Show UP! 


When faced with challenges in life, it can be difficult to open up to your community for support even though that is what we most need. In this conference we explore the value of relationships with oneself, with each other and with the world around us. Showcasing inspiring speakers and relevant partners, Show UP! addresses topics related to the importance of authenticity, inclusivity, equity and healthy relationships to sustain positive mental health.
Line-up includes: Speaker sessions from Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson the first indigenous and two spirited couple to win Amazing Race Canada, Dahabo Ahmed-Omer executive director of The Black North Initiative, and Synthia Kiss fashion designer and contestant on Canada’s Drag Race as well as interactive sessions from various organizations such as The Big Heart Journey and Photographers Without Borders.

Well-Being Pop UP
Show UP!

$400 CAD


Includes over 5 hours of well-being content
Speaker sessions
Interactive classroom activities
Q & A Discussion
Suggested conference schedule
Educator guidelines
1 school license


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What’s included?


Each Pop UP includes:

  • Speaker Sessions – 30 – 60 minute talks from speakers who share their story. Speakers are chosen based on their relevance to our audience and Pop UP theme.
  • Interactive Classroom Activities – 30 minute sessions designed with the goal of getting students moving, talking, and connecting. Each activity ends with reflection and discussion questions.
  • Educator Guide – Includes a suggested conference schedule as well as details about each session such as teacher notes, conversation prompts and other tips for how to use this content seamlessly in your school community.
  • Content is downloadable and can be customized, allowing schools to share what they feel is the most relevant to their needs.

Partner Organizations

Content for this Pop UP is anchored by the principles of The Umbrella Project and supported by activities and speakers from our carefully curated group of partners.


Anthony Johnson & Dr. James Makokis

@thephoenixfox @creeture82 @DrMakokis

Introducing James Makokis (Cree) and Anthony Johnson (Navajo/Diné), our headliners for this event. Dr James Makokis comes from Saddle Lake Cree Nation northeast of Edmonton. He now practises at Edmonton’s South Common Medical Centre, where he focuses on transgender health and medical hormone transitioning. He also works on the Kehewin Cree Nation southwest of Cold Lake. Johnson is from the Navajo Nation in Arizona and serves as a project consultant for Kehewin Health Services. They are the first Indigenous, Two-Spirit couple to win The Amazing Race Canada.

Cris Derksen


Juno nominated Cris Derksen is an Internationally respected Indigenous Cellist and Composer. In a world where almost everything (people, music, cultures) get labelled and slotted into simple categories, Cris Derksen represents a challenge. Originally from Northern Alberta, she comes from a line of chiefs from NorthTall Cree Reserve on her father’s side and a line of strong Mennonite homesteaders on her mother’s.

Dahabo Ahmed-Omer,
BlackNorth Initiative


Dahabo Ahmed-Omer is the executive director of BlackNorth Initiative, an organization founded with the mission to end anti-black systemic racism and the barriers negatively affecting the lives of black Canadians through a business-first mindset.

Danielle Da Silva, Photographers Without Borders

@danikhandasilva @photographerswithoutborders

Danielle (Dani) Khan Da Silva is the Founder and Executive Director of Photographers Without Borders. She is an internationally-acclaimed and award-winning South Asian/Portuguese photographer/filmmaker, as well as a land protector, scholar and activist. She is also the Co-Founder of the Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary. Danielle has learned more than 6 languages and has traveled to over 80 countries working with NGOs and multilateral organizations.

Luca Lazylegz

Luca lives a life by the motto ‘no limits.’ Born with Arthrogryposis, a neuromuscular disorder affecting the bones and joints of the body, he has undergone a total of 16 surgeries since he was 7 months old to support his legs, hips, spine, and shoulders. Despite his physical limitations, Luca adapted creatively to always find a way to stay active and play sports with his friends. At the age of 15, Luca was introduced to breakdancing and fell in love with the music, movements and culture. Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli is now a professional dancer and the founder of ILL-Abilities, an international Bboy crew composed of some of the world’s best differently-abled dancers.

Synthia Kiss


Synthia (Daniel Finlan out of drag) was born in Peterborough, Ontario and was raised by powerful women and gay men. A graduate from fashion school at Ryerson University, Synthia is a fashion designer, who has worked in corporate fashion for high-street fashion brands. After moving to Vancouver, Synthia discovered a way to creatively express herself by performing in Drag. She was a favoured contestant on Canada’s Drag Race, Season 2.

Mark Black


Mark Black is a heart and double-lung transplant recipient turned 4-time marathon runner, speaker, author and coach. Mark was born with a life-threatening heart defect and has survived many surgeries throughout his life, starting before he was even a year old. Mark’s message is very powerful because he lives the strategies that he teaches. Since receiving his second chance at life, Mark has traveled the globe speaking and sharing his passionate message of resilience with others. 

Taes Leavitt, Big Heart Journey


Taes Leavitt is a musician and actress, best known for her roles as “Boots” in the TV show Splash N’ Boots and The Fabulous Show with Fay and Fluffy. She is a two-time Juno award winner, kids tv writer, performer, life transformation coach for kids, and the Founder and CEO of The Big Heart Journey. The Big Heart Journey is a program created to support kids and their feelings in order to help them grow into empowered, confident adults. 

YLCC Camp Sessions

At Youth Leadership Camps Canada we have spent over 30 years creating activities that encourage “play with purpose”. Through our many student conferences and running the Leadership Training Centre we have designed a number of games and challenges that allow youth to have fun, laugh out loud and learn about leadership and themselves. Covering communication, problem solving and quick thinking skills we allow our participants to enjoy the process. Our favourite compliment is when a student says, “I didn’t realise I was learning anything until the end”. With this goal in mind we allow these young people to learn through fun.

The Ripple Effect Education


Conflict happens! When we approach conflict to understand others and creatively problem-solve, it can become an opportunity to learn and grow.

In this interactive workshop, participants will build a definition of interpersonal conflict, explore how conflict escalates and how conflict can lead to growth, and practice communication and problem-solving strategies for conflict situations

The Umbrella Assessment


In this session, students will participate in The Umbrella Assessment to determine their current strengths and challenges when it comes to their coping skills. They will be guided through step-by-step and given time for reflection and discussion with their peers to make connections with one another.

Get Started Today!

The Well-Being Pop UP is brought to you by The Umbrella Project and the generous support of our sponsors 

About our Founder, Dr. Jen Forristal

Students have always been in need of strong relationships to navigate the ups and downs of life. Unfortunately, research trends are showing us that students are more connected digitally to peers but lonelier than ever. To make a real change in student well-being we need to focus on helping them develop and sustain the strong bonds that will protect their well-being. Our new pop UP conference entitled Show up is designed to do just that – inspiring students to “show up” for each other and find communities where they can be their authentic selves.


Health and Happiness,
Dr. Jen



Legal - Fine Print

By purchasing this license you will receive access to Pop-UP content for Show UP!. This license is non-transferable and unassignable. It cannot be shared with third parties, including but not limited to other schools. By purchasing the Well-Being Pop UP from The Umbrella Project, you are agreeing to receive communication from us about this product and our other resources.