Organized by Craig and Marc Kielburger's global charity Free the Children, and sponsored by AOL, We Day is now one of the largest youth empowerment events in the world.
Not only that, it spurs real youth-led social action. Last year, those attending the day ended up volunteering more than 1.7 million hours of their time and raised some $5.4 million in donations to support local and global organizations.
The main message of the day was clear: Anyone can change the world and motivate others to act. It's something the day's lineup of stars and motivational speakers champion.
Hosts Nina Dobrev and Joe Jonas have been actively involved in Free the Children, most recently supporting their East African drought campaign.
"Every single person in the We Day crowd will go on to change the world," Dobrev told AOL. "Youth around the world are incredible. They can do so much. I'm glad I can help energize them. This work has changed my life."
For Jonas, being a part of We Day meant inspiring youth. "Just feeding off the energy of these incredible kids and then being able to motivate them to change the world and to believe in themselves... Today has been incredible."
To kick off the event, main performer Shawn Desman led the crowd in his special We Day Dance and announced a contest with AOL where youth can win the chance to dance with the Canadian singer at another We Day event.
"I really wanted to be a part of something. I knew this is what I wanted to do. It's so inspiring. When I saw the dance they had put to my song, I knew this is how I wanted to help. Every time I hear the Kielburger's speak, I want to be more and more involved."
Then there's Kardinal Offishall who uses music to spread a message of love and hope to youth across Canada. He got involved in Free the Children after being inspired by the Kielburger's message while taping 'Wavin' Flag' with K'Naan in Vancouver shortly after the earthquake in Haiti. "I grew up with mentors who helped me become the man I am," said the artist. "It's incredible to be able to take part in today and to pass along the same message of love."
One of the most memorable moments happened as youth in the stadium hushed to welcome Michel Chikwanine, a former child soldier who went on a "Vow of Silence" campaign with Free the Children. His main message is children can find the courage to spur change, even if they've experienced unbelievable pain.
The big news of the day came courtesy of Nelly Furtado. After performing with the Kenyan Boys Choir, the singer announced she's personally donating $1 million to Free the Children to build an all-girls school in the Masai region of Kenya. The singer was inspired to act after visiting the area last year.
"My charitable mission is to empower girls around the world to realize their full potential," she said. "I left a piece of my heart in Kenya earlier this year and I can't wait to get started on helping girls like the ones I met build a brighter future for themselves, their families and communities."
Emma Divito, a 13-year-old from Etobicoke School of the Arts who attended the event with her family, came away from the event energized. "It makes me feel you can really do something about poverty and child hunger and all the world's problems. As children, people underestimate us, but what we can do is honestly amazing."
She added, "Having people like Nelly Furtado or Joe Jonas, from their busy lives, tell you your the generation [is who] they have been waiting for, is amazing."
Similar We Day events are set to take place in the Waterloo region, Winnipeg and Montreal as well as a larger one in Vancouver. A special broadcast of the Toronto event will air on Oct. 30 on Much Music at 10PM.
To learn more, visit http://blog.music.aol.ca/weday.