As a turbulent school year drew to an end, our second virtual INSPIRE event took place on May 18, 2022 and offered inspiring stories for Saskatchewan students
After another pandemic-plagued school year, students and educators throughout Saskatchewan tuned in for the INSPIRE 2022 livestream to celebrate young leaders from across the province that have stepped up to make a difference during these challenging times.
Indigenous climate activist Jordyn Burnouf spoke about her advocacy in the energy sector, Germane collaborated with Hunter Bagnall and Alexander Awa to produce a music video for his pop song “Let Go”, the Tavria School of Ukrainian Dance shared a beautiful cultural dance, Wyatt Miller reflected on his journey from football to fabrics, young philanthropist Catherine Okolita spoke about her success bringing community together to fundraise for local causes, and we were delighted to welcome country superstar Tenille Arts to perform her song “That’s My Friend You’re Talkin’ About” to inspire positive body image.
Check out some of the INSPIRE 2022 videos below and find all of the content on our YouTube page.
INSPIRE 2022 Speakers + Performers
Our goal with each INSPIRE event is for every young person in the audience to see someone on stage that they can relate to; a new, local role model that can inspire them to realize their potential as a leader, too. We were incredibly lucky to welcome an incredibly diverse lineup of speakers and performers from throughout Saskatchewan to the virtual INSPIRE 2022 stage.
In a world of dreams, Tenille Arts has seen more come true in the last couple of years than even she could have imagined, and the latest of which is the release of her new full-length album Girl To Girl. The 13 songs were all written or co-written by Tenille, as letters to her current and younger self.
The new album follows her ground-breaking Love, Heartbreak, & Everything in Between collection, which yielded the #1 hit “Somebody Like That.” The single, which was recently certified platinum in the U.S., made history as the first #1 Country single written, produced and performed by an all-female cast.
Born and raised in the small Canadian prairie town of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Tenille Arts’ dream of performing took root at the tender age of eight. A neighbour overheard her singing a Shania Twain song in her back yard and encouraged her mom to help her pursue music.
After years of honing her craft and touring across Canada, Tenille began making the long trip to Nashville to advance her songwriting skills. Her determination and talent led to steadily increasing successes, as she earned a publishing deal in Nashville. Her 2016 self-titled debut EP peak at #1 on the iTunes Canada Top Country Album Chart and crack the Top 100 on the U.S. iTunes Country Album Chart.
Presented in collaboration with Reconciliation Saskatoon.
Hello, My name is Dany Muembo. I was born in the DRC and moved to Canada in February 2014. As of August 15 2019, I became a Canadian citizen. I was always under the impression that Canada was a close to perfect country, however it wasn’t long after my first day that I faced the reality that there is racism that exists specifically towards the first peoples of the land. The brief interaction I had with a cab driver on my first day in Canada helped me come to this realization and launched me on a reconciliation journey. It wasn’t long after that I was involved in events where I got to share my story and my journey about coming to Canada. Among those events were; “moving stories” (where myself and a few of other individuals shared our stories on a bus tour), world refugee day, I spoke on campus and did presentations in classes to mention but a few.
About four years ago, I had the opportunity to work and continue to work with ConnectR. An organization that focuses on reconciliation by encouraging and engaging in difficult conversations between settler Canadians, new comers, first peoples, elders, people of different religious beliefs etc. ConnectR is in the process of launching a podcast where myself and my co-worker are presenters. Where we foster difficult, hard to tackle conversations among individuals who would normally be at odds with each other, and also giving an opportunity to anyone and everyone to share their stories or have their voices heard.
Jordyn Burnouf is a proud Nehîyaw Iskwew from the Métis community of Île-á-la Crosse and Black Lake First Nation. As Advisor to the Vice President of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Guide at her family’s land-based camp, Pemmican Lodge, climate pro activist, and hunter and wild rice harvester, Jordyn’s passions and lifestyle harmoniously intersect.
Jordyn is a 20/20 Indigenous Clean Energy Catalyst and a part of the national initiative, ‘Bringing it Home’, to address the housing and energy needs of Indigenous communities in Canada. Jordyn continues to advocate and create space for youth and women in the energy sector through her leadership roles as Co-Chair of the SevenGen Indigenous Youth Council, as a member of the Indigenous Clean Energy Board of Directors and Efficiency Canada’s Governing Council.
Hey I’m Wyatt I hand make all the clothing you see on my website (Sparked Apparel)! I take pride in my sewing and love doing it! I started back in January 2021 and have been enjoying the journey ever since. My true story I suppose is one day I was going through my clothes and realized a lot didn’t fit me so instead of going out and buying a bunch of new clothing why not get a sewing machine and add my own little touch all while making my clothes fit again! After doing this for a couple weeks I realized that others were starting to enjoy my creations so I went out and bought some flannels to cut & sew for resell and it worked out pretty great seeing some sales and still having one or two pieces. Ever since then each month I set out to order 24-36 pieces of blank clothing and I’ll order my own embroidered patches to add on as well. First I’ll get the big box of clothing so I’ll separate everything into pairs on how well the colors complement each other and the different sizes, then over the course of 2 weeks each day I’ll pick out 2 pairs to do. I then lay out the clothes on the floor and decide what design/cut I will be doing to it, after that I’ll pin the shirts together and start sewing! For my logos I pick how I want them to set out in the shirts that month and ma each the same, I also try to change up the logo placement each new drop!
Catherine Okolita, now 13 years old, founded Catherine’s Cause when she was just 5.
Catherine is a kindness advocate and philanthropist. Catherine is dedicated to being a community helper; seeing what needs to be done and jumping in to do it! “I believe that everyone is capable of kindness and when we each choose to do something in kindness, no matter how small, great things happen!” The motto of Catherine’s Cause “Change the world with kindness” is simple, yet so powerful and we can all benefit from this mindset.
Wanting to help others and her community came naturally to Catherine at a very young age and many of her first projects were as simple as cleaning up her neighbourhood, or rallying people together to do a park clean up or volunteering to help a community group. You can be a huge positive impact on your community with just a few hours of your time and effort, which means absolutely anyone can make these impacts.
Fundraising has since become part of many of Catherine’s initiatives over the years and she has been able to raise and donate around $225,000.
Catherine’s Cause has helped with many initiatives including; Regina NICU, Canadian Mental Health – Sask Division, Souls Harbour Rescue Mission, FQ Lion’s Club, Cancer Support Group, FQ Library, Calling Lakes Eco Museum, Fort Fire Department, Kapachee Little Tots, Literacy Programming, FQECS, FQECS School Council, Friendship Centre, Food Bank, D.A.R.E, Mid Summers’ Art Festival, FQ Senior Santa, Regina Humane Society, Regina Cat Rescue, along with many others through the years.
While Catherine initiates many fundraising projects, she loves involving the community and believes you don’t win alone; taking people along with you, that’s where the magic happens!
Catherine is passionate about kindness and helping others; she also loves to read, golf, swim, she plays piano, competitive softball, coaches and partakes in figure skating and loves to learn!
Dillon Gazandlare is a blues rock artist originally from Wollaston Lake.
He recently performed at the Prince Albert rock show experience and continued his playing at VOTN and Country north show earlier this year. Dillon Gazandlare is now residing in Prince Albert and making an impression in the local music scene with his Guitar playing and vocals.
Presented in collaboration with the Regina Folk Festival.
éemi (pronounced emmy) is a bilingual singer-songwriter from Saskatchewan. The Fransaskoise musician sets herself apart with her rich and powerful voice, minimalist lyricism and electro-folk tone. Her lyrics, though poetic and dark, play in contrast with her sense of humour.
Recently, éemi was nominated at the Western Canadian Music Awards, the Saskatchewan Music Awards and the Trille Or awards for her first EP ‘Honey’ released in April 2020.
This is not the first time éemi sets herself apart, in 2017, she was a finalist for the “Planète BRBR” national francophone music competition with artist Marie-Clo with whom she is currently working on her next project – Marie-Clo x éemi. They are releasing the first part of their LP “Two Lips” on May 20 2022.
My name is Lisa DeJong. I am 32 years old and I am the 2022 Paralympic silver medalist for snowboard cross. Snowboarding and horseback riding are two of my biggest passions along with being a mom and raising my two amazing daughters who are 4 and 6. I had my left foot amputated when I was 3 because I was missing growth plates and an ankle joint. Being an amputee has never held me back, in fact it has opened a lot of doors for me.
Germane loves entertainment and enjoys creating and sharing his music with people. His music covers many genres from dancehall to pop to country and hip hop, you name it and he has a song for it.
Germane ventured into music as a way of coping during the early stages of the lockdown. After releasing his first song, a hip hop song titled, “I Can’t Breathe,” he then collaborated with some friends to produce a fun and pulsating pop song called, “Let Go.” This song was written with the intention of helping people to remember the beauty and love all around them, even as the world was in the midst of a global pandemic. Since then Germane has gone on to produce several dancehall songs. He has also made a country song, which he is looking forward to releasing during summer of this year. When it comes to Germane always expect the unexpected when it comes to genre, but regardless of the genre he is tackling his music is always relevant and consistently good.
PRISM Choir was founded in 2018 as a youth choir and ran for a very successful 6 months before being shut down by Covid. We held regular meetings in the beginning but attendance dwindled and we decided to forego meetings. Forward to September 2021 and we now have 17 members (and growing) ranging in age from 15 – 65. We are super looking forward to our growth as a queer-centred space, and providing a safe space for people to explore their changing and growing voices.
My name is Alexander Asiya Awa also known as Lexy Boy by friends and family, born and raised in Nigeria.
I am a dancer and choreographer who does Afro dance, hip pop, breaking etc. Dance has always been my passion and the one thing I have always enjoyed doing since I was a kid.
My name is Emora Baggett. I am a 13 year old animator, film maker and visual storyteller from Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.
I was born in Abilene Texas and immigrated to Canada with my family when I was one and a half years old. I have been interested in the film making process since I was very small. I made my first film when I was 4, using puppets to tell the story. Animation is now my favorite medium. I also enjoy music, art, and soccer.
My dream job is to someday work for Pixar. But I enjoy many things in life and I am keeping all options open.
I am Dilan Sharif, a current grade 12 student at F.W.Johnson Collegiate. At the age of twelve, I moved to Canada as a Syrian refugee. I did not know how to speak English, and I was afraid of what the future held. I was left with the trauma of the war and had little self-confidence. Although it took a lot of time and commitment, I was able to learn and find the best version of myself and with that, I began to help others by sharing my life experiences.
In the past four years, I have been involved in many programs that work toward improving my community. One of my most significant contributions is being part of the Newcomers Peer Support Leader program, where my roles include helping newcomer students learn about the culture and life in Canada, as well as making them feel welcomed and supported. I was also part of the first RCMP Youth Committee, during my participation I created projects alongside other participants to raise awareness regarding topics such as discrimination, diversity, and bullying. I have led meetings about discrimination, self-confidence, and overcoming life obstacles by sharing my personal experiences. These topics are ones I could personally relate to and am passionate about addressing.
After graduating high school, I plan to do an undergraduate program in sciences and work toward becoming an Optometrist in the future.
As a University of Saskatchewan student, Ishita Mann still finds time to devote herself to volunteerism. She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Youth Helping Youth Saskatchewan Inc. (YHYSK) which offers career mentorship, advice, and community involvement opportunities to support students’ academic and professional journeys. Mann was inspired to start YHYSK upon noticing that her peers could not find credible resources for their futures. Ishita also volunteers for Jack.org, the Amal Club, SAAS and ASSU, the United Nations, and other international altruism groups. During her high school years, Ishita volunteered for the Battleford Union Hospital, North Battleford Lighthouse Shelter, and the Boys and Girls Club, and spearheaded a Meals on Wheels project during the pandemic.
My name is Felix Crawford. I am a 17 year old working at URPride in Regina, where I facilitate and operate my very own program, The Gender Affirmation Project Saskatchewan (GAPS). GAPS distributes free gender affirming products to youth who cannot safely access or afford them. Alongside 2SLGBTQIAP+ activism, I’m also passionate about environmental and mental health advocacy. In my free time, I watch films, work on my photography, and play video games. This year, I’m moving to Saskatoon to further pursue my Bachelors in Commerce at the University of Saskatchewan. I would like to give photo credits to @twelfthyearyqr.
INSPIRE 2022 Event Sponsors
The INSPIRE 2022 School Celebration and Community Celebration would not be possible without the financial support of a number of incredible partners. We want to send a HUGE thank-you to all of our sponsors and granting agencies for INSPIRE 2022.
Official Communications Partner
Official Radio Partners
Official Radio Partner