Founder and CEO, Locelle
Humaira Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of Locelle – an enterprise networking platform to connect and engage women in the workplaces for support and mentorship.
Emerging Leader Programming Director, Raven Institute
Kiana is a mixed heritage woman who is very proud of both her European and Métis ancestry. Kiana’s Métis (Fraser family) homelands are rooted in Fort Chipewyan, AB and she has had the privilege to be born, learn and grow up a guest on Coast Salish territory. With gratitude, she acknowledges the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples for allowing her to create a life, work and play on their ancestral and unceded territories.
Kiana is a proud Métis Iskwew, a storyteller, a creative thinker and a lover of an exquisite cup of earl grey tea. Kiana is fierce in her pursuit of ensuring all young people across the nation know unwaveringly that they are leaders and that they belong. She embraces radical curiosity around the idea of learning to lead together.
Kiana is a certified MBTI® (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®) Practitioner using this powerful tool for personal growth and development, team building, and leadership development. Kiana is trained in the facilitation of The Leadership Challenge® Workshop and the 360 degree Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) assessments.
In addition, Kiana received her Diploma in Aboriginal Focusing-Oriented Therapy & Complex Trauma Certificate at the Justice Institute of British Columbia in December of 2017. Kiana is currently working on her Masters of Arts in Leadership degree and is a graduate researcher at Royal Road University.
Amal is an intersectional feminist, born and raised in Saudi Arabia. This woman’s inspiring story of how she came to be here through overcoming a series of events, from being in a fixed marriage at the age of 19, to filing for divorce and moving to Canada, to becoming an inspirational public speaker, to finding her passion in advocacy and policy development.
Amal came from a culture where women are oppressed, flew across the world into a new culture, new language, and in the past 6 years she learned the importance of student leadership. She got elected for the UBCO Students’ Union as the Vice President External affairs in 2017, as the first female President in 2018, and for the BC Federation of Students as the Campaigns Coordinator. Through those roles she was working with both the Provincial and the Federal government on behalf of BC post secondary students, including the recent win to eliminate interest on student loans.
Connecting for Change means two things to Amal.
- Advocacy: Her journey and evolvement from a follower and an activist to becoming a leader and an advocate for policy change
- Organizing: Her journey with the BC student movement and connecting postsecondary institutions from across the province under one umbrella; together, we are stronger.
Founder, Integrate Play Solutions
After 25 years as an entrepreneur in the toy industry, and over a decade as the play expert on Global TV, Kirsten sold the award winning “Best Toy Store in Canada” to bridge her expertise in business leadership and the bottom-line benefits of play for ALL ages, especially in the workplace
Kirsten is the founder of Integrate Play Solutions; a boutique training corporation working with organizational teams in diverse industries, to help solve their messiest challenges using playful methods – the favourite being LEGO® Serious Play®.
When Kirsten isn’t playing with her family and friends you will find her volunteering her time sitting on executive boards for the International Play Association Canada, Spare Parts Adventure Play, Parent Advisory, Do What U Luv, and is also honored to be a Play Ambassador for the US Play Coalition so as to build a better world – one brick at a time.
Victoria Anthony became an internet sensation in 2018 after singing her heart out to her idol, superstar recording artist PINK, in front of 18,000+ spectators at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. And as one radio personality put it “she NAILED IT”.
The attention gleaned from the event, and the confidence gained from the experience has led to Anthony collaborating with some of Canada’s most decorated producers to write and record her own original music. Her first single, Without You, was soft-released in February 2019 and has already generated more than 371,000 streams on Spotify. A second song, and her first official radio single, “Because I’m A Girl”, was released on March 22. The music video for Because I’m A Girl was released April 23, 2019, directed by Nathalie Boltt and produced by Keyon Slowly, and has over 1,000,000 views on YouTube in two short months.
“Because I’m A Girl” was co-written alongside the Toronto songwriting duo of Rob Wells and Shobha, collectively known as The Fourth Floor, who have worked with the likes of Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Nelly Furtado among many others.
“It’s not too political, but political enough to get my meaning across” Anthony explained. It’s about the importance of women having control of the choices in their life; it’s about empowerment and standing up for yourself, starting when you’re a girl and keeping that sense of inner strength throughout your whole life. And it’s also about women standing together, united, to make all our lives better,”
With the overwhelming success of ‘Because I’m a Girl ‘Anthony wanted to continue the momentum and the message behind the song by releasing a dance version, expected to hit streaming platforms July 12th, 2019. “Because I’m a Girl’ remix has a beat that will resonate with your soul and will undoubtedly make a splash this summer.
On July 25th, 2019, Victoria Anthony had her first concert with a packed venue at the iconic Rio Theatre in Vancouver, BC, called ‘NEVER STOP.’ She rocked the theatre with her original songs, breathtaking cover songs, incredible dancers, and even a soulful gospel choir! Everyone was on their feet, dancing to the energy of the room with Anthony’s fantastic performance. This concert will be a night to remember, and a kick start to many more shows to follow!
With such fierce determination, an abundance of raw talent that is only now starting to be fully explored, and a powerful authenticity and sense of self-awareness, there is little doubt that Victoria Anthony is on the cusp of a truly extraordinary career as a songwriter, vocalist and recording artist.
Principal, High Impact Lab
Sheila brings close to 20 years of experience helping organizations transform, with eight years as a C-Suite executive leading growth and change in public and non-profit organizations, including Peer 1 Hosting and viaSport British Columbia.
Senior Associate, Gender Intelligence Group
Stephane Cotichini is Senior Associate at Gender Intelligence Group (GIG). He has spoken at numerous events including the California Women’s Conference in 2014.
A video game designer by trade, Stephane has worked specifically with technology giants such as Zappos and Twitter to bring this transformation to the traditional “Boys’ Club” culture of the technology industry.
Along with his role at GIG, Stephane has also founded 5 companies, including 81monkeys Game Studio, where he is currently Founder and CEO.
Stephane is also a father of four boys, and he believes that the best contribution he can make to the world is to raise gender intelligent young men!
Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, Government of British Columbia
Mitzi Dean was elected as MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin in 2017, and was appointed the Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity in February 2018.
Before moving to the Victoria area in 2005, Mitzi Dean served as a national development manager for children’s services with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the U.K.’s largest child protection charity.
Prior to that, she worked in child protection social work and community-based social services across Great Britain for more than 20 years. She also volunteered at a Romanian orphanage and a transition house in the U.K. providing refuge for women experiencing relationship violence.
Most recently, she served as executive director of the Pacific Centre Family Services Association.
PS Dean lives in Metchosin with her partner and eight-year-old daughter.
Singer-songwriter, Mental Health advocate
Asha Diaz is a singer-songwriter based in Vancouver whose goal is to help pre-teens understand their emotions, and advocate for mental health in youth.
She works with a program called Grit, whose science-based course reaches around 400 kids a year, and counting. Inspired by her own struggles with mental illness, she is hoping we can make the future a better place to grow up in, even if you’re struggling
Partner, PwC Canada
Rajveer Hundal is a Partner in the Assurance practice at PwC Canada. She is also the BC Region Technology Leader and is a member of the BC Region Extended Leadership Team at PwC.
Rajveer is passionate about being a champion of diversity and inclusion at PwC and in the business community. In her role as the BC Region Technology Leader, she cofounded a breakfast series for female founders, funders and fortifiers in the technology sector with the goal of bringing together female leaders on a regular basis to encourage further collaboration. She is also an active coach and mentor both within and outside of PwC.
Director of Diversity and Inclusion Programs, The Humphrey Group
Amara is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Programs for The Humphrey Group. Based in Vancouver, Amara oversees the company’s D&I offerings, ensuring they reflect the changing realities of diverse groups and companies in an increasingly globalized business world.
Canadian Ice Dancer
Olympic Gold Medalist
Tessa Virtue is probably most recognized for her achievements on the ice. Along with her partner, Scott Moir, their five Olympic medals (including three gold) make them the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history.
Tessa’s ambition to be a positive role model for young girls and women has led her to collaborations with companies like Mattel, adidas, RW & Co., FitSpirit, and Nivea. Throughout it all, her commitment to empowering others to pursue their limitless potential shines through.
The Landing Dance Centre
The Landing Dance Centre located in South Vancouver, was established by professional dance artist and Director, Brenna McLaud-Bichara in August 2008.
Instant Theatre Company
Instant Theatre started in 1994 as the home for theatrical improv in Vancouver. We are proud to be a leader in Vancouver’s improv community, and operate under the pillars of being artistically bold, accessible, smart, and funny. We producer more than 200 shows a year and have guested around the world, from Bellingham to Berlin.