Leveling Up: TEDxYYC Speakers

What happens when you bring together inquisitive thought leaders to speak onstage at TEDxYYC, to an equally curious and insightful audience? There is both a kind of instant community connection and timeless suspension.

Our speaker coaches get the exciting opportunity to share in the speaker and participant experiences and watch how our presenters connect with our community. 

Here’s what has stood out most: TEDxYYC is a phenomenal SHARED experience.


Speakers have an experience that binds them together, creating important long-term connections based on the intensity of preparation and delivery. Some presenters are polished speakers with a passion to share their gift, while others are passionate about their idea and rather terrified to deliver on the big stage. 

Watch their expressions when they’ve delivered their talk. The audience members, rightly called participants, can share in all their glory.

At TEDxYYC 2019, there was one moment when what has been documented as most people’s greatest fear came true, live onstage. The presenter shared a vulnerable moment and froze. For that moment, all eyes were on her, and, all bottoms on the edge of their seats. 

An act of spontaneous compassion erupted, as participants moved her with their warm thoughts and encouraging comments. This seemed to help, fostering the regaining of her confidence to carry on. For a moment, we didn’t know if she would summon the courage, but she did, and in her vulnerability and bravery, we all felt closer to each other and to her. Great cheers erupted! 

As 2019 presenter Todd Hirsch commented, “that actually became a highlight moment and part of community building. We were so proud of her.”

It is in situations like this that we realize just how strong the connection is between speakers and the audience, and how much energy is being exchanged every moment of the event. 

The speakers share their stories, inspiring the audience members to create and expand upon their own ideas. But at the same time, our audience is lifting each presenter and helping them grow and shape their ideas in new ways. 

Together, we learn to connect, to grow, and to level up. 


Awareness and Support for Men Campaign

BRAVE Communications developed an engagement program to make the public aware that 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual abuse as children, and that we as a community must support their healing and treatment.

See:  60 Second PSA about 1 in 6 Men

BRAVE Biking

BRAVE Communications started this BRAVE Biking in-school program with a number of community partners, including Two-Wheel View, Pink Bike, Alberta Bike Swap, Calgary Public School Board, Calgary Catholic School Board and many others.  An early project, funded by Conoco-Phillips, was with Christina Smith, Olympian. She and Principal Lynette Zapp share at the celebration where new bike contributions built by Conoco-Phillips volunteers are awarded to elementary school students at Abbeydale School who had written winning letters. Thank you, Global TV for sharing our story!

Samaritan's Purse

Branding and Key Communications Messaging

Responding to the need for creating a brand for the diverse Samaritan's Purse Women's Projects, we were elated with the opportunity to contribute to this great area of need. Working with program managers, the communications department and donor relations, plus other disciplines of their management team, we facilitated sessions to bring out the knowledge and inspiration of the Samaritan's Purse team to translate into a multi-faceted brand and key communications messaging. Thank you to our team members who generously donated time. View logo design and website: www.samaritanspurse.ca

Waste Reduction
Week in Canada

Website design

desnoyers-schuler designed the new Waste Reduction Week in Canada website integrating educational tool kits, social media, video contests, and user-updated events listings.

Calgary Family Services


One of the largest health-based not-for-profit organizations in Calgary, desnoyers-schuler, the precursor to BRAVE, collaborated in branding this organization in a facilitated process, a first for this 100 year old organization. Over 150 stakeholders were consulted. With an extensive diversity of programs and partners, we helped develop the brand including the McKillop Award. , and the website was designed for in-house updates by Calgary Family Services staff. Desnoyers-schuler worked with Calgary Family Services on a number of engaging events and media relations to celebrate their monumental hundredth year, including an editorial series in the Calgary Herald and a beautiful Legacy Book.

Commuter Challenge

National campaign tools

desnoyers-schuler was a key contributor in promoting the Commuter Challenge initiative for several years bringing more success and momentum to the cause.

An effective behavioural change tool to promote healthier transportation, the 2009 Commuter Challenge exceeded 2008 national results by over 12,000 participants, totalling 44,551.

View animated poster

View animated film preview short

Ken Cameron

Branding a person

desnoyers-schuler was challenged with creating a brand for the man: Ken Cameron. How would you create a brand for an individual who is a playwright, a travel writer and a national theatre artistic director? Ken later helped to develop the program: BRAVE Communications Performance Training for Leaders. This program has trained hundreds of speakers using techniques from the theatre world to make powerful presentations. See:  BRAVE Performance Training for Leaders and consider what life would be like if you were a powerful pursuasive presenter!

Affinity Catering


The brand of Affinity Catering is expressed with a shell that demonstrates the "Fibonacci Numbers of life" as a parallel to the sustenance of food. How wonderful that one of life's greatest necessities can also be one of great pleasure. 

As an elite catering company, the value of fresh ingredients and their exquisite sensual appeal is paralleled to that of jewelry.

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Distress Centre

Pre-branding annual report 

On the cusp of readiness for new branding, the creative direction for this project was to demonstrate the new look and feel prior to the possible name change.

The emotive black and white photography captures the essence of the values of the organization and personal work of the volunteers.


Alberta Ingenuity


Alberta Ingenuity required a restructuring of their website and redesign. The work involved a consultative facilitation including 16 stakeholders, definition of key messaging, custom photography and creation of a custom content management system, including extensive archival capabilities and video integration.

Client's comment: “you were able to capture exactly what we wanted!”

See: www.albertaingenuity.ca


Decidedly Jazz

Posters and promotional materials

desnoyer-schuler provided 13 of the design materials for fundraising, marketing collateral and communications to Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.

Financially, they are a 20+ year old not-for-profit that has won awards for always operating in the "black" and an important arts leader and facility in the community. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming performance!

Visit: www.decidedlyjazz.com

Carma Connect

Connecting neighbours

Providing a wide range of creative services, our creative team developed the first marketing and communications plan for Carma Connect. Designing and devleoping over 30 websites and print pieces, we helped to develop the organization to win awards, and developing some of the most connected communities.

View promotional piece