November 12, 2017

Dubbed the "City of Glass" by Douglas Coupland, a steel-and-glass architectural aesthetic dominates Vancouver's downtown.

In a city that is both a paradise and unaffordable, where technology collides with nature, and luxury lives blocks from extreme poverty, this refracted view of our skyline underscores one fact that there is no single way of looking at things.

At TEDx Vancouver 2017, we invite you to celebrate the many lenses through which we can see the world.


Karina LeBlanc rocketed to global prominence as a soccer star while playing for Canada for 18 years. She's fiercely represented Canada in 2 Olympics games winning a bronze medal at the London Olympics, 5 WorldCups and 3 Pan-American games. Since retiring, Karina has hosted Olympic broadcasts, become a motivational speaker at major national/international events, and named a UNICEF Ambassador. Karina has gone from saving goals on the field to helping others go after their own goals in life.

Rooted in Coast Salish culture, Miss Christie Lee of Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Squamish families, was brought up in a musical world. With her focused genre being hip-hop, she as an emcee incorporates her traditional knowledge, stories, and ancient Musqueam dialect to spread her cultural teachings. As a multifaceted artist, Christie expresses her gifts in many forms —as a coastal hand drum singer, emcee, filmmaker, and storyteller.

Reisa Pollard is a local interior designer and entrepreneur. The elements she uses are often aesthetically inspired by her travel experiences. Reisa founded her interior design company Beyond Beige in 2003. She has been nominated for a number of design and business awards, including YMCA’s Woman of the Year. Reisa revels in the recreation of the spaces around her and the construction of immaculate solutions to any problem she’s faced with.

Serinda Swan is a popular local Canadian actress originally from West Vancouver, born into a family that values the performing arts. Although her father is a seasoned theatre director who runs his own studio, Serinda chose to follow in her mother's footsteps by passionately pursuing an acting career. Serinda is known for her roles in Breakout Kings, Graceland, Ballers, and her current lead role in ABC’s Inhumans.

This up-and-coming progressive pop band was formed by two brothers just earlier this year. Together lead vocalist and guitarist, Jack Di Blasio and Patrick Di Blasio on piano and drums break down musical boundaries as they blend elements of pop, rock, and EDM in their compositions. To date, the Strange has released two singles, Energy Lust in May and Supernova in August. ​The band's first full-length EP is set to be released in the later months of 2017.

Ginger Gosnell-Myers, of Nisga'a and Kwakwaka’wakw heritage, is currently the City of Vancouver's Aboriginal Relations manager. This position is new and already indispensable to managing the emerging understandings between First Nations communities and Vancouver's more recent inhabitants. She has worked on the Environics Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study, Canada's largest study on Aboriginal people's living in in urban centres. Ginger’s ultimate goal is to advance reconciliation and promote understanding of Vancouver as unceded territory.

Jason Robinson, better known as "Caliden", is a Vancouver-based artist and fashion designer, whose work spans multiple mediums and styles. His work centers around hyperrealistic depictions of human beauty. Elusive and dynamic, Caliden's art has been featured in Flare Magazine, Holt Renfrew, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Author-photographer-farmer Michael Ableman has been organically farming since the 1970s and founded Sole Food Street Farms —the largest urban agriculture project in North America— right here in Vancouver. His mission is to redefine our values around food and community by connecting and cultivating them together —using a unique approach. Ableman accomplishes this by empowering individuals dealing with addiction and mental health issues by providing them with agricultural training, employment, and a sense of inclusivity.

The Star Captains are an experimental electronic-alternative band local to Vancouver, featuring NaRai on vocals, Jim Black on guitar, Max Zipursky on keyboard, and Gavin Youngash on bass. The Captains debuted with the album New Freedoms in 2013, which set the group apart with its haunting atmospheric melodies and distinct utilization of synthesizers. Their upcoming album, Lightwork, will explore hip-hop, R&B, and pop music styles.

Joely Fisher is an American actress and singer best known for roles in Pretty Smart, Ellen, and Cabaret. Joely has experienced some profound grief in her life with the recent passing of her older sister Carrie Fisher. The ultimate separation from someone she held dear has deeply affected Joely, and inspired her to passionately advocate for child and family well-being through her contributions to Save the Children and the Dream Foundation.

Wesley Williams, Canadian rapper, producer, and renaissance man, is better known as "Maestro Fresh Wes". Maestro is a distinguished genre ambassador in hip hop and Juno Award Winner, and was named CBC Music's top Canadian rapper in 2013. After reaching this pinnacle, Maestro began challenging himself by exploring the paths of writing, motivational speaking, and acting. He has often been featured as a keynote speaker and co-authored the book "Stick to Your Vision".

Cameron Herold is the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, a serial entrepreneur, and influential speaker. Cameron has gone from starting businesses at the age of seven to building $100 million companies. He delivered the TED talk 'Let's Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs'. Over time, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to guide businesses to eliminate inefficiencies, ultimately widening their scope for success. Herold is the author of three business books; "Double Double", "The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs," and "Meetings Suck".

Bal Arneson infused her career with the same notable flare that inspired the countless recipes found in all three of her national bestselling cookbooks. This very spark led her to become the host of her own cooking show, "Spice Goddess". Bal emigrated to Canada from a tiny village in Punjab, India and went from having nothing, to moving to Vancouver after being forced into an arranged marriage, to becoming an internationally renowned culinary personality.

PraiseTEAM Showcase has relentlessly competed across North America as an innovative urban dance group of elite students from the performing Arts studio. This talented local group will showcase unique choreography that will claim and disrupt the TEDx stage. PraiseTEAM Showcase inspire crowds both locally by performing captivating synchronistic storytelling through the art of dance, and globally by presenting proceeds from their year end show to impoverished communities in the Philippines.

David successfully sued the Ontario Premier for breach of trust after failing to apologize for the Province’s role in covering up thousands of child abuse cases in schools under contract to the De La Salle Brothers of the Christian Schools—who he also sued forcing them to return $1,400,000 to over 150 survivors. David remains dedicated to justice, healing, and reconciliation and recently met with Vatican officials regarding an apology from Pope Francis.

Ryan Guldemond is a musical jack-of-all-trades and one of the original founders of indie rock band Mother Mother —formed in tandem with his sister Molly on Quadra Island in 2005. His lyrics center around candid experiences of love, family, and self-discovery. In addition to his role as the band’s frontman, Ryan steered production and songwriting on a majority of their tracks resulting in ten Top 10 singles as well as his first Juno nomination. Since then, he has taken on the role of producer with Universal Music Canada.

The name Colin Giles can be found rolling through the television credits of animations that have been featured on the Cartoon Network, Disney Interactive, and HBO. As the Vancouver Film School Creative Director for Classical Animation & Animation Concept Art and with over 20 years of experience as a creative professional, he inspires others to pursue careers built on imagination and the illusion of movement.



This year, TEDxVancouver is trying something new to help connect our growing community. In addition to the feature event at the Vancouver Playhouse, there will also be simultaneous live stream events happening at exclusive locations around the city. Each of the venues will be connected in a variety of ways, and will help provide a unique perspective for its audiences. The way you choose to experience this event, and the lens through which you view it, is completely up to you. Check back soon for more details.