by Jennie Nilsson & Krista Steeves

Last month an enthusiastic group of WIL practitioners gathered in beautiful Halifax Nova Scotia to learn, share, and collaborate at CEWIL 2023: WIL, A Sea of Opportunity. While the sun did not shine, that could not dampen the wave of enthusiasm and energy as we finally had the opportunity to see each other for our first in-person conference since 2018. We’re happy to report that this year’s conference was our largest conference on record! CEWIL 2023 featured a gathering of exceptional minds, passionate individuals, and groundbreaking ideas that left us inspired and excited for the future.

CEWIL 2023 included: 
- 631 Attendees
- 50 Concurrent sessions
- 96 Presenters
- 8 Community of Practice discussions
- 262 Newcomers (first time attending a CEWIL conference)

The theme of this year's conference, A Sea of Opportunity truly came to life as we explored the ocean of potential of work-integrated learning. With sessions focused on supporting diverse student populations, working with faculty, developing new programs, and employer perspectives, the diverse range of topics covered in our sessions emphasized the transformative power of WIL across disciplines.

The conference kicked off with the incredible Dr. Corey Seemiller sharing her insights on Generation Z(ed): what motivates them, what inspires them, and how to engage them. The expertise and thought leadership of our presenters and speakers provided invaluable insights that inspired a swell of conversations and generated a surge of inspiration. We extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every speaker who graced our stages and shared their knowledge, experience, and resources. 

Beyond the remarkable presentations, the conference was abuzz with networking and collaboration. We witnessed firsthand the magic that happens when colleagues from different backgrounds come together to exchange ideas, form partnerships, and embark on new ventures. One of the most rewarding elements was the engagement in networking opportunities: Sunday welcome receptions, Monday evening dinners, and Tuesday night’s kitchen party showcased just how much we enjoyed getting together in person and genuinely connecting. 
As conference organizers, we are honored to have witnessed the passion, enthusiasm, and brilliance that filled the conference halls throughout these extraordinary days. The connections made, the ideas shared, and the collaborations initiated will have a rippling effect on future initiatives that will shape our WIL practices for the better.

We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to all the attendees: your presence, engagement, and unwavering commitment to sharing and collaborating were the driving force behind this exceptional conference. As we conclude this year’s conference, we eagerly anticipate CEWIL 2024: Reaching New Heights, in Calgary, AB. 

With sincere gratitude,

Krista Steeves and Jennie Nilsson
CEWIL Canada

PS: Interested in volunteering for CEWIL 2024? Reach out to Jennie at [email protected]
PPS: If you haven’t had a chance to fill out the conference feedback survey, please take a few minutes to do so here