Saskatchewan·Future 40

Meet the first 10 Sask. CBC Future 40 winners of 2020

Eliza Doyle, Hassan Masri, Helen Vangool, Tiffany Lester, Lua Gibb, John Bailey, Jason Mercredi, Jade Roberts, Peter Lozinski and Mia Georget are the first 10 CBC Future 40 winners of 2020.

2020 CBC Future 40 winners announced Dec. 2 to 6

Meet the first 10 Sask. CBC Future 40 winners of 2020. (Submitted to CBC)

Meet the first 10 winners of 2020's CBC Future 40 in Saskatchewan. Each day from Dec. 2 to 6 we'll announce another batch.

There are 40 finalists, or winners, in total. Each one is a Saskatchewan person aged 40 or under who is doing something incredible. Our Bright Lights (under 18) category returned this year and we added a new pandemic-influenced Champion through Change (all ages) category.

This first group includes a groundbreaking judge, a social savvy doctor, a community-minded CEO and many others who are doing amazing things to make this province a better place.

The finalists were chosen from a larger pool of nominees by a panel of judges composed of CBC Future 40 alumni.

Let's meet these amazing people!

All of the nominations below were written by members of the public and have been edited for length and clarity. Additionally, CBC provided all finalists with the opportunity to respond to their CBC Future 40 win in a questionnaire. Select answers from these appear below.

Eliza Doyle

Category: Education

Age: 38

Eliza Doyle is a 2020 CBC Future 40 winner. (Eliza Doyle/Facebook)

CBC: Tell us about the moment you realized your work was successful.

Eliza Doyle: I was delivering music lessons at a local school, and a young girl saw me teaching a community member the G chord on a guitar. She marched up confidently to show him that she could play it already, and then proceeded to instruct the lesson herself.

This was a very powerful moment to see mentorship in motion, to see the pride within her, and see the connections that she is making with her community in a leadership role and in a positive way.

Eliza's nomination: Eliza Doyle has been an educator, music teacher, professional touring and recording artist, songwriter, session musician and advocate for Saskatchewan for 18 years.

Most recently, she started the non-profit CAMP (Community Arts Mentorship Program). Inspired by a month-long artist-in-residency in Stanley Mission, Sask., her non-profit aims to engage under-served and remote Saskatchewan communities in music, arts, and cultural programming for self-expression, healthy identity formation, healing and reconciliation with a focus on building local capacity to administer programming through mentorship and training opportunities.

Doyle is excited to commit her skills and experience back into the province of Saskatchewan to build bridges through music to strengthen community relationships across the province through reconciliation, consultation and ongoing mentorship opportunities.

One of the goals of this music program is strengthening the role music plays in culture, community, identity, and self-esteem for youth, adults and elders. On another spectrum, she aims to connect people beyond themselves to a broader community, to the province and nation as a whole.

It can be hard sometimes in remote, vulnerable or under-served communities to see beyond local boundaries and understand how you fit into the bigger picture. It can be hard to see yourself beyond your community when there are limited opportunities to do so. CAMP works toward making the benefits of music instruction and experience in the music industry available to everyone in Saskatchewan.

Hassan Masri

Category: Health care

Age: 37

Hassan Masri is a 2020 CBC Future 40 winner. (Submitted to CBC)

CBC: What's your hope for Saskatchewan as we battle together against COVID-19?

Hassan Masri: Stay together. Physically stand apart. This is a small part of our lives and what is ahead will be great.

Hassan's nomination: At a time of uncertainty and misinformation, Dr. Masri did not shy away from informing the people of Saskatchewan about COVID-19.

As an intensivist at the University of Saskatchewan, he took on the responsibility and the inherent risk that comes with the territory of reaching the masses through social media and empowered the people of Saskatchewan. He reminded and encouraged others to take an active role in the containment of COVID-19 through physical distancing, quarantine, and isolation.

His educational videos have reached more than a million views on Facebook and he has been interviewed by CBC on a number of occasions to help educate our community. I suspect his success in resonating with his audience stems from his history of philanthropy (for example, fundraising $500,000 for Syria) and his active role as the intensivist on duty during the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.

Behind the scenes, Dr. Masri continues to brainstorm and lead initiatives to manage this pandemic. He is the lead of a curriculum where non-ICU physicians in Saskatchewan receive an accelerated course on managing the critically ill — empowering his colleagues to aid in the management of the critically ill should our province require such an intervention.

As a professor, his teaching style has been recognized with many awards, the most recent being the Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan Excellence in Teaching Award. He serves as a constant reminder that the role of a physician is not limited within the walls of a hospital.

Helen Vangool

Category: Education

Age: 32

Helen Vangool is a 2020 CBC Future 40 winner. (Submitted to CBC)

CBC: How does what you do make a difference in our community?

Helen Vangool: I'm making a difference in our community by sharing the Black experience in Saskatchewan and educating people on Canada's history and the current realities that BIPOC face daily. Talking about racism and promoting anti-racist work is not an easy task, but through outlets like news articles and social media, I have been able to do just that.

I think it has inspired others to reflect on their own behaviours and learn more about how their positions privilege them in society and how they can use their privilege to make a difference inside the classroom and at home.

Helen's nomination: Helen is a public school educator in Saskatoon with a passion for social justice and anti-racist education. She is of Eritrean and Ethiopian descent. She attended the University of Saskatchewan and has degrees in both psychology and education.

Helen runs the Instagram account @saskteaches where she shares both research and personal experiences about being a Black woman and teacher in Saskatchewan. The account has helped educate thousands about historical and ongoing issues in schools faced by BIPOC students and educators.

Helen works tirelessly to support BIPOC students and teachers in our community and beyond. She has been the focus of many articles, opinion pieces, and news segments, including on the CBC. She is also an executive member of SAFE, a Professional Growth Network run by Saskatchewan educators that aims to educate teachers in the province about anti-racist and anti-oppressive teaching practice and pedagogy. She also creates resources for teachers in her own time to encourage and support us all in becoming more inclusive and supportive educators for our students.

Helen is the future of education in our province and she deserves to be recognized for the invaluable work she does that so deeply and positively impacts her students, her colleagues and the wider Saskatchewan community.

Tiffany Lester

Category: Arts, Culture and Entertainment

Age: 26

Tiffany Lester is a 2020 CBC Future 40 winner. (Submitted to CBC)

CBC: How does it feel to know you're succeeding?

Tiffany Lester: It feels absolutely wonderful and slightly unbelievable. I say this after so many years of my own personal struggle with my identity and mental health. I'd hit a wall. I realized I couldn't work a "regular" job due to my illnesses, but wanted to still make an impact in the community and do everything I could to make it better.

It was hard to even believe I was making that much of a difference at first, which in turn made it easier to think I should quit, but I never did, and I'm so eternally happy I persevered.

Tiffany's nomination: I believe Tiffany Lester, the founder of Regina Kindness Rocks, should be considered as a Future 40 finalist for numerous reasons.

She has helped establish free pantries across Regina since COVID hit and continues to stock them with community needs such as food, blankets, warm clothing and art.

She paints beautiful works of art on rocks out of eco-friendly products and hides them for people to find to brighten their day. She also gives these rocks away, especially to people who are going through a hard time.

She continues to be a huge advocate for mental health and wellness.

Tiffany is doing great things in our local community and this will help her to continue her efforts for years to come.

Lua Gibb

Category: Social Activism, Volunteerism

Age: 39

Lua Gibb is a 2020 CBC Future 40 winner. (Submitted to CBC)

CBC: Tell us about the moment you realized your work was successful.

Lua Gibb: The first time I had an individual who appeared in front of me by telephone and I was asked, 'Wait, are you the First Nations judge?' I replied yes and I could hear the palpable relief in their voice because that individual felt at ease knowing that my lived experience brings a lens to my work that contributed to their experience of feeling seen and heard.

Lua's nomination: Judge Lua Gibb is an inspiring, brilliant, and humble person. She is nehiyaw iskwew from Onion Lake Cree Nation and has grown up in Saskatoon.

Judge Gibb was appointed as a provincial court judge in January 2020. She is the youngest judge in the province. She has worked as a provincial and federal prosecutor, as well as for the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth, since graduating from College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in 2005.

She has spent her career working as an advocate for Indigenous people in the justice system. During her time as a prosecutor she also was a faculty member of the National School for Prosecutors in order to deepen the understanding of how Indigenous experiences impact the justice system. Here she provided professional development in the area of residential schools, reconciliation, cultural competency, and trauma informed decision making.

As a judge she is able to expand her realm of influence in the justice system, and she is a role model and mentor for the people who come into her court. She uses her voice to remind Indigenous and non-Indigenous people that we are more than the mistakes that we have made, and that every generation we become stronger.

Judge Gibb was raised by a fourth-generation residential school survivor and walks this world with that strength and resilience. She is a mother of two children who she devotes her life and work to in restoring the dignity and beauty of Indigenous people in Saskatchewan.

John Bailey

Category: Champion Through Change

Age: 38

John Bailey is a 2020 CBC Future 40 winner. (Submitted to CBC)

CBC: What does it mean to be acknowledged for your endeavour?

John Bailey: It is an amazing feeling to be acknowledged for this work. There have been a lot of long hours to get where we are. It is humbling and inspiring to be part of this group.

John's nomination: John Bailey is a dynamic young leader in the non-profit community. He was named CEO of the Regina Food Bank in April 2019 and has led the organization through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 2020 demand for service at the Food Bank has risen 46 per cent. John has led a response that is working tirelessly to [address the] needs of the community in a COVID-19 responsible way, including shifting to door-to-door delivery and developing a contactless drive-thru service to ensure a sustainable and safe delivery model through the winter.

In the early days of the pandemic, John made the decision to live remotely from his family to make sure his family members, including his immunocompromised young daughter, could be as safe as possible while he and his team developed their approach to meeting the demands of the community.

In addition to his work at the food bank, John serves on the board of directors of Creative Options Regina, is a strategic advisor to the 4 to 40 Inclusive Employment Program, and was on the board of directors at SOFIA House. John has a BA and MBA from the University of Regina. His prior work history includes interim CEO and COO of the YMCA of Regina and VP of Operations at Harbour Landing Village.

John has led operations that drive both increased quality of service delivery and greater community impact across a complex variety of sectors including childcare, group homes, commercial restaurant and independent living for seniors.

Jason Mercredi

Category: Social Activism, Volunteerism

Age: 36

Jason Mercredi is a 2020 CBC Future 40 winner. (Submitted to CBC)

CBC: Tell us the moment you realized your work was successful.

Jason Mercredi: I realized the work was successful when a woman who had been vocally against the site opening came for a tour this summer. After the tour she changed her mind and told me that she supports the site and believed that our approach would be successful.

Jason's nomination: Jason Mercredi lives his passion for advocacy.

Jason serves as the executive director of Prairie Harm Reduction, formerly AIDS Saskatoon. In this role, Jason has spearheaded the opening of Saskatchewan's first safe consumption site. This is an historic and necessary accomplishment in a province so devastated by the HIV epidemic.

Jason is well-known in Saskatoon for offering his voice on behalf of so many who go unheard and offers leadership and insight in tackling many of Saskatchewan's toughest social issues: homelessness, poverty, disability, addictions or the HIV epidemic.

He is a co-founder of Canada's National HIV Testing Day. He successfully advocated for the provincial expansion of take-home naloxone. He wrote the policy for crack and meth pipes to be distributed in provincial needle exchanges. He leverages social media and more traditional forms of advocacy to build consensus for controversial but necessary social programs.

Born and raised in Treaty 6 territory, in the traditional homeland of the Métis, he is proud of his Métis, Dene and Scottish roots. He is known for forging partnerships and collaborating with the government and non-profit sector to encourage further investment in new strategies that move our province forward on issues of equal access to economic, health and social services.

Jason is on the board of directors for the Saskatoon Housing Authority and Sum Theatre, and was the Prairie chair for the Canadian AIDS Society. Jason is a force for good, who uses his endless energy and drive to improve the lives of marginalized people in Saskatoon.

Jade Roberts

Category: Education

Age: 26

Jade Roberts is a 2020 CBC Future 40 winner. (Submitted to CBC)

CBC: How does what you do make a difference in our community?

Jade Roberts: As one of the few Indigenous podcasters in Saskatchewan, I provide a platform for residential school survivors to share their stories. I bring attention and awareness to the history of this province/country. I bring awareness to the intergenerational impacts of residential schools and provide non-Indigenous people a resource to listen to and educate themselves on this topic.

My work as a teacher also makes a difference in our community, as I have the opportunity to work with Indigenous youth at Pleasant Hill School sharing cultural teachings, language and art in hopes they resonate with these teachings and learn about their own identity.

Jade's nomination: Jade Roberts is an Indigenous educator, podcaster, artist and community leader. She is Woodland Cree and Métis, reigning from the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. She currently resides in Saskatoon, Treaty 6 territory.

Jade graduated from the Indian Teacher Education Program at the University of Saskatchewan in 2018 and went on to teach a Cree Culture and Language program for the Saskatoon Public School Division. She is passionate about building bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth through her knowledge of Cree teachings. In addition to her work in the classroom, she works with the organization "TakingITGlobal" to deliver learning opportunities for urban, remote and Northern Indigenous youth.

Driven by her love for community building, she has created a podcast, Still Here Still Healing, which centres around the experiences of Indian Residential School survivors and seeks to educate non-Indigenous Canadians on the importance of hearing these stories. Additionally, Jade is one of the hosts of the Rising Youth podcast, where she regularly interviews youth on projects that make a positive impact within their communities.

Jade makes her mark by working with elders and young people to bring awareness on social issues and empowerment. Jade has a talent for digital artwork and has been published in the anthology Three Sisters Soup for the Spirit as well as SAY Magazine's 100th edition. Jade is incredibly passionate about the power of education as a means for building a brighter future, and how the empowerment of elders and youth can truly make an everlasting impact.

Peter Lozinski

Category: Business, Entrepreneurship and Economy

Age: 28

Peter Lozinski is a 2020 CBC Future 40 winner. (Submitted to CBC)

CBC: How does it feel to know you're succeeding?

Peter Lozinski: It's what keeps me pushing forward. There are tough days and tough decisions. But those successes carry me so far. I still feel warm inside and joyous when I remember how people have felt reading something I've written or we've published or I've performed in or I've helped come to life. That joy transcends what you're making or doing and becomes the energy feeding your soul.

Peter's nomination: Peter Lozinski is the editor of the employee-owned and operated Prince Albert Daily Herald, one of Canada's only independent daily newspapers. He became editor in 2016 when he was just 24, making him — at the time — the youngest daily newspaper editor in the country.

Since Peter joined the Herald, the paper has seen growth in both its digital and print subscribers, has increased its number of staff and has launched an additional publication, the Northern Advocate, which is distributed across northern Saskatchewan and focuses on telling untold stories in under-served communities.

In 2019, the Herald won best editorial page in the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspaper Awards. In 2020, Peter placed second in the awards for best educational coverage as the paper was short-listed in four categories. A number of his interns and reporters have gone on to jobs at major media outlets, which illustrates Peter's excellent qualities as a mentor.

When not working, Peter volunteers his time with the Prince Albert Concert Band, where he plays french horn and serves as president, and he has volunteered his time and media production expertise at the Mann Art Gallery. He's also appeared on stage with two local theatre groups: Odyssey Productions and The Broadway North Theatre Company.

Peter has also donated his time and photos to non-profit groups through his work at the Herald and has volunteered as a judge for the local Jail N Bail fundraiser, for the Model United Nations Assembly, and for the Chesterfest Music Festival. 

Mia Georget

Category: Bright Lights (under 18)

Age: 14

Mia Georget is a 2020 CBC Future 40 Bright Lights winner. (Submitted to CBC)

CBC: How does it feel to know you're succeeding?

Mia Georget: It feels good. My success means that others can get through adversity just like me.

Mia's nomination: My name is Neil Georget and I am Mia's dad. Mia is an amazing young lady that has faced astronomical odds to survive in the last 12 months.

In August 2019 Mia was diagnosed with an extremely rare brain tumour. Mia has learned to walk, talk, eat and live again. She lived in the hospital in Saskatoon for six months. In March we discovered her tumour was not fully removed and the true extent of her disease. She is the only person in the world with this type of tumour.

Mia created to raise funds for her treatment as well as the Saskatchewan's Ronald McDonald house. She uses her art and creativity to raise these funds and donated $500 to Beads of Courage (a program that helps kids in the hospital) and recently $5,000 to RMH Sask.

Mia has used her art to raise awareness because Canada is the only G7 country that does not have a Proton Therapy Clinic. Please read her story online. It really paints a much better picture. Nobody is perfect and that is OK. We are all less than perfect.