Four-time Olympian Silken Laumann is one of Canada’s most inspirational leaders, a bestselling author, and a highly recognizable and beloved athlete. As an elite athlete, writer, and life coach, Silken has made her work reaching her own potential and helping others reach theirs. Inspiring, funny, thought-provoking and always down to earth, Silken opens her heart and leaves her audience ready to unlock their own potential and aspire to their own greatness. What prevails in Silken is the human spirit, the humor to keep learning through the failures, the courage to see opportunities within obstacles, and the tenacity to never stop trying to be better.
Silken’s Olympic story is legendary and inspirational. As reigning world champion, Silken fought back from a devastating rowing accident to win a bronze medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Her stunning 10-week recovery and her courage in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles endeared her in the hearts of Canadians. Silken was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, having won three Olympic medals and four World Championships. She is also the two-time winner of the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year award and recipient of the Lou Marsh award in 1992, as Canada’s top athlete. Although her competitive rowing career ended in 1999, her ability to inspire continues.
Silken is authentic and honest about her life journey. In her memoir, Unsinkable, Silken shines a spotlight on all the obstacles she has encountered—and overcome. Silken speaks candidly about her athletic success and triumph over physical adversity, but also the intense personal challenges of her past and the fierce determination she applies to living a bold, loving and successful life today. Silken is also passionate about mental health, and normalizing this conversation to help end the stigma to support others through their journey of recovery.
Silken has learned to approach each day with energy and optimism while continuing to dream big. She has used her notoriety to raise money and awareness for a variety of initiatives, including GoodLife Kids Foundation as their Kids Champion, raising funds to support national, provincial and local programs that provide sustainable physical activity opportunities for kids ages 4–14; Right To Play International, an organization that brings sport and play to the most disadvantaged children in the world; and WE Day, a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities.
In 2015, Silken received a Star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Today, Silken is passionate about sharing her experiences and empowering others to rise to their potential and live their happiest and healthiest lives.
Professor Mike Slade
Mike is Professor of Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion at University of Nottingham. His main research interests are recovery-focused and outcome-focused mental health services, including Recovery Colleges, lived experience narratives, citizenship, wellbeing, needs assessment and developing measures, e.g. INSPIRE, Camberwell Assessment of Need, Threshold Assessment Grid. He has written over 290 academic articles and published 11 books, including Personal Recovery and Mental Illness (2009), Partnering for Recovery in Mental Health (2014), Positive Psychotherapy for Psychosis (2017) and Wellbeing, Recovery and Mental Health (2017). His free booklets include Making Recovery a Reality (2008), REFOCUS: Promoting recovery in community mental health services, 2nd edition (2011), 100 Ways to Support Recovery, 2nd edition (2013), The empirical evidence about recovery (2015) and The Business Case for Recovery (2017), all downloadable at researchintorecovery.com.
Alli Walker, named Top Country’s ‘Top Female Artists of 2019’, is a Prince Edward Island raised singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who moved to Toronto when she was 19 to ‘chase the dream’. Now with hundreds of shows played and songs written, she is proud to have released her Top 10 iTunes charting debut album called ‘The Basement Sessions: What I’ve Learned So Far’. “The Basement Sessions is an album the music industry needs right now.” - Exclaim!
Walker is quickly garnering the attention of the country music industry with her unique style of music she coins 'Mindful Music' and 'Conscious Country' - authentic and vulnerable storytelling based on mental health subjects, empowering messages, life’s hard lessons, and the tough questions we ask ourselves.
“She has a focus on the authenticity and vulnerability that country music allows for, and that we love.” - Country Music Association of Ontario (Artist of the Month)
Her album was anchored by her power anthem and debut release ‘Fight Till The End’, a reminder to be proud of how far you’ve come, and to never give up, with an exclusive music video premier on Top Country. “Alli is able to be true to herself as an artist and human being. Her passion for this style of music is clear and a welcomed change in the country music landscape”. You will also see Alli share her meaningful message through speaking opportunities across North America. “She’s empowering a whole new generation of fans” - Etalk.
In 2019 she was a performer and speaker at Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker Lori’s Harder ‘The Bliss Project’ in California, she was performer and speaker at ‘Girl Talk Day’ at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto for 1,200 girls, at Monday Girl’s ‘Women In Media’ Event, at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences and more.