About the conference

Heart of the City will gather a unique cross-section of city park enthusiasts from across Canada, including community and non-profit group leaders, government staff, funders and park professionals.

Join us in Montreal for three days of sharing, collaborating and relationship building hosted by Park People, an independent charity that supports and mobilizes people to help them activate the power of parks to improve quality of life in cities across Canada.

Registration will open in the new year.  Suscribe to receive our conference newsletter to be the first to know about speakers, activities and bursary options.

Thanks to the generous support of TD through its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, and in partnership with City of Montreal, Heart of the City will provide city park leaders and champions unrivalled opportunities to:

  • Meet inspiring park people from across Canada
  • Discover how inspiring leaders are re-imagining and enhancing city parks
  • Tour some of Montreal’s most innovative parks and public spaces
  • Participate in hands-on workshops

Call for workshop and presentation proposals on BALANCE 

Are you working on or planning a great park project that you’d like to share with other park champions from across Canada? Send us your idea for inclusion in Park People’s 2019 national conference in Montreal (June 12-14).


Conference Theme


The theme of the conference is BALANCE. As our shared public spaces, parks are often at the centre of struggles to find the right balance. Balance can be about working with different interests, users, stakeholders, and partners; it can be about promoting mental health, social inclusion, and intercultural dialogue; and it can be about balancing tradition and innovation, nature and culture, creating a balanced park system, public and private investment. We want to hear from you about how you promote a sense of balance in your work.

We are inviting submissions for presentations, discussions, and activities for plenary sessions (200 delegates) and small groups (10-50 people) to take place on June 13 or 14, 2019. We’re interested in innovative, interactive formats, including short presentations, group discussions, hands-on workshops, outdoor tours, and more. However, you don’t need to have a delivery format in mind yet. If you are selected we will work with you to create a great learning experience for you and other delegates.

We’d love to receive proposals from organizations, community groups, professionals, academia, and government from across Canada. We would particularly like to encourage proposals from members of community park groups including ‘Friends of’ park groups and volunteer-led collectives and from non-profit organizations and foundations that work to animate and improve city parks, or who leverage the power of parks to achieve their missions.

To submit your proposal, please fill in this short online form by midnight December 19, 2018. You can download a Word version to prepare your answers before submitting, but please note that we would prefer to receive your submission online. We will inform all applicants of our final decision by early January, 2019.


We will program a variety of formats. These could include short presentations followed by a lively Q&A, panel discussions, interactive indoor or outdoor workshops, and guided walks. We welcome your format suggestions, as we want to hear from you how you could best present your project. We will work with selected applicants to create a memorable learning experience for all participants.

Selection process

We are looking for innovative projects and ideas that will make a difference to the Park People network because they are inspiring, contain insights that are applicable to other contexts, or reveal a complex process. All submission will be carefully reviewed by Park People staff.  

We may get in touch with you for further questions or clarification as part of our selection process.

Conference registration will open in early 2019.



Submit your ideas electronically or download the word document

Any questions? Get in touch with kcarriere@parkpeople.ca, Senior Project Manager.

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