Conference Confidential—June Meeting Report

by Greg Murphy

What better a time is there than the start of a beautiful summer to celebrate the achievements and knowledge of editors and writers from coast to coast? In June, Editors Canada hosted another spectacular annual spring conference, fittingly themed “Guardians of the Lexicon.” It called Ottawa-Gatineau home this year, and for three days spanning the 9th to 11th, editors networked, taught, learned, and praised the work of colleagues both well acquainted and newly met at a prestigious once-a-year awards banquet. Those who were there will tell you the event gives testimony to the truth that we editors and writers are, in a way, guardians of the lexicons, standing up proudly the English, French, and celebrated indigenous languages of Canada in all their variations.

The conference passed me by, sadly. But I was fortunate enough to listen to others of our group who attended:

  • Elizabeth d’Anjou was a speaker at the conference. She shared her lessons learned as a business owner and freelance editor in her funny, honest presentation, “The Top 10 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Out as a Freelance Editor.”
  • Carla Douglas, also a speaker, drew on her experience and insight into the shapeshifting world of self-publishing to talk about its future and the editors’ role within it.
  • Stephanie Stone highlighted her attendance at the Preserving Indigenous Languages panel, which was hosted by keynote speaker and award-winning Métis author and editor Cherie Dimaline and featured Anishnabe French-Canadian poet David Groulx; Inuit artist, educator, and translator Evie Mark; and Ottawa-based author and journalist Waubgeshig Rice, from Wasauksing First Nation.
  • Ellie Barton shared her thoughts on James Harbeck’s animated talk on public speaking. Harbeck, who has a PhD in drama, struck Barton with his wit and wisdom.
  • Adrienne Montgomerie, a seasoned editor educator, reported on the “Live Editing” session she hosted with editing colleagues Erin Brenner and Laura Poole.
  • Angela McGovern shared with us her experience as sponsorship coordinator for the conference, a volunteer position for which she was well suited. Angela even secured sponsorship from Tourism Saskatoon, as next year’s conference themed “Building Bridges,” will be hosted in Saskatoon.

Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, editors both veteran and new who attended the conference will move forward with a greater wealth of knowledge, building upon the excellent reputation of Canadian editors.

Details about the conference, and a link where you can download handouts from most of the sessions, are available from the Editors Canada website.

We followed up the edifying portion of the evening with refreshments, networking, and chat full of summer plans.

Here’s hoping we’ll all see one another in Saskatchewan next year!

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