Speakers & Stage Presenters
Our speakers in 2018 were…
LARRY THOMAS AKA “The Soup Nazi”
Get Served Soup By “The Soup Nazi”!
Sunday, October 14th — Chef’s Kitchen Stage Presented by Born 3 Eggs — 1:30 PM
Larry Thomas aka “The Soup Nazi” from Seinfeld, one of the most memorable TV characters of all time, is coming to the West Coast Women’s Show! Mark your calendars and don’t miss your chance to be served soup by The Soup Nazi. And, as Jerry said, “Just follow the ordering procedure and you will be fine.”
Larry has been an actor for thirty-five years and is a veteran of dozens of Films, TV shows and hundreds of theatre performances. Recently Larry finished shooting the film, 108 Stitches a baseball film with Bruce Davison, The Tesla Effect, A Tex Murphy Adventure (a live action video game) and was seen on Arrested Development, Hot Properties, Threshold, Scrubs and a Lexus commercial as a crazed pre-Bugsy visionary selling the idea of Vegas.
Victor Newman from “The Young and the Restless”
Saturday, October 13th — Main Stage — 2:30 PM
TV legend Eric Braeden aka “Victor Newman” on The Young and the Restless is coming to the West Coast Women’s Show!
Internationally-acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning and People’s Choice Award-winning film and television actor ERIC BRAEDEN is a television icon and arguably the most popular character in daytime history. For over 37 plus years, he has portrayed “Victor Newman” on the #1 rated daytime drama series The Young and the Restless, which has over 120,000,000 daily viewers around the world. The show is syndicated in over 30 foreign countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, the Middle East, New Zealand, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey.
Braeden recently wrote his critically acclaimed autobiography I’ll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America’s #1 Daytime Drama from HarperCollins, which appeared on the Publishers Weekly and Canadian bestseller list. Read more…
WOMEN EMPOWERING WOMEN PANEL SERIES
A WORLD-CLASS PANEL SERIES ON WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, & HEALTH
FREE REIGN didn’t start because of any one thing, but it all came together after a multitude of perfect storms.
Melanie has been battling widespread chronic pain + unofficially diagnosed fibromyalgia from several injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident in 2014. It just so happened to have occurred 9 days following the birth of her son. The journey that followed both physically and emotionally had at times taken her to some dark, lonely + harrowing places.
One night, she had a dream. While parts of it were foggy in her memory by the time she woke, what she did remember was that she founded a company that was similar to The Cancer Society – but it was for people who suffered from chronic pain. And its name? FREE REIGN. Yes. She dreamed that the name of the organization was FREE REIGN. And in her dream, they used a lot of the simple messages that her husband had left her + she thought “if they could help me, they could help other people, right?” It was so real to her. So much so that when she woke, she thought she actually had to go to work.
Amanda Zaal was just 24 years old when doctors told her she was about to die of a rare brain tumor. With no signs of hope, a physical and emotional battle began within her. Amidst the darkness, an inner spark fought hard to find happiness and health again.
Using her nursing knowledge and new perspective on the gift of each day, Amanda developed a planning system (now called “the Enthusiastic Change Maker”) to help her rediscover living and thriving. Today, six years after her terminal diagnosis, Amanda is a registered nurse, published author, public speaker, and owner of Aim + Glow – a movement to inspire health and wholeness. This is Amanda’s gift to the world as she invites people to journey with her as Enthusiastic Change Makers.
“I served in the Canadian Forces, including a tour in Afghanistan during the summer of 2009. After fighting on the front lines (Infantry & Artillery), I was diagnosed with severe PTSD and forced to return home.
I always wanted a way to give back to Veterans less fortunate than me. One day a light bulb went off, and by allowing me to combine the art therapy of creation, with support for other Veterans around the world, B&U is truly something I am proud to share with the world.” – Kelsi
Shannon Christensen (born Kimmitt) was born and raised in Kelowna, BC and lives here with her husband of 9 years and 2 little boys. Shannon is passionate about her friends, family and her community.
With a BA in Psychology and Master’s of counselling psychology, she has a passion for working with marginalized populations and used this drive to start Mamas for Mamas; a registered non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the negative impact of poverty on low income mothers and their families. Shannon has been recognized as a top 40 under 40 recipient, A Woman to Watch, and was a top 3 finalist for Woman of the Year through The City of Kelowna Civic and Community Awards.
Koa Hughes is an Entrepreneur, C.O.O, Executive and Philanthropist, who resides in the Okanagan with her spouse and two young kids. Holding a B.A in Psychology and Indigenous Studies, Koa took a different path than she had anticipated after Graduation. Koa is now the C.O.O of a construction company called Duffy Baker Construction. She works alongside her spouse, who is her business partner.
Under the innovative leadership of Koa, Duffy Baker Construction has seen their work load, staff numbers, and revenue more than double every single year; a goal that Koa set when she started as the C.O.O. Koa says that “people hire me for my head, pay me for my heart, and trust me because I use both.” In addition to running an award-winning construction company, Koa is also (a volunteer) Executive member of the Mamas for Mamas team, as well as their Sustainable Living Coordinator; Mamas for Mamas is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the negative impact of poverty on low income mothers and their families.
Koa’s company has been recognized as the 2018 Business of the Year – Trades, Top 5 People’s Choice for Small Business B.C Awards, and Koa and her partner were featured in Mint Magazine as the 2018 People to Watch. This winter, Koa and her family will be featured on a CBC documentary
When Koa isn’t working, you’ll find her and her kids at the Mamas for Mamas Farm tending to the crops and hens.
Humaira Ahmed is a Victoria based entrepreneur with over a decade experience in marketing and a background in Software Engineering.
She is the Founder and CEO of Locelle – a women only social networking app to find friends – which is launching publicly at West Coast Women’s Show 2018!
Born and raised in Pakistan, Humaira was engaged to be married at 15 and 17 to men she didn’t know, escaping those relationships, she has broken many stereotypes.
Humaira is extremely passionate about empowering young girls and women entrepreneurs and encourage them to take a leap of faith and dream big.
West Coast entrepreneur and competitive bodybuilder, Harj Hadani knows all-too well the difficulties that successful women face in the twenty-first century. According to Harj, “balancing the often-conflicting demands of marriage, motherhood, family, friends, and career – and always looking fantastic while you’re doing it – sometimes seems impossible. “It is as if you can not just be a woman you are expected to be Superwoman.”
Harj is not the first woman to note that juggling a career, a family, and a social life, while staying healthy at the same time, seems to require an almost superhuman amount of energy, ambition, and patience. Indeed, many women feel that demonstrating such superpowers is expected of them. This of course isn’t fair and Harj has made it her life’s mission to prove it isn’t true either.
Sara Allan is a busy 30 something year old mom of 3 kids (age 8 and under). She owns and operates two successful resale franchises in Abbotsford – Plato’s Closet and Once Upon A Child. She opened their first store five years ago and it’s been crazy ever since. She thrives on the energy and craziness of their stores.
Winmark Franchises describes her businesses as, “Once Upon A Child in Abbotsford, British Columbia, is known as much for being a good neighbor as it is for being a resale store for children’s gently-used clothing. Store owners Kevin and Sara Allan have helped fill every closet in transitional homes of the Women’s Resource Society of the Fraser Valley with children’s clothing through inventory donations. The Abbotsford store’s staff helps new customers become repeat customers by consistently going the extra mile for shoppers and sellers because they feel valued. Kevin and Sara impart their love for community to their employees by taking them out to dinner, taking them bowling or going for manicures and pedicures together.“
National Education Trainer for Organika
Friday, October 12th — Main Stage — 4:00 PM
Chelan Wilkins graduated with honours from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition with a designation of Certified Nutritional Practitioner and is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the National Education Trainer for Organika.
With over 5 years in the Health and Wellness Industry and current owner of her own nutritional practice specializing in Women’s health, Chelan has gained extensive and valuable knowledge on the power of the healing benefits of whole foods, proper nutrition and supplementation. Chelan also is a mom to 2 busy daughters, a sports junkie ( triathlon, yoga, mountain biking, skiing and dirt biking), and a food lover (Holistic food chef). When time allows, Chelan is committed to various charitable societies and is a proud member of the WNorth Initiative, supporting equality, leadership, and women’s rights in the workforce.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai MD CCFP
Physician, Fitness Instructor, & Health Educator
Friday, October 12th — Main Stage — 4:00 PM
Medicine was never the plan for Dr. Shahana Alibhai. She discovered her passion at age 15 when she went to her first fitness class. She became a BCRPA certified fitness instructor at age 17 and has enjoyed teaching a variety of group exercise classes ever since. Coupled by her love for cooking, by the age of 16, Dr. Shahana had also appeared on a number of cooking shows, demonstrating her ability to create innovative nutritious meals that highlighted her cultural background.
With the determination that an integrative approach to medicine is truly the future, Dr. Shahana went on to complete her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology followed by her medical degree, both from the University of British Columbia. She completed a 2 year residency in Family Medicine which took her back home to Abbotsford BC. Now as a family physician and the mother of two young boys, Shahana is a staff physician at the Abbotsford Youth Health Clinic where she works with youth between the ages of 12-24 as well as the Abbotsford Breath Health Clinic located in the Abbotsford Regional Hospital. She was a member of the UBC Family Medicine Residency Faculty for the last 3 years, has served on the BC College of Family Physicians Board and works as an accreditor for the National College of Family Physicians.
Andrea Saliba is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Health Coach, Group Fitness Instructor and Mother of 3. Andrea is on the Nutrition Advisory Board and a regular contributor for Optimyz Magazine.
She is passionate about educating people on the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise. Andrea is a strong believer in the mind body connection and uses motivational coaching techniques to inspire and guide her clients towards a positive mindset.
Health and wellness have always been something she has been passionate about from a very young age. In her earlier years, she suffered body complex issues, anxiety and panic attacks. She believed that the number on the scale was the true definition of health. She was able to combat her anxiety with regular meditation, practicing deep breathing techniques and eating a balanced diet. Exercise was her one true outlet, leading her down the journey of becoming a Fitness Instructor. The fitness industry taught her to appreciate and respect her body, making her understand that strong did not mean being slim.
International Competitive Bodybuilder + Breast Cancer Survivor
Friday, October 12th — Main Stage — 4:00 PM
Erin Danielle is a 37 year old single mom to an amazing MMA athlete and hockey playing 10 year old boy.
She is a lifetime athlete. Basketball, rugby and half marathons were her sports of choice. Prior to her diagnosis, she became a competitive bodybuilder, participating in 2 competitions, placing 6th and 3rd.
She was diagnosed in October of 2016 with stage 3 triple negative breast cancer. Since then she has had 3 surgeries including a bilateral mastectomy, 16 rounds of chemo and many other procedures and tests. Currently she is one year cancer free! She also just competed in an international body building competition, placing top 5 and have just began a new career in mixed martial arts coaching and training.
CHEF DARREN CLAY
Executive Culinary Chef Instructor at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
Saturday, October 13th — Chef’s Kitchen Stage Presented by Born 3 Eggs — 12:30 PM
- Graduating from culinary school in 1998, Chef Darren spent his early years in the Industry honing his skills and beginning his apprenticeship at the prestigious Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver.
- During this time he also began to make a name for himself winning medals in all 3 categories (Team, Apprentice and Student) at the BC Junior Chefs Association’s Hot Competition as well as winning the Dubrulle/Vancouver Magazine’s Rising Star Black Box Challenge.
- Finishing in the Top 5% of his class for his Red Seal, Chef Darren set off to further his education and also apply his skills on an International level in Singapore, Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia for 3 years before returning to the West Coast.
- Back in Vancouver he led a team of 30 in his new role of Executive Chef of the Village Taphouse in Park Royal and the Robson Street Cactus Club. Monitoring all aspects of restaurant revenue, expenses and employee training, he realized his passion for passing on his knowledge to others.
CHEF MARK BURTON
Executive Pastry Chef Instructor at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
Sunday, October 14th — Chef’s Kitchen Stage Presented by Born 3 Eggs — 11:45 AM
- Chef Mark’s career began in a small restaurant in St. John’s, Newfoundland, working as a line cook. Due to a scheduling error, he had to cover a pastry position… and the rest is history!
- In 1993, he moved to Alberta where he began as a baker at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Mentored by many professional bakers, Mark quickly moved into an apprenticeship and studied at SAIT in Calgary.
- In 2009, Mark took the position of pastry chef at the Lazy Gourmet, and was part of their 2010 Winter Olympics team, catering to the French Hospitality House.
- 2011 found Mark joining the pre-opening team for the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, where he was part of the team that gained the Forbes 5 Star Award in its first year of operation.
- Coming full circle to complete a journey he began in 1993, Mark returned to the Fairmont Banff Springs as Executive Pastry Chef in 2014, leading 22 bakers and pastry chefs for their 764 room resort with 12 restaurants and bars.
- By 2016, Mark joined the Four Seasons Vancouver as Executive Pastry Chef, leading their team and overseeing daily operations, banquets, the restaurant & bar, and in-room dining.
CHEF CHRISTIAN PRITCHARD
Executive Chef & Culinary Adventurist of Aurora Importing
Friday, October 12th — Chef’s Kitchen Stage Presented by Born 3 Eggs — 3:30 PM
Saturday, October 13th — Chef’s Kitchen Stage Presented by Born 3 Eggs — 5:00 PM
“I have a wonderful passion for food, and I love to bring this energy to as many people as possible. Through media I have been able to marry my love of food and cooking with my love and experience with acting to create what I like to call “Food Entertainment”. I have created two television series which aired on RogersTV, Durham Region: “Mission Meal”, and “Diggin’ Durham”. Also, I was chef on “Talk With Your Mouth Full”, also on RogersTV. I am currently the host of “daytime” in Durham Region, RogersTV.
I am a regular guest chef on several television shows, including “Breakfast Television” (CityTV), “Morning Live” (CHCH), “Summer’s Best” (Food Network), and was a Food Expert for the 2008/2009 season of “Stephen & Chris” (CBC).
I regularly attend numerous media events throughout the year as a local celebrity chef and media personality.“
CHEF DAVID MINCEY
Owner of The Chocolate Project
Saturday, October 13th — Chef’s Kitchen Stage Presented by Born 3 Eggs — 1:15 PM
David Mincey has enjoyed an extensive career in the food industry. He founded Victoria’s legendary Camille’s Restaurant in 1989 and served as its chef and co-owner with his wife Paige for the next 24 years. During that time Camille’s gained an international reputation for cutting-edge cuisine and was a pioneer in the farm-to-table food movement. David co-founded the Island Chefs’ Collaborative in 1999 and served as its president for three years. During that tenure he and Paige started the Bastion Square Farmer’s Market – Victoria’s first downtown local food outlet in nearly 40 years. He developed the Farmer Grant Program and helped to spearhead the widespread use of local produce, meats, seafood and beverages now common in Island restaurants.
David is also recognized as one of Canada’s leading chocolate experts. He runs “The Chocolate Project” a bean-to-bar chocolate retail store in the Hudson Public Market and teaches chocolate appreciation and history to private groups and University classes. Currently The Chocolate Project carries the largest selection of fine artisanal chocolate products in North America. For the past two years David has been selected as a grand jury judge for the International Chocolate Awards, the most prestigious chocolate event in the world.
Owner of The Good Chocolatier
Sunday, October 14th — Fabulous for Life Stage Presented by Organika — 12:45 PM
“I am a chocolate lover and health enthusiast. I believe in nurturing my body with the best I can find because I want to turn 100 healthy years old! I am so captivated by the advancements of the world that I can’t wait to see what all of us will create in the next 70+ years. I hope that with a fairly-traded, organic, and plant-based product I can contribute to a sustainable future that is based on high quality and coated in sweetness. Raised into an ethical life way, I was always concerned with the story behind a product. I wanted to know how it was produced, what was in it, and whether my consumption would have a positive or negative effect in long term – on the environment, on the producer, on animals, and on myself. I found that quality matters more than quantity and that ‘Organic’ does not imply ‘Ethical’ at all.
Then I came to Canada as a student, and along with that amazing transition, an opportunity that I am now fully committed to: The Good Chocolatier. My final project at University was around Social Enterprising and how to turn a small business into a social enterprise. Long study short, it works!“
ENTERTAINING & INFORMATIVE PRESENTATIONS
Emily Taylor Adams, affectionately referred to by her fans and followers as ETA, has quickly become a country music sweetheart. Her soulful voice, rich in tone is the perfect backdrop to her storytelling lyrics. Emily’s nostalgic influences of the past mingle with notable country stars of today, blend together to create Emily’s own undeniably unique sound.
This Canadian born BCCMA Female Vocalist Of The Year Recipient and CCMA Discovery Showcase Winner started singing in her momma’s kitchen before she could even talk, wooden spoons and a few pots and pans to help keep time. Music was never a decision, it has always been just a given and making people laugh, smile, cry or re-live a beautiful memory is part of Emily’s gift and where her magic lives.
Emily is currently up for 3 awards this year at the BCCMA Awards, she’s up for Female Vocalist Of The Year, Socan Songwriter Of The Year for her current single “If I Were A Drink”, and website of the year.
Founder of Aeryon Wellness
Saturday, October 13th — Fabulous for Life Stage Presented by Organika — 2:15 PM
Sunday, October 14th — Fabulous for Life Stage Presented by Organika — 3:00 PM
Aeryon Ashlie is an Author, Holistic Nutritional Coach, ED Recovery Coach, Trainer and Radio Show Personality. After experiencing severe weight fluctuations for most of her life, a 20+ year battle with Bulimia and a negative relationship with food Aeryon is eager to share her strategies in how she created Health and Wellness Sustainability.
She is a strong believer of a Holistic Intuitive Approach, with focus on the relationship between the mind, body and spirit. After years of working through her own struggles and those of her clients Aeryon realizes that unless the internal dialogue aligns with ones Health and Fitness goals finding consistency can be a challenge.
Join as she shares how to get a head start with behavioral plans for a healthy lifestyle with practical fitness in her seminar “Mindful Eating”.
Pamela Hadfield is a tech entrepreneur and co-founder of HelloMD, the largest online community of health and wellness cannabis consumers. After treating her debilitating migraines with cannabis successfully, Pamela launched HelloMD, initially as a Telehealth service designed to connect medical cannabis patients with doctors from the privacy of home.
HelloMD has since expanded to include community, educational content and now cannabis marijuana sales within California and CBD sales nationwide within the United States. As a leading female executive and passionate spokesperson for one the fastest growing industries in the world, Pamela has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Elle, Rolling Stone, ADR, Now This, Parade Magazine, CBS Sunday Morning, Harper’s Bazaar, LA Weekly and Tech Crunch, among others.
Did you ever have someone who believed in your more than you believed in yourself? Amy Roscoe is an empowering supporter of all women and girls, and a real-life Super Hero to her 4 children! Her passions have always included helping others and lifting up women and girls so we can all work together. Amy helps guide young girls into the career type that they are both skilled in and passionate about, connecting them to local mentorships, helping them discover their own Super Powers, and enabling them to find ultimate success.
At a young age, Amy had an entrepreneurial spirit, and by the age of 35, Amy had already owned 3 successful businesses. When Amy discovered Soroptimist International, a worldwide organization of women helping women, she knew she had found her true calling. Amy served as the President of the Chilliwack club from 2016-2018 and is now the Public Awareness Liaison for the Soroptimist Western Canada Region.