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Major academic conference coming back to Edmonton next year

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is Canada's biggest academic conference and will be hosted by the U of A in spring 2021.
Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is Canada's biggest academic conference and will be hosted by the U of A in spring 2021. Nicole Stillger / Global News

Canada’s biggest academic conference will be hosted by the University of Alberta in spring 2021.

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is an initiative that will bring together up to 10,000 people in the city to exchange ideas.

Researchers, grad students and policy-makers all from different academic backgrounds — and from universities and colleges across the country — will attend the conference.

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The theme this year is northern relations — highlighting pressing issues in the country’s northern communities.

U of A president David Turpin calls Edmonton the gateway to the north.

“So much of the connection between the rest of Canada and the north occurs through the city of Edmonton,” Turpin said.

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“This is a perfect fit for the theme and the U of A.”

He said the conference will be an “incredible benefit to the north and to Edmonton.”

“We’ll learn everything from issues around environment, issues around climate… economic development,” Turpin explained.

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“Things about housing, social structure and governance in rural and remote communities.”

With thousands of people coming to Edmonton, the city expects an economic boost of up to $16 million.

“The hotel rooms, the chance for people to see one of the nation’s best food scenes, and get out into our river valley and form a positive impression of our city — leave a few of their dollars behind — is going to be great for the city,” Mayor Don Iveson said.

Congress also features Canada’s largest academic trade show.

The conference runs from May 29 until June 4, next year.

The last time the U of A hosted Congress was in 2000.