Category Archives: Breakfast Speakers 2020

Breakfast Meeting January 18, 2020

Joseph Frankel is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Imaginary Courtyard Inc, a content marketing agency that places storytelling front and center to promote brands and individuals. An alumnus of the MFA Writing for Screen and Television program at the University of Southern California, Joe has worked as a writer, director and producer in Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto.
His screenwriting credits include a four-hour television miniseries based on The Phantom comics, and
Steve Guttenberg: Frenchman an animated streaming series that is currently under development.
Joe has reviewed and developed thousands of screenplays for Universal Studios, The Mark Gordon Company, Stefanie Epstein Productions, and The Characters Agency. He brings the same passion for storytelling and audience building to all of his creative pursuits – whether writing screenplays or creating short-form advertising for clients. Joe has produced content for global brands including: Google, Penguin-Random House Books, MLB, Toys R Us, Southwest Airlines and Nintendo. As Executive Producer of content at Cineplex, Joe managed a team that wrote, directed, produced and programmed hours of monthly celebrity interviews, behind-thescenes
videos, and interactive video games that played on movie screens and digital channels across Canada. He is also the founder of the Zoom Student Film Festival and sits on the annual judges panel reviewing
submissions from students around the world.

Breakfast Meeting February 15, 2020

Angelo sgabellone is an Italo/Canadian artist/writer who was born in Ferruzzano Italy.   Due to the impacts of harsh post war conditions in Calabria his family sold their land and moved to Ottawa in 1954. He was subsequently educated and worked in Ottawa, Toronto, New York and lives in Oakville, Ontario. Although he spent his formative years in Ottawa, he received his post secondary education at the University of Toronto (English) and the Ontario College of Art (design & marketing communications) Toronto and holds BA, BSc, AOCA and MBA degrees in English and marketing.

In the mid-seventies angelo worked for Peter C Newman to revitalize the old monthly Maclean’s (general interest) magazine into a profitable weekly news publication. As a result, he helped train and nurture many of Canada’s leading editors, writers and editorial designers.

Overall, angelo thrived for 50 years as a prominent (editorial/advertising) artist/writer and creative director. He is a former editor, art director, marketing executive, curator/art critic for mainstream and alternative publications, advertising agencies (Hayhurst, Ogilvy & Mather and MDC); publishing houses (Maclean-Hunter & McGraw-Hill), publications such as: Maclean’s Magazine, University of Toronto Magazine, Marketing Magazine, Financial Post newspaper, Canadian House & Home, Toronto Star, Etobicoke Guardian, the Art Gallery of Ontario and numerous private corporations such as: TD Bank, Manulife, Royal bank, Investors Group, Canada Life and Life Underwiters of Canada among others.

Recently angelo published I Terroni: a metaphysical journey into the Soul of Southern Italy, (2019). I Terroni is a semi-biographical postmodern novel which is a vast work of historical fiction that looks at the captivating evolution of the Calabrian question which has haunted western thought through the eyes of colourful dreamers and their l’arte di arrangiarsi (skill of getting by) that has afflicted the southern Italian regions for the past 5,000 years. I Terroni is a provocative reading into the exhilarating myths and culture of the alluring regions of the Mezzogiorno (south) of the Italian peninsula and impactful events, culture, literature and individuals whose outcomes shaped the fundamental influence of western civilization from the Minoans, Greeks, Romans, Normans, Spanish, British and recently Americans and Canadians.

Throughout his career angelo has authored numerous articles/papers on experimental writing/art language, marketing management, fictioneering, poetry and visual art/design. In the early 70s, as a founder of the Queen Street West international art/alternative press movements he became an influential language artist and curator/designer of the Language and Structure in North America exhibition, published anthologies of many leading experimental artist, poets and writers. His Do 2 and Read 75 literary/poetry series (1972-78) launched the careers of young Canadian talent to the world. He helped create WOTS and The International Writers and Editors workshops at U of T and OCA. Since the early 70 he has also participated in experimental art/writing events in: New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Florence, Rome, London, Los Angeles, San Francesco and Athens, Greece.

His artistic/literary work is in various international anthologies, collections and galleries such as: AGO, NGA, CRC, LAMGA, IBM, Zona, (Florence), Flash Art (Milan), Centro Di (Rome), Studio International (London) and the Vancouver Art Gallery, Motta (New York) among others: Maclean’s, Marketing Magazine, Canadian Forum, Cult Magazine, University of Toronto Magazine, Queens Quarterly, Queen StreeT Magazine, Parachute, Proof Only, Design Canada, Toronto Life, Time Magazine, Toronto Star, Globe&Mail, Financial Post, Calgary Herald, Etobicoke Guardian, Canadian Lawyer, Time magazine, Arts Canada, Canadian Art magazine, Art Forum and Art News (New York), Monumenta (Rome, Italy) and Los Angeles Herald among others.



Breakfast Meeting March 21, 2020

Kevin Donovan is the Toronto Star’s Chief Investigative Reporter. His focus is on journalism that exposes wrongdoing and effects change. Over more than three decades he has reported on the activities of charities, government, police, business among other institutions. Donovan also reported from the battlefields in the Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan following 9/11. He has won three National Newspaper Awards, two Governor General’s Michener Awards, the Canadian Journalism Foundation award and three Canadian Association of Journalists Awards. As the Star’s editor of investigations for many years, Donovan led many award-winning projects for the paper. He is the author of several books, including “Secret Life: The Jian Ghomeshi Investigation” and the “Dead Times” (a fiction novel).

Breakfast Meeting April 18, 2020


Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli immigrated to Sudbury, Ontario, Canada with her family at three years of age. During her teaching career, she received four OECTA (Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association) Best Practice Awards for her unique strategies in early literacy and other initiatives. Rosanna is a professional member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Authors Association, and the Association of Italian-Canadian Writers. An alumna of the Humber School for Writers, she has been published in seventeen anthologies. She lives in Sudbury and has also done readings in Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie, Manitoulin Island, Montreal, Vancouver, New York City, and Italy. In October 2019, she was one of the four authors featured at the Parry Sound Festival of Authors. Rosanna has a children’s book (Pumpkin Orange, Pumpkin Round) published by Pajama Press (September 2019) and books published with Harlequin UK. Her fiction collection Pigeon Soup & Other Stories will be released by Inanna Publications in 2020.

Rosanna’s novel La Brigantessa (Inanna, 2018) was awarded Gold for Historical Fiction in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY Awards) and was a finalist for the 2019 Canadian Authors Association Fred Kerner Book Award and the 2019 Northern Lit Award. It won a 2019 International Book Award for Best Cover Design, and The Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Award in 2019 for Best Cover Art (designed by Val Fullard).


La Brigantessa is set in the aftermath of Italy’s 1861 Unification, when scores of brigands rebelled against the harsh policies imposed by the new government, which in turn ordered the destruction of the brigands and anyone harbouring them. Gabriella Falcone is a peasant from Calabria who is forced to flee her hamlet after committing a crime in self-defence. Her parish priest leads her through the harsh Aspromonte mountains to seek refuge in an isolated monastery, but they fall into the hands of brigands. In the company of the brigand chief, Gabriella discovers that the convictions she once held dear no longer have a place in this wild, unlawful territory. Gabriella wonders if she will ever clear her name and be able to return to a normal life. Experiencing the harsh existence of a female brigand (brigantessa), she discovers what she must do to survive and to ultimately vindicate herself.


“This is a beautiful novel, one that vividly recreates the heartbreak and drama of one of the most turbulent periods in Italian history.”—Nino Ricci, award-winning author of The Origin of Species and the Lives of the Saints trilogy.


“In the writing and storytelling of La Brigantessa, Rosanna Battigelli reflects the very passion and glory, the suffering and hope of the times that her Gabriella Falcone must endure and over which she must triumph. La Brigantessa is written with great heart and conviction—such that, in an era when truth is at a premium, no one will question the truth of this narrative. In fact, the great achievement of this novel is that Rosanna Battigelli is able to make fiction feel truer than truth, truer than non-fiction. Bravo!”

—Joseph Kertes, founder of The Humber School for Writers and author of Gratitude and The Afterlife of Stars

Breakfast Meeting May 16, 2020

Joyce Wayne crafts the compelling narrative of Last Night of the World, knowing full well the world of Soviet spy Freda Linton. She herself grew up in a family where her father was a devoted member of the Communist Party of Canada until he lost his faith in the Bolsheviks.

Joyce has intimate knowledge and insights into the characters found in Last Night of the World.

She grew up a “red diaper baby” with direct experience and understanding of many of the characters in her novel. She is uniquely situated to write about this transformative period of Canadian history and the forces and personalities who provoked the beginning of the Cold War.

“I’ve heard tales of Igor Gouzenko’s defection from the time I was a child,” Joyce says. “Last Night of the World is the book I’ve always wanted to write. It is the story of the spark that ignited the Cold War from the point of view of the Canadian-Soviet spies exposed by Gouzenko, and who were charged with treason by the Canadian government. When I watched the T.V. series, The Americans, I knew the time was right to tell this story.”

Joyce Wayne is an award-winning literary journalist, a former editor at Quill & Quire and the author of the historical novel The Cook’s Temptation (Mosaic Press, 2013). For many years, she was the head of the journalism program at Sheridan College where she launched the Sheridan Centre for Internationally Trained Individuals. Joyce was a winner of the Diaspora Dialogues contest for short fiction and has been awarded the Fiona Mee Award for literary journalism. She lives in Oakville with her husband where she runs writing workshops for the Public Library and writes the bi-weekly blog

Breakfast Meeting June 20, 2020


Sharon Babineau is a youth speaker and author of  the book “The Girl Who Gave Her Wish Away”. She presents to students in Canada and the USA.

Sharon and her daughter Maddie’s story, which she will share today, has been featured on the reality TV Show “No Opportunity Wasted” by Phil Keoghan – host of the Amazing Race, and the Oprah Winfrey Network, Canada Show – Life Story Project.

Sharon is a decorated military soldier, mountain climber, hockey player, and volunteer.  She has been recognized for the work she has done at home and in Africa and is the recipient of many awards including Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the YWCA Women of Distinction Award.  However, her proudest accomplishment is being a Mother.

Today Sharon will share how young people are changing the world and how you can too.