Shuswap Youth Launch

Shuswap Youth Launch

Shuswap Youth Launch is back for year three!

Shuswap Youth Launch is a one-day, local and virtual, youth empowerment day designed to include youth aged 13+ from throughout the Shuswap and beyond to experience inspiring speakers in a fun inclusive environment and help broaden youth perspectives. This year’s event planned for April 27, 2023, will be a hybrid experience with both an in-person experience at the Salmar Classic Theatre and a virtual experience via Zoom.

The event is organized by youth for youth. The Shuswap Youth Launch team is chaired by Mikayla Wilkinson and fellow Grade 12 Salmon Arm Secondary – Sullivan students Abbi Paetsch, Cadyn Moraice, and Shaun Billey. They have worked hard to secure their event sponsors and speakers while working out all the details outside of their school day.

Shuswap Youth Launch ‘23 is sponsored by all three Rotary Clubs of Salmon Arm, Community Futures Shuswap, Shuswap Orthodontics, and Toliver Design.

The 2023 Shuswap Youth Launch roster of speakers is very impressive:


As an alumni of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants, Wali Shah is a poet and motivational speaker. He’s delivered TED talks, created poetic messages for corporate groups, narrated voiceovers for commercials, and spoken at hundreds of schools and colleges across North America. Wali’s message of social change, and his work with empowering a generation of youth, led him to serve his hometown as Poet Laureate for the City of Mississauga. Wali closed out President Barack Obama’s 2020 visit to Toronto, with a poem written particularly for the event. He’s impressed notable figures with his freestyle poetry and performances, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kendrick Lamar. Wali’s work inspires thousands to follow his voice, his journey, and his advocacy — Wali Shah is the people’s messenger.

Wali was a featured speaker at the ‘21 virtual Shuswap Youth Launch. The team is really looking forward to welcoming him onto the stage in person this year!


Salmon Arm Senior Secondary-Sullivan alumni. An internationally acclaimed Makeup Artist with over 19 years of experience, Missy’s work has been featured in multiple publications including Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, WedLuxe Magazine, Green Wedding Shoes, and Holr Magazine. Missy has worked in management for companies such as MAKE UP FOR EVER, Nars, and Shoppers Beauty Boutique; and studied makeup at Blanche McDonald and the MAKE UP FOR EVER Academy in Paris.

Missy is an award-winning entrepreneur, who lives and works in the Shuswap, with frequent visits to her second store located in Victoria, BC. Missy was a very popular spotlight guest speaker at the 2021 virtual Shuswap Youth Launch. The team is thrilled to have her back on the stage as a featured speaker this year.


Two-time TEDx speaker, author, podcast host, and youth speaker, Sam Demma is the youngest board director of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and co-founder of PickWaste, a volunteer organization that mobilizes youth to pick up litter in their communities. He has interviewed and showcased over 230 educators through his multi-media platform, The High Performing Educator, and his High Performing Student Program has made an impact on youth in six countries.

Sam is routinely invited to share his work through news outlets like Breakfast Television, CBC, CTV, Global News, and CityNews. As a result of Sam’s keynote presentations, students and educators often commit to performing more acts of kindness, taking small, consistent actions toward their personal goals, and proactively looking for ways to serve others.

Anyone is welcome to join us on Zoom; in-person tickets will be held especially for youth local to the Shuswap area.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @shuswap.youth.launch to stay up-to-date on all our event details and announcements.