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.
SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED SOON!
Other speakers include…
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,
Executive Vice President,
JMG Global Events
Award Winning Entrepreneur
Seeking 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.
Host of CBC/Sirius Radio's Under the Influence
Terry O’Reilly is the familiar voice behind the hit CBC radio shows O’Reilly on Advertising, The Age of Persuasion, and his current program, Under the Influence, where he explores the business, the craft, and the promise of promotion. In his intriguing talks, O’Reilly explores how our culture is shaped by marketing, as well as providing his expertise on branding, campaigns, spin, and more.
O'Reilly began his career in radio, and then went on to become an award-winning copywriter for a number of Toronto advertising agencies. He created campaigns for many of the top brands in the country, including Labatt, Molson, Bell, and The Hudson's Bay Company. In 1990, Terry co-founded Pirate Radio & Television with a staff of 50, with eight recording studios in Toronto and New York City.
O'Reilly has received Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Advertising & Design Club of Canada, The Television Bureau of Canada, and the American Marketing Association. He has also been granted an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from McMaster University in 2012, an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree from Humber College in 2014, and an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law Degree from St. Mary's University in Halifax in 2015.
He has co-written the bestselling book, The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture, and his second book, tentatively titled Lessons From Under The Influence will be published in the spring of 2017.
Sarah is an American activist, speaker and Executive Director of Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA). Born in Pakistan and raised in Texas, Sarah spent her early youth as a practicing Muslim, leaving religion in her late teens.
Today, Sarah advocates for the acceptance of religious dissent and works to create local support communities for those who have left Islam. In addition to freethought, Sarah is particularly passionate about civil liberties and women’s rights.
Sarah has been profiled and featured in numerous magazines, news outlets, and shows including The Economist, Slate, BBC, Global Journalist, Quillette, National Review, the Daily Beast, and NPR.
You can reach Sarah at @SarahTheHaider and read more about EXMNA at www.exmuslims.org.
Mark Sakamoto, a lawyer by training, has enjoyed a rich and varied career. He began by promoting live music, which led to work with several international acts. He has worked at a Canadian broadcaster and served as a senior political advisor. Both an entrepreneur and an investor in digital health and media, he chairs the board of the Ontario Media Development Corporation.
Sakamoto’s family memoir Forgiveness: A Gift from My Grandparents won CBC Canada Reads 2018 and once again became a number one national bestseller. Sakamoto lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.
McGrath 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 | Lawyer
Jamil 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 Lee
Sook-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 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.
A 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.
At a time when the elevator didn’t quite reach the top floor for women in business, Betty-Ann Heggie made her way to the executive office of PotashCorp, the world’s largest fertilizer company. Her success was always rooted in her genuine self and Gender Physics, a theory she developed based on the balance of Masculine and Feminine Energies she used in the workplace. Her insights earned her unprecedented professional achievement and the respect and recognition of her colleagues, staff, and clients. In 2007, Heggie was inducted into Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame.
That year, Heggie retired from her executive role, and today, she serves as a corporate director, professional speaker, mentor, author, and philanthropist. A widely recognized thought leader in gender discourse, she has been published in Inc. Magazine, Apple News, and Huffington Post. She currently serves as a director for TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), where she chairs the Philanthropy Committee and initiated their successful “Share Her Journey” program to get more women’s stories told on the silver screen.
Now a far cry from the girl who grew up in the small town of Strasbourg, Saskatchewan — working alongside her parents in the family-owned hotel and pub, serving hamburgers and beer — Heggie is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and the Senior Executive Program at Columbia Business School. Her mission is to have people give up their attachment to gender and express themselves as individuals.
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.
Sultan Akif is an award-winning CEO of two social entrepreneurships, published author, tech professional and speaker who has traveled to and inspired people in over 75 countries of the world. He was recently recognized in the Top 10 Global Changemakers list by The Introducer Magazine. He left a success 17-year career in the technology industry to connect with his purpose and inspire thousands with his story. Prior to his success, Sultan was once a boy who could not afford any books. He is now on a mission to build 100 libraries around the world with his own hands and has completed 23 so far in 7 countries.
Prior to becoming a social entrepreneur and professional speaker, Sultan was a corporate executive for 17 years and performed various senior roles around the world for companies like Microsoft and IBM. In his tech career, he delivered and contributed to over 1.2 billion USD of consulting revenue for some of the largest organizations on the planet. During his travels around the world, he discovered his real purpose which was to empower the next generation leaders, help people overcome personal barriers and set change makers in motion. He has now committed his life to empowerment of people as the CEO of Library in a Week organization and the founder of Experience Your Life Expo, which is one of the largest youth empowerment and employment events in Canada.
Sultan has taken the stage as a professional speaker for only one reason – to drive real change in the hearts and minds of people. He uses his voice and his own personal story to communicate to the world that we are the change the world needs, and we have the power to make a difference. If a very ordinary boy who could not afford any books can build libraries around the world, then anyone can do anything!”
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.
Mike Downie is co-founder of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, which aims to inspire Canadians to walk a path of reconciliation and help bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
A celebrated storyteller, Mike takes his audience on a ride that explores how our stories define us as individuals and as a nation. Mike shares memories of growing up in a small town outside Kingston with his brother, celebrated musician Gord Downie. Although the two would have very different careers, at the heart of it, they were both storytellers. “It’s my hope that in hearing our story, you recognize the beauty and power in your own, and how the intersections of our stories are what frame the experience and future of a country.”
After Mike first heard the unforgettable story of Chanie Wenjack—an Ojibway boy who died while running away from his residential school—he shared the story with his brother, and the two vowed to find a way to tell it to the world. The result was their multi-media project Secret Path, consisting of a music album, a graphic novel (by Jeff Lemire), and an animated film that has captured the hearts and minds of Canadians across the country. “Gord and I spent our lives learning, again and again, the power in a story, anyone’s story.”
Mike is a writer, director, and producer of numerous award winning documentaries. He recently won a Canadian Screen Award (CSA), the prestigious Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary, for Secret Path. He is also a CSA winner for Best Science Documentary for Invasion of the Brain Snatchers. He received a nomination for the Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary from the Director’s Guild of Canada for his film, One Ocean. He also won a Gemini Award for his film, The Hockey Nomad.
Before his career in film and television, Mike worked as a deep shaft miner in Northern Ontario; a medical researcher at McGill University; a junior economist in Toronto; and a windsurfing instructor in the US Virgin Islands. He holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours from Queen’s University, and an MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business.