Speakers / Topics: Arts | Culture

Arts & Culture Speakers

When it comes to music, literature, film, spoken-word, and culture, Speakers' Spotlight represents many of the world’s most brilliant, talented, and influential minds.

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Susan Aglukark, O.C., LL.B

Award-Winning Inuk Singer/Songwriter

Award-winning Inuk singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark is one of Canada’s most unique artists, who blends the Inuktitut and English languages with contemporary pop music arrangements to tell the stories of her people, the Inuit of Arctic Canada. Agluk...

Susan Aglukark

Trey Anthony

Award-Winning Canadian Playwright | Diversity Expert

Trey Anthony was the first Canadian black woman to have her own program on a prime-time Canadian network. Based on her ground-breaking play of the same name, ‘da Kink in My Hair was a television hit and put her on the map as a mentor and role m...

Trey Anthony

Jann Arden

Renowned Musician | Bestselling Author

Jann Arden can bring a hall full of people to tears through song, only to have them, moments later, rolling in the aisles from her off-the-cuff comedy. Whether she’s performing her music, hosting an event, or telling her deeply personal and affecti...

Jann Arden

Cameron Bailey

Artistic Director & Co-Head, Toronto International Film Festival

Few people understand the importance of the arts and cultural sector better than Cameron Bailey. The artistic director and co-head of one of the world’s biggest and most important film festivals, Bailey brings a comprehensive wealth of experience t...

Cameron Bailey

Jeanne Beker

Iconic Fashion Journalist

Jeanne Beker is one of the most influential women in the fashion industry—in Canada and around the world. A long-time celebrity, Jeanne speaks on how she rose to the top of arts and culture media as the iconic host of TV’s Fashion Television, alo...

Jeanne Beker

Joseph Boyden

Internationally Renowned Novelist

Joseph Boyden is a national and international literary superstar. Shooting to fame with his first novel, the multi-award winning Three Day Road, Boyden has repeated his triumphs in his subsequent novels, Through Black Spruce and The Orenda. Exploring...

Joseph Boyden

Choir! Choir! Choir!

International Singing Phenomenon

Choir! Choir! Choir! has sung with Tegan and Sara at the Junos, performed at a David Bowie tribute in New York, and have even taken to the Radio City Music Hall stage with Debbie Harry and The Flaming Lips. A collective led by creative directors Nob...

Daveed and Nobu of Choir! Choir! Choir!

Will Ferguson

Award-Winning Novelist and Travel Writer

Will Ferguson is as Canadian as canoes and hockey. The hilarious author of numerous acclaimed books, including Canadian History for Dummies, How To Be a Canadian, and even (counter-intuitively) Why I Hate Canadians, Ferguson wears his nationalism on ...

Sarah Ferguson

The Duchess of York

Internationally recognized for her inspiring story, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, is an acclaimed author, humanitarian, broadcaster, and spokesperson who has spent much of her life in the glare of the public spotlight. Speaking candidly about ...

Sarah Ferguson by Brian Aris

Richard Florida

Renowned Economist | Bestselling Author

Richard Florida is one of the world’s most sought after speakers on global trends, economics, prosperity, competitiveness, and growth. Combining in-depth analysis, a fascinating personal story, and a touch of self-deprecating humor, it’s no wonde...

Richard Florida

Allan Hawco

Star, Republic of Doyle, Frontier, Caught

Allan Hawco is a renaissance man. The creator, writer, executive producer and star of television’s hit shows, Republic of Doyle and Caught, he is also the executive producer and star of Frontier, a Discovery Canada and Netflix original series. In a...

Allan Hawco

Lawrence Hill

Bestselling Author, The Book of Negroes

Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner and bestselling author of The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill speaks as well as he writes. With engrossing, poignant talks on diverse topics such as channeling creative energy, censorship, racial identity, mental ...

Lawrence Hill

Marshall Jones

Custom Spoken Word Poetry Expert

Marshall Jones is a celebrated spoken word artist whose work is exploding around the world. His unique gift runs deep into the human experience, exploring universal themes that run the gamut from identity and culture to connection and technology. M...

Marshall Jones

Peter Katz

JUNO-Nominated Musician and Storyteller

Peter Katz has evolved from a nervous first-timer at an open mic night into to a JUNO Award, Canadian Screen Award, and two-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominated singer-songwriter with five albums under his belt. He has toured the world for the pa...

Peter Katz

Sarah Kay

Spoken-Word Poet

Sarah Kay uses the power of spoken word to inspire creativity and self-empowerment in others. In her famous TED talk–a talk that inspired two standing ovations and has been seen by over seven million people online–she tells the story of h...

Sarah Kay

Spike Lee

Revolutionary Filmmaker

Spike Lee needs no introduction. In person, the provocateur and media icon is never at a loss for words. As one of the most outspoken African American voices, he talks candidly―and with authority―about issues of race in mainstream media and Holly...

Lainey Lui

Co-Host, The Social | Correspondent, etalk | Founder, LaineyGossip

Elaine “Lainey” Lui has been breaking entertainment news since the launch of her world-famous celebrity gossip website, LaineyGossip.com, and as a correspondent on CTV’s Canada’s #1 entertainment show, etalk. Also a co-host on CTV’s The Soc...

Lainey Lui

Ann-Marie MacDonald

Internationally Renowned Novelist | Playwright and Actress | Television Host

Ann-Marie MacDonald is a novelist, playwright, actor, and broadcaster, whose formal training was as an actor. As such, she is an unusual hybrid among literary figures in that she is as at home on stage engaging a live audience, as she is at her desk....

Ann-Marie MacDonald

Linden MacIntyre

Award-Winning Journalist and Bestselling Author

Linden MacIntrye is best known as the award-winning former host of Canada’s premiere investigative television show, CBC’s the fifth estate, as well as an internationally bestselling novelist. Speaking on topics ranging from mass media and democra...

Linden MacIntyre

Raine Maida

Acclaimed Musician | Creativity and Technology Expert

Raine Maida is the founding member and lead singer of the multi-platinum rock band, Our Lady Peace, and considered one of the best songwriters in music today. An artist who combines his love of music, creativity, and technology, Maida speaks with pas...

Raine Maida

Séan McCann

Mental Health Advocate | Acclaimed Solo Musician | Founding Member of Great Big Sea

Séan McCann uses his music to help people find light in the darkness. Best known as a founding member of the massively successful Canadian band Great Big Sea, Séan’s twenty years with the ensemble came to a halt in 2013, when he realised that he ...

Séan McCann

Grant McCracken

Leading Cultural Anthropologist

Grant McCracken looks at the places where culture and commerce, anthropology and economics meet. Through his highly-customized presentations, he provides audiences with a comprehensive―but incisive―review of contemporary culture, and strategies f...

Grant McCracken

Ben Mulroney

Co-Host of CTV's Your Morning and Anchor of CTV’s etalk

With more than 16 years of experience in broadcasting, Ben Mulroney is one of Canada’s most respected journalists. As the co-host of both CTV’s new program, Your Morning, and Canada’s number one entertainment show, eTalk, he brings the b...

Ben Mulroney

Steven Page

Iconic Musician

Steven Page is a natural in front of a crowd. Having shot to international fame as the co-founder of The Barenaked Ladies, Page now boasts an impressive solo career, where he continues to showcase his creative genius. A witty, endearing, and searingl...

Steven Page - Photo by David Leyes

Lisa Ray

Host of Top Chef Canada | Award-winning Actress | Cancer Survivor

Lisa Ray is, in her own words, a “cancer graduate.” The host of Top Chef Canada and an internationally acclaimed actress, Lisa publicly shared her diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma with the world in 2009. Since then, she has overcome the disease and ...

John Ralston Saul

Award-Winning Essayist and Novelist

Declared a “prophet” by Time magazine, John Ralston Saul is a leading thinker and visionary—known for his astute commentaries on wide-ranging topics, such as civilization, citizenship, human rights, globalization, economics, warfare, and societ...

William Shatner

Legendary Hollywood Actor | Philanthropist

William Shatner is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable figures, having cultivated a career spanning over 50 years as an award-winning actor, director, producer, writer, and recording artist. In 1966, Shatner originated the role of “Captain James...

William Shatner

Jade Simmons

Transformative Leadership Expert | Motivational Pianist

How do you get to be named Classical Music’s “No.1 Maverick?” By repeatedly defying expectations, delivering riveting performances, and combining passion and innovation at every turn. Called a “musical force of nature”, Jade Simmons...

Jade Simmons

Tara Slone

Co-Host, Hometown Hockey

Tara Slone’s eclectic resume and unique perspective have made her one of the most recognizable faces in the Canadian entertainment industry. The co-host of Hometown Hockey, Tara speaks about her intriguing career path which saw her transition from ...

Tara Slone

Clint Smith

Award-Winning Teacher | Acclaimed Spoken Word Poet

Clint Smith believes we all share a story, the human story. It’s in the telling, he believes, that we emerge as individuals and celebrate what we have in common. His two TED Talks, The Danger of Silence and How to Raise a Black Son in America, have...

Clint Smith

Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci

Co-Founders of Living on One | Award-Winning Documentary Filmmakers

From living in a tent in a Syrian refugee camp to working as radish farmers and surviving on $1 a day in Guatemala, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci are award-winning humanitarians, activists, and filmmakers. On-stage, they demystify some of the world&...

Alexandre Trudeau

Documentary Filmmaker | Journalist

Documentary filmmaker and freelance journalist, Alexandre Trudeau shares his bold views on the political, social, and economic forces of our times. Having gained widespread recognition for his edgy and insightful humanism and for his brave iconoclasm...

Alexandre Trudeau

David Usher

Juno Award-Winning Musician | Creativity & AI Expert

When innovative companies like Google, 3M, Cisco, Pepsi, Rogers, and SAP want to re-inspire creativity in their employees and executives they bring in David Usher. He doesn’t just talk creativity and artificial intelligence (AI) — he lives it. Dr...

Benjamin Zander

Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic

Benjamin Zander offers a startling new perspective on leadership. Using stories and music, the world famous conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra awakens possibility in others, demonstrating that tapping into innate creativity can help peopl...