x = independently organized TED event

Theme: What's up?

This event occurred on
October 17, 2019
Collingwood, Ontario

In a world where we are inundated with what's down, from climate change and social injustice, to refugees and racism, the future can feel hopeless. In 2019, TEDxCollingwood connects us to the individuals who see these challenges as opportunities to level up - to grow, innovate and make the world a better place.

Gayety Theatre
161 Hurontario Street
Collingwood, Ontario, L9Y 2M1
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Carter Lane

Carter Lane is a home grown musician who has had the privilege of playing both locally and nationally. In his second year with the number one children’s singing group The Minipopkids, Carter has travelled across Canada, performing in front of thousands of fans singing kid-friendly versions of today’s pop music. Carter is also a songwriter, with numerous originals to his name. He studied under Shane Cloutier and Selena Rae at the Cloutier school of music, picking up his first guitar at the age of five. At 13 years old, Carter can be seen around town performing, on YouTube, and on Spotify!

Daniel Shearer

Daniel believes that creativity not only builds brands, but can make the world a better place. Daniel joined Cossette as Executive Vice President and General Manager in 2016, where he has leveraged his extensive experience building and running diverse, integrated teams at agencies to lead unprecedented growth in the country’s most competitive markets. As part of the team that has helped Cossette take the Agency of the Year title three years running, Daniel exploits his deep consumer obsession in everything he does – ever curious, endlessly energetic, and entirely bullshit-free. Daniel is a board member of the Institute of Communications Agencies (ICA) and The Bentway Conservancy and is proud to have been involved in work spanning regions, categories and consumers that has been awarded on the local and global stage for both creativity and effectiveness. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two boys, and spends every weekend he can in Creemore.

David Donaldson

David is a dynamic speaker, facilitator, trainer, consultant, and author with 25+ years supporting organizations in leadership development, change management, and adult learning; improving performance and resilience thereby enabling enterprise and individual transformations. A pilot, flight instructor, Safety Officer, horse breeder/trainer, hiker, and builder of kayaks, a man who works and lives in a world of continual learning.

Dr. Ivan Joseph

Dr. Ivan Joseph builds high-performing teams and a culture of excellence from the ground up. The former national championship winning coach and university professor has coached national and university varsity teams at World Championships and World Cup Qualifiers. Dr. Joseph led the team responsible for the $100 million-dollar renovation of historic Maple Leaf Gardens and was responsible for a cultural transformation of the Athletic Department, which resulted in unprecedented success at the national stage. Dr Joseph is now the Vice-Provost, Student Affairs at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His focus is on creating exceptional student experiences and fostering a culture of belonging. Dr Joseph’s TEDxTalk, “The Skill of Self Confidence,” has garnered over 17 million views and was recognized by Forbes as one of The 10 Best TED Talks for Graduates About The Meaning Of Life. His book You Got This – Mastering the Skill of Self-Confidence is an Amazon Canada bestseller.

Frankie Côté

Frankie Cote has played his music to crowds of over 1400 people, hosted a radio show on National Prison Radio in the UK, travelled to over 17 countries in one year and vlogged the whole trip, worked as a carer for autistic children and built a career in digital media. Frankie also once weighed 320lbs, drank a bottle of whisky every day, lived with chronic depression and an anxiety disorder and tried to kill himself twice. Having faced his demons and escaped the major rut he was in, he now spends his days helping others do the same as a performing artist, mindset coach and the Founder of BE INFINITY, a business he started to spread his technique to a wider audience.

Keith Jones

Keith Jones grew up on a farm in the country, using creativity to solve simple and complex challenges. He is the lead at & Good Company, an idea consultancy that uses design thinking to make the world better. He is the co-founder of Brandvan, a program that donates free brand and creative services to some of the most innovative and impactful charities in Canada. In his past, he’s rebranded major telcos, launched pro sports teams, and led the spatial design for the largest office transformation program in Canadian history. Fixing, making, and designing (everything) gives him a lot of joy.

Kristin Wiszniak

Kristin was born in St. Catharines and has been living/teaching in Collingwood for the past 13 years. She has taught almost every grade from K-8, and for the past 4 years, she has been specializing in Special Education. Kristin received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Health Promotion from Brock University and then obtained her Masters of Science in Elementary Education. She has a love for cooking, the outdoors and sports. She is currently the coach for the U16 girls volleyball team for the Collingwood Blackdiamonds. Music is a passion which she integrates into her classroom regularly and attempts to create an environment where there is a focus on the mind, body and soul with daily meditation and mindfulness activities with her students. Kristin is passionate about being a role-model for young females, and organizes and runs a Girls Club for grades 7 & 8 at her school. The focus is on leadership and on developing a positive mind set, as well as creating a sense of worth.

Mark Jesty

Mark has spent the last 20+ years on the frontlines of the changing world of work. Working with hundreds of organizations of all sizes and some of the best and brightest minds in business, Mark has been part of a transformation of how we work and learn. As the Chairman of the Institute for Management Studies in Canada for 20 years, Mark helped organizations develop their people in a number of ways including being instrumental in the success of one of the first micro-Learning companies, Now as the COO of ex2 Academy his journey into the future of work continues.

Mark Quattrocchi

Mark Quattrocchi, B.Ed, recently returned from a cycling journey around the world from China back to Canada that spanned two-years through forty countries and five continents. On his adventure, Mark fundraised for education to build five schoolhouses in developing communities along the way. Mark gained his sense of adventure and learned about the importance of community growing up in the small country village of Rideau Ferry, Ontario. Before setting out on his cycling adventure, he was a certified Teacher and taught internationally in South Korea, China and locally in Canada. Currently, Mark lives in Scarborough with his wife and daughter where he works full-time as a Motivational Speaker with the WE organization, sharing the power of sustainable impact to tens of thousands of people each year.

Niru Somayajula

Niru Somayajula is the President & CEO of Sensor Technology Ltd, a world leader in high-tech manufacturer of underwater sonar solutions employing over 35 people in Collingwood, Ontario. She joined the family business in 2007 and assumed the role of President & CEO in 2011 when she assembled a new management team and structured a buy-out program to acquire majority shareholdings. She is working alongside her team on a major growth initiative which aims to quadruple the size of the company in the next 5 years, which includes a manufacturing expansion into Atlantic Canada. Niru believes in giving back to her community and has been a Board member for various local organizations including Elephant Thoughts, the Huronia Symphony (where she also played 2nd Violin), and the Prasad Family Foundation. Niru has her bachelors degree in GeoPhysics from the University of Western Ontario, and attended UofT for a masters in Mechanical Engineering.

Sal Costa

Sal Costa is a Platinum selling, #1 Billboard USA and Juno Nominated recording artist who was a member of the breakout band My Darkest Days. In 2009 the band signed a major label recording contract with Island Def Jam/Universal Records and their debut single, which reached #1 on the USA Rock Charts, became the biggest anthem that year and is still one of the most played recurrent songs at Rock Radio in America. Sal has toured playing arenas such as Madison Square Garden, ACC, Staples Center and many others across the world, and has collaborated with the likes of Nickelback, Ludacris, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Slipknot, Disturbed etc. Sal has also enjoyed success as a solo artist, appearing on records with the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Bret Michaels, Phil Collen of Def Leppard and many others. Currently, Sal has a song in the Canadian Top 40 Rock Charts as the guitarist for Canadian supergroup, Bonds of Mara.

Sohayla Smith

Sohayla Smith is the founder of Soup Haus – a volunteer run community initiative serving complimentary sit-down weekly suppers in the Dufferin County area since 2017. Sohayla is also the owner of arts and culture company Troupe-Adore, a singer-songwriter, music therapist, music teacher, voice actor, multi-faceted visual and performance artist, and head chef for Soup Haus.

Sunny McGaw

Sunny McGaw is a creative professional, who invests in things new and challenging. Sunny has spent most of her career as a brand builder with focus on CPG, sports, entertainment, and social betterment. After studying in Switzerland and at Western University, and obtaining Honours Degrees in Art History and Fine Arts, Sunny began an off-beat career working in the Caribbean and Mexico – as a sports instructor for Club Med. During these years Sunny developed a thirst for adventurous travel, an appreciation for eccentric characters, and an aptitude for constant challenge. Over the past 20 years, Sunny has been fortunate to serve in a Creative and Marketing capacity for some of Canada’s most exciting brands. Her most recent personal accomplishment was backpacking around the world with her family – 9 months, 5 continents, 19 countries, 69,000 kms. Sunny was a speaker at TEDxCollingwood 2018 – spreading the idea that the grit built through hard travel is transformative and irreversible.

Tom Vassos

Tom Vassos has devoted thousands of hours researching his lifelong passions – astronomy, cosmology and space exploration. He is the Founder of Cosmologists Without Borders, a Member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, a Contributing Member of Astronomers Without Borders and a Science Advocate for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Mr. Vassos was in the technology industry for 35 years and has taught courses at several universities around the world including 30+ years at the University of Toronto. Mr. Vassos received a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) degree from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto). He was enrolled in the PhD program at Charles Sturt University for two years (incomplete) focusing on innovation research.

Organizing team


Collingwood, ON, Canada