Friday, May 26
Canada is set to grow in the coming years – and that’s a good thing. As more newcomers proudly settle in Canadian communities, it is critical that municipalities anticipate that growth and are ready for it. Join FCM’s leadership for a discussion with elected leaders and experts from around the country on the challenges and opportunities facing municipalities as they seek to build communities that are healthy, safe, inclusive and focused on providing the best possible quality of life for a fast-growing Canadian population.
Zahra Ebrahim, CEO & Co-Founder, Monumental
Zahra is a public interest designer and strategist, focused on shifting power to people who are typically underrepresented in institutions and systems. Her work has focused on deep, community-led approaches to policy, infrastructure, and service design. She is the CEO of Monumental, an organization focused on supporting an equitable recovery from COVID-19 through building fair and just cities and institutions, producing creative, socially-driven initiatives, and amplifying BIPOC leadership. Prior to this role, she built and led Doblin Canada (Deloitte’s Human-Centred Design practice), focusing on engaging diverse sets of stakeholders to use human-centred design to address complex organizational and industry challenges. In her early career, Zahra led one of Canada’s first social design studios, working with communities to co-design towards better social outcomes and leading some of Canada’s most ambitious participatory infrastructure and policy programs. Zahra has taught at OCADU, MoMA, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. She is the Vice-Chair of the Canadian Urban Institute, and the Board Chair for Park People.
Brandon Burley, Mayor, Morden MB
Brandon Burley is a Canadian politician who currently serves as the Mayor of Morden, a city in the province of Manitoba. He was first elected to the position in 2018 and was re-elected in 2022.
Prior to his career in politics, Burley worked in the financial sector for over 15 years, specializing in agricultural lending. He also served as the Vice President of the Morden Chamber of Commerce and was an active member of the local business community.
As Mayor, Burley is committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Morden by promoting economic growth, investing in infrastructure, and enhancing community services. He is also passionate about sustainability and has been a strong advocate for renewable energy and environmental initiatives.
Burley holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, skiing, and spending time with his family.
Jyoti Gondek, Mayor, City of Calgary, AB
Jyoti Gondek is Calgary’s 37th mayor and the first woman to hold this position, elected on October 25, 2021. Previously, she served as a city councillor for Ward 3 from 2017 to 2021 and holds a Ph.D. in urban sociology and an M.A. in organizational sociology. Throughout her career, Mayor Gondek has taken a big picture approach to pressing challenges, questioning established processes and policies to drive meaningful improvements. She recognizes the urgent need to address issues such as economic recovery, climate crisis, affordable housing, truth and reconciliation, and women’s participation in the labor force with bold solutions rooted in economic, social, and environmental resilience. Mayor Gondek’s professional background includes leading the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business and running a successful consulting practice for 12 years. She is committed to building diverse and connected communities through cross-sector partnerships and is honored to serve Calgarians as their mayor.
Antoine Tardif, Mayor, Victoriaville, QC
Antoine Tardif, elected mayor of Victoriaville on October 1, 2021, holds a master's degree in public administration and graduated from McGill University with degrees in economics, politics, and management. With his solid professional background, including years as a political advisor to a Member of Parliament and as one of the youngest mayors in Quebec, Tardif is committed to realizing Victoriaville's full potential. He also has experience as a junior hockey goaltender for three organizations in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Driven by a desire to promote health and well-being for all generations, Tardif aims to make Victoriaville a city of choice in Quebec. He is determined, curious, and humane, and his vision is both dynamic and unifying. Through sound financial management and endless opportunities for innovative projects, Tardif believes Victoriaville can be a thriving city where everyone can flourish.