Students forced out of their school after a devastating fire in The Pas will get to attend We Day in Winnipeg.
A fire destroyed much of Mary Duncan School in the northern Manitoba community in September. Since then, students and staff have been displaced while temporary portable classrooms are moved in. Earlier this week, the province committed to rebuilding the school.
Former Irish president Mary Robinson will headline We Day Manitoba when it returns to MTS Centre on Wednesday, October 29.
Robinson joins an extensive list of speakers, musicians, and other performers for the Free the Children event.
Also appearing will be social advocate and filmmaker Kweku Mandela — also Nelson Mandela’s grandson — the band Hedley, Canadian astronaut Dr. Dave Williams, musician Kardinal Offishall, environmentalist Severn Suzuki and musician Shawn Desman.
About 18,000 students from 380 schools across the province packed MTS Centre on Tuesday for Free the Children’s popular We Day event.
Some rural school buses departed their local areas as early as 5 a.m. to reach the city.
World-renowned speakers and leaders delivered messages of encouragement, including former president of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev, and Spencer West, Free The Children ambassador and Me to We speaker. Both men received the key to the city on Monday evening during a We Day gala dinner.
The day started off with greetings from local community supporters and dignitaries, including University of Winnipeg chancellor Bob Silver, Winnipeg Jets chairman Mark Chipman and businessman Hartley Richardson. Mayor Sam Katz and Premier Greg Selinger also rallied the crowd with words of inspiration.
“Can we reach out and talk to the kids in the school that might dress a little differently and look a little differently? Yes we can,” Selinger said during a short anti-bullying address.
“Can we reach out to the newcomer who can’t speak English? Yes we can,” Selinger continued with a positive mantra. “Your commitment to your community and to your province will help build an even better Manitoba for everyone.”
The day was broadcast live on WeDay.com with a multi-camera production so those unable to attend still feel part of the experience.
Musical artists Lights, Shawn Desman, Victoria Duffield, Jesse Giddings, Allstar Weekend, Justin Nozuka, and Rob Nash also performed.
We Day was formed by Free the Children founders Marc and Craig Kielburger and will travel to the Waterloo, Ontario region on November 14.
One of the presenting sponsors of We Day is Telus, who is holding a $20,000 contest until November 18 to bring a youth-submitted idea to life. Students can visit TelusForWeDay.com to enter and share what they’re doing to make a difference in their community. Telus will donate $1 from each submission to Free the Children, and each participant will be entered in a draw to become part of the Telus Crew to document and share their experience at a future We Day with youth across Canada.
Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz handed out two keys to the city on Monday evening ahead of We Day.
Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Laureate, and Spencer West, Free The Children ambassador and Me to We speaker, were awarded the honours during a gala dinner at the Radisson hotel downtown.
Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel peace award for his leading role in the peace process. He is known for bringing a new spirit of openness to the Soviet Union.
West is an ambassador for Free The Children, the international charity and educational partner founded by brothers Marc and Craig Kielburger to empower youth to create local and global change.
We Day is today in Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba is bringing the event’s spirit to campus.
A pledge wall will be erected in University Centre today and Wednesday, where students and staff can engage with We Day by posting a pledge on the wall that tells how they believe they can affect social change.
Tito Daodu, a fourth-year U of M medicine student and recent winner of the Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship, will also be on stage at We Day. Students will also have the opportunity to meet and get an autograph from Olympic bronze soccer medallist and Manitoba Bisons coach Desiree Scott.
Furthermore, the U of M is hosting distinguished motivational speaker Spencer West on November 1. West will speak candidly about the struggles he has overcome after losing his legs at the age of five. His talk, entitled “The Power of We: Overcoming Obstacles to Make a Difference,” will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Engineering Atrium.
We Day Manitoba is just over 24 hours away and crews are making sure the Free the Children event at MTS Centre goes off without a hitch.
On Sunday, the arena was a buzz of activity as the giant stage was starting to take shape.
The day-long event on Tuesday will aim to inspire and empower youth from 380 schools across Manitoba. About 18,000 students are expected to attend the event, which will be anchored by big name speakers and live musical performances. Mikhail Gorbachev, the former president of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Laureate, will lead the event.
“Over the past year, we have seen such an incredible youth-led movement transpire across the province — from dances and candy-grams, to collecting non-perishable food and organizing discussions about Aboriginal issues — we are so thrilled to see youth mobilizing, fundraising and taking action on a variety of local and international causes, contributing to a global movement of active citizenship,” said co-founder Craig Kielburger.
What can those attending We Day expect? As announced previously, the day will include a roster of celebrities, community activists, musicians and others.
It’s the second time We Day has been held in Winnipeg since 2011.
Free the Children’s “We Day” is returning to Winnipeg’s MTS Centre on October 30.
The lineup of attendees was announced Tuesday, with Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Laureate, as the staple.
The day-long event will inspire and empower almost 18,000 youth in attendance from 380 schools across Manitoba.
“We are so excited to be returning back to Manitoba for a second We Day at the MTS Centre,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children. “Over the past year, we have seen such an incredible youth-led movement transpire across the province — from dances and candy-grams, to collecting non-perishable food and organizing discussions about Aboriginal issues — we are so thrilled to see youth mobilizing, fundraising and taking action on a variety of local and international causes, contributing to a global movement of active citizenship.”
Who else is coming?
• Mikhail Gorbachev — Former President of the Soviet Union and Nobel Peace Laureate
• Honourable Kevin Chief — Minister of Children and Youth Opportunities
• A performance by ONE DROP, a Cirque du Soleil Founder’s initiative
• Liz Murray — Author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir, Breaking Night: My Journey from Homeless to Harvard
• Lights — JUNO Award winner and Canadian electro-rock singer, songwriter
• Hannah Taylor — 16 year old social activist and founder of The Ladybug Foundation and The Ladybug Foundation Education Program
• Honourable Justice Sinclair — Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Manitoba’s first Aboriginal Judge
• Shawn Desman — Platinum selling, JUNO and MMVA Award winning recording artist
• Victoria Duffield — Canadian singer, actor and dancer
• Spencer West — Me to We motivational speaker and Free The Children ambassador
• Jesse Giddings — Recording artist and TV personality (host of We Day Manitoba)
• Allstar Weekend — Pop rock recording artists
• Justin Nozuka — Canadian singer-songwriter
• Robb Nash — Winnipeg native and motivational speaker