Everyone has a story to tell.
It was the idea that spawned the Edward Milne Community School Society’s Sooke Talks series.
It was a concept born out of necessity as the EMCSS board considered its options for fundraising for some much-needed improvements to the EMCS Community Theatre.
“The theatre is 22 years old and it needed some new lights, sound baffles, and speakers,” said Jeff Bateman, past president of the EMCSS.
“We struck upon the idea of creating a venue where community residents could tell their stories and talk about the things about which they were passionate.”
Bateman admitted the concept was, at least in part, borrowed from the now famous TED Talks.
TED Talks have happened annually since 1990 and have hosted some of the world’s most influential, and sometimes controversial, minds.
“We knew that we have some fascinating people in our region, and it seemed like a great idea to feature some of those people in a similar format,” Bateman said.
The concept of Sooke Talks was born, and on a snowy night in February, the first event was launched.
“We had a great line up of speakers that night and managed to raise about $1,500, which was amazing given that the weather didn’t cooperate at all,” Bateman said.
That first crop of speakers was a diverse group that included Christine Bossi, who spoke about her work with child soldiers, Emma Hornsby, who explained the challenges of teen anxiety, and Parvez Kumar who gave his unique perspective on flying cars.
Bateman is just as excited about this year’s Sooke Talks speakers as the lineup includes speakers like Kaidyn Robertson, a nine-year-old who hums Mozart concertos and grows his own herbs, musician and storyteller Gord Phillips, and world traveller Quinn Yates.
“We put the event on with the help of the Sooke Harbour Toastmasters Club. They come in to help any speakers who have a bit of anxiety about public speaking and assist in hosting the event,” Bateman said.
The EMCSS plans to host two Sooke Talks events a year – one in November and another in the spring – and are always on the lookout for the next crop of speakers.
“If you know of a fascinating individual in the Sooke region whose story should be told or whose ideas should be explored, we invite you to contact the EMCSS at the school and put that name forward,” Bateman said.
“There are stories out there, sometimes hidden in plain sight, that should be shared with others.”
The event will be held at the Sooke Community Theatre on Nov. 2.
The talks will begin at 7 p.m. and tickets are available for only $15 at canadahelps.org/en/charities/emcs-society/events/sooke-talks-2/