RBC Foundation Presents

The Walrus Talks Social Impact (Toronto)

Toronto 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Walrus Talks is a national series of events about Canada and its place in the world. Each event offers thoughtful, inspiring thinking from scholars, writers, performers, scientists, artists, and business leaders.

Questions about the Walrus Talks? Read our FAQ here.

General admission: $25
Students: $15

The Telus Centre for Performance & Learning
Koerner Hall
273 Bloor Street W.

Ticketing services provided by RCM Tickets.

Changing the world with visionaries, partners, and great ideas. How systemic change works, and how we can improve society through smart philanthropy, and community-driven action.


  • Brent Hawkes, pastor and activist
  • Heather Johnston, president and CEO, Dignitas International
  • Marina Glogovac, president and CEO, CanadaHelps
  • Siri Agrell, director of strategic initiatives for Mayor John Tory, City of Toronto
  • Roz McLean, associate, Burgundy Asset Management
  • Luke Anderson, founder and executive director, StopGap Foundation
  • Tima Kurdi, refugee advocate, aunt of Alan and Ghalib Kurdi

Brent Hawkes

Brent Hawkes has served as senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto since 1977. For decades, he advocated for LGBTQ rights and participated in anti-poverty and anti-racist initiatives. In 2001, he officiated the first legal same-sex wedding in the country. He is a member of the Order of Canada.

Heather Johnston

Heather Johnston is president and CEO of Dignitas International. She has more than twenty years of experience in international development and an extensive background in managing health care and education in resource-limited contexts. Previously, Heather served as director of programs at Canadian Feed the Children, and as country director at Marie Stopes International in Mali. Heather holds a master’s in management and development of cooperative businesses from the Universite de Sherbrooke.

Marina Glogovac

Marina Glogovac is the president and CEO of CanadaHelps, the largest donation platform in North America. Marina was previously CEO and CRO at Lavalife Corp., CMO at Kobo Inc., CRO at DealFind, and group publisher for St. Joseph’s Media, which produces Toronto Life. She has expertise in consumer technology, e-commerce, multi-channel marketing, brand building, sales and partnerships, and content development. Marina holds a master’s at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Siri Agrell

Siri Agrell is director of strategic initiatives for Mayor John Tory, where her areas of responsibility include innovation and government modernization. She previously served as deputy director of communications for Premier Kathleen Wynne and as a journalist, most recently as the urban-affairs reporter for the Globe and Mail. She founded Real City Matters, a debate series leading up to the 2014 municipal election, and co-founded Type Face, a literary portrait project in support of the Toronto Public Library Foundation.

Roz McLean

Roz McLean is part of a planning group with the Toronto Foundation, which seeks to engage the next generation in strategic philanthropy. She is also involved in several community-building initiatives, as a committee member of St. Michael’s Young Leaders, an executive for Young Canadians in Finance, and has contributed to programming Girls E-mentorship over the past three years. Roz is an associate at Burgundy Asset Management, where she has been since May 2014.

Luke Anderson

After sustaining a spinal cord injury in 2002, Luke Anderson was all of a sudden introduced to a world that’s not well suited for a wheelchair user. His frustration encountering access barriers led him to found the StopGap Foundation, which raises awareness about the importance of a barrier free and inclusive society. StopGap is helping different community leaders across Canada adopt their own Community Ramp Project and they recently developed a school program to engage students in StopGap’s awareness raising initiative. Luke is a licensed professional engineer, enjoys speaking as a volunteer ambassador on behalf of the Rick Hansen Foundation, and was awarded the 2016 Jane Jacobs Prize.

Tima Kurdi

A Kurdish woman from Syria, Tima Kurdi immigrated to Canada in 1992. In September 2015, tragedy struck Tima’s family: her sister-in-law Rehanna and nephews Alan and Ghalib drowned while trying to cross from Turkey to Greece. The picture of Alan Kurdi lying on the beach woke the world up to the plight of Syrian refugees. Since then, Tima has advocated on behalf of all refugees in the hopes that this ongoing tragedy can be resolved. www.kurdifoundation.com

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