Conversation Leaders at the Bow Valley Justice Film Festival
To search out conversation leaders for a specific film conversation you'll have to look them up from either the 'Festival' or 'Film Nights' pages.
Alanna Thompson (2012)
Alanna is currently a full time Mom to her beautiful son Karsten. Her background is in wilderness educational programming where she specialized in working with junior high students. Alanna spent a year in Sri Lanka where she worked closely with local female staff learning a lot about the diverse issues facing Sri Lanka's women.
Amanda Amundrud (2010)
Ameera Abbo (2008)
Board of Directors, Linguana Foundation and Sudanese Women for Change
Ameera was born in Western Darfur. She has been an activist within the Darfuris of Canada since her arrival in 2000. She co-founded the Darfur Diaspora Association and works to raise awareness of the Darfur situation in the international community.
Barbara Butt (2008)
Executive Director of Dafurian Congress of Canada
The Darfurian Congress of Canada, was created by local Darfuris whose mission is to protect people at risk in Darfur and Sudan while seeking justice and accountability for violations against them. In her role Barbara applies her knowledge of the issues of genocide and human rights violations and ensures the information from her weekly communications with Darfuris in the IDP (Internally Displaced Person) camps throughout Sudan and Chad reaches as wide an audience as possible.
Bela Gupta (2008)
Family Counselor, Calgary Immigrant Women's Association (CIWA)
Bela has her Masters in Psychology with Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance & Counseling. She has 17 years of experience as a guidance counselor working with youth and community members in India. She has been working as a Family Counselor for CIWA for 2 years.
Betty Tenga (2013)
Mrs. Tenga has extensive nursing experience in war-torn Sierra Leone as well as in Canada. Having lived in both Sierra Leone and Canmore, Alberta, Mrs. Tenga provides great cross-cultural perspective on global health concerns.
Bev and Paul Carrick (2011)
Founders of Cause Canada
Bev began working overseas 35 years ago as a famine relief nurse in Ethiopia and has development experience in both Latin America and Africa. Initially trained as a health professional, Bev recently completed a Masters of Leadership degree at Trinity Western University.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
This verse has had particular significance for Bev. Throughout her life she has relied on Christ and His strength to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She seeks to reflect his compassion and integrity through her work at CAUSE Canada.
Paul Carrick is the founder of CAUSE Canada (CC) and co-founder of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC). Paul was a full time instructor at Champlain Regional College in Montreal, Quebec for 10 years and is currently an adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary within the Faculty of Continuing Education. He regularly speaks and writes on peace, justice and foreign aid issues throughout Canada. Paul has over 30 years of experience in working in conflict zones and enjoys sharing tales of faith and courage that he has witnessed over the years. His favorite passage of scripture is from Ecclesiastes 11:4; "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done".
Carlos R. Garcia (2012)
Carlos R. Garcia is a Central American native who specializes in rural community development and conservation research throughout the region. He has held many appointments with community based groups, environmental organizations, international development agencies and academic institutions including: The United Nations-Mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica), The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (Nicaragua) and the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Band Office (Quebec, Canada). He has lived and/or worked professionally in: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panamá. He currently resides in Canmore, Alberta where he works for the Water Matters Society of Alberta and also serves as lead instructor for the Wildlands Studies field projects (affiliate of California State University, Monterey Bay Extended Education) in Costa Rica and Guatemala.
Carole Stark (2010)
Chit Maung (2012)
Chit Maung is a member of the Calgary Karen community and a supporter of the Calgary Friends of Burma. He is grateful to participate in efforts by groups who are willing to help refugees around the world. Chit is a political refugee who left Burma after the nationwide uprising for democracy & human rights in 1988. Chit believes that human rights are everyone's birthright and he will continue the struggle, along with his ethnic brothers, to achieve the ultimate goal - Freedom!
Cole Peardon and Tara McConnery (2007)
Cole and Tara who are both 12 years old and are apart of a local group call Soul Survivors. This dynamic group youth serve the local and global community through their time, efforts and vision for a better world.
Donna Kennedy Glans (2011)
Founder of Integrity Bridges Inc.
Donna Kennedy-Glans is a lawyer and businesswoman, with 25 years of practical experience guiding organizations in their management of integrity dilemmas, at head office and on the ground in 30+ jurisdictions. She was the first female vice-president of Nexen Inc. and was responsible for managing that company’s relationships with host governments and host communities across the globe. Donna is the
Founder & Executive Director, Bridges Social Development, Canada (www.canadabridges.com)
Principal, Integrity Bridges Inc. (www.integritybridges.com)
Lead Author, Corporate Integrity: A Toolkit for Managing beyond Compliance (Wiley 2005)
Author, Unveiling the Breath: One woman’s journey into understanding Islam and gender equality (2009)
Ed Whittingham (2012)
Ed Whittingham is the executive director of the Pembina Institute, a Canadian environmental think tank whose mission is to advance sustainable energy solutions through research, advocacy, consulting and education.
Ed has led a variety of stakeholder, policy and technical analysis projects around sustainable energy production and consumption. These projects have been for provincial and federal governments departments and corporate clients in energy, energy services, utilities, pipelines, financial services, pulp and paper and real property. He also regularly assists Pembina's policy research projects in areas around low-carbon transportation policies, carbon capture and storage, cap-and-trade system design and heavy oil extraction.
Though his work Ed has served in an advisory capacity to companies, industry associations, government bodies and research networks on sustainable energy solutions. He regularly speaks to Canadian and American audiences on climate change, corporate sustainability, energy strategy and oil sands issues. Ed is also a faculty member of Leadership Development at The Banff Centre, a board member of Carbon Management Canada, an advisory board member of the Network for Business Sustainability, and an advisory council member of the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business at the Schulich School of Business.
An avid outdoorsman who enjoys hiking, paddling, hunting, backcountry skiing and both playing and coaching hockey, Ed, his wife Yuka, and children Beck and Alice live happily in Banff.
Florentine Ngarambe (2011)
Judge at the Appeal Court in Kigali, Rwanda
Florentine Ngarambe served as a judge at the Appeal Court in Kigali, Rwanda from 2000 to 2004 and heard a number of genocide cases. She also trained the trainers of the Gacaca judges. Gacaca judges were Rwandese non-jurists selected by the population and asked to judge genocide criminals other than those with first degree charges. Flo also served at the High Court of Rwanda from 2004 to 2008. After completing her law degree at the University of Butare, Rwanda in 1996 she worked in the Justice Department and with Lawyers without Borders prior to becoming a judge.
Gareth Thomson (2010)
Executive Director, Alberta Council on Environmental Education
Gareth Thomson has been a resident of Canmore for 20 years, and has helped create over 700 square kilometres of new provincial parks that surround Canmore during his time in the valley. He has served on Canmore Town Council and is currently the Executive Director of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education.
Jake Jennings (2013)
Founding board member of the Veterans Transition Network
Jake is a founding board member of the Veterans Transition Network (www.vtncanada.org) a non-profit organization whose mission is to support veterans in their transition to civilian life. He has worked since 2010 to make the Veteran’s Transition Program available to Canadian veterans across Canada. In the past Jake has worked as a primary care paramedic and managed a range of community based mental health programs. He is a graduate of Royal Roads
Jeff Horvath (2012)
Jeff Horvath is a teacher at Canmore Collegiate High School. He has taught in several First Nations in Alberta. During the summer, he has worked for Outward Bound Canada guiding multi-week wilderness adventures for Aboriginal youth at risk. He is a member of the Ojibways of Onegaming in northwestern Ontario. He lives in Canmore, Alberta with his wife Genevieve Soler and their two children, Naashkii, 3, and Zaagaate, 1.
Jose Tenga (2007)
Josephus (Jose) Tenga is originally from Sierra Leone but now lives in Canmore, Alberta.
Jose has extensive experience in the field of development and conflict resolution, with over 20 years of professional and field experience that included multiple missions in conflict areas.
After receiving his degree in Economics from the University of Sierra Leone, he spent several years working in commercial banking. His experience in financing rural credit initiatives sparked his interest in development.
From there, Jose was recruited into UNICEF, where he helped establish UNICEF's country office in Sierra Leone and worked as Supply and Logistics Officer. His volunteer work with United Nations Peacekeeping Missions has taken him to Somalia, Liberia, Angola and areas of conflict within his own country.
Since moving to Canada with his family in 2000, Jose served as the CFO of CAUSE Canada, where he was responsible for technical and professional guidance in finance and administration.
As a Rotary World Peace Fellow, Jose intends to concentrate on poverty alleviation initiatives and how they can minimize the emergence and consequences of conflict, and the study of preventative development.
Joseph Kiranto (2008)
Joseph is originally from Kenya and is in Canada as part of MCC's International Volunteer Exchange Program. For the past several years, Joseph has headed the Presbyterian Outreach Mission Church's Generations at Risk program (HIV/AIDS) in his community in Kenya. Within the program, Joseph served as a Voluntary Counseling and Testing counselor, home based care provider, and community AIDS educator. While in Canada, Joseph is working part-time at Foothills Mennonite Church as a Pastoral Intern as well as in the MCC Alberta office in the Generations at Risk department.
Joshua Lam (2013)
Chief Knowledge Officer and Director of Legal Services at Calgary Housing & Employment Services
Joshua Lam is a lawyer and currently works as the Chief Knowledge Officer and Director of Legal Services at Calgary Housing & Employment Services, a non-profit that serves the low-income and homeless community in Calgary. Previously, he lived and worked in Nairobi, Kenya with the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya). This opportunity came through a CIDA-funded internship program with the Canadian Bar Association, and Josh was also able to secure funding after the internship, to stay and work in Kenya for over a year. While there, he worked under the International Cooperation Program at ICJ Kenya, on the East African International Criminal Justice Initiative. His work focused on promoting the ratification, domestication, and implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in the eastern African region. This included travelling to and working with stakeholders from Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He continues to work in International Justice as a consultant, and through his blog: The Law, Justice, and Peace Diary.
Julia Ko (2010)
Julian Norris (2010)
Julie and Nathan Ryan (2012)
Julie and Nathan Ryan are a local couple committed to conservation and the life of bees. Julie is a park interpreter with Alberta Parks based out of Kananaskis Country and has been educating children and adults alike - local and otherwise - about the wildlife of Kananaskis Country. When not in the park, during the winter months, with musical theatre and artefacts as her tools, she travels school to school helping students understand how one person making a small change can have a large impact. Nathan Ryan has bees in his blood; his father Kevin Ryan, has been a beekeeper for 40+ years. Nathan finds beekeeping fascinating and would love to be a beekeeper; however, he has to keep a safe distance as he is severely allergic to bees. Not able to keep bees, Nathan made his way into the family business regardless - by opening Fallentimber Meadery. Mead is the oldest fermented beverage on earth and is a wine made from honey. Thanks to his love of bees and of course honey, Nathan has taken the family business to a new level.
Karen McDiarmid (2008)
As a photographer and therapist, Banff-based Karen McDiarmid has lived an eclectic life of travel and work around the globe. For the past ten years she has been a part-time resident of Dharamsala, India, working in the mental health clinic there with newly arrived Tibetans and ex-political prisoners. Karen was also drawn into the thriving Tibetan music scene, and has managed to combine her aid work with Tibetans in exile, and her love of Tibetan music, by founding the Tara Caf Project in 2005. Along with working with Tibetan musicians and producing their music, she oversees a rapidly expanding education program for nomadic children in the Amdo region of Tibet.
Kevin Morrison (2011)
Having cycled over 20,000km’s on various trips in 15 developing countries throughout Asia, much of Kevin’s perspective on life has come from the seat of his bicycle. Now dedicating his time as a Forest Fire Fighter while making the change from a High School teacher to pursue a career in medicine, his direction and passions have been shaped by the connection to the people and cultures he has found in some of the most remote corners of the world.
With the intention of moving through a landscape not to simply observe or journey through it but to share in the experiences of the communities that he meets along the way, he is grateful to have found much of his life’s path infused with learning the true meaning of human connection. By placing himself in a setting where he is not only seeing but feeling the struggles, hardships and triumphs of the people around him. Sharing in their resilience and strength in the face of the overwhelming challenges that not only the people feel in their strive to develop, also that Kevin feels in his journey to endure the physical and emotional demands of cycling through remote landscapes. Taking those experiences as inspiration where compassion, understanding and community can not be limited by boarders or boundaries, he now endeavours to give back to this global village that has shaped his life.
Lawrence Hill (2008)
Lawrence came to Canmore with his wife, Joey, in 1998 to become the General Manager of Alpine Homes, and subsequently the President. Over the last 10 years, Alpine has built a range of homes from singles to apartments, primarily for second-home purchasers in Three Sisters Mountain Village.
Alpine Homes is the Founding Sponsor for the Canmore Community Co-operative Workshop. Lawrence has served on many boards in Canmore, including the Biosphere and the Canmore Community Housing Corporation.
Melanie Watt (2011)
Executive Director, Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley
Melanie Watt is the Executive Director of The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, a non- profit charitable society dedicated to enhancing understanding of ecological integrity as it pertains to the Bow River Watershed.
The Biosphere Institute's Resource Centre also acts as the base for a number of community and regional programs relating to sustainability and ecological integrity. The Institute also facilitates, encourages, supports and co-ordinates ecological, economic, and social research pertinent to the region's ecosystem.
Recent programs the Biosphere Institute has been working on:
Bow Valley Sustainable Action Program
Bow Valley Climate Kids
Bow Valley WildSmart Community Program
Wrigglers and Waste
Micheál Ó Tuathail (2013)
National Representative with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada
Micheál Ó Tuathail is a National Representative with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada, Canada’s largest private sector union with more than 250,000 members across the country working in almost every sector of the food industry from field to table. UFCW Canada, in association with the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA), also operates ten agriculture workers support and advocacy centres across Canada, which have provided assistance to thousands of workers since the first centre opened its doors in 2002. Mike is also a founding member of the Canada-Colombia Project, a member of the Pueblos en Camino Collective and has been strongly influenced by his ongoing collaboration with the Tejido de Comunicación of the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN), from the Nasa territories of southwest Colombia and from his home in BC. He holds an MA in Sociology & Anthropology (Latin American Studies) from Simon Fraser University.
Rev. Dr. Richard LeSueur (2007)
The Rev. Dr. Richard LeSueur is a former resident of Jerusalem. He continues to visit and teach in Jerusalem each year. He has been a commentator for the CBC on hosted "talk shows" exploring the political distress of the contemporary not-so-holy-land. He is an Anglican priest serving as the Archdeacon of the Bow Valley and the parish of St. Martin's west Calgary.
Roberto Martinez (2013)
Roberto was born and raised in Venezuela, he is a freelance small animal veterinarian in Calgary and all over Alberta. Roberto is a member of Veterinarians Without Borders and has volunteered in countries like Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica and USA working in different projects (sterilization of dogs and cats, rabies education, birds of prey rescue and Jaguar conservation). Also, Roberto volunteers at a local wildlife rescue center in Madden, Alberta
Roland Vanderburg (2010)
International Program Director for CAUSE Canada
Roland Vanderburg is the International Program Director for CAUSE Canada, a twenty-eight year old community development organization based in Canmore, AB, with programs in Central America and West Africa. He lived in Latin America for twelve years, ten of which were in Central America (El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala). Mr. Vanderburg has an economics degree, and a Master's Degree in community development and microfinance from Eastern University in Pennsylvania. Roland has worked with microfinance projects and organizations for over 22 years – CAUSE, Opportunity International in Nicaraugua and Momentum in Calgary. Roland taught several classes at Ambrose University related to microfinance.
Rory O'Connor (2008)
Manager of Community Relations
Rory has spent six years involved in development issues in Latin America, five of them working with CAUSE Canada. In December 2006 he returned to Canada and began working with the local Aboriginal population, first with the Metis Nation of Alberta and now in his current role as Manager of Community Relations with a private oil sands development firm.
Sadara Eastham (2007)
Sadara has been working on women's issues for the past 6 years with various agencies. She moved to the Bow Valley in September, and am currently the violence prevention coordinator with the Banff YWCA
Sarah Elmeligi (2013)
Senior Conservation Planner at Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)
Sarah Elmeligi, Senior Conservation Planner at Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), has a Master of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies degree from the University of Northern British Columbia. Her thesis investigated the impacts of bear-viewing tourism on grizzly bear behaviour and visitor satisfaction/perceptions of impact. This research experience combined with her Bachelor of Science degree, zoology major, from the University of Alberta has provided Sarah with an intimate understanding of ecosystem ecology from theory and research methods/results to applicable and adaptive management options. She has extensive experience in science interpretation; from program development and delivery to visitor centre design and construction.
Sarah comes to CPAWS from the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) where she worked extensively on the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor Project. Working with Y2Y has increased her understanding of large landscapes and the necessary programs to connect them. Sarah has also worked extensively with the social and cultural aspects required to further conservation action in local communities. She is passionate about animal behaviour and ecology, living sustainably, and exploring as much of this planet as she can by foot, bike, rock-climbing shoe, and snorkel.
Sean Krausert (2011)
Executive Director of Global WE Initiatives Corp.
Sean Krausert is the Executive Director of Global WE Initiatives Corp., a company dedicated to creating awareness of a WE worldview in order to bring down barriers between people (for info see www.globalwe.ca). Recent endeavours include producing a play about mental illness; publishing a regular social justice e-publication creating awareness about the needs of OUR world; and publishing a social justice novella entitled, The Room – Awakening to a World Without Walls. Sean’s passion for the basic rights and equality of all people sprang from his travels to Sierra Leone, West Africa and his past work with CAUSE Canada. He has worked with former child soldiers in Sierra Leone and was instrumental in starting up CAUSE Kids, an education focused child sponsorship program benefiting children in northern Sierra Leone. Sean is also an ordained deacon serving in the Anglican Diocese of Calgary.
Shauna Jimenez (2012)
Since working for UNHCR on the Thai-Cambodian border in 1982-1983, Shauna Jimenez has encouraged the private sponsorship of refugees to rural B.C., and to Calgary. Her group has sponsorship agreement holder status enabling them to sponsor refugees to Canada. The East Kootenay Friends of Burma, have privately sponsored over 200 refugees. This group managed a successful rural resettlement pilot project allowing 19 refugees to begin new lives in Kimberley BC. Three new Karen families will arrive in Calgary in late 2011, due to the effort of the recently formed group Calgary Friends of Burma.
Swati E. Fernando (2012)
Swati E. Fernando is native of India and has been living in Calgary, AB Canada for last 31 years. She has one M.A. in Philosophy, psychology and sociology from India and one more incomplete M.A. from Adelaide Australia. She got her Registered Social Worker’s diploma from AB.in 2002.She is also a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. For last 27 years she has been working as a social worker in the immigrant community. She knows several languages that is why she is able to serve those who are living in Canada and do not speak any English and thus further at disadvantage to domestic violence. She has served many single women in that past 27 years and seen and heard their cries, who have saved the honour of their families by sacrificing their own self interests. She has started the women’s support group whereby she brings guest speakers from various walks of life and gives them knowledge about their health, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. She is the first woman in Canada to take immigrant women in group setting and do their cervical cancer tests, mammograms and bone density tests, pap tests. She has laid foundation to other immigrants to follow her path in the best interest of women’s health, who otherwise do not go for the vital tests. She deals with crisis domestic violence cases and sees the picture of honour saving from very close proximity. She has been awarded by the Minister of AB for her work for seniors, YMCA peace award, Harmony award by Baha'i community, John Hutton award by ACSW. By her presence in the Indian community she has helped reduce the domestic violence by 33%, so says the community. She sits on the Calgary South Asian Police Advisory Committee for last many years.She was on the Executive board of Project Ploughshares for many years. Currently she is working for the Calgary Community Outreach Services Society under the umbrella of United Nation’s NGO World Job & Food Bank. She has more than 2000 clients and continues to do her service.
Future Speakers to be announced
Trevor Sato (2011)
Pastor of Mountain Baptist Church, Canmore
Trevor is the pastor of Mountain Baptist Church in Canmore. He spent six years working with an interdenominational mission in ten Asian nations including India, Singapore and Japan. Locally, he has served as Chair of the Canmore Ministerial Association and likes to focus on the "big picture" in ministry, working cooperatively to serve the community and affirm the inherent worth of every person. Trevor and his family have lived in Canmore for over 12 years.