2017 CEPA-ACPÉ Conference

Report on the 2017 CEPA-ACPÉ Conference

The 2017 annual conference of the Canadian Educational Press Association (CEPA) was hosted by the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF). It took place in Vancouver from June 4–7, 2017, at the Coast Plaza Hotel in the West End, overlooking English Bay. The theme was “WHAT’S NEW? WHAT’S NEXT? Cutting-edge communications for public education advocacy”

In all, 17 staff members from 11 associations, federations and unions attended the conference. These included: AEFNB, ATA, BCTF, CTF, ETFO, NSTU, OSSTF, OTF, PEITF, QPAT and YTA. The proceedings opened with an acknowledgement that we were meeting on the unceded traditional
territories of three Coast Salish First Nations: the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh peoples.

Below is a brief outline of the conference content.


Sentences with Style: An exploration of intriguing syntax techniques to punch up our prose led by editor and writer Frances Peck.

(Dis)covering the education beat in a changing media landscape: Insights from two of Vancouver’s leading journalists, Frances Bula and Tracy Sherlock, working on education issues and labour stories pertaining to teachers’ unions.

Bargaining communications in an era of alternative facts: Colleagues Lisa Mastrobuono from Ontario and Angela Murray from Nova Scotia shared their experiences in exceptionally difficult recent rounds of bargaining and led a discussion on lessons learned.

Integrated digital organizing and campaigning: A look at recent research, new tools, and best practices for online and offline organizing to mobilize members and supporters to act for change presented by Point Blank Creative.

Photography skills for union hacks: A snapshot of visual literacy skills and tips to create images with impact using mobile phones, including in-phone post-processing, from photographer Josh Berson.


Participants chose between pitch-and-putt golf in Stanley Park and a walking tour of Vancouver’s inner harbor led by BC’s pre-eminent labour historian, Rod Mickleburgh. They also enjoyed a traditional Malaysian lunch as well as a seafood dinner at a restaurant overlooking English Bay.

The BCTF was delighted to host the 2017 CEPA conference. For the Communications and Campaigns staff, it provided a great opportunity to wrap up a significant year celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Federation.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Knickerbocker, on behalf of the BCTF’s CEPA conference organizing committee: Rich Overgaard, Jack MacDermot, Karen Steel, and Sarah Young.