — which, together with the Waterloo region, houses the largest tech cluster in North America outside of Silicon Valley — the 36,000 delegates from 118 countries attending Collision 2023, the Olympics of tech, gained insights from speaker Geoffrey Hinton. Known as the University of Toronto’s “godfather of AI,” Hinton designs machine learning algorithms to discover efficient learning procedures that find complex structures in large, high-dimensional datasets. Leveraging Canada’s intellectual capital helped this event draw 230 partners and 865 investors.

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Create a Seamless, Memorable Event

Canada's diverse talent pool, thriving industries, supportive infrastructure, and robust business environment make it the perfect choice for business events. Its rich network of academic, industry and government resources enable groups attending events in Canada to reap intellectual rewards and cost savings. Canada’s six key sectors of expertise draw prominent international events along with lucrative sponsorship opportunities.

And because a conference’s bottom line is always top of mind, taking advantage of Canada’s wealth of local keynotes and dedicated business event planning professionals can make all the difference.

For impartial insights, inspiration and introductions, planners can contact the Destination Canada team:
Robert McCreight, Director of Business Events, Government and Industry Relations., 1-343-202-2042.

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