Keynote Speakers

Women who have overcome challenges in their lives share their stories in the Luncheon Keynote Address. Attendees say, “She was inspiring”, and “Her story was very personal but one that we could all relate to”.

Our Keynote Speakers have included:

  • Susan Simmons, ultra-marathon swimmer and advocate for people living with multiple-schlerosis
  • Carly Greene Hill, a yoga teacher, poet and spoken word artist.
  • Karen Fehr, a self-employed cabinetmaker with over 35 years in the construction industry.
  • Renee Racette, LLB, MA, JSD, is a Cree First Nation and Métis lawyer who is still “overcoming society’s lies about women”. With a keen interest in Aboriginal and human rights, Renée assists the Malahat Nation in economic and community development strategies.
  • Fran Hunt Jinnouchi, who left school in Grade 8, was a teen mother, and now, working toward her PhD, is a successful business woman. She was the inaugural Director of the Office of Indigenous Affairs at the University of Victoria.


2020 Imagining Possibilities Keynote Workshop – Ame-Lia Tamburrini

The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and our world have the power to shape our future. That means that you have the power within you to change your life and create the future you want. In this workshop, run by an epidemiologist turned entrepreneur, Ame-Lia Tamburrini will challenge you to look at the stories you are telling yourself and bravely ask the question: What is the future I want for myself? Gain inspiration as she shares her own story of transformation, then dive in to rewrite your own story and create a future with endless possibilities.


2018 Imagining Possibilities Keynote Address

Possibilities – Susan Simmons

Be inspired by a story of determination and commitment to one’s goals. Learn about how one woman took what seemed impossible and continuously overcame challenges to achieve success. Susan Simmons is both an ultra-marathon swimmer and an advocate for people living with Multiple Sclerosis, which she combats with exercise and diet. Last year she swam across the Juan de Fuca Strait with nothing more than a swimsuit, cap and goggles –  the fastest crossing on record. She’ll share how curiosity, possibilities, community and action help her to achieve her goals.


2017 Imagining Possibilities Keynote Address

Write it Down, Dog – Carly Greene Hill

Carly Greene Hill is a self-taught creative maven. Under her pen-name, Carly explores the world of vulnerability and self expression. As a teenager navigating mental health challenges and complicated emotions, Carly found a pivotal, therapeutic outlet in poetry. As an adult, her poetry and yoga practices embrace self-acceptance, body advocacy and the cultivation of healthy relationships. Her hope is to encourage you to safely explore your own minds and bodies, discover your own creative spark and an access to love that comes from sharing open-heartedly.


2016 Imagining Possibilities Keynote Address

Fehr – to – Fantastic: Transformation! – Karen Fehr

Karen Fehr is a self-employed cabinetmaker who has been in the construction industry for over 35 years, from cottages to million dollar mansions. In the midst of personal and family tragedy, Karen realized that to overcome obstacles she needed to develop a set of tools and techniques that would help her correct the course of her life. In this presentation, Karen shares how personal events altered her main goals in life and led to the transformation into the person she wanted to become and who she is today.


2015 Imagining Possibilities Keynote Address

Untruths to Ignore: Overcoming Society’s Lies about Women! – Renee Racette

Renee RacetteRenee Racette is a Cree First Nation and Métis woman from Cowessess First Nation and the Lebret Métis of Qu’Appelle Valley. Teaching in Saskatchewan’s north led Renee to law school, graduate school (M.A. in Indigenous Governance) and her SJD (a post graduate degree in law). She now works as in-house legal counsel for Malahat Nation assisting in their economic and community development strategies. Renee has a keen interest in aboriginal and human rights law. Share in Renee’s experiences of overcoming society’s lies about women.


2014 Imagining Possibilites Keynote Address

Holding Onto the Dream – Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi

Fran Hunt-JinnouchiFran Hunt-Jinnouchi is First Nations from Northern Vancouver Island. She specializes in aboriginal adult education and community development and has a BSW, MAdEd and is a PhD candidate. Fran has owned businesses in eco-tourism, consulting and the restaurant industry. She has also been an elected chief and leader in post-secondary education, and is a tireless educator, role model and visionary leader with a “business sense second to none”. Join us as she shares her journey from leaving school at an early age to seeing her dreams bear fruit.





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