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 repertoire. He proudly features world-renowned guest artists and Canadian composers and introduced a Classical Family Series to engage younger audiences. As a passionate believer in music education, Thachuk has worked with the staff and board of directors to increase the NSO’s influence throughout the entire region in this most important of missions.
Under Thachuk’s leadership, the NSO has expanded their season, tripling its concert offerings in just 5 years. In addition, Thachuk and the NSO recorded a 2011 HBO documentary and worldwide CD release with Chantal Kreviazuk, and have performed annually at the Jackson-Triggs Amphitheatre with some of Canada’s finest popular artists including Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo. Maintaining a strong regional presence, Thachuk and the NSO were featured at the 2013 Festival of Lights opening and the 25th Anniversary Niagara College Seafood Gala, and have made guest appearances with Music Niagara, the Welland Port Colborne Concert Society, and Chorus Niagara. An advocate of contemporary music, Thachuk has led world, Canadian and U.S. premieres of works by John Estacio, Joseph Schwantner, Kevin Lau, Stewart Goodyear, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Roydon Tse, Robert A. Baker and Ronald Royer, amongst others. He also introduced the NSO’s first Artist-in-Residence in the 2015-2016 season and this year invited renowned violinist and conductor Aisslinn Nosky to serve as the orchestra’s first Principal Guest Conductor.
He made his European operatic debut conducting Don Giovanni at the Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, Italy, and his US operatic debut conducting Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in Cincinnati. Thachuk was Music Director for the Brampton Symphony Orchestra, Interim Music Director the Prince George Symphony Orchestra, staff conductor for the Opera Theatre of Lucca in Italy, and has conducted orchestras and opera in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland,Portugal , and throughout North America. Prior to arriving in Niagara he was Conducting Assistant for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, serving under Maestro Paavo Järvi, and Associate Conductor of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Guest engagements this season include the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Erie Chamber Orchestra and the Reading Symphony Orchestra.
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 and restaurants. Most recently, Jeff was a Food & Beverage Manager for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. His range of experience has taken him through a variety of positions within the hospitality industry which gives him the opportunity to create “real life” scenarios within the classroom.
Jeff holds designations ranging from a diploma in Culinary Arts to a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality. Recently, Jeff completed his Masters of Education through Central Michigan University.
“Students learn through great experiences. I take great pride in assisting our students in building a foundation of knowledge that will last a lifetime.”
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 Escarpment. She’ll also comment on how you can become involved in the Bruce Trail – through hiking, volunteerism, membership or donation.
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 on his work at the Centre.
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 a talk entitled “Never Too Old to Play”. Bill was the President of the OSGA for three years and is now its Goodwill Ambassador. Geoffery joined the OSGA a few years ago as its Program Manager with responsibility for promoting the OSGA and supporting the numerous districts throughout the Province.
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 groups and health and fitness facilities. He will speak on “Reaching the Summit of Your Potential”.
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 & Priorities Committee.
He also serves on all of the Region’s Standing Committee: Public Works, Public Health & Social Services, Corporate Services, and Planning & Development. Also at the Region, Mayor Dave chairs the Smarter Niagara Steering Committee and serves on the Audit Committee, the Development Charges Task Force, the Labour Relations Committee, the Procedural Bylaw Committee, the Transportation Strategy Steering Committee, and the Waste Management Planning Committee.
Mayor Dave also chairs the PenWest Power Corporation Board and serves as a member of the Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. Board.
Dave is also a member of the Liturgy Team at St. Ann’s Church. Dave has been married to Carol Berkhout for more than 25 years and they have two children.
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 co-ordinated set of community services for older adults with a wide range of needs, and with recommendations that Niagara can act on.
Providing insight into the Aging Strategy and Action Plan will be Dominic Ventresca and Judy Reid.
Dominic is a former Director, Seniors Services, Regional Municipality of Niagara and is the current Co-chair of the Niagara Age-Friendly Community Network which was established in 2009 and is responsible for the development of the Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Health Integration Network since 2015. Dominic attended the U of T where he obtained a BA degree and a graduate Diploma in Gerontology. He also obtained a Certificate in Homes for the Aged Administration from McMaster University.
He is now retired but continues to contribute to the health and wellbeing of older adults through various voluntary roles.
Judy Reid is a lifelong resident of Niagara (Pelham resident for 33 years) and has dedicated considerable time, energy, expertise and enthusiasm to a number of causes near and dear to her heart: education; children; youth; poverty; and social inequities; literacy and the betterment of the Niagara Community. Judy retired in 1998 from a 30 year-career as an educator, but never stopped finding ways to fulfill her passion for helping and mentoring children and youth. Judy is now active in promoting within the Town of Pelham an ‘Age Friendly’ community through fostering the establishment of the Pelham Senior Advisory Committee (Pelham SAC) and served as Chair during 2014. Presently, Judy is a Pelham representative on the Niagara Age Friendly Implementation Committee working towards an Age Friendly Niagara.
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 and became the youngest of the six Campbell children.
In the recent past, Thanh reunited with many of the children that flew over with him back in 1975 as war orphans. This milestone in his life was captured numerous times in the media. Invited to be a guest on such programs as CBC News, TVO, Canada AM, 100 Huntley Street, he has had the chance to share his life story with the Nation. The 57 Orphans’ story has been covered by many newspapers including the Toronto Star, Hamilton Spectator, Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Sun, Saigon Newspaper, and has been included in the French Consulate Newsletter.
Most recently Thanh has written his autobiography titled Orphan 32.
As the next chapter of Thanh’s life is unfolding, you’re invited to hear this amazing story of the value of family, life and the power of love.
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 as well as trips to Australia and New Zealand, Europe and Britain. Having travelled many parts of the world, her firsthand experience has made it possible to help make of her clients dream vacations become reality. Lori will speak on “tips” for travelling and will outline some of the trips that CAA is currently offering.