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To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.
- Kahlil Gibran

The 14th Annual IEP Conference Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker

Zaib Shaikh
Film Commissioner & Director of Entertainment Industries, City of Toronto

As Film Commissioner & Director of Entertainment Industries for the City of Toronto, Zaib oversees the Screen, Music, Live Events support and Tourism portfolios and teams at City Hall.

He has also worked as an actor, writer, director and producer internationally including Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta's film, Midnight's Children, adapted from the novel by Salman Rushdie and was a star of CBC's international hit comedy, Little Mosque on the Prairie, seen in over 90 countries.

As producer, Zaib co-produced the special, Long Story Short: CBC Turns 75, hosted by Martin Short and co-wrote, directed and co-produced the Gemini Award winning Television film, Othello, the Tragedy of the Moor. His other television work includes lead or guest starring roles in Metropia, Murdoch Mysteries, Da Vinci's City Hall and The Dead Zone.

Having begun his career in theatre, Zaib has had the pleasure of working with some of the largest theatre companies in Canada including Canadian Stage, National Arts Centre, and the Stratford Festival of Canada.

Welcome Message

Laura Albanese
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Deputy Government House Leader, Province of Ontario

Laura Albanese was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2007 as the MPP for York South—Weston. She was re-elected in 2011 and 2014.

Laura Albanese currently serves as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Deputy Government House Leader. She also sits on the Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet and the Legislation & Regulations Committee of Cabinet.

She has served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier and to the Minister of Finance, as well as to the ministers of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Labour; and Tourism, Culture and Sport.

During her time as an MPP, Minister Albanese served on several Standing Committees of the Legislature including Finance and Economic Affairs, Justice Policy and Government Agencies, Public Accounts and Legislative Assembly, as well as being Chair of the Select Committee on Developmental Services.

Prior to becoming an MPP, Minister Albanese enjoyed a career spanning more than two decades in broadcast journalism. She was best known as co-anchor of OMNI News: Italian Edition, and was also Associate Producer of Italian-language programming on OMNI TV.

Minister Albanese was born in Taranto, Italy, and permanently moved to Canada in 1981. She has lived in the York South-Weston community of Toronto ever since. She is married, has two children and two grandchildren.

Emcee, Plenary Session

Marivel Taruc
CBC Toronto News

Marivel Taruc is an award-winning journalist and weekend anchor of CBC Toronto News, Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 11 p.m. She is also the host of Our Toronto, which airs Saturdays at noon, and Sundays and Mondays at 11 a.m.

Previously, Marivel was the business anchor for CBC News: Morning. In her many positions, Marivel has interviewed top newsmakers of the day, including business leaders, star athletes and federal politicians. In 2016, Our Toronto won the prestigious Trina McQueen RTNDA Award for Television News Information Programming.

Taruc graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. She is happiest when she's gathered around the dinner table with her husband and two daughters - and a plateful of Filipino food.

Moderator, Successful IEP Panel

Dwight Drummond
CBC Toronto News

Dwight Drummond is an award-winning journalist and the host on CBC Toronto News, which airs weeknights at 6 p.m. on CBC television. Dwight has been a reporter and news anchor for over two decades. With Dwight at the helm, CBC Toronto News is yet again nominated for Best Local Newscast at this year's Canadian Screen Awards (CSA). In 2015, Dwight and CBC Toronto News took home that award, recognizing the team as Canada's Best Local Newscast.

As a reporter, Dwight was known for his exclusives, He broke local stories that went national, and has reported internationally. He had the lead story on CityNews' Gemini win for Best Newscast, and a top story for City's Edward R. Murrow win. Dwight was also awarded the Ryerson University Alumni Award of Distinction, and had been inducted into Ryerson's Faculty of Radio and Television Arts' Wall of Fame.

Dwight has also received a number of awards for his police reporting and commendations for his community work. He is a recipient of the Men of Excellence Award, the Distinguished Men of Honour Award and the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Media.

Dwight lives in west end Toronto with his wife and children. When he's not dedicating his time to community events, he can be found in the cheering section at his daughters' basketball games.

Conference Opening: Drumming and Smudge Ceremony

Steve Teekens
Nipissing First Nation

Steve Teekens is a member of Nipissing First Nation. Steve has been working with the marginalized and homeless sector in Toronto since 1995. Steve is the Executive Director at Na-Me-Res (Native Men’s Residence) where he has worked since 2008.

Steve is very active in Toronto's Aboriginal Community where he volunteers on the board of Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training, Aboriginal Legal Services Community Council Program, Toronto Police Services Aboriginal Consultative Committee, Vice President of TASSC (Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Council). Steve also teaches traditional drumming and to the youth and men at various Native organizations inside and outside of Toronto.

Steve enjoys working and volunteering in the Aboriginal Community and wishes to see people overcome their obstacles and find the resilience in themselves to succeed in life.