Surrey’s TEDxBearCreekPark won’t fill a venue this year, but organizers hope the third-year event will once again fill minds with ideas and inspiration.
A virtual version of the 2021 conference is planned for Saturday, March 27, and it’ll be free for all to watch and hear starting at 9:30 a.m.
Last year’s TEDxBearCreekPark attracted some 900 people to Bell Performing Arts Centre for a series of talks by special guests.
The format will be similar this time, only online, due to the pandemic.
“We had hoped to do it at the Bell, even without an audience, for streaming, but the theatre closed,” explained Alan Warburton, the event’s licensee/curator.
Instead, the 12 presenters will be recorded on the stage at White Rock Baptist Church in mid-March, for streaming on March 27.
“Each of the speakers will come at a certain time (to the church),” Warburton noted. “On the date of the livestream, a few of us will be there at the church, a small number of people, and we will cut away to the pre-recorded presentations.
“We understand people get tired of watching something on a computer,” he added, “so we are making it all very fast-paced and fun to watch, with some musical performances as well. Normally it would be a full-day event but we’re doing a three-hour event this year, a shorter event.”
TEDxBearCreekPark was launched in 2019 with a 100-capacity gathering at city hall’s Centre Stage theatre, and was moved to the much larger Bell theatre for 2020.
Warburton, a retired school principal who lives in the Ocean Park area, is pleased by how the event has progressed to become “the premier TEDx event in B.C.,” as he calls it.
“It’s gone very well – probably better than expected,” he said. “Last year, it was a wonderful day, and we took a huge step. Now we’re moving on to something new this year, which of course we have to, with the pandemic, but next year we’re hoping to be back at the Bell Centre.”
For free access to watch this year’s event, viewers must pre-register online at tedxbearcreekpark.ca.
The website pitches the event with an equation: “Twelve speakers + Twelve points of view = Countless ways to shift your thinking,” featuring “an outstanding group of speakers covering topics from the worlds of science, medicine, law, human experience, education, creativity, the environment, and more.”
For 2021, the 12 talkers are David Bentall, Fawzan Hussain, Grace Sinats, Dr. Olav Krigolson, Lizzie Allan, Johnny Trinh, Dr. Brandon Tang, Dr. Carly Phillips, Dai Manuel, Orville Lee, Sandy Gerber and Sue Blyth Hall. Their bios and photographs are posted to tedxbearcreekpark.ca/talks.
It’s an all-volunteer enterprise “presenting some of the finest and most potent ideas for the betterment of our world from our home city of Surrey,” according to a website post.
Warburton credits sponsors, including Lark Group, Studiothink and G&F Financial Group, for covering expenses and allowing for the free tickets this year. “It has been a difficult winter for everyone, and this is our gift to our audience,” he said.
On Feb. 2, Warburton was a guest on The Quiet Warrior Show, a podcast hosted by Tom Dutta.
Warburton’s career in education spanned 34 years and included teaching in three different countries (England, the Bahamas and Canada), according to a post on thequietwarriorshow.libsyn.com.
After retirement, Warburton became very involved with Toastmasters. “He accomplished the level of Distinguished Toastmaster and won many Toastmaster Speech contests,” the bio says. “He qualified for the World Championships of Public Speaking on two occasions (San Francisco in 2009 and Cincinnati in 2013). Alan was elected as the Toastmasters’ District 21 Director for 2016-2017 which involved him being responsible for overseeing 150 Toastmaster clubs in Southern BC.”