Photography by Vito Amati/Ryan Emberley

A Look Inside Millie Speaks’ Inaugural Event

This past weekend, something special happened in Toronto. The ‘Your Authentic Life‘ conference brought an eccentric, diverse group of women from around the world to Arta Gallery, where Millie Speaks, a female-focussed travel and speaker series, hosted their inaugural event.

It was a day to connect, learn and celebrate authenticity, vulnerability, and empowerment. There was a morning meditation, an afternoon tea refresh, a ‘Why I Travel’ board, and a comfortable hangout spot where you could lounge on FASHION-branded pillows and flip through our latest issue. Panel discussions and keynotes explored themes like ‘Being You: Let’s Only Talk About What’s Authentic,’ ‘Real Women: Every Day Heroines’ and ‘Live Your Adventure,’ with women having candid conversations about their relationships, careers and journeys of self-discovery.

We might be a little biased, but the highlight of our day was when FASHION Editor in Chief, Noreen Flanagan, joined Halifax-born keynote speaker Brenda Trenowden CBE in a conversation about being London’s banking #girlboss, leading the 30% Club globally, and battling a rare cancer. (That CBE after her name stands for Commander of the British Empire, BTW. She’ll be going to Buckingham Palace in January to meet with the Queen and pick up her medal, which recognizes her services to the financial sector and to gender equality.)

Somewhere between the chats, the Caudalie hand massages and the open bar, we found ourselves in a safe space of genuine connection. There was laughter, tears and a whole lot of supportive applause as speakers, panelists and participants opened up about their struggles, self-doubt and scaling seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We left with new friends, a greater perspective, an unlocked sense of potential — and a really great gift bag of goodies.

Here’s a look at what you missed, and what you can expect from future Millie Speaks events.