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2015 ACPA conference a huge success

Canadian ports got together this fall in Montreal, pushing the limits of the shipping industry.


More than 200 people answered the Port of Montreal’s call on September 29 to attend the annual conference of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) held this year in Quebec’s Metropolis.  The theme chosen as an axis for the lectures and discussions, “Pushing the Limits,” hit home, as seen in the delegates’ regular attendance at each and every panels, from first to last.

For two and half intense days, the delegates jointly brainstormed on common concerns for all ports: transportation logistics, the value chain, key industry trends, the energy challenge and sustainable operation of ports, growth strategies and integrating social media into port communications. High calibre speakers generously shared the results of their research and their thoughts with ACPA members and answered their questions.

Unforgettable St. Lawrence-Themed Evening

Delegates also made time for networking events, where port authority officials were able to meet with their partners, government representatives and marine transportation industry stakeholders, all in a dynamic and friendly atmosphere.

Among the highlights complementing the panels, the St. Lawrence-Themed Evening stood out. Each of the five ports on the St. Lawrence River had prepared a table of dishes inspired by their region’s local cuisine. The CEOs of the five ports outdid themselves by presenting their menu in a fun, friendly competitive spirit that was especially popular with the guests.

A cake in the shape of containers was served to guests
at the networking cocktail reception.

The networking cocktail reception, held at the Montreal Science Centre on the evening of September 30, let delegates meet and hear its CEO, astronaut Julie Payette, deliver a vibrant defence of tolerance: “Aboard a spaceship, it takes nine minutes to cross Canada from British Columbia to Newfoundland. We realize how magnificent our country is. We’re known for our openness and our tolerance. I encourage you to keep working together by rising above our differences. And believe me, the sky is not the limit!”

The conference ended with a bus tour of the Port of Montreal with MPA executives serving as tour guides.
The entire Port of Montreal team sincerely thanks all the delegates, ACPA members, marine transportation industry partners, speakers, sponsors, organizers and special guests, as well as with the ACPA team composed of Wendy Zatylny, Francine Paulin and Mike Ircha, for their outstanding involvement.

The next gathering of ACPA members will take place in Thunder Bay in 2016.

The conference in pictures


On the morning of September 29, ACPA President Wendy Zatylny opened the Annual General Meeting.

ACPA members elected their new Chair, Mario Girard, President and CEO of the Port of Quebec. He replaces Bernie Dumas of the Port of Nanaimo.

The conference’s opening dinner began with music from the Quartom Vocal Quartet.

Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Port of Montreal, spoke as conference host.

Among the distinguished guests at the opening dinner, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre addressed the room.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard also had great presence.

Mike ircha, Senior Advisor of the ACPA, with Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec, Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Port of Montreal and Wendy Zatylny, CEO of the ACPA.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard was keen to visit exhibitors’ booths, including this one with its team from Logistics.

After lunch, the business session got underway with a lecture by Éric Fournier, Partner and Executive Producer of Moment Factory. He has developed a strong creative strategy for the company, notably evident in its production of the 2012 Super Bowl featuring Madonna.

The St. Lawrence-Themed Evening was definitely one of the highpoints of the conference. The five presidents and CEOs of the ports on the St. Lawrence River donned chef’s aprons to serve guests the dishes they’d prepared. From left to right: Pierre Gagnon of the Port of Sept-Îles, Carl Laberge of the Port of Saguenay, Mario Girard of the Port of Quebec, Sylvie Vachon of the Port of Montreal and Gaétan Boivin of the Port of Trois-Rivières.

The smoked meat poutine from Schwartz’s Deli offered by the Port of Montreal was a mouth-watering hit.

The Port of Trois-Rivières, with its tiered trout, was no exception. David Bolduc, Executive Director of Green Marine, couldn’t resist, to the amusement of Port President and CEO Gaétan Boivin.

The next day, in an impressive setting provided by CN, delegates were welcomed to a networking cocktail reception.

Former astronaut and current CEO of the Montreal Science Centre, Julie Payette, welcomed delegates with inspiring words on the theme of tolerance and cooperation.

Quebec Minister for Transport and the Implementation of the Maritime Strategy Jean D’Amour, a panellist that afternoon, also spoke at the cocktail reception. From left to right: Julie Payette, Jean D’Amour, Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the MPA and Wendy Zalylny, CEO of the ACPA.