Winter sport? Summer sport? Clara Hughes is an athlete for all seasons. She's one of the biggest stories to emerge in Canadian sports, and she's not finished yet. A six-time Olympic medalist in cycling and speed skating; she's the only athlete in history to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter Games. Clara was the Canadian flag bearer for the 2010 Vancouver Games Opening Ceremony, proudly leading the home team to its historic medal winning performance and also represented Canada with distinction in London 2012. But there's far more to Clara than athletic achievements.
For Clara, success means more than earning medals. It means having a voice and using the opportunity to reach out and help others. When she uses this voice, it's loud and clear.
After winning gold in 2006, Clara donated $10,000 of her personal savings to the Right to Play programs. This donation challenged Canadians to support the cause, raising over half a million dollars for the international humanitarian organization that uses sport for development. In 2010, she donated her $10,000 medal bonus to the Vancouver inner city school program, ‘Take a Hike', which uses adventure based learning to give youth at risk a better direction in life.
She is the National Spokesperson for the Bell Let's Talk Mental Health initiative, including Bell Let's Talk Day. By sharing past struggles with depression, Clara has helped break down the stigma associated with mental illness.
She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Member of the Order of Manitoba, holds honorary doctorates from various Canadian Universities and has been awarded the International Olympic Committee's prestigious ‘Sport and the Community' award for her commitment to promoting the values of sport and play around the world. Clara also has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame and was recently a recipient of one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada Awards by the Women's Executive Network (WXN).
She's an avid adventurer and enjoys bike touring, distance hiking and exploring with her husband Peter.
By giving back and connecting to her community and the world at large, Clara shows how it is possible to achieve your very best on and off the playing field.
Rwanda native Michel Mpambara is a stand-up comedian with formal training in acting and theatre from Université Laval.
Born in Burundi in 1973, Mpambara immigrated to Québec with his family at the age of 17 and has been wowing audiences ever since with his unbelievable tale of an African man's struggle to adopt the North American way of life, his first experiences in urban Québec and misadventures rivalling the most melodramatic American soaps. This newcomer claims—and this may be news to you—that World Vision is an African soap opera and he was one of its stars!
This character also talks about how he blended into Québec society and eventually fell in love with the province. He does consider himself racist though, claiming he's tired of seeing white all over the place, that there's just too darn much of it in Québec! (When in fact, by white, he means the snow.) Mpambara has been likened to Yvon Deschamps and was the audience favourite at the 1996 Just for Laughs Festival, earning the Coup de cœur award.
In 2001, he put on his first one-man show, Y'a trop de blanc au Québec, which turned out to be a huge hit and won the Félix Award for best comedy show of the year. That same year, Mpambara was nominated at the ADISQ awards gala, in the best new artist category, alongside Martin Matte. He was also nominated in two categories at the 2002 Gala Les Olivier: best writer for material he co-wrote with François Avard, and best comedy act for L'immigrant de Jonquière.
During the closing ceremony for FrancoFolies de Montréal in 2002, and in front of more than 100,000 spectators, he hosted La fête africaine, an outdoor show featuring some of the city's African talent. In 2004, he shared the screen with Maka Kotto, as Gégé in Dany Laferrière's feature film Comment conquérir l'Amérique en une nuit.
After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in September 2005, Michel Mpambara's presence on the arts scene became scarcer.
In 2006, he hosted a show on the Évasion channel called Adoptez Mpambara, in which he would explore different parts of Québec in wintertime. Then, in 2008, played the part of Boura, appearing alongside Sotigui Kouyaté in Salif Traoré's motion picture Faro, la reine des eaux, an international coproduction involving Canada, France, Mali, Burkina Faso and Germany, and filmed in Mali. In 2009, he played a taxi driver in the film Pour toujours, les Canadiens! directed by Sylvain Archambault.
Joining the ranks of Stefie Shock and Clara Hughes, in 2012 he became a spokesperson for the Bell Let's Talk initiative, which supports organizations that help people suffering from mental illness.
Rumour has it that Michel Mpambara is currently preparing for what looks to be an eagerly awaited comeback.
Stefie Shock is a Quebec singer-songwriter, multi-instrument player, producer and DJ. He has made four original albums since 2000, the latest being La mécanique de l'amour, released in 2011. Recognized and honoured for his compositions and writing, he is also known for his energetic and festive concerts that have been well received hundreds of times over.
Born on March 9, 1969, at Ste-Jeanne-D'arc Hospital, on St. Urbain Street, in Montreal, he received a box of old records as a gift at the age of four and was exposed to his first musical influences. The Stones, Led Zeppelin and James Brown played non-stop in his room on his small record player. He discovered French music, from Aznavour to Dassin, Pagliaro, Ferland and Charlebois, on a kitchen radio tuned in to CJMS. The end of the 70s brought the arrival of electronic music and was a formative turning point for him.
Although he received three guitars between the ages of three and nine, he was mostly attracted to the drums, which he started playing at school at the age of thirteen. After only three months of practice, he played a concert as part of his music class and started dreaming of a music career. He joined his first rock band in 1986, which he quit in 1989 with the sudden desire to write songs.
As he had never written lyrics, thought of singing or even really played guitar, his debut was modest. However, the following year he recorded a song that was played on a number of community radio stations. Revenue from his music allowed him to buy equipment to produce his own music, and he ended up recording a self-made demo album that was launched in a night club where he was playing as a DJ. A few producers became interested in him and he signed a record contract. In 1999, he went to London to record his first real album with the French producer Dimitri Tikovoï; Presque rien was released on April 11, 2000, to great acclaim by critics, who hailed him as an original and innovative artist. Described as a great performer during his first tour, he received the Wallonie-Bruxelle (now Rapsat-Lelièvre) and Felix-Leclerc Awards in 2002.
Shock released Le Décor in 2003, which fast became a gold disk, and signed a contract with Warner Music France. With sales almost reaching the platinum level, numerous singles playing on the radio, including L'amour dans le désert and Un homme à la mer, as well as a 50-concert tour, he went to the 2004 ADISQ gala with eight nominations, the most that year. He left with the Félix Award for pop-rock album of the year.
The album Les Vendredis was released in 2006, allowing Stefie Shock to get two number one songs on the BDS billboard with Ange gardien and Pixels flous. Contract issues greatly hurt the promotion of the album and led to the 2009 release of Tubes, remixes et premonitions, a best-of album with remixes that Shock produced himself. In the spring of 2011, La mécanique de l'amour was released, an album where Shock plays almost all the instruments. He co-produced it with his good friend Mathieu Dandurand, who has worked with him since the Presque rien tour.
Stefie and mental illness
Stefie Shock suffers from an anxiety disorder. It is a subject that he is very comfortable talking about and has discussed publicly. He is associated with Centre Revivre which helps those who suffer from anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders.
Bell's Let's Talk campaign
Shock's disorder is shared by a widespread public of women and men that range in age from 15- years-old to 55-years-old. Articulate and authentic, he is not afraid to break the taboos and prejudices linked to mental disorders and will be able to communicate a touching and strong message regarding mental illness.
In November 2011, Seamus O'Regan joined the CTV National News team as Correspondent. The move followed O'Regan's nine-year stint as Co-Host of CTV's national morning show, CANADA AM, where O'Regan honed his reporting skills, interviewing prominent newsmakers and celebrities and delivering Canadians the significant stories of the day.
Trading early mornings for late nights, O'Regan put his story telling skills to use upon joining the CTV National News team, leading the series “Canadian Originals” profiling everyday Canadians from all walks of life who are doing extraordinary things.
Prior to his role on CTV National News, O'Regan hosted The O'Regan Files and Arts & Minds programs on Bravo! He continues to lend his skills to W5, recently travelling to Africa with K'NAAN to shed light on famine in Somalia, and to his native Newfoundland, where he reported on the cultural renaissance taking place on Fogo Island.
O'Regan reported from Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey for CTV's Royal Wedding coverage. He also reported from the devastating floods in Manitoba, and from Newfoundland after it was slammed by Hurricane Igor last year. In 2010, O'Regan co-hosted CTV Olympic Morning from Whistler B.C. O'Regan has also reported from Kandahar, Afghanistan, and NORAD headquarters inside Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado.
In 2007, O'Regan became the first journalist to be named to Canada's Top 40 Under 40. In 1999, he was named to Maclean's Magazine's '100 Young Canadians to Watch'. He has been twice nominated for a Gemini Award – in 2004 for the Viewers' Choice Award and in 2005 for Best Host or Interviewer in a News Information Program or Series.
Originally from St. John's, Newfoundland, and raised in Goose Bay, Labrador, O'Regan studied politics at St. Francis Xavier University and University College, Dublin, and marketing strategies at INSEAD, an international business school near Paris. He received his Masters of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, England.
Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk and Michael Burns, Vice Chair, True Patriot Love with members of the military at the announcement of the first Bell True Patriot Love Fund grant to the Toronto Military Family Resource Centre on November 6, 2013.
Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk, Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier, Canadian Armed Forces Health Services Commander, George Cope, Colonel Rakesh Jetly, Canadian Armed Forces Senior Psychiatrist and Bronwen Evans, Co-Founder of True Patriot Love at the launch of the Bell True Patriot Love Fund in Ottawa on April 30.
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, George Cope, President and CEO, Bell and BCE and, Mary Deacon, Chair, Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative at the launch of the Bell True Patriot Love Fund in Ottawa on April 30, 2013.
Disclaimer: The Bell Let's Talk initiative is focused on raising awareness and encouraging dialogue about mental health. Diagnosis of specific mental health issues should be determined by healthcare professionals. If you feel that you or someone you know is struggling with a mental illness please consult a doctor or healthcare professional in your community.