About This Year’s Park Summit
This year’s Park Summit will take up the question of how parks can best serve people that have been historically marginalized and underrepresented in public spaces. Come to the Park Summit to experience powerful examples of what’s possible when we challenge ourselves to truly leverage the power of parks–for everyone.
Join us on January 28 at Toronto’s Daniels Spectrum for Canada’s largest gathering of park leaders and champions, planning and design professionals and city builders.
Sarida Scott, Executive Director, Community Development Advocates of Detroit
Sarida Scott has served as the Executive Director for the Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) since September 2012. CDAD is a membership organization of community development and neighborhood improvement groups serving its members through public policy advocacy, community engagement and capacity building. Prior to coming to CDAD, she worked at Michigan Community Resources, holding positions as Legal Director and Chief Program Officer. She has worked in the community development industry and local government, combined, for more than fifteen years. Sarida received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and her B.S. in Engineering from the University of Michigan. Sarida’s work experience has been concentrated in the areas of nonprofit legal compliance, education and community engagement. She lives in Detroit with her husband and daughter.
Rena Soutar – Cha’an Tdut, Cultural Planner at Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Rena Soutar-Cha’an Dtut is of Haida descent and works as a Cultural Planner for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. She has worked on project consultations with the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Lil’wat peoples in environmental, cultural, and intergovernmental contexts. Her engagement with Aboriginal artists on public art installations includes outreach to every province and territory across Canada.
She is the author of Songhees, a cultural biography of the Songhees Nation in Victoria, BC. She is also editorial contributor to “O Siyam: Aboriginal Art Inspired by the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games”, a book chronicling the Venues Aboriginal Art Program, a project which she also coordinated.
She makes her home in Greater Vancouver with her husband and three year old daughter. Rena draws strength from raising a bright young girl and is constantly reminded that a commitment to helping build a world beyond colonialism means building a better future for all young ones.
jil p. weaving, Coordinator of Arts Culture and Environment, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Ariel Stagni, The Toronto Skateboarding Committee
Elaine Garness, Aptus Teaching Landscape
Elaine Garness is the Program Supervisor for the Aptus Teaching Landscape at Aptus Treatment Centre. Since 1979, Aptus has supported children, teens and adults with complex disabilities (dual diagnosis, developmental disability and mental health disorder). CAMH estimates that 50% of Ontarians with a developmental disability have a dual diagnosis. Aptus Teaching Landscape, launched in 2016, is a nature–focused educational environment and activity hub for both students with complex disabilities and the greater community.
Elaine has over ten years’ experience working with children and youth in gardening and nature-based education in the city of Toronto. She is Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) certified and has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from York University.
Laura Hammond, Birchmount Community Action Council
Laura is a founding member of Birchmount Community Action Council where she has inspired and led other residents to participate in numerous community initiatives. She has represented her community on Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s platforms and is currently working to promote community gardening and outdoor activity for children.
Lua Shayenne, Lua Shayenne Dance Company
A 2017 & 2016 K.M. Hunter Dance and 2013 TELUS Newcomer artist award nominee and award winner of the 2013 Neighbourhood Arts Network BMO SEEDS FUND, Lua Shayenne is a dancer, choreographer and dance instructor. Her dance practice is rooted in her African ancestry.
Her company, Lua Shayenne Dance Company (LSDC), presents dance works that explore current subject matters with the aim to be a vehicle for spiritual and social progress.
Monica Gupta, People in Parks
Monica Gupta lives in Toronto near Christie Pits park. She works in social services and has worked with homeless people for over 15 years. Her photo essay, People in Parks features men, women and children who live in several shelters in Toronto’s downtown east corridor (Jarvis/Parliament/Queen/Gerrard). The photo essay captures the major parks where the residents go when they are asked to leave shelters so they can be cleaned every day between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Many go to the city parks to spend the day. The two major parks where they spend their time are Allan Gardens and Moss Park. People in Parks shares their stories.
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