CityAge Speakers


The Western Cities Summit
June 23 & 24, 2014
Edmonton, Alberta
Fairmont Hotel MacDonald

North America’s center of economic and societal gravity has been tilting westward for more than a generation. It means The West’s towns and cities are essential to our economic future. And these cities are important engines of national growth and are essential to building an edge in global markets.

On June 23 & 24 CityAge Edmonton: The Western Cities Summit will gather more than 200 city builders from government, business, research and finance to look at the partnerships and growth strategies to leverage the potential of western cities.

The summit will look at the innovative partnerships, financial & marketing strategies that will catalyze growth and build sustainable communities. Key topics will include developing urban energy, digital and transportation systems, designing better downtowns and neighbourhoods, and building next-generation economic and technology clusters.

CityAge will assemble private and public sector leaders to outline strategies to enhance the future of western cities. The summit will also introduce case studies and city builders from across North America and around the world leading this new western reality.

We invite you to join us at The Western Cities Summit.

The Western Cities Summit is part of an ongoing series of CityAge events that have attracted more than 3,500 city builders across Canada, the Americas, Asia and Europe in the last two years. Please contact us at for any further information or assistance.


DAY 1 ~ June 23rd, 2014

8:45 am Welcome by Conference Master of Ceremonies

8:55 am Introduction to the morning Keynote by: Simon Farbrother, City Manager, City of Edmonton

9:00 am Conference Welcome by: Don Iveson, Mayor, City of Edmonton

9:20 am Introduction by: Julianna Charchun, Chief of Staff, City of Edmonton

9:25 am Presentation by: Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner, City of Toronto

9:45 am Session 1: The Western Cities Edge: Building Our Regions to Compete in the Global Economy
With an influx of global talent and capital, western Canada’s cities are experiencing a period of rapid growth and innovation. This offers a unique opportunity to establish leading edge partnerships and models for economic prosperity, sustainable urban growth and smart government. It’s also a moment that western cities can take leadership in transportation, infrastructure, urban design and regional cooperation. The opening panel will address how to enhance competiveness and reach into international markets, driving prosperity for generations to come.

  • Robert Layton, City Manager, City of Wichita, Kansas
  • Simon Farbrother, City Manager, City of Edmonton
  • Joel Burns, Councilman, City of Fort Worth, Texas

Panel Chair: Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner, City of Toronto

10:30 am Presentation by: Bob Black, Executive Vice President, The Katz Group

10:50 am Morning Networking Break

11:15 am Session 2: The Downtown Renaissance: Re-building the Core of Our Cities
New strategies, design and financing models are being used to re-ignite the latent potential of key areas of cities. Western cities are leading this trend in numerous areas, including Edmonton’s ambitious plans to drive growth in the downtown through investment in a new arena, neighborhood development and cultural institutions. This panel will address how advances in development, architecture and planning can lead a carefully thought out downtown renaissance that will attract talent and stimulate growth

  • Bob Black, Executive Vice President, The Katz Group
  • Scott Ralston, Principal, 360 Architecture
  • Rick Daviss, Director of Arena District, City of Edmonton
  • Tim Romani, CEO, ICON Venue Group

Panel Chair: Simon O’Byrne, Vice President of Urban Design, Stantec

12:00 pm: Presentation by: Leo Lejeune and Nancy MacDonald, Principals, Stantec on Post-Secondary Institutions as Catalysts of Urban Revitalization

12:20 pm Networking Luncheon

1:40 pm Session 3: The Innovation City: New Partnerships to Build Our Economy
As we transition toward an information economy, new partnerships among companies, universities and cities are essential. Which regions are best leveraging knowledge assets to drive economic growth and fully develop human talent? How can universities, the private sector, and municipal leaders cooperate to catalyze the new urban models, technologies and management architectures to exploit the opportunities of the 21st Century? What are the models to emulate and build on?

  • Robin Winsor, President and CEO, Cybera
  • David Atkinson, President, Grant MacEwan University
  • Patrick Draper, City Manager, City of St. Albert
  • Chris Lumb, CEO, TEC Edmonton

Panel Chair: Ruth Kelly, President and CEO, Venture Publishing

2:05 pm Presentation by: Shelly Wiseman, Director, Wifi, Shaw Communications

2:25 pm Presentation by: Evi Mustel, President, The Mustel Group

2:45 pm: Presentation by: Ramtin Attar, Principal Research Scientist, Autodesk Research

3:05 pm: Afternoon break

3:30 pm: Session 4: The Resilient City: How North America’s resource-rich western cities are leading a sustainable urban future
The West’s cities and towns are in a position to take North American and global leadership roles in sustainable growth. What are the transportation, infrastructure and urban planning models that can make western cities and the region leaders in sustainability? At the same time, floods in Calgary and Winnipeg, droughts in other regions and the threat of sea-rise and seismic activity on the West Coast create an imperative: The West’s cities and towns take leadership today to future-proof their cities and economies for tomorrow.

  • Lee Feldman, City Manager, City of Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Chima Nkemdirim, Chief of Staff, City of Calgary
  • Deepak Joshi, City Manager, City of Winnipeg
  • Panel Chair: William Wescott, EVP, Americas, The CoSMo Company

4:15 pm Session 5: ArcticAge: The cities that will define our northern future
Canada’s north is facing rapid population growth and investment in resources. This panel will look at the urban growth plans and infrastructure investments that are necessary for sustainable economic and social development. What are the partnerships to manage growth, maintain and grow essential infrastructure, transportation and energy. How do northern cities best fit into Canada’s export grid.

  • Mark Heyck, Mayor, City of Yellowknife
  • Dan Curtis, Mayor, City of Whitehorse
  • Pierre-Gerlier Forest, Director, Johns Hopkins Institute for Health and Social Policy
  • Marie Wilson, Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Panel Chair: Robert Fernandez, Executive Director, Alberta Economic Development Authority

5:00 pm Day 1 Close

6:00 pm Evening Reception at City Hall with Mayor Iveson and Council

DAY 2 ~ June 24th, 2014

8:45 am           Introduction by Conference MC

9:00 am           Session 6: Growth Cities: How western cities are showing new ways of managing population and economic growth
As the economic gravity tilts to the west, cities are experiencing extraordinary growth in population and business. This presents challenges in urban planning, infrastructure and attracting necessary talent. This panel will look at strategies, business and planning models to prepare western cities for the high-growth future.

  • Karen Scian, Councilor, City of Waterloo
  • Roxanne Carr, Mayor of Strathcona County
  • Glen Davies, City Manager, City of Regina
  • Sandeep Agrawal, Director, City Planning Program, University of Alberta
  • Panel Chair: Don Iveson, Mayor, City of Edmonton

9:45 am           Presentation by: Leo De Bever, CEO, Alberta Investment Management Corporation

10:05 am         Session 7:        Financing the Future: Why Cities are a Good Investment
How to finance the next generation of infrastructure is a major issue facing cities and regions around the world. Western Canadian cities, with their global trading perspective, are an important part of this conversation. What are the right models to finance the creation of future oriented transportation, utility, and digital systems at a citywide and regional scale? How can capital with a long-term horizon be matched with the needed infrastructure in a manner that is in the public interest? What new tools can cities use to finance their operations and infrastructure?

  • Leo De Bever, CEO, AIMCO
  • Darren Sokoloski, Country Director, Acciona Canada
  • Guy Bridgeman, Senior Vice President and CFO, EPCOR
  • Panel Chair: Murray Totland, City Manager, City of Saskatoon

    10:50 am         Morning Break

    11:30 am         Presentation by:        Claire Weisz, Principal, WXY Architecture (New York City)

    11:55 am         Session 8:        Export Cities: Building Globally Competitive City Regions
    In a global economy, it matters how people see you in other markets. Canada’s western cities, towns and communities are small in global trade terms. Together, however, with their people, resources, research institutions and transportation networks they are already important players in export and trade markets. What regional economic development and brand strategies can further empower western cities in the global economy, to further attract financial and human talent? Are there models to follow, or do western cities need to create a new one?

    • Colleen Shepherd, CEO, Calgary Regional Partnership
    • Brad Ferguson, President & CEO, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation
    • Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton Airports
  • Cliff Steward, Vice President, Infrastructure, Port Metro Vancouver
  • Panel Chair: Greg Moore, Chair of Metro Vancouver and Mayor, City of Port Coquitlam

Panel Chair:

1:00 pm         Closing Remarks

Participants Include

  • Abbarch Architecture
  • Alberta Economic Development Authority
  • Alberta Investment Mangement Corporation
  • Alberta Venture
  • Al-Terra Engineering
  • Autodesk
  • Avison Young
  • BMO Nesbitt Burns
  • Braun/Allison
  • Calgary Chamber of Commerce
  • Cameron Communities
  • Capital Region Board
  • City of Calgary
  • City of Edmonton
  • City of Edmonton, Current Planning Branch
  • City of Fort Lauderdale
  • City of Fort Saskatchewan
  • City of Fort Worth
  • City of Nanaimo
  • City of Port Coquitlam
  • City of Prince George
  • City of Regina
  • City of Saskatoon
  • City of St. Albert
  • City of Toronto
  • City of Waterloo
  • City of Whitehorse
  • City of Wichita
  • City of Winnipeg
  • City of Yellowknife
  • City of Yorkton
  • Clemson University
  • Colliers International
  • Cybera
  • Epcor Technologies
  • Edmonton Airports
  • Edmonton Economic Development Corporation
  • Edmonton Journal
  • Edmonton’s NextGen
  • GEC Architecture
  • Grant MacEwan University
  • GSS Integrated Energy Ltd.
  • Kingston Ross Pasnak LLP
  • IBI Group
  • Initiatives Prince George
  • ISL Engineering and Land Services
  • LB Communications
  • Leduc County
  • Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation
  • Lovatt Planning Consultants
  • MADE
  • Manasc Isaac Architects
  • Metro Vancouver
  • MMM Group Limited
  • Oxford Properties Group
  • Port Metro Vancouver
  • River Valley Alliance
  • Qualico
  • Scheffer Andrew Ltd.
  • Shaw Communications
  • Socrata
  • St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce
  • Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • Strathcona County
  • Sturgeon County
  • TEC Edmonton
  • The Katz Group
  • The Mustel Group
  • Town of Beaumont
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Calgary
  • Urban Development Institute
  • Urban Systems
  • Venture Publishing