What to expect at TEDxYYC Transformative

Jun 24, 2022

Our TEDxYYC Transformative event is tomorrow!  We are so excited to offer our audience some insider tips and sneak-peeks on what to expect on Saturday June 25th. 

Please note: We are now holding the event entirely at cSPACE King Edward – we are looking forward to seeing you there!

Venue: cSPACE King Edward – 1721 29th Avenue SW Date: June 25, 2022 Time: 12:00pm – 5:00pm PM MDT Doors open at 12:00pm and the talks start at 1:00pm

About our venue:

cSPACE King Edward was constructed through locally sourced sandstone from a nearby quarry, showcasing the latest building system designs and employing local artisans. It pioneered a new model of junior high education in Alberta. During WWI, the space was converted into a base for military cadet training and a training facility for Calgary’s new generation of teachers two decades later. cSPACE also offers itself as a space for bringing people together through diverse and local gatherings. In its history, cSPACE has cultivated leaders for its community including William Aberhart, the school’s first principal who went on to become Alberta’s 7th Premier and more recently, the school fostered students who have become world-class artists such as Alexandra Haeseker, Ron Moppett and Robert Bringhurst. This year, we eagerly bring you two hosts, eight speakers, and three performances!


Naheed Nenshi

Naheed Nenshi was sworn in as Calgary’s 36th mayor on October 25, 2010 and re-elected in 2013 and 2017. He is a passionate Calgarian, an accomplished business professional, and a community leader with a solid track record of getting things done. He has run a large nonprofit, has been a trusted advisor to corporate leaders in Canada and the US, and wrote the book on Canadian cities. In line with his passion for making cities work better, Nenshi is focusing on his writing efforts as the lead author of “Building Up: Making Canada’s Cities Engines of Growth and Magnets of Development”. 

Shelley Youngblut

Shelley Youngblut connects the world’s best authors with the world’s best audiences as the CEO & Creative Ringleader of Wordfest. She was the founding editor of Calgary’s award-winning Swerve magazine and has created magazines for ESPN, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Nickelodeon, Western Living and the Globe and Mail. A former pop-culture correspondent for ABC World News Now and Canada Am, she is often unconventionally opinionated on CBC Calgary’s Eyeopener and is a regular panelist on Daybreak Alberta’s new Weekend Water Cooler. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Calgary Award for Community Achievement in the Arts and the 2018 Rozsa Award for Arts Leadership.


Mackenzie Putici

Putici is an entrepreneur, polyglot, avid traveler, and certified sommelier. He got involved with blockchain and cryptocurrencies as an investor in 2020 when he subsequently connected with the global Web3 community through the Clubhouse app. This allowed Mackenzie to join groups for DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, and blockchain education. He went on to be the co-founder of Web3 Calgary, an organization that hosts events and seminars for those passionate about Web3 in the province. Furthermore, Mackenzie is the co-creator of a Cocktail NFT series built on RMRK 2.0 for the Polkadot blockchain in collaboration with Polka Häus, TrickyNFTs, and Artera Labs. Join Mackenzie Putici for his talk on “Transformative Economics: How Non-Fungible Tokens Impacts & Inspires Our Real World Community”.

Alia Aluma

Aluma is an independent creative director working in the fields of app development, fine art, and cultural wellbeing with numerous organizations, including Downtown Calgary Association, Alcove, ADVANCE Canada, and LaLoba. Alia has spoken at multiple international conferences, engaged with a team of academics from various institutions and many notable crypto-artists, and has begun her journey to write a highly anticipated textbook based on her Masters research in decentralized art and culture, aka CryptoArt. Her multilateral passions link grand interests such as architecture, film, design, writing, and entertainment, leading to experiences within the fields of fashion, photography, technical and culture teaching, writing and publishing, and fine arts and curation. Alia Aluma’s talk on “Transformative Digital Landscape: Online Evolution through Values, Art, & Empowerment”, is one you won’t want to miss!

Dr. Gabrielle E. Lindstrom

Dr. Linstrom, Tsaapinaki, is a member of the Kainai Nation, Blackfoot Confederacy. She is an assistant professor in Indigenous Studies with the Department of Humanities at Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta. Her teaching background includes instructing in topics around Indigenous Studies (Canadian and International perspectives) and Indigenous research methods and ethics. Her research interests include decolonization in higher education, intercultural parallels in teaching and learning research, Indigenous lived experience of resilience, Indigenous community-based research, anti-colonial theory and anti-racist pedagogy. Join Dr. Lindstrom on the red dot for her talk on “Indigenous pedagogy and how it can transform Canada”.

Dr. Paul A. Johnston

Dr. Johnston is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Mount Royal University, Calgary, AlbertaCanada. His research interests include the evolutionary genealogy of clams, oysters and scallops, and more recently, the animals and ancient environments of the Cambrian Period represented in strata of the Rocky Mountains. Before joining Mount Royal University, Dr. Johnston was Curator of Invertebrates at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller. His research has taken him to diverse locales including Australia, the Gobi Desert, south China, the Philippines, and Arctic and Western Canada. Check out Dr. Johnston’s ideas on “Transformative Paleontology: A Detective Story”. 

Dr. Morgan Vanek

Dr. Vanek is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. Her research and teaching interests include writing about weather and climate in British literature of the long eighteenth century, early Canadian literature, travel writing, ecocriticism, and the history and philosophy of science. She is currently at work on her first book, Changeable Conditions: The Politics of the Weather in Transatlantic Literature, 1660-1800. Her work, including some of her research towards this book, has been published in the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2015), Literature Compass (2015), Eighteenth-Century Fiction (2016), Eighteenth-Century Studies (2020), Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (2020), and Studies in Canadian Literature / Études en Littérature Canadienne (2021), and as part of a Cambridge Critical Concepts volume on Climate and Literature (2019). Join Dr. Vanek for her talk on “Transformative Weather & Climate: Language of Weather Systems Shaping the Fate of Our Climate”.

Louise Bernice Halfe

Halfe, also known as Sky Dancer, was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. She also completed two years of Addictions Counselor Training at St. Albert’s Nechi Institute where she also facilitated the program. She served as Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate for two years and has traveled extensively for her poetics and to present at numerous conferences. Her books include, Bear Bones and Feathers, Blue Marrow, The Crooked Good, Burning In This Midnight Dream, Sohkeyihta, and awasis-kinky and disheveled. She has received numerous accolades and awards including honorary doctorates from Wilfred Laurier University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Mount Royal University. She currently serves as the national Parliamentary Library Poet Laureate. Louise also serves as an elder or knowledge keeper at the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Virtual Hospice, Opik, and others. She actively participates in cultural and ceremonial activities relevant to her Plains Cree culture. Join Louise’s talk on “Transformative Writing: How Poetry Assists in Self-Actualization”.

Kaysi Fagan

Fagan is an award-winning lawyer, educator and public speaker. She is the only practicing Criminal Defence Lawyer in Canada with three law degrees (including two Masters) from three different countries. She has appeared in every level of Court in Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She has taught the course ‘Advanced Criminal Law’ at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Law since 2018. She is a published author and has appeared as a legal expert in multiple episodes of a popular American true crime series. Kaysi was formerly based at the headquarters of the International Police (INTERPOL) in France. Prior to that she was a firefighter who competed internationally in the World Championships and she attained her black prajiet (belt) in Muay Thai in 2012. Don’t miss Kaysi Fagan’s talk on “The Case for Disciplined Thinking”.

Julie Sedivy

Trained as a language scientist, and having spent 20 years as an active researcher and academic, Sedivy now spends much of her time thinking and writing about how people succeed and fail at communicating with each other and how they might transcend the barriers of differences in identity, personal history, and values. In her book, Memory Speaks: On Losing and Reclaiming Language and Self, she makes the case for nurturing complicated identities in which multiple ethnicities, languages, and world views can be integrated within a single individual. Multiplicity, she argues, is a natural human state and can be a site of common ground and reconciliation. In 2017, she founded the Calgary-based book club, How Can You Think That???!? in which people from anywhere on the political spectrum meet to discuss books on a variety of political and social topics. Look out for Julie’s talk on “Transformative Identity: Exploring Ways of Speaking by Resisting the Singular Identity”. Our speakers will be bringing us TRANSFORMATIVE knowledge that will, no doubt, inspire TRANSFORMATIVE action  to change our lives and communities for the better. Join us on Saturday, June 25 to be a part of the magic!

Finally, we have our incredible performers:

Zaire Ink

Ink is an emerging hip-hop artist with deep roots in spoken word poetry. Over the last several years he has become a fixture in the Calgary arts community through his vivid storytelling and passion for exploring subjects such as existential angst, disenfranchised youth, and a faith-based lifestyle. Ink’s artistic achievements include 2x recipient of the YYC Inspirational Song of the Year award (2019/2020), competing in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS), a creative residency with Uproot YYC and a documentary film (Two World Creatives: Chasing the Dream) sponsored by StoryHive. He is also the co-founder of Two World Creatives, an indie music label dedicated to the creative development of artists from diverse backgrounds with a heart for reaching underserved communities.

Sujeev Chohan

As a student of both the Indian Classical and Western Classical arts, Sujeev has been learning and performing music from a very young age. He started off with the piano at the age of 4, studying through the Royal Conservatory of Music before he picked up the Tabla, which he’s been learning since he was 8. He has performed at various events, including Love Notes at the Arts Commons, and was a part of the World Music Ensemble at the University of Calgary. In his performances, he has engaged audiences through collaboration with various solo and group artists from many different backgrounds. 

Yolanda Sargeant and Comrade

Sargeant is the Queen of Lo-Fi Soul; a genre that she and her producer Comrade (Evgeniy) pioneered after not being able to find an appropriate label that fits their eclectic style. The duo infuses jazz, soul, funk, dancehall, hip-hop, as well as other genres into a unique sound that combines the old with the new. Sargeant’s rich vocals take center stage while Comrade’s production takes you on a multi-layered, genre-bending journey from beginning to end. After a successful first release Magic Radio (Breakout West – Breakout Artist Of The Year Award, YYC Soul/RnB Recording of the Year Award, Polaris Prize Longlisted) Sargeant X Comrade are back with another full length LP “The Elephant In The Room”

Pre-event prep:

In addition to the main event, there will be a cafeteria (open 8am to 8pm), farmers market (open 10am to 2pm), as well as the rest of the building, including a store on the upper floors, available for attendees to explore, so comfortable footwear is highly recommended. Water stations are available in the venue, we suggest bringing a reusable water bottle with you to stay hydrated for the duration of the event.

Check-in details:

The building has three entrances – one off of 30th Ave (South Side), and two off of the 29th Ave parking lot (North Side). The NE (glass) entrance is wheelchair accessible, and we have elevator access to all levels.

Parking details:

The cSpace parking lot (35 spots) is located on the North side of the building and is located off 29th Ave SW. There is also ample free street parking around the site. Overflow parking is available at the Marda Loop Community Association.

Restroom facilities:

There is a single washroom on the fourth floor, a dedicated men’s washroom on the third floor, and a dedicated women’s washroom on the second floor. There is elevator access to all levels.

Lobby Activations:

  1. Green Calgary is a leading urban environmental charity supporting Calgarians in living a more sustainable life; helping them take effective environmental action in their homes, work places, schools, and communities. Check out their information booth to learn more about how you can implement sustainability to your everyday life.
  2. Partake Brewing offers authentically brewed beer and is offering our guests 150 samples of non-alcoholic beer. Check out their booth for your free sample!
  3. OrigamAI is offering an interactive and informational experience at their booth. Check them out to try out their workplace happiness survey, and an interactive installation where they ask you questions and write their responses on post-it notes.  
  4. Red Iron Labs is offering a Virtual Reality experience where two players will get to compete in a combat style game called “Muffin Fight”.
  5. Talk2MorePeople is hosting a mini ping pong game to encourage guests to meet new people and talk to each other. Check out their booth to elevate your icebreaker game.
  6. TEDxYYC will be showcasing its Student Competition Winners’ mini-TED talks, FAQ center, and volunteer recruitment. Visit the TEDxYYC booth to get involved in future events with us.
  7. TEDxCalgary will be showcasing its interactive, impromptu, mini TED-Talks at its booths giving guests a chance to formulate and express a mini idea to hopefully help others change a particular perspective “mental 180”. Polish off your speaking skills at their booth and record a 180 Ideas Talk.  *180 Ideas* are community members sharing their ideas with the TEDxCalgary team. Participants have up to 180 seconds (3 minutes) to share their idea(s) and help change someone’s perspective (get them to do a “180”). If you would like to participate, please click here https://www.picktime.com/TEDxCalgary to pre-book your spot on Saturday to meet with them and present your idea.  For more information click here: https://tedxcalgary.ca/speakers/180-ideas-talks

The TEDxYYC team is proud to bring you its Transformative event this year. We are so excited to join hands with you and make a difference in our communities. 


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