Three inspiring, Toronto-based individuals take the stage in this panel hosted by CBC Toronto: Olympic Athlete, Team Canada’s Alysha Newman; HGTV star Scott McGillivray and Inspirational Dancer & Content Creator, Donté Colley.
All three possess talent, charisma and work ethic in their everyday lives – and have chosen to leverage their abilities and real-world influence to connect with their fans globally through social media – to inspire, motivate and bring people together. In a time when the online world can feel bogged down in negativity and polarizing politics, these creators and influencers are using their platforms to spread positivity.
What can we learn from these inspiring individuals? What do marketers need to consider when looking to work with inspirational brand ambassadors like these? Donte, Alysha, and Scott tell all.
Donté Colley | Dancer & Content Creator
Donté Colley is a Dancer and Content Creator based in Toronto, Canada. Colley showed an early interest and talent in dance and attended a performing arts school as a teen. He credits his time there as his opportunity to come into his own artistically in a positive and supportive place.
Today, he seeks to fuse his love of dance with his uplifting messaging to create a safe space on Social Media. In a realm where many are made to feel that they will never be good enough, Colley seeks to empower his followers through a message of self-love.
His genuine connection and point of view have made him a celebrity favourite. Donté appeared in Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét’s Monopoly music video, created content for Will Smith’s bucket list and performed with The Chainsmokers. His videos have been reposted by Beyoncé, Tracee Ellis Ross, Halle Berry, Jennifer Garner, Sharon Stone, Leslie Jones, and Kacey Musgraves.
His appearances have included Good Morning America, Busy Tonight, ETALK Canada, Vice Canada, and Buzzfeed Live. He has also been featured in Paper Magazine, Forbes, Vogue.com, NY Magazine, Garage, TIME, CNN.com, Oprah Magazine, and Daily Mail.
His brand collaborations have included Marc Jacobs, Glossier, Lacoste, Uniqlo, Savage x Fenty, Browns Fashion, Revolve, Coachella, Netflix, BET, Mercedes-Benz Fashion, and Starbucks.
Alysha Newman | Olympic Track and Field Athlete, Team Canada
Olympian Alysha Newman sees no limits to how high she can go! The Canadian pole vault record holder has won medals at both the Commonwealth and Pan Am Games and is eying a podium performance at the 2020 Olympic Summer Games.
Alysha enjoyed a remarkable 2019 season, which included breaking the Canadian record six times, indoors and outdoors, winning her first Diamond League competition, placing 5th at the World Championships and finishing up the year ranked 3rd in the Diamond League standings.
Alysha was born and raised in London, Ontario where she was a competitive gymnastics before a back injury forced her out of that sport and into track & field.
Outside of her sport, Alysha has become a popular health & wellness and fashion influencer. She also makes time to talk with young people about mental health, learning through failure and adversity and the importance of living a balanced lifestyle.
Alysha is a graduate of the University of Miami and currently lives and trains in Toronto.
Scott McGillivray | Real Estate, Renovation & Design Expert, & Celebrated HGTV Personality
Scott McGillivray, internationally renowned HGTV Star, is the definition of an entrepreneurial success story; an astute real estate investor, skilled contractor and accomplished businessman.
Scott McGillivray’s passion lies in educating people to make smart investment and renovation decisions and how to succeed in the uber-competitive world of real estate. What began as a university project developed into a unique business model that McGillivray strategically executed with investment properties across North America.
With experience spanning a decade in the television industry, McGillivray is no stranger to innovative media production. In 2015, Scott launched his own production company, McGillivray Entertainment, to produce original lifestyle content across all platforms. The company’s anchoring project was the web series ‘Scott’s House Call,’ now entering production on its 4th season!
As a contractor, best-selling author, public speaker, educator, and guest expert, McGillivray is trusted for successful renovation and ROI tactics. McGillivray is a proud Ambassador for Habitat for Humanity Canada and is a respected influencer and digital trailblazer who engages daily with his 900k+ followers
Dwight Drummond | Award-Winning Journalist and Host on CBC Toronto News at Six
Dwight Drummond is an award-winning journalist and the host on CBC Toronto News at Six, which airs weeknights on CBC television. Dwight has been a reporter and news anchor for over two decades. With Dwight at the helm, CBC Toronto News is yet again nominated for Best Local Newscast at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards (CSA). Dwight is also nominated for Best Local Anchor. In 2015, Dwight and CBC Toronto News at Six were recognized as Canada’s Best Local Newscast.
As a reporter, Dwight was known for his exclusives, He broke local stories that went national, and has reported internationally. He had the lead story on CityNews’ Gemini win for Best Newscast, and a top story for City’s Edward R. Murrow win. Dwight was also awarded the Ryerson University Alumni Award of Distinction, and had been inducted into Ryerson’s Faculty of Radio and Television Arts’ Wall of Fame.
Dwight has also received a number of awards for his police reporting and commendations for his community work. He is a recipient of the Men of Excellence Award, the Distinguished Men of Honour Award and the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Media.
Dwight lives in west end Toronto with his wife and children. When he’s not dedicating his time to community events, he can be found in the cheering section at his daughters’ basketball games.