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Celebrating the Past, Charting the Future: The 30th Anniversary Conference

The 30th anniversary conference took place from June 5 to 7 at the 89 Chestnut Conference Centre in downtown Toronto.

Conference news and announcements
Making the most of the conference
Pre-conference workshops
Conference schedule
Conference schedule at a glance
Informal pre-conference dinner
Welcome reception
Conference banquet
Speakers and partners
Location, dates and accommodations
Volunteer opportunities

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Conference news and announcements

30th anniversary conference: Down in history!

June 19, 2009 9:45 a.m.

The 30th anniversary conference went down in the books as the most attended conference in EAC history. Almost 350 people came from as far away as New Zealand to attend the conference or conference-related events, such as the Toronto branch's popular pre-conference workshops, the 30th anniversary welcome reception and the Tom Fairley Award banquet.

From June 5 to 7, editors and other communications professionals gathered together at the 89 Chestnut Conference Centre in downtown Toronto for a record-breaking weekend of exciting career advancement opportunities, networking and fun.

Whether you were a zombie-enthusiast, a networking newbie or an entrepreneur looking for the best business practices, the 30th anniversary conference had something for everyone. 

  • We rang in EAC's anniversary year with a fun slideshow and hit tunes from the last 30 years at the conference welcome reception.
  • Author and screenwriter Tony Burgess introduced the zombie flick Pontypool and took part in a Q&A session after the screening.
  • Nora Young set a forward-looking tone for the conference with her keynote address on social media and changes in information and communication.
  • The dynamic sessions ranged from copy editing to Word shortcuts, textbooks to kids' books, sexing the language to information architecture, and making Japanese paper to making connections.
  • We shopped 'til we dropped at the Exclamation Mart, the conference vendor fair, where we bought chocolates, jewellery and other editing essentials.
  • We heard from major publishers, associations and cultural institutions, such as HarperCollins Canada, Random House Canada, ECW Press, McClelland & Stewart, BookNet Canada, Access Copyright, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Power Plant at Harbourfront.
  • We congratulated the newest certified editors and Canada's first Certified Professional Editors.
  • Melva McLean graciously accepted the 2008 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence.
  • We also celebrated 25 years of editorial excellence in Canada by unveiling a commemorative 25th anniversary Tom Fairley Award poster.
  • Pier Giorgio Di Cicco paid tribute to editors during his banquet address. He also insisted he isn't funny. (We laughed.)
  • Nancy Flight shared her cherished memories of Claudette Reed Upton-Keeley when she announced the new scholarship named in Claudette's honour. The Claudette Upton Scholarship will be awarded to a promising EAC student editor for the first time in 2010.
  • James Harbeck and Anna Olivier presented the best of the bad as we recognized the winners of this year's Oops Awards.
  • We explored the future of EAC at the closing plenary. The panellists envisioned our association expanding its branch/twig structure and forming strategic alliances with the companies we work with, sister organizations and editors across the globe.

The 30th anniversary conference was one of EAC's best yet. Thanks to all of the volunteers, presenters and attendees who helped to make the conference a huge success. We hope to see you in Montreal for Conference 2010.

Pier Giorgio Di Cicco's address to the 30th anniversary conference

June 15, 2009 3:15 p.m.

I think editors have the most important vocation surrounding the act of literature and communication. Publishers are a dime a dozen. Writers, well, there's one under every rock. Readers, well, God bless them; there are hungry readers everywhere and many more people who don't read at all.

And I will not say that a good editor is hard to find. A great editor may be rare; but any editor—by the fact of his or her dedication to standard, accuracy and the precise midwifing of text for public understanding—carries a conscience of service and an ideal of bringing to the light of day the authentic in communication.

I, for one, have known only one bad editor and he is no longer in the business, nor is his publisher for that matter.

The business of poetry is perhaps the hardest thing to edit. I have been graced to work with some fine editors: Dennis Lee, Ellen Seligman, Kevin Burns and Anne Louise Mahoney, to name a few. Each had a different style of listening, of cogitation, of envisioning. I learned early on a respect for the creativity that brings a thought to fruition or brings clarity to the inchoate. It was sometimes painful, but I learned criticality and gratitude, not for a collaborator, but for a co-writer. Indeed, a good editor is a writer inside of me; a voice I had not heard, a benevolent voice, focused on the best of the intention of my work.

Now not all of you here are literary editors; you mediate all kinds of language and languages to many purposes. And to all of you I say, you are the guardians of language. In an age when communication is abbreviated and bruised with text messaging, jargon, virtual shortcuts; when the visual experience erodes the narrative one; when people spend more time with screens than books; when a generation of young professionals is better versed with the digital than with grammar; when young people can hardly be understood after an education of spell checks, Wikipedia and secondary sources, it is up to you, the world of editors, to ensure that intelligible language is preserved, furthered and respected.

I want to congratulate the association on the 30th anniversary. And as for the future, the theme of this conference, I want to suggest to you that it isn't the future of the industry that is at stake. It is the future of literacy. The algorithms of the digital are gradually replacing the algorithms of syntax. The icons of discrete information are replacing the units of meaning. The elliptical timeframes of journalistic writing are replacing the clarity of structure, introduction and recapitulation. And your challenge is to avoid the trends of expedient communication while remaining practical and visionary.

Of all the locations of public service, yours is perhaps the most poignantly crucial; because communication is what we all bring home to our families, our children, our friends, our communities. Language is that bond that will make us a humanized society or render us more foreign to each other. Every period, every comma, every reshaping, every rewriting is a labour of love to the maintenance of a legacy by which human beings can understand each other.

I have a new software program at home. It's called MacSpeech Dictate. It's a voice dictation program so advanced that I can compose, write and switch applications—in short, to do everything without a keyboard or mouse. I speak editing instructions and sometimes, by accident, the program inadvertently corrects me. Someday they might have a program that guesses at the intention of my writing. Someday there might be a program that is an editor. Correction is easy. There might come a program that can chart the future. There will never be a program that can celebrate the past, and it is doubtful that the future can be charted if it isn't first envisioned by people who feel for the worth of what they're doing. It is that worth that you are charged with, that you cherish and that your readers cherish in you. I congratulate you in that celebration and wish you Godspeed as champions of the word.

June 6, 2009

Pier Giorgio Di Cicco
Poet Laureate of The City of Toronto
Principal, MunicipalMind

Reprinted with permission.

A Message from the Mayor

June 3, 2009 1:15 p.m.

Mayor David Miller

It is my pleasure to congratulate the Editors' Association of Canada (EAC) on its 30th anniversary and welcome delegates of the EAC conference to our city.

Headquartered in Toronto with a national member base of 1,800 freelance and salaried editors, EAC promotes the use of professional editing to produce effective communication in all sectors.

The theme of the conference, "Celebrating the Past, Charting the Future" is especially apt. The growth of the association's modest beginnings from a small gathering of young, Toronto editors in 1979 to a national association of this size and calibre, is an accomplishment for which you can be proud. I commend you for your ongoing commitment to professional development and effective communication.

On behalf of Toronto City Council, please accept my best wishes for a memorable anniversary celebration and another 30 years of success.

Yours truly,

Mayor David Miller

Last day to register for the 30th anniversary conference

June 1, 2009 10:20 a.m.

New conference sessions announced!

Diagnosis: Editor! A panel discussion on medical editing
Saturday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m.
Medical texts can run the gamut from health-care articles for the layperson to complex clinical reviews for geneticists—and they all need an editor. Join us for an interactive panel discussion on working with pharmaceutical companies, publishing houses, medical communication agencies and more, in the capacity of both medical editor and writer.

Speed mentoring
Saturday, June 6 at 11:15 a.m.
Are you thinking of a career as an editor, but aren't sure how to get started? Are you a junior editor who feels you would benefit from the insight and wisdom of a more experienced editor? Speed mentoring may be just what you're looking for. Speed mentoring gives you the opportunity to meet with a senior editor who will help dispel the myths and unravel the mysteries of an editing career.

Superstar editors
Sunday, June 7 at 11:30 a.m.
Meet four of the most respected in-house editors from Canada's highest-profile book publishers. These superstars have worked with hundreds of authors, from the well-known to the up-and-coming. In this fascinating and fast-paced panel discussion, they'll share some of their hard-won wisdom while discussing time and market pressures, publishing trends and the challenges of editing big-name and first-time authors.

Recruiting Conference Buddies

Are you excited about EAC's conference because you'll be meeting new people? Or are you anxious about EAC's conference because you won't know very many people? 

EAC's Conference Buddies matches outgoing editors with shy editors. We'll arrange pairs or small groups that can meet up at the start of the conference day, sit together at full-group sessions and lunches, and get together at breaks and social events.

Conference Buddies is optional—you don't have to join. But if you do want some Conference Buddies, email Helena Aalto by Friday, May 15. Be sure to identify yourself as shy or outgoing and include your contact information, where you're coming from and where you'll be staying during the conference. Feel free to include information about yourself that you'd like us to know as well—especially if it might help us find your matches.

When we've matched all Conference Buddies, we'll put the groups in touch with one another so they can coordinate to meet up at the conference.

Whether you're outgoing or shy, you'll have an even better time at the conference if you join Conference Buddies. We look forward to hearing from you.

New conference poster

May 6, 2009 1:00 p.m.

Download the new


There's still time to join the fun and excitement!
Join a record number of publishing and communications professionals for inspiring and informative sessions, fun networking opportunities, and our gala banquet, featuring our infamous Oops Awards, where we poke fun at our favourite typos and grammatical blunders from around the world. Register today!

Record registration!

April 15, 2009 10:15 a.m.

We're excited to announce that registration for our annual conference is the highest it's been since the association's first conference. With just over six weeks to go, almost 200 people have already registered for the 30th anniversary conference. There's still time to register, so don't miss out on the fun and excitement. Register now.

NEW! Schmoozing, shopping and more
We've added another session to the conference lineup! Networking is an essential skill for all professionals. Whether you work freelance or in house, creating and maintaining business relationships is crucial to furthering your career. On Saturday, June 6, Riça Night gives us the keys to success with her session, Networking with Integrity. Learn how to leave a lasting impression and network like a pro. Then spend the rest of the conference sharpening your schmoozing skills.

Want to shop without leaving the comfort of the conference venue? Shop to your heart's content at the conference vendor fair on the afternoon of Saturday, June 6! Whether you're looking for books, office supplies, software or the latest technological toys, you'll find them at the conference vendor fair.

A taste of the old and the new with the pre-conference workshops
The Toronto branch is offering three exciting pre-conference workshops on Friday, June 5. Much like the 30th anniversary conference itself, these workshops will celebrate our past and help you chart the future of your career.

Eight-Step Editing
Already a legend, Eight-Step Editing is the classic workshop that gives both writers and editors techniques to improve readability. If you haven't taken this workshop before, or you haven't taken it in a while, now's your chance!

On-Screen Editing with Microsoft Word 2007
Whether you've upgraded to 2007 or you're just considering (and dreading) it, this workshop is a must. Newcomers to the program will learn how to work confidently with functions they have been struggling with or never knew existed; more experienced users will learn how to accomplish tasks more efficiently.

On-Screen Proofreading with Adobe Acrobat
On-screen proofreading is here, and many clients are already asking proofreaders to work in Adobe Acrobat. This workshop will provide participants with knowledge of the tools most commonly used in on-screen proofreading.

Zombies attack EAC's conference welcome reception!

April 3, 2009 10:00 a.m.

Zombies will be the chaser after the conference welcome reception on Friday, June 5! After celebrating our 30th anniversary with live music and EAC history bites, you'll have just enough time to catch your breath before a 9:00 p.m. screening of Bruce McDonald's new zombie thriller, Pontypool.

From the Pontypool website:

Shock jock Grant Mazzy has, once again, been kicked off the Big City airwaves and now the only job he can get is the early morning show at CLSY Radio in Pontypool, Ontario, which broadcasts from the basement of the small town's only church.

What begins as another boring day of school bus cancellations quickly turns deadly when reports start piling in of people developing strange speech patterns and evoking horrendous acts of violence.

Before long, Grant and the small staff at CLSY find themselves trapped in the radio station as they discover that this insane behaviour taking over the town is actually a deadly virus being spread through the English language itself.

Do they stay on the air in the hopes of being rescued or are they in fact providing the virus with its ultimate leap over the airwaves and into the world?

Tony Burgess, who wrote the book and screenplay, will introduce this well-reviewed film and answer questions after the closing credits. (Director Bruce McDonald might show up too.) The Globe and Mail calls Pontypool "a very smart, distinctly Canadian zombie movie directed with considerable aplomb."

Being an editor can be terrifying, but can you handle the threat of being destroyed by a virus spread through the English language? Join us to watch Pontypool…if you dare!

Register for the conference…before it's too late!

If you haven't registered for the 30th anniversary conference yet, don't delay! Today is the last day to take advantage of the early-bird discounted rate for members and save $80 on your conference registration.

Editors' Association of Canada announces expanded schedule for its 30th anniversary conference

April 2, 2009 12:30 p.m.

This just in: Now you have more reasons to register for the Editors' Association of Canada's 30th anniversary conference! We've added new sessions to the exciting lineup. Here's a sneak peek of some of the new sessions and more.

Give your business a boost

Greg Ioannou, Marion Soublière and others share secrets for successfully landing government contracts.

Carolyn L Burke helps us explore the best practices of successful business owners and entrepreneurs—practices that deliver results.

Make the most of technology

Janice Cunningham and Asha Jhamandas show us how to use wikis and blogs to enhance our social networks—and our careers.

Gaëlle Chevalier demonstrates how voice recognition software can save valuable time. (French session)

Jodie Renner shares indispensable Word shortcuts, advanced tips and tricks guaranteed to help us work more efficiently.

Get the latest industry news

Access Copyright's Roanie Levy discusses the impact of Google's online book content on publishers, authors and editors.

Expand your repertoire—books and beyond

Top editors Lynne Missen (HarperCollins Canada) and Tara Walker (Kids Can Press) talk about editing picture books, young adult novels and children's non-fiction.

Publications managers from the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Power Plant (Harbourfront Centre) delve into the complexities of editing in the cultural sector.

Bestselling author Sandra Gulland (The Josephine B. Trilogy) discusses editing historical research.

... and so much more!

More than 25 conference sessions, demonstrations and discussions have been confirmed, with even more to come.

Toronto's Poet Laureate to speak at conference banquet

March 19, 2009 11:15 a.m.
We're pleased to announce that Toronto's Poet Laureate Pier Giorgio Di Cicco will be guest speaker at the conference banquet. This prolific writer has authored 20 volumes of poetry since 1976. In 2004 he was the Emilio Goggio Visiting Professor in Italian Studies at the University of Toronto. In that same year, he was appointed Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto and his book, The Dark Time of Angels, was nominated for the Trillium Book Award. Di Cicco's inspirations on building the creative capacity of cities have made him a sought-after urban consultant, and his contributions to the mayor's Roundtable on the Arts and Culture have been widely publicized. Di Cicco is also curator of the Toronto Museum Project and Global Centre for Cities.

Conference 2009 program announced!

March 13, 2009 3:00 p.m.

The preliminary program schedule for "Celebrating the Past, Charting the Future: The 30th Anniversary Conference" is now available. Start planning your conference experience today!

More than 20 conference sessions, demonstrations and panel discussions have been confirmed, with more sessions and streams to come. Check out the program descriptions and meet our esteemed presenters.

Register now for Conference 2009!

February 23, 2009 4:00 p.m.

Registration for Celebrating the Past, Charting the Future: The 30th Anniversary Conference is now open!

For those travelling to Toronto for the conference, we ask that you consider measures to reduce your carbon footprint. You can do this by buying carbon credits from Planetair. Visit Planetair's website for more information on this green initiative.

The conference takes place June 5–7 at 89 Chestnut Conference Centre, behind City Hall and close to the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto. Join us in celebrating 30 years of camaraderie.

Editors' Association of Canada members and MagNet conference attendees register at special early-bird rates, but only until April 3. Register by April 3 to save $80 off the regular conference fee.

Conference keynote speaker announced!

January 22, 2009 12:00 p.m.

This year's keynote address will be presented by Nora Young. Nora started her career with CBC Radio as the founding host and a producer of Definitely Not the Opera, and is now the host of Spark, the weekly half-hour show that examines the intersection of technology and life. Nora has a love-hate relationship with technology and culture—something many of us can relate to—so she's the ideal companion to gently usher technophobes and technogeeks alike through the latest trends. She also contributes to a trend-watching blog, The Sniffer, in which she discusses such diverse topics as robot seals, wearable motorcycles and the sophistication of Canadian Internet users.

Seeing stars

We now have a snazzy new logo to celebrate the Editors' Association of Canada's 30th anniversary year and the 30th anniversary conference. Thanks to Saskatoon member Michelle Boulton for creating this vibrant design!

Conference 2009 needs your embarrassing pictures

January 15, 2009 10:00 a.m.

The opening reception of "Celebrating the Past, Charting the Future: The 30th Anniversary Conference" will be a celebration of our history, and what better way to relive the past 30 years than through pictures? If you have photos or other memorabilia from EAC's past, particularly the early years, please contact Helena Aalto. Photos can be hard copies or in digital format. These treasures will be displayed at the reception on Friday, June 5.

Venue announced

November 13, 2008 1:00 p.m.

EAC's 30th anniversary conference will take place from June 5 to 7 at the 89 Chestnut Conference Centre in downtown Toronto. This conference centre is a unique venue that offers affordable hotel rooms on site as well as meeting facilities. Visit the 89 Chestnut website for more information.



Join us in Toronto as we celebrate our 30th anniversary with editors from across Canada!

Conference 2009 will feature an exciting lineup of networking and educational opportunities, providing something for everyone.

  • Come early for pre-conference workshops and a taste of our vibrant city.
  • Come even earlier for two other great conferences: MagNet, Canada's Magazine Conference (June 2–5), and the Indexing Society of Canada Conference (June 3–4).
  • Revisit 1979 and network with your colleagues and friends at the welcome reception.
  • Learn what's in store for the future from our keynote speaker, Nora Young of CBC Radio's Spark.
  • Expand your knowledge and skills with our workshops.
  • Honour this year's winner of the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence.
  • Celebrate the lighter side of editing at the Oops Awards.

The conference takes place June 5–7 at 89 Chestnut Conference Centre, behind City Hall and close to the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto.

Join us in celebrating 30 years of camaraderie and keep checking this page for further updates.


Toronto Branch

Reach more than 1,800 educated and influential entrepreneurs—sponsor the EAC's 30th anniversary conference.

EAC sponsors receive widespread recognition and reach a national audience—an excellent marketing investment!

Contact Helena Aalto at or 416 975-1379 for more information.

Keynote speaker: Nora Young

Photo credit: Gilberto Prioste

Banquet speaker: Pier Giorgio Di Cicco

Reception speaker: Tony Burgess

Photo courtesy of ECW Press

Previous posts

30th anniversary conference: Down in history!

Pier Giorgio Di Cicco's address to the 30th anniversary conference

A Message from the Mayor

Last day to register for the 30th anniversary conference

Conference ABCs

The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario extends best wishes to EAC on its 30th anniversary

New conference poster

Record registration!

Zombies attack EAC's conference welcome reception!

Editors' Association of Canada announces expanded schedule for its 30th anniversary conference

Toronto's Poet Laureate to speak at conference banquet

Conference 2009 program announced!

Register now for Conference 2009!

Conference keynote speaker announced!

Conference 2009 needs your embarrassing pictures

Venue announced

How to register

Conference registration fees

  • $330 EAC member early-bird registration (by April 3, 2009)*
  • $285 EAC student member early-bird registration (by April 3, 2009)
  • $410 EAC member regular registration (after April 3, 2009)*
  • $365 EAC student member regular registration (after April 3, 2009)
  • $575 Non-EAC member registration
  • $540 Non-EAC member student registration
  • $245 EAC member one-day registration*
  • $345 Non-EAC member one-day registration
  • $70 Banquet
  • $25 Extra reception ticket (one ticket included in conference registration fee)

    *MagNet conference attendees qualify for EAC member prices

Pre-conference workshop fees

Eight-Step Editing (9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 5)
Workshop description

  • $145 EAC members*
  • $185 Non-EAC members

On-Screen Editing with Microsoft Word 2007 (9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 5)
Workshop description

  • $145 EAC members*
  • $185 Non-EAC members

On-Screen Proofreading with Adobe Acrobat (1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 5 )
Workshop description

  • $80 EAC members*
  • $100 Non-EAC members
  • $12 lunch (optional)

    *MagNet conference attendees qualify for EAC member prices

Register now

Registrations received after June 1, 2009, will be accepted only if space is available.