Shaping the Future
Thursday January 26th, 2017
7:30pm - 8:30pm
Two Moccasins, Two Worlds“You have two moccasins on your feet, walk in both worlds, Grandson. Learn what they learn, always remember where home is though.” A highly personal keynote, Ryan shares his story of failure & triumph and charts his path from a kid that grew up “in the bush” to becoming the first Native comedian to ever a record a full mainstream comedy special with CBC TV. At times, heartbreaking, at times hilarious, Ryan’s honest take on the intergenerational effects of residential school on him and his family, his (re)connection to culture & ceremony and the balance it takes to live in today’s contemporary context is all covered in the this forward looking & challenging keynote presentation.
Ryan McMahon is an Anishinaabe comedian, writer, media maker & community activator based out of Treaty #1 territory (Winnipeg, MB). One of the most decorated Native comedians/writers/media makers working today, McMahon’s voice has become vital to both Indigenous & non-Indigenous communities – his comedic storytelling style is fast-paced, loose & irreverent as he explores the good, the bad & the ugly between Indian Country & the mainstream.
Laval St. Germain
Friday January 27th, 2017
In Laval’s own words… “I can’t help anyone make more money or drive a nicer car,but perhaps I can breathe life into, ignite, or touch just one person in an audience in a way that stimulates energy, emotion or a realization that they are worthy or capable of bigger things. Failing all of this, I want people to go away entertained. I did not need a motivation to do what I do, I was lucky enough to have inspiration in the pages of a book, a magazine and most importantly my own imagination.”
Inspired in his childhood by the likes of Jack London, Farley Mowat, Ernest Hemingway and Antoine de Saint-Exupery. In addition the adventures of Shackleton, Messner, Dr. John Rae, Roald Amundsen, and Richard Burton kept Laval St. Germain dreaming of deserts, stormy southern oceans and high mountain peaks. Terry Fox was perhaps Laval’s most poignant influence, teaching him that simple humanity, human endurance and the ability to tolerate pain are nearly boundless.
Laval was the first Canadian to summit Mount Everest without the aid of oxygen in May 2010, the first person to ski down Iraq’s highest peak and has to date climbed 6 of the 7 Summits (highest peak on all 7 continents), and in the summer of 2016 made the fastest solo ocean row crossing of the North Atlantic ocean from mainland Canada to mainland Europe.
Today Laval lives in Calgary, Alberta with his wife and children. He is currently employed as an airline pilot with Canadian North Airlines. Laval will not use his endurance, physical fitness or ability to suffer at high altitudes as a way to teach or motivate you to build a better marriage, become a better parent, or be a great educator, but he will make you laugh, give you goosebumps, impress you, entertain you, perhaps make you uncomfortable and inspire you.