Jean-Marc Mangin Executive Director, Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The 2012 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences was a resounding success, with over 7,400 attendees from across the country and the world. From the “Animate the Trail” festival to the Uptown Celebration at Connectent, the hospitality of the Kitchener-Waterloo community was key in making attendees feel welcomed. We cannot overstate how important community involvement was to the success of Congress.
Starting with Minister Goodyear’s $70M funding announcement for the social sciences and humanities at the opening reception and the Governor General’s address on opening day through to the many Big Thinking lectures open to the public and countless keynotes and panels, we demonstrated that Congress plays a critical role in convening people across disciplines and sectors. For eight days, our events and the resulting media coverage on topics like national security, the census, education, digital humanities, literature and culture, showed how integral and valuable knowledge and research emanating from the humanities and social sciences are to daily life and well-being.
These goals could not have been achieved without the support of 650 local volunteers, the region’s hardworking businesses and the dedication and passion of organizers from Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. Attendees raved about the friendly and knowledgeable volunteers, the welcoming community and the beautiful region of Kitchener-Waterloo.
The success of Congress will echo in the months to come. Congress injected an estimated $7M into the local economy. It brought together Canada’s social sciences and humanities community and revitalized national dialogues around the importance of community-campus collaboration and the interdependence between technological and social innovation.
The Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is proud to have supported these critically important national discussions in the technology and innovation hub that is Kitchener-Waterloo. The Kitchener-Waterloo community’s can-do spirit was key to our collective success. Merci!