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2021 Event

MARCH 27, 2021

Broadcasted live from Surrey, BC, Canada

TEDxBearCreekPark 2021 was an unparalleled success. Everything came together superbly to do it bigger, better, and differently.  We thank everyone involved, especially you, our viewers. It was conducted as a livestream event featuring 12 speakers plus Energizers and Entertainers, jam-packed within 3 fast-moving hours. It was viewed on 3000 screens in 30 countries around the world.

Our Leadership Team

Bringing TEDx to Surrey is a consuming passion for our leadership team and all the hard work is paying off. Coming from different backgrounds but committed to achieving a single goal, they strive to discover and showcase ideas that have the potential to transform us and enhance our community. Here’s the team leading the efforts of all to make TEDxBearCreekPark the best it can be.

Alan Warburton

Licensee & Curator

Tania Ehman

Lead Coach

Ron Newell

Sponsorship & Logistics Manager

Trevor Marples

Technology & Communications Lead

Monica Neville

Finance Manager

Noel Bentley

Emcee & Program Coordinator

Ellie Newell

Creative Projects Coordinator

Gary Drouillard

Content Guideline Lead & Writer

2021 Partners

This is the premier TEDx event in Surrey, BC, and it is made possible with the support of our amazing partners who share out passion for the community.

Presenting Partners

Platinum Partners

Gold Partners

Silver Partners

Community Partners


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Dr. Brandon Tang

Dr. Brandon Tang

Brandon is an award-winning physician, author, educator, and healthcare innovator. Although he loves his work as a physician, the chaos and disorganization of inpatient medicine has always concerned him. He believes that there is a hidden pandemic of “assembly line medicine” in healthcare which needs to be addressed.

Brandon is passionate about medical education and health innovation and has consistently demonstrated national-level impact in these areas. He is the author of two medical textbooks, two mobile apps, over 60 peer-reviewed articles and abstracts, and has served in leadership roles for provincial, national, and international medical organizations. Brandon completed medical school at the University of Toronto, graduating concurrently with a Master’s Degree in System Leadership and Innovation. He is currently an internal medicine resident at the University of British Columbia and has received over 50 local, provincial, national, and international awards for his leadership and community contributions throughout his training.

Ultimately, Brandon aspires to make a lasting impact on Canadian healthcare as an internal medicine specialist, educator, and health systems leader. In his free time, he loves to travel, cook, read, and spend time with his partner, Linda, who is also a physician.

Dr. Carly Phillips

Dr. Carly Phillips

Carly is an ecosystem scientist who studies carbon, wildfire, and solutions for the climate crisis. Her research has taken her from cloud forests in Costa Rica to arctic tundra in Alaska, which has highlighted how rapidly increasing temperatures threaten global ecosystems and strengthened her passion to address climate change.

Carly’s current research focuses on forests in British Columbia – how their vulnerability to wildfire has increased and how to achieve resilience in forests in the face of coming changes. This work emphasizes the contributions that natural systems can make to carbon removal from the atmosphere and sustainable carbon storage.  She is based at the Pacific institute for Climate Solutions at University of Victoria.

She has been quoted by a variety of media outlets, including Scientific American and The Guardian, and her writing has appeared in publications ranging from Science to The Vancouver Sun.  Carly earned a PhD in ecology from the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia and an AB in biology from Occidental College.

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Dai Manuel

Dai Manuel

Dai Manuel is a super dad of two teen daughters, dating his wife for over 20 years, with a lead-by-example way of living and a contagious personality. After overcoming obesity as a teen, living with a life-threatening auto-immune condition, and battling addictions, he finds himself on a mission to positively impact one million role models around the globe to lead FUNctionally fit lives, mentally and physically, through education, encouragement, and community.

He is an and author of The Whole Life Fitness Manifesto, a Distinguished Toastmaster and keynote speaker, former partner, and Chief Operating Officer of a multi-million-dollar retail company, and a sought-after lifestyle mentor and executive performance coach.

Dai knows the struggle of the juggle while keeping his health and happiness a priority. He models his work based on 5 F’s: Fitness, Family, Faith, and Finances with an overarching roof of FUN, built on a rock-solid foundation of Health. Dai has recently returned to Vancouver, Canada after leaving a 17-year career in 2015 to pursue other passions while prioritizing family and travel.

Dai is honoured to have the opportunity to share his discovery from his life altering experience in 2010, with hopes more men will lead a life of deeper connections and greater fulfilment.

David C Bentall

David C Bentall

David is a graduate of UBC and the Harvard Business School. He worked as an executive in his family’s business for 20 years, including 7 years as CEO of Dominion Construction. Under his leadership, sales virtually doubled to nearly $300 million and the company completed Rogers Arena, home of the Vancouver Canucks.

After the family business was sold, David was instrumental in the successful bid to bring the 2010 Olympics to Vancouver. Subsequently, he co-founded the Business Families Centre at UBC, serving as Chair for 5 years. As an Adjunct Professor since 2003, he developed undergraduate and MBA courses, and regularly leads workshops for professionals through the Family Enterprise Exchange.

His firm, Next Step Advisors, consults to families in business globally. In 2012, he was recognized as a Fellow of the Family Firm Institute for his dedication to the field. As an executive coach he is certified by the International Coaches Federation.

His award-winning book, The Company You Keep, examines how to create quality friendships. His second book, Leaving a Legacy, explores how to successfully navigate family business succession. His most recent book, Dear Younger Me, released in December 2020, offers wisdom for all aspiring leaders and family enterprise successors.

David is a four-time Canadian National Water Ski Champion. In 2013, in his age group, he was ranked the number one male slalom skier in the world. He and his wife Alison have been married for over 40 years. They have four children and eight grandchildren.

Fawzan Hussain

Fawzan Hussain

Fawzan Hussain is an 18-year-old technology enthusiast, social innovator, and compassionate leader who believes that youth have the power to positively change their communities. As a technology enthusiast and social innovator, Fawzan actively volunteers with the Neil Squire Society, where he 3D prints Assistive Devices to help people with disabilities overcome physical barriers they encounter. 

Throughout his high school career, Fawzan enjoyed developing technological solutions such as a Portable Search & Rescue Mining Robot, a Low-Cost Computerized Weather Station and a virtual keyboard controlled by an individual’s attention span. In previous years, Fawzan presented his technological solutions across several regional science fairs, the #BCTECH Summit 2019, the Canada Wide Science Fair 2018 & 2019, and the MILSET Expo-Sciences International 2019. 

When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, Fawzan felt confused and scared. However, through discussions with his family, he came to the realization that the world needs its youth to step up and support their communities. As a result, Fawzan worked relentlessly to 3D Print and deliver Personal Protective Equipment to frontline healthcare workers and members in his community. Through this process, Fawzan realized that when youth put their minds to it, they can make an everlasting, positive impact in their communities. Fawzan’s talk is about how youth can use technology to solve our society’s problems. 

Recently, Fawzan began his post-secondary studies at the University of Victoria to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

Surrey Now article
Surrey Schools post

Grace Sinats

Grace Sinats

Grace is a 15-year-old climate activist, and passionate advocate for lowering the voting age in Canada. From a young age, Grace became infuriated with the government’s actions around the Site C dam, and the Kinder Morgan pipeline. She felt powerless as the environment and her future slipped away. Watching this destruction, Grace strived to make her voice heard. She decided to be silent no longer and joined a local climate striking group near the start of 2019. 

She joined Our Earth Our Future, a group demanding intersectional and just climate action through all areas of governance. In 2019, during a global week of action, her group mobilized over 20,000 people onto the streets of Victoria BC, which led to a meeting with the current minister of Climate Change Strategy. What she did not expect is that even though she was able to speak, she still felt she was not listened to. This did not discourage Grace, and since then she has organized over 4 successful climate strikes.

Although Grace was able to share her message to the general public, she still felt that her MP’s and MLA’s were not listening. Once Grace found the Vote16 movement, she finally saw a way to be heard. Grace’s talk centres on her vision for a more just, equitable society, where all voices are heard. She argues that the reason young people do not vote is not because they think politics is boring, it’s because as a society we make it inaccessible.

Johnny Trinh

Johnny Trinh

Johnny is an interdisciplinary and spoken word artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Exploring the use of spoken word, music, video, social media, movement, theatre, and creative technology, Johnny’s practice integrates the multi-layered realities within which we exist to create immersive spoken word experiences. Johnny’s pedagogy is rooted in the constant goal of fostering a sense of empowerment, agency, and compassion through socially-engaged, community-based art. Johnny recognizes that many of us are uninvited guests on this indigenous Turtle Island, and continually works to negotiate that through accountability, solidarity, and integrity of practice. Johnny creates opportunities to support marginalized communities cultivate their voice: “It takes a community to build an artist… whether we are nurtured by it, or resist against it.”

Johnny is the creator of Stage to Page: Poetry Development Project, an online panel workshop series that brings Poets/Writers, Publishers, and Theatre Makers together to support folks spoken word poets looking to publish their work. We apply contemporary play development/script development frameworks to spoken word and explore how these techniques can help spoken word poets translate their performances to the printed page.

Highlight Performances & Roles: Verses Festival – Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Tournament Director; Naked Heart Festival 2020; BC Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Multiculturalism Awards (2020); Artist in Residence – John Howard Society Pacific; Poet in Residence – Burnsview Secondary School; Banff Centre for the Arts, MFA: Interdisciplinary Studies: Theatre & Creative Technology – University of Regina, Dell’Arte International School for Physical Theatre: Summer Intensive

Lizzie Allan

Lizzie Allan

Lizzie is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor and Professional Stand-up Comedian with a degree in Comedy Writing and Performance. Her accomplished background in community building, support, and youth empowerment brings a formidable blend of skills to her role as teacher, facilitator, speaker, leader, and performer.

Her storied life didn’t begin with those lofty achievements. Lizzie is a person in long-term recovery and abstinent from all mood and mind-altering substances. Her struggle with cannabis addiction and a drug induced psychosis at nineteen gave her a glimpse into other realms of reality which led her on a spiritual journey of self-discovery.

At university in the U.K., Lizzie used her story to create an insightful graduate thesis performance tackling stigma and shame. This performance became sought after by mental health professionals as a tool to educate and empower staff and service users.

Her desire to de-stigmatize the human condition has led her to work with anyone who wants to heal from their experience of illness, trauma, and loss using the power of comedy, community, and transformational therapeutic processes.

Her vision is the creation of a healthy, re-imagined comedy eco-system and she’s set to open Hilarapy Studios, her own state-of-the-art healthy performance space, television, and production studio, community hub, and retreat centre in her new home of Vancouver, British Columbia.

In her talk, Lizzie challenges the way we view mental illness, trauma, and loss and highlights how comedy therapy helps the individual embrace the dark as the key to truly knowing the light.

Dr. Olav Krigolson

Dr. Olav Krigolson

Dr. Olav E. Krigolson is a neuroscientist at the University of Victoria with research interests spanning decision-making, learning, statistics, and game theory. His breakthrough research in the area of mobile electroencephalography (EEG, or “brain-waves”) has led to projects with NASA, major league sports, heavy industry, and British Columbia health authorities. The technology he developed makes it possible to do an assessment of brain performance in under five minutes using a mobile phone and a low-cost commercially available EEG system. This new capability has led to an array of research projects – measuring cognitive fatigue in the workplace to improve safety, measuring concussion on the sports field, tracking of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, and predicting performance within the sport, transportation, and business sectors.

Dr. Krigolson has published 70 peer reviewed scientific publications, given more than 250 conference presentations, and been awarded $2 million in grant funding for his laboratory. One of his key papers, “Using Muse: Validation of a Low-Cost, Portable EEG System for ERP Research has been viewed over 30,000 times. For his research expertise, Dr. Krigolson was awarded a prestigious Benjamin Meaker Fellowship at Bristol University in 2017. Dr. Krigolson’s work has gained mainstream media attention and has been featured on the Discovery Channel, CBC’s Quirks and Quarks, and the Rick Mercer Report. His work has also been discussed on national and international TV channels, radio, and the print media including a special edition of Maclean’s magazine.

Orville Lee

Orville Lee

Orville emigrated from Jamaica in 1974 and grew up in North York Ontario, where through mentorship, he discovered his love for football.  He received a scholarship to Simon Fraser University and in 1988 he was drafted in the first round and first pick in the Canadian Football League where he played for 6 years.  After retiring from football, he worked with many social service organizations such as Hollyburn Family Service, Community Living BC, and Ministry of Children and Families, as a foster parent.  Orville and his wife co-founded the Pathfinder Youth homes and the Pathfinder Youth Centre Society.  Orville returned to school to complete a diploma in social work and psychology from Stratford Institute with highest honors.  As Orville guides the direction of the society, he continues to be entrenched in the front lines.  He still meets and mentors youth on a daily basis.  Orville has spoken to youth in various High Schools, Rotary Clubs and has appeared on Breakfast TV.  He uses his experiences as a professional athlete to parallel how to overcome the adversities of life.


  • 2014 Community Inclusive Employer awards – Rotary Club of Surrey
  • 2016 invited to speak at the House of Commons to the HUMA Committee on youth, employment, and mental health.

Orville’s Talk explores the importance of the gift of guidance that we can all offer to our youth, emphasizing the impact our words and actions can have on young people seeking emotional connection and direction.

Sandy Gerber

Sandy Gerber

For over 20 years Sandy revitalized marketing and communications for Canada’s most beloved brands. She is the author of two books and the founder of three successful companies.

As the CEO of NEXT Marketing Agency, Gerber set a new standard for innovative communications, growing the company from her bedroom into one of BC’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies.

Sandy uniquely blends her communications expertise with her keen interest in psychology. She is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner and the visionary of the Emotional Magnetism™ communication technique. After finally experiencing long-term romantic relationship success after two failed marriages, Sandy is driven to help others use the power of emotional appeal in their communications to have successful relationships.

Sandy’s talk is about how to save the romance in our relationships by learning to “Label with Care”.  She hopes to shed light on the damage unconscious negative labelling can have on our intimate relationships.

Gerber has been awarded multiple honours over the years including Mompreneur of the Year, YWCA’s Women of Distinction Finalist and Businessperson of the Year. Known for her engaging and fun visual speaking style, Sandy has presented and delivered an impact to over 10,000 people at conferences, corporate events, universities, sales training, and mentor programs across North America. She has personally coached hundreds of people in effective communication methods and excellence standards.

Sue Blyth Hall

Sue Blyth Hall

Sue’s professional training began experientially at school, but it was her son’s learning challenges that led her to become a Davis Dyslexia Correction ® Facilitator.  For the past 22 years she has had the privilege of working with dyslexic children and adults, sharing their ‘aha’ moments and watching them overcome their challenges.  She has come to the conclusion that everyone is learning-able, some children just don’t learn the way they are taught.

She founded The Whole Dyslexic Society in 2001 with four objectives: to improve the understanding around dyslexia; to fundraise, ensuring the programs are available to all; to create and maintain a community of dyslexics; and ensure that all children entering school have a cognitive equal opportunity.

In her book Fish Don’t Climb Trees, she shares her story, her son’s story and those of her clients, the current challenges in the education system and suggestions to overcome them.  She is the co-host of a podcast series, has given numerous information sessions, Professional Development Day presentations, contributed to conferences and webinars. She has appeared on Global TV, taken part in the CKNW Telethon, been interviewed on radio, and featured in the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail.   

She is inspired by the realisation that our children are here to restore balance and create a new paradigm in education.