2023-2024 Speaker Program

Schedule for General Meetings 
4th Tuesday of the month

General Meetings will be held in person at

Water St Church,  287 Water Street, Guelph, ON  

Note: All Fall General Meetings are “In Person” Only.  Contact us for more information.



7:00 – 7:40 pm
Business Meeting
7:40 – 8:00 pm

8:00 – 9:15 pm
Speaker and Wrap-Up

Upcoming Speakers: 

September 26, 2023

Ron Ross

Flying with Amelia Earhart

Ron Ross was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. After two years of mandatory National Service in the British Army, he emigrated to Canada in 1961. He spent 35 years in management with IBM Canada before retiring to run his own IT consulting company, finally retiring in 2007. He lives in Guelph with his wife of 64 years, where he spends much of his time managing a not-for-profit internet forum for soccer fans, and writing short stories and essays, many of an historical nature. He is a licensed pilot. Ross believes Amelia Earhart was a cheerful, outgoing woman, and the most famous female pilot in the world in the 1930s. She developed her interest in flying while living in Toronto during the Great War, and set multiple records in aviation, as well as being a champion of women’s rights. She disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. What really happened to Amelia Earhart?

October 24, 2023

Samantha Brennan,  Professor and Dean, College of Arts, Philosophy, University of Guelph

Bad Girls, Bikes and Women’s Lib

Samantha Brennan is Professor and Dean of the College of Arts and a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Guelph. Brennan grew up on the east coast of Canada, living in Newfoundland, New Brunswick (very briefly) and Nova Scotia. Brennan had broad ranging research interests in contemporary normative ethics, applied ethics, political philosophy, feminist philosophy, children’s rights and family justice, gender and sexuality, death and fashion. At the U of G, Brennan has fostered innovative and inclusive academic programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. She led the creation of a major in sexualities, genders and social change and a graduate collaborative specialization in sexualities, genders and bodies, as well as major and minor programs in culture and technology studies. She also led faculty members, notably Dr. Kimberley Francis and Dr. Jade Ferguson, in the development of a new interdisciplinary minor in Black Canadian studies. Set to launch this fall, the program promotes student engagement with community organizations including the Guelph Black Heritage Society. With Tracy Issacs, she started the blog Fit is a Feminist Issue and co-authored the book Fit at Midlife: A Feminist Fitness Journey.

November 28, 2023

Vicki Olatundun, Former Executive Director of Chalmers Community Services Centre

Community Services to the Marginalized and Homeless in our Community

Vicki Olatundun, is a former criminal law attorney and a well sought after thought-provoking motivational speaker, a university guest lecturer and former college instructor. She is described as an innovative visionary leader and pioneer recognized in 2015 by Canadian Living Magazine as One of Canada’s 40 Change Makers.

A passionate experienced non-profit executive with community care of marginalized and homeless populations as well as 6 years experience in the area of pre-natal and post-natal care of young families and children 0-5 years old with infant development and attachment at the centre of all programming. Olatundun is a  TEDx speaker and author.

She was recently quoted as saying she was, “drawn to Chalmers because she saw that it built resources around the community to help people rise. That’s what makes me excited. That’s what community is about and it’s about lifting the community together”.

A recipient of the coveted Steinbach Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit Excellence Award in 2017, and nominated again in 2018. In 2021, Olatundun and the Chalmers team were nominated for the Guelph Chamber of Commerce’s Difference Maker award for Innovation in Food Security.

January 23, 2024 – In-Person Meeting Only

Adam Shoalts

Canoe Journey from Lake Erie to the Arctic

Declared one of the “greatest living explorers” by Canadian Geographic, and named “Canada’s Indiana Jones” by the Toronto Star, Adam Shoalts is a professional adventurer and the author of four national bestselling books. Shoalts has mapped rivers, led expeditions for archaeological digs, and tracked endangered species, sometimes going for months without seeing another person. Growing up with a forest on his doorstep, where his father, a woodworker, taught him about trees and together they built birch bark canoes as well as anything else that could be crafted from the forest. Shoalts has written about edible mushrooms, deforestation, and water pollution in northern Canada- a winning story of his adventures. Shoalts has a particular concern for preserving wild places and has been involved with many conservation organizations.

Shoalts was named a national champion of the Trans-Canada Trail and in 2018 was Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. In 2008 he received the Niagara Region’s environmental award for his work preserving local watersheds. In 2022 he was presented with the Louie Kamookak Medal, named for the famed Inuit oral historian, for his work “making Canada better known to Canadians and the world” by Chief Perry Bellegarde, former National Chief of Assembly of First Nations and President of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Note: this meeting will be In-Person ONLY

February 27, 2024

Tim Burrows, Retired Vice President, Forty Creek Distillery, board member of the Electric Vehicle Society

Should Your Next Car be Electric?

Tim Burrows is a retired Vice President of Forty Creek Distillery and a graduate of the University of Toronto where he earned an honours degree in psychology. Burrows has owned and driven battery-electric cars for the past 10 years and has logged over 300, 000 kilometers without the need for gasoline or diesel fuel. He now enjoys sharing his EV experience with others and breaks down many myths and misconceptions about electric vehicle ownership. His talk is entitled, “Should Your Next Car be Electric?”, and in it he explains why we’ve reached a ‘tipping point’ where electric cars are replacing those powered by gasoline. Burrows also touches on the state of self-driving technology and what autonomous cars could mean for the future. Burrows is a board member of the Electric Vehicle Society, a non-profit organization which works to promote the understanding and adoption of electric mobility in Canada. In his role there, he produces a monthly webinar called “Canada Talks Electric Cars“.

March 26, 2024

Dr. Scott Gallimore, Associate Professor, University of Wilfrid Laurier

Archaeology and Classical “Wine” Studies

Dr. Scott Gallimore received his PhD (2011) and MA (2006) in Classics with a specialization in Mediterranean Archaeology from the State University of New York in Buffalo. Prior to joining Laurier, he was the Crake Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Classics at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. He also spent two years studying in Athens, Greece at the American School of Classical Studies – first as the John Williams White Fellow and then as the Edwards Capps Fellow. His research focuses on the study of the Roman economy, particularly in the eastern half of the Mediterranean Sea. He primarily works with ancient ceramics to document trade patterns and economic connections between different regions and to assess the stimuli behind these networks.

Gallimore is presently involved with the Western Argolid Regional Project (WARP) and the Sikyon Excavation Project for which he is the Roman pottery specialist. In 2016 and 2018, he received the University Merit Award. In 2017, he received the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Excellence in Teaching Award.

April 23, 2024

Paul Kelly, Research and Apiary Manager, The University of Guelph Honey Bee Research Centre

Managing Honey Bee Colonies

Paul Kelly has managed the Honey Bee Research Centre (HBRC) since 1987. His primary role at the centre is to manage honey bee colonies for research and teaching purposes. Kelly provides research support for hive health science and training for students and beekeepers. He coordinates and teaches beekeeping courses and conducts facility tours for the general public. Kelly and the HBRC team have produced 77 beekeeping videos for the HBRC YouTube channel. They have been translated into 10 languages and have been viewed approximately 12 million times. In 2022, Paul Kelly was inducted into the Ontario Agriculture Hall of Fame.

May 28, 2024, Annual General Meeting

Aidan Ware, Director and Chief Curator, Tom Thomson Art Gallery

Tom Thomson

Aidan Ware has more than eighteen years of experience in the arts management, spanning four important provincial public art galleries. She is a passionate advocate for artistic engagement in the belief that creativity forms the foundations of thriving, strong, dynamic communities. Ware joined the Tom Thomson Art Gallery as Director and Chief Curator in 2020.

From 2015 to 2020, Ware was Director of Cambridge Art Galleries, where she curated a multi-sensory exhibition created by deaf blind students that inverted the ‘look, don’t touch” expectation and transformed it into a contemplation of “what does it feel like?”. She negotiated a Partnership Agreement with the University of Waterloo School of Architecture to present innovative joint programming. From 2013 to 2015, Ware was Director and Curator of Gallery Stratford and was presented with the Stratford Woman of the Year Award for Arts and Culture. In previous years, Ware was the Coordinator of Education and Development at the Art Gallery of Guelph and was a recipient of the 2011 Guelph Mercury Top 40 Under 40 Award. Aidan Ware is a member of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization and serves on many local committees and juries.