National Role Models
In July 2013, Ms. Ambrose was appointed Minister of Health. Previously, she was appointed Minister of the Environment in February 2006, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification in January 2007, Minister of Labour in October 2008 and Minister of Public Works and Government Services in January 2010. She was appointed to the additional position of Minister for Status of Women in April 2010.
As Environment Minister, she introduced the Clean Air Act and was also an early leader in calling for a new international agreement, which includes all major emitters, a position now adopted by the international community in the Copenhagen Accord.
As Minister of Labour, she helped resolve strikes at VIA Rail, Ottawa’s public transit system and the Canadian National Railway.
Currently, Ms. Ambrose holds the position of interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Leader of the Opposition.
Prior to serving in Parliament, Ms. Ambrose worked in the Government of Alberta’s Department of International and Intergovernmental Relations. She has also worked in the private sector as a public policy consultant.
Her community service has included involvement in organizations working to end violence against women, including the Status of Women’s Action Group, the Victoria Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre, and the Edmonton Women’s Shelter.
Ms. Ambrose holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria and a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta.
Since arriving in Parliament, Justin has passionately advocated for greater political participation by Canada’s youth, while simultaneously arguing for more government action to help young Canadians become better prepared in a more competitive, globalized world. But more than just empowering young people, Justin pushes fellow community and political leaders to discover the importance of our youth and realize that their new ideas, opinions, and contributions are critical to Canada’s progress. Indeed, his role as Liberal Party Critic for Youth, Post Secondary Education and Amateur Sports, flows directly from his work chairing the 2006 youth task force of the Liberal Party Renewal Commission, from his chairing from 2002 to 2006 of Katimavik, Canada’s National Youth Service program, as well as from his work as a high school teacher for five years prior to that.
Another of Justin’s major concerns is how we care for the planet that sustains us. In his years before politics he worked with various environmental groups dedicated to the protection of our Canadian wilderness, supplementing his activism with graduate work in environmental geography at McGill University. For Justin, investing in youth, diversity and the environment are the best ways to ensure our country’s long-term prosperity.
Ashley’s interest in acting led her to starring in a commercial for The Hudson Bay, and has appeared in television mini-series, acted in countless stage performances and has lent her voice for cartoons. She appears in Blackstone, a television show that airs on APTN, Showcase, Maori Television in New Zealand and Hulu Television in the United States. Ashley is also featured in CBC’s 8th Fire Series and the Catch The Dream Series. Her youth foreshadowed her young adulthood, as she continued with acting and dancing.
In June 2010, Ashley placed 2nd Runner up in the Miss Universe Canada 2010 Pageant. She is the first Cree First Nations Woman to achieve this goal. During her reign as a Miss Universe Canada 2010 finalist, she traveled to hospitals and schools speaking about her life and reaching out to others. The loss of some very close family members have led Ashley to also support the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Walk for the Cure, Run for the Lung and mentor underprivileged aboriginal youth. Ashley is also currently the Youth Representative for the Stollery Family Centered Care Network for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Ashley was chosen as Miss Canada for the Miss Friendship International Pageant held in Hubei, China in September 2010 and represented Canada at the Queen of the World Final held in Germany 2010. She also represented Canada at Miss Humanity International in Barbados in October 2011. Ashley was also Top 10 at the Miss World Canada competition in 2012.
Ashley is also an international motivational speaker and role model for many educational institutions, workshops, conferences and award ceremonies. Ashley has spoken at Harvard University, Boston as the keynote speaker for an All Ivy Native Council, TED Talks and WE Day. Ashley’s hard work and charity work was recognized as she received the Role Model Award at the Dreamcatcher Gala and she also received the Top 20 Under 30 Award in Canada.
Ashley is currently the reigning Mrs Universe 2015 and a Canadian Activist for First Nations Rights and environmental causes in Canada. Ashley is also a spokesperson and model for the Nike N7 organization.
She is currently in the process of completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Ottawa. During her spare time she is busy volunteering by speaking to groups of young people across the country and sitting on various committees.
Caitlin previously held the position of the Spokesperson for the First Nations Quebec and Labrador Youth Network. During her tenure as the Spokesperson she had the opportunity of advocating for First Nations youth on the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council.
Caitlin strongly believes that First Nations youth are a vital component of society as they are not the leaders of tomorrow, but rather the leaders of today. She believes that it is time that their voices be heard and recognized with regards to any issue relevant to Canadian society.
In June 2012, Caitlin was also elected by members in Kitigan-Zibi as the youngest Band Councillor to become elected within her community at twenty one years old.
She has spoken passionately at various protest gatherings on Parliament Hill for issues facing First Nations women and youth, at events such as missing and murdered Indigenous women and First Nations education.
Caitlin is also considered to be a former Miss Algonquin Nation, Quebec Youth of the Year and National Aboriginal Role Model. She had the opportunity of representing her community by being an Olympic Torch Bearer during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
In previous sessions of Parliament, Megan took on several portfolios including Housing and Homelessness, and Health. Throughout her work in her community and on Parliament Hill, Megan has advocated for anti-poverty initiatives and Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) rights. Megan was one of only two Canadians asked to contribute to the Winter 2010 edition of the policy journal Americas Quarterly as a member of the “next generation of leadership” for the Americas.
Wesley’s speaking career began when he was invited to speak to 400 youth in Ottawa at the Unite & Ignite Conference in March 2011. From there, he has been invited to address schools, civic groups, universities and conferences, speaking to audiences young and old, and in front of groups of over 1,500.
He has been featured on Canada AM, Full Circle CTS, Always Good News with Connie Smith, Huntley Street Global, The National, CBC Newsworld, CTV News Channel, APTN News, CFRB 1010, 105.7Ed, 105.7 EZRock, CBC Radio, Wawatay Radio and Niagara Bullet News. He has been in the Niagara Falls Review, St. Catharines Standard, Niagara This Week, AirCreebec Inflight Magazine and Niagara Life Magazine as a “Notable Niagaran”. In 2011, Wes won the distinction of first runner up in One Dreem’s “Canada’s Next Top Young Philanthropist”. He was named a Top 5 Niagara Newsmaker in Bullet News and has earned the title of Free The Children’s “NHL All Star World Changers” contest.
In retrospect, I think it’s easy to portend the inhumanity that followed the first of many vile visions I was forced to execute. But it affected me every time, no question. I learned to refill a bullet chamber instead of a ink ink cartridge. I mastered how to spray walls with lead before I could lather paper in ink.Is there any reason I did away with errant shells for dimpled chads?
Worse than the experience of civil war is its grisly aftermath. Everyone wants to avenge their loss, many of which were committed by children who had yet to master the alphabet. Worse then was going back to my old neighborhood. I tried to conceal what wasn’t already looted but with little luck. I was shunned by my own community, the worst shame in a close-knit African culture. Elders derided my shamelessness and my peers projected their own vicious acts on me. The A-Z of life had changed. The more youthful the visage, the more adult the carnage. And so it was. Over the years I have dedicated my life to bring awareness to the issue of child soldiers and put a name and a face behind the stories people have been hearing. In my quest to raise awareness on the plight of current and former child soldiers, education has played an intricate part in helping give a voice to the voiceless. I have made it a point to make something out of nothing, to carve a path where there was none, and to make somebody out of someone everyone expected to be nobody.
“There is no destiny; one creates his destiny, what he wants it to be and not what it should be.”
Niki currently serves as NDP Status of Women Critic. A former instructor with University College of the North, she has an MA in International Affairs (Carleton University) and a BA in Global Political Economy (University of Manitoba). She is fluent in four languages, including Greek, her mother-tongue, and has studied four others. Niki visits communities throughout Churchill on a regular basis, including on the North’s many winter roads, and makes her home where she was born and raised: the city of Thompson.
Until 2003, she was a consultant to the Marketing, Web and Youth Programme for various corporate clients. She is an adviser to: the Canadian Association for AIDS Research; the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; Chat the Planet; the Global Youth Action Network; Pollution Probe; the Toronto International Film Festival; the Youth Employment Summit. She is also a Member of the Official Canadian Delegation to the World Summit on the Information Society. Jennifer gained her BA and MES from York University.
Since then, Ryan’s Well has helped build over 700 wells and 900 latrines, bringing safe water and improved sanitation to more than 750,000 people in 16 countries. Today, Ryan studies International Development and Public Affairs at University of King’s College in Halifax. He serves on the board of Ryan’s Well and continues to speak around the world on water issues and volunteerism.
He has received numerous awards including the Order of Ontario, the Canadian Meritorious Service Medal, the Lewis Perinbam Award, the Top 20 Under 20 Youth Award, and World of Children’s Founder Award. Ryan’s work has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, CBC and in Christian Science Monitor, People, and Reader’s Digest. He is recognized by UNICEF as a Global Youth Leader.
In his travels, he has shared the experiences of disabled residents of Phelisanong in Lesotho, and rallied with them in drawing attention to the ravages of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. With confidence, pride and with the knowledge gained through his participation in the Nanisiniq project and the Canadian Rangers, Curtis’ commitment to dignity is helping other Inuit youth take pride in who they are: their history, culture and what they have to offer to the world.
With the desire to “bridge communities,” she became a community activist and co-founded the C3 Society in 2003 and ran as a Conservative candidate in the 2008 election. In her capacity as Senator, she champions the needs of the national Korean Canadian community and the Veterans of the Korean War. She is also passionate about mentoring and empowering youth and young adults, which led to the development of a Parliamentary Internship program for 1.5/2nd generation leaders, now in its second year.
Emmanuel has released six award nominated studio albums: Naath The Key, Gua, Ceasefire, Warchild and See Me Mama. He has just released a joint album Naath in June 2018, an infectious afrobeats infused album with his highly talented sister Nyaruach. His live appearances have included Live 8, Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Concert and the One Concert for his Holiness the Dalai Lama. He has collaborated and performed alongside artists such as Lauryn Hill, Xavier Rudd, Peter Gabriel, Nelly Furtado, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Joss Stone, Ed Sheeran, Nile Rodgers and Alicia Keys.
Drawing on his personal experiences and background, he speaks and performs with a strong message of reconciliation and peace, and has addressed the UN, US Congress, the Carter Centre and the very highest level of several governments.
In 2008 a full-length documentary on his life was released. The film, Warchild, won 12 prestigious film festival awards worldwide. In the same year, his autobiography, also called Warchild, was published by Little Brown.
Emmanuel co-starred with Reese Witherspoon in the Warner Brothers motion picture, The Good Lie which tells the story about the journey of four young Sudanese refugees (based on The Lost Boys of Sudan) who win a lottery for relocation to the United States. The film made its debut to rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival before being released in October 2014. Emmanuel has also appeared as the adult lead in the major motion picture Africa United; a Pathé, UK Film Council and BBC Films presentation in association with Warner Bros, released in October 2010.
During his career, he has been involved with a number of global charity organisations, including the British Council, the Child Soldiers Initiative, Amnesty International and Oxfam. He has spoken alongside major players in the world of global humanitarianism, including Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-Moon and The Elders Group. Emmanuel has been invited numerous times to speak at Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite conference on Necker Island on global leadership and philanthropy. He has continued to support and work alongside Amnesty International as one of their main spokespeople and has received numerous awards for his peace efforts in South Sudan including recognition from Ban Ki Moon at the UN.
In 2010, Jal released ‘We Want Peace’, part of a wider campaign of the same name that called for peace, protection and justice for all of Sudan, as well as calling for an end to all conflicts that affect innocent people around the world. This campaign is supported by a number of A-list stars and leaders, including George Clooney, Alicia Keys, Richard Branson, Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan. Through social media and fan participation, the campaign has grown in strength and Emmanuel’s message of peace has resonated particularly amongst young people, allowing them to connect to larger social and political issues through emotional empathy. With the support of organizations such as Free The Children, Amnesty International, Ford Foundation, Humanity United and many others, Emmanuel has taken ‘We Want Peace’ on the road and spoken to hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world, touring across Mexico, the UK, the US, Africa, Canada, Australia and Asia. Often these tours include visits to community centres, youth detention centres and prisons where Emmanuel has been able to speak first hand to young people who have become disengaged with education and society.
For his outstanding commitment to peace building, Jal has been awarded the Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent 2018, Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Award 2017, Hero in the global campaign against violent extremism – UNESCO 2016, The Hunt Humanitarian Award, The Dresden Peace Prize and The Common Ground Award amongst others. In 2012, he was asked to be a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum, and he has performed at the G20 summit in Mexico.
Emmanuel is also the creator of Jal Gua, a gluten free super food powder made of organic sorghum and organic moringa, which has 140% iron, 45% Vitamin C and 40% Vitamin B1 of the daily recommended intake. Jal Gua has a distribution deal with Pilling Foods in Ontario, Canada and is currently stocked in major health stores across Canada including WHOLE FOODS as well as online: www.jalgua.com.
Emmanuel's greatest passion is his charity which he founded in 2009 Gua Africa which supports those affected by war and poverty from South Sudan. The charity has trained and educated South Sudanese refugees to becoming first-class professionals in medicine, law and education.
Jaden's infectious enthusiasm and authentic love for everyone around him, without exception, have provided inspiration around the world. He is non-verbal, and yet, without saying a word, he has more impact on people than most of us could dream to have. One short video of him singing with his dad a few years ago received over 1.4 million views on Facebook.
Currently, Jaden is enrolled in a program called Quest for Independence, learning skills that will help him succeed in whatever opportunities life has for him in the future. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Ms. Jean and her parents were amongst the thousands of families forced to flee François Duvalier’s regime in 1968. Settling in Quebec, she experienced the great trials of a forced exile, what it means to start from scratch, and to rebuild oneself—as well as the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of becoming a Canadian citizen.
While studying at the University of Montreal she became active within the Quebec women’s movement, which would greatly influence her working life and lead her to help build a vast net-work with hundreds of emergency shelters for battered women and their children.
In 2005 Ms. Jean became the 27th Governor General of Canada. Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, she served as the UNESCO Special Envoy to support reconstruction efforts there. Following her serving as Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, Ms. Jean became the 3rd Secretary General of La Francophonie until 2019.
Ms. Jean has received dozens of honors and distinctions, including the Ordre des Chevaliers de La Pléiade; the United Nations Development Fund for Women Canada Award for her outstanding contribution in advancing gender equality; and the Grand Cross, the highest distinction granted by the order of the Legion of Honour, in recognition of “her unwavering courage to fight the injustices of this world.”
Together with her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond, Ms. Jean founded the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, whose programs support, through art and culture, civic initiatives alongside some of the most vul-nerable and disenfranchised—yet so eager and creative—young people in Canada.
As the sister of a young person with an intellectual disability, Kara is passionate about empowering young people to create inclusive, accessible communities. Through the Ottawa Hub of the Global Shapers (an initiative of the World Economic Forum), she co-leads Discovery Crew, a project that connects young professionals and people with intellectual disabilities to form friendships and collaboratively develop solutions that enable all people to participate as active citizens. Most recently, she spoke about the importance of creating inclusive communities with people with intellectual disabilities at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions alongside Minister Hessa Buhumaid of the UAE.
An active community volunteer, Kara was named one of Ottawa's Forty Under 40 by the Ottawa Board of Trade and the Ottawa Business Journal in 2019, recognizing accomplished and rising business leaders under the age of 40 in the national capital region.
Global Dignity Day Champions
Woodward has led multi-site organizations nationally, marketing and outreach internationally, corporate board and organizational development, and setting up strategic relationships worldwide. He has coordinated the formation of several key international marketing consortia, and collaborative initiatives across professional disciplines. In addition Woodward has initiated the development of various business startups and educational projects involving small businesses, universities, corporations, and government agencies within the U.S. and in peer regions of the world. Clients Woodward has worked with include the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, the Eiken Foundation of Japan, the Ministry of Education of Korea, the Yemeni Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources, Samsung Corporation, World Learning, AMIDEAST, Academy for Educational Development, Boeing, Microsoft, USAID, EPA, the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT), the Japan-U.S. Exchange Commission and dozens of universities and schools worldwide. Woodward has also provided recruiting, consulting and liaison services for Sultan Qaboos University (Muscat), the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Abu Dhabi), Goodman Real Estate (Seattle), and Quality Schools International (Ljubljana). He has established contracts for services, branch offices and representative service arrangements with client organizations in Oman, Kazakhstan, Russia, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Australia, and six U.S. states, as well as managing for-profit and not-for-profit subsidiaries and spin-offs.
Woodward is a member of the District Export Council for Washington State, a member of the Seattle International Affairs Advisory Board, a member of the Washington State Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Past Chair of the Board of the Rotary Club of Seattle (2018 - 2019), a Senior Adviser for the Chungbuk Free Economic Zone of Korea, a member of the Constituent Council of the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA), a member of the board of Taproot Theatre Company, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Persian & Iranian Studies program of the University of Washington.
Woodward was born in Iran where he spent his early youth and developed a fascination for languages and cultures of the world. As a result, he became fluent in Persian, French and Arabic, studied Greek, Hebrew and German, and has traveled to over 50 countries. Following studies at Carleton College (Northfield, MN) and the University of Washington (Seattle, WA), he received a National Resource Fellowship in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization in 1981 completing the degree in 1985. Woodward holds four degrees from the University of Washington including a Master of Education in Higher Education with a specialization in Teaching English as a Second Language, a Master of Arts in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, and a Bachelor of Arts in History. Beside teaching for A.C.E., Woodward taught English as a foreign language at Kuwait University in 1982-83. Over his career he has presented extensively in forums and conferences on international business, cross-cultural communication, language education, international program administration, and Middle East civilization.
In Parliament – and in communities across Canada – Tom has led the fight for better health care, real action on climate change, and to make life more affordable for Canadians.
Tom is the second oldest of ten brothers and sisters. From an early age, he learned the importance of looking out for others, sticking together, and backing up principles with action. Those middle-class values continue to guide Tom – as a father, grandfather, and leader of the NDP.
Elizabeth May is the leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament representing the southern Vancouver Island riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands. She is one of Canada’s most respected environmentalists. As well, she practiced law and is also the author of eight books. Elizabeth became active in the environmental movement in the 1970s. She is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School and was admitted to the Bar in both Nova Scotia and Ontario.
She held the position of Associate General Council for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre prior to becoming Senior Policy Advisor to the federal minister of the Environment from 1986 until 1988. Elizabeth became Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada in 1989, a position she held until March 2006, when she stepped down to run for leadership of the Green Party of Canada.
Elizabeth is the author of eight books, including her most recent book Who we are: Reflections on my life and on Canada. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the International Institute for Sustainable Development and as Vice-Chair of the National Round Table on Environment and Economy and is currently a Commissioner of the Earth Charter International Council. Elizabeth became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005. In November, 2010, Newsweek magazine named her “one of the world’s most influential women.” In the 2011 Federal Election, Elizabeth made history by being the first Green Party candidate to be elected to the House of Commons and was once again re-elected in Fall 2015 Federal Election. She was chosen (by a vote of all MPs) as Maclean’s magazine’s 2012 Parliamentarian of the Year, 2013 Hardest Working MP, 2014 Best Orator and by the Hill Times in 2013 and 2014 as Hardest Working MP, Best Constituency MP and Best Public Speaker.
As a trusted advisor, Hugues represents start-ups, family owned businesses and mid-size companies at the local, national and international level in a wide range of industries. Hugues’ expertise is on the creation of various tax-effective structures (with the use of Family Trusts & Holding companies, Estate freeze, Section 85 & 86 corporate re-organizations, etc.), for the preservation, accumulation and transfer of wealth for entrepreneurs and their families. He also advises clients on their legal matters and day-to-day business issues including but not limited to; Business Formation (including Professional Corporation for Doctors, Dentists, etc.), Mergers & Acquisitions (buying and selling of businesses), Corporate Finance, Franchise Law and Wills, Trusts, Tax and Estate planning with a strong concentration in both corporate and personal tax.
Prior to entering private practice, Hugues was sought out to be a co-founder of a new corporation with a unique mandate. Cnapsis Inc. is a social enterprise, based in Canada, which supports local health care delivery efforts in developing countries by working with existing broad-scale implementation partners including USAID, John Snow Inc. and the Clinton Health Access Initiative to fine tune their approaches given geographic, human resource and financial resource limitations. Hugues is a regular contributor to key strategic and operational decisions, which most recently led to the development of a laboratory support network facilitating the HIV treatments for patients in a post-conflict zone in Northern Uganda. As General Counsel, Hugues serves as the chief legal advisor to the management team of the company and he is responsible for the sound and efficient management of the legal affairs of Cnapsis.
Hugues is a frequent legal contributor to various media across Canada and he is also a regular guest speaker at the MBA program and the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. In addition, Hugues is a business partner with Invest Ottawa and he sits on the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) loan review committee.
Recognizing the importance of helping his community, Hugues is a Founding Steering Committee Member of the Southam Club, a dynamic group of individuals from a new generation who come together at arts and culture events at the National Arts Centre of Canada. Hugues is also the Founder, Chairman & CEO of the Young Business Network of the National Capital, a not-for-profit organization that aims to empower business leaders in Ottawa. More recently Hugues was appointed as Chair of the Business Development group for the Ottawa United Way’s 2013 Community Campaign to assist in raising local and national corporate donations.
He completed a B.A. (Hons.) at Queen’s University in Political Studies, where he was a Chancellor’s Scholar. He has a master’s degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Ottawa, where he served as an assistant to Dr. Peter Jones on Track Two diplomatic dialogues focusing on the Middle East and South Asia.
He was an international development fellow of the Aga Khan Foundation in Kulob, Tajikistan (2009-2010), and a development officer of the Canadian International Development Agency posted to the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar, Afghanistan (2010-2011).
Ian helps manage Peace Geeks’ Remote Internships Program, which he co-founded. He has served in elections observation missions with Mission Leadership Québec in Guatemala, and with CANADEM in Ukraine. He is also on the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ civilian expert roster, and works with the UN’s Alliance of Civilizations’ initiative to bridge the Western and Muslim worlds. In 2013 he was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum and an Action Canada Fellow for 2013-2014.
Tim began his career as a communications professional in the Office of former Premier of New Brunswick, Bernard Lord. There, he specialized in event management, communications and liaising with government agencies, with such organizations as the New Brunswick Advisory on Youth.
He then moved to the federal government and worked as Press Secretary for the Minister of Immigration, acting as spokesperson. Tim managed press conferences, led community engagement strategies and liaised regularly with international governments and media.
Most recently, Tim served as the Director of Communications to the Minister of the Health, Leona Aglukkaq, where he specialized in crisis and strategic communications. He was the chief media spokesperson for the portfolio, where he gave hundreds of media interviews and also coached other senior departmental spokespeople. Tim successfully managed numerous Public Opinion Research projects and marketing campaigns during his three year tenor at Health Canada. He is best known for his work as the government’s communications lead during the H1N1 pandemic.
Medhat has served in a variety of leadership capacities at both the YMCA of Greater Toronto and YMCA Canada. An architect of the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s current 10-year strategic plan, Strong Start, Great Future, Medhat is committed to building 10 new YMCA Centres of Community across the GTA in order to help advance the Y’s vision that “our communities will be home to the healthiest children, teens and young adults.”
Medhat holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Toronto and has served on a number of high profile task forces, including the Government of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Panel.
Born and raised in Ottawa Jeff is married to Karen, they have three grown children Brendan, Amy and Corey and 2 grandchildren Raelyn and Deacon.
An experienced executive leader, businessman, fundraiser and volunteer he spent over 20 years in the landscape industry and several in telecom. While in various management roles with both United Way Ottawa and United Way Canada for over 12 years, Jeff helped raised millions of dollars and became a passionate volunteer at the same time.
He is a former Vice-President of the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society where he became a certified bone marrow and stem cell courier, a contributing member of the Walk to Fight Arthritis committee, the Nordic Walk Leadership team in support of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and former trustee of the Canadian Museum of Nature.
He is an active and founding board member of Project North and has helped deliver over $750 000 of new hockey equipment to children in Inuit communities. A proud member of the board of the Algonquin College Foundation and Vice –Chair of the Bronson Centre.
Jeff was recognised with a Community Builder Award from United Way, Algonquin College Alumni of the year, St. Joe’s Women’s Centre “Quality of Life “ Award, The Mayor’s Medallion from Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien and in 2013 he received the Community Hero Award from Algonquin College and the Ottawa Senators Foundation.
She holds a bachelors degree in Communication Studies from the University of Windsor.
In 2012, she directed “Coming home to boon”, a short documentary featuring an immigrant woman from Eritrea a traditional coffee ceremony that helps her cope with the culture shock of her new environment. This film is selected to be part of the 2013 Festival du Nouveau Cinéma.
Feven has also worked in the non-profit sector with newcomer youth, an experience which deepened her sensitivty towards stories related to immigration.
In 2013, she completed studies in documentary directing at L’Inis in Montreal. This opportunity led her to direct “The other side of her path”, a short film that was presented at the Montreal World Film Festival.
A pioneer in the field of social isolation and connectedness, Ms. Samuel combines academic research, writing and lecturing with direct programmatic and partnership building experience supporting communities across the globe facing diverse challenges. Her work focusing on social isolation as a critical experiential and measurable component of multi-dimensional poverty underscores the importance of social connectedness to human dignity and human rights struggles globally.
Ms. Samuel is actively engaged in several joint programmatic and research efforts. She works in partnership with the Synergos Institute, Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation and the Foundation for Community Development advancing advocacy and programming that supports social connectedness for children. Ms. Samuel plays an active and ongoing role with Special Olympics International and in particular with regard to the Family Support and Unified Sports programming initiatives. Ms. Samuel is also engaged in partnership with Indigenous communities in northern Canada including Misipawistik Cree Nation, supporting community driven strategies for strengthening education and employment.
Ms. Samuel is Professor of Practice at the Institute for Studies in International Development, McGill University. Ms. Samuel also serves as a Policy Advisor to the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) where she was a Visiting Scholar (2013 and 2014). Among other appointments and memberships, Ms. Samuel is a Founding Member of the Global Philanthropists Circle; Director of the Synergos Institute; Quincy Jones Music Consortium; the Temenos Academy; Prince’s School for Traditional Arts; World Economic Forum (WEF) and WEF’s Family Business Community; the Clinton Global Initiative; the TED conference; the Africa Advisory Committee and the Disability Rights Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch; and the Advisory Board of TakingITGlobal.
As President of The Samuel Family Foundation, Ms. Samuel has actively engaged in a number of collaborative partnerships directed toward global poverty eradication, global environmental sustainability and conservation, youth empowerment, Indigenous rights and human rights advocacy, preservation of traditional arts and wisdom, disability rights and family support. As a Director of The Samuel Group of Companies, founded in 1855, comprising a network of operations across North America engaged in the processing, manufacturing and distribution of steel and other metals, Ms. Samuel has advanced corporate leadership within Canada and internationally and in particular with regard to corporate social responsibility.
On September 13, 2012 Mike was sworn into the Queen’s Privy Council, after being asked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to serve on the Priorities and Planning Cabinet Sub-Committee on Government Administration. On October 19, 2015, he was re-elected to a fourth term, receiving the 5th highest vote total out of 1,800 candidates, from all parties, across the country. He currently serves as the Shadow Minister for Youth, Sport and Accessibility.
Prior to entering federal politics, Mike worked for 10 years with the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club where he served as National Accounts Manager, Director of Ticket Sales, and Group Sales Manager. Mike holds a Bachelor of Commerce (with distinction) from the University of Alberta.
Mike has two children, a son Jaden, 23, and daughter Jenae, 20. The Lakes have been active advocates for individuals with autism around the world, while sharing their story of life with Jaden, who has autism.
As co-founder, creative director of LembasWorks, a Sustainable Development Goals accelerating entertainment & design agency, she channels over 25 years of international experience in global markets to create and produce strategic "creations of purpose" that visualise inventive intersections between the arts and entertainment industry, responsible commerce, education and regenerative change.
The first Indian music composer/ producer/ artist to collaborate with the Cirque Du Soleil, she has also engaged with them as a global creative strategist, and casting advisor. Her multicultural work with the company has featured on The Tonight Show (Jay Leno), The Late Night Show (Conan O’ Brien), Fuji TV, CBC and through world tours.
In 2015, Tara debuted Quest- an interactive, audio visual project to orchestrate dialogues on human and environmental issues, to acclaim on CBC, NPR, KEXP, Sirius XM, and acknowledgement on international stages like TIFF 2015, Hatch (2016). The project showcases “narratives that matter”, to shift behavioural perspectives and bridge cultural insights. Her vision for “Creators as Catalysts for Change” was recognised at COP21, Paris (2015) as was Lembas, for its eco responsible, interactive show designs.
Ambassador for "Cultural and Philosophical Expressions for Social Change" at the World Social Forum, (Montreal, 2016), Tara has represented India and Canada as an Artist/Speaker with her philosophy of "Creating your Purpose” through Arts & Entertainment.
Recipient of the prestigious Herald Angel Award, Tara has beena leading creative voice in media, with shows on National Geographic, Discovery, MTV and clients like Pepsi, L'Oreal and more, to her credit. Her solo/ collaborative creations have been presented through North America, Asia and Europe, on stages ranging from The Royal Albert Hall, Place Des Arts, South Bank Center, Fuji Dome to universities like MIT, McGill, and IIT.
Tara’s philosophy is to transform social challenges as catalysts for innovative and responsible creation. She also creates education and thought leadership progressive curriculum, with mentorship for diverse creators, through a workshop series called Create your Purpose.
I’m a system thinker with a passion for inventing transformative intersections between the Arts and Entertainment industry, sustainable business and community engagement towards social and environmental responsibility.
As co-founder and Executive Producer of LembasWorks, a Sustainable Development Goals accelerating arts & entertainment agency, I bring over 20 years of operations design and activation experience in the entertainment industry. My specialization is in producing transformative conceptual experiences and conscious innovation towards cultural change.
I bring strategic design and on-ground physical and digital production direction experience in global entertainment markets, to live events, film and television, festivals, artist tours, new media and performance venues.
I have also co-designed and produced large scale “entertainment for education” prototypes for clients like McGill University, offered strategic and technical event direction for numerous international projects. I’ve also been acknowledged for LembasWorks' signature eco-responsible live show designs, and new business designs for social good, at Toronto International Film Festival 2015, COP 21 in Paris, Hatch 2016 in Panama and more.
In 2017, I co-created and presented “Create your Purpose” - a program, spearheading the creation of initiatives to build mentorship bridges for creators aspiring to engage in developing social and environmental impact through entertainment. In 2018, I presented a dynamic vision of production and operations strategies for this program, linking with the business leadership skills Tilt initiative at the Sloan School, MIT.
After extensively travelling through North America, Europe and Asia managing technical and production teams with the Cirque du Soleil for over 10 years, contributing to international touring productions for artists like The Rolling Stones, The Tragically Hip, Spice Girls and more - I developed a passion for guiding highly creative collaborations through fast paced, international environments with a dedicated focus towards secure execution.
I'm currently focused on re-imagining socio-environmentally responsible digital models for creative platforms that translate into the digital world, while impacting health for all ecosystems.
If you've made it this far...I know we'll get along! Come create your purpose with us!
A lover of nature and wildlife, as well as fantasy and video game art, her illustrations create
simple perspectives of magical, imaginative narratives.
She is also a passionate snowboard instructor.
Volunteering at food banks in Val David, Quebec through Covid 19, she is learning relevant methods and skills for contributing to creating equity, by serving communities of care.
For over a decade Giovanna has worked with federal government agencies as well as for a former Prime Minister of Canada in the field of political and digital communications. She has spearheaded national initiatives with individuals of all political stripes in the promotion of women to elected office through her work with organizations such as Equal Voice. To this end, Giovanna has been a Parliamentary witness, a guest lecturer and a keynote speaker at events and conferences around the world relating to the advancement of young women in politics and digital democracy.
In 2011, Giovanna was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum for her efforts to improve the state of the world through entrepreneurialism and civic engagement. She holds a degree in Political Science and International Relations from Carleton University. Giovanna lives and works in Ottawa, Canada and Geneva, Switzerland.
CEO and Co-Founder, M&C Consulting and Mcrowdsourcing Canada (MC2), Inc.
Global Dignity Canada Role:
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After completing her BA Degree from Carleton University in 2009, she returned home to work with Yukon First Nations and local communities in the areas of education, economic development, governance and child and youth development. She has worked with numerous local, regional and national organizations and governments. She served as Advisor to former Assembly of First National Chief National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, and has since began a new role at Northwestel as Director of Government Relations and based at home in the Yukon.
She dances traditionally and is a member of the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers, an Inland Tlingit Dance Group. It is important for her to stay connected and involved with her communities and youth; she is a member of the Yukon College Board of Governors, and recently Co-founded the group Our Voices- Yukon First Nation Emerging who support Indigenous youth in the Yukon connect and build healthy networks; develop their leadership skills, create opportunities through cultural revitalization and life promotion. This newly developed group hosted their first ever youth gathering in 2014 and their work continues to inspire and motivate young people to make positive choices! This year the 2nd Youth Gathering in the Yukon is to take place in July 2015 with the theme Strength with Circle focused on wellness!
international affairs in her global development class. On a mission to make the world a better place for everyone, she’s strongly motivated by principles of inclusivity, equality, diversity and compassion. In her spare time, Adelaide is an active athlete, where she has been a swimming instructor, lifeguard and a participant in the Vancouver Marathon. She is fluent in English and French. By joining Global Dignity, Adelaide is ready to help in whatever way she can to make this year’s Global Dignity Day better than any other year.