Lakehead University will host the 2023 Community-Campus-Exposition (C2UExpo)

Picture of the C2U Expo logo

October 6, 2022 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Lakehead University will host the in-person International 2023 C2UExpo (Community-Campus-Exposition) in Thunder Bay from June 5 to 8, 2023, bringing people from across Turtle Island and beyond.

Lakehead’s compelling proposal was chosen through a selection and review process by Community-Based Research Canada’s (CBRCanada) Board of Directors. 

Lakehead University is ideally suited to host the C2UExpo in Thunder Bay, Ontario as evidenced by numerous examples of rich and authentic community-campus research initiatives.

Along with its community partners, Lakehead University researchers have demonstrated their leadership and commitment to collaboratively working to address societal challenges and achieve positive impacts for the benefit of people residing in our region and beyond. 

The Expo was a response to the need for a platform to share experiences, strategies, and ideas about how communities and post-secondary institutions can champion social innovation and societal change.  

C2UExpo also explores ways institutions of higher learning can examine their organizational structures and policies to foster the formation of authentic partnerships in support of community transformation. Each C2UExpo has been held in a different city, addressing unique objectives and themes through a variety of sessions and opportunities for dialogue.

“Over the years, the Expo has highlighted and explored creative strategies for strengthening communities and transforming institutions through community-based research, service-learning, knowledge mobilization, and other types of community-campus collaborations,” said Joanna Ochocka, CBRCanada Co-Chair.

“We are thrilled that Lakehead University will host the C2UExpo in 2023.”

C2UExpo will provide opportunities to strengthen community-campus research and learning partnerships to address critical and topical issues facing our communities in Northwestern Ontario and Simcoe County. Lakehead University is currently in the process of consulting with community partners to finalize the title and overarching themes for the Expo.  An international call for presentations will be released in November 2022.

“Previous C2UExpos have created much-needed space to provide support like sharing tools for building more equitable relationships and highlighting examples of meaningful partnership projects,” said Dr. Charles Levkoe, Associate Professor, Lake Superior Living Labs Network Lead and Canada Research Chair in Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems at Lakehead University.

“With Northwestern Ontario hosting the 2023 C2UExpo, it will be a fantastic opportunity to build on our wonderful existing partnerships and enable Lakehead University to take a leadership role in the community.” 

The event will bring together community-based organizations, Indigenous groups, researchers and students from academic institutions, grass-root organizations, policy-makers, and knowledge mobilization experts from the region and beyond, to engage in meaningful interactions while developing a deeper understanding and appreciation of community-engaged research approaches and models. 

Through the C2UExpo we have a real opportunity to evoke core principles of Indigenous research, including relationality and transformation” said Dr. Lana Ray (Anishinaabe-kwe), Associate Professor, Indigenous Research Chair in Decolonial Futures and Director of the Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin Institute (AKI).

“C2U can be a space where researchers and administrators engage in personal growth and build their own capacities to engage in research and design structures that acknowledge Indigenous peoples right to self-determination and align with Indigenous ways of knowing and being,” Dr. Ray said.

“We are extremely excited to showcase the exemplary community engaged research that is underway at Lakehead’s campuses in Thunder Bay and Orillia,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead University’s Vice-President of Research and Innovation.

Lakehead University is anticipating 400 attendees, including community champions, practitioners, community-based researchers, and community engagement professionals, who will convene face-to-face and share best practices around community-based research and community-campus engagement.

Lakehead University faculty and staff look forward to welcoming delegates to Thunder Bay for an immersive dialogue exploring challenging questions about the future direction of community-campus partnerships. 

Community organizations, researchers and students who are interested in learning more about C2UExpo or would like to contribute to this exciting event can contact Sheena Allard, C2UExpo Coordinator, Office of Research Services, Lakehead University, at




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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8110 ext. 8372 or


Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked, once again, among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean’s 2021 University Rankings; as well as included in the top half of Times Higher Education's 2022 World Universities Rankings for the third consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit

CBRCanada is a national non-profit organization that works to connect individuals, communities and organizations locally, regionally, nationally, and globally to build more  equitable, just, and sustainable communitieswithin and beyondCanada. The first C2UExpo was hosted in 2003 by the University of Saskatchewan.