The UCalgary ESS is a part of two governing bodies, one for western Canada (WESST - http://www.wesst.ca) and one for the entire country (CFES - http://www.cfes.ca). Each of these governing bodies allows schools to stay in constant contact regarding best society practices, new initiatives, and controversial topics within the engineering community. There are a multitude of conferences each year, explained below:
Presidents' Meeting (CFES)
This conference is designed to bring all the new VP Externals from across Canada together for a weekend of introductions and education. The VP's learn what is required of them from CFES and how to best represent their school. Only the VP External and President attend.
The largest conference of the year, Congress is a chance for every school in Canada to send a delegation of students for eight days of sessions. These sessions focus on how to run an effective engineering society, but also include points on personal development and leadership skills. Congress also serves as the AGM for CFES, and contains a plenary session where motions and issues facing engineering students are discussed and voted on.
Executives' Meeting (WESST)
Similar to PM, EM is a chance for new Executive Council's to meet and greet as it falls in early May, shortly after most elections wrap up. It is an introduction to WESST and a good chance for the Vice President's to gain information and prepare for their duties in the fall.
WESST Retreat is normally two to three days, and includes sessions, and plenary block, as well as time for schools to socialize and interact. It is a slightly more laid-back conference compared to most, but allows all the schools in western Canada to meet up and keep communication links open, and discuss any issues that have arisen for their engineering societies in the first few weeks of the academic year.
Conference on Diversity in Engineering (CFES)
Formerly known as the National Conference on Women in Engineering, CDE was rebranded to help underline what the focus of the conference is: all diversity issues concerning today's engineers and engineering students. The conference has valuable sessions and round table discussions regarding everything from inclusion in the engineering community to the evolving demographic of today's engineers. Delegates who attend CDE generally return bursting with ideas and initiatives to improve the engineering community of their school.
Western and Canadian Engineering Competition, WEC/CEC (WESST/CFES)
These two competitions serve as the regional and national levels, inviting the top finalists from each Canadian school of the specified regions to compete head to head with their counterparts. These competitions are widely recognized in industry for their prestige and high level of ingenuity.