Celebs to join 20,000 youths at WE Day Toronto 2016

A series of inspiring stadium-sized life-changing events that take place around the world, brings together world-renowned speakers and performers including Gord Downie, Jason Derulo, Macklemore, Lilly Singh, Margaret Trudeau, Hedley, Winnie Harlow, Chris Hadfield, Penny Oleksiak, Jacob Tremblay, Paula Abdul, Chris Hadfield and more. Alongside international activists and WE co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, WE Day Toronto Host Zendaya and co-hosts, Liz Trinnear and Tyrone Edwards, the cast of returning WE Day fan favourites and new faces join 20,000 students and educators from over 1,000 schools to celebrate the contributions of young people and kick-start another year of change.

 WE Day is part of WE—a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world locally and globally, achieving transformative outcomes for themselves and others. People from across Ontario can join the movement by visiting WE.org to take the WE Pledge, a commitment to living WE by making a difference every day. In partnership with MTV, and alongside partners led by National Co-Title sponsors RBC and TELUS, WE Day Toronto celebrates the remarkable stories of people creating change and provides the youth in attendance—and tens of thousands more watching the event streamed live on mtv.ca—inspiration to find their place within the WE Movement.

“WE Day celebrates young people who are making a difference in this world, and I’m proud to be a part of that movement,” said UNAIDS Ambassador, singer and actress, Zendaya. “Our collective voices can overpower negativity and spread a different kind of message—one of love, perseverance, strength and support.”

Making WE Day a true community celebration of youth taking action, local Ontarians with inspiring stories join the WE Day Toronto lineup, including Ashley Murphy, age 18. Born to a mother who struggled with various addictions, Ashley was born with an HIV infection which quickly progressed into AIDS, causing her to fight for her life in a hospital at just six weeks old. Ashley has been living openly as HIV-positive since the age of seven, speaking publicly to raise awareness of HIV and breakdown its stigmas. Ashley has spoken across North America, in Europe, and in Kenya, sharing her story of perseverance and courage in the face of bullying, exclusion and discrimination. Ashley is just one of the many young people who will share their story to motivate their WE Day peers.

Speakers and performers at WE Day Toronto will energize the crowd through a day full of powerful educational speeches, inspirational moments and empowering performances. A few must-see highlights include:

Singer, songwriter, poet and actor, Gord Downie moves the audience with an emotional performance of a song from his ground-breaking Secret Path Project

 Grammy-award winning hip-hop artist, Macklemore, takes the WE Day stage for his first live performance of his brand new hit song “Drug Dealer”

Canadian high school student, swimmer and four-time Olympic medalist, Penny Oleksiak, speaks to her WE Day peers about the important roles motivation and dedication play to achieving dreams

 Margaret Trudeau connects with the WE Day audience, sharing what it means to her to be Canadian, the mother of the Prime Minister and her responsibility as a national role model.

WE has been empowering young people to transform communities at home and around the globe for over 20 years—now the movement is empowering families across the country to live WE. The first ever WE Day Family event will take place October 19 at 6:15 p.m. ET at the Air Canada Centre following WE Day Toronto. WE Day Family will feature inspirational speakers and world-renowned performers, coming together to share their personal stories of leadership and triumph including Gord Downie, Lilly Singh, Nelly Furtado, Barenaked Ladies, Hedley, Paula Abdul, Rick Hansen, Margaret Trudeau, Chris Hadfield, Joe Roberts, DEGRASSI’s Chelsea Clark and Dante Scott, Hani Al Moulia, Vishal Vijay and more. Hosted by The Social stars Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst, Lainey Lui and Marci Ien, WE Day Family is designed to help families bring the power of change into their homes by bonding around causes that truly matter, raising caring and compassionate children, and setting them on a path for success.

More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to the yearlong free educational program, WE Schools, which provides schools and community groups with curriculum, educational resources and action campaigns designed to enhance a school’s existing social initiatives or spark new ones. WE Schools encourages students to further their curricular learning and develop life skills for success. Young people are challenged to research and make an impact on at least one local and one global issue, and are supported with curricular resources, service campaigns and mentorship programs to help them to become change-makers.

“Every year, more than 200,000 students, from over 10,000 schools around the globe earn their ticket to WE Day through the yearlong WE Schools program, creating positive impact at their schools and in their communities,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “WE Day Toronto will unite and celebrate thousands of young leaders who are working passionately for the causes they care about most, creating sustainable change on a local and global level.”

In the 2015/2016 school year students and teachers from across Ontario participated in remarkable social change. More than 2,400 schools groups in the province improved the world through WE Schools, volunteering over 1.8 million hours and raising nearly $5 million in support of local and global causes. Students from Scarborough’s Sir Wilfred Laurier Collegiate Institute have been living WE by taking on a range of initiatives through WE Schools to support their school and community. Recently, students organized “Hoops for Health”, a tremendously successful annual student and teacher basketball game which promoted healthy active living, plus raised funds and awareness for health related projects in Rural China communities.

 A global movement of 2.4 million young people strong, youth involved in the WE Movement have raised $62 million for more than 2,500 local and global organizations, volunteered 19.9 million hours for local and global causes and collected over 7.6 million pounds of food through service learning programs and campaigns.

 WE Day Toronto will be taped for a special broadcast premiering Monday, November 28, 2016 at 11 p.m. ET on MTV and Much. The special encores the following day at 8 p.m. ET on MTV, and Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 7 p.m. ET on CTV. 

Across Canada, WE Day and WE Schools are supported by partners led by National Co-Title Sponsors RBC and TELUS. RBC hopes to inspire every young Canadian to #Make150Count by celebrating the contributions and community spirit of youth in recognition of Canada’s 150th anniversary; TELUS supports the We give where we live® initiative, believing in the power of technology and communications to improve the lives of Canadians.

About WE Day

WE Day is part of WE—a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world. WE Day is the celebration of people coming together and filling stadiums around the globe to experience the greatest classroom in the world for a full day, live event. You can’t buy a ticket to WE Day —young people earn their entry by taking action on one local and one global cause. WE Day unites world-renowned speakers, presenters and award-winning performers with thousands of young people and families to celebrate and inspire another year of incredible change. This year alone over 200,000 young people will come together in 15 stadium gatherings across Canada, the U.S. and U.K. to take part in this unprecedented educational initiative.

WE Day is connected to the yearlong free educational program, WE Schools, which provides curriculum, educational resources and action campaigns to help students develop the leadership skills to succeed academically, in the workplace and as active citizens.

Join the WE Movement today and learn more at WE.org.