Introducing Justina McCaffrey Antonia


From Toronto to New York, Justina designs reside in fashion capitals around the world. Her bridal and couture gowns have been enjoyed by the likes of Laureen Harper and former ballerina Karen Kain.

She outfitted Kate Hudson in a custom gown when her character married Richard Gere in the 2000 romantic comedy Dr. T & the Women. Her dresses are sold in Kleinfeld, the bridal shop of Say Yes to Dress, and One Tree Hill’s Bethany Joy Lenz married in one of Justina’s gowns.

Outside of bridal wear, her other creations have garnered international acclaim. She designed a tutu for the National Ballet of Canada and advised Knock out!, a lingerie line based out of Asheville, North Carolina.

Justina’s personal career highlight occurred when she designed a pluvial cope, a long and ornamental cape, for Pope John Paul II. The garment is currently archived in the Vatican.

She recently opened Justina Atelier in Gatineau, a bridal and evening wear store dedicated to walking clients through the design experience and giving them the royal treatment.

Last October, Justina joined Ottawa Life Magazine as a fashion columnist and her first piece came out in January.

Take a look at Justina’s designs at or follow her on Twitter @justinabridal.

Introducing Craig Gauthier


His Twitter profile says nothing ordinary, which is probably the best way to describe our next speaker. Craig Gauthier, a self-professed creative geek, wears many hats as an entrepreneur, investor, filmmaker, author and speaker.

Before his sixth birthday, Craig was diagnosed with having severe asthma after a handful of terrifying near-death experiences. I was allergic to everything. There were many sleepless nights just trying to breathe. Craig credits his childhood health problems with his diversity and internal drive. You don’t really know what you’re capable of until you face adversity. Overcoming adversity builds confidence. Confidence helps you believe in yourself. When you believe in yourself – you never give up.

Craig’s journey has been anything but linear. I was a film major in University. But, I didn’t want to be a starving artist. I had an affinity for numbers and statistics. So, the latter won out and I began trading futures and derivatives at the age of 19. This triggered a series of unconventional business ventures that included gumball machines, brokering tickets, repairing personal computers and handicapping thoroughbreds to help fund his trading business and University education.

After becoming a certified Enterprise Network Architect, Craig entered the dot com era with his first tech start-up EworldIT. After a few lean, but profitable years Craig decided to exit just as the Internet bubble burst in 2000.

Shortly after, Craig found his passion for leadership and teaching when he accepted a position as a professor in the School of Advanced Technology at Algonquin College. During his five-year tenure, Craig won multiple awards for teaching and program development including the Most Outstanding Teacher award nominated by his students and peers.

Recognizing the positive impact of sharing knowledge and a desire to grow and expand internationally, Craig started Strategy Line – a company focused on helping businesses grow through leadership, engagement and marketing.

This past decade Craig has traveled over a million miles speaking and consulting for various organizations. His client roster has included some of the biggest global brands – National Hockey League (NHL), New Balance, Coke, Lexus-Toyota, Nautica, Cisco, Texas State University, Microsoft, Google, and Disney-ABC Television Group.

His philanthropic endeavours have included work with Clinton Global Initiative, Wayne Gretzky Foundation, Rogers House, Virgin Unite and the Sears Great Canadian Run.

Craig’s next venture will have him embarking on a 150-day cross Canada tour producing a daily video series called Show Me Canada as part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebration in 2017.

When Craig isn’t travelling you’ll find him coaching hockey in Canada’s capital, where he lives with his wife and two kids.

You can interact with Craig directly on twitter @gochay or keep up to date with his latest ventures at

Craig is one of seven TEDxKanata speakers. To hear him and the rest take on our 2016 theme, Breaking Barriers, apply by February 29th to join our audience.

Introducing Doug Smith


Doug Smith is passionate about performance, recovery and the process required for successful change. His best selling story is captivating and his literary work is making a positive difference in the world.

At 18 years old, Doug was drafted 2nd overall into the NHL to play for the Los Angeles Kings as their youngest player ever. The next 11 years were defined by hockey successes, hockey failures, his lack of awareness and the culture of a collision sport. His career ended suddenly at 29 years old when he shattered his spine in professional game #607.

Despite paralysis from the chest down, Doug learned how to walk again, skate again and successfully transitioned into the corporate world holding the position of Director of Business Development for a National Internet Service Provider and then managing Canadian sales for a multinational software company. He accomplished this by developing and using a system to raise his level of awareness.

For over 2 decades, Doug has worked to identify, organize and document the 3 priorities and 8 behaviours he has used to thrive through transition and continuously drive high performance. His simple but awakening process has been used to help thousands of people find a happier, healthier, more prosperous life.

In his presentation and in his latest book, The Trauma Code Unlocking your Performance, Doug unveils his simple yet repeatable model for continuous improvement. It is a model that he has used himself and a model he strives to share with others. Today this core work goes beyond the individual to help teams, organizations and society as a whole.

Learn more about Doug at or follow him on Twitter @DougSmithNHL

Apply by February 29th to be part of our 250-member audience and hear more from Doug about breaking barriers in his life and how you can too!

Introducing Kathy Kortes-Miller


Kathy Kortes-MillerDr. Kathy Kortes-Miller says researching dying and palliative care helps her live each day to the fullest. As a lecturer at Lakehead University for over 15 years, she has taught a variety of subjects including gerontology, social work, grief and loss.

In her work as the Palliative Care Division Lead at the Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health at Lakehead University, Kathy works hard to ensure future healthcare providers will be better prepared to support those who are dying and their families. She received Ontario Research Councils Early Researcher award in 2012.

She uses her experiences as a palliative care social worker and a cancer survivor to ask hard questions and try to change the ways we talk and think about dying and death. Kathy is working with Pallium Canada (located in Ottawa) to mobilize Palliative Care as a public health issue, and adopt a Compassionate Communities paradigm.

Kathy has also been the author and co-author of numerous scholarly publications and is currently a research fellow with Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network (TVN). She is studying how simulation impacts the palliative care education of healthcare providers in long term care.

In March 2015, Kathy and colleagues published results of their research:Dying with Carolyn: Using Simulation to Improve Communication Skills of Unregulated Care Providers Working in Long-Term Care in the Journal of Applied Gerontology.

Kathy brings her professional and personal experience to Hospice Northwest as the past Chair of the Board of Directors. She also facilities workshops on palliative care and promotes community engagement through Die-alogues.

Tweet with Kathy @Kathykm.

Dying to hear how Kathy is Breaking Barriers? Apply by February 29 to listen to all of our speakers on March 31.