Dr. Sukh Brar – Anesthesiologist

Dr. Sukh Brar is an Anesthesiologist and Cardiac Intensive Care Physician at Royal Columbian Hospital, BC’s busiest cardiac care centre. From the beginning of his career, Dr. Brar has held a visionary approach to his position, working tirelessly above and beyond to educate the need for fueling innovation in the field. As a Researcher and Chair of RCH’s Patient Blood Management Group he took a lead role in garnering support at hospitals across the country for a trial which lessens the reliance on blood transfusions during heart surgery through the use of innovative, cutting-edge technology.  His influence helped ensure medical teams at RCH and VGH took part in that Canada-wide study. Because of the innovations Dr. Brar is pioneering, blood transfusion rates for cardiac surgery at RCH have been reduced by 50%, allowing for more personalized care and reducing complication rates for complex surgery.

At the age of only 35, Dr. Brar was named President of the BC Anesthesiologists’ Society, representing over 500 specialists. In this role he represented colleagues from across the province, influencing policy among key stakeholders to improve patient care.  Dr. Brar sits on the Board of Directors at Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation (RCHF), an independent charitable foundation that raises millions of dollars annually to help fund the hospital’s $1.3 billion dollar redevelopment, priority equipment needs, research, and innovation.  On a more personal level he has special interests in health care technology, physician wellness and the field of consciousness.

Gaby Eirew – Dying Living Loving

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Gaby is the co-author, with Dr Pippa Hawley of ‘Lap of Honour : a no fear guide to living well with dying’ and the Director of Record Me Now, a free, question-prompting, video-recording legacy app and helpline.

Originally from London UK, Gaby trained as a counsellor and educator and has managed two international charities, in child protection, and for children after death. Gaby focuses on preventing childhood trauma, and she believes an good end-of-life to be an integral part of a good life. Gaby has had a weekly hospital radio show and been a Director of the Board of Vancouver Hospice Society. She trains doctors, medical students, families, social workers and care home staff, on how to leave loving legacy messages, working with people who have serious illnesses, and working healthily in this area.

Gaby has been named one of the UK Prime Minister’s Points of Light, a UK Woman of the Year and she was the inaugural recipient of the Interesting Vancouver Prize. Gaby is married to cancer researcher Dr Peter Eirew and they have three lovely teenage children. Gaby is also partially deaf. When not working, Gaby likes photographing, matchmaking and eating chocolate; not in that order.

Richard Lowy – In My Father’s Words

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Richard Lowy has won over 15 international awards in event production.  The Society of Incentive Travel Executives which has nearly 2,500 members in 90 countries has recognized Richard as one of the industry’s top Producers & Creative Directors winning its highest awards for five consecutive years from 2002 – 2006.

As the son of a holocaust survivor, Richard is uniquely positioned with his production and storytelling expertise to tell his father’s story. The sad but true story of one man’s struggle to survive Nazi’s Germany’s most notorious Dr. Mengele’s Twin Experiments inside the infamous Auschwitz Birkenau.

“In My Father’s Words”, is a multi-media historical experience of Leo’s first-hand account at the hands of Josef Mengele inside the 3rd Reich’s most horrific death camp.  In a camp where over 1 million people were systematically murder, some were taken and used for a different purpose… human experimentation.

Leo Lowy survived the experiments to tell his story.

Leo passed away in 2002, but Richard now continues to carry the torch so others may learn what actually happened “Behind The Closed Doors Of Auschwitz”.

Holly Peck – Human Robot Interaction

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Director of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) at Sanctuary AI • Microsoft MVP in Artificial Intelligence • Founder/Director of Women Who Code Vancouver

Holly Peck is Director of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) at Sanctuary AI, where she leads the external deployment of humanoid robots – called “synths” – in experimental settings. Previously, Holly worked as a research scientist at Sanctuary, where she wrote code and did machine learning experiments integrating into the software minds of humanoid robots.

Holly is the founder and director of Women Who Code Vancouver, a community she grew from zero to 2000 techlords in two years. She is a 2018 Microsoft MVP in Artificial Intelligence, a 2018 BC Business 30 Under 30, and has consulted the Prime Minister on innovation in Vancouver.

On weekends, Holly programs polyphonic synthesizers and makes electronic music. In 2018, she released her first-ever electronic music album called “Nobody” as part of her synth-pop duo NUIT. Holly has a BA from Princeton University.

Dr. Peter  Ross – Microplastics & Ocean Pollution

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Dr. Peter S. Ross is the Vice-President of Research at Ocean Wise Conservation Association, based at the Vancouver Aquarium. He currently oversees eight conservation-oriented research programs at Ocean Wise. He is Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria. He served as a Research Scientist with the Canadian government between 1996 and 2013. He is an international authority in the area of ocean pollution, having published over 150 scientific articles and book chapters.

He provides regular science and policy advice in support of chemical regulation, species at risk, ocean disposal and plastic pollution. Dr. Ross established the Environmental Microplastics Facility at Ocean Wise, a dedicated high-resolution laboratory with a team of researchers characterizing the source, fate and effects of microplastics in the ocean.

His team has published papers on microplastics in the North Pacific, in aquatic biota and in wastewater treatment plants. He established a solution-oriented microfiber research partnership with MEC, Patagonia, Arc’teryx, REI, MetroVancouver and Environment and Climate Change Canada to track textile based microfibers from home laundry to the oceans.

Michael Tenzer, Balot, Laura Crowe – Balinese Gamelan Music

Putu Gede Sukaryana (or Balot, as he is called)  is from Beraban village, southwestern Bali, Indonesia. One of the most highly respected Balinese musicians of his generation, he is a specialist in gamelan music, both contemporary compositions and the performance of traditional repertoire. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ethnomusicology at UBC and directing Vancouver’s 25-member community Balinese gamelan ensemble, Gita Asmara.

Putu Gede Sukaryana who will be performing at the June 4thPublic Salon is from Beraban village in southwestern Bali Indonesia. He is one of the most highly respected Balinese musicians of his generation and a specialist in gamelan music both contemporary compositions and the performance of traditional repertoire.

Linda Solomon Wood – Journalism

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Linda Solomon Wood is an innovator, entrepreneur, and award-winning journalist. As CEO of Observer Media Group and founder and editor-in-chief of the National Observer, she works to strengthen public service journalism that investigates corruption, celebrates innovation, and illuminates and helps to make sense of the complex political and social challenges people face today. 

She previously founded Vancouver Observer and has led both publications to win Canada’s top awards for public service, investigative journalism and excellence in reporting.

Linda started her career as an investigative reporter at The Tennessean in Nashville, where she won the United Press International awards for Best Public Service Reporting and Best Investigative Reporting.

Later, she freelanced for publications including The Los Angeles TimesOrion, and the International Herald Tribune. She studied journalism and American Culture at Northwestern University and received her MFA in literary nonfiction from Vermont College.

Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she’s lived and worked in Paris, New York City and now, Vancouver, where she enjoys Canada’s West Coast with her husband, two sons and two stepdaughters. She immigrated to Canada shortly after 9/11 and became a Canadian citizen in 2012.

Lana Sutherland – Language Of Aroma

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As Co-Founder and CEO, Lana establishes long-term vision and values for TEALEAVES, a leading luxury tea brand that crafts bespoke teas for its exclusive clients ranging from five-star hotels (Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, Park Hyatt, Rosewood, The Standard) to Michelin star and celebrity chefs (Ducasse, Gordon Ramsay, Jean Georges), worldwide. Clients also include the Food and Beverage programs of Google and Disney. Lana has over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience building a world-class luxury tea company straight out of university. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and holds a B.Sc in Biological Sciences.