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134th Annual Dinner Celebrates "Dare to Lead" with Distinguished Speakers: Protexxa’s Claudette McGowan and Xanadu’s Christian Weedbrook

A group of people clapping from the 2023 Annual Dinner.

As the Toronto Region Board of Trade is gearing up to host its highly anticipated 134th Annual Dinner, we are thrilled to announce an exciting new format – and two incredible speakers. 

As the Toronto Region’s premier networking event, the Annual Dinner provides an opportunity to celebrate the success of Toronto's thriving business community. 

This year’s theme, "Dare to Lead," will come to life through a meticulously crafted agenda designed to engage and inspire.

'Toronto Talks' – Bright, Bold, Brief!

The event will depart from the traditional keynote format, adopting a fast-paced forum featuring brief, insightful, engaging Toronto Talks from three exceptional speakers who Dare to Lead.

Christian Weedbrook, CEO of Xanadu

Christian Weedbrook, the founder of Xanadu, a Toronto-based quantum computing company, will take the stage to share Xanadu’s journey—from the Creative Disruption innovator lab at UofT to becoming a computational powerhouse. Xanadu’s groundbreaking work in building photonic quantum computers has positioned them as one of the few teams worldwide to achieve the feat of building a quantum computer capable of outperforming the world’s fastest available classical supercomputers. This feat, known as quantum computational advantage is part of Xanadu’s remarkable progress, which has impressed governments and potential partners but also captured investor imagination, so far raising $250M.

Claudette McGowan, CEO, Protexxa and co-founder, Firehood Ltd.

Claudette McGowan, an influential figure in the Canadian innovation ecosystem, assumes the role of the evening’s 'Influencer.' As CEO of Protexxa, she leads a mission to make cybersecurity accessible to everyone. McGowan's dedication to driving change is evident. As the founder of the Black Arts & Innovation Expo and Chair of the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR), she has displayed her commitment to creating a healthier and more inclusive tech environment in the Toronto Region. Recognized as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Torontonians by Toronto Life, McGowan has received honors from many of Canada’s top institutions, solidifying her as a beacon of leadership and innovation.

‘The Influencer' segment celebrates a game-changing leader whose impact on the region has been nothing short of extraordinary. Stay tuned for the final speaker announcement!

These exceptional speakers exemplify the innovative spirit that defines Toronto's business landscape by ‘daring to lead’ in their own way. TRBOT’s 134th Annual Dinner will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on every guest as they take the time to celebrate the city's success stories and meet the individuals who will shape its future.

The Toronto Region Board of Trade's 134th Annual Dinner promises to be a night of celebration, inspiration, and connections. Join us.