A few weeks ago, Calgary played host to TEDxYYC, which  is an independently organized event under the umbrella of TED.  This year’s event was attended by nearly a 1,000 people and I was one of them.

The day featured a slew of presentations from almost every facet imaginable, but three have definitely stuck with me and since the event’s organizers just posted all the videos, I’m happy that I can share them and hopefully they’ll stay with you too.

The first video (above) was a performance by one of Calgary’s biggest bands in the making, Reuben and the Dark. The rock-indie quartet has just signed on with Arts and Crafts, so it really is a matter of time until the band takes off big time. Watch the video and you’ll see why. Instead of giving a speech, the guys played two songs, including their new single “Shoulderblade.” By the time they were done, the audience knew that two songs from Reuben and the Dark is simply never enough. The band is currently on tour, so you have to check them out.

Out of all the speakers, I was perhaps most excited to see Rebecca Northan. The actress has won rave reviews on both Broadway and the West End for her improv-heavy show Blind Date.  She’s also appeared in countless TV shows, but despite all that, I’ve never seen her on stage. I know, I’m a terrible blogger/Calgarian/Canadian. But it’s true. I can’t deny it. So for me, the opportunity to see Northan on the TEDxYYC stage was an opportunity that I did not take lightly. During her 15 minute presentation about the behaviours we manifest when we’re afraid, she invoked laughter, tears and a very well-deserved standing ovation.

Here’s the thing about me: If you ever tell me anything about tigers, you automatically earn yourself a spot on my list of Top 3 anything. The fact that John Valliant taught me that there were tigers in Russia, well that’s just orange and black icing on the cake! In his fascinating presentation Ten Lessons From a Tiger, Valliant blew my mind as he told stories of his journey deep into the Russian forests in search of the tigers. No spoilers here, this presentation has got bite.


To see all of the TEDxYYC talks, you can check out YouTube.

Mike Morrison