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Thursday Special Opening Presentation
The Road Less Travelled
Candy is a recovered lawyer turned feminist comic. She is an actor, writer, columnist, international speaker, activist, comedian, 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 she 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 spring of 2019. Candy is currently taping Season One of her Podcast, Sweet Talk with Candy Palmater. It will be available on iTunes and on TheCandyShow.com website by end of summer 2018. Be sure to subscribe to the website to not miss out on the first episode.
THE WEXFORD GLEEKS
Thursday Special Opening Presentation
The Award Winning Wexford Gleeks are a nationally recognized ensemble formed from the auditioned Wexford Collegiate Performing Arts program. They have recently been the subject of the award winning TVO documentary 'Unsung - Behind the Glee' and 'The Real Glee' by Global television's 16 by 9. In the last year they have performed for George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Goldie Hawn and perform regularly at events all over the province. Graduates of the program work all over the world with former students working at Shaw, Stratford and on Broadway.
Thursday Luncheon Keynote
George O'Connor is an author, illustrator and cartoonist. His first graphic novel, Journey Into Mohawk Country, used as its sole text the actual historical journal of the seventeenth-century Dutch trader Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert, and told the true story of how New York almost wasn't. He followed that up with Ball Peen Hammer, the first graphic novel written by playwright Adam Rapp, a dark, dystopian view of a society's collapse.
Now he has brought his attention to OLYMPIANS, an ongoing series retelling the classic Greek myths in comics form. Olympians is currently 11 volumes, with the twelfth and final volume expected to be published next year. His most recent volume, Hephaistos: God of Fire was published in January.
In addition to his graphic novel career, O'Connor has published several children's picture books, including the New York Times best-selling Kapow!, Sally and the Some-Thing, and If I Had a Triceratops.
Thursday Banquet Keynote
Discovering The Reader In Me
Karl Subban is a former school principal in one of Toronto's toughest neighbourhoods and has dedicated his life to helping others reach their potential- to be better at their careers, and as people. In his thirty years of coaching, teaching, parenting and leading, Karl has learned how to inspire people. "Your greatest gift is your potential," he often says, "and your greatest gift to the world is the development of that potential."
Hailing from the Caribbean where they never played hockey, Karl and wife Maria have nonetheless raised three NHL players, including Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban-one of the league's brightest stars and an Olympic Gold Medal winner. His second son, Malcolm, is a goalie with Vegas Golden Knights and Jordan, son number three, is a minor league prospect. His two daughters, Nastassia and Natasha are educators in the TDSB. His new memoir, How We Did It: The Subban Plan for Success in Hockey, School and Life became an immediate, national bestseller.
Karl is a popular inspirational speaker across Canada and has worked with Canadian Tire, Hyundai Canada and American Express. He is also recipient of the DAREarts Leadership Award, African Canadian Achievement Awards of Excellence in Education and Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award. In addition, he has been a guest author at the prestigious Politics and Pen Gala in Ottawa.
MAGGIE MACDONNELL (replacing DAVID BOOTH)
Friday Breakfast Keynote
Maggie MacDonnell is an educator and sport for development practitioner with over 10 years of global field experience. Her work has brought her to many corners of the globe and ranged from working with Congolese refugees, to Tanzanian HIV/AIDS activists, to Inuit youth in Northern Canada. She completed her undergraduate in Human Kinetics at St. Francis Xavier University, studied community development at Coady International Institute, and pursued her Masters on gender, sport and community development at the University of Toronto. She studied directly under Dr. Bruce Kidd and her work on sport as a tool in peacebuilding was shared at the Beijing Olympics. In 2009 she was awarded a prestigious Jeanne Sauve Fellowship and joined a community of 14 international youth scholars and activists.
For the last 7.5 years, Maggie has been teaching in a fly-in Inuit community called Salluit, where she helped establish an all-girls project based learning program. In 2017 Maggie was named the winner of the US $1,000,000 Global Teacher Prize, standing out from over 20,000 nominees from 179 countries. Maggie has been recognized for her work by the Governor General, to the Albert Einstein Foundation to most recently being named one of BBC’s top 100 Women. Maggie is passionate about creating education programs that create opportunities for social mobility, empower youth and cultivate healthy communities. She is the co-founder of Qajaq/Kayak – an organization that aims to revitalize the culture of kayaking with Inuit youth and adults. She is also co-founder of the Nunavik Running Club which trains Inuit youth to both be runners and philanthropists.
Friday Luncheon Keynote
"It Was An Accident!"
David Shannon grew up in Spokane, WA and graduated with a BFA in illustration from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. In 1983, he moved to New York City and worked as a free-lance editorial illustrator. David's work appeared in many publications, including Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times, as well as numerous book jackets and posters. In 1988, he began illustrating children's books and has since written and/or illustrated over 35 picture books, including the bestsellers A Bad Case Of Stripes, Duck On A Bike, Alice The Fairy and the semi-autobiographical, No, David!, which received a Caldecott Honour in 1999. His latest book is Grow Up, David! (Scholastic, Aug. 2018)