Keynote Speakers to the 2016 CCAE National Conference


Opening Keynote Speaker

Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 9 - 10 a.m.

W. Brett Wilson

Supported by Manulife Financial

Back in 1993, W. Brett Wilson co-founded FirstEnergy Capital Corp. (Canada’s leading energy investment bank) and has since gone on to develop extensive holdings in the energy, real estate, agriculture, sports and entertainment industries. Now a Dragon Emeritus, he spent three years as a “fan-favorite” on CBC’s hit reality TV show, DragonsDen, where he established himself as the all-time lead deal-making “dragon.”

Brett has received wide recognition for his business and philanthropic leadership. He has been recognized as “Calgary Person of the Year” (2007), “Alberta Business Person of the Year” (2008), and “Nation Builder” by The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (2009).

In his keynote presentation, Brett will address how his early education - from small-town Saskatchewan to University in Saskatoon and in Calgary - influenced his values and dreams. His life’s speed bumps are an important part of his journey, as are his successes - and he shares all as he outlines his passion for making the world a better place.

Brett has received Honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees from both the University of Saskatchewan (2015) and Royal Roads University (2010). He was awarded the Order of Canada (2011), granted The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2011) and inducted into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (2012). 

Brett’s best-selling, irreverent (and, he says, somewhat irrelevant) and revealing semi-autobiography, Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes was published in November 2012. His book still lands on Canada’s best sellers list from time to time.


Keynote Presentation

Thursday, June 9, 2016, 9 - 10 a.m.

Idea Machine: Tapping into your greatest creativity to solve any problem

Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, leaders behind Doves Campaign for Real Beauty; authors and co-founders of the Swim leadership lab

Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk are among the few women in the world to have held top creative posts in the advertising field. They have been in the global spotlight for creating ground-breaking communications and leading their teams to do the same. Former co-Chief Creative Officers at Ogilvy & Mather, they were leaders behind famous work for Dove (The Campaign for Real Beauty) and many other iconic brands.

The duo were included in Creativity magazine’s Top 50 most creative people of 2009 and in 2011 were inducted into Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends. In 2012 they were included in Advertising Age Magazine’s “100 Most Influential Women in Advertising”. Advertising Age named the Dove campaign Top Campaign of the 21st Century.

Swim, their creative leadership lab, works with companies to grow and support collaborative, fearless leaders. Their unconventional approach has been called out in Forbes and Fast Company.

Their passionate belief in helping companies do better by women, and women do better for themselves, led to their popular HarperCollins career guide for women: Darling, You Cant Do Both (And Other Noise To Ignore On Your Way Up). Alan Webber, co-founder of Fast Company, calls it “A guide to breaking the rules that stunt careers and wreak havoc at home. The how-to follow-up to Lean In.”

Janet and Nancy will speak about how we can all tap our right brain to generate an explosion of ideas, on demand. Most of us get stuck in small boxes, missing the opportunity to deliver fresher, bigger solutions. This keynote presentation will share tools to crack those boxes wide open, and use your most creative thinking to solve any problem. You’ll leave the room as an idea machine who knows “there’s always more where that came from”.


Closing Keynote Speaker

Kim Coates

Friday, June 10, 2016, 11:15 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Kim Coates is known worldwide for his iconic role in FX's Sons of Anarchy.  In addition to his award-winning television and theatre career, Kim has starred in over 50 films, including Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor. With six highly anticipated films out this year, Kim has established himself amongst Hollywood's elite.

We are excited to have Kim Coates as one of our keynote speakers. Kim graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1981, and in 2007 he was named 1 out of 100 Alumni of Influence for the U of S’s 100th Anniversary. Says Kim: "You can take the boy out of Saskatchewan, but you can't take Saskatchewan out of the boy. I can't wait to share stories of my past and present and how it relates to my future. I can't wait to come home.”