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Canadian Greenhouse Conference: Seeds of Change

The CGC rolls out their new virtual speaker line-up for 2021, with 18 live sessions, 40+ speakers and up to five concurrent streams.


September 14, 2021
By Glenna Cairnie

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One virtual conference, just one, and then everything will be back to normal…” I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only person who thought the pandemic would have run its course by this time.

However, as events unfolded over the winter, it became apparent that thousands of people gathering indoors was not in the cards for a fall conference in 2021. The popularity of the 2020 online conference gave CGC organizers the confidence to go even bigger this year. The Canadian Greenhouse Conference is Canada’s premier event for protected agriculture, and we are committed to delivering another first-class event for Canadian growers.

Synced between two platforms – the CGC website and a professional event platform, the 2021 CGC will provide an experience as close to that of in-person as virtually possible (pun intended). The easy-to-navigate event platform will provide access to the live stream content and encourage guest engagement with attendees and speakers. CanadianGreenhouseConference.com will host the New Variety Showcase and the Research Poster session. While there is no formal tradeshow component, an Industry Partner Directory will be featured on both platforms. This new conference element will provide company information and videos in a unique format. Scroll through it carefully. Sprinkled in with the familiar names, are new companies eager to introduce their products and services to the greenhouse sector.

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2021 sees the return of a full-strength education program. Eighteen live sessions, 40+ speakers, and on-demand content creates our most dynamic conference program to date. Find out how artificial intelligence continues to change the greenhouse sector and hear from growers who have embraced new technologies. Gain insight from international speakers on the fight against Tomato Brown Root Fruit Virus (ToBRFV). How and why should growers embrace “Big Data”? Water, lighting, IPM-the program tackles all the hot topics facing Canadian growers. The speaker list is impressive featuring the sector’s top authorities on protected agriculture. Flip the page for an overview of the speakers on each day. The full program, with individual presentation descriptions, can be found on the CGC website.

In addition to the live webinars, there will be a library of on-demand presentations ready to be viewed at your convenience. After the conference, recordings of the live webinars will be added to this collection and be available for 90 days.

Building on the speaker program and enhancing the conference experience are several components that growers will find valuable. Debuting on the CGC website last year, this years’ virtual Research Poster Session will highlight ongoing research projects from universities and researchers across Canada. These posters provide snapshots of current work and insight into the future of the greenhouse sector. Five projects will be selected to present live in the Research Updates session on Thursday afternoon. This is a great opportunity to connect directly with those involved in research, ask questions and give feedback from the grower point of view.

The New Variety Showcase puts a spotlight on cultivars recently introduced to the Canadian market. It is a convenient, one-stop shop for growers and garden centre retailers to find information and videos from vegetable and ornamental breeders. Check out the New Product Display to see what our industry partners have been up to in the last year.

Watch for your copy of the 2021 CGC digital show guide to land in your inbox October 4. Complete event information, feature articles, industry partners and more will make this a valuable resource throughout the year.

Speaking of industry partners, a big THANK YOU goes to the companies who have supported the 2021 conference through our various channels. We couldn’t make the show happen (nor would we want to) without the full backing of our allied trades. Exhibitors are missing the in-person experience too, and this is one of the ways they are able to give back and support growers. Extra special appreciation to our presenting partner, Syngenta Flowers. Syngenta Flowers is a long-time friend of the Canadian Greenhouse Conference with a big presence at each show. The CGC is thankful for their ongoing support of both the conference and Canadian grower community.

Registration is required to access the full conference program and is now open through the website. There are two registration options: 2-day access on October 6 & 7 or an enhanced registration package which allows for post-show access to the recorded sessions. A quick website check will reveal that registration is not free this year – that is just not a sustainable business plan. Complimentary registration was a gift to our attendee base last year but not one that can be repeated. However, we have done our best to ensure incredible value for your time and money.

While a second virtual conference was not on anyone’s wishlist, let’s celebrate the upside. Overall, the industry had a very good year as consumers embraced local produce and looked for ways to beautify their homes, indoors and out. A virtual event means accessibility to those who might not be able to attend in person; across Canada and internationally, showcasing our industry to the world. No rushing! The online format allows guests to build their own agenda and move around from “room to room” easily. Recorded presentations means no one needs to worry about missing a speaker due to a scheduling conflict. And finally, talks may be referenced a second (or third) time until all the valuable information is absorbed.

There will be lessons learned from this pandemic. What adjustments are temporary and which ones will be Seeds of Change are yet to be known. What we do know, is that the ability to feed a growing population and beautify the world lies with protected agriculture and that Canadian greenhouse growers are well placed to lead the world with the enterprise required to fulfill that responsibility. Attend the Canadian Greenhouse Conference, October 6 & 7 to discover how you can be part of that bright future.

To register, visit canadiangreenhouseconference.com

For a sneak peek of the speakers schedule, biographies and features related to the talks, see the September digital edition of Greenhouse Canada.


Glenna Cairnie is the marketing and events coordinator of the Canadian Greenhouse Conference.