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10th Anniversary ideaCity Conference Focuses on Women, Moves to New Venue

ideaCity creator Moses Znaimer introduced each of the speakers at the event, held for the first time at the Royal Conservatory of Music's Koerner Hall. Photo: BizBash

ideaCity creator Moses Znaimer introduced each of the speakers at the event, held for the first time at the Royal Conservatory of Music's Koerner Hall.

Photo: BizBash

Although the conference's format remains unchanged, event creator Moses Znaimer chose to adopt an “All Girl/All Star” theme for the 10th annual ideaCity—a three-day gathering that got under way at Koerner Hall, in the Royal Conservatory of Music's Telus Centre for Performance and Learning, on Wednesday.

“We'd sometimes hear there aren't enough women on the stage. Thinking ahead, we decided to go with an all-women's conference,” said Znaimer, ideaCity's presenter and executive producer.

As in past years, the lineup includes 50 speakers, each of whom has 20 minutes to present. Author Margaret Atwood, Grammy winner Judy Collins, comedian Emily Levine, and sex columnist Josey Vogels are among the women taking to the stage during the three days. (The event also includes a few token male performers, like crooner Matt Dusk and singer-songwriters Big Rude Jake and Adam Cohen.)

The unscripted event—known as Canada's premier meeting of the minds and often likened to the TED conference in the United States—is also being held in a new venue this year. The move from the University of Toronto's Isabel Bader Theatre to the Royal Conservatory saw the number of attendees increase from a capped 497 to 700.

“We outgrew the Bader Theatre,” said Nicole Litmola, who manages the conference along with Ashley Deland. “This is our 11th year, so we're entering our second decade and we really wanted to kick off with something different.”

To mark the 10th anniversary, the event is being being streamed live to students at universities across the country for the first time. Webcasts can also be viewed at a cost of $1,000 for the three days. (The cost to attend in person varies from $2,500 to $4,000, depending on the date of registration.)

The conference wraps Friday with a party at the Rosewater Supper Club.


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