October Guests
Celebrating Women’s History Month, Canadian Islamic History Month & Latin American Heritage Month

Barbara Dumont-Hill | Spirit Keeper

Grandmother Barbara is Algonquin Anishinabeg from the Kitigan Zibi community in Quebec. She is a drum keeper, a community volunteer, and a spiritual advisor.   
 She travelled across Canada as an advisor with the Canadian Department of Justice to witness the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Inquiry. 
 Barbara’s work has inspired her path to honour and empower Indigenous women and youth.

Noemi Weiss | Director, Writer & Producer

Noemí Weis is an award winning Writer, Director and Producer that has spent over 20-years telling stories on the big and small screens, from her worldwide advertising projects to her award winning documentaries. As a humanitarian and an advocate leader Noemí journeys where stories take her to bring voice to the world’s most vulnerable. Noemí has been recognized as one of the top 10 most influential Hispanic-Canadians, award given by Toronto Mayor John Tory. 

Suzanne Kennelly | Francophone Jazz Song Writer

Suzanne Kennelly was born and raised in Québec and now has roots firmly planted in Manitoba. She is a bilingual performer and a francophone jazz songwriter After a long career in broadcasting she is now retired and fully involved in contributing to her community as a performer but also as the president of the Manitoba francophone senior’s federation. She is also a published author and playwright. 


Mamselle Ruiz | Canado-Mexican-Songwriter

Mamselle Ruiz is a Canado-Mexican-songwriter settled in Montréal, Québec since 2010. Her music is influenced by her own North-South mix of cultures. Mamselle was awarded several prizes in Canada, she is named Radio-Canada’s world music “Revelation” for 2013-2014. The artist is very socially involved, notably with Amnesty International as well as with many others charitable organizations. Known for her magnetic stage presence, raw emotional delivery, her charisma allowed her to sing for several show of famous Cirque du Soleil.


Gina Burgess | Instrumentalist & Music Teacher

K’jipuktuk/Halifax-based musician Gina Burgess is a performer, crafter, yoga instructor and music teacher. With over 20 years of classical training, Gina excels in virtually any musical setting: She was a nominated for a Juno with Iqaluit-based Arctic rock band The Jerry Cansis a four-time ECMA award winner with the Hot Swing outfit Gypsophilia. In addition to touring, Gina makes regular trips to remote communities in Nunavut to perform, teach music and instruct yoga/meditation classes.


Jason EagleSpeaker | Graphic Novelist & Founder of Eaglespeaker Publishing

Bestselling Author, Illustrator & Book Publisher Founder of Eaglespeaker Publishing. Jason EagleSpeaker is both Blackfoot and Duwamish. Author, Illustrator and Founder of Eaglespeaker Publishing, he based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Jason travels extensively, creating endless non-fiction works with Indigenous authors from throughout Turtle Island. His hard hitting true stories focus on revealing the modern experiences of Indigenous people (the strengths and the struggles). 

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Hanaa Al Sherief | Immigration Lawyer

Hanaa, is a Palestinian-Canadian, and a former immigrant to Canada. She is a Canadian Immigration Lawyer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she assists individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations with their Canadian immigration related needs. She is the first Muslim Female Lawyer admitted to practice law in the province of Nova Scotia, and is the Chair of the Atlantic-Canada Chapter of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, which she co-founded earlier this year. 


Island A Cappella | Women’s Chorus Group

Island A Cappella is a diverse and multi-generational group of fun-loving, energetic women. They have earned a reputation as a well-known and respected performing organization with a one-of-a-kind sound that has entertained audiences across the province and the region. Island A Cappella is a proud member of Harmony, Inc., an international, non-profit organization created to empower all women through education, friendship and four-part singing in the barbershop style. 


Dr. Richard Vedan | Professor UoBC

Dr. Richard Vedan, Secwepemc Nation, is Professor Emeritus University of British Columbia, past Director First Nations House of Learning; and Sr. Advisor Aboriginal Affairs to UBC’s President. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for 11 years retiring in 1977. Current research addresses intergenerational trauma/PTSD with Indigenous populations and military veterans. Richard and his wife Barbara recently marked their 54th anniversary with children and grandchildren. 

Pamela Goosen | CEO Zoom Consulting

Pamela is the founder and CEO of Zoom Consulting, a Vancouver-based marketing and communications firm that serves both local and global clients across a variety of sectors. Specialties include branding, web content strategy and lead generation. Pam started her career with BC Tel (now Telus) where she was director of advertising and direct marketing during the critical early days of long distance competition. She went on to lead marketing teams in Bell Canada International start-up companies in India, Mexico, and Brazil, responsible for everything from marketing plan creation to product management to subscriber revenue.

Kaya Kruz | Singer & Songwriter

Kaya is a vocalist and songwriter based in Burnaby, BC with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Capilano University. As a queer woman of colour, she values equity and diversity, and strives to create inclusive spaces in the Vancouver music scene. Past performances include the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival, Powell Street Festival, and Fridays on Front.  


November Guests
Celebrating Technology, Innovation, Entrepreneurship Across Canada

Lowa Beebe | Public Speaker & Writer

Lowa is a proud member of the Piikani Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy & Treaty 7. She is recognized for her work in Public Relations, Advocacy, Governance, Media, Strategy and Communications. She has worked in Indigenous communities locally, provincially, and nationally with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities in areas such as Policy, Custom Election Codes, Engagement, Governance, Consultation, Strategic Planning and more. During this experience, she worked directly with Chief and Council Members, Consultation Offices, Land, and Administrations.


Frances Koncan | Playwriter & Director

Frances Koncan (she/they) is an Anishinaabe and Slovene writer originally from Couchiching First Nation in Treaty 3 territory. They are currently based in Treaty 1 territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba, where they work as a playwright and journalist. They are currently the Writer-in-Residence at the Winnipeg Public Library. Upcoming productions include “Space Girl” at Prairie Theatre Exchange and “Women of the Fur Trade” at the Stratford Festival. 

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Nikki Komaksiutiksak | Throat Singer

Nikki is an Inuit woman from Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut. She currently works for the Department of Manitoba Justice. Nikki has found the strength to preserve her “Inukness” living in the southern part of Canada. Nikki uses her knowledge and understanding of the south to assist other Inuit moving to the big city. Nikki is often asked to attend Universities and schools throughout Manitoba. The Inuit of Canada are an integral part of Canadian history and culture. Nikki truly believes that it is critical that Inuit culture is remembered, recognized and celebrated throughout all of Canada and beyond!

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Kanahsohon Kevin Deer
| Faithkeeper Kahnawake

Kanahsohon Kevin Deer from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory.  For the last 30 years involved in Mohawk Language retention and revitalization.  He is also a Faithkeeper at the Mohawk Trail Longhouse which involves knowing sacred songs, dances and rituals. He enjoys discussing and presenting the Iroquoian world views, history and philosophy. He was involved in the Kahnawake Police Commission from 2005 to 2015. 

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Dr. Laura Forsythe
| Indigenous Instructor, University of Winnipeg

Dr. Laura Forsythe is a Metis scholar at the University of Winnipeg in the Faculty of Education. She is also an elected member of the Manitoba Metis Federation, the official democratic and self-governing political representation of the Red River Metis. Forsythe’s commitment to Métis community engagement has included becoming a member of the Board of Directors of the Louis Riel Institute (LRI), a Delegate for the Métis Education and Training (MET) Local Advisory Committee and establishing the MMF Bison Local at the UofM

Katie Tupper
| Neo Soul Singer & Song Writer

Katie Tupper, a 24-year old neo-soul musician, embodies that spirit of boundary-pushing, genre-defying artists at work within the often overlooked region. Her latest EP Towards The End–a sultry, glittering debut that showcases Tupper’s mastery as a musician, writer and producer, and is an ode to love, identity and the inextricable ways the two entwine. 


Sabrina Jafralie | PhD, Educator, Change maker, Activist 

Dr. Sabrina Jafralie (she/her/elle) has led an impressive career as a secondary school teacher and a university course lecturer in her 21 years. Her research includes teacher education, curriculum design, equity and religious literacy and purposeful dialogue. Jafralie received her Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Concordia University and a Ph.D. in Teacher Education from McGill University in 2017. In 2018, Jafralie was received the certificate of achievement for the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.


Takayce | Afro-Jamaican-Canadian,Singer-Songwriter

Afro-Jamaican-Canadian,Singer-Songwriter, daughter of Jamaica’s Pioneer of Gospel, Claudelle Clarke. She began to follow her mother’s footsteps at the age of five in full force. She has performed in Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. Shy to sing off stage but a tigress on. She is captivating, eclectic with a deep soulful voice. Takeyce will release La Intuición, an uplifting survival love song done in Spanish on Nov 02, 2022.  

Gabrielle Cloutier | Heartful & Holistic Singing Coach

Singer, animator and vocal teacher, especially with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, Gabrielle is immersed from an early age in the discovery of the human being in its fascinating diversity. She has traveled through several projects – music, stage work, international cooperation, studies and adventure – twenty-five countries on five continents. In several fields of action, Gabrielle demonstrates a strong ability to adapt to offer the best of herself. Passionate and conscientious, she uses her creative and organizational assets with enthusiasm.

David Daniels | Long Plain Nation Knowledge Holder

David Daniels or also known as Binesi nin, is a member of the Long Plain First Nation. Daniels participates in educational medicine walks with his community and family. These walks are with his brother Ernie Daniels who is the former Chief of Long Plain Nations and his Nephew Jerry Daniels who is currently Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization. David is currently working with the redevelopment of the former Kapyong Barracks. The Master Planning of the former Kapyong Barracks is a landmark project not only for the Treaty One First Nations, but also for Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Canada, for generations to come.   

The Sadler Sisters | Duo Singers

Although their personalities may differ, they share many common musical influences and tastes. Hailing from Winnipeg Manitoba, singing in choirs growing up was the main source of their vocal training until later years.  Both Elizabeth and Ashleigh have recently graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Manitoba. Currently, The Sadler Sisters perform a mixture of pop covers and jazz standards while recently starting to dabble in their own songwriting. They enjoy creating paired-down acoustic arrangements of popular music infused with jazz stylings.  

Alana Dunbar | Director of Philanthropy

A passionate intersectional post-colonial feminist and Africanist, Alana Dunbar holds an M.A. in English Literature and Language specializing in African Studies and a B.A. in African Studies and Literature from Carleton University. Alana has worked to foster respect for diversity with the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa, on national financial literacy education with credit unions in Malawi, lived in Tanzania for four years, engaged youth in sexual health education, and organized heartwarming citizenship ceremonies across Canada.

Amber Epp | Performer

Amber Epp performs uplifting vocal jazz music with a rhythmic beat. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and loves to meet and interact with newcomers to Canada. Amber has performed across our country, and won a Western Canadian Music Award for one of her four albums. She also supports newcomers in Canada by teaching English to refugees. Please enjoy this original song by Canadian artist, Amber Epp. 

Banafsheh Taherian | Writer & Story Teller

Banafsheh Taherian is a writer and bilingual (Farsi, English) actress who has recently been cast with a reoccurring role on the “#16 Hudson” series on TVO Kids. She has become well-known in the Iranian community garnering more than 100,000 views for her works, with a highlight being her self-produced audio production of “Simurgh” showcased at the 2018 CIFT Festival at TIFF. Banafsheh is also an expert moderator and MC for a number of high profiles Iranian-Canadian events including the world famous Tirgan festival since 2013. She is currently the 2021-22 artist in residence with Canadianstage. 


Grandmother Kim Wheatley | Public Speaker

Grandmother Kim Wheatley carries the spirit name Head or Leader of the Fireflower. She is a member of Shawanaga First Nation’s reserve located in Ontario and identifies as Ojibway & Pottawatomi. Her work covers 3 decades of public presentations through drumming, singing, storytelling and ancestral knowledge sharing. As a multi- award-winning public speaker, she has represented Indigenous Nation’s across Canada. Kim has authored 4 books.