Critical Link 1

The first international Critical Link conference, with the theme Interpreting in Legal, Health and Social Service Settings, was held at the Geneva Park Conference Centre in Orillia, Ontario from June 1 to June 5, 1995. This first conference examined challenges facing community interpreters and began the process of identifying responses to these challenges.

The conference was attended by 250 people, including interpreters, interpreter educators and trainers, professional and service providers working with interpreters, interpreter service providers, members of professional associations for interpreters and translators, and representatives of immigrant service agencies.

During the three days of the conference, participants shared knowledge and skills on a range of topics, noisily debated the notion of the community interpreter as advocate, adversary or adjunct, and sang and danced into the night.

As one observer noted, “the biggest service rendered by the conference was to bring workers from scattered areas together for the first time in a live international exchange of information and prospects.”