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Supplier Diversity at Defy Conference in Montreal

Forge the Future at DEFY 2024 – Canada’s Largest Supplier Diversity Conference

April 18, 2024

Canada’s 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC), Canadian Aboriginal and Supplier Minority Council (CAMSC), and Inclusive Workplace and Supply Council of Canada (IWSCC), (Supplier Diversity Alliance of Canada – SDAC), together with WEConnect International as the event partner, join forces to bring you DEFY Conference 2024, Canada’s largest Supplier Diversity event. Happening June 12 – 14, 2024, at Le Centre Sheraton Hotel in Montréal, QC, Canada!

DEFY 2024 is SDAC’s first EVER 3-day conference, bringing together diverse entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, government, and ecosystem partners to learn, connect, and drive change through business through workshops, keynotes, matchmaking sessions, and fun-filled events. It promises to be an unmatched diverse supplier experience.

As we navigate the rapidly changing waters in both political and economic spheres, we often ask ourselves how to DEFY the odds. How do we challenge tradition and encourage new and innovative solutions? How do we channel our companies in the right direction? Ultimately, how do we support and facilitate our companies to grow and expand their footprint across borders?

The DEFY conference welcomes hundreds of suppliers and corporations from across four vibrant networks, giving you unprecedented opportunities for learning, connection, and growth.

What to expect at DEFY 2024?

  • Inspirational Keynotes: Hear from industry leaders and gain insights that will help shape your growth in meaningful ways;
  • Diverse Networking Opportunities: Forge connections with like-minded entrepreneurs and corporate leaders, and open the door to valuable new partnerships;
  • Interactive Workshops: Sharpen your skills and stay ahead of the curve with engaging breakout sessions. Expand on topics such as AI, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Sustainability to take your knowledge to the next level;
  • Trade Show Floor: Showcase your business and connect with new partners through a dynamic trade show featuring sponsors, corporations and suppliers from all industries and tiers;
  • Exclusive Matchmaking Sessions: Tailored specifically for certified suppliers and corporate partners, these sessions open the door to strategic collaborations across the SDAC network.

Learning Tracks: Boost your career with diversity specialists

If you’re coming to DEFY 2024 to accelerate your career in diversity, we’ve got you covered! With plenty of content divided into three learning tracks, you’ll have your hands full for the three days. Take a look at this overview of topics for the conference!

AI in the Spotlight

  • How do you integrate AI into the procurement process – Using Generative AI to improve processes 
  • What are the best practices for leveraging AI in procurement 
  • AI in procurement – Value of AI and Data 

Sustainability in the Supply Chain

  • Forging a Path to Sustainability – Best Practices and the road map to a net zero 
  • Scope 3 Emissions – Getting it done 
  • Carbon Credits – Compensating for GHG 

Diversity and Inclusion

  • Defining experience (Supplier Perspective) – How can a diverse supplier communicate their collective (i.e. pro & lived) experience to overcome barriers to entry in procurement? 
  • Defining experience (Buyer Perspective) – What are effective/creative strategies for guiding requirements in procurement to recognize the collective experience of a diverse-owned, possibly small or young business?
  • Embracing Authenticity – Branding Workshop for 2SLGBTQI+ Entrepreneurs designed specifically for 2SLGBTQI+ entrepreneurs seeking to develop and enhance their brand identity while staying authentic
  • Moving Economic Reconciliation beyond Token Gestures 
  • Gender Equality, Breaking The Bias, Women’s Economic Empowerment, The Funding Gap, and others.


Attending DEFY 2024 helps your company increase the impact of your event budget:

  • DEFY 2024 unites attendees from across all SDAC networks;
  • More suppliers and corporations attending means more business opportunities! By attending DEFY 2024, you will network with attendees from CAMSC (Indigenous, racialized groups and minority-owned and refugee–owned businesses), CGLCC (2SLGBTQI+-owned companies), IWSCC (Veterans and people with disabilities who own businesses), and WEConnect International (women-owned businesses);
  • Connect with both suppliers and corporations/governments in the same event.

Getting to DEFY 2024 – Travel and Accommodation

We are pleased to present travel discounts on air and rail transit for DEFY 2024. To learn more about these options, please contact

Looking for accommodations in Montréal? Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel is offering a special group rate.

  • $279 CAD per night
    • Start Date:  June 11, 2024
    • End Date: June 14, 2024
  • ​​Last Day to Book: May 17, 2024

Looking for more ways to put your company in the spotlight? For DEFY sponsorship opportunities, please contact Seema Kapoor at