Pushing the Limits : Montreal readies to host revamped ACPA convention in 2015

Pushing the limits

With Pushing the Limits as its theme, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) wanted someone ‘out of this world’ as its special guest to entice port officials and employees to attend the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) annual convention being hosted by the port in Montreal from Sept 29th to Oct. 1st, 2015. Who better than Canadian astronaut Julie Payette?

“She embodies the exploit of new frontiers,” Sylvie Vachon, MPA’s president and CEO, says. “We’re delighted she has agreed to host the unique Happy Hour networking event that we have planned during the ACPA 2015 Conference and Annual General Meeting.”

The conference will integrate many ACPA firsts. Under the ACPA board’s direction, the gathering is being held a month later than usual and within a shorter time frame to make it more convenient and affordable for organizers and delegates.

“We’re working hard to make the most of the three days with an intent focus on the up-and-coming business aspects that port authorities must embrace to make the most of future opportunities,” explains Sophie Roux, MPA’s director of communications. “Innovation, technology, emerging markets, social partnerships and learning from other industries are some of the topics that will be addressed.”

Julie Payette

The networking soirée with Payette is part of this out-of-the-box thinking. “For what I believe is the first time in ACPA’s history, we’ll be inviting representatives from businesses that work closely with port authorities throughout Canada, such as railway and trucking companies,” Roux says. “The goal is to establish connections that will perhaps lead to new ideas about how to work even better together.”
MPA has arranged to hold this special networking event at the Montreal Science Centre at the Old Port. “It’s a great locale to spark innovative thinking because of all the science and technology on display,” Roux says. “The centre is a former port warehouse that has been transformed into a valued community asset.”

The conference will take place at the Westin Hotel which, as locals know, faces the colourful Palais des Congrès and backs onto Old Montreal. “It’s the ideal location for people involved with port life,” says Roux.

Conference attendees also have the opportunity to visit the Port of Montreal. “We’re excited to show our colleagues the significant investment we’ve made in new infrastructure, as well as the steps we’re taking to increase efficiencies, introduce value-added services, improve sustainability, attract emerging markets, and accommodate larger vessels,” Vachon says.

The Montreal Port Authority has been pushing the limits in its own ways since Sylvie Vachon assumed the helm five years ago, and is eager to share its progress as well as learn from the innovative initiatives of its ACPA colleagues at the upcoming annual convention. It’s a rendez-vous chez nous that’s not to be missed in the Fall of 2015!