From being admitted into the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Inpatient Unit to working for three Eating Disorder Nonprofit Organizations, Amy Pezzente boldly forged a new identity that was her own. Known for her brave recovery from an eating disorder, Amy obtained a new outlook on life in the way we view ourselves.
She currently works for Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Prevention Program, where she coordinates the Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves movement driven by the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness campaign. Amy is also an Eating Disorders Peer Counselor and Project Coordinator at the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre located at BC Children’s Hospital, where she assists people of all ages who are struggling with eating disorders from the perspective of having fully recovered from an eating disorder herself. Finally, Amy is a Program Coordinator for the Looking Glass Foundation for Eating Disorders where she helps train and facilitate the Online Peer Support Groups.
Angelica Poversky is 5’3″ of vertically challenged creative passion who wants to use spoken words to create movements of thought. She’s always trying to think of new ways to use words and is perplexed by language.
She is the founder and festival director of Richmond’s first youth-led outdoors arts festival, Arts in the Park and always on the go when it comes to artistic event coordination. If you see Angelica in her natural habitat, she is probably reading her first poetry chapbook “She Is”, hosting a radio-show or fearing proper punctuation.
Angelica is Vancouver’s Top 24 under 24, Richmond’s 30 under 30 and a Richmond Arts Award Winner. She’s been on the author panel at National Culture Days, a speaker at The Top 25 under 25 Canadian Environmentalists Awards and the feature performer at the CHIMO Violence Against Women Conference.
Carly Sotas is the author of Illusion, a non-fiction book which explores questions of identity, happiness, and success.
As a teenager, Carly read magazines for advice on how to be successful and confident, but was left feeling discouraged and inadequate, because the lifestyle presented seemed unattainable. Motivated by a desire to start a more relatable and authentic conversation, Carly wrote Illusion, sharing her struggles in hopes of letting other young people know that they are not alone in the challenges they face and in their desire to pursue their dreams.
With a passion for youth development and education, Carly serves as the co-program director of Vancouver’s Heart of the City Piano Program, a music education program that provides accessible music lessons to underserved youth. She is also the co-founder of the Pencils of Promise chapter at The University of British Columbia, the global education organization to which she is donating the proceeds from Illusion.
Originally from Taiwan, Ed is an emerging young comic who moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 20 years ago, thinking he was on vacation at his father’s discretion.
Since then, Ed has performed all over the world. He was voted “Best Vancouver Comedian of 2016″ by West Ender Magazine, and “Best Vancouver Comedian of 2015″ by West Ender Magazine and The Georgia Straight, and named “Comic to Watch” in 2015 by Canadian Immigrant Magazine. He has also appeared on AXS TV’s “Gotham Comedy Live”, Bite TV’s “Stand up & Bite Me”, and XM Radio’s “Laugh Attack”. He was also invited to perform at Comedy Masala in Singapore, Live Comedy Club in Taiwan, the Hong Kong Comedy Festival, NXNE, San Francisco Comedy Festival, Austin Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, the Vancouver Comedy Festival and many more.
Ed is still currently on vacation with his potato-like dogs.
Being a Native kid, coming from a reserve in small-town BC, and growing up in foster care, Kris Archie had the cards stacked against her from a young age. Kris knows personally how hard it is for a young adult to become independent coming out of provincial care. Now, she works as the manager of the Fostering Change Initiative at the Vancouver Foundation to support young people transitioning out of care.
The Luke Wallace Trio is comprised of Luke Wallace, Karen Hefford and Katie Green. Over the last two years, Luke has released two records and two independent documentaries to raise awareness about the threat of fossil fuel expansion along Canada’s west coast. Through his music, Luke strives to amplify the voices of those communities most impacted by oil and gas development. Further, Luke aims to connect coastal communities around an overarching respect for the natural processes that sustain the beautiful people of the west coast. Luke has performed all over BC and Canada and recently traveled to Paris for COP21 where he performed at a number of conference related events.
Matthew Clarke, is a Vancouver based filmmaker, writer, actor, musician and comedian. He is most well know as creator, director and star of the hit, award winning web-series, “Convos With My 2-Year-Old,” which has garnered over 90 million views and 800,000 subscribers. Over the past 15 years Matthew has worked in film, TV, theatre, toured North America with his band, Honey and the Money, created branded content for companies like Disney, Geico and Toyota, grown as a person, had numerous hair styles, owned two cars, joined a book club, and developed a habit of sharing things in bios that are completely irrelevant.
Mercedes Nicoll is the most decorated rider of the Canadian women’s halfpipe team, Nicoll has represented Canada at three Winter Olympic Games Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014. In front of a home crowd in 2010 Nicoll rose to the occasion finishing in sixth place – Canada’s best result in halfpipe for both sexes in 2010. After a long recovery from a crash a the Sochi 2014 Winter Games where Mercedes suffered a concussion leaving her out of sport for 2 years, she is back on her board winning her 5th National Halfpipe title March 2016.
Nicole is a 12th grade student, currently attending York House in Vancouver. Since her first science fair in grade 8, she was inspired by the other students who actually conducted research in labs. This prompted her to become further involved in her work, competing at the national level, the Canada-wide Science Fair.
As part of a collaboration with Simon Fraser University, Nicole developed an early-stage HIV test when she was in Grade 10, using Isothermic Nucleic Acid Amplification. The test won her first place in the British Columbia 2014 Regional Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge. Nicole also received the Intel Foundation young Scientist Award, and $50,000, from the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair- the largest international high school science research competition.
Her device is incredibly impressive, a disposable testing device that allows users to receive a near instantaneous response to find out if they are infected.
Rishabh caught the entrepreneurial bug at a young age, he always saw problems not as obstacles but as opportunities to create an impact. He started his first company at the age of 15, since then he hasn’t stopped. Rishabh is a co-founder of Taski, an app that enables employers to fill temporary or shift work on demand. It also provides millennials with access to flexible work options.
Rishabh is currently a fellow at The Next Big Thing, an accelerator for young entrepreneurs. As an activator and achiever, he has always lived with the mantra “screw it, let’s do it”.
Zoey Jones is a grade 10 student attending Stratford Hall in Vancouver. She has been heavily involved in the theatre department at her school, but this year, also took a step into the sciences. Zoey participated in the Greater Vancouver Regional Science Fair last year, but this year she took on a bigger project and made it to the fair again.
Her project will also be seen at Canada Wide Science Fair this May, and involved the creation of a water saving shower head. She was able to use computational fluid dynamics simulations to test different designs of her shower head, and come to final design that involved the atomization of water.