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Forward Thinking Speaker Series

The Forward Thinking Speaker Series reflects EPL’s rich history of taking risks, trying new things and redefining the modern library. EPL invites thought-leaders from a variety of industries to share their insights, ideas, experiences and viewpoints. Its purpose is to help build better organizations, neighborhoods and communities.

Is there a speaker that you would like to see at a future Forward Thinking Speaker Series presentation? Please send us your recommendations to events@epl.ca.

Important Announcement

Featured Speaker

Tanya Talaga - All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Lillian Osborne High School Theatre at 7 p.m.
Tickets for this event are now SOLD OUT!

Stemming from her award-winning book Seven Fallen Feathers, the story of seven Indigenous high school students who mysteriously died in Thunder Bay, Tanya Talaga creates an intimate experience for her audiences. She imparts audiences with in-depth knowledge on Indigenous culture and history, while leaving them empowered through a hopeful message that we can learn from our past and set forward on a new path for our nation based on inclusivity and equity.

About Tanya Talaga

An award-winning journalist and author, and the First Ojibway woman to deliver the CBC Massey Lectures, Tanya Talaga is an acclaimed storyteller. Her book Seven Fallen Feathers, a national bestseller that introduced us to seven Indigenous high school students who mysteriously died in Thunder Bay, won the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize. In her powerful keynotes, Talaga shares Indigenous stories from across Canada and the world, humanizing the legacy of residential schools and colonization and sharing her hope for a more inclusive and equitable future.

Talaga is of Polish and Indigenous descent. Her great-grandmother was a residential school survivor and her great-grandfather was an Ojibwe trapper and labourer. For the past 20 years, Talaga has worked as a journalist, and is now a columnist for The Toronto Star. She has been nominated five times for the Michener Award in public service journalism. From 2017-2018, Talaga was the Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy through The Canadian Journalism Foundation.

Talaga is also the bestselling author of two books All Our Relations: Finding The Path Forward and Seven Fallen Feathers. In addition to the RBC Taylor Prize, Seven Fallen Feathers also won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, and the First Nation Communities Read: Young Adult/Adult Award. It was also a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize and the BC National Award for Nonfiction, and was named CBC’s Nonfiction Book of the Year and a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book.

In addition to the CBC Massey Lectures — a renowned lecture series that travels to cities across Canada — Talaga has also spoken to diverse audiences ranging from university students and school children to corporate and non-profit organizations.

Future Speakers

Season Passes are now sold out!

Mayor Don Iveson - Thursday, January 30
Tanya Talaga - Wednesday, April 22 (
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED)
Monica Lewinsky - Tuesday, May 19 (
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED)
Terry O'Reilly - Tuesday, September 15
Michael Landsberg - Tuesday, November 3


An Evening with Monica Lewinsky

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Winspear Centre at 7 p.m.

General Admission tickets - $25 each
Reserved Seating tickets - $50 each
Preferred Seating tickets - $249 each (tickets include front of the theatre seating and admission to a post-event reception with Ms. Lewinsky)

Additional ticketing information for this event will be announced on a later date. 

Monica Lewinsky is a social activist in the battle against online harassment -- advocating for a safer social media environment. As a public speaker, writer, and contributor to Vanity Fair she addresses such topics as survival, resilience, digital reputation and equality.

Monica’s lens for these societal issues is focused by her myriad unique and profound experiences:  working in government -- both in the White House and the Pentagon; the investigation that resulted from her time in Washington, D.C.; involvement in media projects as both producer and subject; as an entrepreneur and designer; and lastly, education. She graduated with a degree in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College (Portland, Oregon) and, living abroad for graduate school, earned a Master’s degree in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

In 2014, after a decade long self-imposed retreat from public life, Lewinsky authored an essay, titled “Shame and Survival”, for Vanity Fair in which she overlapped personal experiences and cultural observations regarding the shift towards, what Professor Nicholaus Mills calls, a “Culture of Humiliation” (June, 2014).  The acclaimed piece, which received over two million unique views online and was nominated for a National Magazine Award, was an entry point for her to begin a process she describes as “taking back my narrative and giving a purpose to my past.”

Lewinsky became known to the public in 1998, when it was revealed as part of a federal investigation that she had had an intimate relationship with then President Bill Clinton.  Overnight, at just 24 years old, she went unwillingly, from being an entirely private individual to a public figure on the global stage. Being at the center of a legal, political and media maelstrom nearly destroyed her; her survival—despite the odds—is a compelling and inspiring story.

The investigation unfolded against a backdrop of a changing media landscape with the advent of both competing 24-hour News Networks and the Internet. With the birth of social media in recent years, Lewinsky saw the increasing proliferation of the perpetuation of shame and humiliation online. As someone who had experienced both, on the widest scale and at a young age, she saw that she could participate in the public discourse about online harassment and work to effect change.

In October, 2014, Lewinsky gave a speech about the Internet’s reputation shredder at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit where she spoke from the perspective of being Patient Zero—having been the first person to have her reputation completely destroyed online. This well received and widely watched speech launched her present day speaking career.

In March, 2015, she was a speaker at the annual TED Conference, the theme of which was “Truth and Dare”.  Her speech, “The Price of Shame” was viewed over 16 million times. She also gave the Ogilvy + Inspire Lecture at the Cannes Lions 2015.

Lewinsky is an Anti-Bullying Ambassador to both Bystander Revolution in the US and The Diana Award in the UK. Lewinsky is on the advisory board of Project Rockit and a founding member of the Childhood Resilience Foundation.

On a personal note, Monica is passionate about art—particularly that of contemporary artist Ed Ruscha, game for traveling to new places, loves to sing show tunes, frequents flea markets and doesn’t cook.

Past Speakers

Mayor Don Iveson

In a few decades, over two million people could be calling Edmonton home. Our growth is a reflection of our economic strength and quality of life, but growing sustainably, not just growth itself, should be our main goal. That is where Edmonton’s City Plan comes in. Mayor Don Iveson was joined by young Edmonton leaders Kaelin Koufogiannakis and Robyn Taylor to  discuss what it takes to build the Edmonton of tomorrow, including how we can plan for a city that will attract talent and offer generations of Edmontonians a good quality of life and a bright economic future. This presentation can also be viewed online:

You can also listen to our interview with Mayor Don Iveson on our podcast, Overdue Finds.

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