Under Conquering Lion Pictures and Flimshow Inc., Damon D’Oliveira has produced some of Canada’s most innovative films. His first feature, RUDE, premiered at Cannes in 1995. Other films include Poor Boy’s Game, Lie With Me, H and The Grizzlies. Recently, he executive produced Honey Bee with Martha Plimpton and The Rest of Us with Heather Graham. Damon’s 2015 award-winning miniseries adaptation of The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, debuted to historic ratings on the CBC and BET. It earned two U.S. Critic’s Choice Television Awards nominations, four NAACP Image Awards and was a finalist for the 2016 Peabody Award.
Lawrence Hill is the author of 10 books, including The Book of Negroes, The Illegal, and Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. His 2013 Massey Lectures were based on his book of essays Blood: The Stuff of Life. His books have been read around the world. His essay about his mother, “Act of Love: The Life and Death of Donna Mae Hill” appeared in the Globe and Mail in 2018, and enriched a national conversation about medically assisted dying. He is completing a novel for children, and teaches at the University of Guelph.
Danielle H. Morrison, a proud Treaty 3 member of the Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing, practices in the areas of Indigenous law, Child Protection and Litigation. She received her call in July 2020. Prior to law school, Danielle developed a long-standing career in program delivery, policy review and advocacy with various Indigenous-led movements and non-profit organizations at both the grassroots and national levels, including the National Association of Friendship Centres and the Assembly of First Nations. In that time, Danielle spent two years assisting Survivors of the Indian Residential Schools system as an outreach worker and form-filler for claims in the Independent Assessment Process.
Bob Ramsay is the president of Ramsay Inc., a Toronto communications firm. He also organizes the speakers’ series, RamsayTalks, which presents some of the leading figures of the age, from Jodi Kantor and Niall Ferguson, to Eric Schmidt and Susan Rice. In addition, he writes opinion pieces for the mainline Toronto media, and during the pandemic has been writing a popular blog called The Plague-Ground. Years ago, he was the Chair of the International Festival of Authors. Finally, a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and last year he and his wife circumnavigated Manhattan by kayak.
Benjamin Perrin is a professor at the University of British Columbia, Peter A. Allard School of Law. He served as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, and was the lead justice and public safety advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper from 2012-13. Professor Perrin is the author of two previous books: Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking, which was a national bestseller and named one of the top books of the year by the Globe and Mail, and Victim Law: The Law of Victims of Crime in Canada. He lives in Vancouver, BC.
Cliff Lee is an editor and writer at the Globe and Mail. Over a decade and a half at Canada’s national newspaper, he has reported on a range of arts and lifestyle topics, from books, film and television, to fitness, food and travel. Previous stints include helming the Toronto section and the prestigious Books section. He is currently the Letters editor. His favourite YA novel is Invitation To The Game, by Monica Hughes, from 1990, a fine vintage indeed.
Ian Keteku is a writer and multimedia artist. Ian is the 2010 World Poetry Slam champion. He uses his voice to inspire messages of peace, action and critical thought. Ian’s work is strongly influenced by his upbringing and journeys throughout Africa. His work has been translated into French, Slovak, Russian, Danish, ASL and others. His debut book of poetry Black Abacus is published by Write Bloody North.
Wendy O’Brien is a philosopher with an avid interest in the ways philosophy, literature and the visual arts overlap. After over 30 years in academe teaching and lecturing at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo, Harvard and Oxford, she recently retired to be able to explore these points of intersection in non-academic settings. Her work explores subjects including power, violence, the relation to the Other, home, silence and creativity. She is presently working on a long-term project on the concept of wonder. An active member of the Ontario literary scene, she has been an interviewer for organizations including By the Lake Book Club, the Toronto International Festival of Authors and GritLit, as well as hosting Bourbon and Books book club in both Toronto and Hamilton.
Poet and essayist Maureen Scott Harris has published three collections of poetry and three chapbooks. Drowning Lessons (Pedlar Press, 2004) won the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Slow Curve Out (Pedlar Press, 2012) was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award. Her work has appeared in Canadian, American, British and Australian journals. Her essay on the Don River won the 2009 WildCare Tasmania Nature Writing Prize. With the River Poets she has developed poetry walks through Toronto’s ravines and parks. In 2019 she won the Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest and was runner-up in the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest.
A former Canadian diplomat, Colin Robertson is Vice President and Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and hosts its regular Global Exchange podcast. He is an Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. A member of the Department of National Defence’s Defence Advisory Board, Robertson is an Honorary Captain (Royal Canadian Navy) assigned to the Strategic Communications Directorate. He writes on foreign affairs for the Globe and Mail and he is a frequent contributor to other media. The Hill Times has named him as one of those that influence Canadian foreign policy.