The 2nd Annual TEDxChilliwack event was held on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at G. W. Graham Theatre


Josh Bohr

How to Not Be a Sith

At the end of Star Wars Episode III “Revenge of the Sith”, Jedi Master Obi-wan Kenobi remarks that, “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” If this is indeed the case, then congratulations: you are a Sith Lord. Granted, all of us are, and it comes down to a corrupted mindset that has infected way we think. “Absolutism,” as I call it, eliminates our ability to have mutually beneficial conversations, and in turn, slowly dismantles our democracy from within. Join me, as I examine the roots of this disease, how it manifests itself in Western society, and what we can do to fight back against the powers of the Dark Side.

Capri Everitt

Our Leaders Should Inspire

Our world today needs leaders. Leaders that bring people together. Leaders that inspire people to act for the good of everyone. I know that we all have something that we love to do and my mission is to lead people to set an example and use their talents to help others. In using my voice to help orphaned and abandoned children in 80 countries around the world, I will talk about the impact I am trying to make by motivating and inspiring people everywhere to come together and make a difference. Leadership can begin at any age.

Kim Gemmell

The Value of Human Connection—Unplugged

Fulfillment in life isn’t about objects or possessions; true fulfillment is about our relationships and communication with each other. In today’s dominating tech world we are seeing more human disconnection than ever. Many friendships are virtual, and although we may have 500 or more friends on Facebook, many of us are lonely. Kim brings an awareness that we can begin to lead more fulfilled lives by understanding we are one, and that supporting each other is living with a wonderful purpose. Her experience inspires how we can heal ourselves and help others. And no matter how digitally evolved our world may get, it will always be about people.

Marina Gibson

Easily Digested: What Urban Farming Brings to the Table

Imagine tomorrow you walk into the grocery store and find there is virtually no fresh produce available—the grocer isn’t ordering any because no one is buying cauliflower that’s 225% more expensive than before, nor is anyone paying for the other vegetables whose prices have surged. Marina Gibson walks us through the growing movement of Urban Agriculture, and fills us in on how supporting food cultivated within a city’s core can properly root our individual and communal food security.

Ray Hill

Saving Humanity

I believe that anyone hearing my TED talk will walk away with a mission, my mission, to “save humanity”. Worldwide media is steadily distancing people from reality, and shaping our minds to not care about the death and suffering or even feelings of others. We are all becoming spectators to our own existences and those of others around us, and not participants. Because of this, we are becoming less humane. We live in fear and because of this we are paralyzed and do not act. I will share ideas about how to fight back, how to take hold of the future and how to muzzle fear. Come, listen, decide and become a future shaper.

Dr. Bashir Jiwani

Paving the Path to Integrity, Peace and Happiness: Skills of Pluralism and Critical Thinking 

We face choices daily—as individuals and communities. Both consciously and instinctively, there are things we believe and care about in these choices. Integrity happens when our commitments and actions match. When this happens, we feel good. When it doesn’t, we feel pain. Pursuing integrity as life unfolds requires being able to understand the world, analyze what should matter and make choices that match: skills of critical thinking. As limited, fallible creatures, effective critical thinking requires the ability to collaborate: skills of pluralism. The path to integrity, to peace and happiness, for us and our children alike, requires building these skills.

Lisa Kean

Embracing Inclusion: The Richness of Diversity

Have you ever felt excluded? Not been invited to a special occasion? Not been brought into the conversation? It is a terrible feeling and one nobody wants to experience on a daily basis. Unfortunately, people with special needs DO experience this on a daily basis—sometimes multiple times a day. Lisa Kean makes the case that when we open our minds and our hearts to fully include people in all aspects of our community, we diversify the community and make it richer. This heartfelt talk will bring deeper meaning to your understanding of inclusion and its value for all.

Dorothy Miller

Belief Shapes Our Future

Fear, Faith and Belief, they’re more closely connected than most imagine. Dorothy Miller, author of What’s Next with Your Life, and Certified Thinking Into Results Consultant who trained with Master of the Mind, Bob Proctor, is dedicated to improving the lives of others through education. But more importantly, Dorothy’s passion comes from being a mother and wife and she’ll pull you in with her stories and teach you about the power within. What you are thinking and doing right now is shaping you and your future. Believe! It’s a choice.

Frances Oliver


Frances is 17 years old and speaks out loud about the frequent sense of voicelessness experienced, not only by today's youth, but also by the youth of her previous generation. She is a strong believer in the power of youth with opinions and seeks to educate adults about the positive impact felt by communities when youths have their voices heard and inspire fellow youth to have the courage to speak out loud. Frances will bring alive her TEDx presentation by speaking on her everyday experiences of being a youth and her quest to fight stereotypes in order to be heard by adults, in all sorts of situations.

Trevor O’Rourke

Boost Your Leadership Signal Strength

A leader was once easy to recognize. Leadership has since undergone increasingly complex, and sometimes, contradictory definitions. Leadership, as a term, has become both the scapegoat and the unicorn of failed or successful corporate strategy thanks to its rising ambiguity. It's no wonder that almost 70% of the soon-to-be dominant generation would prefer to be entrepreneurs and only 13% are even interested in moving up the ladder of current corporations. Leadership continues to be defined with escalating diversity and rhetoric. Drawing from its origins, Trevor takes an innovative approach to simplify the 'L' word in order to bridge the gap of today's mentors with tomorrow's leaders. Tune in and find out the strength of your leadership signal and how to increase it. 

Pam Paquet

Choose Change and Embrace Crazy

We’ve all experienced moments of “going crazy.” Stress from a fast-paced, technology-driven lifestyle, always having to be “on” and the pressure of life’s shoulds can easily push us to our limits. Moments of crazy are guideposts of change. These are opportunities to recognize what’s not working and to create new options and innovations. Join Pam Paquet, professional therapist and change guide, as she explains how to shift thinking and behavior to regain choice, balance and even create an appreciation of the moments of crazy as the right time and place to change purposefully.


Sherry Sinclair

Reconciliation: A grass roots approach to Justin Trudeau’s invitation

With Canada Celebrating 150 years as a country, what does the Highway of Tears, Residential Schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission mean to us, as Canadians? Here at the BC Association of Family Resource Programs, a non-profit providing strength to family support programs, it means we are developing our own Statement of Reconciliation. Our promise is to continue strengthening health for all, especially with Indigenous families. We are one, one human race. We can do this together. And there is a place for you too.

Dr. Alison Vaughan

Potty Trained Cows? The Power of
Technology to Transform Farming

My name is Dr Alison Vaughan. I’d like to share with you some of the exciting ways in which technology can be used to increase the welfare of farm animals and reduce the environmental impact of farms. More specifically, I’d like to share with you my experiences of potty training cows! This idea is not as crazy as it first sounds. In fact, I hope to persuade you that potty training cows could revolutionize the way we house dairy cattle and serve as a template for how technology can be utilized to address other challenges in production animal care.


Tom Watson

Surviving Trauma: Using Personal Choice to Move Forward

As a very young child, Tom Watson was taken from neglectful parents and placed into foster care. Tom journeyed through multiple foster homes and unfortunately endured appalling abuse along the way.   How did this traumatized child grow up to be a loving husband and father, a respected businessman, and noted author? Tom's personal and deeply moving story illustrates how his philosophy of putting others first has the power to transform lives on a daily basis.


Kyle Wierks

Imagining a Better World

The first step to building something new is imagining it. Innovation, social development, world change, and even entrepreneurialism are dependent upon one’s ability to imagine something that doesn’t exist. This is why imagination is an essential asset that we must foster in our young people. As a whole, our society has deprioritized imagination and replaced it with realism, leading to a decrease in entrepreneurialism and a lack of imagination in younger generations. We need to reinforce imagination and creativity as a society and build up the next generation of world leaders with the ability to imagine a better world.


Cliff Prang

Cliff Prang is a professional actor and comedian and amateur husband and father of 3. He has been in love with making people laugh since birth and has a full menu of comedy options including stand up, improv, speaking, emceeing, and auctioneering. Cliff delivers those services to a broad spectrum of audiences at Bars, Clubs, Schools, Churches, Corporate Events, etc. Learn more at or follow him on social media @cliffprang. Cliff is proud to perform family friendly stand up comedy at TEDxChilliwack. 


Will Leech


Lori Paul & Spiderlodge


Spiderlodge is a Chilliwack-based acoustic roots rock trio made up of Fraser Valley Music Award winner Rick Genge, vocalist Lori Paul and percussionist Clay Thornton. Multi instrumentalist Rick Genge has produced seven albums out of the home studio he shares with wife Lori Paul, wordsmith and lead vocalist for the band. Clay began his career in rhythm as a tap-dancing toddler at his Grandmother’s academy, the Fleita Tutte School of Dance. Clay and Lori formed their first professional band here in Chilliwack in 1980.