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2019 IBSC Annual Conference

Selwyn House School

Montréal, Québec, Canada
June 26 - 29

Thursday, June 27

Get inspired by these experts as together we explore the theme Boys and the Arts: Great Minds, Big Hearts. Check back frequently as we continue to add more speaker bios for this exciting event.

Sonia Lupien

Sonia Lupin

Plenary Session
Thursday, June 27
8:30 AM

Sonia Lupien is the founder and director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress, which strives to transfer scientifically validated knowledge on stress to the public. For the last 20 years, Lupien has studied the effects of stress on the human brain from infancy to adulthood and old age. Her studies have shown that children—as vulnerable as adults to stress—can produce high levels of stress hormones as early as age six. Her research in adults demonstrates stress can significantly impair memory performance, as well as the effects of stress on the aging brain.

In her new research projects, Lupien examines differences between men and women in stress reactivity. She created the DeStress for Success Program to teach adolescents ways to control stress as they transition from elementary to high school. She also developed the Stress Inc.© program to help workers recognize and control stress by means of a computer program in the workplace.

As part of her drive to educate the public, Lupien recently published the book Par amour du stress to help us better understand stress as it has been studied for the last 50 years by scientists around the world.

Molly Johnson

Molly Johnson

Plenary Session
Thursday, June 27
11:00 AM

Known as one of Canada’s greatest voices, award-winning jazz vocalist Molly Johnson is a mother, singer-songwriter, artist, and philanthropist, who just released her highly anticipated new album Meaning To Tell Ya. Produced by Grammy award winner Larry Klein, it is more than a jazz record—it’s funk, it’s soul, it’s groove played by some of Canada’s best musicians.

Johnson’s story starts in the mid ‘60s when as a young grade schooler, she and her brother, Clark Johnson, were tapped by legendary Toronto icon and producer Ed Mirvish to appear in Porgy and Bess at the Royal Alexander Theatre. Performances in South Pacific, Finian’s Rainbow, and other classic musicals followed. With the desire to become a choreographer, the budding child star soon enrolled in the National Ballet School. Eventually the idea of writing songs captivated her.

At 15 years old, Johnson fronted the disco band A Chocolate Affair for just over a year. In 1979, she formed a funky art rock group, Alta Moda (Italian for “high style”), which later morphed into the harder rocking Infidels. While trying to make headway in the world of rock and roll with her bands, she began a parallel career as a jazz singer.

Dedicated to supporting communities in need, Johnson established the Kumbaya Foundation and Festival in 1992, raising awareness and funds for people living with HIV/AIDS, and continues to work with several other charitable organizations each year. She has garnered the Queen’s Jubilee medal. In 2008, she became an Officer of The Order Of Canada (O.C.). Johnson earned this rare distinction for her philanthropic work for multiple causes and her international contributions to the arts. In 2016, she launched the Kensington Market Jazz Festival, which fills this colorful and vibrant area of Toronto with over 400 local Canadian musicians, performing 150+ shows over one weekend in September to more than 5,000 enthusiastic music fans.

In 2014, Johnson released the Juno-nominated Because of Billie in celebration of the music of Billie Holiday. Holiday’s journey inspires Johnson not only as an artist, but as a model citizen. Paying homage to Holiday’s childhood struggles, Johnson donated a portion of album sales to the Boys & Girls Clubs.