It’s a motley crew we have. One that under other circumstances might have meant that Novel Media never started. Call it destiny, the stars aligning, or the power of human connection, we all came together out of a need for powerful, deep, meaningful conversation and exploration of the human condition.
Novel Media started as a Toronto-based book club called Novel Evenings with a goal to use books as a vehicle to spark discussion about topics like love, death, purpose and creativity. Within just a few short months these gatherings took off and as we watched our community grow, become friends, and give each other a hand up. We saw people helping near-strangers and opening their heart and minds to new possibilities, new beliefs. We watched people grow. We realized we were on to something special. Something unique. Something powerful.
The magic in our community has led us to expand beyond books to offer a wide variety of events, corporate speaking and workshops, and storytelling to help people create deeper connections with each other and with themselves.
We know first-hand how powerful it can be when someone truly sees you without judgement - only love, curiosity and understanding.
Welcome to Novel where all we ask is that you keep your mind open and expect to have your heart and soul filled.
We look forward to sharing more with you as we grow our community and share our passion for authenticity with you.
Cerys, Christopher, Monika & Nick
There is simplicity in the complex Christopher Louis Philippe Chapheau. That is the magic of his dichotomy. His wild creativity, his passion for entrepreneurship, his relentless commitment to connecting and growing a community is rooted in finding joy, rekindling play, and practicing curiosity.
His fanatic love affair with Napoleonic history, has nothing to do with stature, but instead Christopher’s relentless pursuit of legacy. A legacy that explores all facets of the human experience and where that growth and journey betters his community. You see, grateful for having grown up with an idyllic childhood steeped in history and tradition, along with parents who were - and are often - larger than life near Victoria, BC, Christopher understands how interconnected generations are and how we must steward our own experiences to benefit the people who come before and after.
Part of the Reviv family in Canada, Christopher is committed to fostering a community that explores all facets of wellness. Novel, in its desire to create authentic connections based on integrity, openness and curiosity has become an extension of that pursuit.
There are seekers who enter our lives to discover who we are, to find out the truth, to dig below the surface. Monika Shugan is a true seeker. It only takes a few moments to see that this compassionate woman has a true intention to see those around her fully. The power behind her search for meaningful connection comes from her own exploration of vulnerability and the instant bond created by truly seeing each other at their core. As she likes to say, she “levels up” when inspired by the stories of another’s journey.
This comes from Monika’s unconventional upbringing, where her house was always full of laughter and guests at the dinner table. It wasn’t until years later that she realized those guests were often people in need, being welcomed by her mother and provided the supported needed.
A fearless cheerleader of others, Monika has built a successful career by connecting large teams to drive winning results at major global and boutique retailers and tech companies. She’s now parlayed her sales management success into a career where her passion for interior design can grow.
The natural connection that has led her to success, led her to Novel. Our community has become a destination for Monika, like so many of our members. A place where like, meets like and minds are shared.
With Novel, Monika advocates for true connection through freedom of conversation. There are no “vulnerability hangovers” allowed.
There is only one word for this man, and that is beautiful. But it isn’t because he has graced the cover of Inside Fitness magazine or claimed the title of Ultimate Fitness’ Pro North American Champion. No, his beauty is on the inside.
If you only see his exterior, it might surprise you to hear that it wasn’t always this way. Nick was bullied through much of school and struggled to find his voice in the world. A self-professed uber-nerd in the gifted program at school, as a young man he didn’t feel the bravery needed to accept himself fully, nor the courage to acknowledge and work through his own fears. While fitness helped to change that for Nick, his loving family and times of reflection at the family cottage gave him a regular practice to self-reflect, to find resilience, and to evolve into the incredible man he is today.
Nick’s heart still lies in the near-studious exploration of the things around him - nature, travel, science, the human body - and most important, the human condition. It’s the latter that feeds his ability to see the good in people and create meaningful connections and love with those around him.
It’s those qualities that led Nick at the age of just 26, to create the wildly successful meal-delivery service Fuel Foods which expanded across Canada. His entrepreneurial spirit ignited, combined with his ability to positively impact people’s lives, make Novel Evenings a natural extension of who Nick truly is - a steward of change, shared purpose, and community. For Nick, it’s a platform to share stories that need to be told so that others know they aren’t alone. It’s giving people a voice, a way to be heard, and to have a safe environment to connect - because life after all, is beautiful.
Cerys once interviewed for a waitressing job while in university and was asked the ridiculous question, “if you were a fruit, what would you be?” “A pineapple,” she responded. “Prickly on the outside, not something you’d think would be very nice. But quite sweet actually if you take the time.”
Twenty years later, this laughable metaphor holds true. Her badge of honor has always been her strength. But it’s been her armor as well. Much of Cerys’ life has been focused on work, serving some of Canada’s greatest CEOs, and climbing a corporate ladder in a near-manic fashion that many found intimidating. After all, Cerys gets things done. Tucked away in the success of work, Cerys had built a fortress around her that kept people at a distance.
It would surprise most, but for those in her inner circle, there is a much softer side, empathetic, thoughtful and considerate. This sweeter side, is what brought her to Novel. A desire to let her guard down, to show up in a different way than she has for much of her life. To connect with who she truly is at her core and try and figure out how to bring that into her daily life.
Novel’s mission to create safe places and put down our personas is the part of our community Cerys admires most. It takes bravery. It sometimes takes an admittance of feeling lost. It certainly takes a desire to set aside our masks and see one another for all the beautiful flaws we have. To Cerys, Novel is more than a company, or community, it is a mission to give people safe harbor and passage through life’s most exhilarating and trying times.