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THE GLOBE AND MAIL YOUNG LEADERS Add to ...

In this era of teenaged Web visionaries, rave scares and Britney-mania, when Stockwell Day looks poised to rollerblade over the elder Alliance leadership rival and when the record for youngest self-made multimillionaire has been broken from one week to the next, many Canadians are wondering the same thing: Where have all the slackers gone?

It's a rhetorical question, of course. Just a typically roundabout Canadian way of saying that young people today are on the radar screen and doing fine. Let me translate that to youthspeak: Like, hello, we totally rock!

Last year, Canadians between the ages of 15 and 35 accounted for 28 per cent of the population -- precisely the same percentage, incidentally, that the same age group accounted for in 1966. And you remember what happened in the Sixties. (Then again, maybe you don't.)

In honour of our first national birthday of the new century, The Globe and Mail has compiled a list of notable Canadians 35 and under, one for every year since Confederation. While there are sure to be gaps (make no mistake, it is a subjective list), editors and reporters have combed the country to give you a balanced picture of the young people who are moulding Canada's future national landscape. If you haven't already heard of the exceptional young activists, chefs, dancers, writers, volunteers and others listed here, consider this an introduction.

Statistics show that this is a generation rife with paradox. According to numbers from the Census Bureau and various major media sources, Canadians between the ages of 15 and 35 are fiscally conservative but socially progressive. We are less religious, but see ourselves as increasingly spiritual. We spend less time in front of the TV, but read fewer books, magazines and newspapers than our parents.

We are ambitious and entrepreneurial -- Canadians 35 and under are more likely to invest in the stock market -- plus (as everyone knows) we're more computer savvy and eager to embrace new technology.

Despite all the hustle, the majority of us love the outdoors and hoard our active leisure time. As a consequence, we have more free hours than those over 35. At the same time, though, we are more stressed out. We have our quirks: Young people today are more likely to be vegetarians, and a growing number of the men among us wear makeup. We also have things to be proud of: As a generation, we smoke less, boast a narrower income gap between men and women, and are more likely to be bilingual.

If there is a downside to being born between the Sixties and the Eighties, it is the fact that so many of us ended up children of divorce. Perhaps because of this, we remain proudly undomesticated: Only 36 per cent of us are married, we have a dropping fertility rate and, apparently, we don't know how to cook. Then again, try telling that to Julian Bond, the 30-year-old wunderkind chef, who seared his mark into the West Coast food scene faster than you can say Szechuan-brined pork tenderloin with pancetta-onion marmalade -- but I digress.

This is a generation whose disparate talents reflect its ample opportunities in life. By global comparison, we are highly educated and well travelled, and the vast majority of us are employed. Wrongly perceived as a politically alienated bunch, young Canadians are emerging as a key force in addressing issues of social change.

Avi Lewis, host of CBC's counterSpin, and husband of Globe columnist Naomi Klein (who is not on our list -- we resisted the urge to brag about Globe employees), is optimistic about the future of activism in Canada. "I never thought that I'd be part of a generation that believed in anything. I was always taught that we didn't care," he said in an interview. "Then I met Naomi, and she wrote a book, and [the anti-globalization protests in]Seattle happened, and suddenly the apathy began to disappear. Prior to that, 'movement' was a word that I associated with people of my parents' generation; it's so great to finally be able to apply it to my own."

If diversity of talent counts as a common theme, that may be what unites our list. What do Joni Shawana, a 19-year-old volunteer from Manitoulin Island who works with Ojibwa youth, avant-garde evening-wear designer Yumi Eto (31) of Vancouver, and Shaun Semple (33), Canada's only construction-equipment dealer for the Prairie provinces and the Northwest Territories, have in common? Nothing, apart from buckets of talent, and the fruitful years ahead of them.

If you hold it up to the light, a new vision of the future of Canada emerges from our list of 133 young Canadians. From a certain angle, it looks like a much more cosmopolitan and urban world, populated by Internet tycoons dressed in postmodern silks, nibbling at Asian-fusion cuisine. Turn it another way, however, and you see a regional, grassroots landscape, in which community activists band together against corporate interests and teenagers design video games alone in their bedrooms.

Regardless of what future world appeals to you, we ask that you find a moment this July 1, amid the fireworks and cottage squalor, to do something hokey: Raise a glass and dedicate a toast to our young -- the future of Canada.

ACTIVISM

CRAIG KIELBURGER Age: 17 Thornhill, Ont. Craig Kielburger founded Free the Children, an international organization dedicated to stamping out child labour, when he was just 13 years old. His activism has become the stuff of legend, as has a negative profile of the Thornhill native that appeared in Saturday Night Magazine in 1996. Kielburger successfully sued for libel and when he turns 18 he will be able to collect his $319,000 settlement. In the meantime, he continues to lobby for and visit disadvantaged youth, government officials and business leaders in more than 30 countries. He was declared a Global Leader of Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, an award previously won by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. ** ANNA MILLAR Age: 16 Edmonton Anna Millar is getting an early start as a human-rights activist. The Edmonton high-school student is co-chair of UNICEF's National Child Rights Elections Promotion Committee for Edmonton and region. She has served as co-chair of the Youth Coaltion Against Poverty and is involved with Stop Racism Youth Challenge Committee, Amnesty International, The Tibet Association and Students Against Drunk Driving. She recently received an Alberta Heritage scholarship to attend the United World College in New Mexico, where she is enrolled in an international baccalaureate program with international and local public service components. This year YTV honoured her with its public service achievement award. ** MATT SILBURN Age: 26 Kingston Matt Silburn insists he is just one of several Kingston youth putting pressure on city hall to do something for street kids and the environment. Together they started the People's Community Union, which disrupted a city council meeting recently by dumping a bucket of rancid fish to draw attention to a local toxic-waste dump. Silburn is also a founding member of a Kingston car-share co-op and the Yellow Bike communal bicycle program. Last year the People's Community Union raised money by tailing parking meter attendants on their routes and putting quarters in the meters before they could ticket the car. Then they placed notes on the cars saying they had saved them a ticket and asking for donations. "I'm just trying to do what I feel is right," says the modest, but ingenious Silburn.

ADVENTURE

COLIN ANGUS Age: 28 Canmore, Alta. Colin Angus is the first Canadian rafter to navigate the entire length of the Amazon River. On Sept. 8, Angus, Ben Kozel, 26, of Australia, and Scott Borthwick, 23, of South Africa, set out from Calgary to travel the 7,000-kilometre length of the Amazon River in a raft -- from the first trickle of melting snow in the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean. Angus was the only crew member with any rafting experience. In five months, the group crossed the desert, climbed mountains, shot rapids and ducked bullets. Next, Angus plans an expedition along the virtually uncharted 5,500-km Yenisey River, from the Hangayn Mountains of Mongolia, north into Siberia to the Arctic Ocean. BRUCE KIRKBY Age: 32 Calgary Bruce Kirkby, photographer, author, adventurer, mountaineer, is a wilderness guide who was born in Toronto but has spent the past decade leading major expeditions in remote locations around the world. In the winter of 1999, Kirkby, with brothers Jamie and Leigh Clark, three Bedouin and 12 camels, crossed the Empty Quarter of Arabia in 39 days. It was the first crossing of the legendary desert in more than 50 years. Kirkby is now organizing a four-man expedition that will attempt to complete a 1,200-kilometre journey across Tibet's Chang Tang plateau. With an average altitude equal to Everest's base camp, it is one of the last truly unexplored regions of the world. CHLOE LANTHIER Age: 33 Vancouver Chloe Lanthier started adventure racing five years ago. The French Canadian who lives in British Columbia has competed in 24-hour mountain bike races, raced in the 12-day Discovery Channel Eco-Challenge in British Columbia and Australia and competed in "insane" foot races. She has competed in the Marathan des Sables twice, a seven-day foot race through the Moroccan Sahara. Lanthier has won medals for mountain biking and road racing. "I have no desire to stop," she says. JAMIE ROSS Age: 27 Vancouver Jamie Ross agreed to join a Mount Everest expedition just a few days after taking up a job with the Vancouver office of DMR Consulting Group Inc. They gave him a two-month unpaid leave and agreed to set up and run the expedition's Web site. Ross is the research director of the Inventa 2000 Everest Environmental Expedition, whose 14 members left April 1 for a two-month trek that will focus on cleanup and research on the world's tallest mountain. Ross, an accomplished rock and ice climber, went on similar expeditions with the same climbers in 1998. He will stay at base camp, 5,300 metres above sea level, where he will co-ordinate a four-person team to sort and catalogue waste left by previous expeditions and conduct research. Doctors on the Inventa expedition will be collecting blood samples and information such as pulse rates and blood pressure, from the Sherpas, to gather data for research into altitude sickness.

ARCHITECTURE

ATELIER IN SITU Ages: 34, 34 and 36 Montreal It's a truism that architects tend to do their best, most mature work in their 40s and 50s, but Atelier started to make its mark shortly after its McGill-educated principals all turned 30. Two years ago, Azure magazine called the Montreal trio (Genevieve L'Heureux, 34; Stephane Pratte, 34; and Annie Lebel, 36) "Quebec's hottest team of architects," and its "coolest." Noted for their meticulousness, clean lines and astute mixes of steel, glass, wood and concrete, they've done conversions (most notably transforming a factory into offices for software titan Discreet Logic), restaurants, offices, set designs, trade kiosks, even "happenings." DAVID BATTERSBY & HEATHER HOWAT Age: both 32 Vancouver David Battersby and Heather Howat met as undergraduates while attending the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg -- she's from Flin Flon, Man., he's from Prince George, B.C. -- then travelled to Halifax to do their master's degrees in architecture at what is now Dalhousie Technical University. Moving to Vancouver in the early nineties, the duo worked for various firms, then struck out on their own in 1995. Since then, these self-described "quiet modernists" have earned a national reputation for their flexibility, detail and discreet use of natural materials, on projects such as Vancouver's Monte Clark Gallery and a house on Brunswick Beach. Right now, they're working on two classic "from-scratch" West Coast projects, a house on Mayne Island and a house on Galliano Island. PAUL BERNIER Age: 35 Montreal The Sherbrooke-born, Montreal-educated architect has attracted attention for his work on several interesting projects of the last few years, most notably the National Archives of Canada in Gatineau, Que. (with Ron Keenberg), the interiors for Montreal's hip Voir magazine, and the extension to the Roberge House along the Ottawa River in Ottawa. There, his fondness for "new" materials (corrugated steel sheets, concrete floors) and simple forms were given free rein. He's currently working on converting a 19th-century warehouse in Old Montreal into a much-anticipated boutique hotel called the Gault. NEIL MINUK Age: 34 Winnipeg DIN Projects -- the name DIN is an acronym for Deustsche Industriel Norm but, hey, it also means noise -- got its start in 1994 when University of Manitoba architecture students Neil Minuk, 34, Jae-Sung Chon, 30, and Jonathan Hughes (no longer with DIN) decided they wanted "to develop some of [their]own aesthetic, social and cultural preferences." DIN is nothing if not eclectic -- they've done renovations, designed houses (including one for a cat lover that has an entire room done up as a litter box), furniture, accessories and offices. Recently, the duo scored a commission to design the cafe for the Canadian Pavilion at the 2001 Venice Bienalle. Meanwhile, the Canada Council has given them two grants, one for a catalogue of "anonymous or forgotten modern architecture or cultural projects" in Winnipeg, the other for a monograph on the late, influential Manitoba architect (Thirsty) Jim Donahue. Minuk also blows minds as president of Winnipeg's cooler-than-cool Plug-In Gallery.

BUSINESS

GLENN BALLMAN Age: 28 Moose Jaw, Sask. Once a surfboarder, now an entrepreneur worth millions, Glenn Ballman is something of a star in his native town of Moose Jaw. He is the founder, president and CEO of Seattle-based Onvia.com Inc., a three-year-old operation that sells such goods as paper and computers, and services like accounting and legal advice on-line to small-business users. He previously worked for a Vancouver Internet service provider, travelled extensively in the South Pacific, and has more recently experienced legal trouble with a person claiming to be a jilted founder. EDMON CHUNG Age: 24 Toronto Born in Edmonton, passing through Hong Kong and now living in Toronto, Edmon Chung found that the Internet was missing tools to develop a truly global audience. So the industrial-engineering University of Toronto graduate came up with an idea for revolutionary software that allows Web addresses to be typed out in Cyrillic, Chinese and other non-Roman alphabets. It was developed by Neteka, a company headed by five recent graduates, with Chung as its president and CEO. In February, Neteka received a $1-million investment from a venture-capital firm that seeks out new technology. CLARISSA DESJARDINS Age: 33 Montreal For Moncton-born Clarissa Desjardins, making breakthrough discoveries in science is good business. The vice-president of research and development for Montreal-based Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc. says her company is considering an initial public offering to fund research and expansion. Already, it's created a diagnostic test for mad-cow disease that she says can be applied to blood screening for humans who contract the fatal disease by eating beef. Now, with the human genome mapped, she wants to study its proteins to understand disease. Desjardins sold her first company, Advanced Bioconcept Ltd. ERIC DUPONT Age: 34 St. Foy, Que. As if studying for a doctorate in physiology in endocrinology wasn't enough, Eric Dupont decided to found his own company, Les Laboratoires Aeterna, in 1991. Dupont is now president and chief executive officer for the laboratory that is making major steps into the biopharmaceutical, nutritional supplements and cosmetics industry. The company is moving forward in research and development and partnering with major companies in hopes for future expansion. While the rigours of business can be challenging, Dupont is used to battling a variety of foes, as he is a black belt in tae kwon do. PAMELA GROF Age: 31 Calgary Now president of her own InterVisual Inc., Pamela Grof realized her entrepreneurial talent at age 12, when she set up a small cleaning company in her hometown of Regina, and her other ventures have included opening an art gallery and a factory outlet store. But InterVisual is something else altogether, specializing in building Web sites, intranets, extranets and e-business applications -- with blue-chip clients ranging from Xerox to Bell Mobility. Revenues have grown 2,500 per cent since 1996, and InterVisual has offices in Calgary, Toronto and New York, and is looking to expand into Barbados and London. RONNEN HARARY Age: 29 Toronto While others stand by and watch children playing with toys, Ronnen Harary heads a company that makes millions of dollars a year producing them. After graduating with a political science degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1993, Harary and two friends started up Spin Master Toys. Today, he's the CEO of a toy company with offices in Toronto and Hong Kong, and expects to double its revenue this year from 1999's $46-million close. Spin Master has produced successful innovations ranging from air-driven toys and juggling sets to die-cast finger bikes. DANIEL KERZNER Age: 26 Toronto Daniel Kerzner is rapidly becoming one of the nation's leading young impresarios. An account director at a special events and marketing firm, this Torontonian grew up in one of Canada's richest neighbourhoods, Forest Hill, and has been in the business since age 16, now with a degree in communications. As with many of his projects, travel inspired him to co-produce the recent Cuban Tropicana show at the Hummingbird Centre in Toronto. And he's planning the Toronto International Art Fair in November, featuring contemporary art from 100 galleries worldwide, through his company, Two Degrees, founded with partner Chris Chenier. KEITH KOCHO Age: 31 Toronto ExtendMedia Inc. chief executive officer Keith Kocho has gone from a high-school jock to Web guru in nine years as the mastermind behind a company that provides interactive content for the television and Internet market. According to Kocho, after a back injury forced him out of his sports career, his father encouraged him to "stop whining and try something else." In 1991, Kocho founded the Toronto-based Digital Renaissance -- the precursor to ExtendMedia -- and has expanded with head offices in New York and Los Angeles. ExtendMedia's L.A. office recently hired Fred Fuchs, the former president of Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope, as an executive producer. The company's revenues for 1999 were $9.6-million (Canadian) and ExtendMedia's last round of financing saw $26.5-million come its way. ALBERT LAI Age: 21 Toronto Albert Lai and his two high-tech compatriots, Michael Hayman and Michael Furdyk, sold their first company Mydesktop.com, an on-line publishing company, to Internet.com for more than $1-million in May, 1999. At the time of the sale, Lai said: "We had other offers and other opportunities. For a bunch of teenage kids, we are doing pretty well for ourselves." After the sale of Mydesktop.com, Lai and crew launched Buybuddy.com, which has proved equally as successful and it made more news in May when it hired senior executives Michael Abramski, 42, and Butch Langlois, 36, away from Rogers New Media to help run the daily operations. Lai is focusing his attention on the development of Mydesktop.com. SHELLEY LeCERF Age: 32 Vancouver Shelley LeCerf provides U.S. companies with the means to take pictures of the earth's surface at one-metre resolution -- something that, until recently, only the military could legally do. LeCerf, who graduated from the University of Calgary's electrical engineering program nine years ago, is leading a $6-million Canadian project with MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Inc., responsible for the ground software system behind the QuickBird satellite. The new technology, now being tested, applies to everything from creating topographical maps to resource management. SANDERS LEE Age: 35 Calgary Former real estate executive Sanders Lee is one of the co-founders of 411HomeNet Inc., a new on-line service that allows home buyers to take virtual tours of homes for sale in Toronto, Calgary, Atlanta, Chicago and Nashville. Lee intends to expand the service across North America. To do this, he has left his position of CEO with Hopewell Enterprises Ltd., a real estate company founded by his parents in 1984, but he is staying on as chairman. Originally from Hong Kong, Lee studied in Germany and has lived in Canada for almost a decade. He lives in Calgary with his wife and child. MELANIE MARSHALL Age: 25 Toronto Although only a few weeks out of university, Melanie Marshall has already rounded up $250,000 in equity financing to start an interactive news network. She came first in an Internet business-plan competition for women under 30, funded by five of the world's top female business entrepreneurs through the Toronto-based NRG Group Inc. Contributors include Miranda Gates. Marshall's company name, Hipikat, is taken from a word from the West African language of Wolof, which means "eyes wide open," or someone ahead of his or her time. NANCY MATHIS Age: 32 Fredericton, N.B. Not content simply to be an award-winning inventor, Nancy Mathis helped found an instruments engineering company. She is the inventor of a patented probe, which measures a material's thermal conductivity. For this, she has received awards and her invention is used by corporations around the world to create more energy-efficient products, such as computers that last longer. A chemical engineer, she earned her doctorate at the University of New Brunswick. Mathis is vice-president of research and development at Mathis Instruments Ltd., which she co-founded five years ago with her husband. ANTOINE PAQUIN Age: 33 Ottawa Antoine Paquin has already scored two monster wins in three years -- and he's working on more. In June, 1997, he sold his SkyStone Systems Corp. to California giant Cisco Systems Inc. for $89.1-million (U.S.) in stock and cash. And then in April of this year, he struck silicon gold again, selling Philsar Semiconductor Inc. of Ottawa to Conexant Systems Inc. of Newport Beach, Calif., for up to $186-million (U.S.) in stock. He was also a key investor in Extreme Packet Devices Inc. of Kanata, Ont., a one-year-old semiconductor startup, that was sold in early March to PMC-Sierra Inc. of Burnaby, B.C., for $415-million (U.S.) in stock. Although the military history buff says he doesn't look for buyers, the string of windfalls has left him with an insatiable desire to build companies -- and the money to do so. CHRIS PICHÉ Age: 29 Vancouver It may be a gamble, but on-line casinos are Chris Piché's next venture. University of British Columbia graduate Piché is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Eyeball.com Networks Inc., an application service provider that saw its revenue jump 9,000 per cent in its first three years. Eyeball.com is partnering with DrHo.com, a casino-style Web site. Piché's company will be providing the technology to allow players' actions to be converted to 3-D animation in real time, expected to launch -- along with a real-time video-chat service -- in the fall. AARON REGENT Age: 34 Toronto Aaron Regent continued his skyward surge up Canada's corporate ladder in May when he moved from Trilon Securities Corp. to mining giant Noranda Inc. Regent was appointed executive vice-president and chief financial officer at Noranda, a move from president and chief executive officer of Trilon. Regent is also a member of the boards of the National Ballet of Canada and Toronto's 2008 Olympic bid committee. Calgary-raised Regent became president at Trilon at the age of 29, where he handled more than 200 domestic and international underwriting deals that helped raise more than $65-billion for the company's clients. AARON SERRUYA Age: 34 Toronto While Aaron Serruya was working in his father's Florida restaurant, he saw a small frozen-yogurt shop reap in tremendous money, and he thought the idea could work in Canada. At the time the first Yogen Fruz went into the Promenade Mall in Thornhill, Ont., in August, 1986, Serruya was 19. He's now 34, and the company -- which is run by him and his brothers Michael, 35, and Simon, 29 -- is worth more than $70-million and franchised in 92 countries. The three brothers sank all their money into the project and borrowed money from their father to start the company, but within three months they were debt-free. Serruya said the company is now expanding into an assortment of different frozen treats. CHERYL WHEELER Age: 34 Vancouver Raised in British Columbia, this former stockbroker has spent the last three years helping to build The Avalon Society, a drop-in centre for women in 12-step programs. She is the president of her own capital-pool company, Eveolution Ventures Inc., which she formed last year with Catherine McLeod-Seltzer, Lenora Gates and Melanie McMillan. Its sole purpose is to evaluate companies that are ready to go public, merge with one company, and then trade as a normal venture company on the Canadian Venture Exchange. It is looking to partner with a wireless, business-to-business operation.

COMEDY

GAVIN CRAWFORD Age: 29 Toronto Called "the next generation of comedic genius" by one critic, Alberta-born Crawford has a new, self-titled series on The Comedy Network (he co-writes and stars) and a role on the upcoming Warner Bros. sketch series Hype. In fact, he's as much an actor as a comic, since his routines are all character-driven, beautifully realized vignettes of people caught in familiar and often ironic situations. Crawford won the 1998 Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award, which acknowledges excellence in emerging comedians, and later joined Second City, where he wrote and performed in two main-stage productions. JASON ROUSE Age: 25 Toronto Winner of Yuk Yuk's Search For Canada's Funniest New Comic in 1998, Hamilton-born Rouse delivers an outrageous stand-up act that has graced stages from New York to New Westminster. A graduate of Humber College's comedy writing and performance school, Rouse has a regular gig on The Comedy Network's Buzz and has appeared on The Tom Green Show, and at Montreal's Just For Laughs festival. SHOSHANA SPERLING Age: 30 Toronto Both as performer and writer, Sperling is in increasing demand. On WTN, she's been featured in two seasons of the sitcom Go Girl!, and was a writer and performer on Vision TV's Skylight. Her one-woman show, The Golden Mile, has been a major hit at Toronto's Fringe Festival and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Her full-length play, Sheboobie, has enjoyed successful runs at Buddies, Toronto's Factory Theatre and the San Francisco Fringe Festival. Sperling has also appeared as an opening act for such stars as Sandra Shamas, Jann Arden, Sean Cullen and Scott Thompson.

DANCE

TARA BIRTWHISTLE Age: 28 Winnipeg A native of Sherwood Park, a huge bedroom community just east of Edmonton, Tara Birtwhistle joined the school of the Royal Winnipeg ballet in 1986. She's known for her expressiveness and smart technique, which have landed her plum parts in ballets both praised (Christopher Godden's Dracula) and panned (a new version of The Nutcracker by Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon). SASHA IVANOCHKO Age: 29 Toronto In less than six years, Sasha Ivanochko has become one of the powerhouses of the Toronto Dance Theatre, which, under the direction of Christopher House, ranks as one of Canada's best contemporary dance companies. She also works as House's assistant, and is regarded as a stellar choreographer in her own right. In the words of Globe dance contributor Paula Citron: "She's going to be a mover and shaker of the next generation of modern dancers." CHAN HON GOH Age: 31 Toronto Chan Han Goh joined the National Ballet of Canada as a member of the corps de ballet 12 years ago this month. Less than six years later, she found herself promoted to principal dancer. In 1986, at the age of 17, she was a prize winner at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne International Dance Competition. Critics have lauded her for expressiveness, clarity of conception and virtually flawless technique -- qualities, no doubt, that led the National's artistic director, James Kudelka, to cast her as Odette/Odile in the 1999 world premiere of his big-budget reinterpretation of the classic Swan Lake. JEREMY NAISMITH Age: 23 Toronto A member of the National Ballet of Canada, Jeremy Naismith generally is considered too short to be a danseur noble. But, as Globe dance contributor Paula Citron notes, he has "the personality and smarts to become one of the greatest character dancers produced in Canada." National artistic director James Kudelka has used him effectively as Uncle Nikolai in The Nutcracker and as the Jester in Cinderella. CRYSTAL PITE Age: 28 Frankfurt, Germany Born in Terrace, B.C., Crystal Pite brought a striking athleticism and blond, fresh-faced good looks to Ballet British Columbia for more than seven years. A talented choreographer -- she was the youngest-ever winner, in 1995, of the Clifford E. Lee Award for Canadian choreography -- she has set her work for Alberta Ballet, Toronto's Ballet Jorgen and Montreal's Le Ballet Jazz. In 1996 she moved to Germany to dance with Ballet Frankfurt. SONIA RODRIGUEZ Age: 27 Toronto Named principal dancer to the National Ballet of Canada by artistic director James Kudelka earlier this year, Sonia Rodriguez is considered a well-rounded ballerina who can do the classical and the contemporary. Her luminous presence, gorgeous looks and pure technique has prompted many to predict she'll be Canada's next Karen Kain. Rodriguez is married to figure-skating champ Kurt Browning.

DESIGN

DREW ALLAN Age: 25 Montreal Until not long ago, he ran a skateboard shop in his home town, and he's only just now completed the furniture program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont., but already Allan's objects stand out. Rather than making microscopic adjustments to received ideas about how furniture should look, he tries to go for a fresh start. A piece titled Lester B. Pearson Junior High, for example, reconfigured the regulation parts of a standard-issue school chair into a low oak bench. Allan has tried to make furniture building as unpredictable, as immediate, as slapping paint on canvas. PAUL CONDER Age: 31 Vancouver NeoCon, held last month in Chicago, is to interior-design trade shows what Everest is to mountains. So when the best of NeoCon 2000 gold award and the most innovative award went to little-known Vancouver firm Microsphere, the buzz was deafening. The M1 chair, by Microsphere chief designer Paul Conder, along with Rob McLachlan and Doug Brown, two other firm founders, is billed as "the ultimate interface for your computer." Evoking a fighter-jet cockpit, it allows you to recline while your computer components come to you. Conder moved to Vancouver from Ottawa, where he attended Carleton University's school of industrial design. Before launching Microsphere with four others last year, he designed such things as retail shelving -- and props for the film industry. ANDREW JONES Age: 33 Toronto Scandinavian-inspired, retro wit animated Jones's one-off chair at a recent exhibit at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre. And it's the inspiration behind Jones's new Gym chair for Keilhauer Industries, a wry update of the utilitarian stacking chair. The Gym's back and seat are made of translucent polypropylene instead of plywood, and the slightly splayed legs evoke Arne Jacobsen's 1953 Ant chair. Jones, who was born in Brantford, Ont., and grew up in Scarborough, studied architecture at the University of Toronto and furniture design at the Royal College of Art in London. Over the past five years, he has accumulated an impressive collection of commissions and awards. His take on office chairs is that they should look like they belong at home, a notion he calls "comforting." CRAIG ALUN SMITH Age: 31 Winnipeg Founder of Plastic Buddha Industrial Design Inc., Smith was born in Wales and lived in South Africa and Zimbabwe before settling with his family in Selkirk, Man. After high school, he wandered through Europe, lived on a kibbutz, and then joined the Canadian Armed Forces, spending a harrowing year in Bosnia. He studied architectural technology in Victoria, then went to work for an architect before moving into design. His witty, colourful, economical furniture goes against the grain, and a hip new line, made in Manitoba of fibreglass and supported on chrome legs, made a strong impression at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York in May. The name? Ugli.

ENVIRONMENT

ANNA HALL Age: 29 Victoria To say Anna Hall is passionate about whales is a dramatic understatement. For the last six years she has worked on the Prince of Whales, a whale-watching boat, where she works as a marine biologist. In the fall of 1998 Hall helped found the Victoria-based West Coast Anti-Whaling Society just after the U.S. government granted the Makah aboriginal tribe permission to hunt the nearly extinct grey whales in Strait of Juan de Fuca. "There is no apparent need to hunt whales. They don't need to do it to survive," says Hall. This fall Hall will begin graduate research at the University of British Columbia on the Harbour Porpoise, a small marine animal found in shallow coastal waters. MICHEL LEBLANC Age: 29 Moncton Earth Day 1990 was the turning point for Michel Leblanc. "I realized we are fighting for more than just animals and nature, we are fighting for our society," says Leblanc. While studying at the Université de Moncton in the early nineties, Leblanc created an environmental group on campus called Ecoversité. For the last two years Leblanc has been the executive director of Foundation Médias Verts, an environmental think tank that develops media tools for environmental messages. Last year Leblanc helped launch the first branch of the Petitcodiac Riverkeeper organization in Canada, which brings governments and industries to court when environmental laws are broken.

IAN McALLISTER Age: 31 Bella Bella, B.C. Ian McAllister is the founding member of the Raincoast Conservation Society and is the individual most responsible for the entire Great Bear Rainforest campaign. McAllister dedicated about 10 years of his life to travelling remote areas of the B.C. coast documenting and identifying remaining intact river valleys and grizzly bear strongholds. He brought these images to the world through his wildlife and nature photography and his book Great Bear Rainforest: Canada's Forgotten Coast, which was named advocacy book of the year by Canadian Geographic in 1997. McAllister has lived in Bella Bella, part of the Great Bear Rainforest, for the last few years with fellow conservationist and wife Karen McAllister, and is currently working on a wolf DNA study on the central coast.

NATASHA TEOLI Age: 29 Toronto A full-time consultant with research and advocacy group Pollution Probe, Natasha Teoli found her calling through a circuitous route. After completing an undergraduate degree in political science and women's studies at McGill University in Montreal, Teoli spent time in Texas at a site that practised permaculture, a method of sustainable agriculture and wildlife preservation. She started volunteering with Pollution Probe about three years ago. Since then she has specialized in environmental health, including food policy and air quality issues. She produced a major document to help the provincial government implement Drive Clean, a vehicle inspection and maintenance program aimed at reducing smog and educating the public.

FASHION

MARIE-LISE ANDRADE Age: 28 NATHALIE ANDRADE-WATIER Age: 25 Montreal Marie-Lise Andrade and Nathalie Andrade-Watier are the glamorous new front line of Lise Watier Cosmetics, the makeup company their mother, Lise Watier, founded in 1972. Andrade, a former lawyer, heads up marketing and development for the Montreal-based company while Andrade-Watier is in charge of ushering the company into the age of e-commerce. Building on the accomplishments of Mom -- who plans to slowly step out of the spotlight after taking her cosmetics and fragrance into more than 1,000 outlets across the country -- the young women aim to make Lise Watier an international brand. JOEFFER CAOC Age: 28 Toronto Caoc's glamorous fall/winter runway collection of sleek taffeta ball skirts and revisionist white shirts catapulted him to the head of the pack in 1998. Two years later, and six since the designer minted his own Misura label, the Ryerson University graduate retains the title of Canadian fashion's darling. Not only has he charmed the style media with his street-savvy and technically deft ready-to-wear design, his potential helped land him a high-profile financial backer. Belinda Stronach, 33, daughter of auto-parts magnate Frank, now calls herself president of the designer's Toronto-based fashion house. Up next: lines in accessories and men's wear. YUMI ETO AGE: 31 Vancouver Known for her avant-garde, architectural eveningwear, Eto thinks nothing of cutting hundreds of silk petals to then sew together into a fluttery blouse, or working with a Gulf Island sheep farm to have the finest wool at her fingertips. Understandably, her ethereal, often asymmetrical designs can run to the thousands of dollars, but fans, including Calista Flockhart, Susan Sarandon and Sarah McLachlan, aren't complaining. Nor are customers at major U.S. department stores, including her first big account, Barney's, which she scored in 1998, and Neiman Marcus. Canada's Holt Renfrew has recently followed suit. SAMANTHA NGUYEN Age: 28 Toronto Nguyen is helping boost the image of Canadian-made fashion on international runways. Nguyen and partner Daniel Storto have made a name for themselves with hand-crafted gloves -- Storto, 46, has built a following with his elegant and often avant-garde mittens -- but also with butter-soft leather bolero jackets, totes and knit scarves. International collaborations have included work for American legend Geoffrey Beene. In coming seasons, expect to see the pair's creations on the runways for French fashion houses Givenchy and Guy Laroche, and Belgian designers Dries van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester. FREDERIC TREMBLAY Age: 27 New York As expatriate gigs go, Quebec City native Tremblay has landed a plum. Senior designer for the soon-to-be released secondary line of New York-based wunderkind Marc Jacobs, Tremblay has a hand in the label's sixties mod aesthetic adored by critics and hipsters alike. After obtaining a master's degree in fashion design at London's Central Saint Martin's, Tremblay worked with Canada's Marie Saint Pierre, French house Emmanuel Ungaro, American Michael Kors and European avant-gardist Martine Sitbon. For now, he's sticking with Jacobs -- who also designs the reinvigorated venerable French label Louis Vuitton -- but if Tremblay decides to branch out on his own, it will be a move to watch.

FILM

SEMI CHELLAS Age: 30 Toronto A Calgary native, Chellas started out writing short stories. Then a high-school friend, John Fawcett, a resident at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto, asked her to write a script for him. She got hooked, eventually pursuing film studies at Yale. Her first long feature was Dead Aviators, a children's film directed by David Wellington, followed by The Life Before This (directed by Jerry Ciccoritti). She then went on to adapt Winnipeg novelist Carol Shields' Pulitzer-prize-winning The Stone Diaries for Toronto's Rhombus Media (it's directed by Cynthia Scott) and has collaborated with Bruce McDonald on his upcoming film, Claire's Hat. HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN Age: 19 Vancouver Cast by George Lucas as the young Darth Vader for the next two Star Wars epics, Christensen stands an equal chance of being the next Harrison Ford -- or the next Mark Hamill. Christensen beat an estimated 400 actors for the part which ensures him, at the very least, a footnote in film history. No doubt we'll be seeing and hearing much about him in the months and years before his image is thrown against the silver screen. In the meantime, we're looking forward to his James Earl Jones impersonation.

THOM FITZGERALD Age: 31 Halifax A native of New York who came to Canada in the late eighties, Thom Fitzgerald shot to national prominence in 1997 with his first feature, The Hanging Garden, a fantastical tale about a teenage suicide who shows up 10 years later to attend his sister's wedding. Made for a little over $1-million, Garden went on to win four Genies (including awards for Fitzgerald for best screenplay and best first feature) and proved a big hit at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it took the "people's choice" award and tied for the $25,000 prize as best Canadian film. His next, Beefcake (1999), was a docudrama commissioned by Britain's Channel Four about muscle magazines and their gay appeal. Now he's at work on a film adaptation of Denise Chong's novel The Concubine's Children. NOAM GONICK Age: 30 Winnipeg Gonick arrived two years ago at the Toronto International Film Festival with two entries. One was called Waiting for Twilight, a documentary narrated by Tom Waits about fellow Winnipeg Film Group star Guy Maddin. It also appeared at Toronto's 1998 Hot Docs festival, where it won best arts documentary. His other film was a short called 1919 that dealt loosely with the Winnipeg General Strike; that film was the winning Canadian entry at the Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival. Gonick, gay and activist, ran into controversy last year over his short film about a teenage carnie barker killed by a child molester; he wanted to call it Tinkertown, the name of a local children's amusement park, but had to settle for Carney Boy. He is completing his first feature, Hey Happy. JESSICA PARÉ Age: 19 Montreal Not many people have seen Paré's big-screen acting debut, Stardom, which only goes into theatres this fall after a world premiere at Cannes in May, but many predict big things for this Montrealer on looks alone. She has that lush-lipped, blue-eyed, lanky appearance beloved of both casting directors and readers of Maxim magazine. Currently in Lennoxville, Que., with director Lea Pool, she's shooting a new film tentatively titled Lost and Delirious. Virtually sight unseen, Paré is Canada's entry into the starlet sweepstakes; after we've seen the movies, she may make the transition to star.

SARAH POLLEY 21 Toronto While her Canadian contemporaries such as Neve Campbell and Scott Speedman garner huge salaries and pin-up presence south of the border, the former Road to Avonlea star has established herself as the best young Canadian actor of her generation. Alongside appearances in such films as The Sweet Hereafter, Guenevire and Go, Polley has nurtured writing ambitions and has directed a couple of short films. At this point, most observers in the Canadian film industry feel Polley has the talent, intelligence and experience to make an impact doing whatever she chooses. AERYN TWIDLE Age: 26 Vancouver Twidle was discovered by director Reg Harkema in a restaurant after he'd spent a frustrating day trying out actors for his debut feature, A Girl is a Girl. Two weeks later, Twidle -- who's been a model, a chambermaid and a relief worker in Central America -- had the role of Lisa, a jaded ex-model with anorexia. Variety described Twidle's performance as "wonderfully observed" and a "well-etched portrayal of emotional need." She's currently working with Harkema on his next film, tentatively titled Bang!

FOOD

NED BELL Age: 27 Toronto Ned Bell was already something of a star when the B.C. native arrived in Toronto three years ago to head the kitchen at Accolade, the revamped dining room at the downtown Crowne Plaza Hotel. Bell had been sous chef under the celebrated Rob Feenie at Lumière, considered by many to be Vancouver's best restaurant. Torontonians lapped up Bell's fish-forward, French-anchored fusion creations at Accolade. Last year, he left Accolade and rose to even greater acclaim at Senses, considered one of Toronto's best restaurants. In March, Bell was chosen by the Canadian Consulate General as one of a handful of Canadians to fly to New York for a week-long Canadian restaurant festival to show off the country's culinary talents.

JULIAN BOND Age:30 Vancouver

His name is as British as a parliamentary sex scandal, but Julian Bond's food is as far from bangers 'n' mash as a vegan with a potato allergy. The son of a Yorkshire miner, Bond has been firing up Canada's West Coast culinary scene since he landed there nine years ago on a CP Hotels apprenticeship. "I grew up in Yorkshire and moved quickly on," he laughs. "Everything goes into a pressure cooker in Yorkshire." In 1996, while chef at Star Anise in Vancouver, Bond drew the acclaim of New York-based Gourmet magazine, which rated the restaurant one of the best in North America. Sixteen months ago, he was lured away to launch Oritalia in the Sheraton Suites Hotel, another Vancouver hot spot. Bond two weeks ago switched jobs again, becoming director of culinary programs at Vancouver's distinguished Dubrulle International Culinary and Hotel Institute. DAVID CHRYSTIAN Age: 25 Toronto David Chrystian has passed through more Toronto restaurant kitchens in the past seven years than most city health inspectors. Or so it seems. The 25-year-old, who's been cooking professionally since he was 18, has done supporting stints at such noted establishments as Splendido, Jump, Acqua, Rosewater Supper Club and the Windsor Arms Hotel. He made his mark as a head chef a couple of years ago at Cafe Societa, an avante-garde oasis on the Italo-Portuguese College Street strip. Now at Patriot, a trail-blazing new restaurant in Bloor Street's tony shopping district, Chrystian is drawing superlatives once again with a courageously labeled "Canadian" menu. When Chrystian uses the phrase "East meets West," for example, he's talking about Canada's two coasts, not some Asian-fusion concoction. "It's all from around here," he says proudly. "It's great produce. why do you have to go elsewhere?"

ALEXANDRA SHANDLING Age: 34 Montreal Alexandra Shandling stumbled on the restaurant industry while she was studying politics at Queen's University. "I was hoping to be a bureaucrat," she said. The Toronto native now works at Toquè! in Montreal. The restaurant have won "oodles" of awards for best restaurant in Montreal over the past five years and best restaurant in the province last year. Sandling said she had the good fortune to work with Michael Stadphander, chef and owner of Eigensinn Farm, near Collingwood, Ont., who was working in Toronto at the time. Since then, Shandling has studied at the Stratford Chef School and worked at different restaurants across Toronto. "I've learned from the most amazing chefs and I've learned so much from them," she said. JAMES WALT Age: 32 Whistler, B.C. James Walt realized he wanted to be a chef at a very early age. He was helping a friend do landscaping as a summer job at a restaurant in Ottawa. After they completed the work, the owner asked the two children if they wanted to help out. Walt headed for straight to the kitchen. "Cooking has always interested me," he said. His interst in the industry took him to Stratford Chef School at the age of 21. After that, he worked in Vancouver and is presently the head chef at Araxi restaurant in Whistler, B.C. The restaurant, in its peak season, serves 300 people with a focus on local products. Walt makes a tomato salad with 12 different heirloom tomatoes. "There's been fleeting moments when you think if this is where you want to be," he said. "But there are only five-minute fleeting thoughts."

GOOD DEEDS

SARAH BECTOR Age: 18 Montreal Sarah Bector spent her childhood in Winnipeg's run-down north end. While her single mother struggled to support her, Bector turned her disadvantages into a passion for helping others. At 15, she convinced civic officials to let her organize a drop-in program for children aged 3 to 11 in the city's Pritchard Park. With the help of a few friends, the centre opened in 1997 in an unused building. A year later, there were 30 volunteers working with 60 children. Last year, Canada Trust awarded her a four-year university scholarship. Now a student at McGill University, Bector is still committed to helping others and has logged thousands of hours of volunteer time with food banks, a senior citizens' home, the Terry Fox run and the Youth Round Table on the Environment.

ANITA KAISER Age: 28 Anita Kaiser has the best incentive there is for putting in as many volunteer hours as she can at The Canadian Spinal Research Organization (CSRO) in Richmond Hill. Three years ago, she was involved in a car crash that left her a quadriplegic. Kaiser has refused to be defeated by her condition. She threw herself into a gruelling year-long, five-hour-a-day rehabilitation program. Now she is able to scuba dive and she loves to travel. In addition to her volunteer work at the CSRO as a research assistant, she travels across Canada with Smartrisk, a travelling road show that teaches accident prevention to teens, and she works as a peer support volunteer with the Canadian Paraplegic Association. Last summer she married her high-school sweetheart. MEGAN MILLER Age: 22 Charlottetown Megan Miller joined Students Against Drinking and Driving when she was 13, after her older brother was hit and killed on a Charlottetown street. As a volunteer she visits high schools to tell students her story and raise their awareness of the tragic consequences of drunk driving. Miller is also a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross's abuse prevention program. And she co-ordinates a youth volunteer program at a local hospital. She has been studying biology at the University of Prince Edward Island and plans a career in medicine. IRFHAN RAWJI Age: 22 Vancouver Irfhan Rawji became a volunteer as part of his commitment to the Muslim religion. Now a business consultant, he is a commerce graduate from the University of British Columbia and is one of the youngest board members of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. He also joined the board of Cedrus Group, helping them raise funds for a camp for children with anger problems and obsessive compulsive disorders. At university, he helped the Alma Mater Society Foundation raise about $40,000 for bursaries and he helped raise funds for a groups that aids Latin American children. Last year, Volunteer Vancouver, an association of volunteer groups, presented Rawji with their Leader of Tomorrow Award. He will be joining Anderson Consulting in the fall. JONI SHAWANA Age: 19 Toronto An Ojibwa from Wikwemkong reserve near Manitoulin Island, Shawana wanted to share her interest in traditional native culture with young native people when she came to Toronto. She has been volunteering at the Native Canadian Centre in the city for the past three years, focusing on youth activities. The former president of the centre's youth council and now a member, Shawana recruits young people to join activities such as volleyball night, to "get them off the streets and give them something different to do." She also helps organize cultural activities and teaching circles, inviting in elders, drummers and dancers. Shawna has helped raise funds for computers, sports equipment and language classes. Her goal is to move the youth group into its own building.

MEDICINE

LISA KALYNCHUK Age: 32 Halifax As a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia, Lisa Kalynchuk (born in Edmonton) became interested in understanding changes in the brain that lead to anxiety and depression. Now a professor of pyschology at Dalhousie University, she is leading a research project in this area. "Both of these disorders affect a large portion of our population. What keeps me going is the idea that this research will develop therapies to provide relief." Kalynchuk's work has won numerous prestigious awards, including one from NARSAT, a U.S. agency for research into affective disorders that receives applications from around the world. TARA MacDONALD Age: 32 Kingston, Ont. Tara MacDonald is an assistant professor in the department of psychology at Queen's University and has done extensive research on the relationship between alcohol and risky behaviour in young adults. In examining situations where people fail to assess their environment correctly, she studies attitudes and intentions to drink and drive or having sex without a condom. MacDonald recently applied for a William K. Grant scholarship award with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and has been published in psychology journals and bulletins. MacDonald completed her undergraduate degree at University of Western Ontario and her PhD at University of Waterloo. MARCO ANTONIO MARRA Age: 34 Vancouver As director of the Genome Sequence Centre at the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, Marco Antonio Marra is involved in one of the newest fields of human gene science. An adjunct professor of biotechnology and an assistant professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia, he is also on the editorial board of Genome Research for manuscripts submitted to the journals Nature Genetics, Genomics and BioTechniques. Marra completed his bachelor of science and PhD at Simon Fraser University and was awarded an NSERC doctoral scholarship for four years of his undergraduate studies and countless scholarships and grants from Simon Fraser. JACK and MARK NOWINSKI Age: 20 Waterloo, Ont. Jack and Mark Nowinski are twin-brother whiz kids. They have taken home a raft of prizes for the development of an electrocardiograph system that determines the condition of the heart by graphing it on a home computer. Patients can then send the data to their doctor's office via modem. If the software detects any dangerous irregularities it can dial the doctor's office directly. Among the many honours bestowed on the pair are the first-place award at the 1998 International Science and Engineering Fair, the first-place award from the Institute for Engineering and Electrical Engineers; and a coveted spot on YTV Achievement Awards last year. JOSEF PENNINGER Age: 35 Toronto Josef Penninger is a Toronto immunologist at St. Michael's Hospital and the Ontario Cancer Institute-Princess Margaret Hospital. A native of Austria, Penninger became an international celebrity after publication of 102 of his postdoctoral articles; he has received acclaim for his paper on how and why human cells change their shape, published in Cell on Jan. 7; a Jan. 27 publication in Nature of his findings that a certain gene can trigger the body's cells to eat its own mass and cause osteoporosis; and a report in Science that shows heart disease can be caused by a bacterial infection. VINCE TROPEPE Age: 29 Toronto Vince Tropepe, a doctoral student in University of Toronto's developmental-biology program, was lead author of a study identifying a stem cell present in the adult eye. The research may be applied toward a remedy for damaged retinas. Tropepe published one of the first reports about possible regeneration in the adult brain and factors that regulate normal production of neurons in the adult brain. At U of T, Hamilton-born Tropepe was funded by a Medical Research Council scholarship for $25,000. After completing his PhD next month, he will start a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT in Boston for three years, with a $35,000 MRC grant. ANNELIND WAKEGIJIG Age: 31 Manitoulin Island Annelind Wakegijig is a Manitoulin Island-born doctor who integrates traditional native methods with modern medicine. She graduated from medical school in Edmonton in 1997, far from the Lake Huron home where she grew up. Wakegijig -- one of the few medical doctors in Canada who speaks Odawa ---- travels around Northern Ontario filling in for doctors on leave. Her ultimate goal is to mesh knowledge given her by her father, a medicine man who uses traditional treatments of herb concoctions and poultices, and age-old tobacco-burning ceremonies, with modern science in a practice dedicated to first nations peoples.

MUSIC

ISABEL BAYRAKDARIAN Age: 25 Toronto Born and raised in Lebanon, Isabel Bayrakdarian came to Toronto at age 14, eventually attending university here for a degree in biomedical engineering. She started taking singing lessons only when she was at university, and attended her first opera a mere six years ago. Since then, the Armenian-Canadian has become one of the world's most in-demand lyric sopranos. Last year she garnered rave notices for her performance in William Bolcom's operatic version of the Arthur Miller classic A View from a Bridge at Chicago's Lyric Opera. SEAMUS BLAKE Age: 29 New York Born in London, England, and raised in Vancouver, tenor saxophonist Blake began turning heads in the jazz world when, still a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he recorded in 1992 with the noted New York drummer Victor Lewis. He moved to New York soon after, joining the Mingus Big Band there in 1995 and touring with guitarist John Scofield in 1996 and 1997. Blake's CDs for the European labels Criss Cross and Fresh Sound are the work of a young musician whose striking sense of jazz history hasn't kept him from flirting with late-1990s pop sensibilities. SUSAN PLATTS Age: 27 Victoria, B.C. Last year, Susan Platts, who only began serious vocal study at the age of 17, won the first Young Canadian Musicians Award (worth $15,000), set up by pianist Anton Kuerti and violinist Peter Oundjian to recognize the best in Canadian classical talent. The rest of the world is quickly following their example, as Platts gathers plum engagements with the Orchestre de Paris, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and others. ALAIN TRUDEL Age: 34 Montreal Trombonist and conductor Alain Trudel is a genuine star in his native Quebec, and on jazz and classical stages around the world. His awesome chops and prodigious range are matched by his passionate advocacy for the 'bone, which still gets little respect in some quarters. Trudel's solo appearances number over 100 per year, often in works specifically written for his talents. He's also an extremely funny guy, on stage and off. DYLAN VAN DER SCHYFF Age: 29 Vancouver A mainstay of the Vancouver Jazz Festival, van der Schyff's deft drumming with the most avant-garde of the city's own musicians and the festival's European and American visitors has gained him broad critical attention and even broader experience. Born in Johannesburg, he was brought to Canada as a child and lived in several cities before settling in Vancouver in 1991. He appears on recordings by the NOW Orchestra, Talking Pictures, clarinetist Francois Houle, cellist Peggy Lee and trumpeter Brad Turner, and has made three CDs under his own name for the independent Canadian label Spool. HAWKSLEY WORKMAN Age: 24 Toronto The newest wild man on the Toronto club scene made a splash last year with his first album, For Him and the Girls, which he wrote, performed, recorded and produced in his basement. Hawksley Workman, who is 24, writes and sings in the key of vulnerable, with a sharp poetic sensibility and an intensely direct style. His latest projects include production of a CD by the Calgary twins Tegan and Sara (who open for some of Neil Young's forthcoming tour dates) and his own sophomore album. Clearly a man in a hurry. JORDAN ZED Age: 20 Boston, Mass. Zed, a 20-year-old from New Brunswick, won first prize (and $15,000 U.S.) in the latest BMI/John Lennon Songwriting Competition, for his song, Show Me Who You Are. There are already several fan sites on the Web devoted to him, though he has not yet graduated from Boston's Berklee School of Music. Zed's music is high-gloss, soft-soul pop -- not exactly Lennon's cup of tea, but a first-class ticket to ride in a world in which Phil Collins gets an Oscar for making tunes for Disney.

NEW MEDIA

ALEX GARDEN Age: 25 Vancouver If you compared video games to Hollywood (and the revenues are similar), this Harley-driving, high-school dropout would be the industry's young Steven Spielberg. The CEO of Relic Entertainment was the lead designer on Homeworld, the mega-popular 3-D sci-fi thriller that won PC Gamer magazine's 1999 Game of the Year award, inspired a song by veteran rock group Yes and turned Garden into a virtual celebrity. "Can you put down that my success is attributable to the great team of people I work with?" he asked. "I've been hesitant to do any PR lately, because it's all turning into the cult of Alex Garden." Sure. But it looks like there's plenty of glory to share. Relic has two new projects, one top secret and the other, to be published by Microsoft next year, called Sigma. "Imagine mad scientists turned loose on Fantasy Island with genetic manipulation gone wild," says Garden. NATHON GUNN Age: 26 Toronto The president of Bitcaster began his career at the tender age of 9, when he programmed his first computer game on a clunky Commodore 64. From there, his list of accomplishments goes on and on: he helped launch CityInteractive, CHUM Ltd.'s new-media division, at 19; broke new ground with his hybrid CD-Roms for BMG records; co-ordinated the Webcast of the New York Music Festival from 50 clubs worldwide in 1995; and co-wrote the business plan for Miramax Film's interactive department last year. He has recently produced music videos for Ron Sexsmith, among others; has several projects for Disney under way; and is planning to open an L.A. office this summer. So, when Gunn says his upcoming digital-distribution network, Bitcasters.com, will "shake the media world," most industry observers are inclined to believe him. JENNIFER HOLLETT Age: 24 Toronto When this vintage-shopping, living-large, girl of many hair colours was a student at Concordia University in Montreal, she nabbed a part-time job that was the envy of all her friends, as Sony Music's campus marketing representative. (She got paid to attend concerts.) Less than two years after graduating, she parlayed her experience into the coolest full-time job her friends had ever heard of: Sony Music Canada's new-media manager. Hollett's award-winning Web sites for Celine Dion, Our Lady Peace and Prozzak, among others, earned her a nomination for this year's Canadian New Media Young Women of the Year award. You can read all about her daily adventures at http://www.oneofthose.com, Hollett's storytelling Webzine, which recently joined Canada's chick-oriented content network, Moxie.ca. When not staring at a computer, "Jennrock" can be found b-girling with Toronto's all-girl breakdancing crew, "shebang!" ZEV SHALEV Age: 27 Toronto This will be a particularly special Canada Day for the South African whizkid who recently shocked the TV industry by ditching his job as executive producer of CTV's Canada AM to start up an Internet specialty-channel company, TVforReal.com: Three weeks ago, Shalev passed his Canadian citizenship test. He'll be taking his oath to the Queen on Friday. "To be honest," says Shalev, "when I came to Canada four years ago, it was always with half an eye on going to the United States. But that has changed completely. I love living in Toronto. It's the most sophisticated city in the world." Expect to hear a major announcement about an interactive Web-based TV show Shalev is developing with Alliance Atlantis in the near future. PAUL TOUGH Age: 32 Los Angeles The former editor of Saturday Night Magazine politely walked away from the Hollinger empire when Conrad Black decided to fold the venerable monthly into the National Post. Without even bothering to stick around and gloat as Tough-era Saturday Night dominated last month's National Magazine Awards, the Toronto-born wunderkind high-tailed it to California, where he is now publishing Open Letters, an online magazine of first-person writing. Tough developed the general stylistic approach as a youthful editor at Harper's Magazine, then honed in Saturday Night's Canadian Letters section, but he's also bringing an innovative new distribution model -- one that eschews the very medium it's in. Each week, the designers compile Open Letters' mini-essays into a small magazine that includes a cover, table of contents, page numbers and everything else that makes glossies easier to read than Web pages. E-mail subscriptions are free -- for now anyway.

POLITICS

HEIDI BONNELL Age: 27 St. John's For six years since leaving university, Heidi Bonnell has handled communications for Brian Tobin, now the high-profile premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. Originally from Corner Brook (within Tobin's original federal riding), Bonnell is the dark-haired 27-year-old seen standing in the background of many of his television appearances. During her first week working for Tobin -- then the federal fisheries minister -- Bonnell jumped straight into the public eye, handling media queries on Canada's attempt to extend control beyond 200 nautical miles offshore. From there, she handled the turbot war, and then Tobin's switch to provincial politics. MARIO DUMONT Age: 30 Rivière-du-Loup, Que. The personal popularity of Mario Dumont (a former Liberal youth-wing president) has put Action Démocratique du Québec on the political map and made Dumont the rising star of Quebec politics. The ADQ is coveted by the Alliance party. In the last Quebec provincial election, the ADQ courted the soft nationalist vote with a pledge to freeze referendums for one term. It also appealed for the support of Quebec youth by presenting a roster of candidates with an average age of 34. Although Dumont was re-elected in his home riding of Rivière-du-Loup -- he remains the sole elected official of the party -- it obtained 12 per cent of the popular vote. RAHIM JAFFER Age: 28 Edmonton Rahim Jaffer's family history drew him to politics. Born in Uganda, Jaffer's family came to Canada to escape persecution under the government of Idi Amin. Jaffer left Edmonton to study at the University of Ottawa to improve his French. He worked for Liberal MP Dennis Mills, but became disillusioned with the process and the Liberals. The Reform Party's idea of democratic reform attracted him to the party and he decided to run in 1997. From his seat as the Canadian Alliance MP for Edmonton-Strathcona, he's now the party's chief environment critic. During the recent Alliance leadership campaign, Jaffer backed Tom Long as the best chance for broadening support in central Canada. JASON KENNEY Age: 32 Calgary Jason Kenney says his interest in politics must have been an early genetic flaw. "I remember watching the news and asking my dad about Watergate when I was about five years old," says Kenney, who was born in Ontario and raised in southern Saskatchewan. Kenney was elected to Parliament as an MP for Calgary Southeast in 1997 and serves as national revenue critic. He is currently working as Stockwell Day's campaign manager for the Alliance leadership candidacy. Prior to seeking election, Kenney served as president and CEO of the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation, an 80,000-member advocacy organization that promotes fiscal responsibility and democratic reforms. BERNARD LORD Age: 34 Moncton This baby-faced lawyer surprised everyone when he became premier of New Brunswick. Bernard Lord, who was raised in Greater Moncton, studied law at the Université de Moncton and was called to the bar in 1993. He is a founding partner in the local firm Leblanc, Boudreau, Desjardins and Lord. Elected at the largest leadership convention in the province's political history, Lord became Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party on Oct. 18, 1997. He was elected to the legislative assembly for Moncton East in October, 1998, and became leader of the Official Opposition. His platform of change swayed voters and in June, 1999, the Tories beat the Liberals and formed the government. PETER MacKAY Age: 34 Pictou, N.S. When Peter MacKay was first elected as a member of Parliament in 1997 for Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough, he dived right in. MacKay was immediately appointed as justice critic and solicitor-general for the federal Tories and also named House Leader, a position that usually falls to a more senior member. A former Crown prosecutor in New Glasgow, N.S., MacKay had dealt with a lot of justice issues and felt the best way to institute change was to seek a political seat. He is looking forward to the next federal election and is confident the current team of Tories and the candidates they recruit can prove they are a viable choice for Canadians.

PUBLISHING

MIKE O'CONNOR Age: 31 Toronto Almost 10 years ago, Mike O'Connor did a crazy thing: He left a job with the prestigious (and recently sold) publishing house McClelland & Stewart and started his own literary micro-press, Insomniac. What began with a handful of chapbooks gradually matured into one of Canada's most respected and controversial publishers of experimental fiction. This, after all, is where Lynn Crosbie got her start as a novelist with Paul's Case (1997). MARTHA SHARPE Age: 32
Toronto
The appointment of Sharpe as head of House of Anansi press at the age of 29 was the symbolic equivalent of one generation passing the literary torch to the next. Since then, Sharpe has nurtured an impressive stable of innovative new novelists and poets. Her list, which includes Michael Winter, Mark Anthony Jarman, Ken Babstock, Esta Spalding, Natalee Caple, Leo McKay Jr., Lynn Crosbie and Noel Baker, reads like a Who's Who of the new CanLit establishment. Sharpe, who grew up in London, Ont., andattended McGill University majoring in English lit, says the press has changed drastically since the days when poet Dennis Lee and his University of Toronto cronies opened up shop. LAAS TURNBULL Age: 33
Toronto
Editor-in-chief of Shift magazine, Turnbull honed his editing chops bounding from one Toronto magazine to the next. A reformed jock (he originally attended Simon Fraser University in British Columbia on a soccer scholarship), Turnbull left The Globe and Mail's Report on Business Magazine to head up Shift a couple of years ago. Since then, the award-showered digital culture mag has undergone a major redesign and ventured into the U.S. market. Turnbull shrugs off recent murmurs that the magazine is in financial trouble. "People are really polarized when it comes to Shift," he said. "Either they're really rooting for us or they're hoping that we won't succeed."

SCIENCE

PARISA ARIYA Age: 30 Montreal Parisa Ariya, born in Tehran, and now an associate chemistry professor at McGill University, says she wasn't intimidated at the thought of undertaking a postdoctoral fellowship with Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen. "It was fun," she said of working with Crutzen, who in 1970 showed how some chemicals were destroying the Earth's ozone layer. Part of her research at McGill involves finding out "the mystery mechanism of acid rain." Ariya, who was born in Tehran and moved to Toronto with her family when she was 14, said she wanted to come back to Canada to pursue her scientific career. EMILY HERDMAN Age: 23 Ajax, Ont. A recent graduate of Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Emily Herdman won one of 22 new NSERC awards (entitled the Julie Payette postgraduate scholarship, valued at $50,000) in evolution and ecology. She completed her bachelor of science in biology and honours in behavioural ecology and hopes to publish research findings on fish behaviour. She received two NSERC summer undergraduate scholarships allowing her to examine environmental factors affecting animal behaviour. Herdman will pursue graduate work in zoology at University of Western Ontario. This summer, she will delve into the population behaviour of forest animals in the Kananaskis Valley in Alberta. JAMES KEIRSTEAD Age: 20 Kingston, Ont. James Keirstead, originally from Truro, N.S., will spend July driving across Canada in a car that looks like a spaceship. The fourth-year civil-engineering student is one of the 15-member Queen's University Solar Vehicle Team trying to set a new world record for the longest trip in a solar-powered car. The challenge in driving the vehicle his team designed and constructed: Systems have to be constantly monitored to make sure the car is going as fast as possible, but not using up too much of the stored energy. "A lot of technology used in solar cars can be adapted to gas cars to improve fuel efficiency," Keirstead says. FUYUKI KURASAWA Age: 28 Aylmer, Que Fuyuki Kurasawa recently finished his PhD in political science at La Trobe University in Australia, funded by several Commonwealth scholarships and fellowships as well as the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee. Most recently, he received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council to pursue work in sociology at York University in Toronto. He will explore the relationship between science and ethics in the public domain. After completing an undergraduate degree in the social sciences at University of Ottawa, Kurasawa received a master's degree in political economy at Carleton University and edited a volume called Imagined Places: The Politics of Making Space. KEVIN ROBBIE Age: 27 William's Lake, B.C. The 27-year-old physicist has garnered many awards and accolades for his work in thin-film materials that appear in everything from antireflection coatings on glasses to anticounterfeiting measures on money. Last year, he won a Polyani award from the Ontario government. Last month, he won the Douglas R. Colton award for research excellence in microelectronics, the first awarded to a Canadian. In addition to teaching engineering and physics at Queen's University, he is building a $750,000 research lab in Kingston sponsored by the university, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and NSERC. and won an international research fellowship from the Swedish government in 1998. JOHN VOLPE Age: 35 Victoria A former provincial fish biologist, John Volpe is finishing his University of Victoria PhD thesis on colonization biology of Atlantic salmon. A Toronto native, Volpe completed his undergraduate and master's degrees at the University of Guelph. He received $270,000 over three years from the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, and was a forerunner in proving that escaped fish-farm Atlantics can survive in the Pacific. He's now examining how Atlantic salmon compete with Pacific salmon for food and habitat. As the only academic studying the ecological implications of Atlantic salmon aquaculture on the West Coast, he's had to weather criticism from both pro- and anti-aquaculture groups.

SPORTS

EMILY BRYDON Age: 20 Fernie, B.C. Emily Brydon is racing through the ranks of Canadian skiing and is primed for a spot on the World Cup team. In 1999-00, she won two downhill races in the Pontiac/GMC Cup, a domestic, developmental skiing circuit, and two more races on the Europa Cup circuit, which is a step below World Cup racing and includes top young skiers from Europe. She also won the slalom event at a Nor Am Super Series final. As a junior, Brydon won the combined title at the alpine skiing championships in Quebec City this year after a double-gold performances in 1999, where she won the downhill and super-G events. Brydon's also a versatile skier, competing in all four alpine skiing disciplines (downhill, super-G, slalom and giant slalom). RYAN DEMPSTER Age: 23 Sechelt, B.C. Ryan Dempster's 8-4 with a 3.35 earned run average this year, is third in the Florida Marlins rotation. The right-handed pitcher is a good bet for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in mid-July. He's among the National League leaders in wins, ERA, strikeouts, innings pitched and complete games. He has quickly become the ace of a young Marlins pitching staff after not making the club out of spring training last season. He throws a fastball that hits 94 miles an hour and his slider is as good as anyone's. When he returned from the minor leagues last May, he rejoined the rotation and is likely there to stay. OWEN HARGREAVES Age: 19 Calgary His rights are held by Bayern Munich, the biggest soccer club in Germany and one of the biggest in the world, so it's easy to see why Canadian soccer aficionados are drooling over Owen Hargreaves's potential. No young Canadian player has progressed so far so quickly (he plays on Bayern Munich's youth team) and while Hargreaves is likely the best youngster in Canada, he has the option of playing for Wales in forthcoming international play because his mother is Welsh. He brought his brilliant vision in the midfield to the Welsh youth team recently, but has since made noise about playing for Canada. Canadian soccer fans can only hope. WANEEK HORN-MILLER Age: 24 Ottawa The co-captain of Canada's Sydney-bound women's water polo team has won 20 gold medals at the Indigenous Games. Waneek Horn-Miller, of Mohawk heritage, started playing water polo 11 years ago in Ottawa. This year, she was recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement foundation's Youth Award. She was the most valuable player on the national senior team at the 1999 Canadian championships. That team went on to win gold at last summer's Pan American Games in Winnipeg and is looking forward to women's water polo making its Olympic debut in Australia. ANDREW HURD Age: 17 Oakville, Ont. At this month's Olympic swimming trials in Montreal, Hurd saved the best for last, qualifying in the final event. In the trials' final race, the 1500-metre freestyle, Andrew Hurd was 7/100ths of a second off the Canadian record set by Harry Taylor a decade ago. He shattered his personal best by 18 seconds en route to qualifying for the Sydney Games. His time of 15 minutes, 12.70 seconds was the fifth best in the world this year. With his tall, gangly frame, Hurd is the ultimate dark horse. He came out of nowhere to make the Olympic team and while he may not be a serious medal contender in Australia, Swimming Canada is pinning future hopes on this budding talent. GENEVIEVE JEANSON Age: 19 Lachine, Que. Genevieve Jeanson's a double-world cycling champion in junior road racing who won a World Cup race in Huy, Belgium this April and the Tour de Snowy in Australia in March. She is considered the next Canadian superstar in cycling but a dispute over the Canadian Olympic Association's Olympic qualifying criteria nearly kept her from Sydney. Jeanson wanted to be exempt from the Olympic trials, held next month in Peterborough, Ont., after her double-gold performance at the junior world championships in October. The Canadian Cycling Association couldn't accept the junior results, but Jeanson met the criteria with two top-eight finishes at senior international races. If she doesn't win in Peterborough, she will almost certainly be selected to two Olympic spots that are selected subjectively. SCOTT MacINTOSH Age: 26 Halifax After failing to qualify for the Olympics at the first two trial boxing tournaments in the United States and Mexico, Scott MacIntosh defeated an Argentine in Buenos Aires on June 4, to earn an Olympic berth in the 71-kilogram weight class. Those familiar with the suspect judging at amateur boxing matches will attest that winning on your opponent's home turf is an impressive result, especially when the stakes are so high. MacIntosh is one of six Canadian boxers heading to Sydney. The 5-foot-10 fighter is a three-time Canadian champion and a silver medalist at last summer's Pan Am Games in Winnipeg. He has won 70 of 85 amateur bouts while pursuing a university degree. JESSE PALMER Age: 21 Gainesville, Fla. Hailing from Nepean, Ont., Jesse Palmer enters the U.S. college football season as the starting quarterback for the University of Florida Gators. The past three seasons have seen him yo-yoed between the starter and backup role, but now he finally gets his chance to lead the strong team. Palmer is considered a franchise saviour by Canadian Football League scouts, one of those rare Canadians that make an impact at a skill position. If he fails to make the National Football League, he'll be the CFL's most sought after player since Doug Flutie. A Canadian playing a position (quarterback) usually reserved for Americans helps the import ratio that CFL clubs must follow and Palmer is said to have all the tools to be an outstanding quarterback. He could become a modern-day Russ Jackson. JASON SPEZZA Age: 17 Brampton, Ont. Jason Spezza likely tops the early list of eligible players for the 2001 National Hockey League entry draft. The NHL just staged its 2000 draft but already, scouts and player personnel types are pointing to next season and the bounty of good North American players like Spezza expected to be available. He entered the Ontario Hockey League in 1998-99 with the Brampton Battalion with more fanfare than anyone since Eric Lindros and he is supposed to carry the hapless Mississauga IceDogs, co-owned by Don Cherry, out of the doldrums. His 24 goals and 61 points were second best on a club that only managed nine victories last year. Nonetheless, Spezza's combination of playmaking abilities and smooth skating has many saying he's destined for NHL stardom. TAMMY SUTTON-BROWN Age: 22 New Brunswick, N.J. Hailing from Markham, Ont., Sutton-Brown is a significant contributor to one of the best women's basketball programs in the United States. Rutgers University advanced to the Final Four in the annual national championship tournament this season, one year after reaching the Final Eight. Tammy Sutton-Brown averaged 9.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 1999-00. Last year, she garnered third-team all conference honours. As the 6-foot-4 forward enters her final collegiate season this November, she is also beginning to make waves on the Canadian national team. She will play for the Sydney-bound Olympic club and will be counted on heavily after leading Canada in scoring and rebounding at a week-long tournament in January where Canada finished 1-4 versus Australia, Russia and Slovakia. In her best game, Sutton-Brown scored 18 points versus Australia. ALEX TAGLIANI Age: 27 Lachenaie, Que. Like his Québécois counterparts, Jacques Villeneuve and Patrick Carpentier, Montreal-born Alex Tagliani's need for speed has taken him from racing go-karts at a young age to the most prestigious racing circuit in North America. He sits third in points for rookie of the year in the Championship Auto Racing Teams series. After toiling in lesser racing series, he got his chance this year when a spot opened up on a team familiar to Canadian race fans. Greg Moore was leaving the Player's Forsythe Racing Team before a horrific crash in the season's final race resulted in his death. Tagliani replaced Moore after successful auditions through the offseason. The 2000 season represents Tagliani's long-awaited chance to make a big-time splash.

TELEVISION

AVI LEWIS Age: 33
Toronto
Much has been made of Avi Lewis's political pedigree as the son of feminist journalist Michelle Landsberg and politician and diplomat Stephen Lewis. But with counterSpin, the sassy and smart Newsworld show Lewis hosts whirling into its third year on air, isn't it time to put family-tree tracing to rest? With his calm wit and unpretentious TV style, Lewis is more than just another TV personality. Before making the jump to our national broadcaster, this double-pierced, twinkly-eyed dynamo brought political "uncoverage" to MuchMusic. Just call him the world's smartest former VJ. CARLY POPE Age: 19
Los Angeles
The model-perfect star of hit U.S. TV series Popular, Carly Pope is part of a phenomenon that's seen Hollywood agents looking more and more to Canada for fresh faces and bodies for the new genre of teen shows like Roswell, Dawson's Creek and Felicity. The daughter of a lawyer and a homemaker in Vancouver, Pope got herself an agent when she was 16 and auditioned repeatedly for a part on the low-grade, Vancouver-made series Breaker High; she never got a role, but she's not sorry now. Just this week, Entertainment Weekly named Popular the "It" TV series in its annual Hot 100 checklist. EVAN SOLOMON Age: 32
Toronto
Many might recognize Evan Solomon as the host of Hot Type, CBC Newsworld's literary show, which recently won a hotly-contested media scramble for the exclusive Canadian interview with J.K. Rowling, the reclusive British author of the Harry Potter books. But he's most renowned for being the fiercely devoted co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Shift magazine, now frantically searching for a U.S. buyer after its financiers pulled out. He and fellow co-founder Andrew Heintzman, who recently stepped down as publisher, have now started up a new consulting company called RealizeMedia, which will eventually develop a diverse array of content, from animation to on-line magazines. Recently returned from a research trip to Poland, Solomon is currently finishing up his second novel, tentatively titled The Powder Room, about an uprising in Auschwitz. AZEB WOLDE-GIORGHIS Age: 31
Abidjan, Ivory Coast/Montreal
"Have war? Will travel." That could be the motto on Wolde-Giorghis's ID as African correspondent for both the French and English-language services of the CBC. A native of Ethiopia who came to Montreal in 1978, Azeb Wolde-Giorghis has covered wars in Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the mid-nineties. And while she knows there is much mayhem in Africa, she also tries to add "a little light" in her reports from the continent. She told Globe contributor Andrew Mills she's not preoccupied with the dangers of being a foreign correspondent. "When your time comes, your time comes."

THEATRE

CHRIS ABRAHAM
Age: 25
Toronto A director who has burst onto the national theatre scene, Chris Abraham has revealed a bold taste for the experimental and a firm hand with his actors in everything from the European avant-garde to new Canadian plays. A graduate of the directing program at the National Theatre School in Montreal, he has been busy playmaking since his childhood in Montreal and Toronto. His well-inked dance card includes Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, opening later this month in Newmarket, Ont., and a production of After the Dance by British dramatist Terence Rattigan with the new Montreal Young Company next March. MAGGIE BLAKE
Age: 17
Stratford Maggie Blake rose to prominence at the tender age of 14 playing a truly evil schoolgirl in the Shaw Festival's The Children's Hour with chilling assurance. Of course, the girl from Queenston, Ont., was born to the theatre: Mother Coleen Blake is the Shaw's general manager. Now 17, Blake has moved over to Stratford, where last year she played Queen Isabel (for once, a genuine teenager) in Richard II and this year she is tackling the title role in The Diary of Anne Frank. ELECTRIC COMPANY Ages: 27 to 34 Vancouver This quartet -- Jonathon Young, 27, Kim Collier, 34, Kevin Kerr, 31, and David Hudgins, 32 -- formed The Electric Company after graduating from Studio 58 theatre school. They've earned rave reviews for inventive work such as The Wake, a social history of Granville Island performed on the banks of False Creek, and The Score, a play about the ethics of genetic engineering that recently won five Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. In March, they won a $50,000 commission from the Alcan Performing Arts Awards, which they will use to adapt Brazilian writer Jorge Amado's novel Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands for the stage. SEVERN THOMPSON
Age: 28
Niagara-on-the-Lake Severn Thompson brings luminescence to youthful earnestness in all her work at the Shaw Festival, where she has rapidly emerged as the leading ingenue in plays such as Joy and Rebecca. This season, the Toronto native and graduate of the National Theatre School is starring in The Doctor's Dilemma.

VISUAL ARTS

BRIAN JUNGEN Age: 30 Vancouver A member of the Dunne-Za First Nation of Northeastern British Columbia, Brian Jungen had his first major solo show at Vancouver's Charles H. Scott Gallery last year. His beautifully crafted ritual masks, which happened to have been assembled from bits of Nike runners, were some of the most exhilarating artworks seen in recent years, and brought him national attention. A nuanced reflection on the complexity of sorting out the old from the new, the high from the low, even the good from the bad, the artworks were a brilliant combination of good looks and commentary on our current cultural preoccupations -- kind of like the venerable masks they were modelled on. KELLY MARK Age: 32
Toronto
One of Canada's top exponents of Neo-Conceptualism, Kelly Mark was trained among the veteran conceptualists of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. With a flood of smart, intriguing objects filling shows in Canada and as far away as Australia, where she was part of the Sydney Biennial, it's hard to know what represents Mark best. A piece called Prime Time at the Art Gallery of Hamilton presented a mini living room -- television, comfy sofa, VCR -- and two hours of taped channel surfing (weather, The Simpsons, a live operation). By stretching out the most banal event, and then preserving it for careful contemplation, Mark made it resonate beyond its normal range. It was a portrait of our TV Guide attention span, viewed with a high-art gaze. DAMIAN MOPPETT Age: 31
Vancouver
Rumour has it that he doesn't like it broadcast, but Damian Moppett has an impressive art-world pedigree, as son of Calgary painters Ron and Carrol Moppett. After receiving his master's degree from Montreal's Concordia University in 1995, Moppett Jr. went on to several high-profile group shows and some notable appearances in Canadian Art magazine; he'll appear in a group show at the Art Gallery of Ontario next spring. Moppett's work mixes high and low, without ever becoming simple pop: A few years back he built sculptures out of Lego and pinched balloons, then had them pose for improbably elegant photographs. More recently, he shot wonky, 3-D constructions that bored people put together from the trash they find around them and blew them up to poster size. Moppett's earlier work had been about an ironic elevation of the deliberately dumb; his latest pictures present the genuine apotheosis of our most casual creations.

WRITING

MICHELLE BERRY Age: 32
Toronto
Michelle Berry's two story collections, How to Get There from Here (1997) and Margaret Lives in the Basement (1998), gave us a suburbia infused with a spirited, tender appreciation for life's strangeness. Behind the fleshy clarity of clipped hedges and orderly lawns, her suburbanites retreat from loneliness, loss and despair. A San Francisco-born, Victoria-raised, Toronto resident, Berry showed remarkable acceptance of middle-class anxiety, without a hint of sentimentality. Her first novel, What We All Want, will be published by Random House Canada in February. LYNN COADY Age: 30
Vancouver
Lynn Coady knows the meaning of poverty. Until her first novel, Strange Heaven, was nominated for a Governor-General's Award in 1998, she could barely pay her phone bills. In 1988, hoping to turn her vocation into a paycheque, she enrolled in journalism school but was asked to leave after a year. Though she now lives and writes in Vancouver, and teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia, Coady draws on the quirks and characters of her native Cape Breton for inspiration. Her latest book, a collection of short stories, Play the Monster Blind, was published this spring. "She has an unerring feel for the intimate politics of place," wrote Beverley Daurio in The Globe and Mail. KAREN CONNELLY Age: 31
Victoria and Greece
Born and raised in Calgary, Karen Connelly was, at 24, the youngest-ever recipient of a Governor-General's Award in any English category when, in 1993, she received the non-fiction prize for her bestselling travel memoir, Touch the Dragon: A Thai Journal. She is the author of one other travel memoir, One Room in a Castle: Letters from Spain, France and Greece (1995), as well as four books of poetry, including The Small Words in My Body (1990), which won the Pat Lowther Award, and the just-published The Border Surrounds Us. ELYSE GASCO Age: 32
Montreal
Elyse Gasco's story collection, Can You Wave Bye Bye, Baby was, give or take a Zsuzsi Gartner, 1999's fiction debut of the year. The title story by Gasco, who studied creative writing at Concordia and New York universities, won the Journey Prize, while the collection was shortlisted for the 1999 Governor-General's Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Gasco did become the first author to win both the Quebec Writers' Federation the McAuslan First Book Award and the Hugh MacLennan Prize for fiction. The jury described her book as "original, so refreshing, as to be outstanding." ANNABEL LYON Age: 29 Vancouver It's rare that a lion of CanLit starts touting a young writer through direct appeal to book-review editors. But that's precisely what John Metcalf did for Vancouver's Annabel Lyon and her story collection, Oxygen. He did have advance warning: Lyon's breathtaking, often challenging and occasionally disorienting fiction had been appearing in the country's top literary magazines. Lyon herself has been the fiction editor at Prism International (1995-96), shepherding other young talent into the fold. She is currently teaching piano and working on a novella. HAL NIEDZVIECKI Age: 29
Toronto
Born in Brockville, Ont., and raised in Ottawa and Washington, D.C., Hal Niedzviecki has resided in Toronto since 1989. He came to public attention as editor of the 'zine guide Broken Pencil, and has written three books: Smell It (1998), a collection of stories; Lurvy: A Farmer's Almanac (1999), a take-off on the Farmer's Almanac and Charlotte's Web; and the recent We Want Some Too: Underground Desire and the Reinvention of Mass Culture. Niedzviecki also edited the anthology Concrete Forest: The New Fiction of Urban Canada (1998). KEVIN PATTERSON Age: 34
Halifax
In 1994, Kevin Patterson was a heartbroken young army doctor. Literally a man adrift, the native of landbound Selkirk, Man., sought solace from a failed romance by sailing from Vancouver Island to Tahiti. The resultant emotional, psychological and very physical odyssey is detailed in his first book, The Water in Between, published to rave reviews in Canada last year and lately in the U.S. (The New York Times Book Review put it on the cover). Wry and plain, but smart, honest and observant, the book has established Patterson as a writer to watch. And not just of non-fiction. A collection of Patterson's stories is to be published by Random House Canada in 2001.

ANDREW PYPER Age: 32
Toronto
Andrew Pyper's debut story collection of short stories, Kiss Me, elicited raves when it was published in 1996. With his first novel, Lost Girls, Pyper, who rejected a law career for fiction, has proved a master of more than one genre. The book, a murder mystery/psychological thriller set in Ontario's cottage country, has been published in the U.S. and the U.K. "Scabrously witty" and "reminiscent of Martin Amis," wrote John Koch in the Boston Globe recently. This year, it won Canada's prestigious Arthur Ellis first novel award. Pyper, born in Stratford, Ont., lives in Toronto, and has optioned film rights for Lost Girls to Danny DeVito's Jersey Productions. He is at work on a second novel. EDEN ROBINSON Age: 32
Vancouver
Eden Robinson was born in 1968 on the Haisla Nation Kitamaat reserve in British Columbia. A former mail clerk, dry cleaner and receptionist, her first book was the shocking Traplines (1996), an unsettling look at an urban landscape where the bizarre coexists with the normal. It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won the Winifred Holtby Prize for best work of fiction in the Commonwealth. Monkey Beach (1999), her second novel, is set in a small Haisla community on the B.C. coast. Robinson is currently writer-in-residence for the Yukon Libraries and Archives Branch. ** CONTRIBUTORS
James Adams Caroline Alphonso Alex Brown Laszlo Buhasz Paula Citron Beppi Crosariol Chris Dafoe Theresa Ebden Robert Everett-Green Deborah Fulsang Alexandra Gill Blake Gopnik Leah Hendry Simon Houpt Renee Huang Deirdre Kelly J.J. Kirchhof Liam Lacey David Lasker Martin Levin Leah McLaren Danial McHardie Mark Miller Rhys Phillips Tralee Pearse Michael Posner Egle Procuta Cicily Ross Doug Saunders Matthew Sekeres Kate Taylor Christina Varga Adele Weder ** READER FEEDBACK What do you think of the Globe's Young Leaders list? Do you know someone who should be on it, but isn't? Participate in a discussion forum at www. globeandmail.com.

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