Origins of the BC Land Summit

The concept of the BC Land Summit emerged from discussions between several land use professions, which were facilitated through a professional roundtable. The mutual benefits of collaborating on a joint conference were soon apparent, and a decision to proceed was taken by a number of the participating professions.

During 2002 a partnership was formed, and planning began for the first innovative and unique joint land related conference – the BC Land Summit – began. It was held in 2004. Following on its success, the participating organizations renewed their partnership to hold a second Summit in 2009.

With the continued success of the BC Land Summit, following the 2009 conference the original partner organizations agreed to form a new permanent non-profit Society — the BC Land Summit Society — to organize and host future Summits. The most recent Summit was held in 2014. Read on for more details about the first three BC Land Summit conferences…

The 2004 BC Land Summit

The first BC Land Summit conference successfully unfolded May 12th to 14th, 2004, at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. The conference was a great success, with the participation of over 700 professionals.

The 2004 conference theme was “Working Together For Better Results”. The program further focused on four broad sub-themes including: governance, the value of land, changing land use patterns, and information & understanding.

Keynote speakers at the 2004 Summit included: Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, author, futurist, and academic; Dr. Marc Imhoff, Earth observation expert with NASA; Andro Linklater, author and journalist in politics and the arts, science, and technology; and Roberta Jamieson, Chief of the Six Nations Band in Ontario, conflict resolution and diversity expert.

The 2009 BC Land Summit

The second BC Land Summit successfully unfolded May 20th to 22nd, 2009 at the Whistler Conference Centre, in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia. The conference included the participation of the Land Trust Alliance of BC, and attracted over 800 participants.

The 2009 conference theme was “A Better Future: Adapting to Change”. The program further focused on four broad sub-themes including: changing environments – natural & cultural diversity; a world of change – growth & globalization; change in motion – movement, transportation & travel; and changing place & space – communities in transition.

Keynote speakers at the 2009 Summit included: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., leading environmental activist and lawyer, Sherry Kafka-Wagner, urban design and public place development consultant; Dr. Richard Hebda curator of botany and earth history; and Thomas Berger QC, OBC, leader, lawyer and former Justice of the Supreme Court of BC.

The 2014 BC Land Summit

The third BC Land Summit successfully unfolded May 14th to 16th, 2014 at the Sheraton Wall Centre, in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference was the first organized under the new BC Land Summit Society, and attracted over 800 participants.

The 2014 conference theme was “Collaborations & Connections”. The program further focused on four broad sub-themes including: food & agriculture; law & the land; the natural & built environment; and water & the land.

Keynote speakers at the 2014 Summit included: Chris Hadfield, astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station; Catherine Murray, co-host and anchor for BNN and former VP at Deutsche Bank; Wade Davis, anthropologist, author & explorer; and Louise Mandell, Queen’s Counsel and Doctor of Laws (Hon.).


The 2019 BC Land Summit will take place May 8th to 10th, 2019 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver, British Columbia.


The 2019 BC Land Summit program will be full of rich, diverse and interdiciplinary content related to land and land-use. The program will feature a range of diverse elements, including: inspiring keynote speakers, engaging hands-on workshops, informative panel presentations and breakout sessions, mobile workshop tours "in the field," and more.


Keynote speakers include Nobel Peach Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier and Harvard University Professor of Economics Edward Glaeser. Comedian/impersonater Mark Critch is a featured evening presenter.


A range of professional networking events and opportunities will further enhance the program.


Registration ends at noon on Friday, May 3, 2019