Mr. Darrell Lechman, founder and executive director of Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming Inc. (SYCAP) has been helping to provide an answer to the social, educational, and economic needs of youth and at-risk youth by providing direction through art and allowing them to re-channel their talent into positive initiatives. With an aim to prevent youth crime and youth unemployment, Darrell has not only succeeded in creating tangible results that reflect increases in employment and education rates, but has extended his reach to touch lives, beautify our communities, and literally save lives.
Dynamic and inspirational, Ryan Leier is using his unique energy and passion of yoga to change lives and encourage others to discover the benefits of yoga beyond just its physical practice. While known as the go-to teacher to the band Arcade on Fire and for teaching and studying yoga worldwide, Ryan's roots remain in Saskatoon where he is the founder of ONE Yoga Studio and the non-profit organization Yoga for Youth.
Inspired by the idea that he could use yoga as a tool to help kids, Ryan began channelling his love and knowledge of yoga into reaching kids before they are presented with issues such as addiction and health problems. With a primary focus on the inner city, this innovative program has been powerful in increasing the accessibility of yoga and helping kids meet their physical, mental and spiritual needs. Whether they are using yoga to help stop the cycle of drug use or to get fit for sports teams, kids are embracing yoga as something that has the potential to change their lives in how they behave and respond to the world.
Special-education teacher Allison Cameron is combining her love of fitness and learning to help answer the question of how exercise can help people learn. With a determination to make a difference, Allison launched the Movement Matters initiative at City Park Collegiate with an aim to improve her students focus, concentration and academic performance.
Tracking impressive changes that include both increased academic performance and behaviour improvements, the Movement Matters program has not only been extended to the rest of the school but has gained a dedicated following in parts of Canada, the United States and Mexico. Through following her passions, Allison has achieved national acclaim, helped to discover the link between fitness and academics, and is giving kids the tools they need to overcome difficulties and improve themselves through the power of exercise.
Founded in 2009, Bryan McCrea is the visionary behind local company 3twenty Solutions and is looking at how existing materials can not only be recycled and repurposed, but used to provide affordable building and housing solutions. Developed through the W. Brett Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence I3 Idea Challenge and later gaining a deal from Brett Wilson himself after appearing on CBC’s “Dragon’s Den,” Bryan and the rest of the 3twenty team are looking beyond traditional construction methods to rather give new life to old shipping containers after realizing their excess in Canada.
Rather than leaving them unused, 3twenty Solutions has become dedicated to using the containers to build affordable accommodations, office spaces, storage units and residential housing. Seeking to better both the community and the environment, Bryan is proof that sometimes the best innovation lies in thinking inside, rather than outside, the box.
Addressing the transformative role of writing and other forms of creative expression in prisons, Nancy will highlight how initiatives such as Inspired Minds can be life-changing not only for individuals who are in prison, but for those on the "outside." Nancy will explore how creative writing as a mode of communication and for self-expression can work across boundaries of class, race and incarceration to imagine a more just future.
Bringing a voice to the promotion of social justice and breaking the silence around issues such as homophobia, racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression, Khodi explores how slam poetry and spoken word create counter-narratives to the prevailing dominant discourse.
Through words and actions that cross geographical boundaries, Priscilla explores how the seeds of solidarity must be sowed to create a common platform. Focusing on the importance of developing a critical understanding of our world and how solidarity can be promoted, Priscilla will describe fundamental indicators which set Indigenous people apart and will draw examples from both globally and locally to describe how these disparities can be alleviated.
Around the world we are witnessing the rise of peoples' movements to address injustice and unsustainability and as the ecological and economic crises converge, the necessity for change grows. Looking into the future, Jeh provides personal reflections on how creative activism can be effective strategies in building solidarity, resisting destruction, and developing alternatives.
The internet is a transformative medium unlike anything we have ever witnessed before and, what once was seen as play, has proven to have wide-reaching and very real consequences. Drawing on personal experience of how the internet can help local bands to take aim at the local music scene, Matt explores how a "like," a donation, or a comment can pave the way for the reverberating voices of millions to come together to create a better world.
How does innovation and intuition thrive from play? While we tend to see work and play as mutually exclusive binary practices, it is in fact through play that we are able to build fundamental skills. Synthesizing personal experience and engagement from within the global mobile technology sector, Jackie explores the "unknown knowns" of play.
Whether it's an old warehouse, a vacant grocery store or pile of timbers, Curtis sees opportunities for the creative reinterpretation of space and materials. Not just for the physical or material sake, but for the community renewal that is enabled by these undertakings. This presentation will unearth some of the stories, emotions and community connections that have been enabled by this unique sense of development.
As a legally-blind photographer, Tara is living out her passions through the lens of her camera and re-evaluates how we see and encourages us to not just rely on our eyes to see, but our vision. In this inspiring talk, Tara explores the dimensions of photography through stories of her past and teaches how others can overcome obstacles in their own lives.
Having built his life around the ultimate adventure as a storm chaser, Greg explores the happiness paradox and toys with the notion that we are all much closer than we think to pursuing our passions.