Singer/songwriter, and proud Canadian, Andy Kim was born Andrew Youakim in Montreal, Quebec. Best known for mega hits like “Rock Me Gently”, “Sugar Sugar” and “Baby I Love You”, Andy’s singing/songwriting career has flourished for 50 years, selling over 30 million records. Following the death of his beloved father in 1976, Andy took a hiatus, returning several years later under the pseudonym Baron Longfellow. He recorded a self-titled album in 1980 and released “Powerdrive” in 1991. In 2010, Andy released “Happen Again” and followed that with 2015’s “It’s Decided” – which found a new fan in David Letterman & landed Andy & his band on The Late Show in the final weeks of David Letterman’s TV career. Andy is well known and loved in Canada, and maintains a busy performance schedule, along with his Andy Kim Christmas Show, a live annual event that supports Toronto charities.
Andy was only 16 when he left home and headed to New York City to pursue a music career. He has said that he was always a dreamer, and that has guided his life. He wrote “Rock Me Gently” about someone he met the first day he showed up in LA.
Leonard Cohen, a truly legendary poet, songwriter, performer and novelist, began his career as a poet and novelist during the 1950s and early 1960. In 1967, at the age of 33, he launched his music career with his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen. He followed his debut with three more folk albums - Songs from a Room, Songs of Love and Hate and New Skin for the Old Ceremony. More albums followed and in 1984 he released perhaps his most famous song, "Hallelujah" on his studio album Various Positions. I'm Your Man in 1988 marked Cohen's turn to synthesized productions and remains his most popular album. In 1992, Cohen released its follow-up, The Future, which had dark lyrics and references to political and social unrest.
Cohen returned to music in 2001 with the release of Ten New Songs, which was a major hit in Canada and Europe. His eleventh album, Dear Heather, followed in 2004. Following a successful string of tours between 2008 and 2013, Cohen released three albums in the final four years of his life: Old Ideas (2012), Popular Problems (2014) and You Want It Darker (2016), the last of which was released three weeks before his death
Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize.
Cohen’s first band, formed when he was 17, was called the Buckskin Boys.
He published his first volume of poetry at 22, and won a $2,000 scholarship to travel around Europe when he was 25.
Dr. Joanne Liu has served as International President of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders since 2013. The organisation is a world-recognized authority on medical humanitarian crises. During the 2014 Ebola crisis, MSF was given a voice at the United Nations General Assembly, bringing it to a new level of engagement with world leaders. In 2015, the destruction of MSF’s hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, launched the movement’s appeal to the UN Security Council, and its ongoing push for protection of medical missions.
Dr. Liu trained at McGill University School of Medicine in Montreal. She holds a Fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine from New York University School of Medicine and an International Master’s in Health Leadership, also from McGill University.
Since she began MSF field work in 1996, Dr. Liu has undertaken over 20 missions, in Central Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East.
Dr. Liu’s operational contributions range from introducing comprehensive medical care for survivors of sexual violence, to developing a telemedicine platform connecting doctors in remote areas with medical specialists worldwide.
Referred to as “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong,” Colonel Chris Hadfield is a worldwide sensation whose video of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” – seen by over 75 million people – was called “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created”, by Bowie himself. In 1992, Colonel Hadfield was selected as a NASA Mission Specialist, and three years later he was aboard the Shuttle Atlantis, where he helped build the Mir space station. In 2001, on Shuttle Endeavour, Colonel Hadfield performed two spacewalks and in 2013, he became Commander of the International Space Station for six months off planet.
A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Colonel Hadfield’s many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.
Watching the Apollo moon landings of July 1969 as a 9-year-old kid galvanized what would become Hadfield's lifelong quest to go to space.
He is the producer of the celebrated Rare Earth series on YouTube, and the creator of the on-stage celebration Generator, which combines science, comedy, and music for sold-out audiences.
Colonel Hadfield is the author of three internationally bestselling books, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, You Are Here, and his children’s book, The Darkest Dark. Additionally, he released his musical album, Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can, in 2015. He is also featured on Ted.com for his talk, What I Learned from Going Blind in Space.
Tessa and Scott are the most successful Canadian ice dance team in history, being the first North Americans to win the Olympic Gold Medal for ice dance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. They were also the youngest, and the first team to win a gold medal at their first Olympic Games. In addition to their three Olympic medals, they have won four World Championships (three senior and one junior), three Four Continents Championships, eight Canadian Championships (seven senior and one junior), and six Skate Canada International titles. Additionally, they currently hold world records for highest score in original and short dance, as well as combined total score. In February, 2018, the pair earned two gold medals – and the hearts of Canadians, and people around the world – at the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Tessa and Scott’s ice dance partnership spans more than 20 years.
Scott started skating at the age of three because his mom was at the arena all the time. Tessa started skating when she was six because she didn't want to be the only one in her class who couldn't skate.
This Tony and Emmy winning comedienne and actress was educated at Emerson College, Boston, and the Sorbonne, Paris. Andrea Martin gained prominence as a versatile regular on the Canadian SCTV comedy television series, produced in Toronto and Edmonton between 1977 and 1984. She received Emmy Awards in 1982 and 1983 as a writer for SCTV and was nominated for an Emmy Award as an actress for SCTV in 1982. Martin has appeared in many films, including Cannibal Girls, Awakening, Wag the Dog , Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Producers. Martin played the aunt in the highly successful 2002 film adaptation of Nia Vardalos's My Big Fat Greek Wedding and has appeared in numerous television shows as well.
Her extensive stage experience includes Pippin, What's a Nice Country Like You Doing in a State Like This?, The Boy Friend, Private Lives. Equally at home with Shakespeare or musicals, Martin played Mistress Quickly in The Merry Wives of Windsor at the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1994 and Alice in My Favorite Year at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York, in 1992. Martin’s many awards include the Theatre World Award and the Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Musical for My Favorite Year.
Martin wrote and performed in critically acclaimed one-woman show in Los Angeles and New York called "Nude, Nude, Totally Nude".
Martin was born in Portland, Maine and fell in love with Canada during a visit in 1970. She proudly became a Canadian citizen in 2017.
Jim Pattison is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and sole owner of The Jim Pattison Group, Canada’s 2nd largest privately held company. The Jim Pattison Group began on May 8, 1961 when Mr. Pattison purchased a General Motors automobile dealership by borrowing $40,000 from the Royal Bank of Canada, and placing his home and life insurance policy with the Bank as collateral.
Jim Pattison was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and moved with his parents from Saskatoon to Vancouver in 1935. He has lived in Vancouver ever since. While attending the University of British Columbia, Mr. Pattison paid his tuition and expenses by washing cars at a used car lot, and by selling cars to fellow students.
He has served as a Director on a number of public company Boards on both the New York and Toronto exchanges and serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. He held the unpaid position of Chairman, President and CEO of Expo ’86, a world-class Exposition held in Vancouver, British Columbia from May 2, 1986 to October 13, 1986.
Mr. Pattison was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1987 and the Order of British Columbia in 1990. He is also the recipient of the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canada. Mr. Pattison is an inductee of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and the Canadian Professional Sales Association Hall of Fame. He was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year – Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000, the International Horatio Alger Award in Washington, DC in 2004,and the Young Presidents Organization Canadian Icon Award in 2007. In April, 2012 by Command of Her Majesty The Queen, Mr. Pattison received the Diamond Jubilee Medal commemorating her sixtieth anniversary. In June of 2014 he was given the Freedom of the City Award from the City of Vancouver.
Mr. Pattison is married. He and his wife have three children, and in his leisure time, Mr. Pattison enjoys playing the piano, organ and trumpet.
Pattison is often referred to as Canada’s Warren Buffett.
Evan Goldberg and his long-time friend and writing partner, Seth Rogen, grew up in Vancouver, frequently watching films being shot at their high school. They started writing Superbad at 13, and always believed that what they had seen happening during filming at their high school was possible for them.
In 2011, Evan and Seth founded Point Grey Pictures, the production company behind such movies as “Blockers”, “The Disaster Artist”, "The Interview", “Neighbors" and "The Night Before". Point Grey is also the company behind the R-rated animated feature “Sausage Party”. Their dark superhero comic book-based series, “The Boys”, is in production and a Wall Street comedy series, Black Monday, is also in development.
In front of the camera, Rogen’s credits include “Steve Jobs”, “Neighbors”, “Knocked Up”, “The Disaster Artist”, “The Interview” “50/50” and the recently completed “Like Father”.
After learning that The Simpsons executive producer James L. Brooks was a fan of Superbad, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen asked the show’s producers if they could write an episode. They were invited to The Simpsons writers room, where they pitched several episode ideas. One was accepted, and became the episode "Homer the Whopper", which was the season premiere of season twenty-one.
Seth Rogen’s early comedy routines involved jokes about his bar mitzvah, his grandparents, and his camp counsellors. During his teenage years, he would perform stand-up comedy routines at places like bar mitzvahs and small parties.
As a child, Rogen did not want to pursue any career other than comedy: “As soon as I realized you could be funny as a job, that was the job I wanted”.