Michael Shuman

Michael Shuman (michaelhshuman.com) – Michael is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and one of the world’s leading experts on community economics and local investment.  Shuman has authored or coauthored eight books.  His latest book Local Dollars, Local Sense: How To Move Your Money From Wall Street to Main Street & Achieve Real Prosperity highlights a broad range of local tools for funding enterprise.  He’s a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE).  He is also an adjunct instructor in community economic development for Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.


MODERATOR: Localizing Community Investment

Marq de Villiers

Marq de Villiers – Marq is the author of 14 books, most on African themes or natural history, but one on wine and one on the American revolution. His most recent book, Our Way Out: First Principles for a Post-Apocalyptic World, published by McClelland and Stewart in 2011 (marqdevilliers.com), is an exploration of transitioning to a post-carbon and sustainable world. He is a veteran journalist who has reported from many parts of the world, especially Africa and the former Soviet Union. He has also been editor, and then publisher, of Toronto Life magazine, Toronto, and editorial director of WHERE Magazines International, Los Angeles. He is a member of the Order of Canada, and lives in Eagle Head, Nova Scotia.


Gregory Heming

Gregory Heming – Gregory is a municipal councillor in Annapolis County, NS, and chair of the County’s Economic Development Committee. Holding a PhD in Ecology with post graduate studies in religion and philosophy, he has spoken, written and published extensively on economics, environment, and public policy.  Gregory is a member of the Club of Rome. He brings a strong voice for a new economic model based on steady-state economics and a more enlightened approach to revitalizing rural Canada.


Anders Hayden

Anders Hayden – As a Dalhousie University professor of Political Science, Anders brings critical perspectives on economic growth, the politics of sufficiency, ecological modernization, politics of climate change and a reduction and redistribution of work time.  His latest book is entitled When Green Growth is Not Enough: Climate Change, Ecological Modernization, and Sufficiency.


Teresa MacNeil

Teresa MacNeil – Teresa has gained broad and well-informed experience in community economic change within local, provincial and national levels of Canada.  She was Professor of Adult Education and Director of University Extension at St. Francis Xavier University. She holds Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin in educational policy studies. Teresa has been the Chair of the Board of Directors, and Acting President of the Cape Breton Development Corporation, and Chair of the Board for the Sydney Steel Corporation, when the objective was to transform or close the steel operation. She was the sole Commissioner for a Public Review Process conducted by the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board to examine the effects of gas and oil exploration offshore Cape Breton. She is the Chair of the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, and she is a Member of the Order of Canada.

MODERATOR: Governance in the New Economy: Living A New Narrative

Steven Joudry

Steven Joudry – Steven, a member of the Mi’kmaq Bear River First Nation, is a retired military officer (Lieutenant-Colonel) and retired federal public service executive with nearly 40 years’ experience as a leader, manager, negotiator and advisor.  He is an adventurer who has worked coast, to coast, to coast in Canada and abroad, including on a year-long UN mission in the former Yugoslavia, operational military duty in Germany and several assignments in Canada’s North.  He is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal. Steven has expertise in a variety of areas relating to the interests of First Nation across Canada, including: conservation, natural resource development, land management, land claim agreements, program management, comprehensive community planning, governance and intergovernmental relations.  Steven is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College and the Public Executive Program at Queen’s University.  He is currently working in Labrador as a consultant to establish the Innu Roundtable Secretariat for the two Innu communities and in the Yukon as a facilitator/negotiator on the Faro Mine Remediation Project.  

KEYNOTE SPEAKER Banquet address: Steven Joudry – First Nations and Rural Communities: Balance requires moving from isolation & marginalization to integration & collaboration.


Allister Surette

Allister Surette  Mr. Surette is the President and Vice-chancellor of Université Sainte-Anne since July 1st 2011. Allister Surette was the President/CEO of Collège de l’Acadie from September 1998 to January 2003.  Collège de l’Acadie was the only francophone community college in Nova Scotia. Mr. Surette was elected Member of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly for the constituency of Argyle in May 1993.  For the period covering 1993 to 1998, he assumed the following responsibilities: Deputy House Leader, special advisor for the establishment of the Acadian and Francophone public school system in the Province of Nova Scotia, Human Resource Minister, Minister responsible for the Youth Secretariat, Minister responsible for Acadian Affairs, president of a committee for economic and tourism development in the South West Nova region, and Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs. Mr. Surette has also been actively involved with numerous committees and organisations, notably Chairman and founding member of the committee responsible for the organization of the third World Acadian Congress (CMA 2004) in Nova Scotia in 2004 and Chairman and founding member of the Francophone Economic Development Council of Nova Scotia (CDÉNÉ).

 MODERATOR: Arts and Culture Economy

 Rankin MacSween

 Rankin MacSween – Rankin has served as president of New Dawn Enterprises (newdawn.ca), a not-for-profit social enterprise in Sydney, Nova Scotia for twenty years. Rankin has witnessed and sought to influence the rapidly changing social and economic Cape Breton landscape. In an effort to move towards its vision of a self-reliant people in a vibrant community, New Dawn today administers a Real Estate company, a Health Care company, a Community College, a Meals on Wheels program, a Community Engagement and Education division, the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation, and a multi-million dollar Community Economic Development Investment Fund.  Rankin has served as a Founding Director of Island Community Justice, Chair of the Cape Breton Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, and a Founding Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network. He is engaged in the follow-up to the One Nova Scotia Report as a One Nova Scotia coalition member.

PANELLIST: Governance in the New Economy: Living A New Narrative

Jack Novack

Jack Novack – Jack Novack is a Professor and Director of the Local Government Program at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. He has developed and taught courses, workshops and seminars for elected and appointed local government officials in Canada and abroad. His teaching interests included council staff relations, strategic planning, financial policy and citizen engagement. He regularly consults with municipalities to help them resolve conflict, restructure the organization and plan for the future. He is passionate about local government and sees its greatest strength as a place where individuals can learn about and participate in the democratic process. He is currently working on the 2nd edition of “Grassroots Democracy: Local Government in the Maritimes”. He teaches a graduate course in local government in the School of Public Administration and is a former recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for excellence in public administration.

PANELLIST: Governance in the New Economy: Living a New Narrative


Susan Witt

Susan Witt (centerforneweconomics.org/staff) – Susan is the Executive Director of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, heir to the legacy programs of the E.F.Schumacher Society. Over the past 35 years, Susan has maintained a deep commitment to implementing projects for the commons, such as land trusts, micro-lending and local currency initiatives.


Robert Cervelli

Robert Cervelli – Robert has been a life science technology start-up entrepreneur for over 25 years, and understands the issues related to new business creation and the health of resilient local economies. Robert has extensively tracked the international development of new tools and initiatives in community economics.  He has been a member of the E.F. Schumacher Society for over 25 years, and has attended numerous international economics conferences with a focus on rebuilding economic resilience at the local and regional levels.  Robert is Chair of Transition Bay St Margarets (transitionbay.ca), and sits on the Board of the St Margarets Bay Stewardship Assoc. and several green-tech companies.  Robert manages a one-acre vegetable farm at his home in St Margarets Bay.


David Wimberly

David Wimberly – David is Coordinator of the Up!Skilling Festival and Expo for the Local Prosperity Conference. David is co-founder and Event and Outreach Coordinator of Transition Bay St Margarets (transitionbay.ca), helping develop economic, energy, food, and ecological resilience on a community level. David has been active for decades in waste/resource issues. In particular, he championed the pivotal role of managing organics as compost and of Zero Waste Strategies, hosting an hour-long Eastlink TV show for three years on this topic. As early as 1974, David helped found research on sustainable farming and fresh water aquaculture in Costa Rica. He is an avid vegetable gardener. David is Canada’s only Master Flutemaker of modern instruments for classical and other music. For 44 years he has hand-made custom flutes and headjoints.

OPENING SPEAKER Up!Skilling Festival and Expo


Linda Best

Linda Best – Linda’s awareness of food-related health issues led to research into potential solutions for the decreasing production of food in Nova Scotia. She helped establish Friends of Agriculture and she is a founding member and Co-chair of FarmWorks Investment Co-operative Limited (farmworks.ca), a Community Economic Development Investment Co-operative that provides funding for farmers and food producers across Nova Scotia.

PANELLIST: Localizing Community Investment


Abel Lazarus

Abel Lazarus, CA, CFA, CFE, CPA (FL) is a Securities Analyst with the Nova Scotia Securities Commission Corporate Finance Branch conducting reviews of offering materials and continuous disclosure filings.  Prior to joining the Corporate Finance Branch, Abel was an Investigator with the Commission’s Enforcement Branch reviewing and investigating complaints relating to violations of the Nova Scotia Securities laws.  In addition to working for the Commission, Abel has worked for Castle Hall Alternatives conducting operational due diligence reviews of hedge fund managers, Halifax Regional Municipality conducting various internal reviews; the Financial Advisory Services group of PwC conducting various forensic accounting, due diligence, valuation and insolvency engagements across various industries in Canada, the Caribbean and the U.S.; and in private industry performing various accounting and corporate finance functions. Abel is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia, a Chartered Financial Analyst, a Certified Fraud Examiner and licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Florida.


PANELLIST: Localizing Community Investment

Andrew Button

 Andrew Button – Andrew is a social entrepreneur interested in doing things that really matter. After a 15 year career in various business and economic development roles in both corporate and social enterprise, Andrew founded Mashup Lab (www.mashuplab.ca) – a series of events and mentorship programs that activate, amplify, and connect startup communities in rural Atlantic Canada. His passion and energy is focused on unleashing entrepreneurial potential that has yet to be inspired into action. He believes we can build and grow world-class organizations from anywhere in Atlantic Canada. With a BBA from Acadia and a MBA from SMU, Andrew’s education and life experience help him propel ideas forward.  Andrew is active with Junior Achievement, is co-founder of Awesome South Shore and the South Shore Business Growth Association, and was identified as one of 21 emerging leaders in Nova Scotia by 21inc (www.21inc.ca) in 2012.

PANELLIST: Localizing Community Investment

Jonathan McClelland

Jonathan McClelland – Jonathan is an Agricultural Economist who has extensive experience with Community Economic Development initiatives. Jonathan has a strong interest in policy development particularly as it relates to the agricultural and rural economy. From 1998 until 2005 Jonathan worked for the Western Valley Development Authority. In 2005, he stated up his own business consulting company, Western Valley Agri Consulting and provided consulting services to the agricultural sector as well as managing the community-owned, West Nova Agro Commodities Ltd. In April 2006, he also became the Business Development Officer in Western Nova Scotia for the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council. He has worked with a large variety of community groups who have been interested in starting co-operatives as well as assisting established co-operatives. This includes co-operatives in the natural resource sectors of agriculture, forestry and fishing, as well as co-operatives in the service sector including health care co-ops, funeral co-operatives and retail co-ops.

PANELLIST: Localizing Community Investment


Alice Maggio

Alice Maggio (centerforneweconomics.org/staff) – As the Local Currency Director for the Center for New Economics, Alice is working to demonstrate that we are capable of putting financial tools, such as local currencies, squarely in the hands of local citizens.

MODERATOR: Local Complementary Currencies

Michael Barton

Michael Barton – Michael is the administrator of the North Shore Local Economic Trading System (LETS) since 2008 (northshorelets.ca).  Before becoming involved in that system, Michael was a board member of two other LET Systems. He began to work on LETS while doing a Master’s in Environmental Studies.  He saw LETS, and local currencies generally, as a way of restructuring the economy to make it more ecological.  The North Shore LETS is currently trying out printed money as a way of expanding the scope of the system.

PANELLIST: Local Complementary Currencies

Ryan Watson

Ryan Watson – Ryan is the founder of Credex (credex.org). Cred is an alternative to currency that can replace money for transactions, investments, and gifts. He is the Director of Finance for Shambhala, a global network of meditation centres. Ryan has a background as an accounting consultant for small Nova Scotian businesses, and is the former leader of the Green Party of Nova Scotia.

PANELLIST: Local Complementary Currencies

Grace Murray

Grace Murray – Grace is the Promotions and Marketing Coordinator for the Downtown Truro Partnership (DTP), whose mandate is to ‘promote a unique environment for business and urban living in the heart of Truro.’  With approximately 350 member businesses, the DTP sponsors and coordinates a variety of programs and events to heighten awareness of the downtown core and offer incentives for ‘shopping local.’  The Downtown Truro Dollars initiative, an excellent example of a ‘shop local’ incentive campaign was launched in 2013.  It has proven successful in offering a gift for everyone and every occasion while supporting over 64 local businesses with over $28,000 of local currency in circulation.

PANELLIST: Local Complementary Currencies

 Kelly Schnare

Kelly Schnare – Kelly is a founding director of the Halifax Tool Library (halifaxtoollibrary.ca), which is as simple as it sounds: a library that lends tools.  The project seeks to remove barriers for those without the means of tool ownership, and provides workshops where members can teach each other and work on anything they desire.  Kelly is a director in several community organizations and is passionate about social entrepreneurship and building a local sharing economy.

PANELLIST: Shared Community Resources

 Derek Gillis

Derek Gillis – Derek supports the advancement of sustainable transportation, educating Nova Scotians about community transportation challenges and solutions as a Board member of Community Transit-Nova Scotia (communitytransitns.ca). Derek brings expertise and knowledge gained from years of working with GPI Atlantic, co-facilitating the Youth Ride! Research and Action Project; with Schoolhouse Consulting investigating the potential to adapt existing school bus resources to advance community transit; and with Clean Nova Scotia including the national Commuter Challenge, DriveWiser, Drive Less and Bike Valet initiatives.  Derek is an active volunteer of Switch: Open Street Sundays.

PANELLIST: Shared Community Resources


Frances Schagen

Frances Schagen – Frances has a passion for community hubs.  She is an instigator with HUB Annapolis Valley which opened for a short time in the fall of 2012 and she continues to research rural co-working models in preparation to opening again. Frances believes in the power of entrepreneurial ecosystems and of bringing small business together to help each other succeed. She is on the Board of Directors of the Kentville Development Corporation Ltd. She is involved with the New Media Community through Refresh Annapolis Valley and was on the organizing team for F5://Food Startup Weekend in January 2014. She started and ran the Crystal Clear Lunch & Learn series and she organized the annual Kings County Small Business Conference. She was Chair of the Friends of the Kentville Public Library working to build a new library for Kentville. Libraries are important community HUBs.

PANELLIST: Shared Community Resources

John Ferguson

John Ferguson – John is currently the Chief Administrative Officer for the Municipality of the County of Annapolis, Nova Scotia. John`s diverse 25 year professional career in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as an administrator, an elected representative, and a consultant to government in community-based development techniques and strategies gives him a unique perspective from which to view the complex connections between municipal administration, municipal politics and community. His knowledge and experience in initiating, mediating, and embracing community participation is vital to our understanding of the role of government in the economy.

PANELLIST: Governance in the New Economy: Living A New Narrative

Dayle Eshelby

Dayle Eshelby – Dayle draws strength from enduring community growth and development. Dayle is the Rural Coordinator for St. Mary’s Silver Economy Engagement Network and a Lockeport Town Councillor. Dayle leads RESOLVE! Management enhancing development leadership by empowering an organization’s people and has Community Service Employment Support Caseworker experience. Involvement with academic institutions include Research Assistant and Coordinator in a partnership with Mount St Vincent University/ Tri-County Women’s Centre, over fifteen years at McGill University and participation in the President’s Roundtable at the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education National Convection. Locally Dayle was Lockeport’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) Coordinator and is Chairperson of numerous community boards.

PANELLIST: Governance in the New Economy: Living a New Narrative

Joan Brady

Joan Brady – Joan is a family farmer, business person and community volunteer. She has worked in her community in various capacities which center around food production, distribution, accessibility and use. Over the past 30 years she has developed a base of expertise in the agriculture and food industry and has a consulting business: “Sustainable Futures: Farm and Food Consulting”. She works to educate and activate communities around food system development and policy initiatives. She currently operates an intensive market garden, selling her product directly at a number of Farmers’ Markets and at the farm gate. She is passionate about her work for farmers on a political level and for her work in support of the viability of rural communities.

MODERATOR: Small Farms & Food Sheds as Economic Drivers

Keltie Butler

Keltie Butler – Keltie is currently the Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia. Keltie has previously worked with the Food Action Committee of the Ecology Action Centre as well as Toronto Refugee Community Non-Profit Home and Housing. Keltie is also an instructor with St. Lawrence College, teaching within the Sustainable Local Food Certificate online program. Thanks to an apprenticeship on a small-scale organic farm as well as a position with Common Roots Urban Farm, Keltie has more than whet her appetite for agriculture. At the heart of her love of local food and farming is the unstoppable ability of sharing food to bring people together regardless of language, culture, or age. Keltie is passionate about community development, food security, agriculture and she has a serious sweet tooth.

PANELLIST: Small Farms & Food Sheds as Economic Drivers

Patrick Henderson

Patrick Henderson – Originally from Belgium, Patrick is the manager of the Really Local Harvest Co-op’s farm to cafeteria initiative, distributing local products to 25 schools in southeastern New-Brunswick.  Patrick developed several businesses in both Belgium and France before moving to Canada with his family in 2005 to establish la Fromagerie Au Fond Des Bois.  He operated this goat cheese production farm for seven years before embarking on the adventure of developing Really Local’s institutional local food distribution project.

PANELLIST: Small Farms & Food Sheds as Economic Drivers


Alicia Lake

Alicia LakeAlicia Lake’s passion for local food was ignited during her childhood on a small subsistence farm in Cape Breton. She has spent many years working, volunteering and researching the local food economy. Alicia created a farmers’ market in her home town, and founded the 50% local September club, which is now a provincial initiative that asks participants to eat half of their diet from local sources for one month per year. She sits on the board of the FarmWorks Investment Co-operative, the CBRM local food network, the Cape Breton Partnership agriculture team, and New Dawn Enterprises. She holds a MBA in Community Economic Development and undergraduate degrees in both political science and community studies. Alicia is the coordinator of an emerging local food hub in Cape Breton, and she is anxiously waiting for fresh spring vegetables!

PANELLIST: Small Farms & Food Sheds as Economic Drivers

Sheila Bird

Sheila Bird – As a resident of a fishing community in SW Nova Scotia, Sheila was lucky enough in early 2015 to have travelled the province hosting conversations about the lobster industry as a NSHRF-funded student and researcher (www.foodarc.ca/ourlobster-ourcommunities). Bringing a passion for social justice and rural community development, Sheila has experience in nonprofit, health, academic and government environments. Sheila’s current work includes community development, health promotion, working in partnership with the lobster industry, grass roots food movements, healthy public policy, and healthy communities. As rural entrepreneurs, she and her husband run an alternative energy and green building company (www.rehouse.ca) and a bread company (www.finestkindbread.ca). Sheila is pursuing her Masters of Adult Ed – Community Dev’t at St.F.X /Coady International Instit exploring the sustainability of coastal communities and the lobster industry.

MODERATOR: Value Added Fisheries as a Resource of the Commons

Dave Adler

Dave Adler – Dave is the Coordinator of Off the Hook (offthehookcsf.ca), the first community support fishery (CSF) in the Maritimes.  He has a background in marine ecology and business, and holds a masters degree in business administration from Saint Mary’s University. David lives in a coastal community himself, and is familiar with the challenges they face. His interest in community economic development, marine conservation, and business make him a perfect match for Off the Hook.

PANELLIST: Value Added Fisheries as a Resource of the Commons

Michael Graham

Michael Graham – Since 2011, Dr. Graham is the lead researcher and manager of the Wave Energy Research Centre and an innovative new on-shore acquaculture project.  Dr. Graham holds a PhD in Agricultural Meteorology from the University of Guelph, and is a Certified Engineering Technologist in environmental instrumentation.  He began his career with Burin Campus of College of the North Atlantic in 1991 and became Campus Administrator in 2004.  During his time in Burin, he has served his community as a Scouting leader, chair of the school council, a Director of the Schooner Regional Development Corp., Treasurer of the Heritage Run Tourism Assoc., Chair of the Burin Peninsula Council of the Rural Secretariat, and President of the Burin Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Mike is an avid gardener and musician.

PANELLIST: Value Added Fisheries as a Resource of the Commons


Alen Newell

Alen Newell – Alen has been fishing for over 20 years from the shores of Canso, Nova Scotia. A career he started with his father Michael Newell. Alen has had the opportunity to fish many varieties of fish using a variety of methods. In the early 90’s Alen and his father started fishing shrimp in the Chedabucto Bay. Working with researchers, government departments, and local associations they were able to establish the fishery. Alen continues to fish and is actively involved in collecting data for research, designing new gear and building markets for local seafood.  A recent CBC Land&Sea documentary showcases his work.

PANELLIST: Value Added Fisheries as a Resource of the Commons


Will Martin

Will Martin – Will is the President of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association (nswooa.ca), as well as Chair of the new Medway Community Forest Co-op, Nova Scotia’s first community managed forest. In the past few years Will has also been developing the Windhorse Education Foundation to extend the invitation to experience the 170-year old model of sustainability at Windhorse Farm (windhorsefarm.org). Will brings experience in building social innovations for vibrant rural communities and healthy forests.

MODERATOR: Rebuilding the Value Chain from our Forests

Kari Easthouse

Kari Easthouse – Kari helped to develop, and is now the manager of, the Cape Breton Privatelands Partnership, a new initiative that provides independent advice and support to woodlot owners. Kari has extensive forest management experience and has been able to translate this into successful community-level forest initiatives. Kari is actively involved in numerous organizations, and is a past president of the Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia. He completed forest technology at Lakehead University as well as an undergraduate and Masters degree in Forest Management from the University of New Brunswick. Kari is from Roberta, Cape Breton, where he maintains a farm and woodlot with his family.

PANELLIST: Rebuilding the Value Chain from our Forests

Harold Alexander

Harold Alexander – Harold grew up near Stephenville, Newfoundland. He graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry. He came to Digby in 1979 to work for Sissiboo Forest Management Ltd., a former small private woodlot management company. In 1988, Harold became self-employed operating a small sawmill and forestry management business, with his business partner Brian Thomas, in North Range, Digby County. Harold lives in North Range with his wife Meredith. They have three adult children.

PANELLIST: Rebuilding the Value Chain from our Forests

Jim Drescher

Jim Drescher – forest ecologist and wood products business owner, has over 50 years of experience in forest stewardship, beginning in the family woodlot. He has been a co-director of Windhorse Farm for the past 25 years. Jim’s principle interests are in the enrichment of the lives of individuals and communities, particularly through seeing nature as a mirror of mind and ecosystems as a natural metaphor for healthy human communities. Nurtured and raised in the love of nature, he has been a practitioner and teacher of meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition for 40 years, and is a longtime practitioner and contributor to the ALIA Institute and the Art of Hosting community.

PANELLIST: Rebuilding the Value Chain from our Forests

Glyn Bissix

Glyn Bissix – Glyn Bissix is Head and Professor of Community Development and also teaches in the Environment and Sustainability Studies program at Acadia University.  He has conducted research on the human dimensions of forestry in Nova Scotia, Belize and Scotland.  For over a decade he was involved in a succession of failed forest conservation initiatives including the Nova Scotia Envirofor Process and the St. Mary’s and Liscombe River Model Forest Proposal.  His PhD. thesis was entitled:  Dimensions of Power in Forest Resource Decision-Making: a Case Study of Nova Scotia’s Forest Conservation Legislation at the London School of Economics, and he is the co-author of the text, Integrated Resource and Environmental Management: the human dimensions.  His critical publications include: Can Strategic Ecosystem Management Succeed in Multi-agency Environments? published in Ecological Applications.  Recently his research has focused on the health, environmental, social and economic impacts of recreational off-highway vehicles.

PANELLIST: Rebuilding the Value Chain from our Forests

Marlene Ivey

Marlene Ivey – Marlene is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Design at NSCAD University and an independent design consultant. Her current research is footed in the Gaelic milieu where she has collaborated with the Nova Scotia Gaelic community to create an interactive online social space for Gaelic language acquisition and cultural restoration titled An Drochaid Eadarainn (The Bridge Between Us). Her design capabilities include participatory design, designing for experience, and research through design practice.  Her work has been published in exhibitions, books and conference proceedings in the UK, Europe, Asia, Canada and the USA. Marlene has maintained extensive collaborations in the UK, Europe, US and Canada.

PANELLIST: Arts & Culture Economy

Genevieve Allen Hearn

Genevieve Allen Hearn – Genevieve grew up in the Annapolis Valley, graduated from Arts Administration at Acadia University, and spent a year studying Cultural Events at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. After two years teaching and traveling in Asia and two years completing a Masters in Arts Based Community Development at York University in Toronto, her rural roots called her home. Genevieve has worked for a range of cultural organizations in Nova Scotia including The Word on the Street Society, The Deep Roots Music Co-op, and the Atlantic Public Arts Funders. Her key interests include community mapping, digital storytelling, and the link between cultural and community development.

PANELLIST: Arts & Culture Economy


Shalan Joudry

Shalan Joudry – Shalan Joudry is a Mi’kmaw writer, performance artist and oral storyteller whose roots are from Kespukwitk (Southwest Nova Scotia). Her training includs the Native Theatre School, the Banff Centre’s Aboriginal Dance Program and the Ontario Institute for Audio Recording Technology. She then worked for dance, theatre and film companies early in her career. She then returned to her studies for a Bachelors of Environmental Science at McGill University. Shalan then settled home in Bear River First Nation with her two young daughters to weave arts and sciences in her work as a community-based ecologist. She often performs as a storyteller, actor, musician and poet in schools, communities, and public events throughout Nova Scotia. Her first book, “Generations Re-merging”, is a collection of poetry published by Gaspereau Press in April 2014.

PANELLIST: Arts & Culture Economy



Marc Gauthier

Marc Gauthier – Marc Gauthier is the Director of FICFA, Moncton’s international francophone film festival and Chair of the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, a former school now housing multiple studios, cultural organizations, art galleries as well as daycare centres. Speaking on behalf of Aberdeen, Marc hopes to share some insights on transforming existing community infrastructures into thriving cultural hubs.

PANELLIST: Arts and Culture Economy 




Dana Morin

Dana Morin Director of Business Development, Fundy Tidal Inc.  Dana has been involved in numerous community renewable energy developments throughout Nova Scotia including five Community Feed-In Tariff (COMFIT) projects awarded to Fundy Tidal which he founded in 2006. Dana was also involved in establishing the Scotian WindFields network of community economic development corporations active in wind power generation and recipients of numerous wind power COMFITs. Fundy Tidal is a Community Economic-Development Corporation (CEDC) based in Digby County, focused on small-scale tidal energy projects involving community ownership and local benefits. Throughout his career Dana has been a very active participant in industry and sector development activities, events and industry associations including serving as Director of Multimedia Studies at the Vancouver Film School, President of the NS Cultural Network and Vice President of Music NS. He currently serves as co-chair of the SocioEconomic SubCommittee of the Fundy Energy Research Network (FERN) and as Secretary/Treasurer of Marine Renewables Canada.

MODERATOR: Local Energy Production and Distribution 

Bob Ashley

Bob Ashley – Bob Ashley is the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the City of Summerside, Prince Edward Island. He has previously worked the same gig for the Town of Berwick and the Municipality of the County of Kings, in Nova Scotia. An early adopter of information/communication technologies, Bob plunked his local governments into the spheres of social media, electronic voting, and e-governance when these were mere newborns. He chaired the NS Provincial/Municipal E-Government Committe, the NS Municipal Website Venture, and led the Inter-municipal Information Technology Team (IMITT) in community fiber network applications. In Summerside, his electric utility crew has enjoyed regional, national and international accolades and awards for innovation in local wind energy and smart grids.

PANELLIST: Local Energy Production and Distribution

Don Regan

Don Regan – Don Regan started with the Town of Berwick’s Electric Commission in 1979 as a lineman, a trade now called Powerline technician. He became the Superintendent in 1983 and has been responsible for planning, budgeting and overall direction of the utility since. He has appeared before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board on behalf of the Berwick Commission and other municipal utilities numerous times. He represented the Municipality on the Electricity Marketplace Governance Committee and several successor ad hoc policy committees on marketplace and open access transmission issues and in various discussions with Government. He has negotiated with other utilities and various prospective energy suppliers over several years in the development of the market. Regan has been Chief Administrative Officer for the Town as well since summer of 2011 and in that role continues to seek an energy future for Berwick that is environmentally acceptable, sustainable, and affordable.

PANELLIST: Local Energy Production and Distribution

Eric Christmas

Eric Christmas – Mr. Christmas has dedicated his professional career to the cause of First Nations business and corporate development. With DFO in the early 1990’s, Mr. Christmas assisted the First Nations with self-sufficiency implementing a program to integrate the Mi’kmaq into the commercial fisheries, 7 years before the historic Marshall decision on fishing. Mr. Christmas led an effort at Exxon-Mobil to design and deliver a Mi’kmaq benefits program for the Sable Offshore Energy project. As part of that effort, Mr. Christmas was a founding member of the Aboriginal Alliance of Companies. Following Exxon-Mobil, Mr. Christmas returned home to Membertou as their corporate affairs director and assisted in building both that community’s enterprises as well as building Membertou Geomatics, an award winning Mi’kmaq mapping and MEKS delivery company. Mr. Christmas joined the Barry Group in which he helped to design a Mi’kmaq corporate fisheries division. Mr. Christmas joined the Wagmatcook First Nation as their corporate director. Mr. Christmas joined the KMKNO for 5 years and led development teams in offshore development, renewable energy and finance, including the Mi’kmaq renewable energy strategy. Mr. Christmas aligned the Mi’kmaq nation with two wind development companies and led the Mi’kmaq in developing two projects, in which one (Whynotts) is now producing electricity and revenue for the Mi’kmaq. At present Mr. Christmas is the Director of Operations for the Beaubassin Mi’kmaq Wind Management company, an entity owned by all thirteen Mi’kmaq communities, and is building a number of renewable energy projects, an offshore oil and gas catering business, an LED light and finance company and other projects. Mr. Christmas is a graduate from Dalhousie University and is married with a 6 year old son and currently resides in Hammonds Plains.  

PANELLIST: Local Energy Production and Distribution

Peter Crofton Davies

Peter Crofton Davies – Peter has been the Official Town Crier for Annapolis Royal, Annapolis County, Middleton, and Digby for about 12 years as well as being the current Vice Chair of the Nova Scotia Guild of Town Criers for almost that long. A retired architect, urban and rural planning consultant, Peter has worked extensively on planning and heritage conservation initiatives within Nova Scotia.  As a Town Crier, Peter helps to promote the communities he represents in his uniform as a Sergeant of the Fort Anne Garrison Regiment of 1765.   His presence, accompanied by his Escort Valerie in a costume of the same period (yes, Escort is the official title of a Town Crier’s partner) gives a sense of dignity and importance to all events. Welcoming visitors, both official and tourist is a major part of their activities during the summer.  Peter and Valerie have travelled extensively doing school visits in the States and in Canada and take great pride in helping to promote both the Province and communities in the Valley.