Beloved comedian Jessica Holmes has been a perennial favourite on Royal Canadian Air Farce for 15 years, and has brought the house down opening for giants such as Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Peters, Jerry Seinfeld, and Oprah Winfrey. Her hilarious take on life’s challenges as well as her unique knack for skewering celebrities (including Nikki Minaj and Celine Dion) have audiences in stitches. Her customized emcee and entertainment presentations — which include motivation and wellness — are always a hit.
Behind the laughter though, Jessica — like millions of Canadians — has struggled both with post-partum depression and, as she puts it, “regular, run-of-the-mill, garden-variety depression”. Hoping to help end the stigma around mental health issues, she openly shares her personal stories with the humor she’s known for, bringing light — and laugh-out-loud laughter — to what can often be a dark topic. Jessica’s funny and inspiring new book, Depression The Comedy: A Tale of Perseverance was published in May, and takes readers deeper into her mental health journey with validation and warmth.
As a performer, Jessica’s productions have garnered her a “Platinum Award” at The Worldfest International Film Festival, and nominations for Gemini Awards and the prestigious Tim Sims Scholarship. She stars in her own program, The Holmes Show, and has also starred in the films Welcome to Mooseport, Citizen Duane, and Moonpoint. She recently appeared in the pilot for The Communist’s Daughter, which won the JFL ComedyPro competition this summer, and continues to perform comedy across the country.
Known as the “teamwork doctor,” Liane Davey knows how to create high performing teams. Having worked with businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, from across the globe helping teams from the frontlines to the boardroom, she has developed a unique perspective on the challenges that teams face — and how to solve them. Her mission is to transform the way people communicate, connect, and contribute, and, using her expertise in strategy and group dynamics, she delivers the perfect combination of education and entertainment that leaders and teams need to make an immediate impact on their organizations.
New York Times bestselling author of You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along, and Get Stuff Done, Liane has worked with a variety of renowned businesses including Amazon, Walmart, TD Bank, RBC, Bayer, KPMG, Aviva, Maple Leaf Foods, and SONY Interactive Entertainment.
She is also a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review and is sought after by media outlets, including CNN, NPR, USA Today, The Globe & Mail, and Forbes, for her expertise on increasing productivity, enhancing engagement, developing leaders, and as one client put it, “dealing with the damn drama!”
Liane has a PhD in Organizational Psychology from the University of Waterloo. She is also passionate advocate for mental health and currently sits on the Board of Governors for the Psychology Foundation of Canada.
For generations, marketing has been hypocritical. We’ve been taught to market to others in ways we hate being marketed to—why do we still keep trying the same stale marketing moves? Scott Stratten—who has over 185,000 people follow his daily rantings on Twitter and who was named one of the “Top Five Social Media Influencers in the World” on Forbes.com—is an “unmarketer” and an expert in viral, social, and authentic marketing. Using real life, practical examples, along with a good dose of humour, he shows audiences how to “unlearn” the old ways and consistently attract, engage, and hold on to the right customers.
Formerly a music industry marketer, national sales training manager, and a professor at the Sheridan College School of Business, Stratten ran his “UnAgency” for a nearly a decade before solely focusing on speaking at events for companies like Walmart, PepsiCo, Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, Cirque du Soleil and Saks Fifth Avenue when they need help guiding their way through the landscape of business disruption.
He has written five bestselling business books. His latest title is UnBranding: 100 Branding Lessons for the Age of Disruption. His book UnSelling: The New Customer Experience, was named “Sales Book of the Year” by 1-800 CEOREAD.
Stratten has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, USA Today, Entrepreneur Magazine, CNN.com, Inc.com and Fast Company, among many other media outlets.
Bringing over three decades of experience to global leadership in retail and marketing, Bonnie Brooks is one of North America’s great business success stories. In February 2014, Brooks was appointed Vice Chairman of Hudson’s Bay Company. She has also served as Editor-in-Chief at Flare, Canada’s largest fashion magazine and Executive VP of Holt Renfrew where she brought many major American and European designer brands to Canada. Bonnie is one of Moncole’s Top 25 retailers worldwide and one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.
For over twenty years, Max Valiquette has been at the forefront of what’s now, what’s new, and what’s next. Anointed by Marketing Magazine as one of Canada’s “most influential Marketers,” Max has worked with some of the biggest companies in the world to help them transform their organizations, their businesses, and their brands. He is an award-winning marketer and market researcher; an author; a broadcaster; and a journalist who relishes engaging with audiences. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called him a “don’t miss” speaker.
Max’s entrepreneurial drive led him to found Youthography, the ground-breaking Millennial Marketing company. He is currently the Head of Planning for Publicis Toronto, the lead office of Canada’s biggest ad agency.
Over the course of his career, Max has worked on brands including Nike, Budweiser, Coca-Cola and everything in between. He won multiple awards for the ground-breaking anti-smoking campaign Stupid.ca; and acts as an advisor for various charitable organizations and techspace start-ups. Max also sat on the Board of the Canada Media Fund, Canada’s largest single cultural endowment, for three years helping to transition it towards a more digital future.
When he’s not on stage, Max is on Entertainment Tonight or MTV talking about popular culture; speaking to the Wall Street Journal or NPR about organizational transformation or innovation; or writing about marketing and branding for Strategy and hosting their Agency of the Year awards.
Max’s presentations are filled with information and insights, actionable recommendations for your audience, extremely engaging entertainment, and customized content. His favourite thing in the world – after his family and the 1994 Montreal Expos – is to connect with an audience and help them learn, transform, and prosper.
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