Past Speakers

This page contains a list of past speakers for the Canadian Club of Kingston.

Dr. David More, Maritime Historian

Date: February 8, 2024
Topic: Kingston's Royal (and not-so-royal) Dockyard(s): The history of shipbuilding in Kingston from LaSalle 1678 to 2024

Dr. David More will provide an historical perspective on shipbuilding in Kingston from the time of LaSalle 1678 to 2024, in the “Royal Shipyard(s) to the present.


Donna Gillespie, CEO KEDCO

Date: December 14, 2023
Topic: Kingston's Economic Outlook

Donna is an experienced leader who has managed a variety of small and medium enterprises in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She has overseen significant community economic development initiatives in investment attraction, strategic planning, brand development, and corporate restructuring. Under her leadership as CEO, Kingston realized the highest levels of new foreign direct investment in the city’s history with the establishment of Portuguese fruit processor Frulact and Chinese infant formula manufacturer Feihe – Canada Royal Milk.


Brian Porter, Teacher, Brockville Historian (Sir John A. Macdonald impersonator)

Date: November 9, 2023
Topic: Sir John A. Macdonald as Seen by His Contemporaries

For over twenty years Brian and Renee have done historical re-enacting of the 1812 era, the 1860’s, and the 1880’s, portraying Sir John A. and Lady Agnes Macdonald at hundreds of events around Ontario. Come and enjoy Brian’s historical look at our first prime minister.


Dr. Jane Philpott, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences

Date: October 12, 2023
Topic: Transforming Health Sciences Education with Radical Collaboration

Dr. Jane Philpott is the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Director of the School of Medicine at Queen’s University, and CEO of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization. She is a medical doctor, a Professor of Family Medicine, and former Member of Parliament.


Merilyn Simonds, Author

Date: September 14, 2023
Topic: The Many Astonishing Lives of Louise de Kiriline Lawrence

In 1935, Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, born into Swedish aristocracy and survivor of the Russian Civil War, escaped the hustle of Quintmania after a year as nurse-in-charge of the world-famous Dionne babies and retreated to her wilderness cabin on the Mattawa River. There, she discovered birds, the life history of many of them a mystery at the time. Training herself in the art of observation and ornithology, she published ground-breaking studies and wrote six books and almost a hundred scientific and popular articles, her “loghouse nest” in the boreal forest becoming a mecca for international bird scientists and avian aficionados alike.


Stephen Saideman, Director

Date: May 11, 2023
Topic: Canada's Armed Forces in a Time of Crisis

Stephen Saideman holds the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and is the Director of the Canadian Defence and Security Network. He taught previously at the University of Vermont, Texas Tech University, and at McGill University. 


Soren Christianson, Project Manager

Date: April 13, 2023
Topic: Kingston Climate Leadership

Paul Van Nest, Kingston Historical Society

Date: March 9, 2023
Topic: Yukon Gold Rush

Paul is known as an expert in the history of the American Civil War, having led 62 tours of American Civil War battlefields, and has been to Gettysburg almost 200 times. He is also  a founding member of the Civil War Round Table here in Kingston, begun in 1993. He has served as Membership Chair since 2010 for the Kingston Historical Society.


John Palmer, Conductor

Date: February 9, 2023
Topic: Conducting and Musical Score

John is the conductor of Orchestra Kingston, BrassWerks, occasional conductor of the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra and played bass trombone in the Kingston Symphony. He teaches theory/harmony at his home in Kingston, Ontario.


Ted Barris, Author, Broadcaster, Journalist

Date: January 12, 2023
Topic: Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory

Ted Barris, CM, is a Canadian award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster whose writing has regularly appeared in the national press, as well as in many magazines as diverse as Air Force, esprit de corps and Zoomer. He has also worked as host/contributor for many CBC Radio network programs, PBS in the U.S. and on TV Ontario. After 18 years teaching, he recently retired as a full-time professor of journalism at Toronto’s Centennial College.


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