Jesse Lipscombe

Top 40 Under 40 2017

Photography Colin Way

Age: 37

Job Title: Co-founder of the #MakeItAwkward campaign; founder of FlowPower; co-owner at Wevive Fitness; Actor; Producer; Singer; Motivational Speaker

Why He’s Top 40: He’s helped create a more inclusive community that fights discrimination through advocacy


Jesse Lipscombe was filming a public service announcement about Edmonton’s beautiful downtown when racial slurs were recorded on the video. The irony didn’t faze him, the video shows him walking up to a car and speaking calmly with the men inside, which became the impetus for the #MakeItAwkward campaign, a partnership with his wife, Julia.

The video went national as Lipscombe, a fourth-generation black Albertan, asked people to confront discrimination of all kinds, which was the start of a conversation that now includes the #MakeItAwkward inclusivity summit from Februrary 1-3, 2018.

“It’s like in acting…breaking the fourth wall,” says Lipscombe, who’s been acting since he was 14, when he played Sidney Poitier’s son in the TV miniseries Children of the Dust. He’s held many roles since, culminating in an AMPIA win this year for best performance in It’s Not My Fault And I Don’t Care Anyway, a film he also produced, starring the late Alan Thicke. He’s also performed in bands, owned a live music venue and had his music featured on Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story.

He parlayed his skills as an athlete into FlowPower, a workout emulating how he trained on a daily basis. His video on FlowPower, Daddy and Me, features his three kids – aged one to nine – as part of a workout that caught the eye of Kevin Hart, who is partnering with Lipscombe for a show called What The Fit which will be airing in January 2018.

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