Music Speakers & performers
Music Speakers & performers
CEO, Black Pearl Global Investments
Dr. Shante Williams is currently the CEO of Black Pearl Global Investments, a healthcare venture capital firm. She is a distinguished Venture Capitalist, business owner, Inventor, Intellectual Property Strategist, Author, and Private Investor. In her career years, she has used her wealth of scientific knowledge as well as her passion for innovation to solve multiple complex problems across the industries of health, finance, and real estate. Dr. Williams continues to break barriers with Black Pearl’s fund focused on reducing health disparities across the globe. Black Pearl is an advocate for those that continue to experience inferior outcomes and reduced access. Black Pearl’s tag line “Be Well. Do Well.” captures the firm’s mission to invest in transformative companies around the world. Dr. Williams and her partners are seeking to change healthcare worldwide.
Founder & CEO, The Labz
Farah Allen is an accomplished media innovation leader with over 20 years of experience in technology. Allen is currently the CEO & founder of The Labz: a drag and drop, a no-code digital design platform that creates, communication-rich, interactive websites and live event experiences. Farah has the honour of being the AJC Women of the Year for technology and is featured in publications such as Forbes and The Washington Post.
Founder, MH3 Collective
A lifelong volunteer and entrepreneur, Mark Harrison, has spent the past year examining his relationship with the ventures he leads. Mark started his first business in 1994, T1, a sponsorship agency that exclusively works impactful brands, and his second in 2005 global networking platform – SponsorshipX. In 2020 he co-founded the Black Talent Initiative to support the Black community in professional workplaces. Also, in 2020, Mark helped launch Humanity, a creative agency for the Human Age, and Park Street Education, a non-profit that works to remove all barriers to children’s education. His community involvement includes being the co-chair of the Ontario University Athletics Task Force on Black, Biracial, Indigenous Issues, Board Chair of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto, a volunteer with CAMH and an advisor to several ventures including the Crankworx World Tour, Riff, and NFL Canada.
Mark is honoured to share his journey from small business entrepreneur, volunteer, and coach to first-time activist with a lot to learn and burning passion.
Robin recently obtained his PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo. His research, applying wearable psychophysiological technology in real-world and virtual reality settings, focuses on how living in cities influences well-being. These research interests are informed by his previous experience working clinically as a mental health occupational therapist in urban environments. He is passionate about urban health, and also actively engage in public outreach, through social media (@robinmazumder), writing, and public speaking, having been invited to give more than 40 talks internationally in the past 5 years. Moving forward, He is interested in using my skill set and experience in academic and industry settings. He sees a huge opportunity ahead to conduct societally-relevant research that helps inform practices that ensure cities support well-being.
Founder & CEO, LaConnexional
Originally from Cameroon, Ivan Touko moved to Edmonton in the summer of 2012 to attend the University of Alberta – Campus Saint Jean
In his journey of finding a home away from home, Ivan deeply immersed himself in the Albertan community while volunteering and co-founding many student groups and projects in the Edmonton area. Ivan is now the recipient of Alberta’s Top 30 under 30 award and the Founder & CEO of a few social enterprises such as La Connexional & BOM YEG. Being passionate about dance, Ivan also finds happiness in sharing his love for movements & community building through his open-level Afro Fusion Dance workshops.
Today, Ivan is a student Recruiter at Campus Saint-Jean and is excited to keep pursuing his professional career, as well as, entrepreneurial journey in Edmonton and is continuously looking at new opportunities, especially in the social innovation, youth empowerement and technology sectors. Ivan has now organized, curated and/or hosted over 80+ experiences in the Albertan region and is always interested in growing his network.
Founder, Clavis Studio
As Co-Founder of Clavis Studio, Abby is redefining the approach to interior design using immersive 3D technology that showcases the immeasurable possibilities of the metaverse in design and infrastructure planning. Her goal is to drive tech adoption in traditional or less predictable sectors and promote a tech-driven economy by creating jobs and expanding market access for Clavis-powered businesses. Her 15+ years of community work and business footprints trail across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America..
VP, Social Impact and Innovation at RBC
Mark has over 25 years’ experience in financial services, Mark has executive leadership experiences in banking, insurance, risk management and non-profit leadership. Mark leads the strategic execution of RBC’s Social Impact portfolios including RBC Future Launch, RBC Tech for Nature and RBC Emerging Artists. Mark also leads stakeholder relations to cultivate and maintain key relationships across Canada including policy makers, partners and stakeholders to advance RBC’s community investment priorities. Mark holds an MBA in International Business from the University of Bradford and has completed executive programs with Richard Ivey School of Business and holds the Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D).
VP, Inclusion & Sustainability Company is Sauce Labs
Jacqui Regenbogen has worked in the field of DEIS since the early 00s. Her background is in Theatre and Arts as a mechanism for social change. She identifies as a member of the queer community and happily lives with her wife Dawn and two cats in Verona, WI. She is thrilled to be a part of C-Tribe and is looking forward to meeting the amazing humans who attend. For more info about her professional career, please check out her LinkedIn.
Senior Associate, Partnership at WealthSimple Foundation
Leadership Trainer Lifelong Learning
Matt Williams is a social change designer. He currently serves as a Leadership Trainer at LifeLabs Learning, the go-to management development resource for innovative companies (like Lyft, Reddit, Sony Music, and Warby Parker). In his role, he coaches leaders on creating team cultures that institute behaviors of inclusion, effective feedback, people development, strategic thinking habits, and more. Prior to this role, Williams served as a Director in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Wake Forest University, ranked among the top-30 national universities in the United States of America. In his role, he was a senior strategist to the organization’s C-Suite and helped deliver programs and culturally appropriate communication to recruit and retain underrepresented students, faculty, and staff.
As a social scientist, Williams’ research centers the state-sanctioned violence experienced by Black people across the identity spectrum and how its contested online. While most of the nation almost exclusively focuses on police violence that cisgender black men experience, Williams opts to explore the role that gender, gender identity and race play to ensure we develop more holistic solutions to systemic inequality.
In 2016, he co-founded Hustle, a nonprofit focused on growing local economies by shaping equitable systems that bridge the gap of entrepreneurial inequality for women, people of color, and those in marginalized business districts. He holds an undergraduate and graduate degree in Communication and certificates in social justice education. Prominent coverage of his work includes South by Southwest, Public Radio, Fast Company, TEDx, Fortune, Digital Blackness, and Race Forward.
Program & Talent Manager
With a successful 10+ year career in corporate management, people and culture initiatives, within various industries. Nikiesha Lawson, a Community Cultivator, has had a career deeply rooted in the support and development of people. Whether it is building and planning out programs and events professionally, or supporting business planning for under-represented and under-served individuals as an entrepreneur. Nikiesha has consistently exuded a willingness to cultivate and be of service to her community and network, while thinking outside of the box. With a professional experience that has allowed her the opportunity to create and facilitate growth and development programs nationally for recognized corporate brands, focused on entry-level to mid-management roles. Her genuine curiosity motivates her to learn more about individuals, organizations and their “why?” and collaborating to answer their own “Yes, and?” In her current professional role as a Programming and Talent Manager for the Black Talent Initiative, she collaborates with corporate, community organizations, volunteers and stakeholders to create opportunities for Black Talent seeking career advancement through creating and facilitating intentional programs, events, and connections to network. Her success, as both a professional and entrepreneur, has derived from her passion for people, strategies, innovation, and willingness to create or impact spaces as she continues to aspire and inspire others to be your best self.
Founder & CEO Nuwave Equity Corporation
Emiliano Void is the Co-Founder and CEO of nuwave Equity Corporation giving leadership and oversight to all aspects of the organization’s activities. He is responsible for the coordination, development and implementation of systemic solutions centered around the dismantlement anti-Black and systemic racism through profitable and innovative approaches.
Poet, Playwright & Performer
Titilope Sonuga is a poet and performer whose work grasps for moments of tenderness and persistent joy at the intersection of blackness and womanhood. She is the author of three award-winning collections of poetry, Down to Earth (2011), Abscess (2014), and This Is How We Disappear (2019) and has released two spoken word albums, Mother Tongue (2011) and Swim (2019). Titilope has written three plays, The Six; an intergenerational exploration of womanhood, Naked; a one-woman play and Ada The Country, a musical. She has scripted advertising campaigns for global brands and was an actor on the hit television series Gidi Up, which aired across Africa. She is the 9th Poet Laureate of the City of Edmonton.
Bernie is a seasoned technology advisor in the cloud computing at Google and IBM and artificial intelligence with People.ai. Bernie is committed to raising awareness and creating more avenues for Black youth to get into tech through his work with BlackMINT
Founder @ Black Owned Makers & Black Owned Market
Rochelle Ignacio (she/her) is a safety and inclusion specialist who is passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology from the University of Alberta with a major in Family Ecology and minor in Community Diversity, as well as an Occupational Health and Safety Certificate. She strongly believes in community building, volunteerism, and advocating for marginalized individuals and groups of people. As founding Managing Partner of Black Owned Market and founder of Black Owned Makers she oversees the management portfolio of both organizations. Black Owned Market provides a platform to showcase handmade and creative Black-owned businesses. Under Black Owned Makers a focus is made on supporting the development of Black-owned businesses and distributing their products into new retail environments. Her experience has provided her with knowledge of how systems of oppression continue to create barriers for Black entrepreneurs to realize economic success. This knowledge allows her to advocate for collective rights on behalf of the Black business community and contributes to a sense of belonging leading to positive outcomes and economic empowerment within the community. Her personal goal is to establish Edmonton as an known economic hub for Black-owned businesses, Rochelle is the recipient of Edify Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 award (2021) as well as the African Caribbean Community Leader of the Year award (2020)
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Trainer at OBSIDI by Black Professionals in Technology Network
Natalie has a background in creating DEI strategies for organizations looking to begin or further their DEI journey. Her background in community work, public consultations, and research led her to DEIB where she could help turn interest and intention into actions. With a history in private and public organizations, Natalie has worked on several strategies that focus on staff as well customers/ service users.
Associate Faculty at Royal Roads University
Olaolu describes himself as Nigerian mentally, with British tendencies, and Canadian sensibilities; traits informed by cultural connections through lived experiences in each of these locales. He has a passion for social development issues seen through the application of an intercultural lens that is informed by his studies in International Development (Dalhousie University, 2008), Poverty Reduction: Policy & Practice (University of London – School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), 2013), and the range of his experiences with several global organizations. He is currently a Senior Consultant with Deloitte’s Government and Public Sector Services and an Associate Faculty member with the School of Communication & Culture and School of Humanitarian Studies at Royal Roads University. Within his various learning environments he translates his international experience into engaging approaches that reframe contemporary global issues. Olaolu is especially interested in international development, international relations and humanitarian innovation – specifically topics relating to equity, social development and diaspora studies.
Investor at SoGal Ventures
KVP is a Co-Founder, Builder, Mentor, Investor, NED, Consigliere across D·Central, Crypto-1, RVVUP & SoGal Ventures. Born and raised in Kenya, he completed his higher education in Denmark and has worked across Lon, NY, HK and SG. He has over 15yrs experience in global financial markets; with a special distinct passion for global macro, Crypto & venture. A true champion of blockchain, being personally invested & involved in the ecosystem since 2014 as one of the early advocates of crypto. He is Co-Founder & Chief Strategist @ D•Central: which is tapping into the decentralized world of talent and disrupting the social paradigms of work. A super proud LP & Advisor at SoGal ventures, fuelling rock-star female & minority entrepreneurs. An Angel Investor + NED to RVVUP (Building the Future of Payments) + Angel and Consigliere at Crypto1 – a $230M Nasdaq listed Crypto + Blockchain SPAC. Outside work, it’s all about maximizing high quality surface area with his young family in stunning lush SG, reading Sci-Fi & science books, podcast drinking, writing, gaming, running + jiu jitsu.
Director of Communications and Equity Strategy at Edmonton Community Foundation
Nneka Otogbolu is the Director of Communications and Equity Strategy at Edmonton Community Foundation. In addition to the strategic leadership of the Foundation’s equity efforts, Nneka works to enhance the Foundation’s ability to connect with equity-seeking organizations and charities working with Edmonton’s several marginalized communities. She collaborates with diverse groups of local non-profits in Edmonton, fostering a culture of equity and reconciliation. On the communications side, her presence increases ECF’s ability to connect with diverse people interested in philanthropy, justice, and community service. She has led several teams across different industry sectors. She is also a co-recipient of the Canadian Bureau of International Education’s Elizabeth Patterson Award for Internationalization for her work in her community on Vancouver Island. She loves to read, watch movies, and cook.
Managing Partner, Celesta Capital
Nicholas Brathwaite has over 25 years developing technology and building technology-oriented businesses. Before Celesta, Nicholas was also co-founder and partner of private equity firm Riverwood Capital, and from 1996 to 2007, he served as the CTO at Flex, where he oversaw the launch and growth of several of Flex’s largest business units, including an innovative push into product development.
DAO Engineer & Web3 Futurist
METADREAMER (also known as Hammad Jutt) is a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) engineer piecing together the web3 puzzle. He primarily focuses on development, design & strategy @ MetaFactory, Coordinape, and MetaCartel Ventures.
Founder, Ethically Aligned AI
Katrina Ingram is the Founder and CEO of Ethically Aligned AI, a company focused on helping organizations to drive better outcomes in the design, development and deployment of AI systems. A seasoned executive, Katrina has over two decades of experience running both not-for-profit and corporate organizations in the technology and media sectors.
She is a member of IEEE, and volunteers with several AI ethics organizations including Women in AI and Ethics (WAIE), For Humanity and All Tech is Human. Katrina holds an undergrad in business administration from Simon Fraser University and a master of arts in communications and technology from the University of Alberta. She combines her love of audio and interest in AI as the host of the podcast, AI4Society Dialogues. Katrina was recently named to the top 100 Women in AI Ethics list for 2022 and has launched a new AI ethics micro-credential with Athabasca University.
Co-Founder, CTO, & CPO at Crowdfund Exchange
Omi is the Co-Founder and Chief Product and Technology Officer at Artist Crowdfund Exchange (ACE); a Web 3.0 and social network startup, looking to democratize funding and revenue in the sports and entertainment industry. He has worked in tech for close to 15 years and at some of the biggest companies like Google and Microsoft. ACE being the 3rd company he has founded, he knows a thing or two about what it’s like to take huge risks to try and make your dreams a reality.
As an Angel Investor and startup coach, he stays very plugged into the start-up and fundraising world and loves to help founders whenever he can to navigate that world and not make some of the mistakes he did in his earlier years. In his spare time, he mentors founders and high school kids from underprivileged communities.
His passion project right now is repurposing shipping containers for building computer schools in villages back home in Nigeria to teach coding to children aged 9 through 15.
Accelerate III, Yaletown Ventures
Arden provides startup capital to Alberta-based companies through Accelerate Funds II and III, which Yaletown manages with the A100. An accomplished investment professional with more than 15 years of private and public sector experience, he works with portfolio company teams to support their performance and is highly active in the Alberta technology startup community.
Throughout his career, Arden has focused on discovering and managing value. As an investment analyst with AIMCo, he took part in the active oversight of environmental, social, and governance issues that impacted AIMCo’s then $70B portfolio of assets, as well as underwriting more than $1 billion in real estate transactions. He also worked in commercial leasing and sales with Barclay Street and Torode Realty.
Before joining the Accelerate Fund team, Arden oversaw entrepreneurship development as manager of the University of Alberta’s Venture Mentoring Service. He holds an MBA in finance from the University of Alberta and is a graduate of Royal Roads University’s Certified Executive Coaching program.
Alberta President, Valhalla Private Capital
Mark is an international finance and technology professional with experience across five countries and three continents, including four years in China.
Mark currently serves as a General Partner at Weave Capital, a seed-stage venture capital firm investing in Western Canadian founders.
In addition, Mark serves as the Alberta President for Valhalla Private Capital, Western Canada’s oldest and most established Angel Investment network with $71M+ invested into 250+ deals since 2008. In conjunction with these roles, Mark serves as a Director at Red Thread Ventures, a global angel syndicate, connecting the capital to high-growth ventures.
Since June 2020, Mark has played a Principal role in investing over $5M across 20 early-stage businesses within the Valhalla and Red Thread ecosystems. He has also directly assisted early-stage companies in raising more than $10M in private capital.
Mark has studied Mandarin for over ten years and speaks fluently.
Founder & President, Black Business Association of BC
Nerissa is the Co-Founder & President of Black Business Association of BC. BBABC supports black business and entrepreneurship through providing leadership development, collaboration, networking, and mentorship opportunities. This support elevates the basic and advanced skills of entrepreneurs which will enable them to run successful businesses and increase positive community representation.
As a Director of Chattelhouse Health and Beauty Inc, a Registered Massage Therapy clinic and global brand known for distinguished skin and hair care, Nerissa has garnered valuable experience from business start-up to expansion. She is excited to share this wealth of knowledge gained to mentor and support entrepreneurs and leave a legacy of professional excellence.
Nerissa’s deep passion for a healthy work life balance led her to embark on world travel which she credits for enhancing her global perspective. This has allowed her to tackle challenges including systemic racism with effective and inclusive solutions. Currently serving as a member of the Vancouver Economic Development Advisory Board, and on the Board of Directors of the Barbados Cultural Association of BC. allows her to stay engaged with the community from a cultural standpoint, allowing her to merge perspectives and drive change that is wholesome.
Founder C-Tribe Festival
Sahr Saffa, Founder and Chairperson of C-Tribe and 3x tech entrepreneur & advisor, has extensive experience building and scaling companies. He has also had a fair share of failures; a prerequisite for working in the startup space. He is also a former partner and former Director of Marketing at a Bay Area startup, AutonomIQ, which specializes in AI-enabled, low-code software testing. AutonomIQ was recently acquired by Sauce Labs where he currently holds the role of Product Marketing Manager.
His latest tech venture he’s consulted for, Ovenue, a blockchain-enabled marketplace that helps companies buy, sell, and trade their intellectual property, raised its pre-seed round and is helping companies realize the full potential of their financial statements.
Most proudly he’s a stay-at-home son to two incredible parents and a sister; a stay-at-home boyfriend to an amazing girlfriend, all of whom he loves very much.
Edmonton Chair Rainforest AB
James is responsible for managing the vision and growth of Levven Electronics, developing and executing long-term corporate strategies, and building relationships with partners, stakeholders and investors. Levven has a vision of making intelligent buildings available to everyone. Focused on delivering technology and products to advantage new construction, Levven’s promise is mobile device access and control of building infrastructure that lowers building costs, speeds construction and conserves building materials. He is a life-long entrepreneur with a commitment to innovation, excellence and enhancing people’s lives. Prior to founding Levven, James and his partners founded Blue Falls Manufacturing, makers of Arctic Spas and expanded it’s footprint to over 30 countries. James is an active member and contributor to several entrepreneur organizations including Entrepreneurs’ Organization, the A100, Edmonton Regional Innovation Network, and Rainforest Alberta. When he isn’t focused on the business, you can find him on Edmonton mountain bike trails or hanging out with his family.
UX Lead at Verily
Jennifer Pretti is an experienced UX designer and leader, with a career spanning over 20 years. She has worked with some of the world’s top technology companies, such as IBM, Nokia, Blackberry, and Google, to design new products, guide product strategy, and build user-centered design practices with organizational impact. She has a passionate for distilling highly ambiguous and complex problems into exceptional user experiences, from Nokia’s first music phone, to the world’s lightest and brightest 3DLP 4K projector, to North’s custom-built smart glasses. She is now at Verily, leading the Terra UX team, where she looks forward to helping biomedical researchers accelerate scientific discoveries. Keeping her equally busy are her two children and two cats, rock climbing, and spending time at the cottage, preferably with a good book and cup of chai in hand.
Founder and Product Manager, powerhouse.Research
For the past 8 years, Brandon has gained sales experience with residential and commercial properties and consistently faced the same problem: knowing the right value of a property is hard, time-consuming and requires hard-to-find data. The difficulty of valuing a property comes at great cost – high commission fees are charged (which for example, are typically $10,000 for a $200,000 apartment). And, if the value estimate is wrong, buyers and sellers can be at a loss of tens of thousands of dollars. Currently, the problem of valuing properties is done the same way it has been done for decades – by having someone like Brandon (a real estate agent) conduct manual valuations called Comparable Market Analyses. These are time-consuming, with high variance in accuracy depending on the experience of the real estate agent. Valuing property is often impossible for buyers and sellers as a license is required to have access to sales data (general public can only view how much a property is listed for, not sold). Brandon and his team have set out to improve this process by using modern technology – algorithms and machine learning allow our software to analyze thousands of properties to calculate a property values that are accurate, rapid and easy. With their software, buyers and sellers can value their own properties in minutes by using an online form, and real estate agents can be empowered to provide valuations without consuming their time with manual research.
Analyst at Accenture
Hanna recently completed her Bachelor of Commerce in Business Economics & Law from the University of Alberta, along with a Certificate in Leadership. Over the past five years, she has dedicated her time to leadership and volunteer roles in community groups on and off campus including the Alberta Not-for-Profit Association, JDC West, UAlberta Ambassadors and the Elizabeth Fry Society. Passionate about uplifting black youth, Hanna co-founded the University’s first Black Students’ Association in 2018 and served as President for two y years. She currently continues to serve her community as the Youth Council Coordinator for the Federation of Black Canadians, a national not-for-profit organization focused on advancing the social, political, economic and cultural interests of black Canadians. Hanna has successfully competed and placed in multiple national and international business case competitions where she discovered her passion for critical problem-solving and global engagement- she plans to begin full-time work as Strategy Analyst at Accenture Calgary in the Fall, and eventually go back to school to pursue further studies in the form of an MBA/JD.
Account Executive Google
Juana has over 12 years of experience advising top brands on their digital marketing strategy across India, US & Canada. She currently is as an Account Executive working with Canadian counterparts of Global Auto companies helping them build their marketing strategy to build brand love and sell more cars while using Google’s entire suite of advertising products.
Founder & CEO Bitcoin Well
Nearly 10 years in the bitcoin space, Adam is passionate about enabling independence through the convenient control of bitcoin & future-proofing money. He first deployed Alberta and Saskatchewan’s first bitcoin ATMs in 2014. Fast forward to 2021, and his company, Bitcoin Well, is a Canadian publicly traded non custodial bitcoin company enabling users to buy, sell and use bitcoin in the fastest and safest way possible.
Associate ML Scientist
Updated bio: Maithrreye Srinivasan is an Associate Machine Learning Scientist on the Advanced Tech team @ AMII . She brings in three years of experience in Cloud Infrastructure division from Microsoft. She completed her MSc at the University of Alberta. Her research interests include natural language processing and deep learning. Outside of work, Maithrreye enjoys reading books and creating digital illustrations.
Founder, Happy Warrior
With over 20 years of experience in sports marketing and innovation, Rebecca is a master connector and networker. Highly regarded as a maven in the esports industry, she is the founder of the esports consultancy firm, Happy Warrior. Her client work includes helping pro esports teams monetize their organizations through brand partnerships and growth strategies and working with creative and media agencies to bring their brand accounts into the esports ecosystem with authenticity and credibility. Additionally, Rebecca is an Advisor and Mentor for a number of global esports-technology investment firms and an Advisory Board Member for multiple sports-tech and esports-tech startups. She serves on the Corporate and Community Advisory Council for Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minnesota and is a founding board member for MSP Esports Alliance and WarriorGMR Foundation.
Associate Producer, Snowed in Games
Vanessa is an Associate Producer at Snowed In Studios, and previously worked at Beamdog and Inflexion Games. She also runs GameCamp Edmonton, Edmonton’s local International Game Developers Chapter, and Alberta Game Jam, an annual, province-wide game jam. Vanessa is passionate about growing healthy, sustainable, and inclusive communities in the game dev space.
CEO, Inflexion Games
Aaryn Flynn is a games industry veteran and the former General Manager for Improbable North America. Flynn is based in the downtown district of Edmonton, Alberta, where he’s built the new Improbable office and is now the CEO of Inflexion Games.
Flynn has been associated with many of the most successful games and franchises produced by BioWare, which he joined after leaving university and
where he worked for 17 years. Initially working on games such as Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, Flynn became Director of Programming on Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins and took on the role of General Manager of BioWare during the production of games including Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Deputy Director, CMF Program Administrator Telefilm Canada/Canada Media Fund
Shelley Coultish has been in the position of Deputy Director, CMF Program Administrator based out of Telefilm Canada’s Toronto office for the past 12 years. The CMF is a not-for-profit corporation that delivers approximately $366 million in funding annually to support the Canadian television and digital media industries through two streams of funding. Through the Convergent Stream, the CMF supports the creation of convergent television and digital media content for consumption by Canadians anytime, anywhere. Through the Experimental Stream, the CMF encourages the development of innovative, interactive digital media content and software applications.
Co-Founder, CEO of Execution Labs
As the co-founder of Executions Labs, he was a hands-on early stage investor to over 20 independent game studios from North America and Europe. Between 2000-09 he served as the executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and was honoured for his industry-building efforts with the inaugural Ambassador Award at the Game Developers Conference.
In 2009, Jason was named to Game Developer Magazine’s “Power50,” a list which profiles 50 of the most important contributors to the state of the game industry. As a sought-after expert on the game industry, Jason has lectured at conferences and universities worldwide.
Founder, Maliyo Games
Hugo Obi is the founder of Maliyo Games; a design studio known for developing African-inspired games for mobile devices. He is a pioneer in his field, having created gaming classics like Mosquito Smasher, Okada Rider, Aboki Run, and Whot King. In 2012, Hugo identified a gap in the gaming industry and stepped in to fill the void by bringing unique storytelling to millions of African mobile users. He draws inspiration from his experiences; growing up in Lagos, studying finance in Manchester, developing strategy skills in Singapore, gaining professional skills at General Electric (GE) in London, and also traveling the world. In 2020, Maliyo Games launched an in-house training Bootcamp to enable them to attract and retain talent. In 2021, they partnered with Google to roll out the program to learners in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria under the GameUp Africa platform.
Content creator and media personality
Artist & Performer
Evrlove Blake is a Canadian born artist known primarily for his Hip Hop and Reggae prowess. The emerging talents passion for music manifested at a young age where he would sit down for hours listening to various styles of music, from Lauryn Hill, Lil Wayne to the Vybz Cartel, He displays versatility in his approach to sound. Evrlove Blake’s music is a blend of Island vibes, Hip Hop sensibilities, and R&B undertones which he categorizes as “Cloudy Trap” music. At the age of 20 the Canadian born artist caught the attention of a Grammy award producer/Engineer Bob Horn and went on to make a charted record , Receiving incredible industry feedback praising his creative vocals, Songwriting and innovative sound. Since then Blake has spent the last year recording numerous records developing his sounds and stage presence performing in various cities opening for over 50 top charting artist like Meek Millz, French Montana, Kid Ink, MGK, Lauryn HIll to name a few. He has recently redeveloped his brand and has been focused on taking business to the next level.
Artist & Performer
Artist & Performer
Kuzi Cee brings a unique, emotional, and energetic mix of R&B, Pop, and Hip Hop. Kuzi’s dynamic singing voice and ability to seamlessly transition into rap verses give him the ability to perform songs that blend genres. His music and songwriting creates an experience for the audience that brings them on a ride through the intense emotions you feel when navigating relationships. His live performance is a manifestation of these emotions ranging from slower more thought provoking tracks that focus on his vocal ability, to high energy power vocals and dance moves to capture the crowd.
Artist & Performer
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Tinywiings is a Canadian rapper, songwriter, and poet based in Vancouver, BC. She found her love of poetry at age 7, eventually leading to her passion for music. Over the years, Tinywiings has developed her writing and rap style into her current sound, a direct overture into female sexuality and independence. The versatility in her writing has allowed her to collaborate and work across music genres from Pop to Hip-Hop to EDM. Since releasing her first single in August 2019, Tinywiings has gained a large, loyal following and international recognition.
Artist & Performer
Artist & Performer
Making her way from the bush of Northern Alberta, Bebe Buckskin, a Nêhiyaw singer song-writer and matriarch, cultivates a delightful fusion of rhythm & blues, classic rock and soulful roots that warm the hearts of all who hear her perform. She is the power through song we’ve all been waiting for.
Artist & Performer
ZENON is a captivating musician who writes Alt. R&B music that cleverly dips into other time signatures and delivers the story with rich, soulful vocals and smooth power. They have a BMus Degree (2019), released two singles titled Something About (2020) and What it Was (2021), recieved the YYC Music 2021 Prophets of Music Emerging Artist Award and up next is an EP titled Genre Z showcasing the ‘Alt’ in their R&B. Audiences can expect an incredible stage presence with bold rhythms, powerful vocals and intentional use of space in their originals as well as select covers and songs presented as a songwriter. ZENON sings, play keys and guitar performing regularly either solo or with a percussionist in their duo known as ZENON+
Artist & Performer
Edmonton-based ensemble, Good Information, lays down an indisputably hip-hop oriented sound while maintaining the traditional elements of
small-combo jazz. Their unique brand of “jazz with a beat-aesthetic” shines through improvisational interplay woven over minimalist structures.
Through energetic residency shows, the group has fostered a local community that consistently supports their work.