WestDef 2018



Building a Sustainable and Innovative Defence Industry in Canada
Please find below the program for WestDef 2018. Items and speakers are subject to change.

Conference Sessions & Keynotes:


Event / Speaker / Topic

Tues, June 26



Trade Show Floor Set-up


WestDef Early Delegate Registration




WestDef Opening Rendezvous Reception

 A fireside chat with Mr. David Perry, Vice President & Senior Analyst, CGAI

We will engage a lively discussion with David Perry about the activities that have or haven't taken place in the last year since "Strong, Secure and Engaged" was released. Also participating in this event will be WestDef Chairman Jim Gillespie





Wed, June 27

WestDef 2018 Conference Agenda (subject to minor changes)


Continental breakfast available


Opening Remarks – Jim Gillespie, Peraton/ Doug Brown, WCDIA Chair

Special Presentation - John Rathwell, General Manager, RCL Calgary Branches Poppy Fund & Veterans Food Bank


“Are we missing something?” - NATO Support Procurement Agency Opportunities for Canadian Industry -
LT Col Martin Bedard, Canadian Liaison Officer at NSPA

Q&A Session facilitated by:

Monica Morrison, Commerce Officer, Directorate of Industry Relations, Analysis and Policy, Department of National Defence


Session 1 – Economic Development “Activities in Alberta related to Aerospace, Defence and Unmanned Vehicles”

Moderator: Denean Tomlin, President, WCDIA


·         Kirk Soroka, Councillor – City of Cold Lake /Economic Dev. Committee

·         Bob Bezpalko, Executive Director, Northeast Alberta Information HUB

·         Tyler Westover, Manager, Sturgeon County Economic Development

·         Court Ellingson, ‎Vice President Research and Strategy, Calgary Economic Development

·         Jon Sookocheff, Director, Business Development, Invest Medicine Hat


Networking/Coffee Break


Session 2 – Industrial Technological Benefits (Offsets) Panel

Discussion of current programs and opportunities that exist for SME’s and academia to participate

Moderator: Penny Leach, P Leach & Associates



·         Peraton – Tanya Thordarson, Contracts/Sub-Contracts and ITB’s

·         Babcock – Gary Payne, Director, Industrial Cooperation & Industrial Benefits (Offsets)

·         L3 MAS - Joe Gazalé, Manager, Business Development & Industrial Participation

·         Raytheon - TBD


Lunch Buffet available


Luncheon Keynote – A New Finance Perspective on Strong Secure Engaged and how things will change.

Julie Charon, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister and Deputy Chief Financial Officer at Department of National Defence


Session 3 – B2B Café (B2B Café remains open until 1530)




Networking/Coffee Break


Session 4 – Government Funding & Support Programs

Moderator – Clayton Myhill, Manager of Business Development, Microlynx Systems Ltd.


·         IDEaS - Eric Fournier, Director General S&T Strategic Decision Support, Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security

·         ISC - Robert Smith, Executive Director, Innovative Solutions Canada

·         BCIP – Kevin Turner, Regional Director, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises, Public Services and Procurement Canada

·         Defence Construction Canada – Grant Sayers, Regional Director, Western Region

·         WD Programs – Elliot Hewitt, Manager, Western Economic Diversification Canada

·         DND Public Affairs Office – Captain Lazlo Benak, Outreach Coordinator, National Defence Public Affairs Office


WestDef 2018 Delegate Reception

Thurs, June 28



Continental breakfast available


Opening Remarks


Keynote Address – How the Defence Industry can influence the Approach and Structure of Future ISS Programs

Jason Kaddatz, DND Program Manager, Sustainment Initiative, DND Materiel Group


Session 5 – In Service Support Panel

Discussion of In Service Support and Procurement; the evolution of Defence Sustainment and how success will be measured


·         Jim Gillespie, Vice President, Canada – Moderator & Panellist

·         Jason Kaddatz, DND Program Manager, Sustainment Initiative, DND Materiel Group

·         David Coffey, Director of Strategy & Planning

·         Rick Fawcett, Director TacCIS Solutions (inv)

·         Mike Mallon, General Manager, Bell (inv)


Networking/Coffee Break


Session 6 – Defence 4.0 - Innovation & Academia

The objective of the academic panel is to showcase the capabilities and related aerospace, defence and security activities/projects currently underway in the various universities, colleges and technical institutes in western Canada. 

Moderator: Marius Ghinescu, Sr. Systems Engineering Manager, Raytheon


·         Dr. Ken Whitehead, UAV mapping and applications specialist, SAIT

·         Dr. Frank Maurer, Associate Dean, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, University of Calgary

·         Dr. Artem Korobenko. Assistant Professor, University of Calgary, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

·         Keith Culver, Professor and Associate Dean for Regional Innovation Practice, Director, UBC STAR Survive and Thrive Applied Research, UBC


Lunch Buffet available


Luncheon Keynote – Robin Winsor, CYBERA, President and CEO


Fresh from his TEDxYYC presentation, Mr. Robin Winsor will engage the audience with a thought provoking and mentally stimulating presentation on AI and our future.



Session 7 – Defence 4.0 – Innovation & Industry

The industry panel where companies will discuss/present the development of these technologies and provide examples of SME’s developing these technologies in Western Canada.

Future technologies discussed:

Advanced materials, Artificial intelligence, Cyber resilience, Remotely piloted systems and autonomous technologies, Space systems

Moderator: Kim Grant, Director of Technology and Capture Strategy


·        Jeff LaFrenz, President, VizworX

·        Marius Ghinescu, Sr. Systems Engineering Manager, Raytheon

·        Nathan Cicoria, VP Technical Systems, Aerium Analytics

·       John Molberg, Business Development Manager, Lockheed Martin CDL Systems

·       Gerry Darichuk, President, Alberta Injection Molding


Networking/Coffee Break


Closing Remarks

Plenary Sessions:

June 26
Future Fighter Workshop – Economic Benefits Approach & Potential Opportunities

Event details:

Date: June 26, 2018 (WestDef 2018 Plenary session)

Time: 12:30-5:00

Location: Coast Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre – 1316 33 St. NE, Calgary, AB


About the Workshop

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) along with Western Economic Diversification (WD), and the WCDIA will host a free workshop in advance of the WestDef conference to provide information on the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) to Alberta industry and other stakeholders.

This is your opportunity to learn more about the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy, as well as the Value Proposition approach for economic benefits for the FFCP, including areas such as sustainment of the fleet. Feedback from Canadian stakeholders is a crucial component to help Canada refine our approach for economic benefits. This is your chance to engage and provide direct feedback to the Government of Canada on this once in a generation opportunity.

About the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP)

The Government of Canada has launched an open and transparent competition to replace Canada’s CF-18 fleet with 88 advanced fighter aircraft. This is the most significant investment in the Royal Canadian Air Force in over 30 years. Canada’s ITB Policy applies to this procurement, and will require the winning bidder to make investments in Canada equal to the value of the contract.

*Please note that although potential original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for this project may be present as part of the WestDef Conference, they will not be participating formally in this workshop.

**Don't forget to register for the WestDef 2018 Opening Rendezvous Reception happening directly following the Future Fighter Forum. Join us for light fare, refreshments and a lively discussion with Mr. David Perry, Vice President & Senior Analyst with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute about the activities that have or haven't taken place in the last year since "Strong, Secure and Engaged" was released.

Tickets are $45


*Due to the overwhelming response to the Future Fighter Forum, WCDIA has decided to postpone the ITB workshop to October 3-4, 2018*

Industrial Technological Benefits workshop - “Getting in the Game” ITB’s for SME’s


This 2 day workshop is focused on providing the information required to understand the ITB framework and what it takes for an SME to “Get in the Game” of defence procurement. At the end of the workshop all participants will have prepared and revised their value proposition, presented it to a peer group as well as having the opportunity to sit one on one with prime defence contractors for feedback.