Big Ideas Panel

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Victoria Espey

Chair, The Hub Table, Portage La Prairie

Victoria was raised on a small hobby farm in Woodlands, Manitoba. Shortly after high school she chose to pursue a career in Corrections with the Department of Manitoba Justice. In 2009 she started working at Agassiz Youth Centre and continued education to progress her career within corrections, becoming a Team Leader and Staff Trainer in 2012.

In 2016 Victoria had the opportunity to switch careers and began working for a local not-for-profit organization (NPO) the Portage la Prairie Community Revitalization Corporation (PCRC). PCRC is a community development NPO and rather than focusing on reactive rehabilitative methods,  Victoria saw an opportunity to work for an organization where she would be able to develop and implement proactive initiatives for individuals and families within her community. In 2017, Victoria became the Executive Director of the PCRC and now runs an organization which has been a part of the community’s fabric for a decade.  

Victoria has become a permanent fixture in Portage la Prairie since marrying her husband in 2016 and believes growing up in a small community helps to instill value in giving back to the community in which you live.

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Michael Redhead Champagne

AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities, Founder & Organizer

Michael Redhead Champagne, born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End, is an award-winning community organizer, public speaker and a proud member of Shamattawa First Nation. Michael believes we all have a gift and shows youth the path to discover their own. He is solution oriented and passionate about building system literacy, encouraging volunteerism, and engaging communities to be involved in the design, delivery, and evaluation of any initiative that affects them.

As a founder of AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities), he is committed to a wide variety of community initiatives including Meet Me at the Bell Tower, AYO Politix, ARROWS Youth Engagement Strategy, 13 Moons Harm Reduction & Fearless R2W. He has also appeared in various media platforms including APTN’s First Contact & has served as co-host for CKUW’s Inner City Voices for the past 5 years. 

Michael believes in leading by example and now travels across Canada sharing his gift with others. Whether he is speaking to educators, youth, the business community or the not-for-profit sector his goal is the same, to help heal, shape and create a call to action for everyone. Michael is known for his straight up and heartfelt style that will leave you moved, inspired and ready for action.



James Favel

Executive Director, Bear Clan Patrol