Nahlah Ayed is an award-winning veteran of foreign reporting: first, in the Middle East where she spent nearly a decade covering the region's many conflicts. And later, while based in London, she covered many of the major stories of our time: Russia's annexation of Crimea, Europe's refugee crisis, the Brexit vote and its fallout. Among her many awards and distinctions are a Prix Italia she won in 2011, for a team-produced multi-media project, "Exile Without End", about a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut.
In 2012, her book, A Thousand Farewells, was shortlisted for a Governor General's Award. In 2016, Nahlah Ayed and her team won "Story of the Year" at the UK Foreign Press Association Awards for their documentary on child labour in India. In 2017, she won won a photojournalism award from the Canadian Association of Journalists for her story, The Rescuers.
She also holds three honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba (2008), Concordia University (2016) and the University of Alberta (2018).Nahlah Ayed was born and raised (mostly) in Winnipeg, Canada.
Dr. Jason D. Holt is a theoretical physicist at TRIUMF: Canada’s Particle Accelerator Centre and Adjunct faculty at McGill University. He received his PhD from Stony Brook University, in addition to degrees in physics, mathematics, and English literature from the University of Michigan. His research lies at the intersection of atomic, nuclear, and particle physics, aiming to unravel the origin of the elements, trace the lifecycles of stars, or unlock the mysteries of neutrinos and dark matter. Jason is highly active in his field, having published nearly 100 peer-reviewed articles and given over 140 invited talks at international meetings. Finally, Jason is enthusiastically involved in public outreach and speaking to non-specialists about modern physics, in particular connecting science and art, as exemplified in his recent TEDx Talk, My Heroes Are Not Physicists.
Jillian Keiley is an award-winning director from St. John’s, Newfoundland and founder of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland. Jillian has directed and taught across Canada and internationally. She received her BFA in Theatre from York University and was awarded Honorary Doctorates of Letters from both Memorial University and York University. She was the winner of the Siminovitch Prize for Directing in 2004 and the Canada Council’s John Hirsch Prize in 1997. Jillian assumed her role as NAC English Theatre Artistic Director in August 2012, and her productions at the NAC have included The Neverending Story, Between Breaths, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, A Christmas Carol, Twelfth Night, Metamorphoses: Based on the Myths of Ovid, Tartuffe, Oil and Water and Alice Through the Looking-Glass. More recently, she directed Bakkhai, The Diary of Anne Frank and As You Like It for the Stratford Festival and her productions of Tartuffe (NAC) and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams (Artistic Fraud) toured through Newfoundland and Labrador. Tempting Providence, her collaboration with Robert Chafe for Theatre Newfoundland Labrador, toured internationally for 12 years and will be the inaugural production at the launch of the Nurse Myra Bennett Theatre in Cow Head, Newfoundland in the summer of 2020.
Bernie Petit is an Education Coordinator of Indigenous Programs with the Canadian Light Source Inc. She weaves her extended family’s Traditional Anishinaabe/Cree Knowledge, experience as a former Health Director and Director of Operations for First Nations into unique science research projects and teacher resources for First Nation, Metis, and Inuit organizations. Bernie creates Land-Based research projects for Indigenous students to learn how Traditional Knowledge can become a career in research using Canada’s only Synchrotron.