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Canada oh Canada

Posted on September 19, 2016 by Stormy McBride in Community, Conference, Coworking, Coworking Trends

October is rapidly approaching and with it comes GCUC Canada! There are so many great things about our Montreal Conference that we wanted to share so we went straight to the source, Executive Producer, Ashley Proctor.

As a self-proclaimed “coworking conference enthusiast” Proctor has attended every American GCUC conference since 2013 and found something lacking. At the U.S. conferences she was only one of two or three attendees representing all of Canada.

“I felt like we had a lot to share”

And through a friendship with founder Liz Elam, GCUC Canada was born. After a great first year in Toronto, the obvious next choice was Montreal and it’s sure to dazzle. You won’t want to miss out.

“We have a whole day of traditional conference on Day One with speakers and panels. Day Two is our ‘Unconference’ so for people that are unfamiliar, that’s a participatory event. That tends to be the highlight most people are excited about.”

Within the two conference days there are numerous panels and speakers covering a wide array of industry exclusive, can’t miss topics.

“One of the interesting panels we have is ‘Coworking Coast to Coast’ so we are actually checking in with people from all provinces. We’re going to see the differences between provinces in coworking right across Canada which is pretty interesting. Tony Bacigalupo is doing a presentation on ‘Authentic Coworking’, to hear about that in the face of a lot of corporate or commercial coworking is really exciting for me. There’s also a lot of local representation, maybe 4 or 5 Montreal based speakers, so it’ll be pretty relevant to the area.”

“And then on Day Three we do tours throughout Montreal. We tour coworking spaces, accelerators, incubators, artists studios, any sort of community group that’s working on a really interesting collaborative project or work space. Sometimes it’s traditional offices that have been done really well in terms of design and then we also hit a few different local attractions or interesting points of reference in the city so people have a chance to explore Montreal as a city while they’re exploring some of the coworking spaces.”

If you’ve attended a U.S. conference don’t assume you’re done for the year, GCUC Canada has a lot to offer that wouldn’t be generally be on the GCUC USA schedule. Each GCUC takes on local flare and personality.  

“The main difference in terms of theme or perspective between the conference is that the Canadian conference tends to have a more European slant. We tend to be more aligned with values and topics and we are known as the ‘community conference’. We talk a lot about community building, relationships, interactions between members and spaces and collaborations. Where as, I would say the U.S. conference tends to be a bit more focused on growth and commercial real estate, we will see a lot of independent entrepreneurs and collaborations happening within coworking in Canada.”

Beyond the panels and speakers there will be a big shabang – the GCUC Canada Party!

“On the 6th we’re having a party in the evening at a place called Crew Collective and it is a former bank and it is GORGEOUS. It has absolutely incredible architecture – huge arched ceilings and marble and it’s just incredible! They have the most interesting spaces in Montreal – one is in a church, one is in a bank, they have really beautiful, old, European style buildings in Montreal. And all the spaces are completely unique, one is actually in a historical house, transformed into an incubator and event space. So the tour locations and event  locations are just exciting to be there. It’s going to be a really fun week.”

If you haven’t already purchased your ticket, you better get on it. GCUC Canada kicks off October 5th and goes through the 7th. We can’t wait to see you there!

P.S. You can use the code GCUCmagic here for a special discount