Past Speakers

Past Speakers

For Future Speakers go to Meetings

General Meeting – April 25, 2019

Patricia Vanstone, The Foster Festival Patricia Vanstone is an award-winning director, performer, and dramaturge with almost 40 years experience in professional theatre.  She will be performing in “Hilda’s Yard” this summer opposite Norm Foster and she looks forward to directing the two world premieres with a company that will confirm The Foster Festival as the…
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General Meeting – March 28, 2019

Karen Walsh, Master Gardener Karen is the past coordinator of the Master Gardeners of Niagara and she’ll be presenting on a variety of gardening topics. Karen was raised on a fruit farm in Niagara on the Lake.  After 20 years of farming and gardening in Saskatchewan she came back to Ontario to earn a Horticulturalist Certificate and…
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General Meeting – February 28, 2019

February 28, 2019 “In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson” – Sue and Jim Waddington Sue and Jim have been on a quest to locate the places that inspired the Group of Seven painters and Tom Thomson for over 40 years. They particularly like to search for sites that can only…
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General Meeting – January 24, 2019

January 24, 2019 “The Painted Girls and The Day the Falls Stood Still” – Cathy Buchanan Cathy Marie Buchanan’s stories have appeared in many of Canada’s most respected literary journals and she has received awards from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. “The Painted Girls” is…
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General Meeting – November 22, 2018

“Protect your Money” – Allister Field and Christine Allum Allister Field has served at the Ontario Securities Commission for 10 years and is currently the Manager of the Transition and Implementation Office, Enforcement Branch.  Previously Allister served with the Toronto Police Service for 22 years in a variety of uniform and investigative roles, ten of…
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General Meeting – October 25, 2018

Brock Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being – Sarah Radcliffe, Manager As a Brock student completing her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, Sarah had an incredible experience at the Centre for Health and Well-Being.  She had the opportunity to supervise at the Centre while completing her Master’s in Applied Health Science at Brock and becoming a…
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General Meeting – September 27, 2018

September 27, 2018 “Personal Resiliency in Challenging Times” -Dick O’Brien Dick O’Brien, M.A.Sc. , is a professional speaker and a consultant in human relations, and has held senior management positions in government and business. He holds bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Waterloo, although he continues to be a student of life.  As…
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General Meeting – August 23, 2018

Storm Chasing – Hurricanes and Tornadoes – Mark Robinson   Mark Robinson is a Canadian adventurer, storm chaser, and meteorologist.  Recently named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Explorers by Canadian Geographic, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.  Mark has chased (and has been chased) by tornadoes across Canada and the United…
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General Meeting – July 26, 2018

The Red Roof Retreat in Niagara on the Lake – provides quality respite and recreational programs for children, youth and young adults with special needs, and their families – Claire Ellsworth Claire Ellsworth is the Special Events Coordinator with Red Roof Retreat, and has been with the organization since 2014. She is a graduate of…
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General Meeting – June 28, 2018

Birdwatching – Gary Cartiledge is a life long birder and former new product and marketing manager for Armstrong Milling manufacturer of Feather Treat, Royal Jubilee and Scotts Wild Bird Seed. He is now General Manager of Minor Bros Country Living stores. Come and learn how to attract more colourful and interesting native and migratory birds…
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General Meeting – May 24, 2018

May 24, 2018 Marijuana in the Niagara Region – Alan Unwin, Associate Dean, Niagara College Alan worked as an environmental consultant for numerous years before joining Niagara College in 1995 as a full time faculty member.  Alan has extensive international experience in Argentina, Ecuador, India, Sri Lanka, Jordan and Thailand.  In September of 2011, Alan…
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General Meeting – April 26, 2018

April 26, 2018 Beekeeping – Paul Lewis   Paul Lewis, of Fairfax Farm, Fort Erie will present an illustrated talk. What is a honeybee? Hear about the honeybee’s important purpose and unique role in our world and about how Fairfax Farm manages their bees. Paul has been beekeeping for eight years, keeping his beehives on…
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General Meeting – March 22, 2018

Hidden Corners: Niagara Region – Owen Bjorgan Owen lives in Niagara On The Lake and has hosted exchange students at his home through Rotary. He went to Australia for the 1 year exchange program after high school and fell in love with the trifecta of photography, adventure, and public speaking. Owen started a non-profit organization…
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General Meeting – February 22, 2018

General Meeting – February 22, 2018 Adam Shoalts – Named one of the greatest living explorers and declared “Canada’s Indiana Jones” by the Toronto Star, Pelham native Adam Shoalts is a professional adventurer, explorer, Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and author of the #1 national best-seller Alone Against the North and A History of Canada in 10…
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General Meeting- January 25, 2018

January 25, 2018 Travel Tips and Hidden Gems – Lois Sarkisian For the presentation on Thursday, January 25th, Lois will talk about travelling our great world from Ontario to the South Pacific: the hot spots, hidden gems, how to save money when choosing destinations, and travel tips to make the trip more enjoyable and stress…
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General Meeting – November 23, 2017

November 23, 2017 Fallen Warriors of Niagara and the New Memorial – Arden Phair Arden Phair has been a volunteer with the Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial since 2013. He has been researching and writing about individual workers for newspaper articles and a forthcoming book.  He also does cemetery tours, gives public lectures, and mounts…
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General Meeting – October 26, 2017

October 26, 2017 Nature Photography – Peter Ferguson The focus of Peter Ferguson’s presentation will be  “Streets of Havana “. Peter will share with us images that were taken last February on a trip to old Havana with his wife. Instead of the usual subjects of bears and moose, Peter concentrated on the old cars…
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General Meeting – September 28, 2017

September 28, 2017 Niagara Water Systems – Alan Veale Alan grew up on a farm in British Columbia and has been married to Janet for 50 years.  They have three daughters and four granddaughters. He earned his BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1955 and his Masters in City Planning…
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General Meeting – August 24, 2017

The artist (painter) – Robert Amirault ROBERT AMIRAULT, O.S.A., C.S.P.W.C., P.A.C. A self directed artist, Bob paints in a representational style and has been painting or involved with art related activities since his teen years. Many of Bob’s oil and watercolour paintings have been created on locations in various parts of rural Ontario, the Arctic,…
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General Meeting – July 27, 2017

General Meeting – July 27, 2017 Biodiversity in the Amazon – Owen Bjorgan The focus of Owen’s presentation will be “Hidden Corners: East Andes, Ecuador.” Owen lives in Niagara On The Lake and has hosted exchange students at his home through Rotary. He went to Australia for the 1 year exchange program after high school and…
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General Meeting – June 22nd, 2017

General Meeting – June 22, 2017 Carla Mackie, Morningstar Mill Curator Carla Mackie is the Historical Services Coordinator for the City of St. Catharines. Her primary role is managing the day-to-day operations of Morningstar Mill.  This includes researching the history of the site, interpretation, collections management, and with the help of the Friends of Morningstar…
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General Meeting – May 25th, 2017

May 25, 2017 Marcia Culbert, R.D.H., C.N.P. Marcia Culbert is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Holistic Nutritionist. Marcia graduated from Niagara College in 1984 and started her Dental Hygiene career back in her home town of Burlington. Through the years she developed her skills clinically and worked in offices that provided great growth and experience. For…
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General Meeting – April 27, 2017

The Shaw Theatre, Tim Jennings, Executive Director.   Tim Jennings has been the Executive Director of the Shaw Festival since 2015. He has had a long and successful career in theatre management, starting in production supervision and management at The Canadian Opera Company and River Run Centre. He also taught Theatre Production at Ryerson and…
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General Meeting – March 23, 2017

General Meeting – March 23, 2017 Carrie Zeffiro is the Director of Philanthropy and Public Relations for Pathstone Foundation, the fundraising arm of Pathstone Mental Health, a position she has held for the past 8 years.  Prior to this Carrie served for 4 ½ years as the Director of Development for Niagara Christian Community of…
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General Meeting – February 23, 2017

General Meeting – February 23, 2017 Presentation by Sherman Zavitz, – Honeymooning in Niagara Falls Sherman Zavitz is a Canadian historian. He is the Official Historian of the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and has written widely about local Niagara history and made extensive radio broadcasts. Drawing on his historical knowledge, he has also served as a tour…
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General Meeting – January 26, 2017

General Meeting – January 26, 2017 Presentation by William Underwood, Pelham Fire Department William Underwood is with the Fire Prevention section of the Pelham Fire Department.  His principal responsibility is to review all the new construction being undertaken in the Town of Pelham to ensure that it meets all local and provincial fire legislation.  His presentation…
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General Meeting – November 24, 2016

General Meeting – November 24, 2016 Presentation by Douglas R. Thomas – lawyer Douglas R. Thomas, lawyer – Family Law, Real Estate, and Wills and Estate Called  to the Bar of Ontario 1981. Relocated to Saskatchewan in 1982 and practiced Oil and Gas related law, within a General Law Practice there from 1982 to 1987.…
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General Meeting – October 27, 2016

General Meeting – October 27, 2016 Presentation by Bradley Thachuk on Niagara Symphony Orchestra Bradley Thachuk is entering his 6th season as Music Director of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. As NSO Music Director, Thachuk has explored increasingly ambitious programming while reaffirming his commitment to a culture of excellence and expanding the NSO’s audience’s appreciation of diverse…
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General Meeting – September 22, 2016

 General Meeting – September 22, 2016 Presentation by Jeffrey Steen on Niagara College Programs Jeff joined the Canadian Food & Wine Institute at Niagara College following a 15 year career within the Hospitality industry. Jeff managed a variety of winery restaurants throughout the Niagara region, and has gained experience in some of North America’s leading hotels…
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General Meeting – August 25, 2016

General Meeting – August 25, 2016 Presentation by Debi Demizio on Bruce Trail Conservancy Debi has been a member of the Conservancy for over 10 years and is vice president and director of media relations of the Niagara Bruce Trail Club. Her topic will be the Bruce Trail, its history and the conservation of the Niagara…
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General Meeting – July 28, 2016

General Meeting – July 28, 2016 Presentation by Travis Banks on Vineland Research Station Travis Banks is the Research Scientist, Bioinformatics at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.  He is a core member of the Genomics Section and works closely with the vegetable, ornamental and fruit tree breeders at Vineland.  On July 28th he will talk…
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General Meeting – June 23, 2016

General Meeting – June 23, 2016 Presentation by Bill Lytle & Geoffrey Johnson on “Never to Old to Play” Ontario Seniors Games Bill Lytle and Geoffery Johnson are both associated with the Ontario Seniors Games Association (OSGA). On June 23rd, they will speak on the organization’s Objectives and Goals and the opportunities for active seniors in…
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General Meeting – May 26, 2016

General Meeting – May 26, 2016 Presentation by Dr. K. Hotham on Reach the Summit of Your            Potential Dr. Kevin Hotham, B.H.K., BSc, HB, D.C., is a Licensed Chiropractor with the College of Chiropractors of Ontario and has practiced in Fonthill since 2002. He has conducted workshops for those in business, community…
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General Meeting – April 22, 2016

General Meeting – April 22, 2016 Presentation by Mayor Dave Augustyn on East Fonthill Development and   Pelham Community Centre Dave Augustyn is the Mayor of the Town of Pelham and is a Niagara Regional Councillor.  His political career began December 2006. Mayor Dave chairs all Town Council, Committee-of-the-Whole and Planning meetings.  He serves on Pelham’s Policy…
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General Meeting – March 24, 2016

General Meeting – March  24, 2016 Presentation by Dominic Ventresca et al on  Niagara Region Seniors Strategy The Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan was launched at Regional Headquarters on June 5, 2015. This action document reflects input from a broad range of Niagara citizens and provides a “road map” for delivery of a comprehensive and…
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General Meeting – February 26, 2016

General Meeting – February 26, 2016 Presentation by Thanh Campbell –  Orphan #32 – His Escape from Vietnam Thanh Campbell was born in Vietnam and came over to Canada as part of the last flight out of Saigon in 1975 with 56 other orphan children. Thanh was adopted into the family of Rev. William and Maureen Campbell…
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General Meeting – January 22, 2016

General Meeting – January 22, 2016 Presentation by Lori Cecchini on CAA Travel Services and Tips Lori Cecchini (CTC) is a certified travel counsellor who has worked for 14 years with the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) Travel. She is very experienced at booking all aspects of travel although she specializes in River Cruising and Ocean Cruising…
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General Meeting – November 26, 2015

General Meeting – November 26, 2015 Presentation by Jim Steel on Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro Jim Steel is a veteran Financial Analyst, Tax Advisor and Financial Advisor whose financial career has spanned over 38 years helping both business and private clients build wealth. Jim began his career in public accounting at Crawford , Smith, and Swallow,…
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General Meeting – October 22, 2015

General Meeting – October 22, 2015 Presentation by Laurie Straw er al on Hospice Niagara Services Laurie Straw is Director of Care at Hospice Niagara, is a Registered Nurse and has specialized in palliative care for over 30 years, including experience in hospital, community and hospice areas. Laurie will be talking about Hospice Niagara, the…
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General Meeting – September 24, 2015

General Meeting – September 24, 2015 Presentation by Peter Ferguson on Wildlife Photography Peter Ferguson is an award-winning wildlife photographer. Since he retired from teaching in 1999 he has been avidly photographing all aspects of nature with a special affection for Algonquin Park. He is reported to be about as comfortable in the Park as…
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General Meeting – June 25, 2015

General Meeting – June 25, 2015 Presentation by Margaret Pickles on Monarch Butterfly Migration Margaret Pickles: The “Bug Lady” Margaret Pickles is a science professor at Niagara College and is known as the “Bug Lady” because of her enthusiasm for sharing with others all things interesting about insects. She loves to tell people just how…
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General Meeting – May 28, 2015

General Meeting – May 28, 2015 Presentation by Karin Verneer on Horticultural Therapy Karin Verneer’s website
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