Riley Yesno

Riley Yesno (she/her) is a queer Anishinaabe scholar, writer, and commentator, from Eabametoong First Nation and Thunder Bay, Ontario.

She is highly sought after for her words and analysis— called an “Indigenous powerhouse” by the Toronto Star, “one of the brightest young minds in Canada today” by jury members of the Canadian Journalism Foundation, and “a rising intellectual giant by the University of Toronto.

She has been a contributor and commentator for some of the largest media outlets in Canada and the world, including the New York Times, BBC World News, The Globe and Mail, and CBC National News. Riley has also travelled the globe speaking at internationally renowned institutions and events, including the UN climate negotiations, the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality, TEDx stages, and many others.

She has taught Indigenous governance at Toronto Metropolitan University and is completing her PhD at the University of Toronto, where she is studying Indigenous / Canadian politics and is a Vanier Scholar. Riley is at work on the proposal for her first book of non-fiction, which will look critically at reconciliation in Canada, interwoven with her lived experience.


Beyond Reconciliation
It has been almost ten years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its Final Report and launched Canada’s reconciliation project into the country’s political and social consciousness. What progress has been made? Where have we failed to take action? In this talk, Riley charts the trajectory of reconciliation from its inception to the present— highlighting Indigenous people’s critiques and the work we must all do to go beyond reconciliation as it has been pursued to date.

The Future is Indigenous
Too often, Indigenous people are wrongly viewed as ‘past people’— stuck in a time of pre-colonization and unable to adapt to the modern world. In this presentation, Riley shows that Indigenous people are, contrary to this racist belief, one of the most adaptable people out there— surviving apocalypse after apocalypse and adapting to every change brought on by colonization— Indigenous people have never let up on their commitment to realizing futures where we all thrive. Drawing on a concept called ‘Indigenous Futurism, ‘ Riley will explain how Indigenous art and activism are writing the story of a bold new future— today.

Indigenous Queerness: The Colonizers Brought the Closet
Over the past few decades in North America, the term ‘two-spirit’ (2S) has been increasingly recognized. As a queer Indigenous person herself, in this talk, Riley aims to break down what ‘two-spirit’ means, where it came from, and common misconceptions of the identity. She will also highlight how colonization has impacted all of our understandings of gender and sexuality and challenge audiences to decolonize their relationships to gender and sexuality as well— whether you’re Indigenous or not.

How did an internet joke turn into a rallying call for Indigenous action that spans across the continent? This is the story of Land Back: Building off of a longstanding history of refusal of the settler-colonial status quo, Land Back has become a point of connection for supporters of Indigenous self-determination and, increasingly, for those who see Indigenous leadership as the world’s greatest hope against climate destruction. This talk will outline how Land Back came to be and how it fits into the larger story of Indigenous contestation, provide examples of Land Back in action, and suggest ways we can all take part in the growing movement.

Lessons in Youth Leadership
Riley was only sixteen years old when she started taking up prominent leadership roles in Canada and around the world. From the Prime Minister’s table and UN negotiating rooms to grassroots youth movements, she’s learned many lessons about what it means to be a truly strong and honourable leader. Drawing on these experiences and teachings from an Anishinaabe worldview, this talk asks audiences to deeply consider questions like: How do you define leadership? How do you move through challenges with integrity? Is leadership about having a seat at the table, or should we be challenging the idea of ‘the table’ altogether?

Transforming Education for Indigenous Peoples
In Canada, we know that public education is not serving Indigenous people in the way it should, even as the statistics improve from year to year. From the closing of the last residential school in 1997 to now, Indigenous people continue to have high school graduation rates far below our non-Indigenous counterparts, and Indigenous representation in higher learning is even further behind. How do we overcome this? How can we decolonize the classroom— both the physical environment and the learning approach— so that all students not just pass, but feel empowered and seen by their education?

Murdered and Missing: Canada’s Failure to Protect Indigenous Women, Girls, and Queer People
The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people was released to the general public in 2019, but it had been a conversation in Indigenous communities for much longer than that. In this talk, Riley traces the history of injustice against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people from the onset of colonization to now. The goal is to look beyond the data and the public reports and ask bigger questions like: How can we build communities and worlds that truly value non-violence, consent, and accountability?

To book Riley, please reach out to

Rahim Thawer

Rahim Thawer (he/him) works as a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, EDI consultant, facilitator and public speaker, sessional lecturer, writer, and community organizer. He began working in the HIV/AIDS sector in 2008 and dedicated over a decade to LGBTQ Muslim community organizing. He was welcomed as an International Visiting Scholar with the South African College for Applied Psychology (SACAP) for the 2021-2022 academic year and has taught as a lecturer at multiple universities in Canada. He’s an appointed Fellow at the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto for his contributions to the field of sexuality.

He was a co-editor and contributor for an anthology entitled Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Toronto Book Awards. He’s currently working on books under contract with Thornapple Press and Blue Cactus Press. His self-published essays on shame and sexuality, the social and sexual dimensions of envy, supporting LGBTQ Muslims, and the nuances of doing clinical work in communities you belong to can be found on Medium.


Rahim has spoken on over 35 topics related to queerness, identity, social justice, mental health, harm reduction, psychotherapy, social work practice, and cultural awareness. He uniquely combines EDI topics with the lens of psychological well-being.

We all offer critical front-line services for people who are vulnerable and who need very real forms of support. In the public sector, we encounter people who are constantly enduring the systems and cycles of poverty, abuse, addiction, and illness. While we aim to “meet people where they’re at” we can sometimes falter and forget to reflect on our relative position in the world to the people we work with. Further, we may feel helpless or fatigued to consider the position we’ve been placed in to support individuals who are up against grating systems. Talks that explore anti-oppression concepts focus on power, privilege and oppression and consider how they operate in our world for both our clients and ourselves.

Talking about trauma has become a big business for good reason. However, it’s useful to take a step back from the jargon and explore the concepts of trauma, trauma-informed, and vicarious trauma. This talk invites participants to examine the roots of trauma and sources of vicarious trauma in their own industry followed by a discussion of micro- and meso-level interventions needed to support individuals. Rahim will present a model for creating healthy boundaries and a burnout prevention plan.

We often reduce mental health to diagnostic labels, wellness to the absence of symptoms, and queer men’s health to prevalence rates. If we take an exploratory approach to mental health and wellness we can begin to unravel some of the specific determinants of mental health concerns that affect GBTQ2S guys. As a racialized queer psychotherapist, Rahim examines 13 unique determinants that queer men come up against that impact their well-being. These will include but are not limited to, internalized shame, body image, substance use, ageing, and the landscape of connection-seeking.

Shame and sexuality; Supporting family members when someone comes out; The matrix of envy; Body image and wellbeing; Innovation in queer relationships; The meaning of substance use in our lives.

Pauline Dakin

Pauline Dakin is the bestselling author of Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood which won the prestigious 2018 Edna Staebler Prize for Creative Non-fiction. It was also named one of the best 100 books of 2017 by The Globe and Mail.

Run, Hide, Repeat is also the subject of a five-part podcast series of the same name with CBC Podcasts. Amazon called it one of the best podcasts of the year.

In addition, the memoir is the subject of an upcoming feature documentary and is  being adapted as a feature film.

Pauline is a professor of journalism at the University of King’s College, where she specializes in teaching audio and podcasting. She is a fellow of the MIT/Knight Science Journalism program (Cambridge, Mass.) on Medical Evidence.

She’s an award-winning journalist who was for many years a trusted voice on health and medical issues as a reporter for CBC National News. She was also the long-time host of the CBC regional documentary program Atlantic Voice.

Pauline’s reporting and documentary work have been recognized with many regional and national awards.

She lives in Halifax with her husband and their two dogs.

Speaking Topics:

Resilience and Overcoming Hardship (Mental Health)

Resilience, or the ability to cope with and recover from difficulties, is one of the fastest-growing and evolving areas of psychological research. Pauline Dakin shares the story of her chaotic childhood as a lens through which to examine the factors that confer resilience, and approaches that can help people develop it in their own lives. Pauline was told her family was on the run from the Mob, necessitating secret moves without goodbyes to family and friends. The truth was even more bizarre, launching a years-long quest for answers and acceptance.

Delusional Disorder: The Worst Mental Illness You Never Heard Of (Mental Health)

After Pauline published her memoir Run, Hide, Repeat, detailing the exquisitely complex and nuanced delusions that hijacked her family’s lives, she heard from people around the world who’d had similar, if less dramatic experiences. They were relieved to have a possible explanation. Delusional disorder is under-recognized and under-studied, and can be present in people who are high-functioning and appear normal. Because it’s hard to spot, it can pose particular risks to families caught up in the dysfunction. Delusional disorder has been suggested as a diagnosis for cult leader Jim Jones who lead the mass murder/suicide at Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, or more recently the man responsible for the 2020 mass murder in Nova Scotia. Learn about the sub-types of delusional disorder and the remarkable and sometimes horrifying ways in which they impact sufferers and those around them.

Podcasting: Connection for the Ears (Technology and Media)

Everyone wants to make a podcast. This still-growing medium is a way to deeply connect with audiences, whether for journalistic, educational, or marketing purposes. But podcasting is a noisy environment, with millions available to stream and the vast majority of them not connecting. Pauline is the host, co-writer and co-producer of the podcast Run, Hide, Repeat, based on her book of the same name. Amazon named it one of the best podcasts of 2022, and it was the #1 podcast on Apple Podcasts. Learn about the podcasting landscape and what it takes to cut through the noise and grab your audience by the ears.

Misinformation and Disinformation: Countering Fake News in Health Care

The pandemic has shown clearly the risks and harms of false claims and conspiracy theories (ie. Bill Gates’ vaccine chips or bleach treatments.) It’s never been more important to find ways of countering science-deniers and elevating critical thinking. Pauline is a former national health reporter who’s been involved in teaching medical students how to counter evidence-denial and vaccine hesitancy. She uses this experience to help frame and address the problem, particularly in relation to health and medicine.

Storytelling for Scientists: How to Make Your Research Understandable to the Public

We live in an age of disinformation in which science-denying and logic-defying stories proliferate. The pandemic has both exemplified and exacerbated this trend. It’s up to people with knowledge and evidence to share it in a way that is accessible and understandable to the public. Pauline uses her experience as a former CBC health reporter, and a fellow of the MIT Knight Science Journalism program on medical evidence, to help scientists frame understandable messages to share what they know and counter forces of disinformation.

To book Pauline Dakin, contact Rob Firing at

Tara MacLean

Photo Credit: Jen Squires

Canadian singer/songwriter Tara MacLean has been an internationally renowned and award-winning recording and touring artist for over 25 years. She released her first album with the Nettwerk Music Group in 1996 and Sony Music Publishing Canada. Since then, she has been signed to Capitol Records as a solo artist and to EMI Canada with her JUNO nominated band Shaye. She has written and recorded six solo albums and two Shaye records.

In 2008, Tara took a hiatus from being a touring artist to focus on being a full-time mother, raising her family on the beautiful west coast of Canada. She never stopped writing music.

Tara returned to her music career in 2016 when she wrote, produced, and directed her hit show “Atlantic Blue-The Stories of Atlantic Canada’s Iconic Songwriters”.  The summer of 2019 saw “Atlantic Blue” presented by the world-famous Charlottetown Festival to sold out crowds.  Tara went on to perform  “Songs from Atlantic Blue” in Concert with the PEI Symphony Orchestra.

The same year (2019), Tara returned to recording original material with “Deeper”, an award-winning effort that was followed by a duet with close friend Catherine MacLellan.  “This Storm” won the Song of the Year Award at the Music PEI Awards.  In 2019 Tara also received the senate of Canada Medal for her activist work in her community. Last year, Tara received the Stompin’ Tom award by the East Coast Music Association, marking her outstanding contribution to music in the region.

Tara MacLean is an environmental and social justice activist, a zen student, a poet, author,  playwright and inspiring public speaker. She resides primarily in her home province of Prince Edward Island, and lives part time on Salt Spring Island, BC. She considers herself bi-coastal. Her greatest joy is being a mother to her three beautiful girls.

Her first book, Song of the Sparrow, will be released on March 14th, 2023 with HarperCollins Canada, followed by the soundtrack for the book on March 31, 2023.

Speaking Topic

How to be a Lighthouse
An award winning performer and singer/songwriter for over 25 years, playwright, mother, zen student and now author, Tara MacLean will guide the audience through practical steps to remember their super powers, the tools they already have within to navigate the stormy seas of life and make it to safe harbour, and from there, how to be a beacon for others. With her life dedicated to service and seeing the urgency for a shift in perspective now, Tara is taking her message off the page and onto the stage in a new way.
After a childhood filled with extreme poverty, sexual abuse and countless other dangers, Tara speaks inspiringly and from personal experience about her steadfast commitment to love and forgiveness no matter what. She shines with remarkable incandescence as she recounts her experience cultivating resilience and a deep reverence for life.

By sharing her story, music and map, Tara lends us the torch she has safeguarded all her life. Anyone who holds that torch, even for a brief moment, will likely be profoundly moved and even possibly, deeply transformed.

To book Tara MacLean, contact Rob Firing at

Asha Frost

Asha Frost (she/her), is an Indigenous Medicine Woman and a member of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Guelph and a degree in Homeopathic Medicine. Asha is the best-selling Author of You are the Medicine and has guided thousands of people through profound and lasting transformation for the past two decades in her work as a healer, homeopath and mentor.

Impacted by generational trauma and colonization, Asha has been on a lifelong journey of reclamation. A lupus diagnosis sent her on a path of studying and practicing a multitude of energy Medicine modalities with many guides. She has blended this life experience with her innate gifts and the wisdom of her Ancestors. She loves sharing her Medicine in powerful ways through Ceremonies, teachings, and speaking events. Through this work, she has seen people reclaim their roots, find their healing wisdom, and rise into their power.

Asha lives on Anishinaabe, Huron-Wendat, and Haudenosaunee Territory, with her husband and two beautiful children, with whom she co-creates a better world for the seven generations to come. Her oracle deck, The Sacred Medicine Oracle will be released in 2023 by Hay House.

You are the Medicine

We are conditioned to believe that all of the answers we seek come outside of us. This comes from the systems at play such as colonialism, capitalism and the patriarchy. We have forgotten that we carry an inner wisdom and power that guides us. Asha will take the listener through exercises, guided journeys (meditations) and self-reflection to unwind the systemic impacts that have affected us all. She will then show you how to reclaim and remember the innate guidance that has always resided within.

Living by the Medicine Wheel

The Anishinaabe Medicine Wheel teaches us that every season and every cycle that we move through in life is needed and of great importance. After the past few years, many of us find ourselves in burnout and overwhelm. In this talk, Asha will show you how we can turn to the teachings of the Medicine Wheel to assist us in bringing more joy, ease and flow into our lives. In sharing these traditional teachings, Asha will help the audience turn burnout to beauty and overwhelm to balance.  She will provide an embodied, healing experience so you can live with more peace and joy.

Opening and Closing Ceremonies

Asha is available for opening/closing ceremonies and land acknowledgements for any event, organization or workshop.  As an Indigenous Healer, she has facilitated for thousands in such ceremonies and offers personalized words, energy and teachings based on the event topic. Her style infuses a healing experience for the participants providing a container that feels inclusive, warm and inviting.

7 Seven Grandfather Teachings for Resilience

Walking in a good way with the teachings of love, respect, humility, bravery, truth, honesty and wisdom is something we can all strive for. In times of struggle, these teachings can guide our way. When Asha was 17, she was diagnosed with lupus, a serious, long-term autoimmune disease. Following these seven teachings she has built a life of courage and joy, reaching goals and dreams that doctors told her would never happen. In this talk she will offer ways that we can use these teachings to build resilience and capacity for ourselves so that when hard things happen, we can continue to thrive.

 Workshop offerings:

All of the following workshops can be offered and made suitable for the event topic and comfort of the audience. They can be offered in a traditional-circle way or a workshop style. These offerings tend to be more intimate, with a focus on wellness, teachings and healing.

Full Moon/New Moon Ceremony

From Trauma to Wisdom – Generational Healing

Animal Spirit Guidance

Summer/Winter Solstice Ceremony

Fall/Spring Equinox Ceremony

Ancestral Connection and Guidance

To book Asha Frost, contact Rob Firing at

Natasha Negovanlis

Natasha Negovanlis is a Canadian bi/pansexual actor, writer, producer, advocate, and host who is best known for having played the titular role in the hit series and feature film Carmilla which lead her to winning the Fan’s Choice Award at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards with over two million international votes. 

Since gaining notoriety for her portrayal of the “broody lesbian vampire” she has had a number of starring roles on TV shows and in female-driven movies, and has grown a dedicated global fanbase of over 269,000 collective followers on social media, where she is admired for writing candid posts about mental health awareness, intersectional feminism, sexual wellness, and positive 2SLGBTQ+ representation and fundraising for non-profits.

In addition to acting and her social influence, Natasha has a background as a classically trained soprano, having studied Voice Performance at McGill University, and experience as a host, interviewer, and presenter as the former face of the YouTube Network KindaTV. In 2017, Natasha co-wrote and co-produced the digital comedy CLAIREvoyant with Executive Producer Shaftesbury Digital which won a 2018 NYC Web Fest Award.

She has also performed in improv, sketch, musical, and cabaret shows around North America, has sat on the jury for Inside Out LGBTQ Film Festival, and has moderated panels on women directors at Whistler Film Festival. As a strong youth role model, she has also spoken for Kids Mental Health Ontario, volunteered at CAMH, and has participated in panels about web series creation and marketing to queer millennials at MIP TV in Cannes and YouTube Space Los Angeles. When she is not wearing many hats, she enjoys long walks on the beach… with her adopted rescue dog and a perfect cup of coffee. 


“Map To The Scars” – A Rising Star’s Struggle With Dermatillomania

In this vulnerable talk, Natasha opens up about her OCD diagnoses and how her launch into fame and the patriarchal standards of beauty upheld within the entertainment industry triggered body-focused repetitive behaviours and an excoriation disorder that left a map of scars on her skin. Natasha will discuss how she learned to reclaim her scars as a “constellations” and found the confidence to return to screen acting after years of healing and inner work. She will also explore the importance of online mental health awareness, how social media can be used to find and build community, and how folks can support people like her who are struggling with their mental wellness. 

“The Little Web Series That Could” – The Power of Positive Queer Representation in Media 

In this talk about on-screen queer representation, Natasha discusses her experiences as the titular role in the internationally acclaimed web series Carmilla and co-creator of the award-winning digital comedy CLAIREvoyant and shares what she has learned from being a leader of a global 2SLGBTQ fanbase, through the lens of her own bisexuality. Geared towards entertainment industry professionals and students alike, this chat will convince you why queer projects and creatives are a worthy investment – both monetarily and socially. 


“Improv For Confidence Building” – A Community Focused Workshop

Explore your creative side and gain confidence in public speaking in just a few hours. Using techniques learned from studying and performing at the Montréal Improv Theatre, as well as The People’s Improv Theatre and Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York City, Natasha will guide your team through gentle warmups and games practiced by both amateur and professional improv comedians and actors alike. This workshop can be altered for accessibility needs and includes easy-to-learn theatre exercises that explore physicality, voice work, and character development, in a non-judgemental and welcoming environment, with a goal of encouraging you to get out of your comfort zone and say… YES, AND! Through the playfulness of this medium, Natasha will teach skills that can be applied to both your workplace and social life, such as listening, eye-contact, and teamwork. Discover that laughter really is the best medicine!


With experience on both sides of the lens and stage, Natasha is also a skilled and experienced interviewer and facilitator, available to moderate panels at marketing and media conferences, and fan and comic conventions. 


  • Women in Film & Television
  • 2SLGBTQ Representation on Screen
  • Dismantling Patriarchal Beauty Standards
  • Finding Your Creative Voice
  • Mental Health Advocacy & Awareness 
  • Bisexual Myths & Visibility 
  • How To Ensure Inclusive Productions
  • Vampire Tropes & The Queerness of Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Incorporating Allyship Into Social Media Influencing 
  • Web Series Creation: From Ideas To Funding & Producing
Selected media:

To book Natasha Negovanlis, contact Rob Firing at

Yusra Ahmad

Dr. Yusra Ahmad, MD, FRCPC, is a community & academic psychiatrist in Toronto. with specific expertise in trauma, mood & anxiety disorders as well as SPMI (severe & persistent mental illness) populations. She believes in the power of psychotherapy to address the struggles that spring from the human condition and is dedicated to community work & advocacy around diverse issues such as marginalization, homelessness, poverty, refugee mental health, gender-based violence and the struggles of Muslim youth & families.
Dr. Ahmad created a trauma-informed group therapy program entitled Mindfully Muslim which blends mindfulness-based interventions with the sacred wisdom and teachings of Islam, which she presented at the 2019 World Psychiatric Association Congress on Religion & Psychiatry in Jerusalem. Because of this work, she was awarded the 2019 Breakout Community Psychiatry Advocacy Award by the Ontario Psychiatric Association & her program was profiled as the feature article, “Race, Religion & Mental Health”in the Black Lives Matter special edition of Chatelaine magazine. 

Dr. Ahmad embraces multifaith initiatives and has led prayers at the World Parliament of Religions in 2018 and in 2021. She served as a film consultant for the award-winning hit dramatic series, “Transplant,” which aired on CTV & NBC/Universal and “The Path Travels Me,” an independent Netflix film by Jasmin Mozaffari. She also served as a consultant for “I Don’t Know,” a theatre production by Syrian playwright, Ahmad Meree.

A poet at heart, Dr. Ahmad loves to live in between the lines because she believes a lot of power & beauty springs from these liminal spaces. She cares deeply about people and their stories.

Speaking topic

The Stories We Hold: Sharing Perspectives from the Intersection of Faith, Race, Gender & Mental Illness 

Dr. Yusra Ahmad (MD, FRCPC) shares her experiences, both personal and professional, in exploring some of the social and structural inequities of our current moment.

  • Why do we hold the perspectives that we do?
  • How can we overcome misunderstanding and heal division
  • Where do these divisions even come from and what purpose do you think they serve?
  • What do you think it’s like to be a Muslim today?
  • How might we better learn from each other?
  • What are 3 things you can do to learn more about Islam & Muslims?
  • What is your understanding of faith, culture & spirituality?
  • Even if you don’t identify with a particular religious tradition or don’t believe in God, do you believe faith & spirituality can be helpful?  Why or why not?


Mindfully Muslim Workshop: An Experiential Journey


Join Dr. Yusra Ahmad as she leads you through a guided meditation practice blending dua (supplication), zikr (remembrance of Allah), sacred verses & poetry. The practice will help you tune out the noise & turn inwards, cultivating greater self-awareness while anchoring you to your body & touching you to your core.

Selected media

Toronto Star article and video

Bell Media “Let’s Talk”

To book Dr. Ahmad, contact Rob Firing at

Christina Crook

“The Marie Kondo of Digital” —Harper’s Bazaar

Christina Crook is a pioneer and leading voice of digital well-being. As the author of award-winning The Joy Of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World and the leader of global #JOMO movement, she regularly shares her insights in major media outlets and interviews other mindful tech leaders as the host of the JOMO podcast. Her commentary on technology and daily life have appeared in The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler,, Harper’s Bazaar, NPR, Times of India and Glamour.

Christina hosts the JOMO(cast) podcast where she interviews mindful tech leaders embracing the joy of missing out to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Past guests include Glitch CEO and ethical tech advocate Anil Dash, Harvard’s Dr. Ellen Langer, and Basecamp’s David Heinemeier Hansson. She was listed as a changemaker in All Tech is Human’s 2020 Responsible Guide to Tech (co-presented by NYU’s Center for Policy) and writing has appeared in Utne Reader,, Christianity Today, UPPERCASE magazine, the Literary Review of Canada, and Religious New Service. She lives with her family in Toronto, Canada.

Speaking topics:

An in-demand speaker with engagements across North America, including the Young Presidents’ Organization, World Vision, and the All Tech is Human Summit, Christina Crook shows people overwhelmed by our digitally-saturated culture how to live with intentionality and joy.

Experience the Joy of Missing Out
Christina Crook’s keynote offering introduces your audience to the meaning and value of the Joy of Missing Out: the personal and professional costs of FOMO, the elements of lasting and meaningful joy, and the life-giving, scientifically-proven power of warm human relationships. She’ll present the evidence-based realities of how toxic hustle, digital isolation, and faulty goal-setting lead to declines in productivity and innovation.

The JOMO Method
Digital Well-Being 101. Based on Christina’s extensive one-on-one work in the exploration of values and goal setting, this workshop closely engages your team(s) to assess how their personal and team values align or misalign with professional objectives, and the role digital well-being plays in their ability to be productive, creative, and healthy.

Beating the Comparison Game

Social media invites unlimited, unrelenting comparison. Personal comparison is one of the most toxic- and the most instinctively human- pursuits that short-circuit our sense of perspective, value, and joy. In this talk, we unpack the pitfalls of social contagion (wanting what others have) and unlock the simple game-changing strategy that stops it in its tracks.

Selected Testimonials:

“Christina has the ability to connect with people immediately and finds commonalities that make her extremely relatable. The session was flawlessly executed.”

—Madison Hall Sikorski, Brand Strategist & Drive Founder at Cossette

“Christina Crook captures her audience inviting them to share her passion for human flourishing in the presence of a smartphone world. Christina’s personality shines through and she is extremely authentic”

Dave Harder, founder Q Commons Ottawa

“We need more thoughtfulness added to the conversation around tech, and Christina is that rare mix of expertise and approachability that makes her a highly sought after and respected voice.”

David Ryan Polgar, founder of All Tech is Human Summit

“Spend ten minutes with Christina and you’ll feel rejuvenated and hopeful about the future. She makes disconnecting look mainstream, doable, and like the breath of fresh air we are gasping for.”

Aimee Ippersiel, Executive Director, Robert Bateman Centre

Speaking reel

Selected media:

Women of Influence | Feature 2020

All Tech is Human | Christina Crook on the Joy of Missing Out and Thriving in the Digital Age

Harper’s Bazaar | Practicing the Joy of Missing Out

To book Christina Crook, contact Rob Firing at

T'áncháy (Tunchai) Redvers

Photo Credit: John Paille

T’áncháy Redvers [they/them] is a Dene & Métis two-spirit advocate, writer, creator, facilitator,
and multidisciplinary performer belonging to Deninu K’ue First Nation in Treaty 8 territory. With a BA in International Development Studies, Certificate in Civic Engagement & Global Citizenship, and a Master of Indigenous Social Work; they have been nationally and internationally recognized for their work and advocacy, featured in the likes of the Toronto Star, Buzzfeed,
Globe and Mail, ETalk, TEDx, and more.

At the age of 21, T’áncháy and their brother, Kelvin,
founded We Matter – a national Indigenous-led campaign and non-profit dedicated to Indigenous youth hope and life promotion. We Matter has become an international model for Indigenous youth life promotion efforts, garnering the Redvers siblings the Lawson Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Award and a Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal.

T’áncháy is a published poet, children’s book author, and screenwriter, as well as featured in numerous creative, anthology, and academic publications. They have story-edited and written for shows airing on Netflix, Crave, Apple TV+, and PBS Kids. In addition to the over hundred talks, workshops, and panels they’ve delivered across North America and beyond, they are a performance artist and actor with performances and credits spanning Pride Toronto, CBC Gem, Paramount+ and more. They are also a member of BIPOC TV & Film’s Board of Directors/Visioning Committee, an organization working to uproot barriers for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour across Canada & screen media industry.

With a passion for exploring and unpacking topics such as intergenerational trauma, gender and
sexuality, youth and queer empowerment, and positive representation, T’áncháy’s approach is one that aims to decolonize understandings of identity, mental health, and healing. And ultimately re-create mainstream narratives of Indigenous and queer communities from a place of authenticity, joy, community, love, and healing.

Personal Website

Themes/Topics I am available to present on:  Indigenous youth mental health; Life promotion;
Decolonizing gender and sexuality; Media visibility and positive representation; Identity and self-expression; Creativity and storytelling

T’áncháy enjoys a collaborative approach for engagements, catering to the specific needs of the audience/participants. They are also certified in Transformative Creative Facilitation and available to lead more interactive sessions.


Example Talks:

Gendered Colonization and Rebuilding 2SLGBTQ+ Communities of Care
Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ Indigenous people have always existed yet are the most likely demographic to experience violence, mental illness, and homelessness. The 2SLGBTQ+ Indigenous narrative is one that has been erased from history and this has profound impacts on belonging and mental health. In this talk, T’áncháy will unpack the 2SLGBTQ+ experience in the
context of gendered colonization; decolonize understandings of gender and sexuality; and reframe community from a place of care and support.

Creating Environments for Indigenous Youth to Live & Thrive
Indigenous youth are the fastest-growing demographic in Canada, but Indigenous youth suicide is a national and international crisis. So how do we reconcile a world where Indigenous youth are leaving it just as quickly as they are entering it? In this talk, T’áncháy will unpack
colonization and intergenerational trauma in the context of Indigenous youth mental health; explore the ways in which we are all contributing to this crisis; and outline the steps we can collectively take to ensure we are creating environments for Indigenous youth to not only live, but thrive.

The Power of Visibility and Representation
In 2016, with no money and limited connections, T’áncháy and their brother found 20 Indigenous role models who were willing to share their stories of hope with Indigenous youth who may be contemplating suicide. Those 20 videos quickly turned into the national We Matter Campaign, and in just a few years 200 more videos, including ones from the likes of NHL Hockey
Player Jordin Tootoo, Taboo from The Black Eyed Peas, and PM Justin Trudeau. We Matter is now Canada’s only national Indigenous and young person-led organization dedicated to Indigenous youth hope and life promotion. In this talk, T’áncháy will share their personal story
of building a ground-breaking movement, how that led to creating mainstream content for global audiences, and why that’s important.

Creativity as Resistance and Healing
Stories are power. T’áncháy can speak to or weave together their experiences as a writer, poet, actor, burlesque performer, and drag king working to take up space as a young Indigenous and queer storyteller. They will explore the ways in which our stories define us and how we all carry the ability to choose our own narrative. This can be accompanied by a reading or performance.


To book T’áncháy Redvers, contact Rob Firing at

Patti Hone

About Patti Hone

Normally, I start my bio with “work” credentials but since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, having endured seven surgeries, I am now sharing my journey. I start my bio with Breast Cancer Fighter, Survivor and Speaker. I will take you and your audience through a very candid but humourous and “uplifting” journey from my diagnosis through surgery and recovery showing you that cancer is but a chapter in one’s life…it is not the whole story! will give you an insight into my journey of discovery, growth perseverance and success. Hope you can join me on this rollercoaster ride.With twenty-five years of advertising experience and a proven track record, Patti provides As You Like It’s clients with complete marketing and communication services.Patti began her career as a copywriter before undertaking the position of Marketing Director for a national chain of drug stores. On the agency side, Patti specializes in retail and franchise accounts, where her creative campaigns have won over eighty advertising and marketing awards for her clients.

In addition to managing and directing all agency projects, Patti is very involved in the Canadian Franchise Association, having served on the Board of Directors for eight years. Patti also has monthly columns in many industry magazines and newsletters. The recent publication Canada’s Guide to Franchising features Patti’s chapter on marketing and advertising for franchisees.

Patti is a popular speaker at conferences, trade shows and industry events speaking about branding, growth, customer service and loyalty and franchising. Her enthusiasm and real life experience translates into an entertaining and very informative program that has been sought out by companies across North America to bring their brands to life.


SPEAKING TOPICS—living with cancer

Ten Things You Shouldn’t Say to Someone with Cancer….But you Did!

We’ve all been there. Faced with a situation or conversation that we are uncomfortable with. You try to say the “right” thing but find yourself with your foot
in your mouth. In this educational and humorous session, Patti addresses the elephant in the room….CANCER. Having survived breast cancer she shares her
experiences with the awkwardness she has encountered with friends, family and colleagues. Communication, tolerance and patience is key to dealing with anyone who is fighting cancer or any illness or life trauma. Attendees will learn, laugh and leave feeling better about themselves and each other.

Excuse Me…I Have What?
What do you do when out of the blue life throws you a curve ball and stops you dead in your tracks? How do you cope? How do you pull yourself out from under the bus that just hit you and not only survive….but THRIVE. Patti will share her journey with breast cancer with you. The ups and downs. The triumphs and failures and how she managed to turn a devastating illness and recovery into a life-changing inspirational journey. Attendees will leave feeling inspired, energized and focused on making their futures the best they can be.

We all Have a Wonder Woman Inside Us.
If you or someone you know has ever had to face an illness, a death or any kind of setback or trauma; you know that it can be hard to find the strength to push through. Patti Hone, having faced breast cancer, a double mastectomy and seven reconstructive surgeries will share how she found that inner light and the spark to keep her going on some very difficult days, weeks and months. “Wonder Woman for me is not a fictional character. She is a mindset.” Attendees will hear and see how Patti has not only survived but Thrived after cancer. her presentations are inspiring, energizing, humorous and real. Audiences will leave with the assurance that they too can conquer anything life throws at them because we all have a super hero inside us.

I’m Still ME…Aren’t I?
Patti Hone was a successful, award winning creative director, author and speaker. She was confident and self assured…until she was diagnosed with cancer. After a double mastectomy and seven reconstructive surgeries she felt she no longer knew who she was. Was she still the same woman or had cancer destroyed an integral part of her? In this session, Patti shares how she found herself again. How she overcame her fears and anxieties and rediscovered her “real” self. She shares tools and advice on how to find confidence and strength within ourselves to face any fear…whether it be public speaking, interviewing for a new job or even asking someone on a date. Funny, real and motivational, Patti makes everyone feel comfortable and confident to face any challenge.

Control Yourself. Alter Your Thinking. Delete Negativity
This is Patti Hone’s mantra. It’s what she strives to do everyday as she deals with the ramifications of a double mastectomy and seven reconstructive surgeries. We all face hurdles/traumas in our lives. No one goes through their entire life unscathed, but it is how we deal with these obstacles that matters. Patti speaks candidly about her journey with cancer; the physical, emotional and mental pain she had to endure. She shares real life experiences and the tools to help us all face whatever hurdles are put before us. We all have the ability and strength within us to battle on. Patti’s story and life experience is educational, relatable, inspirational and memorable.

SPEAKING TOPICS—marketing and branding


What’s Your Brand Really Worth?

Have you ever wondered what makes one business stand out from the rest? Why do customers choose one over another when so many offer the same things? The answer is branding. So what does it mean and how can you utilize it? In this presentation Patti will give you an inside look at how to create, implement and sustain a successful brand while inspiring all stakeholders to want to be part of that brand!

Service Please!

A well branded company typically relies on service as a way to promote and maintain their competitive edge. So what does service mean to you? And does everyone in your organization understand and feel the same way? In this presentation you will learn about the key elements that make up good SERVICE: Spirit; Enthusiasm; Responsibility: Visibility: Interest; Communication; Excellence. SERVICE and what it stands for are paramount to the success of your brand and ultimately your business.

Back to Basics: Marketing with a Human Touch

In this day and age of technology, smart phones, texting, Instagram, Facebook, etc., have we lost the art of face to face communication and customer service? Are we depending on technology too much and are we losing the art of personal service versus personalized messaging without human contact? In this presentation you will learn tips on building customer relationships, how to communicate with your customers so you meet and exceed their expectations and how to make them feel valued so they in turn will value and frequent your business.

Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em. Why Customers Don’t Come Back

You did your marketing well. You offered your customers great value for money, greeted them in a courteous manner, ensured they were well looked after and thanked them on the way out. You did everything right….right? There’s a difference between satisfaction and loyalty with customers. In this presentation you will not only learn the difference, you will learn how to identify customer’s needs, not only meet them BUT exceed them in order to create loyalty that lasts.

You Only Have One Chance to Make a First Impression…so it Better Be A Good One!

How are you representing yourself in business, school, in the community…in life? What impression are you making on others? Are you being perceived in a positive light? In this presentation you will learn the importance of personal branding. How to engage in meaningful conversations. How to feel confident and in control in every meeting and interaction with others. You will learn simple skills to help you connect on a more meaningful level with others and ensure that your meetings and more importantly YOU are memorable.