The lights are dim. The cameras are rolling. The crowd is roaring. This is the countdown to WE Day. It happens in cities across the world, with tens of thousands of youth, schools and families gathered in local stadiums—together under one roof to celebrate world changing local and global impacts.
Between the actors, musicians and thought leaders (among them Prime Ministers, Presidents and royalty) making stage appearances at WE Day, the electricity of the crowd competes with the world’s biggest award shows. And, with no gold statues to worry about dropping, talent has both hands readily available to sign fans’ WE Day posters. (We love you Jacob Tremblay!)
The WE Generation is all about community. (Get the memo? Together we are stronger.) At WE Day, student advocates meet young leaders who inspire them to do even more good. The same chemistry clicks when WE Day talent cross paths. Take the moment a Grammy Award-winning musician known for her charity work meets a choir from Kenya that advocates for empowering members with education—magic.
The speeches and performances at WE Day add up to a once in a lifetime experience. One minute Gaten Matarazzo a.k.a. Dustin from “Stranger Things” is up on stage speaking about his rare congenital disorder, cleidocranial dysplasia and the importance of celebrating differences, the next Vanessa Hudgens and Shawn Hook are performing a duet that awes the audience into a captive silence.
Being a guest at WE Day isn’t about time in the spotlight, it’s about connecting with the audience. As veteran WE Day speaker Rick Hansen knows, talking to young people about the things that matter most—the actions that will shape the future and change our world for the better—is why the event exists.
WE Day is a star-studded event. The audience goes bananas for everyone from YouTube megastar Lilly Singh to Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. WE Day talent is susceptible to fan moments, too. Take this WE Day Toronto tweet from @kelly_clarkson: “I still am speechless 😳u are so lovely & such a legend! It was an honor to meet you @MiaFarrow 😊.”
At WE Day, you get more than motivational speeches and entertaining performances. Rounding out the programming are surprises and revelations—the product of bringing together leaders from every walk of life, together as a community. Translation: When great minds from the WE Generation join forces (like the pairing of WE co-founder Craig Kielburger and Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse), spectacular things happens.
Running from the morning through the afternoon, WE Day doesn’t pause the action when the stage lights dim for lunch. This means, come noon, you might just be able to enjoy your sandwich to side attractions, like Canada’s fastest man taking on “Wonder” actors Millie Davis and Jacob Tremblay in a friendly relay race. Like we said, spectacular things happen.
The spirit of WE Day is in community. Whether its onstage guests sharing their “why”—why they do what they do, why their cause is what it is—or a pack of WE Day-goers cheering on a playful race run by celebrities, there’s one thread that connects it all: people—passionate individuals who believe they can achieve more working collectively with many, than alone as one.
On stage, the spotlight shines bright on leaders and role models. Each come with personal stories, but each share a collective message: compassion will change the world. Believing we can be the change we want to see in the world, Prince Harry declared: “I know that you—more than any previous generation—care deeply about the health and sustainability of the planet you’re going to inherit.”
When the founders of WE, Craig and Marc Kielburger (the latter pictured here), take the stage to open WE Day, they’re priming the audience for inspiration. By the end of the event, the audience leaves, not only inspired, but changed. Their perspectives changed by the speeches they’ve heard, their communities changed by the people they’ve met and their lives changed by the motivation sparked, here. Next up: change the world.