Back to 2017 CITAP  AGM

2017 CITAP AGM – Guest Speaker 

Caroline Yang
CHRP, Cross-Cultural Communication Author

Charlotte Bell of TIAC - CITAP Winter Function 2016

Born and raised in China, Caroline studied in Canada as an exchange student and later immigrated to Canada in 2000. She is a human resources professional and has worked with multinational organizations in Canada and China, supporting multicultural teams of highly skilled technical professionals. Caroline presented at many conferences and events to promote cross-cultural communication. She was interviewed by CBC to share her advice on cross-cultural communication.

Caroline has multiple publications on cross-cultural leadership and teamwork. She co-authored the book Danger and Opportunity: Bridging Cultural Diversity to Competitive Advantage. Caroline graduated from York University with a Master of Human Resources Management.

Cross-Cultural Communication with Tourists to Canada

Cross-cultural communication with tourists requires cultural awareness and sensitivities. People growing up in different cultures communicate in different ways. What is meant to be respectful and helpful may be misunderstood or mis-communicated as not respectful or helpful. Using insightful diagrams and powerful real life examples, this interactive workshop will discuss verbal and non-verbal communication differences between Canada and many other cultures. Participants will learn tips and pointers to navigate through possible pitfalls in cross-cultural communication. We will also discuss specific communication strategies that tourism service providers can implement when receiving guests from other cultures.

Learning Objectives – this workshop will help participants

  • Understand the impact of culture on how people think communicate and behave
  • Use knowledge in cultural differences to put yourself in the shoes of others
  • Discuss how to communicate more effectively with visitors from diverse cultures
  • Create a forum to discuss cultural differences in a constructive way

Main Topics

Differentiating Generalizations and Stereotypes

  • Cultural differences cannot be discussed without generalizing, which is different from stereotyping.
  • Generalization helps us use our knowledge of cultural differences to put ourselves in the shoes of people from different cultures so that we can work together more effectively.

Cross-Cultural Communication

  • Verbal: English as second language; chit-chat and introduction; direct and indirect communication
  • Non verbal: The use of silence; expressing emotions; gestures
  • Three touch-point communication strategy: pre-arrival; on site; when spotting undesirable behaviours

Who should adapt to whom?

  • Immigrants to Canada are making a lot of effort to adapt to living and working in Canada while being helped by Canadian employers, co-workers and neighbours.
  • Canadian businesses need to determine how much we want to adapt to service multicultural customers.


2017 CITAP AGM – Keynote Speaker 

Sébastien Sasseville
Inspirational Endurance Athlete

Keith Henry of ATAC - CITAP Winter Function 2016

Sébastien Sasseville inspires organizations to create empowered cultures of excellence. An endurance athlete, Sasseville’s extraordinary accomplishments—which include summiting Mount Everest, completing the mythical Sahara race, and running across Canada—are made all the more impressive by the fact that he lives with Type 1 Diabetes. Turning his incredible experiences into concrete lessons applicable to the business world, Sasseville’s marries business with inspiration to speak on change management, peak performance and leadership.

From Mount Everest to the Sahara, Sébastien Sasseville had to transform to survive and conquer. Within companies and organizations, those who resist change don’t last. Supported by superb imagery, Sebastien helps his audience to understand that change is a culture, not an action.

Change management is a daily practice. Corporate agility is the goal. When we are agile, we utilize change, rather than being reactive and dictated by change. Successful businesses and individuals create change, they don’t react to it. They set the tone and force their competition to adapt.

Infusing his presentations with the energy, humor, and emotions he deployed while undertaking all his challenges, Sasseville, who is fully bilingual, shows how far we can go when we do a little bit every day, and that nothing should stand in the way on the path toward success. To date, he has spoken to over 200 audiences across North America, for clients including CIBC, Johnson & Johnson, Telus, L’Oreal, Merck, Hewitt and the Office of the Auditor General of Canada .

In 2008, Sasseville reached the summit of Mount Everest. In the following years, he went on to complete six Ironman races and the Sahara 250 kilometre self-supported ultra-marathon. In 2014, he took on the biggest challenge of his life: a solo, 7200 km run across Canada, the equivalent of 170 marathons in nine months.

Frequently recognized as an inspiration, the French-Canadian athlete was at the forefront on the Johnson & Johnson 2008 Beijing Olympics Inspiration TV commercial, and in 2012 he became the face of the Human Face of Big Data campaign, deployed globally by EMC Corporation, a Fortune 200 company. In 2014, he entered in a partnership with Biotherm Homme as part of their Living Exceptionally campaign.

Sasseville holds a bachelor’s degree in communications.