A holiday greeting from the CIC

Jennifer Jeffs reflects on an eventful year as she gives a holiday greeting from the CIC.

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1 December, 2011
By: Jennifer Jeffs

Past President of the Canadian International Council (CIC).

As we look back on the events of 2011— the pull back from Afghanistan, developments in our relations with emerging economies, issues surrounding climate and the Arctic, the Arab Spring, the European financial crisis—I urge you to reflect on the importance of Canada’s engagement with the world. This year, thanks to support from our members, volunteers and donors, the Canadian International Council (CIC) made great strides in creating a hub for information on and discussion of international affairs. It is your continued support that allows the CIC to engage Canadians in discussions of global political and economic matters that affect our future.

Discussions of international affairs are increasingly shaped and facilitated by the evolution of technology and media. This year the CIC responded to these changes with several initiatives, including a major research project on international intellectual property (IP), which examined Canada’s IP regime in the international context. Our major report Rights and Rents: Why Canada must harness its intellectual property resources, provoked much media attention and lively discussion across the country. The CIC has delivered dozens of briefings on the report to media, policy-makers, academics, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and CIC members.

A major innovation for the CIC this year was the launch of our new website, OPENCANADA.ORG, which expands national dialogue on international affairs by taking it online, where more people can participate. OPENCANADA.ORG uses web-based tools, social media, and editorial features to host discussions on global issues that fascinate Canadians. Since the spring, we have produced multimedia analyses of topics such as diplomacy in the digital age; the impact of Twitter on international crises; Canada’s legacy in Afghanistan; Canadian diaspora engagement; the impact of Wikileaks on diplomacy, and much more. Our lively online activities would not be possible without financial support from donors.

The CIC’s 2011 events calendar demonstrates the vibrant nature of the 16 volunteer-led branches across the country that hosted over 200 events this year. Panels, conferences and seminars covered a wide range of timely foreign policy issues. My heartfelt thanks to our volunteer branch executive members, and in particular to our volunteer branch presidents, who give their time and energy so generously to the CIC.

As a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, the success of CIC programs depends on donations. As 2011 draws to a close, I invite you to make a tax deductible charitable contribution to the CIC. Our mandate to foster discussion and debate of international issues would not be possible without your generous support. Donations can be made online by clicking here, or by phone, credit card or cheque payable to the Canadian International Council. Click here to download a donation form.

Along with the CIC board, staff and volunteers, I extend my warmest wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy holiday season.

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Open Canada is published by the Canadian International Council, but that’s only the beginning of what the CIC does. Through its research and live events hosted by its 18 branches across the country, the CIC is dedicated to engaging Canadians from all walks of life in an ongoing conversation about Canada’s place in the world.

By becoming a member, you’ll be joining a community of Canadians who seek to shape Canada’s role in the world, and you’ll help Open Canada continue to publish thoughtful and provocative reporting and analysis.

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