Vancouver 2019

We’re back in our hometown for the 11th G Day – woo hoo!

We hope that you’ll join us for a day of fun, connection and celebration on Monday April 29th* at the beautiful Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre in Burnaby BC.

*Monday April 29th is a Pro D day in Vancouver and Burnaby

G Day 2019 Presenters:

Tamara Taggart

Tamara Taggart is a community leader, activist, veteran broadcaster, cancer survivor, mother, and nomination candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada in Vancouver-Kingsway. With a broadcasting career spanning 28 years in television, radio, and digital media, Tamara has also focused two decades’ of volunteer efforts on health care and the well-being of children and people with disabilities. Since 2014, she has also chaired the BC Cancer Foundation’s Inspiration Gala, raising more than $15 million for cancer research and treatment in British Columbia.

In 2015 Tamara was awarded the Order of BC–the highest honour awarded by the Government of British Columbia–in recognition of her years of public service. In 2014, Tamara delivered a keynote lecture at TEDxSFU entitled Two Conversations that Changed My Life, which compared how doctors negatively told her about her baby’s Down syndrome yet were positive and encouraging when they delivered her cancer diagnosis. This talk struck a chord with medical professionals and universities around the world, and has been viewed more than 360,000 times. She and her husband Dave have three children— son Beckett and daughters Zoë and Poppy. They also share their home with George their Airedale Terrier, Penelope their rescue dog from Mexico, and rescue cats Broccoli and Brussel Sprout.

Our MC: Jocelyn MacDougall

Jocelyn Macdougall is a queer femme settler living, loving and working on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh territories. She delights in bringing together groups of interesting, committed and passionate people for meaningful, brave conversations. She values equity and inclusion as foundational, and believes that getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a necessary skill in today’s world. Jocelyn believes the arts are a price-of-admission component of a sane, healthy society, and is lucky enough to sing with Vancouver’s hottest funk and Motown band, Queer As Funk.

Ruby Smith Díaz

Ruby Smith Díaz was born to Chilean and Jamaican parents in Edmonton- Amiskwacîwâskahikan and graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Education with distinction.  Since graduating, she has found her passion working as a youth facilitator, multi-disciplinary artist, community organizer, and body positive personal trainer, She is the owner and founder of Tierra Negra Arts, and Autonomy Fitness, and is currently facilitating her first pilot of “Still Here: Black Histories & Futures in BC” workshop series in schools.

Ruby has been featured Harsha Walia’s book, Undoing Border Imperialism, and Nora Samaran’s book Turn this World Inside Out.  Her writing and art has also been featured in Briarpatch Magazine,The Peak,  as well as numerous academic journals under the topic of global citizenship.

Ruby’s experiences of marginalization as a youth has inspired her to dedicated her work to exploring difficult topics around issues of inclusion. Her combination of empathy, creativity and receptivity has made her a meaningful source of support for youth across the country, and has inspired many of her artistic projects around topics of inclusion and identity , through the use of art and popular education. Most of all, she is invested in helping individuals develop the sense of self-worth and integrity that will make them agents and animators of change in the world, according to their most passionate, fiery and generationally-poignant imaginings.

Theresa "Tree" Walsh

Tree is a mover, shaker and groover who has been a teacher, leader and facilitator of dance for over 19 years. Her mission is to inspire people of all ages to live more joyfully by encouraging them to enthusiastically express their essence through movement

Adult Program MC: Elisa Lee
Elisa Lee, MA, BEd is the founder and lead mentor of Fire & Flower, an organization that helps girls feel AWESOME about becoming young women. Through mentorship and rite of passage programs, Fire & Flower brings back ‘the village’ of women supporting girls as they come-of-age. Elisa holds a Masters degree in Environmental Education specializing in women’s rites of passage and in addition to Fire & Flower, she also guides women’s vision fasts and holds community grief rituals in Vancouver. A specialist in ecological education, Elisa incorporates the wisdom of nature into all her work. She has been a teacher, youth facilitator and program developer for 15 years, helping organizations like the World Wildlife Foundation, Metro Vancouver and Fresh Air Learning.
Kirsten Sharp

Kirsten Sharp is a storyteller, athlete and activist who is challenging biases and stereotypes about people with disabilities. At the age of 14, Kirsten broke her back while skiing, injuring her spinal cord and leaving her paralyzed from the chest down. This injury never stopped her from fully living her life – in fact, it did the opposite – it propelled her to make a difference. 

Kirsten has a degrees in business administration and psychology from Simon Fraser University and a diploma from BCIT in Broadcast Media Communications: television production. She has worked for CTV, Global TV, Roundhouse Radio as a host and is currently a project manager in the video game industry at Electronic Arts.

 In her free time, Kirsten travels the world competing on the wheelchair tennis circuit. She has hosted a YouTube Show called SCI BC TV dedicated to eliminating stereotypes surrounding the disabled community. She is a Rick Hansen Ambassador, and also devotes time to helping peers get their lives back after their own injuries as a mentor with Spinal Cord Injury BC .

Kirsten is fuelled by creating connections and helping people and is always willing to try what inspires her at least once! 

Rebecca Duncan

Tsitsayxemaat, Rebecca Duncan, is of Squamish and Musqueam descent of the Coast Salish Peoples. Rebecca has devoted her life to preserve the Squamish Language, Salish weaving and Cultural teachings that have been handed down to her from her late Papa and his Papa and so on and so on since the beginning of time.

Rebecca specializes in cultural activities including Language Games (TPR), Traditional Song & Dance, Traditional Cooking, Weaving, Traditional Health & Wellness, Indigenous History and Storytelling.

Rebecca has performed worldwide promoting Language and Culture, representing Coast Salish people and practicing protocols with Song and Dance sharing history with storytelling and weaving workshops to empower our people.

No matter where you are from, it is so important to know your history, your culture, and your ties to the land. U Siyam.

Michelle Wilson

Since her daughter – Tru Wilson – came out as transgender at the age of 9, Michelle Wilson has become an avid advocate for trans rights. Michelle and her husband Garfield filed a human rights complaint against the semi-private catholic school their children were attending, when the school refused to support their daughter’s transition. Two years later the complaint resulted in the first-known policy in North America that supported gender identity and expression in a Catholic school. Since then, Michelle and her family continue to speak publicly about their story and the importance of supporting your children

Karen Kobel

In a nutshell…

I find freedom and inspiration in movement, whether I am watching or actually moving. I have been given an opportunity to integrate my diverse training into my pilates and dance classes. This union has lead to a unique warm up and work out that encourages my clients to discover full body awareness by finding their centre, allowing for deeper discovery through the mind, the body as well as their breath. By incorporating mat-based moves to dance class and dance-based moves to pilates, I bring grace to the mat and stability to the dance.

Over the last few years, I have found movement to be some of the best healing for the mind, body and soul. I love sharing my experiences and discoveries with those who are interested in moving to heal as well as tapping into one’s own mind, body, and soul for healing.  Put them all together and you have the opportunity to:


Karen’s History…

With a BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University, Karen has been dancing for the past 37 years, teaching for the past 24 years and performing for various artists such as Mia Michaels, Jay Norman, Marjon Van Grunsven, Tomi Galaska, Mary Carbonaro and Peter Grey Terhune. She has performed on the Regal Princess and Crown Princess Cruise ships, Madora, and other local artists. She is a STOTT Certified Pilates instructor. She is a Simonson Certified Dance instructor as well as CI Training Certified instructor.

After discovering her love for movement and fitness, Karen discovered Pilates.  With a focus on  enhancing core strength and bringing increased reach, flexibility, sure-footedness and agility, it made perfect sense for her to pair her love for dance with her next love, Pilates. She has been teaching Pilates for 16 years, and continues to challenge her students with her various teaching techniques.

Combining Simonson Dance Technique with Pilates and CI training, Karen has created a unique class format that not only allows the body to flow from movement to movement, it allows the mind to connect to the present moment, leaving her clients feeling rejuvenated, renewed, and restored. Connecting to their inner “wonder” allows the client to feel more balanced and grounded.

After returning from Kenya and Uganda in November 2013, Karen realized the importance of tuning into one’s life purpose. After teaching women with HIV Pilates/Dance/Strength Training and listening to their life stories  she now realizes her life purpose to inspire others, especially women to find their own voice just as she found after the past few years of focusing on finding me mine.  Karen inspires and share her experiences with others in the hopes that it will help them believe that anything is possible, and everything is possible!

She has recently opened her own studio in Edgemont Village In North Vancouver, Kahlena Movement Studio.  Herstudio is a  pilates, yoga,  dance and meditation studio devoted to aligning participants of all fitness levels to learn, grow, restore and release in a supportive space. She places an emphasis on mindfulness, stress reduction and relaxation in all her classes. Her mission is to give students an opportunity to look within, focus, refocus and regain a sense of perspective in their busy lives.

Tse-Lynn is the assistant instructor at North Delta Aikikai and currently holds a second-degree black belt (nidan rank) in aikido from the Canadian Aikido Federation. She started aikido in 1997 at the university club in Singapore, and has since practiced in North Carolina, Chicago, and Vancouver while studying and working as a marine biologist. Over the last 20+ years, what kept her going in her practice is the feeling of connection and flow with her partners on the mat. When aikido is described as a martial art, one might think it has something to do with inflicting pain or physical dominance over another person. However, to Tse-Lynn, one of the most eye-opening aspects of her aikido journey is how much power can be generated from the total relaxation of a unified mind and body, and letting go of the need to control. She notes that these are difficult concepts to translate into physical form and practice, but she is presently still enjoying the experience of her journey.
Bonnie Soon/Uzume Taiko

Bonnie Soon has served as artistic director of Uzume Taiko since 1999. She incorporates choreography and theatrical elements with the festival drumming style of Japan to create new work for taiko drums often in collaborations with musicians and artists from diverse cultures and art forms. She builds taiko drum gear and leads taiko workshops and artist residencies in schools and communities. Bonnie began her performing career as a dancer touring with Paula Ross and Kokoro Dance companies and Snake in the Grass Moving Theatre. She has professional credits in stage management and has worked in media production.


8:45am – Doors Open

9:30am sharp – Program Begins

4pm – Program ends

4-4:30pm – Dessert reception & pickup

  • Tickets are $60 each (Girls or Adults) and include nutritious, nut-free, diet-diverse snacks and a sweet treat at the dessert reception however DO NOT include lunch. Participants are asked to bring their own lunches, water bottles and coffee/tea mugs.
  • G Day is committed to accessibility. Families for whom the ticket price is inaccessible, please fill out this brief form here.
  • The Nikkei Centre is fully wheelchair accessible.
  • Have other accessibility needs? Please let us know!
Who is G Day for?
  • G Day defines girls as female-identified youth. Transgender girls are 100% welcome at G Day. We ask that girls be approximately (see note below) age 10-12 (born in 2007, 2008 or 2009, or be in Grade 5, 6 or 7) to attend G Day.
  • Age: we isolate the ages of approximately 10-12 years in order to ensure as much commonality of life experience (at least in terms of quantity) as possible among the girls. If your girl is a mature 9 and is being accompanied by a parent or other supportive adult in their lives, then wonderful. The main thing is that we do not want is to make girls feel like they are being “accelerated” through childhood by their experience at G Day. Let kids be kids: there will always be next year!
  • On the other end of the spectrum, teenagers may perceive G Day as a “kid” or “uncool” thing and therefore hang back from engaging with other participants or be reaching for their phones (see our note about use of devices at G Day). If you believe that there is a risk of your teenager being bored, she can always be a volunteer in a few years!
  • Adults. Parents and other supportive adults in girls lives are welcome and encouraged to attend: G Day is for you, too! Supportive adults can include step-parents, foster parents, godparents, Aunts/Uncles, mentors, teachers, social workers etc. Please note that G Day is not a “Mother-Daughter” event: although it can be, if this describes your relationship. We welcome Dads and other supportive adults of all genders.
G Day 2019 Media Release

G Day Vancouver 2019 team

Program Committee

Sponsored by: