GET INSPIRED: Summer Fireside Series!

Friday Night Fireside embodies who we are as a community and it’s vital we keep this special connection all summer long. We are excited to announce our Fireside Summer Series program where we will offer 3 impactful evenings for our camp community on June 25, July 16 and August 13. We very purposefully chose the dates in June and August to coincide with the first and last days of our regular camp season, where we would traditionally raise and lower the flag for Summer 2020. Though we are unable to come together in person this summer, we know it’s of utmost importance to continue to inculcate core values virtually with our Manitou campers and staff. Please read below to learn about our inspirational speakers for this summer and save the dates. We hope you will be able to join us!


Next Thursday, we will welcome Juno Award winning Canadian Artist Peter Katz to kick off the first of our Fireside Summer Series. Peter will present a musical and story telling performance of “Why I Seek Discomfort”. He will share his journey about how it takes difficult times to become stronger and more resilient. Through his personal story we will hear how he never thought he would reach his dream, but through adversity came opportunity! While Peter had planned on joining us up at camp this summer, we are glad he is able to share his story with us virtually on what would have been our first night at camp. Join us for what is sure to be an inspiring and entertaining evening.


Many of us have shown our support for the Black community here in Toronto and around the world, but that is not enough. We all need to learn to create real change, take responsibility and commit to addressing these systemic issues together as Manitou family. Even at home in Toronto, Canada we are not immune to this global reality and we have an obligation to learn from those with lived experience so we can finally make real and lasting change in our communities. You will hear from several speakers about racism, prejudice and the Black experience here in our country and around the world. We are proud to hear the stories of Orlando Bowen, Jama Mahlalela, Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa and Anthony Maclean who was a part of fireside speaker series last summer. They will teach us how to rise up and take those next steps so we can truly make a difference.

Orlando Bowen was a linebacker for the CFL in the 2000s. His career was sadly cut short after he suffered a severe concussion at the hands of two corrupt police officers. Orlando has turned his experience into a position and founded One Voice One Team Youth Leadership Organization to inspire and to teach resilience, leadership and teamwork to youth.

Jama Mahlalela started with the in 2006 as a member of the community development staff, leading the Raptors Basketball Academy and various clinics throughout Canada. Mahlalela is now the new head coach for the of the Raptors 905 of the NBA G League. Jama will share with us the discrimination he and countless others have experienced throughout his career in Basketball.

When Chika Stacy Oriuwa started medical school at the U of T four years ago, she was the only Black person in a class of over 250 students. She triumphantly graduated this June as the valedictorian. We will learn about Dr. Oriuwa overcoming the adversity she has encountered and the success of her advocacy, which resulted in 24 Black medical students being admitted to the university’s medical program for the class of 2024, which is the largest group in Canadian history.

We are also thrilled to welcome back Anthony McLean. He is a rapper, YouTuber and motivational speaker and will remind us what it truly means to be an inclusive community where differences are celebrated, and issues like privilege and racism are things we can be open about.


We are excited to announce our new partnership with Baycrest, a global leader in geriatric residential living. We will be taking part in Baycrest’s “Adopt a Grandparent” initiative, with a pilot group exclusive to our 2020 CITs. This will allow our counsellors in training to connect with seniors in our community, one of the most vulnerable and isolated populations right now, and embody our Manitou values of supporting and learning from the wisdom of the older generation. At this Fireside, our CITs will share their impactful experiences and the powerful connections made through the program with our camp community.

One of the charities we had intended to partner with this summer was Make a Wish Canada, who provide life changing wishes to severely ill children. We often forget during this pandemic that many children’s lives were impacted long before COVID-19 – cooped up in hospitals and only able to us virtual reality and Technology to experience the outside world. We will hear from Make a Wish about the impact of their programs and from a child who had to postpone their wish.

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