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Subject to Change

Sunday, October 27, 2024

10:00 A.M. 3:00 P.M.

Field Trip to The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada ($50 U.S.)

Our visit to The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada will offer a unique, hands-on opportunity to foster a deeper connection with these wonderful, gentle animals. Our tour with the executive director and humane education team lead will take us behind the scenes to learn about daily routines and specialized care. We will also have the chance to interact with the donkeys, brushing and petting some of the willing and friendly rescuees as we learn their individual stories and personalities and receive a demonstration in the training arena from one of the sanctuary’s trainers. Our tour will highlight the rehabilitation program, essential for donkeys who have been through neglectful situations in acclimating to their forever home so they can live their best lives. In this serene environment, we will witness firsthand the dedication and compassion that led The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada to win the 2023 Outstanding Sanctuary Award from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries!

Host: Terri Morris, Humane Education Coordinator

1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.

Field Trip to New School Foods (Free)

New School Foods is a Toronto ag-tech company developing the next generation of alternative proteins aiming to reduce animal suffering in our food systems. New School Foods uses a unique muscle fiber and scaffolding technology to produce whole-cut filets that look, cook, taste, and flake just like wild salmon. Probably no one wants New School Foods to succeed more than the Puget Sound resident Orca whales off Washington and British Columbia, whose salmon-only diets are threatened by the fishing industry. This 90-minute tour of New School Foods’ production facility near downtown will be led by founder Chris Bryson, a serial entrepreneur, “alt protein” investor, and farmed animal philanthropist. And yes, Chris says we can sample the product!

Host: Chris Bryson, Founder and CEO

6:00 P.M. 7:30 P.M.

Welcome Reception

Join fellow conference participants for drinks, appetizers, and a visually-moving presentation from award-winning photographer, Jo-Anne McArthur, My Journey in Animal Photojournalism. McArthur is known for her long-term body of work, We Animals.

  • Moderator: Louisa McCune, Kirkpatrick Foundation

Monday, October 28, 2024

7:30 A.M. – 8:30 A.M.


8:45 A.M. – 8:55 A.M.

Conference Welcome and Land Acknowledgement

  • Barbara Cartwright, Humane Canada, Conference Co-Chair
  • Larry Green, Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control, Animal Grantmakers Board President

8:55 A.M. – 9:15 A.M.

From Capitol Hill to Parliament: Building Bridges to Help Animals in Canada and the U.S.

Canada's plant-based power couple's opening talk will set the stage for the international convening.

  • Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Member of Parliament, Beaches - East York
  • Amy Symington, George Brown College
  • Introductions: Barbara Cartwright, Humane Canada

9:15 A.M. – 10:45 A.M.

Animal Law Canada-Style: Advances in Legislation, Caselaw, Advocacy, and Academia

Hear from well-known experts in the animal legal field in Canada. Learn the latest on what is happening in government relations that impact animals in Canada. Then take a deep dive into the latest advances in animal law classes and landmark cases, including the recent victory over Ontario’s "ag-gag" law.

  • Barbara Cartwright, Humane Canada
  • Tara Dobec, Crown Attorney's Office
  • Angela Fernandez, University of Toronto
  • Camille Labchuk, Animal Justice
  • Moderator: Melissa Rubin, Greater Good Charities

10:45 A.M. – 11:00 A.M.

11:00 A.M. – 12:15 P.M.

Changing Tides: A Journey from the Pound to Community-Centered Animal Sheltering

This session will explore the challenges faced by animal shelters in current times and how a community-centered approach can help in providing better care and support to animals and people in need. Our expert speakers will share their experiences and insights on transitioning from a traditional pound model to a community-centered sheltering model, the benefits of this approach, and the impact it has on communities. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about the evolving landscape of animal sheltering and how you can make a difference in the lives of animals and humans alike.

  • Stephanie Filer, Shelter Animals Count
  • Vincent Medley, Human Animal Support Services
  • Owen Sharp, Dogs Trust U.K.
  • Melissa Shupak, Toronto Humane Society
  • Moderator: Maggie Lynch, Human Animal Support Services
  • Introductions: Rory Adams, PetSmart Charities

12:15 P.M. – 1:15 P.M.


1:30 P.M. – 2:40 P.M.

Justice for Animals: Practical Progress through Philosophical Theory

Philosophers have had an outsized influence on the development of the animal movement and on its success in influencing how animals are treated in modern times. Join a preeminent U.S. moral philosopher as she describes a new ethical framework for animals which she has developed based on a “capabilities approach.” Andrew Rowan will follow by leading an interactive discussion on how Nussbaum’s philosophy, along with those articulated by Christine Korsgaard, Peter Singer, Tom Regan, Bernie Rollin, and others, can have a clarifying impact on animal protection initiatives.

  • Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago (virtual presentation)
  • Facilitator and Moderator: Andrew Rowan, Wellbeing International and Edith J. Goode Residuary Trust

2:40 P.M. – 2:50 P.M.


2:50 P.M. – 4:20 P.M.

Canucktivists: Five Fierce Animal Advocates Give TÊD-à-Tête Talks

Five animal advocates working in Canada will go tête-à-tête (back-to-back, or dos-à-dos, may be more accurate) in a series of lively and inspiring TED-esque talks. Extremely popular at our 2022 conference, the 2024 installment promises to be just as mentally stimulating.

  • Rebecca Aldworth, Humane Society International
  • Kendra Coulter, Huron University
  • Sangita Iyer, Author, Filmmaker, Journalist, and Biologist
  • Rob Laidlaw, Zoocheck
  • Lori Marino, Whale Sanctuary Project
  • Moderator: Mitchell Fox, Summerlee Foundation

4:20 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.


4:30 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.

Candid Critiques: What Grantees Really Think of Funders

In this session, we will hear some honest grantee appraisals of funders, including what non-profits want us to learn. Based on Exponent Philanthropy’s publication, “How Grantees Think Funders Can Improve,” we will discuss grantees' constructive feedback and thoughts about how funders can increase their impact and enhance their processes.

  • Brendan McCormick, Exponent Philanthropy
  • Second Speaker (TBA)
  • Moderator: Larry Green, Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control

6:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.

Yappy Hour

Relax and unwind after the first day of sessions at a happy hour for animal lovers.

7:30 P.M. – 9:30 P.M.

Dine Around Toronto (Pay Own Way)

Enjoy a delicious meal around town with other conference participants at one of a selection of Toronto's finest vegan-friendly restaurants.

    Tuesday, October 29, 2024

    7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.


    8:45 A.M. – 9:45 A.M.

    First Nations Reconciliation and Animal Welfare Panel (session is under development)

    • Alison Bressette, Aboriginal Community & Animal Advocacy Connection
    • Elaina Cox, Indigenous Conservation and Relations
    • Pam Kingfisher, Green Country Guardians
    • Moderator (TBA)

    9:45 A.M. – 9:55 A.M.


    9:55 A.M. – 11:25 A.M.

    Planting Seeds of Change: Transformative Strategies to Challenge Animal Farming in Canada

    Dive deep into farmed animal welfare in Canada with many of the country's leading advocates, who will showcase the breadth of strategies used to combat farmed animal suffering, including research, corporate outreach, civil disobedience, plant-based innovation, and improving welfare standards. Against the backdrop of a global movement, the discussion will spotlight the urgent need for progress in Canada, a nation lagging behind in protecting farmed animals compared to other developed nations.

    • Jo Anderson, Faunalytics
    • Lynn Kavanagh, World Animal Protection
    • Giuliana Miguel-Pacheco, Humane Canada
    • PJ Nyman, Mercy for Animals
    • Amy Soranno, Meat the Victims
    • Moderator: Camille Labchuk, Animal Justice

    11:25 A.M. – 11:35 A.M.

    11:35 A.M. – 12:35 P.M.

    North America’s Iconic Lions and Bears: How They’re Faring; How Can Two Nations Ensure Their Survival?

    • Mark Elbroch, Panthera
    • Paul Paquet, Raincoast Conversation
    • Moderator: Melanie Anderson, Summerlee Foundation

    12:35 P.M. – 1:40 P.M.


    1:50 P.M. – 2:05 P.M.

    Third Annual Melanie Anderson Lifetime Excellence in Animal Protection (LEAP) Award

    The Melanie Anderson LEAP Award was established by the Summerlee Foundation and Animal Grantmakers in 2022 to honor Melanie Anderson, Summerlee’s director of animal programs for 32 years. The Award is given every fall at the Animal Grantmakers Conference to an animal advocate who has made a substantial and sustained contribution to the field of animal protection. Geared toward lifetime achievement, the LEAP Award embodies a major concern of Summerlee’s founder, Annie Lee Roberts, who sought out and embraced animal advocates who pushed boundaries, changed the conversation, and advocated for species and creatures often neglected or overlooked.

    When in Canada, honor a Canadian. Or two! This year's LEAP Award winners are:

    • Rob Laidlaw, a chartered biologist and founder of the wildlife protection organization Zoocheck
    • Liz White, a founding member and director of the Animal Alliance of Canada, and leader of the Animal Protection Party of Canada
    • Moderator: Jill Hoffman, Animal Grantmakers (Consultant)

    2:05 P.M. – 3:20 P.M.

    Community Cats: A Researched Path to Success and Community Cats Podcast Live!

    John Boone of the Great Basin Bird Observatory and Stacy LeBaron of the Community Cats Podcast will discuss their foundation-commissioned white paper on the landscape of community cats and new strategies for funder engagement. Bring your toughest questions about community cats to these authors. The second part of this session will be a live episode of the Community Cats Podcast interviewing Canadian documentary filmmaker Aaron Hancox and the executive director of the Canadian Animal Task Force, RJ Bailot. The Community Cats Podcast is the place to learn how to turn your passion for cats into action!

    • RJ Bailot, Canadian Animal Task Force
    • John Boone, Great Basin Bird Observatory
    • Aaron Hancox, Filmmaker
    • Stacy LeBaron, Community Cats Podcast
    • Moderator: Mitchell Fox, Summerlee Foundation

    3:20 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.


    3:30 P.M. – 4:45 P.M.

    Ending Animal Research and Testing: Strategies in Regulation, Biomedicine, and Next-Gen Education

    In this panel presentation and discussion, international, U.S., and Canadian perspectives on animal use in regulatory testing and biomedical research, as well as educating the next generation of scientists, will be offered.

    • Elizabeth Baker, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
    • Charu Chandrasekera, Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods
    • Troy Seidle, Humane Society International
    • Moderator: Andrew Rowan, Wellbeing International and Edith J. Goode Residuary Trust

    6:30 P.M. – 7:15 P.M.

    25th Anniversary Reception

    Celebrate Animal Grantmakers' quarter century of progress on behalf of animals of all stripes and toast our founding members: Melanie Anderson, Summerlee Foundation (Retired; Board Member); Dick Obermanns, Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust (Retired); Andrew Rowan, Wellbeing International and Edith J. Goode Residuary Trust; and, Gary Tabor, Center for Large Landscape Conservation.

    • Moderator: Mitchell Fox, Summerlee Foundation

    7:15 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.

    Gala Dinner

    As Animal Grantmakers' silver anniversary celebration continues over dinner, enjoy a fascinating presentation from Tim Burkhart with Yellowstone to Yukon: Connecting the Wild - The Yellowstone to Yukon Vision for Thriving Wildlife.

    • Moderator: Gary Tabor, Center for Large Landscape Conservation, who also co-founded Yellowstone to Yukon

    Wednesday, October 30, 2024

    7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.


    9:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.

    Annual Business Meeting (Members Only)

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