KEYNOTE SPEAKER 2019
KEYNOTE SPEAKER 2023
Lisa LaFlamme has been at the forefront of journalism for over 30 years tackling some of the biggest issues of our time, traveling the globe, delivering breaking news and bringing it back home to Canadians.
The internationally respected journalist has interviewed major newsmakers, Prime Ministers, Presidents and Princes while always keeping the spotlight on the injustices that plague the world’s most oppressed.
LaFlamme has traveled to some of the world’s most dangerous places and through her extensive war coverage of Iraq, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ukraine has documented the reality of how conflict warps society, punishes the most vulnerable and benefits the most corrupt.
A native of Kitchener-Waterloo, in 1988, LaFlamme began her career in local radio and TV in her hometown before making the move to CTV National News in 1997. She moved from Prime Time anchor of CTV Newschannel to an Ottawa correspondent in CTV’s Parliamentary bureau. In September 2001, LaFlamme became co-host of the number one morning show Canada Am. Her second day on the job, 9-11, the attacks on the World Trade Centre pulled her out of the studio once again to report from New York City, the United Nations, the Pentagon and ultimately Iraq and Afghanistan.
For more than a decade LaFlamme went from conflict zone to disaster zone delivering award winning coverage of hurricanes, earthquakes and climate crises including Southeast Asia in the wake of the deadly 2005 tsunami and Japan’s devastating nuclear emergency in 2011. That same year she was named Canada’s first female anchor of a national nightly newscast replacing longtime anchor Lloyd Robertson.
As Chief Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV National News for almost 12 years, LaFlamme led the country’s number one newscast and cemented her role as the face of news in Canada. During her career, she has received critical acclaim for her live special broadcasts from around the world marking moments in history from Royal weddings to funerals, major political upheaval at home and abroad, the rescue of the Chilean miners, the opioid crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing resilience of refugees. LaFlamme has reported extensively on the humanitarian crisis facing the Afghan people and has worked intensively on helping Afghan women and girls under threat by the Taliban.
The veteran journalist is the recipient of 12 Canadian Screen Awards, consecutive RTDNA awards as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award for broadcasting and journalism. Over her career she has received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater University of Ottawa, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. and the University of Windsor and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Trent University. She is the recipient of the Order of Ontario and in June 2019, was named Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.), one of the country’s highest honours.
A passionate advocate of democracy in journalism, LaFlamme volunteers for Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) and has traveled with the organization to the Democratic Republic of Congo to mentor young journalists in Goma, in the heart of the conflict zone. She serves as honorary co-chair of the annual JHR Night for Rights.
Lisa is also an ambassador for Plan International and volunteers for Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.
Photo by George Pimentel/Shutterstock
KEYNOTE SPEAKER 2022
Ancilla retired from a long career in the Nursing Profession in 2016. The last 10 years were spent as the Charge Nurse of the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre serving all of Halton.
Ancilla graduated from nursing school in Warwickshire, England, before emigrating to Canada and settling in Burlington where she found employment at the local Hospital.
Ancilla was involved with the Ontario Nurses Association for approximately 20 years as well as having been active in local union leadership positions where she joined others in advocating for better pay and working conditions for nurses.
Volunteering has always been very important to Ancilla, an opportunity that she feels affects change. She was involved at the inception of the Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee, the Halton Non-Profit Network, the Halton Newcomer Strategy and is currently volunteering with the following groups:
Ancilla is married with a daughter and two wonderful adult grandchildren.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER 2021
Dr. Janet Morrison was named Sheridan’s 8th President and Vice Chancellor on June 11, 2018; she had previously assumed the role of Provost and Vice President, Academic at Sheridan in 2016.
Prior to her appointment at Sheridan, Janet spent 17 years at York University, working in various roles focused on learning, discovery and engagement, most recently serving as Vice-Provost, Students. Before joining York, she held leadership positions in student affairs and taught at the University of Guelph, Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio and George Brown College. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in history and education.
Having worked in the post-secondary sector for over twenty-five years, Janet remains passionate about student success and community engagement. She served as a staff representative on York’s Board of Governors and in 2010 was awarded York University’s President’s Leadership Award. An active volunteer, Janet is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and previously chaired the Board of Directors for the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. She was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions, which was chaired by the Department for Women and Gender Equality. In addition, Janet is Co-Chair of the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Working Group that has been tasked with the development of a National Standard on Psychological Health & Safety for Post-Secondary Students.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER 2020
Dr. Lauryn Oates is Executive Director of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. She holds a BA Honours in International Development from McGill University, an MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University, and a PhD in Language and Literacy Education from the University of British Columbia. She has worked with a variety of development organizations, multilateral agencies and governments designing, planning, evaluating or implementing programming in education and in gender equality, particularly in war-affected countries.
She is the recipient of several awards and distinctions, including a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal awarded by the province of BC. She is an adjunct faculty member of UBC and associate faculty of the School of Humanitarian Studies at RRU, and her writing has been featured in the Guardian and The Conversation, among others.
We are thrilled to have Roberta Jamieson as our speaker as she is the first First Nation woman in Canada to earn a law degree; the first non-Parliamentarian appointed an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. An accomplished expert in alternative dispute resolution, Roberta also served as Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario.
Roberta is President and CEO of Indspire, a charity that disburses scholarships and bursaries to support Indigenous students in post-secondary education. There is also a K-12 Indspire Institute that supports educators and communities to improve educational outcomes with culturally grounded curriculum.
Roberta is an Officer of the Order of Canada, has been presented with numerous awards and honourary degrees and is a member of Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency.
Find out more about Indspire and the work they do at www.indspire.ca
“The purpose of marketing is to deliver business results,” says Arlene Dickinson, renowned CBC “dragon” and one of Canada’s most successful communications entrepreneurs. Whether explaining how to leverage marketing in even the toughest of economic times, sharing backstage stories from “The Den,” or giving audiences a look into her personal story of success, Dickinson’s experience and expertise always shine through.
Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs. As CEO of Venture Communications, her creative and strategic approach has turned the company into a powerhouse with a blue chip client list. She is also the CEO of District Ventures Capital a fund investing in Canadian companies in the food and health sectors.
Dickinson is best known to Canadians as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning series Dragons’ Den, an investor on The Big Decision, and a judge on Recipe to Riches. She is the author of two bestselling books — Persuasion, and her most recent bestselling release, All In.
Her success and leadership has been recognized with multiple honours and awards including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as being recognized with PROFIT and Chatelaine magazine’s TOP 100 Women Business Owners Awards.
Dickinson is an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and is the recipient of honorary degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University, Concordia University, Saint Mary’s University and NAIT. She is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal. She also sits on numerous public and private boards and is dedicated to giving back to her community and country.
Candy is a recovered lawyer turned feminist comic who was raised by bikers in the wilds of northern New Brunswick. She is an activist, actor, writer, international speaker, and 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 columnist with CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter and also guest hosted DNTO and q, and Has her own summer daily National radio show, The Candy Palmater Show.
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.
Human rights activist, journalist and award-winning author Sally Armstrong has covered stories about women and girls in zones of conflict all over the world. From Bosnia and Somalia to the Middle East, Rwanda, Congo, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Iraq and Guatemala, her eye witness reports have earned her awards including the Gold Award from the National Magazine Awards Foundation and the Author’s Award from the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters. She’s a four-time winner of the Amnesty International Canada Media Award in 2000, 2002, 2011 and again in 2017.
She was named the Massey Lecturer for 2019. The lectures and book are titled Power Shift: The Longest Revolution. In 2020 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women of Influence. Also in 2020 she delivered the Judy LaMarsh Lecture at Victoria College/ University of Toronto.
She was a member of the International Women’s Commission a UN body that consists of 20 Palestinian women, 20 Israeli women and 12 internationals whose mandate was assisting with the path to peace in the Middle East.
In 1996, Sally was honoured by the YWCA of Toronto with the prestigious Women of Distinction Award in Communications. In 1997 she received the Achievement
Award for Human Rights for Women from Jewish Women International; in 1998 Media Watch’s Dodi Robb Award and in 2003, the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement from the National Magazine Awards Foundation. In 2005, she received the Athena International Award (Chicago), the World of Difference Award from the International Alliance for Women (Florida) and the Red Cross Humanitarian Award – New Brunswick Region. In 2008 she received the Adrienne Clarkson Public Service Laureateship. And in May 2008, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation. In March 2010, she became the fourth recipient of The Calgary Peace Prize. In 2016 she was part of the team that received honourable mention in the Multi Media category of the News Photographers Association of Canada for the The Real Faces of ISIS. In June 2017 she received the Dave Greber Award for Social Justice Writing. And also in 2017 Sally along with photographer/videographer Peter Bregg won the Gold Award for Investigative Journalism at Canadian Online Publishing for the work about the Yazidis called Resisting Genocide. And in December 2017 Peter Bregg and Sally Armstrong received the Amnesty International Canada Media Award for their work in Iraq.
She is the recipient of twelve honorary doctorate degrees and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Her book Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan was published by Penguin Books in 2002. The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor was published by Random House in 2007. Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: the Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan’s Women was published by Penguin in 2008. Ascent of Women was published by Random House in March 2013. A revised version called Uprising: A new age is dawning for every mother’s daughter was published in March 2014 by St. Martins Press in New York. Power Shift: The Longest Revolution was published in 2019 by House of Anansi Press. Rebel by Rahaf Mohammed as told to Sally Armstrong is the shocking story of a young woman from Saudi Arabia who ran for her life and managed an extraordinary escape from her abusive family. It was published in March 2022.