Speakers and Panelists
Susan Aglukark - Keynote Speaker
Nunavut’s first ever Juno Award winning Inuk singer/songwriter, Susan calls herself the accidental artist. Susan grew up in Arviat, Nunavut and with “no musical orthodoxy” to draw from, Susan’s early years were spent learning as she was headlining.
Susan’s early writing (The Arctic Rose-1992) was a series of songs drawn from the thing she had left, a life of uncertainty. The past 25 years and the following 7 albums has seen Susan set on a path of personal discoveries, cultural reconnections and personal healing, a very different path than the one she imagined when she left her home. In her singing/songwriting career, Susan is most proud about reaching a place in her life where she knows she is right where she belongs, singing/songwriting and falling in love with creating.
Susan has garnered 3 Juno awards, received The Order of Canada in 2005 and most recently was awarded the Governor Generals Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (June-2016).
Susan has performed for HRH Queen Elizabeth, Jean Chrétien, Brian Mulroney, Nelson Mandela, Billy Graham and The Countess Of Wessex.
Susan is founder and chair of the Arctic Rose Foundation and is an Advisor on the Collateral Damage Project.
Sandra Laronde - Performer
Executive & Artistic Director of Red Sky, Sandra Laronde, O.M.C., B.A. (Hon), Hon. LL.D is originally from the Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water) in Temagami, northern Ontario. An accomplished innovator and leader in arts and culture, Sandra has conceived, developed, produced, and disseminated award-winning productions that are Indigenous, multinational, multi and inter-disciplinary, and intergenerational in scope. Sandra creates exceptional new work and programming that raises the artistic ceiling of contemporary Indigenous artistry, and contributes to building vibrant Indigenous communities across Canada and worldwide.
Sandra was the Director of Indigenous Arts at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity from 2008 – 2017. During her nine-year tenure as director, she realized her vision to create exceptional cutting-edge programming informed by Indigenous cultures and worldviews, and excelled at bringing world-class faculty to the Centre. Substantial growth for Indigenous Arts at the Banff Centre was achieved under her leadership including place-based culture and an innovative new approach to programming involving hundreds of Indigenous artists worldwide.
Sandra holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Toronto, and studied Spanish Language and Literature at the University of Granada in Spain. In 2011, the Senate of Trent University conferred an Honorary Degree of the Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) with all its rights, privileges and obligations.
Jamaal Rogers - Performer / Panelist
Jamaal Jackson Rogers; stage name JustJamaal ThePoet, is a nationally recognized professional independent artist, creative entrepreneur and educator. As an artist he is a poet/writer, spoken word practitioner, rap emcee, and stage performer. Since his early years he has honed his talents that has allowed him in the past four years to bring his expressions to audiences across Canada and even internationally. His defining moments are when he makes intimate connections with his listeners during his live performance sets.
He is also considered a mentor and arts coach, working in correctional facilities and finding time to tutor in inclusive settings with artists to help them reach their goals within various artistic fields. Teaching, inspiring and leading is what Jamaal believes he does best, and with over 15 years of working with youth, he finds his passion best exemplified as an arts educator.
Music Monday Anthem - Youth4Music
The Music Monday anthem serves as a rally cry for the importance of music in our schools and in our lives. On May 1st, 2017, hundreds of thousands of participants joined together to sing and play the Anthem across the country in schools, public parks, and communities to celebrate the galvanizing power of music. Youth4Music will perform the Music Monday Anthem Sing It Together which is a collaboration between JUNO award winning, veteran songwriters Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas. Focusing on the power of voices, Sing It Together asks us to sing for joy, for truth, for healing and for freedom.
Stay tuned for more speaker, performer and panelist announcements!