Change doesn’t happen tomorrow. It doesn’t happen today. It’s here right now and as one, we can make a difference.
These were the sentiments of Justin Trudeau at WE Day on Wednesday Nov. 9 at the Canadian Tire Centre to over 15,000 Ottawa students.
Sponsored partly by Algonquin, well known speakers and performers – including Paula Abdul, Margaret Trudeau, Classified, Gord Downie, Tom Jackson, and many more – presented life experiences and wisdom for students who got to see the show.
This year, the college was given a one minute moment on stage, had volunteers from the college participate and were given a booth to promote the school.
“It’s definitely a community organization where Algonquin College wants to take part in the bigger picture,” Sophia Bouris, the student services marketing and AC Hub coordinator, said.
This year is also the first time the college partnered up with the organization “ME to WE” to provide students a opportunity to volunteer in Ecuador.
Algonquin alumni Geoffrey Kasonde spoke from the stage about his leadership roles in the past on behalf of the college during his time there, and his experiences giving back to the community.
In order to see the show, attendees had to participate or volunteer in a movement that they were passionate about, both globally and locally.
“Together, we will change this world,” said Justin Trudeau and emphasized the message of chan in his speech. He also said that Canada and the U.S. still have a relationship to hold with each other and share similar values.
His mother, Margaret Trudeau, also talked about her personal experiences with mental illness. Kale, nutritious food, and a good night sleep, she encouraged, would lead to a better life.
Tom Jackson, a famous aboriginal celebrity, spoke on the representation and prosperity of Indigenous communities in Canada and shared some inspirational quotes to live by. “Love is a palace and you wear the crown,” Jackson said.
Paula Abdul was also there and talked about when she used to attend dance classes as a child. Even when no one believed in her she still didn’t give up. Even with all of the hate and disbelief, she survived and because the inspiring and powerful role model she is today.
Later on in the event Gord Downie made a suprise appearance. He emphasized his strong opinion with the need to connect with aboriginal ideologies in both food, lifestyle, and culture.
WE Day co-founder Craig Kielburger came on the stage a few times with his brother Marc Kielburger. “The world needs a little “WE” today after tonight’s US election,” he said. He also shared his desire to connect with Native-American culture.
Change happens not just from apologies, but also from action and Kielburger emphasized how important it is for youth to make a change in today’s world, he said. “We want to celebrate a generation of young people.”
Linnea Clement who is in grade nine at Canterbury Highschool, and her friend Ifeoluwa Oyetoran, from Colonel By Secondary School, said the talks were energetic, fun and inspiring.
Donald Trump’s win the day before, Clement said, had everyone feeling worried about the future of our planet. Positive energy from We Day made everyone more relaxed about the result and said it was a good way for people to worry less and look more optimistically on life.
Oyetoran said that from this experience she wants to volunteer more. In her future, she plans to go to Nigeria, where she’s from and help the community grow there.