Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Stephen LewisStephen Lewis, C.C.
Celebrated Humanitarian
Former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa

Stephen Lewis is one of Canada’s most influential commentators on social affairs, international development, and human rights. He researches his talks with obsessive care, enlivens them with personal anecdotes, and is both passionate and political. Not a surprise as he is a former leader of the Ontario NDP.

Mr. Lewis is now the board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation; is a Professor of Practice in Global Governance at McGill University; is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University; is the co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World in the U.S.; and is the former UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa. Mr. Lewis is also an author and holds 37 honorary degrees from Canadian universities and two honorary degrees from American institutions.

Mr. Lewis’ extensive work with the United Nations began in 1984, when he was Canada’s Ambassador to the UN for four years. From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Lewis was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF at the organization’s global headquarters and from 2001-2006, he was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Because of his immense commitment to humanitarian causes, Stephen Lewis was appointed Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement: a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2003. Nine years later, Mr. Lewis was an inaugural recipient of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.



Steven PageSteven Page
Iconic Musician

Steven Page is a natural in front of a crowd. Having shot to international fame as the co-founder of The Barenaked Ladies, Page now boasts an impressive solo career, where he continues to showcase his creative genius. A witty, endearing, and searingly honest speaker, Page continues to earn his rightful place in our national conversation.

Page spent over two decades with The Barenaked Ladies, writing and co-writing hit songs such as “One Week,” “The Old Apartment,” “If I Had $1000000,” and “Brian Wilson,” among dozens of others. Along the way, the band earned accolades from all over the world, sold millions of albums, received two Billboard Awards, and six Juno Awards.

As an independent artist, Page has record three albums The Vanity Project, A Singer Must Die (in collaboration with the Art of Time Ensemble), and Page One, and has written music for both theatre and film. He also spoke at TEDx Toronto in 2012, and became the host of television’s popular program, The Illegal Eater, in 2013.