Technology and Creativity in Canada

CCBC resumes mission to C2, the event held in Montreal that encourages participants to learn about innovative and creative solutions

By Sérgio Siscaro

Finding the path to the future through access to ideas and companies that promote innovative solutions. This is the main objective of the participants of the C2 conference, event that was once again held in person between September 26 and 28 of this year, in Montreal. As could not be otherwise, the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC) resumed its initiative to promote a mission that, between September 25 and 30, took Brazilian entrepreneurs, startups and business leaders to the event.

As in all its editions, C2 had a specific theme this year: Montreal Ignited. According to the organization, the choice sought to highlight Montreal’s role as a hub for creative business, innovation and opportunities. The group of selected speakers included Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, singer, songwriter, actress, author, and mental health advocate Michelle Williams, Desjardins Group CEO Guy Cormier, and CDPQ Group Senior Director for Sustainable Investments François Crémet, among others.

Even though the data for the 2022 edition has not been released, the numbers from the 2019 C2 (the last in-person before the Covid-19 pandemic) give an idea of the size of the conference. That year saw some 7,500 attendees from 61 countries, representing 34 sectors of the economy. Of the total, 57% of the visitors were executives or senior managers, and 33% were CEOs. In addition, the importance of the conference as a place for networking was proven: about 70,000 contacts were exchanged.


Stimulating new ideas

This year, the CCBC mission was carried out in partnership with the São Paulo Investment and Competitiveness Promotion Agency (InvestSP) and with the support of the Quebec government, the Brazilian Association of Design Companies (Abedesign) and the Santa Catarina Technology Association (Acate). Nineteen participants were brought together, in addition to five guests from the Quebec government, who had access to three days of event, with dozens of initiatives, including labs, masterclasses experiences, and interaction activities. In addition, CCBC promoted two days of visits to Canadian companies related to the entertainment and creative economy areas, such as Cirque du Soleil, Valtech, a company focused on enhancing customer experience in connected environments, and the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, which has inserted innovative solutions into different business models and cultures.

“Our objective in promoting this mission was to provide Brazilian companies with the opportunity to learn about the latest developments at C2 and take advantage of them to improve their operations here in Brazil. The partnership with InvestSP was focused on the creative economy and entertainment areas, but CCBC brought its DNA of business promoter through specific activities,” says CCBC’s international business consultant, Armínio Calonga Jr.

He highlights the importance of having InvestSP as a partner in this edition of C2. “The agency has a program, Creative SP, through which companies that apply in a public notice and are selected receive subsidies to participate in this type of event – which encourages the introduction and creation of innovative solutions by them. In this edition, CCBC acted as curator of all InvestSP activities at C2, developing a schedule of visits.”


Contacts and interactivity

According to the CCBC consultant, one of the activities promoted by the Chamber at the C2 was a networking happy hour, in which 13 Canadian companies from the events, entertainment and animation segments were able to exchange contacts and information with Brazilian participants of the mission with whom they had affinity. “As a result of this and other activities, there is the prospect that two or three of the contacts made at C2 will develop into possible business deals – especially in the area of events,” he adds.

One of the distinguishing points of C2 is the fact that the event provides an active participation of visitors to its activities – and not a passive posture. “Unlike other innovation-oriented festivals, the conference put a lot of emphasis on the immersion of the participants in various activities, such as workshops and labs, in which companies could take part actively. It is quite different from being part of that content, and not merely sitting down to watch a lecture,” points out CCBC’s Commercial Intelligence coordinator, Beatriz Calegare.

Another highlight of the conference was Braindate, an initiative that allowed the mission participants, through the event’s website, to schedule meetings with representatives of companies and institutions present at the C2. “With this, it was possible to create a whole new experience, besides networking, establishing relationships, and exchanging information about topics of their interest,” concludes Calonga Jr. He adds that CCBC should promote an event to divulge the mission’s results, and already announce a new edition for next year.