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Major Speakers and Emcees


      

Michael Chong

P.C., M.P. Wellington-Halton Hills

Keynote Speaker for Friday Luncheon

Michael Chong was first elected to Parliament in 2004 and represents the riding of Wellington-Halton Hills. In 2006, Michael served in the federal cabinet as President of the Queen’s Privy Council, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister for Sport.

Prior to his election, Michael acted as Chief Information Officer for the National Hockey League Players' Association and as a senior technology consultant to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for the redevelopment of Pearson International Airport.

Michael co-founded the Dominion Institute, now known as Historica-Dominion Institute, an organization committed to raising Canadians' awareness of history and civics and currently sits on its Board of Governors. Michael attended Trinity College at the U of T where he obtained a degree in philosophy.

Born in 1971, Michael grew up just outside of Fergus in Wellington County, Ontario. In 2002, Michael married Carrie Davidson. They have three sons, William, Alistair and Cameron. They live just outside of Fergus.

 

      

Marjorie Chan

Cahoots Theatre, Artistic Director

Emcee for Friday Luncheon

Marjorie Chan is the artistic director of Cahoots Theatre, a culturally diverse theatre company in Toronto, now in it’s 27th year. A multi-disciplinary theatre artist, Marjorie recently directed a bilingual, bicultural adaptation of A Doll’s House for Theatre du Pif (Hong Kong) for a sold-out run.

Marjorie’s other direction has included, assistant-directing Maria Stuarda (Pacific Opera Victoria) and A Synonym for Love (Volcano Theatre) and directing the Asia Premiere of Knives in Hens (Theatre du Pif - Outstanding Actor & Production).

A six-time nominee, Marjorie is the recipient of three Dora Awards, for both writing and performing, the most recent award for her opera The Lesson of Da Ji with composer Alice Ho. She has also received the K.M. Hunter Artist’s Award in Theatre, a Harold Award and been nominated for Governor General’s Literary Award for her playwriting debut, China Doll as well as a nomination for a Canadian Citizen Award for work in outreach theatre training for young refugees. Upcoming projects include a re-imagining of Cao Yu’s Sunrise, and M’dea Undone, a new opera with composer John Harris (Scottish Opera/Tapestry New Opera).

 

 

      

Teja Arboleda, M.Ed.

Founder of Entertaining Diversity, Inc.

Keynote Speaker for Saturday Luncheon

Teja Arboleda, M.Ed. established Entertaining Diversity, Inc., in 1992 with a passionate mission to teach issues of race, cultural diversity and human potential through entertainment.
As a cross-culture and diversity issues expert, Arboleda has been a powerful keynote speaker and performance-lecturerfor more than 800 educational institutions, companies, and civic groups in 48 states.
As a television producer, director, writer and entertainer, Teja has spent 26 years creating commercial and
educational programs for television and distribution, including PBS, ABC and Discovery. He has an Emmy Award and two Telly Awards.

Arboleda is also an Assistant Professor at the New England Institute of Art, where he teaches courses such as Race & Ethnic Relations, Intercultural Communication and Technology, and Contemporary Communications. He has also lectured in Japan.
Arboleda is Filipino-Chinese/ African-American & German-Danish, and he grew up in Japan. He is the author of In The Shadow of Race, an account of his personal experiences as a multicultural, multiethnic and "multiracial" American; and Jeni So Many, a children’s illustrated book about multi-identity.

From 1987 -1994 Arboleda was AD/Editor for FRONTLINE, Say Brother (EMMY Award, 1993), and La Plaza at WGBH-TV (PBS) in Boston, MA., and was culture and diversity issues producer for Chronicle, (ABC, New England).
In 2000, he created, produced, directed, wrote and starred in the six-part, first through fourth grade educational video series, Diversity Elementary™which aired on PBS in early 2001, and is distributed by Discovery Learning. His video RaceOff™© - the original race-busting morphing video, is the opening feature on permanent display in the national touring museum exhibit, Race Are We So Different. His timely and important documentaries such as Crossing The Line: Multiracial Comedians, and Model Minority: Do The Math have aired nationally on PBS and PBS WORLD.

Recognition of the importance of Arboleda's vision include an appearances before the Senate committee on racial classification where he testified for changes in federal racial and ethnic categories, and over 80 news stories in the media including the New York Times, The Boston Globe, Associated Press, National Public Radio, American Public Media and PBS.
Arboleda has a B.A.in Communications from Clark University, and an M.Ed. from Lesley University. Both of his daughters are of East Asian descent.

 

      

Bruce Poon Tip

Founder of G Adventures

Keynote Speaker for Saturday Dinner

In 1990, Bruce Poon Tip founded G Adventures in order to deliver incredible experiences to travellers who craved adventures beyond all-inclusive resorts. When no bank was willing to provide a loan, he started the company with two credit cards. Since then, G Adventures has grown to become a world leader in adventure travel, employing 1,500 people worldwide, offering more than 15,000 small group experiences, safaris and expeditions on all seven continents, in over 100 countries, serving more than 100,000 travellers a year.

A global leader in sustainability and social entrepreneurship, Bruce has spoken multiple times at the request of the United Nations and World Bank, has presented at the headquarters of Apple and Google, and delivered keynote speeches at TED events and leading entrepreneurship conferences around the world.

Under Bruce’s leadership, G Adventures has been named by National Geographic Adventures as the best ‘Do It All Outfitter’ on Earth and is a six-time recipient of the Top 10 Employers for Young People, a lifetime platinum recipient of the 50 Best Managed Companies and for ten consecutive years was named as one of Canada’s fastest growing companies by Profit magazine.  G Adventures has received multiple Best Workplace Awards, as a result of extensive internal employee surveys conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute.

In addition to receiving an award as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40, Bruce has also won Canada's Entrepreneur of the Year twice and has been honoured as one of Canada's 100 Leaders of Tomorrow. He also was named the Chinese Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year by the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs in 2007. In Profit magazine, Bruce was featured as one of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs in Canada of the last 25 years. In 2012, Bruce was inducted into the Social Venture Network Hall of Fame, joining celebrated entrepreneurs including Richard Branson (Virgin), Anita Roddick (The Body Shop), and Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream) and was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing significant contributions to society.

 

 

      

Vienna Hehir

Actress

Emcee for Saturday Luncheon

Vienna Hehir, born and raised in Toronto, started her career as a classically trained dancer touring Canada as well as Singapore and Malaysia with the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (CCDT) at the age of 11.

Her passion for acting and performance brought her to the stage where theatre credits include The Stratford Festival’s, The King and I (as Little Eva), Judith Marcuse’s, Fire … Where There’s Smoke (as Luba) in Vancouver, BC, and A.F. Theatre NY’s, A Midsummer’s Night Dream (as Hermia) and the Canadian production of Red Snow; a moving theatre narrative of the 1937 rape of Nanking (now Nanjing).  Selected film and television credits include, L.A. Complex, Tango in a Cold City, and What’s Your News?

Experienced in modelling, film, television and commercials, Vienna's career has spanned Canada, the US, Malaysia, Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

 

 

      

Mary Ito

Host of Fresh Air on CBC Radio 1

Emcee for Saturday Dinner Gala

Mary has had a long history of broadcasting.   She is currently the host of Fresh Air on CBC Radio 1 which is the number one weekend morning show on radio in the province.  Before that, she was host of  CBC Television's  "Living in Toronto". She worked at TVOntario for five years as host of a daily talk show called "More to Life" which covered an eclectic range of topics in health, education, arts and culture, business and family issues. Mary was also the host of "Second Opinion" on TVO - a panel show which dealt with controversial issues in health. She also worked at Global TV as the anchor of a daily health report called "Health Matters."

 

Mary has also worked at CFTO-TV as a reporter, host and weekend news anchor. She also worked previously in radio at CBC, and at CFRB as a reporter, host and producer.
Mary is active in the community with a particular interest in health. She has volunteered her services for many organizations including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Healthy Minds Canada, the MS Society of Ontario, the Hospital for Sick Children, the Toronto Public Library, the Working Women Community Centre, and the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

She lives with her husband and three children in Toronto.

 

 


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