Rev. Denise Gillard


No one goes alone!

Rev Denise Gillard is the Founder and Executive Artistic Director of The HopeWorks Connection, which is best known for its flagship program, The Toronto Children's Concert Choir & Performing Arts Company (TC3). She is also the CEO of My Divine Appointment, the Senior Leader of Denise Gillard Ministries, a Church Planter with Catch The Fire World and serves as a Business Advisor with the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce.

Rev. Denise is a consultant, published author, and African Canadian history buff who believes that sharing stories brings people closer together. She has served in ministry for 25 years and managed non-profit organizations for 20 years. Rev. Denise is passionate about empowering and activating safe, impactful, and accountable leaders to make a positive difference in the world.

I have set my eyes firmly on the vision of youth unleashing their artistic talent and energy as an innovative alternative to self-destruction. It's an honor to be a part of their search for success in all aspects of their lives.

Rev. Denise received her undergraduate degree from Tyndale Bible College & Seminary in Toronto and her post-graduate degree from McMaster University's Divinity College (Hamilton). She completed the Executive Stream of Arrow Leadership and has extensive training in Non-profit Management (Trinity Western Institute School of Business/World Vision Canadian Programs).

The Reverend has won several distinguished awards. The African Canadian Women's Achievement Award for Excellence in Youth & Women's Development and The African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Religion are among the honors bestowed upon the reverend. The Canadian Glass Awards presented her with the Women Of Excellence Award in 2013.

Rev. Denise led the choir section of HopeWorks' flagship program, The Toronto Children's Concert Choir & Performing Arts Company. In October 2009, she wrote the song "Show Me The Way To Go," which received the Gospel Music Association of Canada's Covenant Award for Children's Song of the Year. The reverend has now gone on to mentor several choir directors and the other artistic staff who lead the various programs that we offer throughout the organization.

Rev. Denise was born in Oakville, Ontario, and her father came to Canada from Jamaica; however, her mother's family came to Canada through the Black Refugee and Loyalist movements in Nova Scotia. Rev. Denise's life has been shaped by the performing arts for as long as she can remember. Her classically trained mother made sure she and her siblings had access to a wide variety of vocal, instrumental, and theatrical instruction. When Rev. Denise was a teenager, she started adapting children's stories into musicals and touring local libraries and public schools.

Music From The Sky, her first children's picture book, was published in the spring of 2001. Rev. Denise draws on a common tradition of positive interactions between elders and children to encourage children to hold on to and work for their aspirations using an African Canadian storytelling model.

She has devoted herself to empowering children and the people who love them to work toward fulfilling their full potential in the light of faith, service, and transformational living. She is known for her gifted preaching and inspiring motivational speaking.

Rev. Denise is a grandmother of one and the mother of three children. She lives in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, with her husband Wilton.

Ask her how to make any meal plant based. It's a hidden talent of hers!