2016 Gala Table Hosts

Meet Our Distinguished 2016 Gala Table Hosts


The Couchiching Gala offers a rare opportunity where each table is its own conversation and participants engage in lively, wide-ranging discussions on issues that matter.  We are thrilled to have Canada's finest as our distinguished table hosts at the 2016 Gala.

You do not want to miss out in this dynamic event. Register now!



Paying by cheque? Please return your completed form with payment.

No refunds will be issued after March 28, 2016. Substitutions can be made at any time.


michael adams  Michael Adams is the President of the Environics group of research and communications consulting companies which he co-founded in 1970. In 2006, he founded the Environics Institute for Survey Research, where he serves as President. He is the author of six books including Sex in the Snow: Canadian Social Values at the End of the Millennium; Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values; and Unlikely Utopia: The Surprising Triumph of Canadian Pluralism. Fire and Ice won the prestigious 2003/04 Donner Prize for the best book on Canadian public policy and was selected by the Literary Review of Canada as one of the 100 most important books ever published in the country. He is a noted commentator on social values and social change in North America and a popular public speaker. His speaking repertoire includes a long-range look at the evolution of Canadian public opinion on a range of issues from public policy to national identity and diversity. A Fellow of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a member, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters from Ryerson University in 2009.
denis balkissoon Denise Balkissoon is an editor and columnist at The Globe and Mail. Prior to that, she was a long-time freelancer for publications including Toronto Life, Report on Business, the Toronto Star, and The Grid, with which she won a Canadian National Magazine Award for an article on real estate. She is also editor-in-chief and a co-founder of the Ethnic Aisle blog (www.theethnicaisle.com), which focuses on issues of race, culture, and ethnicity in the Greater Toronto Area. Various posts have been featured by CBC, CTV, and BoingBoing.
desmond cole Desmond Cole is a freelance journalist, a former candidate for Toronto City Council, and a regional winner of the local democracy initiative City Idol. He spent his first several years in the city as a youth worker, then became the project coordinator for I Vote Toronto, a campaign to extend municipal voting rights to non-citizens. Desmond also worked as a community animator at the Centre for Social Innovation. He is staff writer for Torontoist and his work also appears in the Toronto Star, The Walrus, VICE, Now Magazine, and the Ethnic Aisle. Last spring, his piece for Toronto Life, "The Skin I'm In", triggered a renewed conversation about racism in Canada. You can read it here.
teva harrison Teva Harrison is an artist, writer, and cartoonist. She's in love with the natural world and fascinated by the spaces between (people, places, and ideas), and the way technology is changing our relationships. Teva's comics explore everything from her magic-filled hippie childhood to what it means to live with metastatic breast cancer. Her comics appear regularly on The Walrus's website. She was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at age 37. Her memoir about living with cancer, In-Between Days, will be published by House of Anansi Press in April 2016. The book was listed in The Globe and Mail’s 16 Canadian reads for the first half of 2016, the CBC's Spring Book Preview and 49th Shelf's Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2016 Non-Fiction Preview. It can be pre-ordered on Indigo's website today. The Globe and Mail named her one of sixteen Torontonians to watch in 2016. Prior to her cancer diagnosis, Teva was the Director of Marketing at the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and before that, she worked in visual art, film, publishing, and music.
karen ho Karen K. Ho is a writer, business reporter, photographer, and editor. She recently moved back to Toronto from Yellowknife, where she was the business and labour editor at Northern News Services Ltd., overseeing the business sections for the Yellowknifer, NWT News/North, and Nunavut News/North. Prior to this, Karen worked at the Business News Network, the Financial Post, Star Media Group’s YourMississaugaBiz.com, and the University of Toronto Scarborough. She has also been published in Toronto Life, The Walrus, Today in Tabs, Torontoist, The Billfold, BNN.ca, Japanese Subculture Research Centre, YYZ Living Magazine, ZAITEN Magazine, and the University of Toronto Magazine.
jon kay Jonathan Kay, a former comment-pages editor of the National Post, is editor of The Walrus Magazine.  He is a columnist for the National Post op-ed page and a blogger for the National Post's FullComment web site. His freelance articles have appeared in various U.S. publications, including Commentary magazine, the New York Post, Harper's, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic and Newsweek. He has received Canada's National Newspaper Award, both for Critical Writing and Editorial Writing. His book, "Among The Truthers", was published by HarperCollins in 2011. Jonathan graduated from McGill University with a degree in metallurgical engineering, economics, and Japanese language followed by a master's degree in metallurgical engineering. He later graduated from Yale Law School and worked as a lawyer with the New York City office of Goodman Phillips Vineberg. His practice area consisted primarily of U.S. tax analysis of international corporate transactions.
jack mintz Dr. Jack M. Mintz CM became the President’s Fellow of The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary as of July 1, 2015 after serving as the Palmer Chair and Director since 2008. He serves on the boards of Imperial Oil Limited and Morneau Shepell and is chair and vice-president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is the National Policy Advisor for the accounting firm EY, serves as an Associate Editor of International Tax and Public Finance and the Canadian Tax Journal, and is a research fellow of CESifo, Munich, Germany, and the Centre for Business Taxation Institute, Oxford University. Dr. Mintz was Professor of Business Economics at the Rotman School of Business and Department of Economics at Queen’s University, President and CEO of the C. D. Howe Institute; Clifford Clark Visiting Economist at the Department of Finance, Ottawa; and Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Management, University of Toronto. He has consulted with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, federal and provincial governments in Canada, and various businesses and non-profit organizations.
enid slack Dr. Enid Slack is the Director of the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. She is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Ontario Municipal Performance Measurement Program, the International Property Tax Institute, and CarbonTalks, of the Editorial Board of State and Local Government Review, and of the Premier’s Community Hubs Framework Advisory Group. Enid has served as Special Advisor to the Greater Toronto Area Task Force, a member of the Who Does What Panel in Ontario, Co-Chair of the Learning Opportunities Grant Panel, and Special Advisor to the Mayor's Task Force on Homelessness. She is a member of the City of Toronto's Business Reference Group on tax policy and the Working Group of the Toronto City Summit Alliance, and was a Commissioner on the Property Tax Policy Review Commission for the City of Vancouver. She chaired the Municipal Port Property Taxation Fairness Commission in Metro Vancouver and the Intergovernmental Committee on Economic and Labour Force Development. Enid has published numerous books and articles on urban public finance. Recent publications include Is Your City Healthy? Measuring Urban Fiscal Health (co-edited with Richard Bird), and Governance and Finance of Metropolitan Areas in Federal Systems (co-edited with Rupak Chattopadhyay, Oxford University Press).
armine yalnuzyan Armine Yalnizyan is one of Canada's leading progressive economists. She joined the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives as senior economist in 2008. Armine has a twice-weekly business column on CBC Radio's biggest morning show, Metro Morning, reaching a million listeners in the Greater Toronto Area. She also appears weekly on the Big Picture Panel, featured Wednesdays on CBC TV's premier business show The Exchange. Armine is Vice President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics. She is co-chair of the Couchiching Institute’s 2016 Summer Conference, The Canada Project: Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World.

2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

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Couchiching Connects
April 2017
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