Salt Spring Forum Board

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Derek Lundy – Writer (Forum Secretary)

“I moved to Salt Spring from Toronto for a quieter life and discovered quite the opposite. True, it was quieter in the sense of less traffic and shouting. It was also beautiful, Edenic. But the sound of informed, exuberant discussion, of ingenious creation, and of community conversation was loud and clear. That’s become even more the case over the years I’ve been here, and it’s nowhere more apparent than through the events and engagements of the Salt Spring Forum. It seems odd to leave the centre of Canada for its fringe and yet to be more engaged with the world than ever before. That’s what the Forum helps happen here, and why I’m honoured to be part of it.”

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George Sipos – Writer (Forum Treasurer)

"When I finished high school in 1967 I scored in the bottom 2% of Ontario students for showing interest in a clerical career. Now, after many decades as a teacher, writer, bookseller, and performing arts administrator, I have discovered a late-life love of bookkeeping. Who would have thought? “Excel is your friend,” I now profess to anyone who will listen."

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Jason Mogus – Consultant & Campaigner

“My work as a consultant for social and environmental advocacy organizations takes me all over the place, but it’s the stillness of Salt Spring that grounds all that I do. Sometimes I feel a little out of place, working a fast paced “city job” from the quiet country, but I know there are more than a few of us living this dual life dotted across this rock. I was amazed at the quality of the speakers and the depth of the conversation at Forum events. The Forum helps us connect with other thinkers and do­ers from all walks of life, people engaged in solving the “wicked problems” of our times, and that feeds me, as I know it feeds everyone who comes.”

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Jean Gelwicks – Salt Spring Organizer (Forum Vice-Chair)

“Most of my life has been spent in the field of education: I was a secondary school teacher/counsellor for 40 years. I retired (sort of) to Salt Spring where I chaired the Education Committee of the SSI Conservancy and started, with others, their Stewards in Training Schools program. I also sit on the Transition Education Committee. I believe that learning should be a lifelong pursuit. The Forum has brought to our community the opportunity to learn from the most incredible people. These events help to keep me open and I learn something from each, including our very own Salt Spring moderators, who have all been brilliant.”

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Jennifer Abbott – Filmmaker

“Living in the Gulf Islands is central to my inspiration and resilience as a social justice documentary filmmaker. I moved to Galiano almost 16 years ago when I was starting to co­direct and edit The Corporation. Now on Salt Spring, I’m co­directing The Corporation II: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel! I’m also working on a film with the NFB about climate change called The Magnitude of All Things: Grief and Loss in Changing Times. I live on a small farm with my family where we’re experimenting with geothermal heat, solar hot water and an electric vehicle. I consider the Forum an essential contributor to an informed citizenry in our small but extraordinary part of the world and am honoured to be a board member.”

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Jennifer Breakspear, Portland Hotel Society Director

“I’m proud to be Executive Director of PHS Community Services Society, an innovative non – profit housing, health care, and harm reduction agency providing services in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and beyond. PHS operates 20 housing facilities and shelters in Vancouver and Victoria, and co­-manages Insite (North America’s first supervised injection site). I thrive on the challenges of my work and offset that pace with time that my wife and I spend on Salt Spring. I appreciate that the Forum offers opportunities to engage with issues, spurs discussion, and incites reflection – and I’m honoured to join the board.”

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Jim Erickson – Oscar-winning
Set Decorator

“In 1974 I immigrated to Canada seeking a more tolerant and healthy society. This I found here. Canada allowed me to grow and embrace the challenges of life. I found myself invited into the film industry. This career satisfied my curiosity of life. The Salt Spring Forum continues to do this. It is a welcome privilege to be part of this group of smart forward-­thinking people who really care about lives, the role of government and contemplate our responsibility to this island rock on which we live and beyond.”

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Michael Byers – Political Science Professor, UBC (Forum Chair)

“I moved to Salt Spring Island for its beautiful beaches, parks and vistas — and soon found that the true beauty of this place lies in its cohesive, compassionate, internationally-­oriented, highly engaged community.”

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Tony Kennedy –Internationalist

 “Thirty years with UNICEF made up the major part of my formal career. My five years at United Nations headquarters in New York were followed by twenty years living and running UNICEF offices in developing countries: Pakistan (where our children were born), Guatemala (dealing with the seven countries of Central America and Panama), Bangladesh and Indonesia; followed by a five year return to New York. The welcoming and interesting range of people on Salt Spring spurred my wife Wendy and me to move here in 2001. Nourished by varied interests in which the Forum stands out, our love for this place and its sense of community has only deepened.”


Salt Spring Forum Staff

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Julian Paquette – Writer (Forum Manager)

For six years I have worked for the Salt Spring Forum. I am energized by the many hats I wear as well as nourished by all I learn and everyone I meet. For me, connecting with and bringing together people of all ages and from varying perspectives to learn from our world-changing guests as well as from one another is a creative and transformative act.