Henry WinklerWhile Winkler’s personal commitment to helping others is reward enough, his efforts have been recognized by a variety of prestigious organizations including B’nai B’rith, Peace Prize by the United Nations and Women in Film’s Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award presented to both Henry and his wife, Stacey, for their tireless efforts and devotion to the “improvement of the human condition.” Henry also received the Chevallier de l’Ordre des Artes et Lettres, the French Government’s highest honor. Last year, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded Henry with an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his services to children with special education needs. Henry was honored in July 2010 by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers for his work with the British government on the “My Way!” Campaign – an educational initiative focused on raising awareness for children with learning challenges throughout the United Kingdom.
Sue MitchellMiss Sue’s Lessons from The Blind Side.
Miss Sue continues to remain active in her sorority, Kappa Delta, as an alumni advisor, and was also the advisor to the National Champion Bartlett Cheerleaders. “I always knew Michael Oher would succeed,” Mitchell says, “but that doesn’t make me any less proud. Michael saw his opportunity and took advantage of it. Once he gained the necessary confidence, there was no stopping him in the classroom or on the football field.”Currently, Mitchell can be seen in Family Addition with Leigh Anne Tuohy on UP, the network dedicated to uplifting entertainment. The new television show features families as they go through the practical, physical, and emotional process of adding a new family member and also facilitates a makeover of part of their homes to accommodate the new addition. At the podium, Miss Sue takes audiences behind-the-scenes of The Blind Side, telling the story from her perspective as an educator and learning specialist.
Eva OlssonSince 1996 Eva has been speaking about her life in over 3000 schools, churches, meeting halls, conferences, colleges and universities, and over one-and-a-half million individuals throughout Canada. Eva received an Honorary Doctorate from Nipissing University, North Bay Ontario in June 2005 and is a recipient of the Order of Ontario. In September 2008, Eva was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 2013 Eva received a Doctor of Humane Letters for the University of Lakehead. Her national bestselling book titled, Unlocking the Doors: A Woman’s Struggle Against Intolerance, was released in 2001. Her second book, Remembering Forever: A Journey of Darkness and Light and a documentary film, Stronger Than Fire: The Eva Olsson Story, were released in the fall of 2008. Her third book, which she co-authored with her son Jan, is titled Every Step of the Way. It is also a national best seller.
Peter MansbridgePETER MANSBRIDGE is one of Canada’s most respected and recognizable figures—a true icon. For five decades, including 29 years as anchor of CBC’s The National, he has guided us through the political, economic, and cultural events that have shaped the country. Unsurprisingly, he’s also a great public speaker. In keynotes, he highlights the very real contribution of Canada, and its citizens, in building a better world.
Eddy RobinsonBorn and raised in Toronto the largest city in Canada, Eddy Robinson Anishinaabe/Muskegowuk Cree did not enjoy a childhood of privilege. This narrative is not unique and is shared in similar ways by many other Indigenous people throughout North America. It was not until his adult years that he really begun to understand the legacy of his father’s experience at the Chapleau Indian Residential School and Shingwauk Indian Residential School.
Mr. Robinson has worked and advocated for many Indigenous communities locally, provincially and nationally for the past 25 years. The Dewegun (Dee-Way-Gun which means Drum) first set Robinson on a good path in life leading to many other important sources that contributed to the rediscovery of his identity; Anishinaabe ceremonies, Indigenous literature & film, leaders, Traditional Teachers and Elders.
Tomson HighwayTomson Highway is the proud son of legendary caribou hunter and world championship dogsled racer, Joe Highway, and artist-in-her-own-right (as bead-worker and quilt-maker extraordinaire), Pelagie Highway. A full-blood Cree, he is a registered member of the Barren Lands First Nation, the village for which is called Brochet (pronounced “Bro-shay”) and which village is located in northern Manitoba where it meets Saskatchewan and what is now called Nunavut. Today, he writes novels, plays, and music for a living. Having studied music and English literature at the Universities of Manitoba (Winnipeg) and Western Ontario (London), as well as in England, he earned both his Bachelor of Music Honours (Piano Performance major, 1975) and the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts (English major, 1976), both from “Western.”
Jessica HolmesA favourite on Royal Canadian Air Farce, Jessica Holmes has brought the house down opening for giants such as Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Peters, Jerry Seinfeld, and Oprah Winfrey. Her bilingual, customized emcee and entertainment presentations — which include motivation and wellness — are always guaranteed to be a hit with all audiences.As a performer, Jessica’s productions have garnered her a “Platinum Award” at The Worldfest International Film Festival; nominations for Gemini Awards; and the prestigious Tim Sims Scholarship. Jessica also devotes much time to helping others live well. In her wellness keynotes, she mixes humour with her message about the importance of de-stressing and laughing at life’s shortcomings, and speaks with intelligence and insight on her own experiences of dealing with post-partum depression, finding work-life balance, and re-igniting passion. She recently received certification as a wellness coach from San Diego’s Life Purpose Institute.
Brent ButtBorn in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, BRENT BUTT discovered early that being funny was a good way to get attention. At the age of 20 moved to the city to pursue a career in stand-up. Within months he was headlining top clubs in Toronto, within a few years he was touring internationally. He was also busy creating his own TV series – CORNER GAS. It became an instant hit was named "Funniest Show on TV" by TV Guide readers. Brent’s follow-up series HICCUPS ran for two seasons. In 2013 Brent was honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to community and country. Most recently Bell Media announced an all-new animated version of the iconic comedy franchise entitled CORNER GAS: ANIMATED. The first season is expected to premiere as part of The Comedy Networks 2017-2018 broadcast season. With Brent performing, writing, executive producing, and even directing, there is little doubt the future holds many untold achievements for one of Canada’s brightest stars.
Gabe ManciniDr. Gabe Mancini is psychologist but primarily a teacher for 45 years. He has published in the area of meta-cognition and has presented worldwide. He holds a B.A. in psychology and literature, a B.Ed, a M.A., M.Ed, and a PhD.
Dean JenkinsonDean Jenkinson is an award-winning comedian and comedy writer in Winnipeg, Canada.
He’s currently a writer for CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Dean wrote the 22 Minutes sketch “Sponsor An Executive” which despite being geo-fenced in Canada has been viewed over 1.3 million times on YouTube. He’s written for several Just For Laughs specials, creating material for such acts as The Muppets, Joan Rivers, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, and cast members from The Big Bang Theory. When he's not writing comedy or performing in a comedy club, Dean entertains at corporate and community events across Canada.
Dave HepburnDr. Dave Hepburn is a highly sought after speaker addressing topics on Health, the Science of Happiness, Stress, and as the influential CEO of International Medical Cannabis Advisors, he is a consultant to licensed producers of Cannabis, International Governments, Stakeholders and Businesses affected by the National Policies on Cannabis. Dr. Dave has been traveling Canada, educating fellow physicians of all specialties on why, how and when to prescribe medical marijuana. Dr. Dave is best known for Wisequacks, the nationally syndicated radio show he co-hosted with Dr. Rob Sealey. He was the medical authority on the Oprah Winfrey Network Canada show Buy.O.Logic and was an award winning syndicated columnist to more than 100 newspapers across the United States and Canada. He is the author of The Doctor Is In(sane) which was nominated for several book awards.
Aaron PaquetteAaron Paquette is one of Canada's best-known First Nations Metis personalities.
The author of the bestselling book Lightfinder, Arron is also a talented artist and illustrator. He has worked with the Royal Conservatory’s adjunct program -Learning Through the Arts- as both a Mentor Artist and as the First Nations Representative and Consultant in Alberta. This experience focused on providing the skills and background knowledge for infusing differentiated learning within the general curriculum in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Aaron has collaborated with Ministries, Teachers’ Associations and teachers, providing region wide teacher workshops and in- school experiences related to the art curriculum that also provide an FNMI perspective. A skilled communicator, Aaron has worked with Alberta Education in Professional Development, Reconciliation, Literacy, Overcoming Obstacles, Residential School & Forced Adoptions, Creativity, among other topics.
Mohamed FahmyMohamed Fahmy is a multi-award winning Egyptian-Canadian author and journalist who has spent 15 years reporting from the Middle East and North Africa for CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera English, and worked with the International Committee for the Red Cross protecting the rights of political prisoners, the missing, and refugees in Beirut. In September 2013, he accepted the title of Al Jazeera English Bureau Chief in Cairo. In December of the same year the Egyptian authorities arrested him and his two colleagues and he was unjustly convicted and imprisoned in the Tora maximum security prison where he spent over 438 days living with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS. With the support of his attorney, Amal Clooney he was finally pardoned of all charges and released in September 2015. His book the Marriott Cell is his personal story and the interviews he conducted behind bars with political prisoners and extremists that provides the reader with rare insights on terrorism.
Jessica HolmesA favourite on Royal Canadian Air Farce, Jessica Holmes has brought the house down opening for Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Peters, and Oprah Winfrey. Her hilarious and validating take on life’s challenges have audiences in stitches, and her unique knack for skewering celebrities keep her at the top of Canadian comedy.
As a performer, Jessica’s received a “Platinum Award” at The Worldfest International Film Festival; nominations for Gemini Awards; and the prestigious Tim Sims Scholarship. Performing across the country, with a recent appearance on CBC’s Winnipeg Comedy Festival television special.
Jessica devotes time to helping others live well. Mixing humour with her message about the importance of de-stressing and laughing at life’s shortcomings, and speaks with insight on her own experiences with post-partum depression, finding work-life balance, and re-igniting passion. Her autobiographical book, I Love Your Laugh, was published in 2010.
Michel ChikwanineMichel Chikwanine was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and grew up amid the terror of the Great War of Africa. Much of his childhood was ravaged by the death and decay of a war that claimed the lives of 5.8 million people, his father included, and forced him to be a child soldier. Michel now inspires people to believe in their ability to make a difference and leaves audiences with a new perspective on life, and a desire for change. An accomplished motivational speaker and author, Michel addresses audiences across North America. He has spoken to over 100,000 people and has shared the stage with such distinguished speakers as Craig and Marc Kielburger, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., His Holiness The Dalai Lama, former U.S Vice-President Al Gore, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr., Nobel Peace Prize laureate Betty Williams, actress Mia Farrow and musician K’naan, just to name a few. Michel is also the author of the graphic novel, Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War.
Zach IngrasciChris and Zach began their journey in college, when they produced, directed, and starred in their first film, Living on One Dollar. The film was #1 on iTunes for documentaries, featured on the homepage banner of Netflix, and called “A Must Watch” by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus. Their second feature documentary, Salam Neighbor, provides an intimate look into the lives of Syrian refugees, through their lens as the first filmmakers ever given a tent and registered inside of a refugee camp. Most recently, Chris and Zach collaborated with the UN Refugee Agency and Google to create Searching for Syria, an immersive online hub that answers the world's top searched questions about Syria. The project was featured on Google and reached over 5 million people in the first two weeks. Equal parts filmmaker and humanitarian, Chris and Zach have been on the front lines fighting for human rights, and have raised over a million dollars to directly empower disenfranchised communities through microfinan