Kickass Talks for CARE, inspiring and delicious

On Sunday, October 2, 2011, dozens of Ottawa’s finest came out to kick off the Thanksgiving season in style at Kickass Talks for CARE.

Together, we raised $3,780 for CARE Canada (and counting—the online donation site is still up, for those of you who’d like to contribute) and $2,249 for Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa (BBBSO).

Terry and Randy Fitzpatrick, the proud owners of Petit Bill’s Bistro, opened their doors and welcomed us in for homemade goodies, hot drinks (plus a few cool ones) and some fantastic talks by the Kickass Canadians.

Guests at the dessert buffet, including Kickass Canadian Emily Chen (front)

Talented singers Lisa Corscadden and Heather Marshall set the mood with their beautiful music, offering a sweet accompaniment to the dessert buffet and silent auction bidding (with all proceeds going to BBBSO).

Lisa Corscadden (left) and Heather Marshall

Heather Marshall

Lisa Corscadden

Around 1pm, the talks got underway. Rosemary Tassie from CARE Canada and Eric Lapierre from BBBSO each said a few words, before MC and CBC Radio host Amanda Putz got up to introduce the Kickass Canadian speakers.

Rosemary Tassie, CARE Canada Events Officer

Eric Lapierre, BBBSO Manager, On-Site Programs

Kickass Canadian (and MC) Amanda Putz

Mobile business advisor Rob Woodbridge was up first, taking the audience around the world as he talked about how travel (a.k.a. brain juice for entrepreneurs) has the potential to shift perspectives and inspire change.

Kickass Canadian Rob Woodbridge

Next, journalist and media icon Kevin Newman enlightened us all about how mobile and visual media are transforming the way we communicate and posing a real challenge to hierarchy.

Kickass Canadian Kevin Newman

World-renowned Arctic and polar explorer Richard Weber shared his expertise on the profound climate changes that have taken place in the North. It was a sobering talk, but an important message to hear: climate change is very real and is accelerating at a far greater pace than anticipated.

Kickass Canadian Richard Weber

Kickass Canadian John Zahab (left), his wife Sarah Abboud Zahab and a guest listen to the talks

Julie Drury followed up with a heartfelt talk about her four-year-old daughter Kate’s health struggles, the need for medical advocacy, and the incredible new complex care program at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), which Kate and the Drury family have benefited from.

Kickass Canadian Julie Drury

Julie shows young Kate’s Courage Necklace – a bead for every admission

To wrap things up, ultrarunner and fitness trainer John Zahab explained how his training philosophy can be applied to improve performance for anyone, from elite athletes to those simply looking to stay active.

Kickass Canadian John Zahab

After the talks, guests and speakers mingled and chatted, making time for a few last visits to the silent auction and baked goods tables.

Other Kickass attendees included rugby great Al Charron, iconic painter Andrew King, prolific designer Emily Chen and gifted filmmaker Miles Finlayson (who also volunteered his time to help set up the event).

From left: Kickass Canadians Rob Woodbridge, Andrew King and Miles Finlayson

Kickass Canadians John Zahab (left) and Richard Weber (right) chat with a guest

Kickass Canadians Miles Finlayson (left) and Rob Woodbridge

Kickass Canadian Andrew King (left) and a guest

Thank you!!!

Kickass Talks for CARE went as well as I could have imagined, and there are many people to thank for its success. Caitlin Brookes, Margaret Jensen-Palmer and Catherine Jensen for volunteering alongside Miles; they were invaluable in making sure things ran smoothly throughout the afternoon. Rosemary Tassie and Laura Nicol from CARE Canada, and Eric Lapierre from BBBSO, all instrumental in getting Kickass Talks off the ground. Dave O’Heare and his assistant Ian for setting up the sound system. Brad Turcotte at The Printing House for giving me a great deal on signage. All the Kickass Canadians—speakers and attendees alike; it was inspiring to have you among the crowd. Lisa and Heather for making such sweet music together. Terry and Randy for letting us take over Petit Bill’s Bistro all morning and most of the afternoon. And of course everyone who attended the event or contributed online; Kickass Talks for CARE wouldn’t have meant much without you.

Rosemary Tassie (left) and a guest

Thank you also to the sponsors who donated to the silent auction. Because of their generosity, Kickass Talks for CARE raised $2,249 for BBBSO. They are: Al Charron; Amanda Large; Amanda Sage; Andrew King; Barbara Long; Bridgehead; Caitlin Brookes; CanvasPop; Changes Hair Studio; Clothes by Muriel Dombret; Dr. Emma Stodel; Great Canadian Theatre Company; impossible2Possible; Kinya Ishikawa; Kitchenalia; Magpie Jewellery; Michelle Valberg; One Tooth Activewear; Ottawa Balance Bikes; Ottawa High Performance Centre; Ray Zahab; Roy Henry Vickers; Tivoli Florist; Victoire.


  1. Shannon says:

    Thank you Amanda! It was truly an uplifting afternoon (with the exception of the sinfully delicious treats – which I’m pretty sure may weigh me down). The speakers were great and the venue was perfect. An annual event? (Recover first, then consider…)

  2. Amanda Putz says:

    Amanda this event was 100% pleasure to be a part of. From start to finish, heart-warming and belly-filling. You could teach event planners who do this for a living a thing or two!

  3. kickasscanadians says:

    Thanks Shannon 🙂 I was really happy to have you there, particularly as you’re the one who suggested CARE Canada as the main recipient for the event. An annual event, eh…? I’ll get back to you… still on the recovery part. 😉 But something will be in order…

  4. Julie says:

    What a Kick Ass afternoon! Thanks for having me speak Amanda. I was honoured to be part of the event. Looking forward to the next one.

  5. kickasscanadians says:

    Thank you Amanda and Julie! I’m thrilled you were both a part of the event. Amanda, you’re very sweet, but there were definitely times when I turned to Rosemary (Tassie, from CARE Canada) in need of advice. Julie, please feel free to post details about how others can help with CHEO’s complex care program, here as a comment and/or on I hope the event brings CHEO the attention it deserves…

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