Ottawa, Jan. 13, 2014 – Nearly 800 career development professionals will gather in Ottawa next week for the 8th annual Cannexus National Career Development Conference. The largest meeting in the country of professionals working in career counselling, employment and workplace development takes place Jan. 20-22, 2014 and is hosted by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC). Delegates will be exploring the latest research and hot topics in the field, including the gap between employers’ needs and jobseekers’ skills.

The three-day conference, which marks the start of CERIC’s 10th anniversary year, will feature keynotes from humanitarian Stephen Lewis, broadcaster Valerie Pringle, career expert Dr. Rich Feller and former NHL coach Senator Jacques Demers. A high-profile panel that includes Ian Shugart, deputy minister of Employment and Social Development Canada, Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president of Carleton University and Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, will examine the issue of Canada’s “talent disconnects.”

Findings of a national Environics survey of 500 employers on the state of career development in the Canadian workplace will be released during the conference. Commissioned by CERIC, the survey looks at skills shortages in Canada, youth unemployment and recruitment and training trends. There will be more than 130 sessions at the conference, including: Mental Health and Employment, The Experience of High-Tech Job Loss, Young Children’s Career Development, Career Counselling for Transgendered Clients and Responding to Increased Social Recruiting.

What: Cannexus National Career Development Conference
When: January 20-22, 2014
Where: Ottawa Convention Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr., Ottawa

Key times:

Monday, Jan. 20

8:30 a.m. – Rich Feller, professor, Colorado State University and an internationally recognized expert on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, will talk about the realities of the new labour market.
5:00 p.m. – Launch of Canada’s first career development textbookCareer Development Practice in Canada: Perspectives, Principles, and Professionalism and showcase of the finalists in the National Challenge to Promote Career Development online competition.

Tuesday, Jan. 21

8:30 a.m. – Award-winning broadcaster Valerie Pringle will draw on personal experiences to discuss career transitions and her work advocating for improved treatment for the mentally ill.
12:00 p.m. – Darren Karasiuk, Vice-President of Strategy at Environics Research Group, will share the findings of the Career Development in the Canadian Workplace: National Business Survey.

Wednesday, Jan. 22

7:45 a.m. – A panel from business, education and government will discuss how to fix Canada’s talent disconnect dilemma. Panelists are:

  • Ian Shugart, Deputy Minister, Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Steve West, CEO, Nordion (Canada) Inc.
  • Lauren Friese, Founder, Talent Egg
  • Brock Dickinson, Principal, Millier Dickinson Blais
  • Dan Kelly, President & CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
  • Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President & Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University

9:15 a.m. Jacques Demers, former Montreal Canadiens coach and a Canadian senator, will describe his struggles in confronting and conquering illiteracy.

10:30 a.m.  Stephen Lewis, celebrated humanitarian and former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, will draw on his careers in politics, diplomacy and multilateralism to address how career development provides a foundation for building a better world.
Cannexus is supported by its founding sponsor, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, and a broad network of 29 organizations in the career development sector.

The full agenda for the conference is available at: Follow the Cannexus National Career Development conference on Twitter at @cannexus or with the hashtag:#Cannexus14.


The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) is a charitable organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development. We support the creation of career counselling-related research and professional development for a cross-sectoral community through funding project partnerships and our strategic programs: Cannexus, ContactPoint / OrientAction and The Canadian Journal of Career Development.

For further information:

Sharon Ferriss
Director, Marketing, Web & New Media, CERIC | 647.466.0564