Past Speakers

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

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.


Ken is a faculty member and Teaching Fellow in Marketing at Queen’s School of Business. He has taught in degree programs at Carleton University, Cornell, Radcliffe and Harvard, and in executive programs at the universities of Alberta, Dalhousie, Toronto and York. He has received numerous awards for courses in Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Business Strategy. He is co-author of Canada’s largest-selling introductory marketing text, Basic Marketing.


Antje McKeeny, Kingston Chief of Police

Date: December 22, 2022
Topic: Contemporary Policing

Antje McNeely joined the Kingston Police in April 1985. As a constable, sergeant (1992), staff sergeant (2001), and inspector (2007), she fulfilled assignments in the Uniformed Patrol, Special Services, Criminal Investigations, and Professional Standards units and headed the Patrol and Executive Services divisions. In July 2011, she was appointed as Deputy Chief, and assumed operational oversight for the Kingston Police and responsibility for developing strong strategic relationships within the Kingston community.


Honorable Hugh Segal, Political Strategist

Date: November 10, 2022
Topic: Facing the Unsettled World

Hugh Segal is a Canadian political strategist, author, commentator, academic, and former senator. From 1999 until 2014 he was a faculty member at Queen’s University’s School of Policy Studies. In 2003 Hugh Segal was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

He was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 2005, serving until he resigned in 2014, to become master and later principal of Massey College in Toronto, retiring from there in 2019.


Elaine Dewar, Author, Investigative Journalist

Date: April 13, 2022
Topic: The Origin of the Deadliest Pandemic in 100 Years: An Investigation

Elaine Dewar is the author of seven non-fiction books, numerous magazine articles, and scripts for television. She has been honoured by nine Canadian national magazine awards, including the prestigious President’s Medal, the US based White Award for investigative journalism, awards from the Canadian Archeological Association and The Canadian Nurses’ Association, and the Hilary Weston Prize for narrative non-fiction. Most recently she was a finalist for the Governor General’s non-fiction award.


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