Canada Day: A Playlist

We put together a playlist of talks and performances on some of the world’s biggest TED stages over the years by some famous Canadians and others with a deep connection to this country.

Malcolm Gladwell

The best-selling author on how our unique choices, needs and wants make us stand out. By embracing diversity, we get an easier route into finding the happiness we crave.

Shohini Ghose

“Quantum computers have the potential to impact so many aspects of our lives, including our security needs, our health care, and even the Internet.” The Wilfrid Laurier University professor and Vice President of the Canadian Association of Physicists breaks down the fundamentals of quantum computing to make science accessible and inclusive to all.

Kirsty Duncan

“Science is humanity’s best effort at uncovering the truth.” Canada’s Minister of Science and Sport notes that the only way to get to the truth is to let scientists discuss their research without feeling suppressed.

Chris Hadfield

“This is a reflection of the fact that we are not machines exploring the universe, we are people, and we’re taking that ability to adapt and that ability to understand and the ability to take our own self-perception into a new place.” Canada’s most famous astronaut describes how to be prepared for the worst in space (and life).

Kim Katrin Milan

“Queerness is our major key; blackness is our magic. It’s because of these things that we are able to be hopeful, open, receptive and shape-shifting. These are the things that give us, and are such an incredible source of, our strength.” Writer and educator Kim Katrin Milan, with her husband Tiq, share how their love and marriage is a model of possibility.

A Tribe Called Red

“Our DNA is the past and future.” Honouring and celebrating Indigenous culture, the Ottawa-based group creates urban and contemporary music rooted in traditional Indigenous music and vocals.

Samantha Nutt

“War is ours, as human beings. We buy it, sell it, spread it and wage it. We are therefore not powerless to solve it. On the contrary, we are the only ones who can.” Samantha Nutt, a doctor and founder of War Child, explores the global arms trade concluding that force and coercion aren’t the way to end wars. Instead, looking at all options available and choosing ones that favour peace at the expense of war.

Martin Villeneuve

“Start to deal with your problems as your allies.” It took the Canadian filmmaker seven years to make his sci-fi film Mars et Avril. With very little money to make the movie, Villeneuve explains how constraints, like finances, can boost creativity.

Kitra Cahana

“Where others see stories of privation and economic failure, travellers view their own existence through the prism of liberation and freedom.” The photojournalist details the lives of traveling nomads as they enter their ‘homes’—bus stops, parking lots, rest stop bathrooms.

Suzanne Simard

“We all need to get out in the forest. We need to reestablish local involvement in our own forests.” The UBC professor of forest ecology, who has been studying Canadian forests for 30 years, says a forest is so much more than what we see. Trees have complicated social lives—they talk amongst each other, and have a massive underground communications network.

Recommended Reading