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We Day 2015 kicked off its tour in Toronto, bringing together A-list celebrities, performers, motivational speakers and educators to advocate for social change, with host Demi Lovato taking the stage to celebrate thousands of youth on the path to making a difference.
The day opened with a video montage recapping past WE Day events, showcasing the incredible journey that Free the Children has continued to inspire for 20 years. Clips highlighted ongoing supporters of WE Day, including last year’s host Selena Gomez, and past speakers Nick Jonas, Kendrick Lamar, Prince Harry and more.
The first speaker of the day was a young boy sharing the story of a child sold into slavery at the age of four. Following his story was a series of clips telling the story of another young boy with the dream to make the world a better place. That boy was Craig Kielburger. His movement started when he was just 12 years old, and now it’s grown into one of the most empowering campaigns in the world. When the video series ended, Craig took the stage to welcome the youth that had earned their way to WE Day, and congratulated them for their passion and dedication to making a difference.
The day went on to showcase speakers, artists, educators and activists sharing their stories and experiences. Check out the highlights from WE Day Toronto below and don’t forget to tune-in to the special broadcast premiere on Wednesday, November 25th!
Marc and Craig Kielburger
Marc and Craig Kielburger, the two brothers who co-founded Free the Children 20 years ago, were first to take the stage. They spoke about the power of realizing big problems in the world, and coming together as a community to impact social change. Before passing things over to Spencer West, Marc and Craig got the audience pumped for the day by having them repeat three powerful statements:
We are powerful.
We are a movement.
We will change the world.
Anything imaginable is possible. That was Spencer West’s first lesson of the day. As we prepare for the possibility of life on Mars, we’re reminded that we can do anything we put our minds to. Spencer was told he would never be able to drive without legs, but then he drove across the country. Spencer continues to motivate and inspire those around him, and WE Day wouldn’t be the same without him.
‘Journey begins with imagination.’ –Spencer West
Introduced by one of his best friends (and the 2015 WE Day host, Demi Lovato), Nick Jonas took the stage to perform his hit single, ‘Levels.’ Nick moved to the music, singing and dancing with all the energy in the world. With an army of dancers in flashy costumes, and a chair trick to boot, you would never know the struggle Nick faces with diabetes every day. But instead of letting his disease control him, Nick continues to offer his support to those living with the same struggles. It just goes to show, regardless of the obstacles, anything is possible.
Canada’s very own, Shawn Mendes, performed fan favourites, ‘Stiches’ and ‘Never be alone,’ with the latter being accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. The combination was both beautiful and moving, as Shawn sang and encouraged audience participation.
Carly Rae Jepsen
2015 Best Canadian Act EMA nominee, Carly Rae Jepsen, appeared for TWO musical performances, kicking things off with her summer smash, ‘I Really Like You,’ and later returning to perform her newest hit, ‘Run Away With Me.’
Be sure to catch Carly’s performance, among others, on the WE Day special broadcast premiere Wednesday, November 25 on MTV!
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