The countdown has begun; WE Day is coming to CTV November 25! And, as if your excitement levels weren’t already high enough, we’ve got a sneak peek to further spike your anticipation.
Grab a bowl of popcorn and a seat on the couch, WE and CTV have one spectacular night of television lined up for you. It’s going to be a celebration like no other—a celebration of change WE is making in the world. On November 25, tune in as WE honours the many thousands of young people affecting positive change through the WE Schools service learning program.
One piece of a global network of compassionate and socially conscious individuals known as Gen WE, this group of change-makers ensure WE Day is jam-packed with heart. Filmed on location at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, watch as thousands of participants in the WE Movement gather together to mark another year of world-changing impacts. And if that wasn’t inspiring enough, tack on the fact that everyone in the stadium has earned their way to WE Day through volunteer hours. Spoiler alert: you may need tissues to get through the show.
Speakers and performers will impress, with on-stage favourites including Lilly Singh, who will be sharing unforgettable memories from a recent trip to Kenya with ME to WE. Then there are those soon to join the ranks of WE Day alums, like one Gaten Matarazzo (known to Netflix viewers as Dustin from Stranger Things) and of course the show’s host, Kelly Clarkson. Do we have your attention yet?
And on that note, allow us to introduce a few of the incredible individuals you’ll get to know during our WE Day Special.
From the first time television audiences met her on American Idol in 2002, Kelly Clarkson has had the world hooked on her talents. The powerhouse performer holds the record for the furthest jump to the No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100… times two! (Remember “A Moment Like This” circa 2001 and “My Life Would Suck Without You” back in 2009?) Born in Fort Worth, Texas, the Grammy Award-winning vocalist has earned her place in music history, and on the way, has become a role model to many. For those who look up to the artist, it’s more than her talent that inspires them; it’s everything she’s done to achieve her goals, while simultaneously encouraging others to follow their dreams, too. Take her involvement in Michelle Obama’s “This Is for My Girls” single, which brought her together with singers Janelle Monáe, Kelly Rowland, Lea Michele, Zendaya and Missy Elliott in support of the first lady’s “Let Girls Learn” educational initiative, or the impact her charitable holiday concert had on the city of Nashville (Tennessee is now home for the singer) when it launched in 2014. Entitled Miracle on Broadway, the show attracted country legends the likes of Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks to the stage in support of funding for local charities in Nashville. A true figure of inspiration, audiences won’t want to miss the musical talent and life lessons this year’s WE Day host will be bringing with her to the stage.
It’s difficult not to be impressed by this beloved Canadian actor. Cinephiles know the 10-year-old performer from British Columbia for his unforgettable turn as Jack in the 2015 Oscar-nominated film Room, while those who grew up reading Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio might know him better as the star of the book’s upcoming film adaptation. In theatres this November, Jacob Tremblay plays hero August Pullman, a 5th grader that challenges fellow students to look beyond appearances when enrolled in a mainstream elementary school for the first time. Just as Wonder inspires people to act with kindness, so too does this veteran WE Day speaker. A dependable crowd booster (just as the many thousands who caught the WE Day Canada show on The Hill in Ottawa can attest), we look forward to hearing what he has to say a about casting compassion as the lead in his life.
She’s Maya Hart from Girl Meets World and a pop sensation with chart-topping hits (“Evolution” was a fave at the end of last year), and she also happens to be an active citizen with a passion for charity. The entertainer seizes every chance to give back. Take the time she piggybacked a charity tee on the release of her single “Smoke and Fire” to help raise funds for a fire safety campaign helmed by the American Red Cross. Part of a growing number of teens committed to bettering both their local and their global community, the actress/singer has publicly applauded WE for showcasing young change-makers as the stars of WE Day. As for her role during the big show, aside from her standing alongside peers championing the WE Movement, it’s all about one not-to-be-missed performance.
The Invictus Games speak to more than Prince Harry’s compassion, the games point to his vision as a young leader. With his establishment of The Invictus Games Foundation, the human spirit was given a platform to shine. Dedicated to honouring the strength and preservation of veterans who have endured life-changing injuries while serving their country, the annual Invictus Games is a testament to its founder’s belief in the unconquerable character of those who think beyond themselves, as he’s been quoted as saying, like “teammates choosing to cross the line together, not wanting to come second, but not wanting the other guys to either.” A man who clearly understands why ‘we’ is stronger than ‘me,’ audiences can expect a rousing speech from Prince Harry when he takes the WE Day stage to speak about the role young people have as leaders of today.
As a lead in the popular High School Musical trilogy, Vanessa Hudgens won the hearts of all in the Disney universe. Since then, her status in young Hollywood has been solidified by roles in critically acclaimed films, a solo music career (which most recently saw the release of a duet with fellow WE Day Toronto performer, Shawn Hook) and her spectacularly entertaining transformation into Betty Rizzo for Fox’s Grease: Live—the kind of “entertaining” that turns the head of Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame, who tweeted “What a superhero. In total awe” about her performance. Somewhere in between all of this, the actor-singer—originally from California—has made time for another passion: charity. Through work with organizations including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, this young performer has changed the lives of the people around her, a bright fact acknowledged at this year’s Teen Choice Awards, where she was honoured for her charity work and activism for equal rights. The touching acceptance speech she shared at the ceremony—”I think it is so important for us to lean into our individuality and to embrace our weirdness”—is just one of many reasons her appearance at WE Day has us counting the seconds until broadcast air time.
Watch WE Day on CTV Saturday, November 25 at 7 P.M. EST and follow us on social media @WEmovement #WEday.