Nicole Jennings photo                                 Guy Felicella, one of the speakers at the first Tedx White Rock event, battled heroin addiction for 20 years.

Nicole Jennings photo Guy Felicella, one of the speakers at the first Tedx White Rock event, battled heroin addiction for 20 years.

First White Rock Tedx event aims to inspire

Day-long series of talks May 31 at Blue Frog Studios, also live-streamed at White Rock Museum

The inaugural White Rock Tedx event – a day-long session set for next Thursday (May 31) at White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios – has an overarching theme of “defying expectations.”

Tedx White Rock organizer Jamie MacDonald said that each of the 13 speakers at the 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. event – which follows the TedTalks video and live-event format of inspiring discussion and connection within small groups – touches on that idea in their presentations.

“I picked that theme because to accomplish anything significant you have to overcome other people’s expectations of you, but you also have to overcome your own self-limiting expectations,” MacDonald said.

“It’s like, ‘I have to break out of my own bubble’,” he added.

“It’s also a little bit like White Rock itself – everyone has its expectations of what the city should be – which fits in with what we’re trying to do having Tedx here. The idea is to get people thinking differently and talking differently.”

Increasing the 100-person capacity of Blue Frog Studios, the event will also be streamed online, and the live stream will also be available to the public at The White Rock Museum and Archives, where it will be seen in conjunction with the new exhibit Irene’s Place: An Inquiry Into Legacy and Change In White Rock and an after-screening party to promote further discussion (admission is free, first come first served, registration at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/imagine-white-rock-tickets-45839638593).

MacDonald said the event, co-hosted by The Drama Class owner Michele Partridge, will illustrate that life-changing ideas can be inspired not only by momentous occurences but also small, simple concepts.

Denise Wozniak is to describe her experience as a mother faced with an unimaginable diagnosis; R.N. Gillian Dunn will describe how our lives can be hampered by a ‘scarcity mindset’; while consultant Jessie Sutherland will talk about how concepts of ‘home’ can help foster understanding between people.

High school teacher and spoken-word poet Lindi Nolte will talk about the importance of interpersonal communication in a technological age; Dr. Werner Spangehl will describe how people can take greater responsibility for their own health; engineer Mike Robinson will share how an experiment in plant-nurturing transformed an office environment; and Jenna Dohms will relate how the notion of accountability can transform lives.

Other speakers include such high-profile personalities as South Surrey-White Rock MP and former MLA and White Rock mayor Gordie Hogg; former BC Lions Football Centre, Angus Reid; Vancouver filmmaker, producer and director Arun Fryer; author Denise Walker; Trinity Western University President Dr. Robert Kuhn and Vancouver Coastal Health Community liaison Guy Felicella, who battled heroin addiction before successfully turning his life around.

MacDonald said that 60 people had applied for what were originally to be 12 speaking spots – which led to extensive pre-screening and winnowing of the list.

“It defied my expectations – how seriously these people took this whole process and how hard they worked. It’s going to be very interesting to watch, because it’s not just about listening to speakers but the interactions that take place. Over eight hours, you’re going to have an opportunity to get to know all these people very well – it’s going to be quite an exciting day for people.”

The venue is at 1328 Johnston Rd.

For more details visit www.tedxwhiterock.ca