Posted by Sean Yaphe
After three years of preparations, Interota 2014 came and went in a flash. From July 26 to August 1, 2014, 200 Rotaractors and Rotarians from 38 countries descended upon Toronto and Montreal for a week of leadership and professional development, cultural exploration, and fellowship. Delegates spent three days in Toronto and three days in Montreal, as well experience transportation on Via Rail between both cities. Plenary sessions covered topics that included cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution and personalities, finding balance between physical health, mental health, careers, and social and family life, Rotaract around the world, and showcasing Rotaract on your resume.
We were honored to have Rotary International President Gary Huang and his wife Corinna attend for the first three days! RI President Gary lit up the audience during our first plenary session with an engaging speech that got everyone excited. We were also honoured to have RI Zone Director Julia Phelps attend part of the conference as well as District Governors from Districts 7040 and 7070.
Delegates heard inspirational talks from Past RI President Wilf Wilkinson, who discussed the importance of the Rotary Foundation and the work that it does; Mike Standup, a Mohawk Traditional healer, who spoke of the challenges and successes of the Aboriginal communities in Canada and living in a multicultural society; and watched a moving performance by the Buffalo Hat Singers drumming circle and hoop dancer Barbara Diabo. Delegates also spent time exploring two of Canada’s greatest cities by taking a Toronto Harbour Dinner Boat Cruise, going on an excursion to Niagara Falls and getting on the Hornblower to be within reach of the Falls, cleaning the base of Mont-Royal in Montreal and the adjacent parc Jeanne Mance, and experiencing Toronto and Montreal’s spectacular restaurants and nightlife.
Bidding for Interota 2017 also took place on the final morning of Interota 2014. A total of five countries placed their bids: Australia, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Germany/Netherlands, and India. All had unique and exciting visions for Interota 2017 and delegates had a tough decision to make. In the end, Taiwan won and will be hosting Interota 2017 in Taipei!
During the closing gala, Eric Speed entertained us as the fastest electric violinist in the world, and Stewart Valin, Vice President of Polio Quebec, discussed polio and the organization’s role in Quebec. Dr. Bob Scott was the keynote speaker and provided a truly inspirational speech on Rotary’s essential role in the eradication of polio and how close we really are to realizing this goal in the very near future.
We cannot thank District 7040 enough for their tremendous support and encouragement over the last three years! Interota 2014 was a great success and we could not have done it without the help of every Rotarian in this district.  Watch our video
Thank You
Sean Yaphe
Co-Chair Interota 2014