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Elevate Festival returns with powerhouse speakers, including Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, Lisa LaFlamme, Ayesha Curry, and others

Press Release

TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2023  – Today, Elevate Festival, Canada’s largest homegrown tech and innovation festival, returns for its fifth annual event hosted at Meridian Hall, the St. Lawrence Centre, and the Design Exchange in Toronto, Canada from September 26-28. The festival returns with headlining speakers Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland; Acclaimed Journalist and Broadcaster, Lisa LaFlamme; CEO & Founder, Sweet July, Ayesha Curry; Astronaut and Elevate Co-Chair, Chris Hadfield; Founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, Actress, Producer & Advocate, Angelica Ross, and others. Alongside returning Main Stage events, a Tech Talent Zone for job seekers and talent looking to upskill, as well as a dedicated Women+ in Tech stream, this year will include new additions for attendees: Masterclasses, Impact Tracks, and Elevate Goes Late. Whether a budding entrepreneur, a young professional, an investor, or a startup founder, there’s an experience for everyone.

Elevate Festival, is organized and operated by Elevate – Canada’s not-for-profit organization at the intersection of technology and social innovation. Coming together to spark conversations around the greatest challenges the world is facing today, Elevate Festival will tackle 11 content tracks this year including AI, future societies, cybersecurity, the latest trends in gaming, fintech, the future of work, and more. Building upon the festival’s success in years past, Elevate Festival is also expanding its programming to include net new opportunities for attendees, such as:

  • Masterclasses: One-hour sessions hosted by an industry expert with a small group of attendees, Masterclasses will dive deeper into niche, timely topics such as spurring growth by embracing emerging tech, how founders can build great places to work, demystifying AI for business, and more.
  • Impact Tracks: The importance of equality, sustainability, and wellness remains at the forefront of Elevate Festival’s work and the team is proud to introduce Impact Tracks. This year’s content tracks will take a multi-dimensional approach to ensure conversations at the festival are fueled by social impact.
  • Elevate Goes Late: Understanding the power of networking, following final conversations on the festival stages, attendees are invited to migrate to the Design Exchange for Elevate Goes Late, where networking meets an after-party atmosphere with live music, themed drinks and street eats, and must-see surprises every evening.

Canada isn’t an aspiring technology power – Canada has arrived.” says Co-Founder and CEO of Elevate, Lisa Zarzeczny. “This year’s festival will unite Canadian innovators and provide meaningful opportunities to learn, connect with diverse stakeholders, and exchange ideas centered around our nation’s well-being, sustainability and equity.”

Must-see sessions include the festival’s opening night kick-off with Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and Lisa LaFlamme; Ten-Time Olympic and World Championship Sprint Medalist, Andre DeGrasse sitting down with Founder and Managing Partner of Maverix Private Equity, John Ruffolo to discuss the strategy behind success; and a Q&A segment with Chief Diversity Officer of Meta, Maxine Williams and Founder & Chair of Thistledown, Fiona McKean. Click here for the latest festival schedule and here for a full list of speakers to date, which includes:

  • Arlene Dickinson, Star of CBC’s Dragons’ Den, General Partner, District Ventures Capital
  • Ally Love, Founder and CEO of Love Squad, Peloton Instructor, Today Show Contributor, and Host of the Brooklyn Nets
  • Bryan Johnson, Founder & CEO Blueprint, Kernel & OS Fund. Previous Founder/CEO Braintree Venmo (appearing virtually)
  • Humza Teherany, Chief Technology and Digital Officer, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
  • Joanna Griffiths, Founder and President of Knix
  • Jenn Harper, Founder & CEO, Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics
  • Kristie Painting, Canada Country Manager, Pinterest
  • Morva Rohani, Executive Director, Canadian Web3 Council
  • Noura Sakkijha, Co-Founder and CEO, Mejuri
  • Olivia Chow, Mayor of Toronto
  • Sarain Fox, Artist, Indigenous Activist & Ambassador
  • Tamir Bar-Haim, Managing Director and The Head Of International Expansion, Amazon Ads
  • Wes Hall, Executive Chairman and Founder of Wes Hall Investments Inc. and Star of CBC Show Dragons’ Den

Elevate Festival is made possible by Canada’s leading innovators and brands, including TD Bank Group, Interac Corp., Moneris, Mastercard Canada, Google, Telus, EllisDon, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, MaRS Discovery District, Communitech, DMZ, KPMG, Symcor, Beanfield, OLG, Lighthouse Labs, the City of Markham, York Region, LG Electronics Canada, and others. This year’s Festival will also see collaborations with BetaKit, TMU Cybersecurity, TechTO, the Firehood, and YSpace as Programming partners across a number of festival stages. This year’s media partners include the Globe & Mail, Toronto Life, Canadian Business, Macleans, The Peak, Daily Hive, and Living Luxe.

For more information about this year’s festival, visit Media can apply for accreditation at Join the conversation on social by following @ElevateTechCA and #ElevateFest2023.

About Elevate

Elevate is a Canadian non-profit that builds and unites world-class innovators through tech training courses, entrepreneurship programs, and industry-leading events at the intersection of technology, arts, and social innovation. Through strategic partnerships, an affiliation with the UN, and a roster of powerhouse speakers, Elevate inspires and invites its community to co-create a more equitable and sustainable future.

Elevate has hosted global icons such as former First Lady and author Michelle Obama, businesswoman Martha Stewart, former CEO of Google Eric Schmidt and Vice President Al Gore on the Elevate Main Stage, each of whom has inspired millions of people worldwide. Learn more at

For further information: Media Contact: Bianca Lopez, Talk Shop Media,


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