Valerie Pringle

Valerie Pringle

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Award-Winning Television Broadcaster, Host of Canada Files, Mental Health Advocate

Valerie Pringle has enjoyed a distinguished career as a broadcaster and journalist for 50 years.

She was a well-known anchor of two national news programs – Midday on CBC and Canada AM on CTV where she covered major stories of the day, from national elections and Royal weddings to space launches and natural disasters.

She has reported from Mount Kilimanjaro to Haida Gwaii, and has hosted several television series including The Canadian Antiques Roadshow and Valerie Pringle Has Left the Building.

Valerie is currently host and producer of Canada Files on PBS.

Valerie has taken her leadership skills to the non-profit world.  She has championed AIDS research for CANFAR, not only raising valuable funds but working to remove the stigma from the disease.  She also played a key role in building the Trans Canada Trail across the country, working for more than 20 years to realize its vision.  And she has been a tireless advocate for the treatment of mental illness, currently serving as Chair of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation.

In 2006 she was made a Member of the Order of Canada for her work in broadcasting and philanthropy.  She received an Honourary Doctorate from Toronto Metropolitan (Ryerson) University in 2010 and is an honourary fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society

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Speaking topics

Growth is the Only Evidence of Life: A Career Path

Valerie will describe how she began her career in journalism on radio and television while balancing a busy home life with three children.  She will describe the arc that led her from broadcasting to the non-for-profit world where she now volunteers as a Board Member and fundraiser and who her heroes and inspiration have been.  How do we manage and embrace change and who are the examples of this? She will talk about making transitions and figuring out when to leave and what is worth spending your time on.

Life Lessons and the Ring of Truth: My 5 Favourite Interviews and What They Taught Me

Valerie shares the five favourite interviews she’s conducted in her extensive career with some of the world’s most celebrated personalities in the fields of television, the arts, religion and social activism. Valerie describes the lessons and insights she took away from these conversations, and how we can all learn from their words of wisdom. She also relates stories of the wonderful and not-so-wonderful people she interviewed and why we all need (s)heroes in our lives.

Why I Am Advocate for Mental Health (Give your Head a Shake)

Valerie explains why she chose to become a mental health advocate:
• What was her daughter Catherine’s experience of mental illness?
• How did she get help and how does her daughter look back on the experience now?
• What has Valerie learned from helping her daughter after being what she describes as “pretty clueless” for many years as to what Catherine was experiencing?
• Why does she feel people are hungering for honesty and openness as stigma around mental illness is as damaging as ever?
• Why is the shame so great and what will make it better?
• What are the most important lessons she has learned about dealing with mental illness and addiction?

Valerie speaks with honesty, concern and humour about going public about mental illness and the difference it has made in her life, and shares four key pieces of advice for those suffering in mental illness or supporting loved ones as they go through it. Valerie’s daughter, Catherine, joins her for this talk when she is available.

Video clips

Valerie Pringle - Her Family's Story

Speaker testimonials

Never before have I witnessed a group of 420 students and adults remain ‘pin drop silent’ for an hour listening to a speaker. Never before have I witnessed a standing ovation for any speaker we’ve engaged for Orientation. Never before had we fielded so many positive comments about a guest speaker. And watching you try to exit… the number of staff that came forward to personally thank you or offer a ‘thank you’ smile was astounding. And ever so important. Valerie, I wanted you to know just how impactful your presence was at our Orientation Day on Monday. And I truly believe a large part if it was your natural, relaxed, matter of fact delivery. There was no single large horror story. You offered a collection of thoughtful facts and life examples that were absolutely relatable to everyone. I am still reeling over the stats. Your Monday message has motivated a few individuals to craft a specific ‘mental health’ committee – a sub unit of our Wellness Committee. There’s no better indication of a successful initiative to me than this type of action Valerie.

Bryan J. Mercer, Director, Marketing | St. Lawrence Parks Commission

Everyone was amazed by your ability to lead the discussions in such a productive way. We believe we have walked away with some key thoughts to begin our planning process. We appreciate how engaging you were with our participants both on stage and off. We have had wonderful feedback from the everyone regarding your Participation. We hope to have the opportunity to work with you again.

Libraries 2025 planning committee

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