by Howard Bokser
From February 9 to 11, more than 50 communicators and other professionals
from the field of university and college advancement met at idyllic Mont
Tremblant for the CCAE (the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education)
Mid-Winter Communications Conference.
Concordias Chris Mota, co-ordinator of media relations, and Howard
Bokser, acting director of advancement communications, co-chaired the
event, the first mid-winter conference focusing on communications for
The association, which includes advancement professionals from Canadian
universities, colleges and private educational institutions, has previously
held mid-winter conferences covering such topics as alumni relations and
The Mid-Winter Communications Conference was aimed at experienced professionals
in media and public relations, government relations, marketing communications,
publications, alumni and development communications and Web communications.
The co-chairs selected topics such as ethics in advancement, business
principles and the impact of diversity on communications.
John Parisella, vice-chair of Concordias board of governors and
president of the Montreal advertising firm BCP, gave a well-received talk
on the secrets of successfully managing creative people. His message was:
Let them know their role in the big picture.
Participants came from more than 30 schools across the country, from
Memorial to Simon Fraser and parts between, including a group from Concordia.
Reports were that the conference topics were relevant, networking opportunities
valuable and the spectacular setting an asset.
For CCAE, the conference was a success in terms of participation and finances.
Our thanks to Concordians Irvin Dudeck, Jean-Philippe Roy and Jocelyne
Sultan for their work. Former Concordia staff member Leisha LeCouvie (whos
now at McGill) secured a number of sponsorships to help the cause, and
everyone went home with some new and valuable insights.