- Mustafa Ahmed, poet and student
- Michael Crummey, poet and writer
- Lisa Marie DiLiberto, co-founder, The Tale of a TownâCanada
- Rick Hillier, soldier
- John Nicholas Jeddore, student
- Lisa Moore, author
- Samantha Nutt, War Child Canada
- Seamus OâRegan, former host of Canada AM
Mustafa Ahmed started writing at the age of ten as a means of expressing himself and reflecting on society. His poetry touches on the subjects of poverty, drugs, violence, and immigration. Living in Regent Park, Canadaâs first inner-city housing project, Ahmed was exposed to the experiences and lifestyles he writes about. Ahmed has performed in association with various organizations such as the Childrenâs Aid Society, the Toronto District School Board, Hot Docs, and TEDxToronto.
Michael Crummey has published four books of poetry, a book of stories, and three novels. His novel Galore won the Canadian Authorsâ Association Award for Fiction and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Canada and the Caribbean), and it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Governor Generalâs Literary Award. River Thieves won the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Winterset Award, and it was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. His latest book is the novel Sweetland. He lives in St. Johnâs.
Lisa Marie DiLiberto is artistic director of Fixt Point, co-founder of the Tale of a Town series, past playwright-in-residence at Theatre Passe Muraille, associate artistic director at Jumblies Theatre, and audience development / education coordinator at Canadian Stage. This past season, Lisa Marie contributed to several Dora Awardânominated pieces, including The Tale of a T-Shirt (Theatre Direct), The Keith Richards One Woman Show (Suitcase in Print Theatre Company), and The Double (Bad New Days / Tarragon). Lisa Marie is currently traversing the country creating performances and podcasts for her multi-platform celebration of main-street culture, The Tale of a TownâCanada, in collaboration with the National Arts Centre. She is also presenting site-specific plays in Eastern Canada and Ottawa in conjunction with prominent regional theatre companies. She is a graduate of George Brown Theatre School, in Toronto, and Ãcole Philippe Gaulier, in Paris, France.
General Rick Hillier graduated with a B.Sc. from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1975, having signed on with the Canadian Armed Forces two years earlier. After completing his armour officer classification training, he joined the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louiseâs) in Petawawa, Ontario. He subsequently served with, and later commanded, the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Canada and Germany. Throughout his career, Hillier has commanded troops from the platoon to multinational-formation levels within Canada, Europe, Asia and the United States, and he has worked as a staff officer in several headquarters. In 1998, Hillier was appointed the first Canadian deputy commanding general of III Corps, US Army, in Fort Hood, Texas; in 2000, he took command of NATOâs Stabilization Forceâs Multinational Division (Southwest) in Bosnia and Herzegovina; in 2003, he was appointed as commander of the army; and later that year, he was selected as commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hillier was promoted to his present rank and assumed duties as chief of the defence staff in February 2005. He retired from the Canadian Forces in July 2008.
John Jeddore is a second-year medical student at Memorial University and a member of the Miawpukek First Nation, a Miâkmaq reserve on the southern coast of Newfoundland. John sits on a number of committees that advocate on behalf of Aboriginal people, he recently became an advisory board member of the Memorial Faculty of Medicineâs Aboriginal Health Initiative, and he has received a First Nations Youth Award from Indspire.
Lisa Moore wrote two collections of short stories, Degrees of Nakedness and Open, and three novels, Alligator, February, and Caught. She edited The Penguin Book of Contemporary Short Stories by Canadian Women and recently adapted February for the stage. Open and Alligator were shortlisted for the Giller Prize; Alligator also won the Commonwealth Writersâ Prize for Canada and the Caribbean and was long-listed for the Orange Prize. February and Open were shortlisted for the Winterset Award; February was also long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and it won the 2013 CBC Canada Reads competition. Caught was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Rogers Writersâ Trust Fiction Prize. In 2013, Lisa received the Writersâ Trust Engel/Findley Award for mid-career writers.
Samantha Nutt is an award-winning humanitarian, bestselling author, and acclaimed public speaker. She is the founder and executive director of War Child, a staff physician at Womenâs College Hospital, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, and a regular foreign-affairs panelist on CBCâs The National. Her written work has appeared in Macleanâs, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the Huffington Post. Recently, the Globe and Mail listed her as one of 25 Transformational Canadians, the World Economic Forum named her a Young Global Leader, and Time magazine selected her as one of Canadaâs Five Leading Activists. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in July 2011.
Seamus O’Regan, the former co-host of CTVâs morning show Canada AM, has covered breaking news and cultural affairs worldwide. He was recently appointed for two years as a media innovator-in-residence at Ryerson Universityâs Digital Media Zone and the RTA School of Media. OâRegan has interviewed heads of state, artists, and peacemakers, and he has reported major news stories, including the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and the 2010 Winter Olympics. He worked as a journalist in Afghanistan and the Antarctic Peninsula, and he has traveled to Somalia to report on the countryâs devastating famine. OâRegan was nominated for two Gemini Awards, named one of Macleanâs magazineâs 100 Young Canadians to Watch, and is the ï¬rst journalist on Canadaâs Top 40 Under 40 list.
The Walrus Talks is a national series of events produced by the charitable, non-profit Walrus Foundation as part of an educational mandate to provide forums for conversation on matters vital to Canadians. The Walrus Foundation produces The Walrus magazine, the most awarded publication in Canada, as well as producing content at thewalrus.ca, on Walrus TV, and on stages from coast to coast to coast.
The Walrus Talks format features eight speakers for seven minutes each on various themes relating to a single topic. Each event offers lively, thoughtful, inspiring, riveting, smart, new thinking from scientists, writers, performers, scholars, and leaders of business and the arts. Each Talks event is followed by a spirited reception with attendees and participants.
The Walrus Talks delivers fresh ideas and new ways of looking at big issues. The Walrus has no âwings.â Our speakers are chosen to reflect a range of experiences and viewpoints, but they all have one thing in common: the desire for real conversation about issues that affect the future of Canada. Our goal is for audience members to think âI never thought about it that wayâ when the Talks are over.
Dates, details, and ticket information are available at thewalrus.ca/events.