2018 Marquee Event: Limitless. Recap of the Memorable Night.
“If you think you have limits, then you are already limiting yourself.” – Carmela Thomson
This year, BWT hosted its 8th Annual Marquee Event, which focused around the theme “Limitless.”There was a record breaking attendance with 250 eager attendees joined together at Terminal City Club from our seven sponsoring companies, BC Hydro, TELUS, Vancity, SAP, Sodexo, LifeLabs, and McCarthy Tetrault.
MC Dan Pontefract, Chief Envisioner at TELUS, invoked a sense of liveliness and exuberance within the crowd as he helped facilitate discussion within the speaker panel session. This session covered important topics such as mental illness, disability, resiliency, women’s history and support for Indigenous communities. And as expected from a renowned TEDx speaker and author of Flat Army and The Purpose Effect, Dan kept the evening moving by asking compelling questions surrounding these topics.
Each speaker not only shared their enlightening and motivational stories but also exposed their vulnerabilities, which allowed the audience to make meaningful connections and relations to the speakers’ experiences. From personal triumphs to overcoming challenges, each speaker demonstrated humanity’s limitless potential.
Here are three takeaways from the speaker panel session:
1. “Though our capabilities are limitless, our opportunities are hard to be limitless”– Natalie Marchesan.
Natalie Marchesan, a former Aviator for the Canadian Air Force, set the stage with a motivational speech about the last 100 years of struggles and hardships within women history. As Natalie presented each obstacle women have historically faced, she continuously emphasized the vast potential women yield despite those struggles. Natalie reinforces that everyone has the potential and capability to develop skills and grow. However, our opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities is not limitless.
Natalie posed the question, “how can women push for progress so that we can move towards a society of equal opportunities?” To achieve equality, we must advocate for what is right and never compromise our values. Once we do this, Natalie believes we will live in a world where every little girl has the same opportunity as every little boy. It’s when we speak up about injustices that we can move towards a society free of limits.
2. Don’t let others put you in a box.
Kristin Bower shared her newfound secret in which our “weaknesses” are actually superpowers in disguise. Kristin discovered this secret through her experience with mental illness, specifically the onset of her depression at age 25. In her previous work, Kristin’s mental illness was viewed as a weakness and resulted in a demotion to a lower position. Others began to place limits on her potential based on their stigma surrounding mental illness. However, Kristin realized that her “weakness” could be channeled into a superpower of resilience, allowing her to rise above the expectations placed on her. When others puts limitations on your capabilities, it is not you who is limited, rather it is the other person who is showing their limitations.
3. Once we stop placing limits on our own potential, we can truly accomplish anything.
In addition to not letting others place limitations on our potential, speaker Felicia Shafiq states that we shouldn’t doubt our own capabilities. When Felicia made the decision to amputate her legs due to illness, she began to see herself as a person with a disability rather than a person who was differently abled. After some convincing from a friend, Felicia decided to revisit her passion for volleyball and joined a para-sitting volleyball team. Felicia instantly fell in love with the challenge of the sport which eventually brought her to the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Through this experience, she realized that her potential was not lost after the amputation but rather provided her with the opportunity to excel in something she never dreamed of.
After the speeches were concluded, the room was filled with cheer while we handed out many of our sponsored prizes and went into an engaging Q&A session. The audience asked the panel well-thought out questions surrounding the topics of diversity and inclusion, overcoming obstacles, and resilience.
Once the question period ended, Carmela Thomson, Co-Chair founder of BWT, concluded the event with a closing speech. She left the audience with a very powerful statement: “If you think you have limits, then you are already limiting yourself.” Everyone has limitless capabilities. It is once you realize your strength and potential, is when you can #pushforprogress and let your resilience shine.
We would like to give a big thank you to all our volunteers and attendees for continuously making our Marquee event such a success! Also, we would like to thank our speakers Natalie Marchesan, Al Leonard, Kristen Bower, and Felicia Shafiq for making the Marquee such a memorable and meaningful event. To learn more about our inspirational speakers’ bios, check out our last blog post by clicking here.