Sam Sullivan’s most recent Public Salon showcases wisdom, humour and music

Photo of Sam Sullivan courtesy of Andrew Annuar Photography

Sam Sullivan's Public Salon hosted an inspiring line-up of mostly male speakers who voiced strong opinions, provided educational content and, in one case, created a top trending topic on twitter.  Here's a summary of the event with a photo set, also by Alice Zhou.

Below: Wynston Winckler on upright bass, John Korsrud on trumpet and Stephen Fisk on electric guitar, opened the evening. 

James Tansey (in the photo below), CEO of Offsetters, a company that sells carbon credits, and conducts environmental audits and consulting, Tansey points out that the typical North American citizen produces 14 tons of carbon in a year. His company, with the money from carbon credit sales, invests in the tangible environmental projects like the Great Bear Rainforest as well as in the Congo

The Public Salon promptly started at 7:30pm after a performance by Mark Takeshi McGregor playing flute to Kenneth Broadway’s piano. 

Jonathan Becker (below), the principal at Thrive Digital, a well to do internet entrepreneur spoke about  looking at life while measuring the winning and success, but also looking at failure as a chance to learn and grow.

Rabbi Yosef Wosk  (below) spoke about the tremendous effort involved in building a community, and how he has often been asked to play leadership roles in a variety of community building capacities, which in recent years he has declined due to burnout.

 The next speaker was the fun and spunky Alexandra Gill, the restaurant critic for the Globe and Mail.

 I really loved her presentation, from her Austin Powers style musical fun intro, to her tale about how her love affair with Vancouver turned sour after she discovered how “regional” and inclusive the Vancouver restaurant scene really was. 

Alexandra Gill was followed by Henry Yu (below), a Vancouver-born historian and professor at UBC.

 Henry spoke passionately to remind us that we are all guests on someone else’s land.  That without a common past we have no common future.  He talked about the head tax the Chinese immigrants had to endure, the camps the Japanese families had to endure during World War II, and many other injustices and discrimination immigrants experienced as apart of the Canadian history.  Henry shared that he led the $1.175 million “Chinese Canadian Stories” project involving UBC, SFU, and over 29 community organizations across Canada which was recently been nominated for a LEO award. The LEO Awards are aired on CBC across Canada.

Textile artist Bettina Matzhuhn (below) said that she learned the craft of tapestry from her mother and grandmother, and she was fascinated by the art due to the storytelling aspect. 

James Tansey spoke about his projects to help restore tempera rainforest in BC as well as in Congo.  He was followed by David Lemon, the founder of Health Arts Societies, which sends musicians and artists to perform for the sick in hospitals and senior centres. 

The one speaker that blew me and everyone else in the audience away was Bruce Haden (below), principal architect at DIALOG.  Haden told about his father's alcoholism's and the damaging effect it had on his family when he was growing up.

He also shared about his younger brother, a licensed chemist, who died two years ago in a tragic accident while making drugs. 

After his gut-wrenching talk, many people went to him to show their appreciation, gave their condolences, and tweeted like mad. So much so that it was trending that night.  I had a chance to speak to him briefly. I asked if he was afraid of the repercussions of his speech. He replied, "As a leader, one must stand up for what you believe in, even if it's unpopular". 

 Henry George said he thought the evening was well done, interesting and he especially liked Bruce’s speech.  

I also caught up with Aaron Freschi, who really enjoyed the evening as well, and when asked who he think should be the next speaker, suggested his father Bruno Freschi, a famed local architect. 




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