Our Speaker Lineup

We are very excited that we have been able to engage the services of some of the best international and local speakers to motivate, educate and entertain for our general sessions and optional workshops.

Our speaker's include: TBC


Keynote Speaker: Steve Patterson
Host of CBC's The Debaters | Award-Winning Comedian

Familiar to hundreds of thousands of Canadians as the host of CBC Radio One’s hit show The Debaters, Steve Patterson’s material combines razor sharp wit and meticulously crafted, up-to-the-moment social commentary, with a measure of musicality thrown in where appropriate.

Patterson has appeared on numerous nationally-televised comedy specials over the past two decades, and twice earned the title “Best Male Stand-up Comedian” at the Canadian Comedy Awards (2011 and 2013).

His work has received considerable praise over the years, but none more poignant than at a Just For Laughs Festival gala when he shared the stage with comedy icon Steve Martin who proclaimed of Patterson, “If I’d known he was going to be THAT good, I would have cancelled him.”

In an effort to continue to prove he is THAT good, Patterson has toured his one-man show called This Is Not Debatable in theatres nationwide and released a comedy recording of the same title in 2014 which earned him another Canadian Comedy Award nomination.
In 2016, he also added author to his credits, with the publication of his first book, The Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send, and created and co-produced his latest media project, The Smartass-ociates with Steve Patterson, which combines topic-specific experts with top comedians to make smart people funnier and funny people smarter.

Keynote Speaker: Todd Hirsch
Chief Economist, ATB Financial | Author

For more than 20 years, Todd Hirsch has been a sought-after economist working for renowned institutions including the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Canada West Foundation, and the Bank of Canada. As the Vice President and Chief Economist for ATB Financial, a financial institution that serves 600,000+ clients, he has delivered dynamic, clear-eyed talks on the economy, creativity, and the future of work to organizations across Canada.

Todd is a frequent contributor to many Canadian and global media outlets including CBC, CTV, the Globe and Mail, and the BBC and is the author of three books — Spiders in Space: Successfully Adapting to Unwanted Change, The Boiling Frog Dilemma: Saving Canada from Economic Decline, and Halfway Home: Fifty Years in Fifty Chapters. He previously taught economics at the University of Calgary and is currently a sessional instructor for the Executive Education program at the Alberta School of Business. 

Named one of Alberta’s most influential people, Todd recently received the University of Alberta’s Alumni Honour award and an honorary degree from Mount Royal University. Todd has a BA Honours in economics from the University of Alberta and an MA in economics from the University of Calgary. 


Keynote Speaker: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe
Expert on Resiliency and Workplace Wellness

Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe is a multi-award-winning psychology and education instructor who specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, and personal wellness in the workplace. Described as transformational, engaging, and thought-provoking, Hanley-Dafoe’s keynotes provide practical strategies, grounded in global research and case studies, that help foster resiliency within ourselves and others.

As the senior educational developer for the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Trent University, Hanley-Dafoe focuses on providing professional development for the teaching community and cultivating student engagement. She is committed to finding innovative solutions for creating positive learning relationships and environments for both students and teachers. Hanley-Dafoe has also been a psychology instructor and researcher at Trent for more than 13 years.

Hanley-Dafoe’s work is inspired by her interest in resiliency and wellness including the intersections of stress, optimal challenge, navigating change, goal-setting, and personal alignment.