At The Gala

WPA Event Details Schedule


November 7th, 2019

5:30pm - 7:00pm: Cocktail Reception

7:00pm - 10:00pm: Awards Ceremony

10pm till late : After-Party

Dress Code: Black Tie


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Suhana Meharchand

Suhana Meharchand is a national news anchor with CBC News Network, the former host of Saturday Report and has anchored the CBC Evening News. Bringing a wealth of professional experience to all of her talks and hosting engagements, Meharchand never fails to impress.


Meharchand has been twice nominated for a Gemini award, and has won two bronze medals at the Columbus International Film and Video Festival, and a bronze medal at the International Film and TV Festival of New York. She has been honoured with the Media Arts Award from the Association of Women of India in Canada, and was named Journalist of the Year by the South African Women for Women association. She has also received the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from the Rotary Club International.


Actively involved in her community, Meharchand donates her time to organizations such as the Performers for Literacy, Gems of Hope, Redwood Shelter for Women and Children, the Canadian Paraplegic Association, the Hospital for Sick Children and the Princess Margaret Breast Cancer Centre. She is also a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal for her tireless community service.



risingstar-keynotespeaker - Michael Burns


Michael Burns

President and CEO, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation | Former CEO, Invictus Games

Under Michael Burns’ leadership, the Toronto Invictus Games were completely sold out, and viewed by more than 40 million people around the world. But, more than anything, the Games continued to enhance the global understanding of the ongoing challenges veterans face. Known for his passion for community giving, Burns now leads the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation -- one of the top five cancer research centres in the world -- as President and CEO, where he brings together his extensive background in fundraising, brand building, and donor engagement to lead the charge in treating and eradicating the disease.


With more than 20 years of experience in marketing, financial services, technology and entrepreneurship, Burns took a leave of absence from his role as Vice-President, Corporate Development at AudienceView to head up the 2017 Invictus Games as CEO in 2015. Prior to that, he was President of Thornmark Asset Management and President of Clearsight Wealth Management Inc.


Burns is also the co-founder of the True Patriot Love Foundation, which supports Canada’s military, veterans, and their families by funding programs for mental health, physical rehabilitation, career transition, and family services. He is Past Chair of the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation Board and successfully led the team that secured the Garrons’ historic $50-million donation. Burns is also on the Board of the Canadian Institute for Military & Veteran Health Research and is a member of the Board of Directors of two world-class entertainment venues in Toronto: Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall.


In 2017, Burns received a Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University. In 2016, Canada’s Governor-General, on behalf of the Queen, awarded him The Meritorious Service Cross for his work with military families. In 2012, he was awarded the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service, the military’s highest honour for a civilian. That year, he was also awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal honouring significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. In addition, in 2010, he was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.



Devah Quartet 2.0


Dévah Quartet

Dévah recently released their second album 2112, which features a full length instrumental tribute to Canadian icon RUSH's suite of the same name. The other track on this album, "Heaven and Hell," is an original piece inspired by a short story written by Andrew Watters. For this album, Dévah is joined by drummer Mack Longpre, as well as featuring vocalists Sara Loera (USA), and Rob Lundgren (Norway), and a full choir for "Heaven and Hell." This album embodies everything Dévah considers their strengths: prog rock/metal, acoustic strings, and collaboration.

A multi-genre (note: not cross-genre) string quartet, Dévah has held residencies at the University of Toronto’s New Music Festival performing works on both acoustic and electric instruments, and at San Jacinto College in Texas as visiting artists, where they provide masterclasses and composer workshops with both sets of instruments.

Dévah’s Progressive Rock alter-ego has resulted in being featured in the UK magazine PROG and notable performances including Canada Day at Yonge and Dundas Square, the 3-year countdown launch for the Pan Am Games, and featured guest artists at Interprovincial Music Camp’s CAMP ROCK. When in Progressive Rock mode, Dévah performs high energy sets on electric instruments with effects pedals and wireless cables, enabling them to encourage interaction with the audience through movement. Dévah Quartet’s shows are performed by memory and backed by a drummer, and at times accompanied by a projection artist.

No stranger to multi-disciplinary collaboration, Dévah has performed live with dancers, including Toronto’s A2D2 Aerial Dancers, and a special collaboration with ballet dancers for the Kubrick: A Clockwork Orange installation party during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.

Classically trained, Dévah Quartet’s members are active principal players in Toronto-based ensembles. Violinist Emily Hau is Principal Second of Sinfonia Toronto, violinist Sharon Lee is Concertmaster of Toronto Concert Orchestra, cellist Liza McLellan was cellist of Quartetto Gelato for nine years, violist Moira Burke plays for Mirvish productions.

Dévah Quartet became Yamaha Canada Artists in 2011, and D’Addario Canada Artists in 2013.


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