Annual Breakfast

It’s an experience you won’t forget.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation Breakfast is our signature annual fundraiser. It’s an inspiring, eye-opening, and sell-out event that is held every October in Toronto and Calgary.

Each year, attendees hear from world-renowned leaders and activists. Past Breakfast speakers have included Gloria Steinem, Geena Davis, Sally Armstrong, Ashley Judd, Maysoon Zayid, Michael Kimmel, and Tina Tchen. Most importantly, this event helps to change lives.

Funds raised at the breakfast go to the Canadian Women’s Foundation to support programs that help women move themselves out of poverty, and into financial independence, confidence, and leadership.

Tina Tchen at Canadian Women's Foundation Toronto Breakfast

Keynote speaker Tina Tchen, who was former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and Executive Director of the Council on Women and Girls, speaks to a packed room at the 2017 Toronto Breakfast.

Past Breakfasts

  • 2017 Breakfast: Tina Tchen

    At the 2017 breakfast, Tina Tchen spoke about how her work in the White House shaped her thoughts on the future of leadership, public policy, and empowering women and girls locally and globally.

    A champion of equality for women and girls in the Obama Administration, Tina was Assistant to U.S. President Barack Obama, Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, and Executive Director of the Council on Women and Girls. She also led the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families, as well as the United State of Women Summit.The Summit brought together leaders, activists, businesspeople, and entertainers to rally for more work toward gender equality.

    Tchen also helped launch Let Girls Learn, a government project aimed at helping teen girls get quality education. She was also the first Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement during the Obama Administration.

    Special thanks to:

    Toronto Breakfast Committee

    Jennifer Rogers, EY, Committee Co-chair
    Elaine Sequeira, RBC Private Banking, Committee Co-chair
    Catherine Carscallen, Gardiner Roberts LLP
    Kate Cooper, Bousfields Inc.
    Andra Enescu, CannaRoyalty Corp.
    Adrienne Harris
    Nancy Sharma, TD Wealth
    Elizabeth Simmie, Bristol Gate Capital Partners Inc.

    Calgary Events Committee

    Ellie Smith, Committee Chair
    Anne Kean
    Madison Brush
    Chris Stephens
    Christine Harle
    Dayna Morgan
    Erin Viala
    Joslynn Boyce
    Kathy McMillan
    Lauren Hutchison
    Pamela Wicks
    Alison Taylor
    Vanessa White

    2017 Breakfast Sponsors

    Toronto Sponsors

    Legacy Sponsor

    Champion Sponsor

    Patron Sponsor

    Builder Sponsor

    Media Sponsor

    Photography Sponsor

    Calgary Sponsors

    Legacy Sponsor

    Champion Sponsor

    Patron Sponsor

    Builder Sponsor

    Media Sponsors

    Photography Sponsor

  • 2016 Breakfast: Michael Kimmel

    Michael Kimmel has been called “the world’s most prominent male feminist.” Kimmel, a bestselling author and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University, shared his findings on the impacts of hyper-masculinity and how gender equality is good for everyone—men included.

    Kimmel is the author of more than 20 books, including Manhood in America, Angry White Men, The Politics of Manhood, The Gendered Society, and the best seller Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. In 2013, he founded the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook with funding from the MacArthur Foundation; Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Eve Ensler are on the Board of Directors. In 2017, the Center plans to start offering a master’s degree in masculinity studies, the first in the world.

    Special thanks to:

    Toronto Breakfast Committee

    Elaine Sequeira, Chair, RBC Private Banking
    Catherine Carscallen, Gardiner Roberts LLP
    Andra Enescu
    Jennifer Rogers, EY
    Nancy Sharma, TD Wealth
    Lauren Thorek, Thorek/Scott and Partners

    Calgary Events Committee

    Pamela Wicks, Chair, Pulse Seismic Inc.
    Ellie Smith, Vice Chair
    Alison Taylor, Alliance Pipeline
    Anna Cordner, Agrium
    Chris Stephens, Viewpoint Group
    Dayna Morgan
    Erin Viala, Bryan & Company Calgary LLP
    Gwen Becker, RBC Dominion Securities Inc.
    Helen Greene
    Jill Tuggle, Progress Energy
    Joslynn Boyce, JB Wellness Inc.
    Kathy McMillan, Richardson GMP
    Lauren Hutchinson, Hull Services
    Marleen Tretiak
    Vanessa White, Cenovus Energy Inc.

    Breakfast Sponsors

    Toronto Breakfast

    Legacy Sponsor

    Champion Sponsor

    Patron Sponsor

    Builder Sponsor

    Media Sponsor

    Photography Sponsor

    Toronto table purchasers

     

    Calgary Breakfast

    Legacy Sponsor

    Champion Sponsor

    Leader Sponsors

    Media Sponsors

    Calgary table purchasers
  • 2015 Breakfast: Maysoon Zayid

    In 2015, Maysoon Zayid shared her unique and often hilarious take on equality. She made audiences laugh, but also made them think about the treatment of people living with a disability, the impact of cyberbullying, and much more.

     

    Special thanks to:

    Toronto Breakfast Committee

    Elaine Sequeira, Committee Chair, RBC Private Banking
    Arlene O’Neill, Deputy Chair, Gardiner Roberts LLP
    Jennifer Rogers, Ernst & Young LLP
    Karen Sinotte, CRM Consulting
    Lauren Thorek, Thorek/Scott and Partners

    Toronto Breakfast sponsors

    Legacy Sponsor

    Champion Sponsors

    Leader Sponsor

    Builder Sponsor

    Community Partner

    Media Sponsor

    Photography Sponsor

    Toronto table purchasers

     

    Calgary Events Committee

    Pamela Wicks, Chair, Pulse Seismic Inc.
    Renee Rouleau, Vice Chair
    Gwen Becker, RBC Dominion Securities Inc.
    Ellie Clarke
    Anna Cordner, Agrium
    Michelle Crone
    Jinger Forde, Oliver Capital Partners Inc.
    Helen Greene
    Carol Howes, Petroleum Human Resources
    Lauren Hutchison
    Bita Jamalpour
    Kathy McMillan, Richardson GMP
    Penny Sirr, Petrogas Energy Corp.
    Chris Stephens, Viewpoint Group
    Alison Taylor, Alliance Pipeline
    Marleen Tretiak
    Jill Tuggle, Progress Energy Canada Ltd.
    Erin Viala, Bryan & Company Calgary LLP

    Calgary Breakfast Sponsors

    Champion Sponsors

    Leader Sponsors

    Media Sponsors

    Calgary table purchasers
  • 2014 Breakfast: Ashley Judd and Sally Armstrong

    At the Toronto breakfast, actress Ashley Judd shared her journey to activism and her work to end sex trafficking. She has spoken out against the sexualization of women and girls in media and has increasingly focused on her humanitarian work, including poverty alleviation, public health, human rights, and social justice.

     

    At the Calgary Breakfast, Sally Armstrong shared dramatic and empowering stories about women from across the globe—from Kabul to Cairo, from Mosul to Nairobi, and right here at home—who are changing the world as we know it. Thanks to their stunning courage, tenacity and wit, these game-changers are shifting the global status of women.

    Special thanks to:

    Toronto Breakfast Sponsors

    Legacy Sponsor

    Champion Sponsors

    Leader Sponsors

    Coffee Sponsor

    Media Sponsor

    Photography Sponsor

    Calgary Breakfast Sponsors

    Patron Sponsor

    Leader Sponsors

    Builder Sponsors

    Coffee Sponsor

    Media Sponsor

  • 2013 Breakfast: Sally Armstrong and Geena Davis

    Sally Armstrong, one of Canada’s most engaging speakers, has been described as “the war correspondent for the world’s women”. Sally spoke at the 2013 Toronto Breakfast about stunning courage in the face of oppression, what we can learn from it in Canada, and why the time for women is now.

    When actress Geena Davis was watching television with her two-year-old daughter, she was shocked at the lack of female characters in children’s programs. Today, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry regarding the portrayal of women and girls in children’s entertainment. She spoke about her work at the 2013 Calgary Breakfast.

    Special thanks to:

    Calgary Breakfast Sponsors

    Platinum Sponsor

    Gold Sponsor

    Silver Sponsors
    Insert Pulse Seismic, McMillan Logos, The Shopping Channel and Williams Logos

    Coffee Sponsor

    Media Sponsors

  • 2012 Breakfast: Geena Davis and Shelagh Rogers

    When actress Geena Davis was watching television with her two-year-old daughter, she was shocked at the lack of female characters in children’s programs. Today, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry regarding the portrayal of women and girls in children’s entertainment. She spoke about her work at the 2012 Toronto Breakfast.

    The 2012 Calgary Annual Breakfast featured Shelagh Rogers, veteran broadcast-journalist and host of The Next Chapter on CBC Radio. Funds raised at the event helped women in Canada to move out of poverty by funding life-changing programs designed especially for them.

    Special thanks to:

    Toronto Breakfast Sponsors

    Presenting Sponsors

    Supporting Sponsors

    Companion Sponsors

    Media Sponsors

    Calgary Breakfast Sponsors

    Presenting Sponsor

    Supporting Sponsor

    Media Sponsor

    Contributing Sponsor

  • 2011 Breakfast: Gloria Steinem and Indira Samarasekera

    In 2011, Gloria Steinem was the keynote speaker at our 20th anniversary fundraising breakfast in Toronto. In her speech, Gloria called the Canadian Women’s Foundation “a bright star in the global women’s movement” because our work is rooted in creating independence, not dependence, by helping women and girls move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence.

    Indira Samarasekera, President of the University of Alberta, says it takes vision, ambition, and courage to live your live with purpose. In her 2011 speech at the Calgary breakfast, Indira shared her personal journey, from civil war in her home country of Sri Lanka, to her childhood passion for mathematics and physics, to arriving in Canada in 1977 to complete her doctorate in Metallurgical Engineering at the University of British Columbia.