Speaker Series

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speaker_series_yasmine_goodwinYasmine Goodwin

Principal, My Design Studio

speaker_series_emmanuel_belliveauEmmanuel Belliveau

Principal at Floro Inc.

Designer Bios

Emmanuel Belliveau

For over 15 years Emmanuel Belliveau has been in the design/build industry. He has designed everything from leather goods, to jewelry, to furniture and most notably, homes. Emmanuel is a New Brunswicker who began his design career in Vancouver at FNDA Architecture. He now calls Toronto home. Since the premier of My Parents House on HGTV in 2005, as a designer he has shared his creative and fun spirit on Discovery Channel’s World’s Greenest Homes, numerous guest spots on TV in between and most recently, a role on Save our Shelter on The CW in LA. Always up for adventure, Emmanuel traveled several times to East Africa to design and build a wellness center in Uganda for women and children. The center has since been converted into a physical rehabilitation centre.

Recent changes in the Toronto City bylaws surrounding laneway housing sparked his entrepreneurial spirit given Toronto’s housing vacancy situation. His company EvaLanes (Eva, is short for Evangeline, his mother – she always wanted to get into real estate) is full service real estate development product for those seeking an easy way to assess, permit, design, build and create a passive financial stream with their own laneway suite.

When not designing, he can be found visiting the county with family and friends, walking his cat “Poe” and seeing what new projects he can start!

Clare Kumar

Productivity catalyst, Clare Kumar uses science-backed strategies to help busy professionals boost productivity, performance, and pleasure. As a highly sensitive person, she invites you to notice the little things that make a big difference.

Cynthia Soda

A business owner and busy mom of 4, Cynthia is the Owner and Principal Interior Designer of Soda Pop Design Inc. and Host of The Fizz Podcast.  Cynthia believes in and uses her appreciation for art and functional spaces that are “pretty with a purpose” to successfully merge lifestyle, personality and architectural requirements to create customized, liveable luxury that tells each client’s unique story.  Established in 2012, her award winning interior design firm provides complete renovation and design services producing work that has been locally and nationally showcased in top design and lifestyle magazines.

Theresa Casey

Theresa Casey is one of Canada’s most distinguished and celebrated designers. Her award-winning work for an international clientele has been described as “the work of a designer who is not interested in spaces that are ‘done’; rather, she works the shapes, proportions, textures, and light into a harmonious and emotionally satisfying balance.” (Globe and Mail)

Casey’s extensive education in art history, fine art and design (studies in Florence, Washington and Canada) provide her with the comprehension of period, detail and style that allow her to create projects ranging from traditional to contemporary. Her vision is to create architecturally authentic spaces, which emphasize scale, texture, color, and proportion within the framework of the client’s needs. She believes that clients who know themselves make their own mark; “I just help them to get there by encouraging risks, innovation, and individuality.” Her transformative work is as much about the lives of her interesting clients as they are examples of the artisanal direction that she brings to each unique project.

Casey draws inspiration from her travels including frequent trips to her family in Ireland, trips to the Venice Biennale, her extensive library of art and architecture books, and her regular drawing and painting studies and exhibitions.

Casey Design is an accredited, award-winning architecture & interior design firm that specializes in personalized projects that are both comfortable and sophisticated. The team at Casey Design practices a strategic and creative process which is informed by careful observation and research, and is nurtured by working closely and collaboratively with the client.

Yasmine Goodwin

Over the course of Yasmine’s 16-year career, she founded and developed My Design Studio, the top independent decor centre servicing the residential construction industry and homeowners in Southern Ontario. As a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) designer, Yasmine comes full circle on her passion for beautiful and sustainable design, by also delivering on LiveABLE design & renovations.

Janice Fedak

Janice is a Designer, Trend Researcher and Speaker. As an active member of the acclaimed Color Marketing Group, Janice shares innovative and inspiring Colour & Design concepts based on the influences that are emerging worldwide. With her genuine enthusiasm, Janice delivers trusted information on the direction of Design Trends creating a vibrant visual journey of ideas that educate, enhance and define.

Janice’s comfortable approach and ability to assess the needs of her clients, along with over 20 years of experience allows her to create impactful and artistic retail, commercial and residential spaces.

Janice owns and operates her Design Firm in Toronto, and can be seen delivering her Presentations and Seminars at a variety of special events across North America.

Glen Peloso

Creative Principal of Grafus Studios, is a celebrated designer, TV host, and on the National Board of the DDA,  who began working in design after completing his Masters Degree in Fine Art.  Since then he has successfully completed well over 300 projects including residential, hospitality and commercial spaces both locally and  internationally.  Glen is also recognized as a design expert of The Marilyn Denis Show and from his past work as a Host/designer of the internationally popular HGTV shows Restaurant Makeover, Take This House and Sell it and Renovate My Wardrobe all of which are still available. As a design journalist, he contributes and has been profiled in many national and international magazine and Television, including current positions as design reporter for Your Morning CHCH, National Design Contributor for Canadian Home Trends Magazine and Past Editor of Reno and Decor Magazine.

@glenpelosodesigner (insta/Facebook)

Evelyn Eshun

Evelyn Eshun is the principal designer and owner of Evelyn Eshun Design Inc., also known as EStudio, a full service design and decorating company in Toronto providing creative and innovative design solutions for busy professionals who require interior design and decorating services. Many years of residential design, decorating and planning experience, paired with formal interior design education, allow Evelyn to create spaces for clients which express their aesthetic and functional needs .  An accomplished and award wining Designer with a successful history in providing both stylish and functional solutions tailored to achieve the client’s objectives and budget.

Evelyn is a regular contributor to local and national publications as well as video information segments. Focusing on doing what she does best…. bringing innovative design solutions to each custom project.  Whether it’s transforming an old and tired property into a livable and vibrant modern home, starting from scratch with a fresh template, or decorating an entire home.

Dave Maciulis

Co Owner, of Natural Landscape Group

Dave Maciulis is a Certified Landscape Designer and has been a passionate and dedicated mentor in the industry since 1990. As a business owner and creative force, Maciulis, after hearing from thousands of clients, noted that there appeared to be a gap in the expectations and understanding between the landscape professionals and the consumer. His goal was to connect the two worlds together and take the fear and guess work out of the landscaping process.

Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine was created in order to bridge this gap. After much research, there appeared to be nothing on the bookshelves that spoke to the specific needs of Canadians and their love of living and entertaining in their outdoor spaces. The appeal of our publication is broad.

In addition to his National Publication he created Just Ask Dave website to allow contractors and homeowners to ask questions or learn from his shares online thru videos and podcasts.

From the landscape contractor to the homeowner with dreams of creating their own outdoor oasis, OL Magazine and JAD provides pertinent information on product, current trends in outdoor living and landscape design, as well as being an excellent tool to inspire our readers to think big and find ways to create outdoor spaces that reflect their dreams.

Ben Cullen

Ben Cullen is a fourth-generation gardener, who works with his father Mark Cullen doing gardening-related media work, growing trees and promoting horticulture. On his own time, Ben is founder of “Cullen’s Foods”, a food business which connects consumers directly with farmers by operating a transparent business model with a mind to local and global communities and the environment. Find out more about Ben and Cullen’s Foods  @cullensfoods www.cullensfoods.com, or follow Mark on Instagram @markcullengardening

Paul Lafrance

Paul Lafrance, most commonly known as the “Deck Guy” both in the Reality TV macrocosm as well as in the average North American home, is also a musician and songwriter, the founder and head designer of the international design company, Paul Lafrance Design, and has nearly completed his training as a Jedi Master.

Paul is the host of HGTV’s Decked Out, Disaster Decks, Custom Built, Deck Wars, a judge on Canada’s Handyman Challenge, and co-host on the HGTV hit show, Home to Win. He has just released a new digital online series called Backyard Revolution. Since 1997, he’s been designing and installing everything from custom built homes, interior transformations, and corporate projects, but is best known for his cutting-edge backyard retreats.

Paul and his wife, Janna, live with their four teenage daughters on the shores of Georgian Bay.

Sharon Grech

Sharon Grech is a regular guest expert on TV’s Cityline and a spokesperson for Benjamin Moore Paints.

Upon graduating from the University of Toronto’s Fine Art & Art History Program, Sharon has dedicated her career to exploring and celebrating the world of colour.

As a popular guest expert on Cityline, North America’s longest running and most successful daytime show for women, she shares her artist’s eye and lively “do-it-yourself” approach to colour and decorating. Sharon has led the makeovers of hundreds of rooms, both inside and out, demonstrating how colour and paint can unify and beautify any space.

She has established a reputation as an enthusiastic and knowledgeable authority on all aspects of colour, home fashion and style trends as an in-house Colour and Design Expert and Spokesperson for Benjamin Moore & Co.  Sharon is a member of the company’s Color Innovation Team that researches global design trends and produces colour marketing materials and training programs for their partners.

Micheal Lambie

It’s easy to talk about where a person has come from. They went to this school. They had these jobs.

They rocked them all, right?

In a business bio, that’s what you expect to see. The accolades. The highlights.

For Micheal, what’s more important is that you see what he is striving for. Why he does what he does.

So, while we will get to the accolades and highlights, let’s start with Micheal’s philosophy…

Just as the definitions of family, home, and work continue to evolve, so too does our relationship with the spaces we spend our time in.

There isn’t one clear answer or static solution, but there are common goals: Living in style, and loving your space.

Achieving both is no easy task, and Micheal himself has had to draw from personal and professional growth and experience to truly understand and apply what that can and should mean to each and every project he works on.

In the end, Micheal Lambie designs spaces that reflect who you are, and who you want to be.

That’s who Micheal is. It’s what he strives for.

As far as where he came from? A designer in the truest sense of the word, Micheal started his education at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

For over 10 years, he successfully applied his design sensibility and happily flexed his creative muscles as an agency Creative Director, developing award winning TV commercials, print ads, graphic layouts and illustrations.

Like any true creative, Micheal sought out artistic challenges in all aspects of his personal and professional life. A passion for photography and a raw talent for real estate investment naturally segued into a near-insatiable interest in interior design.

Years later, Micheal continues to hone and develop his creative skill sets, living and breathing his design philosophy.

Linda Kafka, CLIPP, CAPS


With boundless energy, Linda Kafka is a trade resource for the residential interior design industry. She is a subject matter specialist, inclusive design advocate and one of Canada’s go to  experts on living in place and wellness in the home. Linda is the Principal of the Living In Place Network, an international community of professionals focused on living and aging in place.  She is the driving force behind Canada’s newly launched LivABLE Environment Conference and the host of the LivABLE By Design Podcast, where she interviews global industry professionals from the built environment in order to share their expertise with her listeners. As the Director of Trade Relations for Caplan’s Appliances, she has the opportunity to work directly with design professionals and their clients on kitchen projects to ensure they understand what makes a kitchen inclusive and well.

With over thirty years of experience in marketing, Linda is the consummate marketing and sales professional. She is known for building community and supporting the Canadian residential design industry through education, industry events, masterclass programs, networking and training. She is a Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) through the National Association of Home Builders and a Certified Living In Place Professional  (CLIPP) through the Living In Place Institute. She is also Canada’s Ambassador for the Living In Place Institute, which is endorsed by the National Kitchen and Bath Association.  Linda is active with the WELL Building Standards, supporting their architectural initiative as she focuses on becoming an accredited WELL professional.

Linda joined the interior design community in 2009, where she spearheaded the revitalization of  SOFA: Source of Furniture and Accessories, Canada’s only trade design centre located at the International Centre, Mississauga (Now called Toronto International Design Centre).    During her tenure she held Board positions with the Design and Decorating Association of Canada (DDA), Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), Furniture Bank and the Canadian Furniture Show. In addition she spent numerous years volunteering and supporting ARIDO, NKBA, BILD, CMG and TSA.  Today, Linda is an accomplished and recognized industry partner.

With a passion for living in place, Linda focuses her efforts on helping the trades grow their business in this emerging niche market.   She supports the movement towards Canada becoming one of the most accessible countries; “a place where our homes are built to include everyone and that our spaces adjust to us over the course of an entire lifetime”.  As a result, Linda does her part by consistently advocating for the design/build trades to create beautiful, comfortable and safe environments that seamless incorporate features so spaces are tailored towards inclusion, accessibility and wellness.  She  believes “every home, should be designed for a lifespan, so our spaces adapt to our changing needs regardless of age, income, size or ability.”

Carl Cassell

Born in Mandeville, Jamaica, 1970, Carl Cassell was raised in a small mountain community called Rose Hill, a breathtaking side of the Island untapped in its natural serenity. His father, owned the local bar sparking his love for the industry.

In 1992, Carl came to Canada and got a dishwashing job at the Jerk Pit. He worked his way up the restaurant ladder while completing a commerce degree at McMaster University.

Having learned to cook with his grandmother, Ms Lineph Roye as a child, by the year 2000, all his life skills came together when he opened The Irie Food Joint. A Caribbean restaurant, in the heart of Queen St. West which was at the time just beginning to transform into what it is today. By 2006, Carl opened his second restaurant, Harlem, and by 2009, he transformed his first creation into Harlem Underground.

As well as being a restaurateur, Carl is also a builder and an artist.
Carl’s affinity for building captivating spaces and hosting lively events has enabled him to harness some of Toronto’s great talents. Through his art, Carl has a keen ability to create buzz around contemporary issues. His work inspires dialogue and experiences — a skill that attracts his immediate community, engaging everyone into a state of shared artistic expression.  His latest creation, The Black Star, is the first shipping container home built in the city of Toronto.  Also have built over – 10 custom homes in the city of Toronto.

Gregg Lintern

With 7 years experience as Toronto East York Community Planning Director, he was promoted to Acting Chief Planner in 2017 and made permanent Chief Planner in 2018. As Chief Planner for the City of Toronto, Gregg is committed to leading the City Planning Division to making Toronto one of the world’s most liveable and equitable cities. In his 35 years of municipal planning, Gregg has held various roles and responsibilities in several different community planning districts across the City giving him a deep institutional knowledge, understanding of legislation, and history of working across the municipal spectrum. Gregg’s proven track record in delivering transformative projects of both city-wide and local significance demonstrate his ability to steer city-building in a manner that consistently looks to the future.