A history of CSA Conferences

firstconferenceThe Canadian Stuttering Association has its origins in decisions made at the first-ever Canadian national conference for people who stutter in Banff, Alberta, in August 1991.

Several groups worked together to make the Banff conference happen. In April 1989 two Toronto-based self-help groups, the Stuttering Association of Toronto and the Demosthenes Society, started the conversation regarding forming a national network of self-help groups. Meetings in other Ontario cities also helped lay the groundwork for what was to come.

In July 1989 some Ontario people who stutter met with the Alberta Stutterers Association (ASA) in Edmonton and planned the first national conference.

speaker1At the Banff conference, after a series of plenary sessions, attendees agreed to the formation of what was then called the Canadian Association for People who Stutter. This would be, among other things, a national network of self-help groups and would organize national conferences on a regular basis.
The second national conference took place in Ottawa in 1993, where a draft version of the CSA constitution was debated in a series of plenary sessions.

The final version emphasized that the association would serve as an impartial forum for sharing of information. The conferences have been very popular over the past two decades, getting anywhere between 150- 250 attendees. They have been a great way for people across the country whose lives are affected by stuttering to get to know each other better, to offer each other advice and support, and for people who stutter and practitioners of speech pathology to communicate and share ideas. Like all the work done by the CSA, the conferences have always been organized and produced entirely by volunteers, often on a shoestring budget.

choirIn 2003, Toronto was hit with the SARS epidemic. The organizing committee still managed to have a very successful conference, featuring Rueben Hurricane Carter, possibly the highest profile keynote speaker of any of the conferences. Many memorable workshop presenters and keynote speakers have been featured in the conferences over the years. One of the favourite features of any conference has always been the open mic session, where people speak freely and openly about their thoughts and feelings surrounding stuttering and how it affects their lives.

rubinAfter the Ottawa conference, CSA conferences were subsequently held in Toronto (1995); Vancouver (1997); Montreal (1999); Calgary (2001); Toronto (2003); Edmonton (2005); and Toronto (2007). In 2006, the planning committee for the 2007 conference moved to change the name to the Canadian Stuttering Association (CSA). A conference planned for 2009 in Vancouver was postponed until 2011. As we move into our twentieth year, the CSA is continuing to provide a forum, information portal and valuable opportunities for in-person meetings for people who stutter in Canada.

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Register

Register before July 15 for the Early Bird Special. If you are a member of CSA (Canadian Stuttering Association) or BCAPS (British Columbia Association of People who Stutter), you qualify for a further discount. Find out more here.

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Accommodations

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The Sandman Hotel in Downtown Vancouver is an ideal venue for the CSA Conference. Attendees get a discount on rates! Find out more here.