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Directors' Forum

Now in its 33rd year, the annual Directors' Forum is a highly unique professional development, education and networking conference and event, that is organized specifically BY credit union Directors FOR credit union and caisses populaires Board Directors. The scope of the Forum has broadened over the years to become a conference and webinar series open to directors from across the country. Credit unions often use the annual conference as a professional development opportunity for their board members, and to introduce director-candidates to credit union system issues. Credit union managers and staff generally do not participate in the Forum. Registered delegates may vote on issues that are presented during the Annual General Meeting. If a credit union or caisse populaire sends more than one paying director to the AGM, each participant is considered to be 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 designed to provide directors with tips, tools, connections and expertise to help strengthen 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 last year's delegates, we were able to pinpoint a number of topics of relevance to directors. This year's sessions will therefore focus on the following areas:

  1. C1's Payment and Innovation Strategy Update
  2. Board Succession Strategies
  3. Case Studies in IT Governance (offered as a 1/2 CE credit through CUDA)
  4. Central 1 Credit Union System Update
  5. What Role Can Directors Play in Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) Succession?*
  6. DNA Assessment Update & Results
  7. Board Chairs' session - Chair Succcession (Breakout)*
  8. Youth Directors' session - DIrectors Under 40 Collaboration (Breakout)*
*Please indicate participation during registraton process. 


View the draft Conference Agenda, including information on the speakers and sessions here.

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 - a $359 value on its own!
  • Two hot breakfasts
  • One hot lunch
  • Three refreshment breaks
Timeframe Rate Opens Closes
Early Bird Rate $685 + HST April 1 July 31
Post-Early Bird Rate $775 + HST  August 1 August 31
Late Rate $825 + HST Sept. 1 Sept. 21

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 Dinner 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). See detailed information on the Banquet & Fundraiser below!


2017 Banquet & Fundraiser

On Thursday, September 28, 2017,  the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF), in partnership with On Co-op, is hosting a very special evening to commemorate our 15th and CDF's 70th anniversaries, and Canada's 150th birthday!

Leaders, directors, stakeholders, employees and members of co-operatives from across the province are invited to join us for the celebratory evening, which will include a three course seated meal, fantastic live entertainment by The Dreamboats (so be sure to bring your dancing shoes and partners), a live auction, and the presentation of the 2017 Ontario Global Co-operator Award.

The evening will provide a unique networking opportunity between co-operatives and credit unions in Ontario, and close off the 2017 Provincial Co-op Conference taking place earlier in the day, while launching the 33rd annual Credit Union Directors' Forum, starting the next day.

The Banquet Dinner & Fundraiser is open to anyone wishing to come, and you do not have to be a delegate of either conference to attend!


To help make this possible, CDF is looking for organizations to sponsor the event, and to donate items - or cash towards the purchase of items - for the live auction. Please view their brand new Sponsorship Proposal, available in the Downlaods section of the right-hand toolbar, for more information on how you can help, and the ways in which the CDF will recognize your organization for its support. You can also contact Gonzalo by phone at 1-866-266-7677 or by email to [requires javascript] for more informaton or to pledge your support. 

2017 Youth Director Bursary Information

For the third consecutive year, the DF Executive is offering youth directors of credit union and caisse populaire boards, the chance to attend the entire conference and have their registration fees covered by the DF! This is a unique and awesome opportunity to network with and learn from experienced directors and system leaders and experts. 

The bursary will cover the set 2017 conference registration fee, which includes the sessions, meals and activities outlined in the Conference Rates above. Any additional costs (i.e., travel to/from the conference, overnight accommodations, the dinner banquet, and any food not included with the conference registration fee, is the sole responsibility of the individual and/or his or her affiliated credit union or caisse populaire.

Bursary applicants are required to book thier own accommodations at the venue and are eligible for the group rate that we have set aside for all our delegates this year. Please note that the later you book you rooms, the less chance of getting the group rate! Access the accommodaton page here for more information.


  1. Aged 35 years and under (at time of application and during the 2017 Directors’ Forum Conference);
  2. A Canadian credit union or caisse populaire board member;
  3. Has not received a bursary from the Directors’ Forum in the past;
  4. Demonstrate a personal commitment and potential for further development and the ability to significantly influence credit union development in Canada;
  5. Application is received by the deadline of July 31, 2017;
  6. Application is approved by the selection panel (i.e. the 6-member DF Exective). 

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so complete and return the form, available in the downloads section of the right-hand toolbar, today!

2017 DF Election

There are currently six directors on the DF Executive. There will be two seats up for election on the Executive Committee as of September 29, 2017. Dave Sitaram, who has dedicated 13 years of volunteer service, will be retiring from the Executive, and Kathy Stewart (Treasurer), whose term will be up, has confirmed that she will be running for re-election.

Please note:

  • Executive Committee members must have experience as a board director of a Canadian credit union or caisse populaire.
  • All elections will be for a three-year term (with terms coming up for re-election on a staggered basis).
  • Directors can serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.
  • Table Officer terms (i.e., Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer) are on a two-year basis to allow committee members experience in each of these areas. Exception: The Chair or Vice-Chair may serve for a maximum of two consecutive terms in their respective positions.
  • Candidates being nominated prior to the AGM must be nominated by a Canadian credit union or caisse populaire. 
  • Nominations are allowed from the floor at the AGM, and must be made by a registered delegate.

Learn more about the Executive, election process and compensation here.

If you or someone you know is interested in running for the Executive, print, complete and return the nomination form available in the downloads section of the right-hand toolbar! 

2016 Conference Overview

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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2017 Provincial Conference & Celebration

Sep 28, 2017 - 2017 Provincial Conference and Celebration

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