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Directors' Forum

Now in its 33rd year, the annual Directors' Forum is a professional development, educational and networking conference and event that is organized specifically BY credit union Directors FOR credit union, caisses populaires and co-operative Directors, Chair/Presidents, board members, and key volunteers. The scope of the Directors' Forum has been broadened over the years to become a conference and webinar series open to credit union and caisses populaires directors from across the country. Credit Unions often use the DF to provide professional development opportunites to their committee members, and to introduce director-candidates to credit union system issues.  Credit union managers and staff generally do not participate in the DF. Paying participants at the Directors' Forum conferences are considered "delegates" and may vote on issues that are presented during the business meeting.  If a credit union sends more than one paying director to the business meeting, each paying participant is considered a delegate.

2017 Forum Information

The Executive Committee is excited to announce that the "Healthy Credit Unions, Thriving Communities" conference will take place from Thursday, September 28th to Saturday, September 30th at the Courtyard by Marriott, Downtown Toronto! 

The full day-and-a-half conference will include a variety of sessions that combined, will help directors gain tips, tools and expertise that will help improve the "health" of their credit union or caisse populaire. The sessions will be presented in an array of formats, by guest speakers who are leading experts from within and outside of the credit union system. 

After careful review of the feedback we received from our 2016 attendees, we were able to pinpoint a number of topics of relevance to directors. This year's sessions will therefore focus on the following topics:

  1. Update on the National Payments Strategy
  2. Board Succession Strategies
  3. IT Governance (to be offered as a 1/2 CE credit through CUDA)
  4. Central 1 System Update
  5. Credit Unions and Business Succession Strategies
  6. DNA Assessment Update & Results
  7. Board Chairs' Session (topic tba)

Here is a glimpse into what the Forum will look like:


  • 3:00PM - Registration
  • 4:30 - 6:00PM - Cocktail Reception (hosted by the Directors' Forum and the Ontario Co-operative Association)
  • 6:00 - 9:30PM - Banquet & Fundraiser (hosted by the Co-operative Development Foundation and the Ontario Co-operative Association) - seperate pre-registration required


  • 7:00 - 8:00AM - Hot Buffet Breakfast
  • 8:00 - 9:00AM - DF Annual General Meeting
  • 9:00AM - 12:00PM - DF Conference
  • 12:00 - 1:00PM - Hot Buffet Lunch
  • 1:00 - 4:30PM - DF Conference
  • 4:30 - 6:30PM - Board Chairs' Session (seperate pre-registration required)


  • 7:00 - 8:00PM - Hot Buffet Breakfast
  • 8:00 - 12:30PM - DF Conference

A full conference agenda will be available in the coming months.

The Executive Committee needs your help to make this event happen! Please visit the "2017 Partners and Partnership Opportunities" link in the "In This Section" of the right-hand toolbar, to learn how your investment can help us provide credit union and caisses populaires board directors with the knowledge and tools they need to strengthen the system!

2017 Conference Rates

After not increasing our conference fees for the past two years, and in order to keep up with inflation as well as our increased costs to host this event, the Executive has decided to raise the per delegate rate by $60, from the 2015 and 2016 fees. The 2017 general registration rate for the Early Bird is $685 + HST per person. This is still an incredible value for the rate, which includes:

  • Access to the welcome cocktail reception + one free drink ticket for the bar
  • Access to the AGM and full conference (i.e., Friday a.m. to Sat. p.m.)
  • 1/2 continuing education credit through CUDA - which is over $350 on its own!
  • Two hot breakfasts
  • One hot lunch
  • Three refreshment breaks
Timeframe Rate Opens Closes
Early Bird Rate $685 + HST April 1 June 30
Post-Early Bird Rate $775 + HST July 1 August 31
Late Rate $825 + HST Sept. 1 Sept. 15

View a detailed list of rates and registration information for delegates, speakers, sponsors, and guests of Forum delegates here.

NOTE: The above fees do not include the Thursday evening Banquet and Fundraiser, which will be an additional $115 + HST. All proceeds from the dinner banquet will go to support the Co-operative Development Foundation (CDF). 

2016 Forum Highlights & Summary

Over 130 delegates, representing over 40 different credit unions and caisses populaires, participated in the 2016 Forum, which took place at the newly renovated Courtyard by Marriott, Downtown Toronto from Thursday, September 29th to Saturday, October 1st. The DF Executive planned a full day-and-a-half  Forum that was even more participatory and interactive than ever before, and included two keynote addresses, two panel discussions and two roundtable discussions  - and more scheduled breaks to encourage greater networking and allow our delegates to re-energize between sessions. Board Chairs and Vice-chairs were also given an opportunity to meet and discuss topics of relevance to their unique roles. 

The Directors' Forum AGM took place on Friday, September 30th. A motion was passed to increase the Committee membership from 5 to six individuals. We said goodbye to Carey Smith of FirstOntario Credit Union, who served on the Executive from 2015-2016. Three directors who had submitted their nominations were then acclaimed to the Executive, including Dave Sitaram (nominated by Oshawa Community Credit Union), who has served on the DF Committee for the past 12 years! Dave will sit on the Executive for a one-year term, replacing Smith. We are excited to welcome the two new directors, Stephen McDermott of Comtech Fire Credit Union and Pauline Wainwright of PACE Credit Union, each for three year terms. We also recognized two long-serving directors: Kevin Eccles of Northern Credit Union and Pauline Wainwright of PACE Credit Union, who each received a Long-Term Service Award from the DF. Following the adjournment of the business Meeting, Donna Bailey of Cusource recognized this year's graduates of the CUDA program. 

This year's conference theme was "SHARING SOLUTIONS. SHAPING THE FUTURE," and we examined and explored a variety of topics of relevance to system directors. Visit the "2016 Conference Sessions & Speakers" page for more information on this year's sessions and speakers. Their Bios and PowerPoint presentations are also available for download.

We were very pleased to partner once again with Cusource┬« education, the professional development arm of the Canadian Credit Union Association, to bring our directors a professional development opportunity. Kevin Yousie of Crosswater Partners, led the delegates through an afternoon interactive workshop on the topic of "Emerging Strategic Trends that Could Radically Change Your Business: What Role Should Directors Play?" for which they will receive a half-day continuing education credit under CUDA┬«.

On the evening of Friday, September 30th, the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) hosted the third annual Banquet and Fundraiser in partnership with the DF. It was a very special evening, which included a lovely three-course meal, ample networking time, a live auction and fantastic musical entertainment from a nostlagic 50s and 60s pop-rock band, The Dreamboats! In total, the CDF raised close to $3,000 through the live and silent auctions, which will go towards supporting their work to alleviate global poverty through co-operative development. All the proceeds raised from the banquet tickets will also go towrads supporting this wonderful cause.

Finally, the Directors' Forum would like to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all our 18 sponsoring organizations for their support of this year's Forum! Your generosity, together with the conference registrations, made the event possible. 

The highlights of the evaluations we received on the 2016 conference is available for viewing in the Downloads section on the right-hand toolbar.


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