Canadian author and poet Margaret Artwood will be the keynote speaker at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) conference being held virtually from Sept. 22 to 24. (The Canadian Press photo)

Canadian author Margaret Atwood to be keynote speaker at UBCM Conference

Atwood to speak on climate change, COVID and community

Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and author known for The Handmaid’s Tale, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming September online conference of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM).

“We want someone that appeals to our delegates across Canada and that would truly deliver an engaging keynote,” said UBCM president and Sooke mayor Maja Tait. “She will be speaking on the themes of climate change, COVID and the community and we couldn’t be more excited. She’s a national treasure.”

Tait pointed out that many well-known speakers who wouldn’t normally be in their budget are now more affordable for events due to the pandemic.

This will be the first year the conference has been held virtually since its beginnings in 1905. Each year has seen physical gatherings through the 1918 Spanish flu and two world wars. According to Tait, although the event will look dramatically different, attendees will still be able to vote on resolutions, participate in workshops and engage in one-on-one meetings.

Premier John Horgan is expected to make an address to the conference attendees online.

READ MORE: Sooke mayor again tapped to aid international program

As president-elect since September 2019, Tait says she’s been just as busy organizing the conference as she would be meeting people in person – a decent chunk of her time is saved by not travelling to destinations. Now, she’s takes meetings at her dining room table.

“It feels like the ground changes every single day. We know that we will miss meeting in person to network, but there’s still ways to engage with peers and make this a strong professional event.”

Tait and a small team of IT and staff support will be hosting the conference out of the Victoria Convention Centre, currently closed to the public. In addition, the price has been slightly reduced for attendees to accommodate the financial strain during the pandemic.

The virtual conference takes place Sept. 22 to 24. With over 500 delegates already registered, registration is available at access.ubcm.ca/registration until Sept. 11 at 4 p.m.

ALSO READ: Mayor’s Letter: Sooke delivers on helping the homeless


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

SookeUBCM

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read