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Whistler’s TEDxWhistler Conference

by Jake McGrail
TEDxWhistler Legacy 2021

TEDxWhistler happens on May 7th in 2023. The Whistler event takes place online and in-person with a number of dynamic and thought-provoking speakers.


This article contains the following information about TEDxWhistler:

Where and When? | What to Expect | 2023 Speakers | About TED and TEDx Conferences | Other Information


TEDxWhistler 2023

If you’ve never attended a TEDx event before, you should. And if you have attended one before, or at least seen and enjoyed TED Talks online, you should also attend TEDxWhistler. The Whistler conference is an exceptional one, and very accessible.

The theme of the 2023 event is “Purpose.” Audiences can expect to hear about the driving forces behind purpose and what keeps people moving forward.


TEDxWhistler 2021


Where and When is TEDxWhistler?

TEDxWhistler was a virtual event in 2021, so you didn’t actually need to be in Whistler to join in on it live. You could have watched from anywhere around the world. This is the case again in 2023. This year, TEDxWhistler runs on May 7th from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. The event is available both online and in-person at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre located at 4584 Blackcomb Way in Whistler.

Ticket prices for 2023 are to be confirmed. Check the TEDxWhistler website for the latest details.


What to Expect at a TEDx Conference

As is standard for both TED and TEDx events, TEDxWhistler features a series of short individual presentations from the lineup of speakers. Each talk is typically less than 18 minutes in length. There are usually around 10 presenters that come from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions which provides a nice range of topics for the talks.

The fact that this is a TEDx event rather than a standard TED conference means that it is organized by a team of volunteers. This in turn means that there is a definite local focus. The majority of the speakers will likely be either residents of the Sea to Sky region or currently based in Whistler.

Most TEDx talks have just 100 people or less in attendance so it’s a more intimate event. Large ones though can have up to 2000 participants or more, but that’s not so common. The presentations are very carefully prepared and often include some sort of demonstration or other visuals. They are quite informative and the number of speakers scheduled means that a lot of different things are covered.


TEDxWhistler Speakers

The lineup of speakers for TEDxWhistler in 2023 includes the individuals listed below. For the full list of speakers visit the TEDxWhistler website.

  • Kim Campbell– the 19th Prime Minister of Canada. She talks about leadership, politics, climate change and more.
  • Heather Paul – a community-minded leader and the current executive director of the Squamish and Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
  • Ashley Freeborn – an entrepreneur from Vancouver and current CEO of Smash + Tess.


About TED and TEDx Conferences

The TED organization was founded back in the 1980s. Beginning as small talks and conferences focused mostly on technology in the Silicon Valley, TED has grown into a massively popular brand of sharing stories and information in all sorts of areas of study. TED Talks are available to watch for free online with thousands of presentations on offer on the official TED Website.

As mentioned above, there is a difference between TED and TEDx Conferences. TEDx events are not actually organized by the TED organization. Instead, they are independent and must follow a set of guidelines set out by TED. The TEDx events themselves, however, are unique to the individual host organizations.

This independent nature and relatively easy licensing format means that there are a massive number of TEDx events held around the globe. There are well over 150,000 videos available on the TEDx YouTube Channel, which is many times more than the standard TED Talks.

As the TED Foundation is a non-profit organization, TEDx events are required to be non-profit as well. Admission fees and sponsorships are allowed to cover the operating costs. Speakers, however, cannot be paid to take part in the conference and all copyright on the videos from the event go to TED (which then distributes them for free).



TEDxVancouver in 2018


Other Information

For more information about the Whistler event visit the TEDxWhistler website. To learn more about the TED Foundation itself you can check out the official TED Website.

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