Featured Speakers and Artists

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Keynote Speakers


Presented on: Thursday 28th October


Andrea Menard is an accomplished Métis singer-songwriter, actor, speaker and is the founder of the Sacred Feminine Learning Lodge. One of the stars of the APTN/Netflix series, Blackstone, Andrea is a 5-time Gemini-nominated actress, a 15-time music award winner, and was named ACTRA National’s Woman of the Year in 2021. She has released 4 award-winning albums, two made-for-television programs, has debuted two symphony Pops concerts, and her TEDx Talk called “Silent No More” has reached over 127,000 views. As seen in USA Today, Andrea is an influencer in feminine leadership, and she was named one of 2020 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 award winners in the WXN Arts, Sports and Entertainment Category.  Andrea dedicates her life and work to empowering both the Indigenous and the Feminine voice through song, story, activism, training, and healing. She is the author of Seeds from the Sacred Feminine Wisdom Cards that help people connect to land-based and sacred feminine wisdom. With Metis roots originating in St. Laurent, MB, Andrea is a proud member of the Metis Nation of Canada..






Presented on: Thursday 28th October


Dr. Brian Goldman: Emergency Room Physician, Healthcare Expert & Medical Watchdog

The host of the thought-provoking CBC Radio show White Coat, Black Art, Dr. Brian Goldman is a leading voice for reform of the healthcare system. He believes we should listen to patients and change medical culture to improve the quality of care. In addition, he promotes whistleblowing by healthcare providers to deal with problems in hospitals. He is the author of The Power of Kindness: Why Empathy is Essential in Everyday Life. In researching this book, he undertook a personal odyssey to understand more about empathy and how it is vital to our physical and mental health.



Speaker Biography

Dr. Goldman’s style on stage is earnest, heartfelt and sincere. On stage it becomes clear that he has a passion for compassion. Dr. Goldman makes complex medical issues digestible for audiences. He personalizes medicine and the human frailties of his profession. He is unafraid to address tough or controversial issues head on in a comprehensive way, including the challenges brought by COVID-19.

Dr. Goldman is one of those rare individuals with great success in not one but several adrenaline-pumping careers. He is a highly regarded emergency physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. A veteran medical broadcaster, he is also the host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s award-winning radio show “White Coat, Black Art”, where he takes listeners behind the scenes of hospitals and doctor’s offices. Dr. Goldman unpacks and demystifies what goes on inside medicine’s sliding doors – with topics that include burnout among health professionals, racism in health care and meeting the challenge of providing care for kids with complex medical needs when they age out of the system.

His inspiring yet bracingly honest TEDx talk about medical errors—which has been viewed on the Internet almost one million times—has cemented his reputation as one of his generation’s keenest observers of the culture of modern medicine.

A bestselling author of the book The Night Shift: Real Life in the ER, Dr. Goldman takes readers through giddying heights and crashing lows as he works through a typical night shift in one of Canada’s busiest ERs. His second book The Secret Language of Doctors is a biting look at medical slang, and what it reveals of what the doctor really thinks about your mother’s obesity, your grandfather’s dementia or her colleague’s competence.

And, he’s not afraid to take a hard look at himself. In his latest book – The Power of Kindness: Why Empathy is Essential in Everyday Life – Goldman searches for his own capacity for caring around the world, through his own brain circuitry and inside his heart.



Artists featured at the conference


Natalie Sappier


Samaqani Cocahq-(Natalie Sappier) is a Wolastoqey Indigenous multidisciplinary storyteller from Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick. She began telling her stories through painting and design and is alumni of the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.  For her, creating visual art awakened her connection to the land and her Wolastoqey knowing and being. 

Her community and Ancestral landscapes (New Brunswick) are her teachers and is home to where she navigates stories and creativity.  She realized early in her painting career that she was not painting just for herself-she was painting for her people- She IS painting for her ancestors-She IS painting for healing and feels her stories need to be louder than a painting can speak. 

She wrote and composed her first play “Finding Wolastoq Voice” which was presented and toured with Theatre New Brunswick and was part of the First Indigenous Theatre season at the National Arts Centre “Moshkamo”. Guided by the traditional teaching of knowledge sharing for the unborn- her path is led by creating stories weaved with multi-disciplinary art forms that include Visual Arts, Writing, Song, Spoken word, Movement and Dance with guidance and collaboration with many Wabanaki knowledge carriers. 

Samaqani Cocahq dedicates much of her time creating stories in her Fredericton Studio and carries a passion in the advocacy of Arts, Culture, Two Spirited sacredness and Indigenous Youth Mentorship. She believes Wellness and Art stands together and the importance of protecting Mother Earth. 





Randell Adjei



Transformational Speaker - Spoken Word Practitioner - Arts Educator

Randell Adjei is an entrepreneur, speaker and spoken word practitioner who uses his gifts to Empower the message of Alchemy. He was recently appointed Ontario’s first Poet Laureate.

Randell is the founder of one of Toronto's largest youth-led initiatives, Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (R.I.S.E Edutainment). In 2018, R.I.S.E received the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Mayor’s Youth Arts Award.

Randell is the author of “I am Not my struggles,” a powerful Anthology eleased in 2018. Randell was also named CBC’s Metro Morning’s Torontonian of the Year in 2015 and NOW Magazines Local Hero in May 2017. In 2020 Randell opened up for President Barack Obama at the Economic Club of Canada.

W: randelladjei.com











Stephanie Montesanti, PhD, MA, BA (honours)

Dr. Stephanie Montesanti is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. She is an applied health policy and systems researcher. Her research program examines the determinants of policy and systems change in addressing population health. She collaborates with health system leaders, decision-makers, front-line service providers, patients, and communities on tri-council funded projects in the areas of primary health care improvement, mental health and trauma-and-violence informed service delivery, and patient-and-family centred care. She works closely with First Nation and Métis communities in Alberta to promote health and well-being and advance equitable healthcare delivery.




David McQuillan, Creativity and Health Programme Manager, South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust

"I have always been passionate about culture, arts and creativity and have seen first-hand how arts and culture can lead the regeneration of places, can create stronger, more connected communities with happier, healthier individuals; even increasing life expectancy and leading to longer lives, better lived.

I have worked in the cultural sector in West Yorkshire for nearly 20 years; I have worked on the frontline of community arts outreach, raised millions of pounds of external investment in fundraising and development roles and been artistic director and CEO of a significant Arts Centre (Square Chapel Arts Centre). One of my most satisfying achievements in the latter period at Square Chapel was working in partnership with Arts Council, South West Yorkshire NHS Trust [SWYPFT], Calderdale Council and Calderdale CCG to establish Calderdale as a beacon of excellence in the arts, culture and health sector that leads the way nationally to demonstrate the impact of this work within a community. As West Yorkshire and Harrogate ICS we are one of four hubs in the country working with the new National Centre for Creative Health; one of two Arts Council pilot art and health projects and I am now proudly leading this work on behalf of our partnership from SWYPFT.

I have also seen how arts and culture have helped people survive and recover throughout the pandemic and have been lucky enough to be involved with the Lawrence Batley Theatre who have produced some of the most innovative work in the world throughout restrictions. I have seen first-hand how the arts can help individuals rebuild and recover having used creativity to rebuild my life after my own time with the mental health crisis team. My work now is strongly influenced by the voices of others with lived experience of mental illness and I think it is vital that these voices are represented in work exploring the benefits of creativity on the health of our citizens.

We know that there is a profound connection between wealth and health. We know that there is a 10 year gap in life expectancy depending upon where you live. We believe that it is possible to make a relationship between these two agendas, create roles in our system and invite people from our communities in to undertake those roles. In other words, there is a clear link between the arts and health agenda and the inclusive growth agenda. We can use the creation of the relationship between arts and health to connect people together through a shared purpose. We can use the creation of the relationship between arts and health to create wellbeing and personal resilience, and we can use the creation of a relationship between arts and health to connect people to economic opportunity. As a fourth purpose, and perhaps almost as a by-product of all of this, somebody, somewhere might create something extraordinary."



Isabelle Wachsmuth Visual Artist, Art Impact For Health and SDGs, World Health Organization

Mrs Isabelle Wachsmuth, MSc, MPH is an expert in multi-sectoral institutional and human capacity building with 20 years of experience in an international network promoting and implementing knowledge management and collective intelligent solutions in both high and low income countries. She has a Masters in Sciences on “Genie Physiologique” at the University of Poitiers, France and Master in Public Health at the University of Geneva.
Now in WHO Headquarter, she is project manager for Universal Health Coverage and Life course division and she is leading an innovative incubator Art Impact For Health and SDGs to grow art and culture within the medical environment as an innovative strategy to build resilient individuals, communities, and health systems, creating a global creative and organic community movement that advances the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Health for All. Previously she have supported cross-cutting areas like palliative care, health care innovation, engagement (from patient to community) in the context of Integrated People Centred Health Services, partnerships through linguistic collaborations mechanisms to contribute to Health Information For All. She is the moderator of the international francophone forum on Health Information For All.

Previously in WHO, she was a project and communication manager of EVIPNet (Evidence Informed Policy Network) at the Knowledge Ethic and Research Department designing and bringing to life its social network, particularly in African countries for helping policy-makers to make better decisions based on evidence and to establish sustainable partnerships and collaboration with large range of stakeholders. She had worked for the UNECE Sustainable Energy Division involved in the implementation of the UNDA Project on enhanced energy services for pro-poor areas through PPP in renewable energy and at the same time adviser to Economic Cooperation and Integration Division on establishing UNECE International PPP Specialist Centre of Excellence on Health in Manila Philippines and others PPP Specialist Centre of Excellence in Institutional and Legal Concession- PPP in France and in Renewable energy in Morocco.

Previously in the private sector, she was Director of the Knowledge Management Department of Vivendi Universal Corporate in Paris to develop and promote an interactive intranet to establish synergies between business-units for all Vivendi Group subsidiaries (Vivendi Universal and Vivendi Environment).