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Conference Overview

“Resilience is the long-term capacity of a system to deal with change and continue to develop. For an ecosystem such as a forest, this can involve dealing with storms, fires and pollution, while for a society it involves an ability to deal with political uncertainty or natural disasters in a way that is sustainable in the long-term.”

—Stockholm Resilience Centre

Natural disasters are on the rise. Are we prepared?

As human infrastructure continues to grow and spread, so too do the risks posed by natural hazards including wildfires, flooding, extreme weather, and temperature fluctuations. And as we’ve seen in recent years, disasters focused in urban areas can be absolutely catastrophic. Here in Canada, recent major events are testing our infrastructure to the limits, including wildfires, rail disasters, flooding in urban areas, winter storms, and widespread electrical power disruptions. The world is changing, and every governing body, from national governments down to municipalities, need to face up to these challenges.

Mega fires, as one example, have resulted in significant economic and social damage to both rural and urban areas. The recent wildfires across Western Canada are entirely consistent with what climate change models have predicted for boreal forests. Wildfires, such as the Fort McMurray fire, will burn more intensely over wider areas and the wildfire season is predicted to last longer, placing a strain on local communities and various levels of governments, as well as the equipment and human resources needed for suppression.

While it is impossible to predict natural events, the lessons learned from recent events can provide invaluable insights into building resilience to a variety of future hazards. So how prepared are we now? And where do we go from here?

Discuss the issues with experts and leaders from both the public and private sectors

At Resilience Canada 2017, we’ll focus on various issues such as implementing resilience in infrastructure, the insurance industry perspective and risk management, wildfire threats and their economic and social impact on both urban areas and remote communities, and how social media has evolved to play a significant role in the response to emergencies.

You’ll have the opportunity to assess the disaster management issues encountered with the Fort McMurray wildfire (also known as the Horse River Fire) which began on May 1, 2016. Initially, only two neighborhoods were affected and evacuated. By May 4th, the fire had spread forcing the evacuation of the entire city, the largest evacuation in the history of Alberta. It is the costliest disaster in Canadian history. What can be learned from this disaster? Is it possible to be better prepared for next time?

Collaboration to build our capacity to face the challenges… and bounce back

While not pleasant to think about, we are all faced with the threat of disasters on a daily basis and require the policies and tools to effectively deal with them. While natural catastrophes cannot always be prevented, the degree of destruction and costs of disaster recovery can be mitigated. No one can predict the next major disruption or catastrophe but we can control how we prepare for and respond to these challenges.

Resilience enables us to bounce back quicker and potentially stronger after a crisis. Join us as we discuss this very issue, and learn how to build communities and organizations that can recover better and thrive in the event of a future disruption.

Resilience Canada 2017 will be held in Edmonton close to the one-year anniversary of the Fort McMurray fire. Speakers will evaluate the initial response, suppression efforts, evacuation and relief efforts, and the rebuild of critical infrastructure and residences lost in the disaster. Join us, as well as your peers from across the country, as we explore the potential for a range of major disasters and the issues that disaster management and emergency response professionals must be prepared for with forced evacuation of large populated areas.

Building on Success

The Conference Board is Canada’s most respected independent research and conference development organization. The Conference Board has a long standing reputation for developing and sharing the latest insights on resilience through its Council on Emergency Management (CEMT) and dedicated research on public safety and emergency management issues. Conference Board events attract the top public and private sector leaders, and provide an insightful and enlightening learning experience for conference participants.

The details of this event are subject to change. Please revisit this page periodically for updated information.

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Optional Workshop

This event features a pre-conference optional workshop on April 24th. Don't miss out!

Social Media

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2017 Event

Last year's Resilience conference took place April 24–26, 2017 at the Matrix Hotel in Edmonton.

Sponsor this event!

Collaborate with senior executives, practitioners, and thought leaders, connect your brand with the solutions, and position your organization as a leader in its field.

To learn more about exhibiting, reception and luncheon sponsorship, and exclusive sponsor benefits, please contact Tracie Jones at (613) 526-3280 or