In addition to her broadcasting work, Ien is a former distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts (RTA) program. She now sits on the university’s Board of Governors. In 2014, the program gave her the distinction of an award co-named in her honour. The Marci Ien and Dwight Drummond Award celebrates students from under-represented and marginalized communities who show great potential in any three of the school’s programs. In 2013, Ien was inducted into the RTA’s Wall of Fame for her significant contributions to the field of media.
Ien’s career in television spans over three decades, and has taken her from Halifax, where she joined CTV National News as a reporter in 1997, to Vancouver, where she was the News Anchor for CTV’s Olympic Morning at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. In 2016, Ien was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award in the category of Best Talk Show Host for her work on Canada AM.
Deeply committed to humanitarian causes, Ien travelled to Sierra Leone on behalf of Journalists for Human Rights, where she met with reporters and led training workshops. That same year, she was honoured by the Black Business and Professional Association with a Harry Jerome Award. Ien also works with World Vision, and travelled with them to Sri Lanka to report on the situation following the 2004 Tsunami.
Karina LeBlanc moved to Maple Ridge British Columbia at age 8. Her early life was spent on a small island in the Caribbean and then she was thrust into a new country with different customs and culture. Karina was a smart, shy, misunderstood child with a vibrant personality buried within. It wasn’t until she met some local coaches who invited her the track and field club and basketball team that her confidence rose and allowed her personality to shine. Soon after others would also notice a change in her confidence. This confidence enabled Karina to pursue a college education, play soccer for her country for almost 18 years and further win a Bronze Medal at the Olympics in 2012.
After the World Cup in 2015 she finally decided it was time to hang up her cleats and explore her greater purpose. Being the longest standing soccer player of all time for Canada, (5 World Cups and 2 Olympic games), she would no longer be Karina LeBlanc the soccer player, but now Karina LeBlanc the person seeking to understand her new meaning in life. As Karina journeys through this new transition in life, she is rediscovering herself through others. For her, soccer was more than just a sport she played. It allowed her to gain confidence and realize that her voice is for a reason, which helped her become a UNICEF ambassador. Using her international career as a platform, she uses her experiences from her life and career to empower others and help them on their journey to being the best version of themselves.
Her energy is contagious and she loves to ensure that everyone around her truly enjoys what they’re doing. A motivational speaker, a broadcaster, a host (on air and in person) she can entertain and motivate any crowd, while including humour. She thrives on bringing the best out of people, getting them excited, and getting them involved in every aspect of what’s going on both on or off the field.
Stay tuned for the complete list of amazing speakers.