Keynote Speakers

Ann Mortifee

Ann Mortifee

Ann Mortifee is regarded by many as a true Renaissance woman, an icon of the arts in music, film,
and creative teaching. Ann will give the keynote address at the opening reception on Friday evening.

Together with Sherrill Miller, Ann will present a pre-festival workshop on “A Celebration of Living and
Possibility” from 9 AM to 4 PM, Friday October 23.

Ann spent years as a concert artist performing with Harry Belafonte and John Denver, singing with symphony orchestras throughout North America and Europe, and has written ballet scores, including the internationally acclaimed The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. Her work creating film scores, musicals, one-woman shows and CDs led her to being honoured with the prestigious Order of Canada, and the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, for her outstanding work in the performing and healing arts in Canada and internationally.

In addition to being an outstanding performing artist, Ann is also known as one of Canada’s most dynamic and creative keynote speakers, addressing such concerns as the use of creativity in healing, sexual abuse, death and dying, environmental and women’s issues. Ann is a passionate environmentalist and advocate for healing and change. She has helped to create two Foundations: The Somerset Foundation (with her brother, Peter Mortifee) and The Trust for Sustainable Forestry. She has led workshops and delivered keynote addresses in Canada, the United States and Europe, including Esalen Institute, The Sacred Space, and Hollyhock Retreat Centre. Mortifee has worked with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Marion Woodman, Tanis Helliwell, Bernie Seigel, John Robbins, Jean Houston, and David Feinstein, among others.

Swami Jyotihananda

Swami 2 - rev

Swami Jyotihananda has always been a creative thinker and intent observer,
curious about understanding the world around her. From a young age, she was
fascinated by the way that space is created and divided, and she expressed her
interest through art.

After cancer surgery when she was in her twenties, she questioned the
purpose of her life. Intuitively she decided to enroll in the Kootenay School of
Art in Nelson where she discovered the power of the creative process to heal
her body, mind and emotions.

At a noon lecture at art school, she heard a speaker describe the spiritual
practices at nearby Yasodhara Ashram. Intrigued, she visited the Ashram and
began her life-long study of yoga.

Immediately she could see the relationship between pottery, which she loved,
and creating form with the body in Hatha Yoga. She discovered the power of
meditation practices to still the mind and take her to a place of lightness and

Her study of yoga at Yasodhara Ashram led her to become first a teacher and
then, years later, a swami (renunciate—similar to a monk in Christian tradition).
She has spent the last 30 years deepening her practice and offering yoga to
students in Canada and Europe.

For Swami Jyotihananda, awareness is the key to yoga and the creative process.
“Yoga is art and art is yoga; they dance together. Both offer an opportunity to
channel the highest and bring beauty into the world.”

Swami Jyotihananda will present the keynote address at the global fusion dinner on Saturday evening.