One of the best things about TEDxWinnipeg is that not only does it provide a forum for learning, discussion, and idea-sharing, but it’s also a great opportunity to meet some of Winnipeg’s best thinkers, activists, and movers and shakers in general.

As you may know we’ve been publishing a series of posts to help you get to know this year’s speakers before the big day, but we want to highlight some of the other amazing people and organizations that make TEDxWinnipeg a reality. This interview is with our returning hosts and emcees Stephen Sim and Caity Curtis, veteran TEDxWinnipeg hosts who will be returning for their third year.

We sat down with this dynamic duo to ask them some questions before this year’s event on June 13, 2018:

This is your third time emceeing TEDxWinnipeg – and you’ve become involved with organizing now. What draws you to the event? What do you enjoy about it?

Caity: TEDxWinnipeg is genuinely my favourite event of the year. Throughout the season I get to meet exceptional thinkers and doers. I leave every year inspired to enhance my own work and art – and the energy to follow through.

Stephen: TEDx is a great event because it attracts speakers and an audience that wants to learn and be inspired. So naturally, hosting an event like this, I get to not only meet inspiring speakers from an interesting range of people, I also get to perform in front of a one of the most intelligent and creative audiences I’ve ever seen. The event is a cross section of the most interesting people in Winnipeg.

Do you have any favorite TED or TEDx Talks that you would recommend to others?

Caity: Dr. Joel Carter’s TEDxWinnipeg talk from 2017 should be required viewing for every scientist AND artist.

Stephen: I really love Dr Joels talk at last year’s TEDxWinnipeg event. He talked about storytelling and specifically how stories are more than just entertainment, how they can heal too. I also love my friend Dave Morris’ TEDxVictoria talk on improv, because I love improv. Plus, I’m looking forward to all the new talks at this year’s TEDxWinnipeg!

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Caity: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson.  It is a quick read and a book that I will pass around to my entire family. Canada’s aging population has too much stuff – getting rid of things is a conversation so many families struggle with.

Stephen: I’m currently reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yoval Noah Harari. I’ve always been fascinated by humans and the history of humans. The way were and and thoughts on how we are the way we are. Very interesting to read this perspective.

The last time you wanted to give up on something, what made you keep going? 

Stephen: Caity made me keep going. When I don’t believe in myself, Caity doesn’t give up. She’s amazing.

What do you do for a living when you’re not doing TEDxWinnipeg?

Caity: My career has been amazing – and also very hard to explain.  As a professional improviser I spend a lot of time teaching workshops and classes as well as performing and producing shows or festivals.  I specialize in Applied Improvisation which is where we take the tools of improv (such as listening and being present) and apply them to other areas.  For instance – anyone who makes presentations at work could learn a lot from an improv class!

Stephen: Being an independent artist means that there are a lot of things I do for a living. Most of it centres around improvisation and this can include leading workshops, performing, producing, being an artistic director, marketing shows, designing shows, hosting events. Lately I have been investing my time in developing workshops in Applied Improvisation, which is exciting because it takes the base skills of improv and applies those skills to any professional setting. We have also been developing a brand new show using improv and new media technology to animate a show in front of an audience.

Rapid-Fire Round:

Paul Simon or John Lennon?
Caity:
Taylor Swift
Stephen: Garfunkel & McCartney

The Movie or The Book?
Caity:
The book.
Stephen: My favourite = The movie after I’ve read the book. I love seeing the interpretation of the literary narrative into the visual medium of film.

Favourite 1970s sitcom?
Caity:
X-Files
Stephen: M*A*S*H*

Dumbledore or Gandalf?
Caity:
Maggie Smith
Stephen: Gandalf on an adventure. Dumbledore as a teacher.

Biggest pet peeve?
Caity:
The Patriarchy
Stephen: People who aren’t paying attention. (I hate it when it happens to me too)

Still haven’t registered for TEDxWinnipeg yet? Snag your ticket before they’re all gone and join us for a day of challenging ideas and inspiring talks on June 13, 2018.