Enabling Civil Society: Democracy & Dissent Conference

The videos are a series of livestreamed recordings from the Enabling Civil Society: Democracy & Dissent conference held in Montreal, QC on October 20, 2017.

During the conference, civil society leaders, academics, students and practitioners explored and discussed ways in which legal, regulatory, and policy frameworks can support civil society to flourish. Selected themes that are central to enabling civil society and re-imagining our relationship with civil society were addressed, including: global developments in civil society and human rights; modernizing Canada’s regulatory framework for charities and creating space for advocacy; the impact of national security measures on the enabling environment for civil society, and the role of “safe spaces” in free speech, advocacy, and dissent. The evening public lecture dealt with the topic of international perspectives on risks faced by civil society.

Thanks to funding from the Rubin Foundation, social media was used to invite nonprofit leaders and other actors in the environmental and social justice movements to share their views about the key challenges facing civil society today and to engage with a broader audience before, during and after the conference. Voices-Voix's social media channel was used to broadcast the sessions during the conference and the recordings of the livestreaming are shared here.

For more information:


  • 1. #EnablingCivilSociety Conference - Opening remarks
  • 2. #EnablingCivilSociety Conference Panel 1 - Why Enable Civil Society? (part 1)
  • 3. #EnablingCivilSociety Conference Panel 1 - Why Enable Civil Society? (part 2)
  • 4. #EnablingCivilSociety Conference Panel 2 - Does Canada Enable Civil Society?
  • 5. #EnablingCivilSociety Conference Panel 3 - National Security and Civil Society
  • 6. #EnablingCivilSociety Conference Panel 4 - Safe Spaces and Free Expression Rountable
  • 7. #EnablingCivilSociety Conference - Closing remarks
  • 8. #EnablingCivilSociety Conference - Public Lecture (part 1)