Bal Arneson is a culinary TV personality who grew up in a small village in Punjab, India where she learned to cook as a young girl by observing and helping her elders. She moved to Canada after her father arranged her marriage – ultimately choosing the direction her life would take. Although Bal started an entirely new life from scratch without any English, family support, or formal education, she managed to overcome a series of obstacles and odds.
Bal specializes in creating simple and nutritious meals inspired by traditional Indian cuisine and wholeheartedly believes that food not only has nourishing qualities but can act as preventative medicine. Bal demonstrates her flare, passion, and talent through her role as a celebrity chef on her cooking show Spice Goddess and has written several best selling cookbooks.
Jason Robinson, better known as Caliden is a Vancouver-based artist and fashion designer, whose work spans multiple mediums and styles. The paintings Caliden is predominantly known for typically center around hyperrealistic depictions of human beauty.
His art is unique in its experimentation with bright, neon colours and graffiti style in portrait backdrops. Numerous celebrities have purchased his pieces, allowing Caliden to partially subvert his underground artist reputation. Elusive and dynamic, Caliden’s fashion pieces have been featured in Flare Magazine, Holt Renfrew, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Cameron Herold started his first business at seven and has been a relentless entrepreneur ever since. As the COO, Cameron led the company 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to increase its revenue from $2 million in 2000 to $105 million. His business sense has proven his aptitude and desire for disruptive and accelerated growth. Cameron has been utilizing his success, experience and skills to consult, mentor, and inspire other entrepreneurs for over two decades. Cameron has been critical of educational systems for discouraging would-be entrepreneurs but believes there is hope in the various approaches that parents raise their children. Cameron’s TED talk,
Let’s Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs represents some of these unique ideas that he has also shared and expanded on in his books, Double Double, The Miracle Mornings for Entrepreneurs, and Meetings Suck.
Christopher Ian Bennett
David McCann is originally from Ottawa, but has been educated and has worked all over North America. David has held numerous jobs, from farming and sailing to contributing to NATO Security Services and serving as the Chief of Policy for Energy, Mines, and Resources Canada. As the Chairman and Chief Negotiator, David successfully sued the Ontario Premier for failing to apologize for the Province’s role in covering up thou- sands of child abuse cases. This abuse took place in schools under contract to the De La Salle Brothers of the Christian Schools – who he also sued, forcing them to return $1,400,000 to over 150 survivors. David remains dedicated to justice, healing, and reconciliation and recently met with Vatican officials regarding an apology from Pope Francis.
Head of the Vancouver Film School - School of Animation & VFX
David successfully sued the Ontario Premier for breach of trust after failing to apologize for the Province’s role in covering up thousands of child abuse cases in schools under contract to the De La Salle Brothers of the Christian Schools—who he also sued forcing them to return $1,400,000 to over 150 survivors. David remains dedicated to justice, healing, and reconciliation and recently met with Vatican officials regarding an apology from Pope Francis.
Ginger Gosner-Myers, of Nisga’a and Kwakwaka’wakw heritage, is presently the City of Vancouver’s Aboriginal Relations Manager. This new role has become vital in managing the relationships between First Nations and other communities throughout British Columbia, specifically in the Lower Mainland. Ginger is determined to have Vancouver be remembered as the world’s first official “City of Reconciliation”, as she continues to remove barriers while fostering cooperation through open communication. Ginger has worked on the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study, Canada’s largest study on Aboriginal people’s living in urban centers. She has held key roles in Greenpeace Canada, the Inspirit Foundation, the Urban Native Youth Association, and the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council. Ginger’s ultimate goal is to advance reconciliation and promote understanding of Vancouver as an unceded territory.
Ginger Gosnell-Myers, of Nisga’a and Kwakwaka’wakw heritage, is a policy expert, researcher, and activist whose work focuses on removing barriers between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians while fostering cooperation through open communication. Ginger was the City of Vancouver’s first Indigenous Relations Manager, where she advanced Vancouver as the world’s first “City of Reconciliation”, and ensured that Indigenous recognition and meaningful inclusion was reflected throughout all City departments and plans. Ginger was a lead on the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study, Canada’s largest research study on Indigenous people’s living in urban centers. She has held key roles in Greenpeace Canada, the Inspirit Foundation, the Urban Native Youth Association, and the Assembly of First Nations. Ginger’s ultimate goal is to advance reconciliation and promote understanding of Vancouver as an unceded territory.
Joely Fisher was born in Burbank, California to a
family immersed in show business and vested in
the performing arts. Her mother, Connie Stevens, accompanied Joely during her performance in the Broadway production of Cabaret. Joely debuted as Ellen Degeneres’ best friend in the eponymous show, Ellen.This role led to her nomination for a Golden
Globe. She has starred and supported in a number of Hollywood and Broadway performances since and has recently dedicated her time to philanthropic pursuits. Her known Hollywood famed relatives are recently passed Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, her half-sister and step-mother, respectively. Fisher was deeply affected by the loss of Carrie and Debbie, which inspired her to passionately advocate for child and family well-being through her contributions to Save the Children and the Dream Foundation.
Maestro Fresh Wes
Wesley Williams, Canadian rapper and renaissance man – better known as Maestro Fresh Wes. Born and raised in Toronto to Guyanese immigrant parents, Maestro has transcended his humble roots to become the “godfather of Canadian hip-hop”. He has won Juno Awards, was named CBC Music’s top Canadian rapper in 2013 and is the first Black Canadian to have a record hit certified platinum. Following these achievements, Maestro has been relentless in his pursuit of prominence through writing, motivational speaking, and acting. Maestro is now hitting the platform as a keynote speaker and has co-authored the book, Stick to Your Vision and has come a long way since his original hit single, Let Your Backbone Slide.
Author-photographer-farmer Michael Ableman has been organically farming since the 1970s and founded Sole Food Street Farms —the largest urban agriculture project in North America— right here in Vancouver. His mission is to redefine our values around food and community by connecting and cultivating them together —using a unique approach. Ableman accomplishes this by empowering individuals dealing with addiction and mental health issues by providing them with agricultural training, employment, and a sense of inclusivity.
Reisa Pollard is a local interior designer and entrepreneur. The elements she uses are often aesthetically inspired by her travel experiences. Reisa founded her interior design company Beyond Beige in 2003. She has been nominated for a number of design and business awards, including YMCA’s Woman of the Year. Reisa revels in the recreation of the spaces around her and the construction of immaculate solutions to any problem she’s faced with.
Ryan Guldemond is the lead singer and songwriter
of the Canadian indie rock band Mother Mother that was formed in tandem with his sister Molly in 2005. His lyrics centre around candid descriptive experiences of love, family, and self-discovery. During the writing of the band’s second album No Culture, Ryan went through a transformative time of reinvention, partially inspired by Molly and the nostalgia spurred by writing in his hometown.
Serinda Swan is a Canadian actress and model born into a family from West Vancouver that values the performing arts. As her mother was an actress and
her father a director, the young Serinda was inevitably comfortable on stage. She appeared as a toddler in
the film Cousins (1989), and began her adult acting career with smaller roles on television shows such as Smallville and Psych, and came into prominence for
her performances in Breakout Kings, Graceland, and Ballers. She is currently the lead role in ABC’s Inhumans, a face for Guess Watches, and has modeled for Aritzia and Venus Swimwear. Serinda is involved in various charities including the Somaly Mam Foundation, Nothing but Nets, and Heifer International.