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Hosts & Judges

Meet our Community Living's Got Talent hosts and judges!

Hosts:

Rainer Noack is a strong and invaluable player in the Arts in Canada.  As a graduate of Sheridan College, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto, his many positive experiences have influenced him to develop, coordinate, implement, and encourage countless theatre programs in the Burlington area.  Most notably, he is the Founder and Director of Burlington Student Theatre since 1978, which offers one of the finest experiences currently available to students in Ontario.  He has taught Drama in both the Public and Catholic School Boards.  Rainer has inspired hundreds of students in the past to pursue careers in the Arts worldwide, and continues to inspire many more. Rainer is the recipient of notable awards, such as the 2013 Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, and has been recognized as the Burlington Arts Person of the Year in both 1995 and 2009.  In November 2014, he became the second inductee into the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame, and is twice a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.  Countless hours of volunteer time as well as involvement with the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Creative Burlington, and Sheridan College's Performing Arts Advisory Council for Technical Theatre, are just some of Rainer's tireless efforts to promote the Arts. The work Rainer does is invaluable to the City of Burlington, the province and the Arts in Canada.

Joseph El-Khoury (Joe) is currently supported by Community Living Burlington's Employment Program; for the past three years, four days a week Joe does a fantastic job as a greeter for Home Depot and offers his customers assistance with great enthusiasm. It was this enthusiasm and his charming personality that led him to be the perfect choice to co-host the very first talent show in 2014 and the following year as well.

When Joe is not busy working at Home Depot he enjoys doing home renovations with his dad, listening to all types of music, and doing research on his local communities.

All of us at Community Living Burlington are as thrilled as Joe is to have him return to his role of co-host at this year's grand event.

 

Judges:

Amber Armstrong is a retired dancer who performed with The National Ballet of Canada from 1985-1997. During her years with the company she performed a varied range of dynamic classical and contemporary roles, including soloist and principle roles in ballets such as Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, The Nutcracker, Giselle, The Merry Widow, Napoli, Elite Syncopations, and Don Quixote to name a few. With the NBOC, Amber had the privilege of performing on some of the great stages of theatre including the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC, the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC and the London Coliseum Theatre in the UK. Her travels with the company gave her opportunities to perform all cross Canada and the U.S., as well as Europe, Asia and Israel, and at times performing for dignitaries and members of royalty alike. Performance and theatre is still in Amber's blood and she uses that spirit of creativity in her every day life supporting people in the community who have a developmental disability.



Sarah Lisi is a 32 year old Rhythmic Gymnastics athlete who recently represented Canada at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has participated in and enjoyed a variety of performance activities , including cheer leading and dance. Sarah loves to entertain and to be entertained and is looking forward to seeing everything the incredible group of talented people participating in this year's Talent Show have to offer!

 

River Christie-White, who has been diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum, is using his talents of the traditional art of Hoop Dancing to spread awareness about Autism and the lack of support for Indigenous children and families with special needs. He also speaks to groups about Diversity and Inclusion.

River received the 2017 Diversity, Race Relations and Inclusivity Award for Youth/Young Adults from the City of London in recognition of his work.

River performed at Community Living's Got Talent in 2018 and received 1st place for his outstanding performance. We are excited to have him on our judging panel this year.

Pat Leyland is a partner at Taylor Oballa Murray Leyland LLP. Actively involved in the Canadian music industry for over 15 years.Pat began his career in the music industry as a guitarist and co-writer in the Ontario-based modern rock band Left Pencey, which ultimately signed a recording deal with U.S. major label Arista Records. After the band dissolved, Pat went on to graduate from McMaster University and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he served as president of both the Sports & Entertainment Law Society and the Technology & Intellectual Property Group, in addition to being a volunteer coordinator for Artists' Legal Advice Services, a non-profit organization that provides pro bono legal advice to artists living in Ontario. 

Outside of his law firm, Pat is a contributing author to Canadian Musician magazine, has conducted seminars for SaskMusic, Manitoba Music, and the Harris Institute, and has been a guest speaker for various organizations, including SOCAN, the Western Canadian Music Awards, University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law, the Songwriters Association of Canada, and Nova Scotia Music Week. 

Connie Smith is a free-lance journalist, media personality, college professor, consultant and specialist in presentation skills and one of the most recognizable faces and voices behind the microphone and on camera. Connie is known for her sense of integrity and compassion and showcasing stories that inspire. After an award-winning career in television news at CHCH-TV, and co-creating Always Good News on YES-TV, Canada's first and only good news how, she has carried her Always Good News brand into her presentation workshops, keynote addresses and media consulting as well as emcee work. Her interviews over the years include prime ministers, premiers, philanthropists such as Ron Joyce, Frank O'Dea of Second Cup, celebrities such as funnyman Jim Carrey, Margaret Trudeau, Sarah Palin and Olivia Newton-John as well as sports greats Doug Gilmour, and Canada's Olympians. Today she teaches young journalists at Mohawk College about their power to bring about positive change and the importance of strong inter-personal communication skills. For her work in supporting the community, including co-hosting the McMaster Children's Hospital Celebration Telethon and chairing the 2011 Hamilton United Way Campaign, Connie has been awarded Rotary International's Paul Harris Medal, and both the Queen's Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.  She is a proud member of Mohawk College's Alumni of Distinction, the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction and the Order of Ontario.

 

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Ontario Canada L7M 1A1
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