Délégués Heart of the City Conference Delegates
Heart of the City delegates are 100 people who are dedicated to city parks across Canada. These delegates will join Park People at the Heart of the City Conference for two days of learning, collaboration and relationship building. Together, we will explore how we can harness the power of city parks for all Canadians.
Les délégués Heart of the City sont 100 personnes engagées dans les parcs urbains de partout au Canada. Ces délégués vont se joindre à Park People a la conference Heart of the City pour deux jours pour apprendre, collaborer et nouer des liens. Ensemble, nous examinerons comment nous pouvons utiliser le pouvoir des parcs urbains au profit de tous les Canadiens.
Sabina Ali, Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee @tpwomencomm
Sabina Ali is a co-founder of Thornciffe Park Women’s Committee, a local resident group that has been instrumental in revitalizing their only accessible green space – RV Burgess Park. She animated the park by offering community based programming such as arts in the park, Friday night market, and community gardens engaging over 500 people weekly. Her advocacy resulted in the park getting a first of its kind permanent outdoor Tandoor Bake Oven.
Marilyn Allard, Directrice générale, Société de la Rivière Saint-Charles
Marilyn Allard, directrice générale de la Société de la Rivière Saint-Charles à Québec. Elle est à l’emploi de l’organisme depuis plus de 14 ans et détient un baccalauréat en administration des affaires de l’Université Laval. L’équipe de la Société et elle ont travaillé pour obtenir la reconnaissance à titre de partenaire de la ville de Québec.
Julet Allen, Delta Family Resource Centre @
Julet Allen has been a champion for marginalized communities in Toronto for more than 25 years in the not-for-profit sector. She continues to work with communities and individuals to access spaces that are sometimes inaccessible by creating partnerships with local agencies and community builders who are invested in seeing our city parks accessible for all.
Malin Angrius, Directrice générale, Soverdi
M. Sc. de l’université de Stockholm en écologie urbaine (2003); sujet de thèse: « Plant distribution patterns in an urban environment”. Elle a signé plusieurs études sur la végétation urbaine de Montréal et de la région. Au sein de la Soverdi, elle a dirigé pendant 5 ans le projet de lutte aux espèces envahissantes et de la mise en valeur des milieux naturels dans trois des grands parcs nature dont le mont Royal. Elle a participé à la conception du plan d’action Canopée et apporté à l’organisation ses capacités à mettre en oeuvre ce projet à volets multiples alliant données de recherche, grande connaissance de la végétation urbaine et poursuite d’objectifs environnementaux et sociaux en faveur du verdissement de Montréal. Directrice générale de la Soverdi depuis 2014, elle détient une forte expérience en gestion de projet impliquant l’association d’acteurs multiples et le financement.
Morgan Attwell, Outreach Coordinator, Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society @
Morgan Attwell’s work with the NS3 revolves around its mission to inspire kids and families in science and sustainability through hands-on learning. N53 leads initiatives in outdoor education, place-based learning and park stewardship throughout the year. Its programs range from drop-in park explorations to long-term citizen science monitoring projects.
Guillaume Auclair, directeur des Opérations, Société de la rivière Saint-Charles
Technicien de la faune et biologiste de formation, il travaille comme Directeur des opérations à la Société de la rivière Saint-Charles. Un organisme responsable des parcs de l’Escarpement, de la Rivière-Du-Berger, Cartier-Brébeuf et notamment du parc linéaire de la Rivière-Saint-Charles, un parc de 32,5 km en plein cœur de Québec.
Jen Baker, Land Trust Manager, Hamilton Naturalists’ Club @
Jen Baker is the only staff person with the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and part of her role as Land Trust Manager is to create urban natural spaces, often in parks, where the community can connect with nature. HNC works to create accessible pollinator habitats with students and community volunteers.
Élise Bélanger, Chargée de projets en gestion des mileux naurels, Nature-Action Québec @
Élise Bélanger travaille chez Nature-Action Québec depuis 5 ans comme chargée de projets en gestion des milieux naturels. Elle est détentrice d’un baccalauréat en écologie et d’une maîtrise en sciences de l’environnement. De plus, elle a également accumulé des formations académiques dans le domaine de la gestion et du tourisme.
Calvin Brook, Co-founder, Brook McIlroy and Co-founder, Indigenous Placemaking Council @
Calvin Brook is an architect, planner and urban designer and co-founder of Brook McIlroy Inc., a multi-disciplinary practice with offices in Toronto, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg. He is also a co-founder of the Indigenous Place Making Council – a non-profit that seeks to restore Indigenous presence in Canadian communities while generating economic opportunities for Indigenous youth.
Jennifer Canham, Program Director, Conservation, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
Jennifer Canham joined The W. Garfield Weston Foundation in June 2016 as their Program Director, Conservation, working with the Foundation’s Conservation Committee on greenspace initiatives. Previously, Jennifer was the Group Publisher of Owlkids, publishers of Chirp, chickaDEE and OWL magazines and Owlkids Books.
Don Carruthers Den Hoed, East Kananaskis Area Manager, Alberta Parks @
Don started working for provincial parks 25 years ago in interpretation and public engagement. He was a lead on the Alberta Parks Inclusion Plan “Everyone Belongs Outside,” which lead to his graduate work on the impacts of parks and sacred spaces on mental health. He is currently the East Kananaskis Area Manager and responsible for two of Canada’s largest urban parks, Fish Creek and Glenbow Ranch. His most important work is raising two kids in nature, with chickens and bees.
Rena Chiovelli, Management Supervisor, Parks Operations Support, City of Edmonton @
Rena is a Management Supervisor with the City of Edmonton’s Parks and Roads Services. With a past career in journalism, and over a decade of work in the area of municipal Community Relations, she understands the need to connect meaningfully with residents about municipal operations services. She has a diploma in Television from NAIT and a Bachelor of Human Service Administration from MacEwan University. An Edmonton native, Rena spends much time exploring parks and trails in Edmonton, rural central Alberta, and Kananaskis.
Elodie Choqueux, Chef de la programmation – activités culturelles, éducation et loisirs, TOHU – Cité des arts du cirque @
En poste depuis presque 8 années à la TOHU, Elodie Choqueux a occupé plusieurs fonctions dans l’organisation, dans un premier temps, elle a été Chargée des services éducatifs puis Responsable de la programmation Parc et environnement. Aujourd’hui, elle à titre de Chef de la programmation du volet culturel, éducatif et récréatif. Titulaire d’une maîtrise en muséologie du programme conjoint entre l’UQAM et l’UdM, elle a œuvré plusieurs années dans le milieu muséal en tant que chargée de projet d’expositions et de programmes éducatifs.
Dianna Clarke, Manager of Parks Operations, City of London @
I started my career in Parks working for the City of St. John’s NL then on to the City of Toronto and now at the City of London where I have been the Manager of Parks Operations for the past 10 years. I am also the President of the Ontario Parks Association, a non profit charitable organization committed to “Protecting Tomorrow Today”. All things Parks has become my career and my passion!
Odile Craig, Urban Planning Advisor, Centre d’écologie urbaine de Montréal @
Odile joined the team of the CEUM in 2012. Since then, she has devoted herself to developing and promoting participatory urban planning and its tools, which make it possible to analyze the territory and involve citizens in development projects. Her role at the CEUM calls upon her to carry out mandates of consulting services to municipalities and organizations throughout Quebec, to conduct training sessions, develop new tools and document good practices in town planning for human scale.
At the beginning of her career, in 2009, she was in charge of projects for two urban revitalization initiatives in the northern ring of Montreal with the Fondation Rues principales. During this mandate, she coordinated various projects to improve the built environment and public spaces. She has also worked on economic and commercial development in a municipal participatory planning approach.
Shifra Cooper,Project Manager, MABELLEarts @
Shifra Cooper is a community-engaged artist, arts manager and choral director who is passionate about art-making that brings people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities together across real and perceived divides. Shifra has a particular interest in outdoor performance and site-specific art-making in public spaces and parks. Since 2009, Shifra has collaborated on community arts projects with companies including: Jumblies Theatre, The Bain Arts Collective, Making Room Community Arts, MABELLEarts, Thinking Rock Community Arts, Arts4All, AlgomaTrad and Vancouver Moving Theatre, in various organizational and creative roles. Shifra lives in Parkdale (Toronto) and in 2014 completed her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the University of Toronto, Victoria College. Currently, she is the Assistant Artistic Director at MABELLEarts, an award-winning community arts organization in Central Etobicoke which has worked with over 70 professional artists and over 3000 community members of all ages and backgrounds over the last 10 years to create performances, workshops and events that unlock the creative potential of public spaces.
Laura Ana Cuciureanu, Steering Committee Member, Fairview Resident Action Group (FRAG)
Ana holds a degree in Architecture Science. For the past 5 years she has worked closely with community groups around Toronto’s Don Mills and Sheppard Areas to create a community garden, train nature walk leaders, organize events in the park such as Movie Nights, and collaborate with artists as part of the Arts in the Park initiative.
Myles Curry, Community Relations Leader, Parks Operations Support, City of Edmonton @
Community Relations Supervisor with the City of Edmonton Parks and Roads branch with a background in social marketing and public education. Current projects include homeless on public land, naturalization, urban forestry and IPM.
Carl Dalbec, vice-président et responsable du volet partenariat, Corporation pour la mise en valeur du Bois de l’Équerre @
Carl Dalbec est vice-président de la Corporation pour la mise en valeur du Bois de l’Équerre et responsable des partenariats. Afin d’assurer la protection de ce bois urbain. Ses collègues et lui participent à diverses initiatives. Certaines visent l’accès à la forêt, à la sensibilisation des bienfaits des milieux naturels urbains ou à la venu de la CCFU 2016 à Laval. Il a réalisé un sentier accessible et ami des ainés. Ancien trésorier du Conseil Régional de l’environnement de Laval, il promeut le verdissement et la réduction des îlots de chaleur et la création d’un organisme régional “Les bois de Laval” Carl Dalbec is Vice-President of the Bois de l’Équerre Corporation and is responsible for partnerships. To ensure the protection of this urban wood. He and his colleagues are involved in various initiatives. Some include access to the forest, awareness of the benefits of urban natural environments or the arrival of the CUFC 2016 in Laval. He deliver an accessible path to all and to the elders. Former Treasurer of the Regional Council of the Environment of Laval, he promotes the greening and reduction of heat islands and the creation of a regional organization “Les Bois de Laval”.
Camilla Dalglish, Director, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
Camilla Dalglish, a Director of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, is an active volunteer and philanthropist. Over the last 15 years, she has served on the boards of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and was the Chairman of the Toronto Botanical Gardens and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton.
Issue d’une formation en communication et en gestion de projets culturels suivie en France, illustratrice et facilitatrice graphique, médiatrice intellectuelle et culturelle, Dorothée de Collasson rejoint l’équipe d’Exeko début 2012, ou elle occupe la fonction de médiatrice et de chargée du pôle Ville Inclusive, et a participé notamment au design et au développement des programmes idAction, idAction Mobile, Biblios Libres et Métissages Urbains. L’inclusion sociale, l’accessibilité culturelle et la participation citoyenne, figurent au coeur des sujets qui l’animent au quotidien.
Susan Debreceni, Outreach Specialist, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup @
Susan is the Outreach Specialist for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, proudly supporting a national network of volunteers for more than 10 years. Environmental stewardship has always been an important part of her life and it is a true pleasure to empower dedicated volunteers from coast to coast to coast.
Nic DeGama-Blanchet, Executive Director, Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society @
Nic has over fifteen years’ experience in non-profit leadership and organizational development. He specializes in process development and efficiency and is a strong proponent of social enterprise. Nic has worked with multiple other local organizations on a consulting basis to help them clarify their vision, improve efficiency and develop staff.
Leslie Evans, Executive Director, Federation of Calgary Communities @
Leslie Evans has been the Executive Director for the Federation of Calgary Communities for the past ten years. Throughout her years, she has watched as community associations have evolved in their needs and capacity and has been instrumental in creating the support system that is the Federation of Calgary Communities today to provide programming, support services, and events that celebrates the largest volunteer movement in Calgary. Born and raised in Calgary, Leslie has an all-encompassing understanding of community associations in Calgary from her early years participating and volunteering at the Brentwood Community Association to her time as president of the Martindale Community Association to present day as Executive Director. Leslie has worked in the not-for-profit sector for 25 years and is a proven voluntary sector leader with experience in strategic, business, and operational planning. Leslie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Management, a Certificate in Human Resource Development and a Master’s Degree in Management focusing on Voluntary Sector Leadership.
Andrew Exelby, Consultant – Parks and Open Spaces, Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) @
Andrew Exelby has been the Parks and Open Spaces Consultant with Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) since 2012. Andrew supports and coordinates community and park related initiatives across Saskatchewan, including Communities in Bloom, June is Recreation & Parks Month and a variety of parks related training coordinated by SPRA.
The mission of the Leighton Dillman Park Oven, Garden and Orchard Association is to provide an inclusive venue for community gatherings and events centered on food education and enjoyment. Tim serves as Vice President – Urban Orchard on the board. Tim also practices permaculture on his urban homestead and rears kids.
Nicole Fraser, Management Supervisor, Beautification and Greening Initiatives, City of Edmonton @
As the Management Supervisor for Beautification and Greening Initiatives, Nicole oversees programs and projects related to horticulture, forestry, beautification and park amenities including Root for Trees, Naturalization, Community Gardens, Partners in Parks, commemorative park furniture, Dog Off Leash Areas, Communities in Bloom and Front Yards in Bloom.
Anita Georgy, Executive Director, Richmond Food Security Society @
Anita Georgy believes Parks are powerful spaces of connection between people and the ecological and food systems that sustain us. She gets really excited when people smell the forest, and celebrate abundant zucchini harvests. Currently Executive Director of Richmond Food Security Society, she has also worked in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
Karla Gervais, Major Projects Manager, Parks Foundation Calgary @
Karla Gervais is the Major Projects Manager at the not-for-profit organization, Parks Foundation Calgary. Karla manages the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway project, a 138km pathway system that will encircle the entire city of Calgary and has been involved with numerous unique community park projects in her four years at the foundation.
Ryan Gorrie, Associate, Brook McIlroy and Board Member, Indigenous Placemaking Council @
Ryan Gorrie [BFA, MArch] is a native of Thunder Bay and a member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek. He is involved in a variety of design projects for communities, organizations and individuals, from traditionally carved ceremonial items for individuals, to 45,000 sq ft health centres, to work on the Thunder Bay Waterfront’s International Award winning Spirit Garden.
Wayne Gould, Supervisor, Infrastructure and Horticulture, City of Guelph @
Wayne has been working in the Parks environment for over 26 years, currently as a Supervisor of Infrastructure and Horticulture. He is also a Director on the Board of Directors with the Ontario Parks Association. Wayne enjoy working with the challenges of aging infrastructure and meeting accessibility needs. Wayne also values innovation and collaboration, and truly enjoys the entire parks experience.
Mélissa Greene, Responsable des services professionnels, Groupe uni des éducateurs-naturalistes et professionnels en environnement (GUEPE)
Mélissa Greene est biologiste et éducatrice-naturaliste avec GUEPE depuis 2012. Elle détient une maîtrise en limnologie de l’Université de Montréal et une solide expérience en vulgarisation scientifique. Sa passion pour la nature et l’éducation a toujours été bien présente dans son parcours qui depuis quelques années, se manifeste surtout dans les grands parcs urbains.
Sylvie Guilbault, Directrice générale, Les amis de la montagne @
Directrice générale depuis 1992 de Les amis de la montagne, organisme ayant pour mission la protection et la mise en valeur du mont Royal. L’organisme compte près de 60 employés et 200 membres-gouverneurs qui sont reconnus comme leaders de la communauté.
Julie Guimond, Leader- Environmental Education Calgary Parks @
Julie, Leader for Environmental Education in Calgary Parks, leads a team who connect Calgarians to our parks through programs, volunteering, facilities and partnerships with the intent to increase awareness and stewardship of parks. Her work experience focuses on connecting people to our natural environment in hands-on and playful ways.
Teneya Gwin, Indigenous Liaison, Calgary Public Library @
Teneya Gwin works for the Calgary Public Library as the Indigenous Liaison focused on Indigenous engagement and programming. Her focus is on bringing the TRC’s calls to action into the Library’s programming across Calgary with direction from Indigenous community members.
Katie Jane Harris, Environmental Planner, Conservation Halton @
As an Environmental Planner for a Conservation Authority, Katie Jane is tasked with reviewing planning applications to ensure natural heritage systems and hazardous lands are protected from development, and where possible, placed into public ownership for their protection in perpetuity. The by-product of this process creates public spaces, natural corridors, linkages and naturalized buffers to environmental features. Conservation Halton also manages several parks on the western edge of Canada’s biggest City, so balancing quality experience and sustainability is an everyday challenge.
Erika Hennebury, Grants Officer, Strategic Programs, Toronto Arts Council @
Erika Hennebury manages a suite of strategic programs with Toronto Arts Council, including Animating Toronto Parks, Artists in the Library and Animating Historic Sites and Museums. Erika is a planner and arts producer from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Erika is also a member of Friends of the Green Line.
Anna Hill, Project Director, Together Project @, Co-Chair, Friends of Trinity Bellwoods
Anna Hill is the Director of Together Project, a new project of Tides Canada. Together Project matches Government-Assisted Refugee newcomers with volunteer Welcome Groups for friendship and settlement support. Together Project hosts monthly public space events to foster inclusive communities and a shared sense of belonging in Toronto.
Dave Hutch, Manager of Planning, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation @
Landscape architect & lover of the west coast, big trees, bikes, oceans and collision of cities, people and nature. Manager of planning at Vancouver Park Board responsible for current and long-range planning for parks, recreation, natural areas – ensuring protection & integration of places, parks, biodiversity and recreation into a rapidly changing Vancouver.
Trisha Kaplan, Trail Development Manager, Western and Northern Canada, Trans Canada Trail @
Trisha is the Trail Development Manager, Western / Northern Canada, at Trans Canada Trail. Her passion and expertise in urban trails and parks led to past positions with the City of Toronto (Parks and Urban Forestry), and the Task Force to Bring Back the Don. She currently lives in Penticton, BC.
Wendee Lang, Board Member & Parks and Greenspaces Coordinator, Vancouver Public Space Network @
Wendee Lang is the coordinator of the Parks and Greenspaces portfolio with the Vancouver Public Space Network, a 10 year old public space advocacy group operating in Vancouver. Wendee is particularly interested in equality of use within parks, and how they can be designed to work particularly for low income and/or residents traditionally excluded from consultation. She has a background in communication.
Maura Lawless has more than 25 years of experience working in housing, homeless and community services in senior non-profit positions, as well as in the public service for the City of Toronto. Maura’s expertise and enthusiasm lies in organizational development, governance and strategic planning, financial and systems management, and ensuring community services are accessible, responsive, and create genuine opportunities to transform people’s lives.
Maura joined the City of Toronto in 2003 as the Manager, Hostel Operations before moving to The 519 as the Executive Director in December 2007. Maura is a passionate public servant who has led The 519 through significant expansion. She is passionately engaged in working collaboratively to build the future of The 519, ensuring its growth and stability, while advancing the success of our communities including the LGBTQ2S peoples through the provision of service, space and leadership.
Sarah Lawless, Regional Manager, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation @
Sarah is a Manager with TD Environment, specifically supporting Ontario North and East Region, Quebec and Atlantic provinces for TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF). Sarah began her TD Canada Trust career in 2003 with MBNA where she held various roles including sales, service, learning and development, team manager, operations communications and moved to TD Canada Trust Region office in 2012 supporting TD Community Relations and TD FEF. Sarah has been an avid volunteer since she was 8 years old and was recognized for her community work in 2009 with a prestigious United Way Ottawa Community Builder Award. Sarah studied visual arts at the University of Ottawa and is looking forward to continuing her education in the near future. In her spare time she likes to play with her two sons, travel, paint and try new recipes!
Sharon Leach, Parks Maintenance Superintendent, City of Saskatoon Parks Division, City of Saskatoon @
I am a Parks Maintenance Superintendent with the City of Saskatoon. I oversee turf and horticultural maintenance of approximately 1600 H of green space as well as the Saskatoon Civic Conservatory and Greenhouse program.
Luc Leblanc, président, Corporation pour la mise en valeur du Bois de l’Équerre @
Luc Leblanc est directeur de projet dans le domaine des technologies de l’information depuis plus de trente ans. Président de la Corporation pour la mise en valeur du Bois de l’Équerre depuis plusieurs années, il travaille, entre autre, à la création de partenariats permettant de mettre sur pied des projets voués à la conservation, la mise en valeur et la sensibilisation des forêts urbaines lavalloises. Il est l’un des instigateurs de la démarche pour la venue de la CCFU à Laval en 2016.
Arlen Leeming, Manager, Don and Highland Watersheds, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority @
Arlen Leeming is a conservation and engagement expert with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and is the Manager of the Don River Watershed and Highland Creek Watershed in the Toronto Region.
With over a decade of experience leading environmental initiatives at a regional, national, and international level; Arlen has identified, developed, and implemented solutions to key environmental challenges across multiple sectors.
At TRCA, his projects focus on the implementation of watershed management initiatives that maintain a strong emphasis on stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, technical implementation, and community based connections.
Arlen holds a Masters of Environment and Sustainability from Western University, is an accomplished pilot, and is a Director of an international charitable organization that focuses on sustainability initiatives in developing countries.
Louise Legault, co-directrice (bénévole), Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook @
I am co-director of Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook, an organization created over 25 years ago to prevent the development of a golf course in Southwestern Montreal. Now that zoning protects the green space, we would like to see it transformed into a heritage nature park accessible to all and linked to other green spaces in the area.
Tanya Lewinberg, Public Realm Coordinator, City of Markham @
Tanya is the Public Realm Coordinator for the City of Markham, Involved an many aspect of community engagement and coordination, as well as beautifying the public realm and monitoring the development of the City from the Public Realm perspective.
Noel Livingston, Urban Farmer, The Toronto Black Farmers and Food Growers Collective
The Toronto Black Farmers and Food Growers Collective are a group of farmers, growers, small food business owners, food insecure adults and families. They believe that food sovereignty is a right, not a privilege. They have been farming parks for three years. Their mission as a local cross cultural food hub is to farm and make “clean food” that is culturally appropriate available to racialize and poor people who can’t afford organic food.. They have drawn much attention to the issues of food insecurity, food justice and food sovereignty in communities that belongs to the Neighborhood Improvement Association in the City of Toronto (NIA’s). We are presently farming out of Downsview Parc which is for 2017 that will address the issue of food poverty. Their mission is to make this initiative inclusive in that “No one is left behind”.
Eric Lucic, Manager of Park Planning, City of Mississauga @
Eric was raised from birth in Mississauga in the City that he still calls home. His stubborn refusal to leave has contributed to the development of his passion for the City of Mississauga. He can regularly be found defending the verbal onslaughts to his “suburban” home in bars, restaurants, back alleys, the soccer pitch and at professional events beyond our nation. Eric honed this passion through his undergraduate studies in Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Toronto (U of T) Mississauga, and through his graduate studies in the Spatial Analysis Program, at U of T St. George. Today he is a Registered Professional Planner working at the City of Mississauga as a Manager within the Parks Planning Section of Community Services. Eric leads a team of planners and landscape architects that are responsible for the City’s Parkland, Forestry and Streetscape Assets. Eric has developed the City’s Parkland Acquisition Plan and lead the City’s 2014: Parks and Forestry Master Plan. Under Eric’s guidance, the City has acquired more than 50 properties since 2008, amounting to more than 100 hectares (250 acres) of additional parkland for the residents of Mississauga to play in!
Tiina Mack, Landscape Architect and Manager of Park Development, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation @
Tiina is a Landscape Architect and municipal manager with 20 years of experience in park delivery in Ontario and British Columbia. Presently she leads a talented team who delivers a $15M annual capital program to renew and build urban parks for Vancouverites at the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.
Cathy MacKenzie, Parks Natural Resource Technician/Volunteer Coordinator, Regional District of Central Okanagan – Parks Services
Cathy is Parks Natural Resource Technician/Volunteer Coordinator for the Regional District of Central Okanagan. As a Registered Professional Forester she has been responsible for trees, trails, GIS and wildfire mitigation. Recently, Cathy has taken on the duties of Volunteer Coordinator with the aim of building a robust system of Regional Park volunteers.
Caroline Magar, Coordonnatrice au développement, Les Amis Du Champs des Possibles @
Designer de l’environnement et architecte paysagiste membre stagiaire de l’AAPQ, graduée de la maitrise en architecture de paysage de l’UdeM, elle coordonne depuis 3 ans le développement du parc du Champ des Possibles au service de l’organisme a but non lucratif Les Amis du Champ des Possibles.
Jamil Mahmood, Executive Director, Spence Neighbourhood Association @
I am the executive director of the Spence Neighbourhood Association in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I have worked for the community for the past 13 years. My passion is in youth and prevention for at-risk and gang involved youth. I am the chair of the Gang Action Interagency Network. In my spare time I organize the Rainbow Trout Music Festival in Manitoba
Dave Mair, Parks Planning Coordinator, City of Red Deer @
Dave is the Parks Planning Coordinator with the City of Red Deer. Some of his current work focuses on bringing new energy to old parks and advancing portions of the green space network as off-street movement corridors. He is a firm believer that good parks require generalists.
Omar McDadi, External Relations Manager Rouge National Urban Park @
Omar McDadi is a wildlife biologist who has held various positions with Parks Canada in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. He currently works in the Greater Toronto Area as external relations manager at Rouge National Urban Park – Canada’s first national urban park. He is a graduate of the University of Victoria (B.C.) and throughout his career he has also worked as a researcher, educator, writer, hiking guide, and professional communicator in both public and non-governmental sectors. Omar is passionate about sharing stories about science, culture, human health and environmental well-being.
Patsy McKinney, Executive Director, Under One Sky @
Patsy is Executive Director of Under One Sky and helped develop an outdoor education program for aboriginal preschoolers. As off-reserve aboriginal people, we have no land base and sought out public parks. Odell Park is where our basecamp is. It has many natural features including old growth forest.
Paul McKone, Chair, Waterloo Park Advisory Committee of Council @
Paul was a member of the Waterloo Park Master Plan Update Special Project Task Force that created the current Waterloo Park Master Plan (2009), and has served as Chair of the Waterloo Park Advisory Committee of Council, which makes recommendations regarding priorities and approaches for the Master Plan’s implementation.
Mary-Margaret McMahon, Chair of Parks & Environment Committee, City Councillor, Toronto @
Mary-Margaret McMahon is a cyclist, park-lover and environmentalist. In the early 2000’s she was actively involved in implementation of a municipal pesticide bylaw for Toronto. As a Toronto City Councillor, Mary-Margaret’s aim is to foster a Friends of Parks group for each of the 25 parks in her ward. She will also be working hard to make Toronto’s Rail Deck Park proposal a reality. Thrilled to be Chair of Parks & Environment Committee, Mary-Margaret hopes to animate, invigorate and develop parks into welcoming hubs of activity and enjoyment. www.councillormcmahon.com
Julie Michaud, Parks Project Coordinator, City of London @
Julie is a landscape architect with the Environmental and Parks Planning section at the City of London. In her role as a Parks Project Coordinator, she is working on the planning of new parks and enhancement of existing parks. She also collaborates with many committees and community groups on accessibility improvements, community gardens, event parks, naturalization plantings, and playground projects.
Pete Millar, Director of Business Integration, City of Edmonton @
As a professional planner with the City Of Edmonton for 27 years Pete has been working primarily in the parks and recreation area. Most recently through a corporate re-organization he is now responsible for managing the Business Integration Unit of the Parks and Roads Branch of City Operations. The main focus of the Branch is the maintenance and operations of all parks and roads with in the city.
Scott Munro, Manager of Facilities & Parks, Municipality of the County of Cumberland
Growing up on seventy-five acres of wooded land with ample recreational opportunities, Scott developed a passion for parks and the outdoors. Through educational endeavors and professional growth, Scott now has the overall responsibility for the Municipality of Cumberland’s recreation facilities, playing fields, parks and open spaces.
Shallyn Murray, Architect, Urban Beehive Project @
Shallyn graduated with a Masters in Architecture from Dalhousie University. Her architectural interest is in the role design can play in enhancing and improving community based projects. She created the Urban Beehive Project with colleague Silva Stojak, which involved the construction of two demonstrational beehive sculptures to raise awareness about the declining population of bees.
Hélène Panaïoti, Communications, Advocacy and Public Engagement, Les amis de la montagne @
A seasoned campaigner in public relations and public programming, Hélène Panaïoti heads up Communications, Advocacy and Public Engagement at Les amis de la montagne, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to the protection and enhancement of Montreal’s Mount Royal through community involvement and environmental education.
Kaaren Pearce, Director, Grounds & Horticulture, Assiniboine Park Conservancy @
Being a base brat meant Kaaren moved a lot. The common denominator in her life were green spaces, forests and city parks. It doesn’t surprise her, upon reflection, that she would forge a career in creating and maintaining living spaces. She is honoured to be a steward of Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg.
Denise Pinto, Urbanist, Writer, Former Executive Director of Jane’s Walk @
Denise is an audio artist, writer, and lover of cities. Trained as a landscape architect, she recently embarked on a cross-Canada tour to produce an audio-storytelling project called Bus Rides with Urbanists, which offers a portrait of Canadian city life from the perspective of people on buses. She is also working on her first novel, based on the stories collected.
Formerly the Executive Director of the global Jane’s Walk project, Denise has been focused on shaping, and advocating for, inclusive, citizen-led initiatives here in Toronto for nearly a decade, by holding board positions at Open Streets Toronto, Walk Toronto, MABELLEarts, and at OALA’s Ground Magazine, where she frequently contributes.
Denise has delivered keynote lectures in Vienna, Hong Kong, and Chicago on the importance of connected communities. She is the recipient of a Medal of Excellence from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and in 2016, she was named a Vital Person by the Toronto Foundation.
Raymond Plourde, Wilderness Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre @
Raymond Plourde is Wilderness Coordinator at Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre. Raymond has led successful campaigns for the creation of a huge new suite of parks and protected areas across Nova Scotia and is currently leading the public campaign for a large urban park on the edge of Halifax called Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes.
Violaine Pronovost, Directeur régional, Fondation TD des amis de l’environnement @
À l’emploi de la Fondation TD des amis de l’environnement pour la région du Québec depuis deux ans, Violaine possède un parcours académique et professionnel en communication et en sciences de l’environnement, plus précisément dans les domaines de l’éducation et de la participation citoyenne. Auparavant, elle a été impliquée pendant près de 10 ans en environnement dans les milieux communautaire et municipal montréalais, notamment dans des initiatives de quartiers verts qui visent l’aménagement urbain à l’échelle humaine.
Matt Pryde, Manager of Recreation Programs and Events, Town of Sackville @
As the Manager of Recreation with the Town of Sackville, Matt is responsible for facilitating all recreation programs and town operated events in all 4 of our major Town parks. Sackville hosts a variety of recreation and cultural based programs and events during all 4 seasons.
Dylan Rawlyk, School Programs Manager, Stanley Park Ecology Society @
Over the past decade, Dylan Rawlyk has worked with a variety of non-profits in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver, teaching hands-on environmental education and stewardship in city parks. Now with Stanley Park Ecology Society as the School Programs Manager, he helps engage thousands of students in Stanley Park each year.
Tamara Rebanks, Director, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
Tamara Rebanks is a Director and Chair of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation’s Conservation Committee. She is also the Vice-President, Community Affairs for George Weston Limited, one of Canada’s largest public companies. A passionate advocate for protecting green spaces in cities, Tamara initiated the Weston Family Parks Challenge to ensure the long-term sustainability of Toronto’s parks.
Mike Redpath, Senior Manager, Parks, City of Richmond @
Mike Redpath has been with the City of Richmond, British Columbia for 27 years and is currently the Senior Manager, Parks. Mike has a passion for the outdoors and has had the privilege to work with many others to advance parks initiatives from concept to reality.
Janie Romoff, General Manager, Parks, Forestry & Recreation, City of Toronto, City of Toronto @TorontoPFR
Janie Romoff became General Manager of the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division in 2014 and prior to that was the Director of Community Recreation (since 2010) with the City of Toronto. Janie has held various senior positions with the Province of Ontario, and the cities of London, ON and Burnaby B.C.
As General Manager, Janie oversees the services of the Division which include community recreation, parks, horticulture and forestry programs, park and open space planning, capital development and environmental initiatives. The division also manages and maintains facilities and operates specialized services, including ferries, golf courses, waterfront and regional parks systems. Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation is the largest of its kind in Canada with a combined annual capital and operating budget of over $500M.
Beverley Sandalack, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Associate Dean, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Co-Director, Urban Lab, University of Calgary @
Beverly Sandalack PhD, FCSLA, RPP, MCIP is Professor & Associate Dean in the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, and Co-Director of the Urban Lab. She is a landscape architect & planner with 25+ years experience in urban design, parks & open space planning, neighbourhood design and small town planning.
Anna Lee Sangster, Landscape Architect, City of Waterloo @
Anna lee Sangster is a landscape architect with over a decade of municipal experience. Her professional interests include parkland development, improvements, and how well parks serve the surrounding community. At the City of Waterloo in Ontario, Anna lee is the staff liaison for the Waterloo Park Advisory Committee and the Friends of Waterloo Park.
Carolyn Scotchmer, Regional Manager, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation @
Carolyn is Regional Manager for TD Environment, supporting TD Friends of the Environment Foundation in the Greater Toronto Area and Western Ontario. Between 2012 and 2015, she was also responsible for overseeing the Atlantic provinces. Prior to joining TD, she spent over ten years working in the charitable sector in Toronto and Calgary, developing and managing programs focused on community development through greening and community gardening. Carolyn previously served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the West-End Food Co-op, as well as Board President at Citizens’ Environment Watch (now EcoSpark). She currently volunteers for the Fringe Festival in Toronto.
Elizabeth Seidl, Designer, Pipeline Trail Planning Team (chair), Crown Point Garden Club (founding member) @
A resident in Hamilton’s Crown Point neighbourhood since 2013, Elizabeth happily chairs the Pipeline Trail Planning Team, an offshoot of the Crown Point Community Planning Team. The Pipeline Trail team works to encourage environmental stewardship and revitalization along the trail. A professional designer, Elizabeth is a big-picture person with a green vision for Hamilton’s east end.
Thea Silver, Strategy Lead, Green People, Ontario Trillium Foundation @
Thea Silver has worked in the environmental sector for more than 20 years. She is currently the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s (OTF) Strategy Lead for the Green People Action Area, where she provides knowledge and leadership to enhance the impact of OTF’s investments to support a healthy and sustainable environment. Thea also sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network (CEGN). Prior to joining OTF in May, 2014, Thea held senior roles in a number of environmental organizations including the Ontario Land Trust Alliance and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Thea holds a B.Sc in Biology from McGill and an M.Sc in Ecology from the University of Guelph.
Jane Sparrow, Friends 4 Atkinson Park and Pool
Retired Windsor Fire ECC. Sixteen years ago myself and a small group of women took on the task to change a passive park into a vibrant multi-purpose family oriented park with subsidized swimming lessons for the working poor.
Sara Stepa, Grant Program Manager, Parks Foundation Calgary @
Sara has always had a passion for the world and a passion for community. As Grant Program Manager she has had the opportunity to work with communities each day to upgrade and revitalize their local green spaces. She believes community involvement is integral to the success and activation of city parks.
Marie-Hélène St-Martin, Coordonnatrice de la conception et du design d’infrastructures et Superviseur des activités, des services et du bénévolat Centre de la Nature Mont-Saint-Hilaire @
Dans le cadre de son travail au sein d’un organisme de conservation, Marie-Hélène St-Martin participe étroitement à la planification et à la réalisation des plantations d’arbres, des infrastructures vertes et des aménagements qui ont pour but d’augmenter la valeur écologique des parcs urbains de sa région.
Isla Tanaka, WinterCity Planner, City of Edmonton @
Isla Tanaka is a planner with Edmonton’s WinterCity Office. She holds a Master of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies degree from UNBC, where she explored winter urban outdoor recreation spaces. She has helped plan two international winter cities conferences, and has presented on winter design in Canada and Mongolia.
Nicola Thomas, Food Forest Architect, Grand River Food Forestry
Nicola Thomas, PDC, is a passionate caretaker of the environment. She is deeply committed to increasing community awareness of restorative food forestry in urban environments. Through her organization Grand River Food Forestry, Nicola shares her knowledge of restorative agriculture through educational talks, seminars, one-on one mentoring, and hands on practical workshops. She travels for conferences about food forestry and has been mentored by top permaculturists from around the world. Nicola is an avid environmentalist who saw the capacity in our public spaces to encourage communities to steward the soil, grow edibles and increase pollinator corridors in under-utilized green spaces.
Nicola is an active consultant in the South Western Ontario region where she initiated and maintains the first Food Forest and Edible Trails projects in the Waterloo Region.
Nicola lives in Kitchener, Ontario with husband and their little orchard of 3 children.
Velta Tomsons, Living City Lead Organizer, Ecology Ottawa @
With over 6 years of community engagement and public education experience under her belt, Velta is leading Ecology Ottawa’s Tree Ottawa campaign. An initiative to drastically increase the scale and health of Ottawa’s tree canopy by ensuring we plant trees properly, have the policies to protect them, and engaging Ottawa residents to become active participants in greening-up their greenspaces.
Lillian Truong, Regional Manager, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation @
Lillian has been with TD Bank for 11 years and is currently the Regional Manager for TD Friends of the Environment Foundation in Western Canada The Foundation supports various community organizations by funding environmental projects such as tree planting, environmental education, and habitat restoration. Her educational background includes a degree in Geography and Fundraising Marketing Management. She is passionate about conserving the natural environment and promoting environmental impact and sustainability awareness.
Stephanie Tucker, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador @
Stephanie Tucker is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator for Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador (CCNL). Through her role at CCNL in the creation of a new TV mini-series for ROGERStv called EcoVision, Stephanie has been hands-on with the profiling and promotion of many NL parks.
Dave Turner, Section Manager Parks, City of North Vancouver @
Dave has worked as a Parks Manager in Municipal Parks since 1989. First with the Town of Caledon, Ontario until 1999, then with the City of North Vancouver, British Columbia until present. Some of the more exciting aspects of his career have been working on the Trans Canada Trail in both municipalities and most recently designing an artificial turf putting green in one of our neighborhood parks.
Ted Ulrich, Parks Planning, Research and Design Manager, City of Surrey – Parks Planning @
It’s a busy life planning and designing the City of Surrey’s parks system. Over 500,000 residents and growing fast; Ted has to work hard to keep up as Manager of Parks Planning and Design. Trail running is research but also his relaxation on the weekends.
Annie Vandenberg, Program Manager, Evergreen, Don River Valley Park @
Annie Vandenberg, Program Manager, Evergreen, calls the valleys of the ravine system in Toronto home. As a Teacher, Program Designer and nature enthusiast, she works with diverse communities in Toronto to improve access to our natural spaces and make them flourish.
Ingrid Vanderbrug, Senior Landscape Architect, City of Burlington @
As a Senior Landscape Architect at the City of Burlington, Ingrid is part of a team that is responsible for planning, design and development of parks and open space in Burlington, located on the Lake Ontario shoreline with over 120 parks and a network of trails across the city.
Pam Veinotte, Field Unit Superintendent, Rouge National Urban Park @
In July 2012 Pam moved from her position as Field Unit Superintendent of Canada’s first national park to her current position as the first Field Unit Superintendent of Rouge National Urban Park. Throughout her three-decade-long career with Parks Canada, Pam has spearheaded many innovative conservation initiatives and demonstrated a spirit of collaboration, forging numerous partnerships between the public, private and non-profit sectors.
In July 2012 Pam moved from her position as Field Unit Superintendent of Canada’s first national park to her current position as the first Field Unit Superintendent of Rouge National Urban Park. Throughout her three-decade-long career with Parks Canada, Pam has spearheaded many innovative conservation initiatives and demonstrated a spirit of collaboration, forging numerous partnerships between the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Cathy Watts, Co-Chairperson Saskatoon Cycles, Saskatoon Cycles @ Co-Chairperson, Jane’s Walk Saskatoon @
Community builder through volunteer work with Jane’s Walk Saskatoon, Saskatoon Cycles, Sask Trails, and the Trans Canada Trail. Linear parks have a special place her my life as Cathy loves to cycle for transportation, holidays in many places in the world, and the feeling of adventure and freedom as if she was 8 years old again!.