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Spotlight On: Western Canada

Spotlight On: Western Canada

Speakers’ Spotlight is thrilled to represent many of the world’s best speakers—and plenty of them are right in Western Canada’s own backyard! Addressing a wide variety of topics, from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, to enhancing leadership qualities, health, and more, they inspire and teach, while doing us—and their home provinces—proud.

Push Your Limits with Bruce Kirkby

Bruce Kirkby has been shot at in Borneo, and taken hostage in Ethiopia; he has survived crocodile attacks on the Nile and weathered high-altitude storms in Alaska. His journeys span 80 countries on six continents…and wait until you hear about his latest odyssey! Along with his wife and two young children, Bruce recently completed a six-month, 22,000-mile overland adventure to China, Tibet, Nepal, and the Indian Himalaya (travelling by foot, shipping boats, kayaks…and even rafts!)—all filmed by TravelChannel and set to air as a reality series in June, 2015. Bruce shares the lessons he learned on his epic voyage, including the importance of “clearing your mind for high performance” and the benefits of challenging yourself to get out of comfort zones and take risks that lead to big rewards.

New Speakers

Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? That’s the question acclaimed Professor of Health Law and Science Policy Timothy Caulfield asks in his new book that debunks the health myths espoused by celebrities. Marketing Professor and Creativity Crusader Darren Dahl ranks #1 in the world for publications in premier marketing journals, and is one of ten Canadian professors to receive the 3M National Teaching Fellows award—Canada’s most prestigious prize for teaching excellence. He is currently the B.C. Council Innovation Professor at the University of British Columbia. A recognized leader in the exploration of consumer behaviour, he brings his perspectives gained from designing studies for top journals to his thought-provoking and entertaining lectures. What kind of person looks for danger, and then dives headfirst into it? Greg Johnson, star of Tornado Hunters, is known for bravely facing nature’s most beautiful and deadly displays of severe weather.

Set Your Goals High! The Athletes

Seven-time Canadian Long Drive Champion Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk went from being a high-handicap recreational golfer to a professional player who hits farther than most men! Lisa shows others how to determine what drives them, where they want to go, and how to get there. As the Head Coach of the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team, John Herdman took a team once called a “struggling squad” to one that captured the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. In his riveting talks, John explains the role of leaders to inspire trust, confidence, and success. Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan was the first female performance consultant for the New York Rangers, the New York Knicks, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Edmonton Oilers. Her passion for motivating audiences to reach their fullest potential has received praise from the likes of Visa, ING, the NHL, and the NBA.

The Business Visionaries

Mark Brand is one of Vancouver’s most recognized and celebrated entrepreneurs. Best known for resurrecting the Save on Meats enterprise, Mark shares his philosophies when it comes to sustainable business models and using business to build better communities. Business and technology visionary Leonard Brody has been called “a controversial leader of the new world order.” A highly respected entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Leonard shows audiences how to adapt to the rapidly changing business climate. Dr. John Izzo helps companies maximize their potential from the ground up, and has worked with thousands of leaders on employee-engagement and brand transformations. He is known for his hard hitting practical content, his inspirational storytelling, and the lasting impact he has on organizations.

Our "Best-Out-West" Stories

David Chilton, bestselling author of The Wealthy Barber and a “Dragon” on Dragons’ Den, and celebrated comedian Jessica Holmes aren’t based in western Canada, but they love working there (and their audiences are always thrilled, too!). We asked them for their “best-out-west” story, ever:

David Chilton and Jessica Holmes

David: I spoke once in Nanaimo, and had to get back to the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver quickly, so I took a float plane from the island the mainland. The only problem was, there was so much fog, the pilot had to fly just above the water. I wasn’t so much afraid of crashing the ways planes usually crash, I was afraid of hitting a boat! It was probably the only time I have ever been fearful on a plane. But, the pilot was excellent, and I made it to my talk with time to spare—I felt like James Bond (although maybe not quite as good looking).

Jessica: Last year, I emceed a fundraiser in Vancouver for a trendy fashion crowd which was new territory for me. “Oh man, tough sell,” I thought, and took the stage nervously, expecting the beautiful audience to have Kardashian-like frozen faces and a disdain for goofiness. But the audience laughed at absolutely everything I said, to the point that for a moment I looked around and wondered, “Are they laughing at something else?” Even my little ad libs about the sound system or a delay in the program got outrageous laughs. Turns out, they just hadn’t seen live comedy in a long time, and they were letting loose. I stuck around and partied with them till the wee hours because it was such a great crowd. Who knew?!?