Nowhere else will you find such an eclectic mix of deep, intelligent and fascinating people pouring their hearts out on stage. Ten accomplished people have ten minutes each to take you on a journey that will leave you wanting more. Sometimes shocking, always uplifting and never disappointing, these speakers will push you toward a new and exciting way of thinking, living and believing. Prepare to laugh like never before, be entertained by the best and take a ride into the future.
One evening of inspiration for you provides 500 kids inspiration for a lifetime! Raising money for Future Possibilities for Kids. Another Stuart Knight Productions event that will help you boycott what you thought.
Past Speakers Include…
Academy Award Winner, Best Selling Author, Star of Grace and Frankie
Founding member of The Barenaked Ladies, Juno Award Winner, Host of TV’s The Illegal Eater
Gemini Award Winner, Legendary Canadian Comic and Actor
Egyptian Doctor Turned TV Host with 10 Million Twitter Followers
Storm Chaser, Host - Angry Planet
Legendary Radio Commentator
Oscar Nominated Screen Writer and Director
Senator, Best Selling Author & Humanitarian
Dragon’s Den and Risky Business
Best Selling Novelist
Celebrated Canadian Television Host
Founder of Yuk Yuk’s
Juno Award Winner
World Renowned Comedian
Juno Award Winning Singer
Lead Singer of Blue Rodeo
Bollywood Star & TV Host
Director of Toronto International Film Festival
Gemini Award Winning Comedian
Host - Love It Or List It
Board of Directors
Founder and Host of Top Ten Event
Stuart Knight is an award winning entrepreneur, critically acclaimed author, and hit producer. He has written, produced and starred in live presentations that have been seen by over one million people and each year speaks internationally helping some of the world’s biggest companies reach new levels of success. He is also the author of two profound books, You Should Have Asked – The Art of Powerful Conversation and The Madness of My Mind and writes a weekly blog that has over ten thousand followers. A few years ago, Stuart was challenged to come up with a cool idea that could raise money for local charities and it was then that he dreamed up the Top Ten Event. After its debut success, Stuart decided that he wanted this event to become more than just an entertaining night of inspiration, but rather a movement that truly made the world a better place. He invites you to join him in helping others boycott what they thought so that we can all embrace the future we deserve.
Learn more about Stuart at www.stuartknight.com
Senior Manager Marketing, Staples
Director of Marketing,
Michael Maxwell Homes
VP, Director Creative Services,
JMG Global Events
Award Winning Entrepreneur
James CunninghamSeeking a master of ceremonies or a fabulous evening of entertainment? Then look no further. James Cunningham has proven, time and again, that he’s among the most skilled corporate emcees and comedians in the world. His personalized performances and attention to detail guarantee laughter and delight. Whatever the theme or purpose of your next gathering, he’ll ensure that it’s a successful and memorable one.
Cunningham has hosted and performed at numerous events for clients including Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Starbucks, KRAFT, Canadian Tire, McDonald’s, STAPLES, Nestle Purina, Walmart, GoodLife Fitness, BMO, Scotiabank, Proctor & Gamble, Medtronic, Ingram Micro, and Grant Thornton International. He has also hosted a series of sold-out events across Canada for “The Power Within,” where he had the pleasure of sharing the spotlight with such luminaries as former US President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters, Andre Agassi, Suze Orman, and Hilary Swank.
In addition to his work as a corporate emcee and entertainer, Cunningham was the hilarious host and associate producer of the TV series Eat St., which aired on the Cooking Channel USA, Food Network Canada, and in more than a dozen other countries around the world. He is also the author of the bestselling cookbook of the same name (Eat St.), wherein he shares recipes from the most daring, delicious, and inventive street food that can be found anywhere. Cunningham can also be seen regularly on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV.
Cunningham has been featured on many national and international network television shows including Last Comic Standing, Just for Laughs, and Comedy Now. He also keeps himself busy performing at comedy clubs and corporate shows everywhere.
Dave MeslinWith one foot planted firmly in the world of mainstream politics and the other foot dancing in the more vibrant universe of grassroots activism, Dave Meslin has found ways to bring them both together and turn energy into action. His TED talk about apathy has more than 1.7 million views and his 90-second video clip from the 2016 federal election coverage, using colourful stacks of Lego bricks to explain how our voting system fails us, has over 2.5 million views on Facebook alone.
A passionate transpartisan political disruptor, Meslin has spent the last twenty years as a political biologist, exploring the strange and mysterious worlds of protest movements, party politics and non-profit organizations. Wearing a suit and tie one day and shouting through a megaphone the next
Dave has worked as an executive assistant at both city hall and the provincial legislature, painted do-it-yourself bike lanes on the street, organized hundreds of volunteers, started a handful of non-profits, helped draft new legislation, survived tear-gas riots in three countries, buried his car and got thrown in jail. Not in that order.
Dave’s new bestselling book, Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up offers a recipe for change and a cure for cynicism.
An urbanist, community organiser, trainer and political entrepreneur, Dave has left a trail of campaigns and organisations in his path, including the Toronto Public Space Committee, Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto, Unlock Democracy Canada, Dandyhorse Magazine and Cycle Toronto. Dave also co-founded Spacing magazine, in 2003.
His work inspires us to invert the traditional pyramid of hierarchy by creating meaningful opportunities to engage neighbours, employees or students. His thesis is simple: We’re stronger and smarter when we’re all involved. By replacing cynicism with a culture of participation, we can re-imagine our role in the world and the possibilities of the future.
Jesse is a futurist, researcher, artist, and public speaker based in Lanark County, Ontario, Canada. He owns and operates Metaviews Media Management Ltd., which focuses on research and consulting around new media business models, automation, artificial intelligence, and the strategic use of social media. He is also a co-founder of the Academy of the Impossible a peer to peer lifelong learning and intelligence network.
Rina Rovinelli is the Co-Founder of Speaker Slam - Canada's Premier Inspirational Speaking Competition with over 200 million views on their videos, sold-out crowds monthly and attracting a stellar lineup of speakers and professional judges. Rina is a Speaker Coach who works with speakers to create their Signature Talk and has coached many Speaker Slam competitors to victory or viral success. She is the co-creator of the Emerging Speakers Program, Youth Speaker Slam and the Viral Sensations Program. She is a passionate speaker and has recently had her own video go viral with millions of views. She has recently joined forces to create Platform - a program that empowers marginalized individuals to claim their voice and shift their narrative and is running programs in nonprofits throughout the GTA.
Deb McGrathMcGrath first started her career at The Second City Toronto, Ontario in 1983, where she was a writer and actress, and eventually a director.
McGrath has made numerous guest appearances on a variety of Canadian TV series and had a regular role in the first season of Paradise Falls. She starred with her husband, Colin Mochrie, in two television series, CBC's Getting Along Famously and the children's series Seven Little Monsters. She also starred on Little Mosque on the Prairie in which she played Mayor Popowitcz.
In 2003, she formed a comedy troupe called Women Fully Clothed. Fellow cast members Kathy Greenwood, Robin Duke, Jayne Eastwood, Teresa Pavlinek and McGrath perform sketches about situations ordinary women face every day. McGrath left the troupe in the first half of 2009.
She has also done voices in several other animated shows including George and Martha, Stories From My Childhood, George Shrinks, Diabolik, The Raccoons, Babar, Little Bear, Blazing Dragons, Mr. Men and Little Miss, My Dad the Rock Star, Bob and Margaret, Anatole, Freaky Stories, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, The Neverending Story, Free Willy, Corduroy, Bad Dog, Flying Rhino Junior High, Medabots, The Berenstain Bears, Birdz, Flash Gordon and Franklin as well as the feature film Franklin and the Green Knight.
Award-Winning Activist | LawyerJamil Jivani tackles some of the biggest challenges in the world as a lawyer, community organizer, and teacher. With research and teaching appointments at Yale Law School and Osgoode Hall Law School, Jamil focuses on issues that impact youth, immigrants, and low-income families. He is also the founder of the Citizen Empowerment Project, a public education organization leading initiatives related to policing, racial profiling, democratic participation, voter turnout and economic development.
Jamil’s change leadership is informed by his personal journey of empowerment from being a failing high school student and working as a dishwasher, to attending the most exclusive law school in the world. Coming from a single parent household, as a youth he nearly fell into many of the traps that send young men on a detour away from success. It is this experience that propelled him into activism, focusing on issues such as bridging the gap between police and communities, overcoming the radicalization of youth, and encouraging young people to achieve success. His TEDx Toronto talk, How Racial Profiling Hurts Everyone, Including the Police, has been viewed over 110,000 times.
Jamil is the director of law and policy at Our Ohio Renewal, a nonprofit organization founded to develop solutions to the issues raised in J.D. Vance’s bestselling memoir, Hillbilly Elegy. He has also served as Vice Chair of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, and has volunteered with youth organizations in Kenya, Egypt, and Belgium.
Jamil’s work in disadvantaged neighborhoods in North America and Europe has led him to appear on BBC, CBC, CTV and TVO. His writing has been published by The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and Huffington Post.
Jamil graduated from Yale Law School in 2013, and formerly served as President of the Yale Black Law Students Association. While at Yale, Jamil worked for Senator Cory Booker in New Jersey, as a Connecticut high school teacher, and as a Manhattan corporate lawyer. Since graduating, he has practiced corporate law in Toronto at Torys LLP, and was named the 2015 Young Lawyer of the Year by the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers. He was also a 2016 recipient of th eThompson Reuters’ Lexpert Zenith Award for Diversity and Inclusion.
Jamil’s first book, Why Young Men, was published in April, 2018.
Sook Yin LeeSook-Yin Lee is a filmmaker, musician, actor, visual artist, choreographer and radio & TV broadcaster. The former MuchMusic VJ hosted and co-produced the Gabriel Award-Winning personal storytelling program DNTO on CBC Radio One and returned to the national broadcaster with the critically-acclaimed podcast, Sleepover. She starred in the groundbreaking movie, Shortbus, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, earning her the 2007 Best Supporting Actress award from the International Cinephile Society. In 2014, she won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance as Olivia Chow in the CBC movie Jack Layton bio-pic Jack. Year of the Carnivore marked Sook-Yin Lee’s feature debut as a writer-director. Her upcoming movie, Octavio is Dead! a supernatural ghost story, stars Sarah Gadon, Raoul Trujillo, and Rosanna Arquette.
Charles OfficerCharles Officer’s filmmaking career began with a slate of award-winning short films that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. His debut feature Nurse.Fighter.Boy premiered at TIFF ’08 and garnered 10 Genie Nominations. His feature documentary debut, Mighty Jerome, won four 2011 Leo Awards and a 2012 Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. In 2012 Officer directed Stone Thrower: The Chuck Ealey Story which aired on TSN for the CFL’s 100th Anniversary. His TV-documentary, The Skin We’re In, premiered on CBC this March and he has recently completed directing a variety of episodic television, including Private Eyes and the CBC series 21 Thunder. His feature documentary Unarmed Verses premiered to major acclaim at Hot Docs 2017 and won the Best Canadian Feature Award. He is currently in production on Invisible Essence: Le Petit Prince, a cinematic meditation on Saint-Exupéry’s inspirational novella, and is in development on a feature drama, Akilla’s Escape, and a television mini-series adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s novel Son of a Smaller Hero.
Steven PageA witty, articulate and mesmerizing speaker, singer/songwriter Steven Page is probably best known as a founding member of The Barenaked Ladies with whom he toured the globe and sold millions of albums. On his own, Steven continues his artistic evolution with a diverse array of solo projects. To that end, he has composed six Stratford Festival scores, collaborated and toured with Toronto’s innovative Art of Time ensemble and journeyed across North America as host of TV’s The Illegal Eater while continuing to write, release and perform his original music. In December 2016, Steven Page became a Chopped Canada Champion on a special celebrity edition of the show. Steven’s latest opus, Heal Thyself, Pt. I: Instinct, was released last year.
In 2011 – as a guest host on a CBC’s “The Current” Steven acknowledged his own struggles with depression. The response to Steven’s intelligent, honest and candid approach to the subject matter was overwhelmingly positive and since then, Steven has been in demand as a speaker on a variety of topics including mental health, literacy, food and wine and his life in the arts.
Specializing in love, sex & conflict resolution, Annie has created a suite of practical tools to resolve toxic patterns, increase romantic esteem, defuse conflict, assuage shame, blame & cultivate deep relationships that last a lifetime.
Annie has developed her signature method: ‘The Art of Fighting’. She sees transcending conflict as a crucial path towards developing intimacy.
All her studies in biology, philosophy, Buddhism, evolutionary psychology & NLP converge in her unique Love Coaching practice where she helps individuals build extraordinary connections that maximize freedom & minimize shame.
Sook Yin Lee
Sook-Yin Lee is a filmmaker, musician, actor, artist, dance-maker and radio & TV broadcaster. The former MuchMusic VJ hosted and co-produced the award-winning personal storytelling program DNTO on CBC Radio One and returned with the acclaimed podcast, Sleepover. She starred in John Cameron Mitchell’s groundbreaking LGBTQ movie Shortbus, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Year of the Carnivore, Leeʼs feature film debut as writer-director starring Cristin Milioti, premiered at TIFF. Her photography, video, and multimedia dance work includes We Are Light Rays & How Can I Forget? (Ottawa Art Gallery, SummerWorks, TIFF), On Display (Toronto Dance Theatre), and Sphere of Banished Suffering (Dancemakers, Artscape, Festival of New Dance). She won the 2014 Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by a Lead Dramatic Actress for her role as “Olivia Chow” in Jack. She is in the band JOOJ. Her movie, Octavio is Dead! a supernatural ghost story, stars Sarah Gadon and Rosanna Arquette.
Candy is a recovered lawyer turned feminist comic. She is an, actor, writer, columnist, international speaker, activist, comedian and multiple award-winning TV and radio personality, and has executive produced three films on Mi'kmaw culture.
Candy is the creator and star of her own national, multiple award-winning TV series, The Candy Show (APTN). She has a role on the Trailer Park Boys S10 (NETFLIX), appeared in Call Me Fitz (HBO Canada) and Sex and Violence (OutTV), and received a Screen Nova Scotia nomination for her role on Forgive Me (Superchannel). She's a Broadcaster with CBC Radio One where Candy has hosted: The Candy Palmater Show, Q, DNTO and appears on Because News and The Next Chapter. You can hear Candy’s voice as the Narrator of CBC TV series True North Calling, and was a Panelist on Canada Reads 2017.
Candy has written and hosted many broadcasts including Ab Day Live, the Indspire Awards, and the imagineNATIVE Film Fest Awards Show.
Candy was valedictorian of her class at Dalhousie Law School and went on to practice Labour and Aboriginal law in a large corporate firm until show biz came knocking.
Before pursuing entertainment full time, Candy directed First Nations education for the Nova Scotia Department of Education for a decade. She is currently working on a Masters of Education at St. Francis Xavier University and has taught in the Transition Year program at Dalhousie University.
Candy spends most of her time in airports and airplanes as she travels the globe speaking to audiences, large and small, about the power of love, kindness and self-acceptance. Candy believes we are more alike than different and that you can NEVER have too much Candy.
Candy has just signed a deal with Harper Collins. They will be publishing her first book in the fall of 2019.
Candy is currently taping Season One of her Podcast, Sweet Talk with Candy Palmater, that will be available on iTunes and on TheCandyShow.com website by fall 2018. Be sure to subscribe to the website to not miss out on the first episode.
Director X (formerly known as Little X) is known for directing high-budget, visually distinctive videos for popular artists, including Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Jay Z, Kanye West, Rosalia, Usher, John Mayer, Fifth Harmony, and many more. His work has been nominated and awarded by the MTV Music Video Awards and Much Music Video Awards. Continuing his foray into the world of film and television, Director X made his studio feature directorial debut with Superfly, produced by the legendary Joel SIlver. As Director X advances through the landscape of filmmaking, he continues to travel from his roots of Toronto to his residence in Los Angeles, trailblazing his way into our homes and onto our television screens. Using his platform for social change, Director X founded Operation Prefrontal Cortex, an initiative created to reduce Toronto’s gun violence through mindfulness and meditation.
Internationally acclaimed and Juno award winning singer-songwriter Kellylee Evans has been making waves around the world with her energy charged performances. With six albums to her name and a grueling touring schedule, she was no stranger to the hard work involved in making a successful career.
Yet, after a life altering lightening strike in 2013 and then a concussion in 2015, the mother of three was forced to halt her busy touring schedule. In the years since, she has explored multiple healing modalities in search of optimal health and a return to functional living.
Today, when she's not performing, Kellylee travels speaking about her journey to recovery and sharing an inspiring message of self-care and finding your own superpowers. It's a message that those who have suffered or are living or working with those with a brain injury can identify with. But it's also a message that speaks to the heart of anyone who has ever had their life interrupted by an illness or setback.
Comedian, Susan Stewart, is best known for her ability to blend her humour with powerful messages about being resilient when facing adversity and uncertainty. While giving the audience the gift of laughter, Susan shares ways to see the lighter side of life leaving everyone more uplifted and inspired to meet their challenges with a positive outlook, and of course, a sense of humour. Susan is the author of Reaching The Laugh Resort: Why The Journey To Remembering Who You (Really) Are Is Worth The Jet Lag, Your New Lenses Are Ready For Pick Up: A Guide To Seeing The Lighter Side Of Life, and You Gotta Laugh: Wit And Wisdom About Not Taking Life (Or Yourself) Too Seriously. You can learn more about Susan at susanstewart.ca
After spending most of his life avoiding speaking due to a debilitating stutter, Joze Piranian is now a TEDx speaker, the 2017 recipient of the Inspirational Speaker of the year award at Speaker Slam and a stand-up comedian who has performed in the US, Canada, the UK and the Middle East in English, French and Spanish. In September 2018, Joze shared the stage with Arlene Dickinson at the Archangel Summit where he spoke in front of almost 3000 people. When delivering his keynotes at conferences and organizations, Joze shares his tale of overcoming adversity to motivate others to own what makes them unique, transform their relationship with fear and skyrocket their true potential in both their professional and personal lives. One of Joze's talks was featured on the inspirational online platform Goalcast this year ; it was viewed by more than two million people worldwide
Born and raised in London, Ontario, Robert never imagined that something as simple as a mountain biking ride at the age of 37 would result in a broken back. Married with two young daughters, Robert was determined not to let paraplegia prevent him from living a life full of extraordinary accomplishments. In his short talk, Robert will take the audience on an inspirational journey sharing a little about his life before his accident, the fateful day in 2008, his road to recovery and the accomplishments and lessons learned as he attempts to continuously redefine the impossible and to boycott any preconceived thoughts of what it might mean to live with a disability.
Tracey Erin Smith
Tracey Erin Smith is an international award-winning director, performer and instructor. She is the Founder of and Artistic Director of SOULO Theatre (developed at Ryerson University) and The SOULO Theatre Festival in Toronto, New York City and Totnes, England. She inspires people around the world to tell personal stories for transformation. Tracey has directed and performed in tons of places including Off-Broadway stints with The Burning Bush, Two In the Bush, The Clergy Project, and We The Men. She is the creator of the documentary TV series; DRAG HEALS (Amazon Prime) and She’s The Man (Air Canada). Her work has won Best of the Fringe (Toronto and NYC), Broadway World Award (NYC), Audience Choice Award (NYC), and she has directed hundreds of solo shows that have been performed in festivals around the world. Tracey's most recent show The Big House, played this summer in Toronto and was selected as Best of the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Up next; Tracey is writing a book about the process of SOULO Theatre and what she's learned from hearing thousands of life stories from people from all walks of life. traceyerinsmith.com
Huse Madhavji is a versatile actor in film and television. After roles on ABC's "Combat Hospital" and 4 seasons on HBO Canada's comedy "Call Me Fitz”, Huse took on the challenging part of Dr. Shahir Hamza, a brilliant neurosurgeon with Asperger's syndrome on CTV's hit drama, "Saving Hope” for 5 seasons. He is also an award-winning writer and producer. His short film, "The Time Traveler" that he created with director RT Thorne, garnered attention and won best short film at the Canadian Film Fest and a received a best foreign film nomination at the San Francisco Black Film Festival. Recent guest appearances include Ransom (CBS), Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS), Lethal Weapon (Fox), The Detail (CTV). Huse will next be seen in the Hulu/CBC series Utopia Falls and heard as the voice of Ramu in the upcoming Disney animated series, Mira, Royal Detective. Huse made his theatre debut in 2018 at Factory Theatre’s production of Men In White and just finished his run of Yasmina Reza’s Art at Soulpepper Theatre Company.
Prior to acting, Huse was a successful broadcaster last seen as a correspondent for Etalk and hosting Star! Canada's Entertainment Channel (now E! Canada) where he had the opportunity to host their flagship show “Star! Daily”, “Canada’s New Year’s Eve Bash”, and cover US President Barak Obama’s election in Grant Park Chicago.
He splits his time between Toronto and LA working the stand-up/improv comedy circuit. On his down time, you can find Huse either writing music on his guitar or hosting various galas and charities.