Cirque du Soleil
Toronto Mass Choir
Creator and Star of CBC's Workin' Moms
Catherine Reitman is the creator, executive producer, writer, and star of CBC’s acclaimed original comedy series, Workin’ Moms. Known for her roles in Blackish and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Reitman was a member of Sunday Company at the influential Groundlings improv theatre and school in Los Angeles. Reitman’s writing and producing credits include VH1’s Miss You Much and the web series, Breakin’ it Down with Catherine Reitman.
Elicser Elliott is a well-known Toronto graffiti artist who was born in Montreal and grew up on the West Indian island of Saint Vincent. His work has been featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Institute for Contemporary Culture and publications like Mix Magazine and Spacing. His distinctive artwork is created by using aerosol spray paint and often depicts different characters or collages. The work of Elicser is highly visible in major cities from Canada to South America to South Africa. Elicser leads the change in the character-based movement in Toronto.
Co-Founder & CEO at Nanoleaf
Gimmy Chu is the co-founder and CEO of Nanoleaf, a company focused on pushing the limits of smart lighting and revolutionizing how the world experiences light. Gimmy’s vision is to make green technology an appeal, rather than a compromise, through great functionality and smart design. He has introduced the world to award-winning energy efficient and never-before-seen smart lighting products. Chu was the recipient of the University of Toronto’s Early Career Award after graduating with his degree in Electrical Engineering.
The Tabla Guy
Honourable Ahmed Hussen
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Ahmed Hussen is Canada’s Immigration Minister and Member of Parliament for the riding of York South-Weston. A lawyer and social activist, he has a proven track record of leadership and community empowerment. Born and raised in Somalia, Ahmed immigrated to Canada in 1993; In 2002, he co-founded the Regent Park Community Council, which helped secure a $500 million revitalization project for the area, and he has been widely recognized for his significant contributions to the city of Toronto.
Former Chief Planner, City of Toronto
As the former Chief Planner for the City of Toronto, Jennifer is known for creating places where people can flourish. Over the past decade, she has been recognized for her innovative work in Canadian municipalities. Overseeing over 4,000 development
applications annually, Jennifer has informed some of the biggest decisions that continue to shape our city. Most recently, she was named one of the most influential people in Toronto by Toronto Life magazine and one of the most powerful people in
Canada by MacLean’s magazine.
Pocast Host at Sickboy Podcast
Jeremie is an award-winning actor, producer, and host of popular Canadian media, including film, television, and podcasts. Living with a genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis, Jeremie is passionate about shifting the perspective and stigma around chronic and terminal illness through humour and frank, unfiltered discussions. He launched Sickboy Podcast, which has been on iTunes’ “best of” list and is produced and hosted by Jeremie and his two best friends, Taylor MacGillivary and Brian Stever. Together they take a humorous and educational approach as they host a wide range of guests to discuss the experiences of living with terminal or chronic illness.
Linda Mortsch has devoted her career to addressing climate change issues. Since 1989, she has played a role in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 1992, her research project “Adapting to climate variability and change in the Great Lakes Basin” was one of the first to explore adaptation to climate change in Canada. Today, Linda has an adjunct appointment in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, and has been recognized by a number of associations, including the International Joint Commission, American Geophysical Union, Environment Canada, and more.
Filmmaker, Producer and Activist
Michelle Latimer is the showrunner, director, and writer of the breakout Indigenous resistance series RISE (Viceland), which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. As a filmmaker, actor, and curator, Michelle’s goal is to use film and new media as a tool for social change. Her films have screened at film festivals internationally, including Sundance, TIFF, Rotterdam, Oberhausen, and Cannes, and her work has been acquired by the National Gallery of Canada. Michelle recently spent nine months documenting on the front lines of the occupation at Standing Rock. She is a true leader in her community and is passionate about working to educate and improve awareness around Indigenous issues in Canada and beyond.
Course Director at York University & Social Justice Advocate
Nastassia Subban has been an elementary and secondary school teacher with the Toronto District School Board for 11 years, teaching Contemporary Studies, Physical Education, and History. With a passion for social justice, education, and equity, Subban was selected to be a curriculum writer and reviewer for Africentric pilot curriculums for Ontario Secondary School courses. Moreover, she was a founding member of the non-profit organization, Educators for Social Change, which ran a successful young female mentorship program for students across the GTA.
Canadian Olympic Champion
Competitive swimmer Penny Oleksiak, age 17, is Canada’s youngest Olympic gold medalist and holds the national record for most Olympic medals in a single summer. Oleksiak competed at her first senior event in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where she won four medals and was bestowed the honour of being Team Canada’s flag bearer at the closing ceremonies. She currently holds the Olympic Record for the 100 Freestyle, and has broken over 20 Canadian Senior and 10 World Junior Records. In 2016, she won the Lou Marsh Award for Canada’s top athlete. She is a WE Ambassador advocating for issues of inclusion, as well as mental and physical health for kids in Canada and globally.
Partner at Deloitte and Veteran Deputy Chief of Police
Peter Sloly has an international reputation for leading organizational change in the age of rapid unpredictable digitization. He is an expert in solving complex problems concerning justice and security using innovative, collaborative, and evidence-based best practices, and through his lived experience. Prior to Sloly’s esteemed career at Deloitte, he was a decorated veteran member of the Toronto Police Service, and attained the rank of Deputy Chief of Police. Over the course of his policing career, he led major public safety operations and participated in multiple international policing programs, such as the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo.
Sculptor & Professor of Architecture at the University of Waterloo
Philip Beesley serves as the Director for the Living Architecture Systems Group and as a Director for Riverside Architectural Press. His Toronto-based practice, Philip Beesley Architect Inc., incorporates industrial design, digital prototyping, and mechatronics engineering. Collaborating with artists, scientists, and engineers has led to a diverse array of projects, working from haute couture collections including hybrid fabrics, to curiosity-based machine learning environments. Beesley has authored and edited sixteen books and proceedings. His work has been featured in various publications, including MIT’s Artificial Life, Vogue, and WIRED.
Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo
MPP Parkdale - High Park
Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo has been the Member of Parliament for Parkdale - High Park for the last 11 years. She holds the record for most Private Member’s Bills passed by an MPP and the most pro-LGBTQ legislation than anyone in Canadian history. DiNovo is an ordained United Church Minister who performed the first legalized same-sex marriage. DiNovo won the Lambda Literary Award in Washington D.C. for spirituality and religion for her book, Queering Evangelism and has received numerous high profile awards for her 40+ years of activism.
VP Product, Shopify
Satish is an entrepreneur and currently the VP of Product at Shopify, the world’s leading multi-channel commerce platform for SMEs. He previously co-founded Jet Cooper, a UX design agency that was acquired in 2013. He is an active speaker,
mentor, and angel investor in the Canadian startup community. Satish was featured
on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Retail and E-Commerce and All-Star Alumni.