Friday Presentations

Friday presentations Winter/Spring 2024 have been completed. 

Our Program Committee is working on the upcoming session.   Information will be available in early September.  Join us for the Meet and Greet on Friday September 6 at 10 AM.

Room C112/113 at the Silver King Campus of Selkirk College.

10 AM to 12 Noon – $3.00 fee per week

(click here to view a photo gallery of past presentations)


Date Speaker and Presentation Topic
January 12 Meet and Greet – Come and meet the presenters and learn more about the courses to be offered this term. Registration for courses will begin at 12:30 today.  Register at the office at Silver King Campus, by telephone or on line.
January 19

The Caucasus – Peter Macek

The southern Caucasus region, today 12the countries of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, has been a crossroads of migration and empires for millennia, resulting in a rich and diverse culture. The landscapes range from semi-arid to rich agricultural to high mountains – the highest and among the most scenic in Europe. Peter and Nancy travelled independently in Georgia and Armenia in summer 2023 and will give an outsider’s introduction to this fascinating yet accessible area; a region which is frequently in the news, unfortunately usually for all the wrong reasons. 

Peter is a retired Selkirk College instructor (Adult Basic Education), with a long-standing interest in photography and history. He and his wife Nancy enjoy outdoor activities and travel with an evolving carbon-consciousness.

January 26

Nelson’s Forgotten Architect – Peter Bartl

This presentation will be in two parts which will include a “then and now” quiz about the architecture of the 20th century in Nelson, based on Peter’s book “The Modern Heritage of Nelson Architecture”, bringing back memories among the audience. In addition, Peter will share a biography of Ilsa Williams, who designed many of the most important buildings in Nelson. We will say good-by to her most loved building: Mount St. Francis Hospital. 

Peter is a Professor Emeritus of Design at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.  After retirement he settled, with his wife Jane Merks, in Balfour and then moved to Nelson. In 2017 he published ‘The Modern Heritage of Nelson Architecture’, documenting 71 buildings from the 1920s to 1960s around Nelson. The book launch was accompanied by an exhibition at Touchstones Museum and history walking tours around Nelson. He has been active in LiR for many years and presented several courses on Art History in the past.

February 2

Birds of the Nelson Waterfront – Gaelen Schnare

Some of the best birding can be found right in cities and towns. In Nelson, we are fortunate to have incredible birding year-round on our waterfront. Stretching from John’s Walk to the old transfer station, our waterfront boasts an impressive list of 214 species recorded This area is a great place for beginners and experienced birders alike to enjoy the wonders of the avian world. In this presentation, I will share information on species to look for, my favorite spots to bird, and some experiences I have had, all right here in downtown Nelson.

Gaelen Schnare is a young birder and photographer from Nelson, BC. As a bird enthusiast, Gaelen enjoys generating community interest in birds through presentations at local schools and other organizations as well as taking part in promoting birding in the Kootenays. Despite having birded throughout Canada, the US, Ireland, and Ecuador, he still enjoys birding locally more than anything else.

February 9

Forestry Therapy – Carol Andrews BA, BSF, MA

Forest therapy aims to promote positive mental health states and enhance physical and social health by enhancing nature connectedness and social cohesion. This presentation will provide an introduction to the new/ancient practice and the benefits of slowing down in nature.  

Carol is a retired registered professional forester, and former instructor in the School of  Environment and Geomatics, Selkirk College. She grew up in Castlegar, returning to her home community after working in all parts of BC as a professional forester. Carol has been a member of the Selkirk College Board of Governors, a Director on the Columbia Basin Trust Board, and as the Trails and Infrastructure director on the Castlegar Nordic Ski Club Executive. In 2021 she completed her training as a Certified Forest Therapy Guide and has since trained as an instructor of Forest Therapy.

Februay 16

The Value of Volunteers – Andrew Creighton, Pam Hucal, Allison Girvan

Volunteers are an vital component of any community and are often the glue that holds community organizations together. Even helping with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals and organizations in need. Volunteering can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated and provide a sense of purpose. This presentation will shine a light on role of volunteers with the Nelson Food Centre, the Capitol Theatre and Gift Bags for Seniors. 

Andrew Creighton was worked for the Nelson Food Centre for 7 years, has an extensive background in community markets and has volunteered for many non-profits over the years. He lives in Nelson and is the father of 3. 

Allison Girvan is an internationally respected Canadian singer and choral director. She is the founder and director of the Lalin Vocal Ensemble and Nelson’s Cultural Ambassador in 2019.

Allison lives in Nelson BC where she where she instructs voice at the Selkirk College Contemporary Music Program and is the Community Engagement Facilitator for the Capitol Theatre. 

Pam Hucal was instrumental in organizing Nelson’s Adopt a Senior and works tirelessly to provide local seniors living alone with gifts throughout the year. Previously she was teacher with School District 8.

February 23

Aphasia and Alzheimer’s – Dr. Trevor Janz

While aphasia and Alzheimer’s are no longer the mystery they once were, there is still much to learn. Dr. Janz will share information on the types of aphasia, common symptoms and the multiple stages of Alzheimer’s. 

Among his many important roles, Dr Janz is the Medical Director at two of Nelson’s long term care facilities, Mountain Lake and Jubilee Manor, providing expert care “with heart.” He has developed a widely acclaimed Dementia Roadmap for Families that provides much needed support. He is recognized nationally as a passionate expert advocate of improved quality of life for frail seniors and good end of life care. Locally, he is a well known, much respected and well loved palliative care doctor.

March 1Via Zoom ONLY Link will be sent to members via email


What Can You Do To Green Canada’s Financial System? – Adam Scott, Britt Runeckies, Sustainable Investing in Retirement – Tim Nash

There is no retirement security without a safe climate future to retire into. But Canada’s largest pension funds, including the Canada Pension Plan, are not on track to protect our retirement savings from the climate crisis or to support the transition to a low-carbon future. As people paying into pensions or collecting pension cheques, we can demand better from our pension managers so we can protect our pensions and our planet. Whether you want call it ethical investing, socially responsible investing, or sustainable investing, more and more people are choosing to invest in alignment with their personal values. In this engaging and thought-provoking presentation, you’ll learn how investors are ‘doing less evil’ and ‘doing more good’ with their portfolio. We’ll discuss topics like fossil fuel divestment and community bonds to help you put your money where your values are.

Adam Scott is a climate change expert with extensive domestic and international experience in policy, energy and finance, as well as campaign design and execution. He has a lifelong commitment to supporting the transition to a zero-carbon economy in Canada. 

Britt Runeckies is a passionate advocate for climate action and a strong believer in the power of pension funds to play a leading role in the transition to a zero-carbon economy. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Britt is responsible for tracking the investments of Western Canada pension funds and building a network of pension beneficiaries who wish to be informed about the risks that climate change poses to their retirement fund. 

Tim Nash has helped thousands of Canadians align their investment portfolio with their values. Tim earned his BA in Economics from Dalhousie University and his Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden. As an expert on socially responsible investing, sustainability, and impact investing, he is regularly featured in publications such as CBC, BNNBloomberg, and the Globe and Mail.

March 8 CANCELLED – College facility not available
March 15

What Does It Mean To Be Creative? – Ron Robinson, Suzanne Simoni

Suzanne Simoni and Ron Robinson will explore ideas about creativity, covering definition, process, and the creative journey we embark upon, not knowing where we’re going or what the destination will be.  Much of what we do in our daily lives involves creative decisions, and this presentation will challenge our view of the notion of creativity. 

Suzanne Simoni is a graduate of OCADU in Sculpture and Installation. Winner of two public art competitions, Simoni is an interdisciplinary artist navigating concepts of the vital interconnectedness of humans in relation to ecosystems, recognizing the importance of every action, amidst the fragility and wonder of the world. 

With a background in Architectural Technology and courses from the Alberta College of Art and Design and Red Deer College, Ron Robinson has been “doing art” since 1993 and has participated in over 40 exhibitions.


March 22

Indigenous People’s History and Local Connections – Michele Morin

A discussion of some of the history of Settler’s relationships with Indigenous Peoples, and incorporation of local aspects of these continuing relationships.  

Michelle is proud to be Metis. Born and raised in Nelson, and currently living in “The Valley”, she remains a proud lifelong resident of the West Kootenays. Michelle is currently an instructor for both the University of Victoria, and Selkirk College.

March 29 Selkirk CLOSED for Good Friday
April 5

History of Black Productions – Sydney Black

Sydney Black is delighted to provide an overview of Black Productions shows over the last  11 years as well as insight into how a large-scale live theatre show is created. 

Sydney is a second-generation Nelsonite with a passion for arts and culture. Over the last decade her production company, Black Productions, has presented 9 full scale Broadway musicals at the Capitol Theatre Sydney acts as Artistic Director and Production Manager on each show as well as filling roles in both leading and supporting positions.

She is currently the Executive Director at the Nelson and District Arts Council, is the co-Founder of the Nelson International Mural Festival, the Chair of the City of Nelson’s Cultural Development Committee and sits as the Arts and Culture representative on the Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership.

April 12

The Gorgeous Galapagos Islands – Louise Hammerich, Marilyn Miller, Sandra England A Brazilian Adventure – Sheila Hart

Louise, Marilyn and Sandra will share photos and stories from their amazing journey and adventure in Quito, the Amazon Jungle and the Galapagos Islands. 

Sheila will share the incredible sights of Iguazzu Falls, the Amazon and Rio de Janeiro when she and Bill took a guided tour with Rotary’s International Travel and Hosting Fellowship lead by Rotarian Alonso Campoi of Brazil Travel.  

Sheila Hart is a retired Social Worker and Health Care Administrator who has lived in Nelson for over 30 years. She is active in the community through LIR, Aquafit, RDCK Board of Variance and especially through her 32 years of membership in the Rotary Club of Nelson Daybreak. Sheila and Bill love to travel and have visited over 100 countries and are not done yet. Bill has worked on major dam construction in Canada, USA, Guatemala and India.

April 19

Iceland – Landscape, Culture and Art – Hildur Jonasson

Iceland is known as the “Land of Fire and Ice” and the extreme contrasts in Icelandic nature make it a very diverse and beautiful country. Hildur will share photos, information and insights into her homeland’s landscapes, language, and culture. She’ll also share how her Icelandic heritage has influenced her art.

Hildur María Hallgrímsdóttir Jónasson is a contemporary artist. Her art practice explores our relationship to nature at the intersection of climate change, ecopsychology and our ephemeral existence and is informed by her Icelandic background. Hildur studied visual communications at The Alberta University of the Arts and had a vibrant career as a graphic designer in Calgary prior to relocating to Nelson in 2003. Hildur has been artist in residence at the Arctic Circle Artist Residency and The Banff Centre and she has exhibited across Canada, Iceland, London, UK and at the Print Center in New York. Hildur was born in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland in1966. In 1978 she immigrated to Canada with her family. Hildur resides in Nelson with her husband and two sons.

 April 26



The Important Work of Columbia Basin Trust – Carol Andrews & CBT Board Member

The Columbia Basin Trust has a significant role to play in the Kootenays. This presentation will outline the evolution of programming at the Columbia Basin Trust and importantly, how the organization takes its direction from the economic, social, and environmental needs of the Basin residents. It’s participatory democracy in action! 

Carol is a retired registered professional forester, and former instructor in the School of Environment and Geomatics, Selkirk College. She grew up in Castlegar, returning to her home community after working in all parts of BC as a professional forester, and travelling to a great many countries in the world. Carol has been a member of the Selkirk College Board of Governors, a Director on the Columbia Basin Trust Board, and as the Trails and Infrastructure director on the Castlegar Nordic Ski Club Executive. In 2021 she completed her training as a Certified Forest Therapy Guide and has since trained as an instructor of Forest Therapy.

May 3

A Social Worker in the Wake of Civil War – Wendy Nordick

This presentation will focus on events that took place between 2009-2012. Mental health professional, Wendy Nordick, and her husband Bill Blair, a retired judge, plunged into a two-year assignment with Canadian University Services Overseas. She believed her twenty-five years of clinical social work were appropriate credentials to help a country with the highest rates of suicide in the world. Bill hoped to work for peace and justice. A year into their assignment in Sri Lanka, she was transported into steamy, bombed out Jaffna, the epicenter of a civil war to teach a trauma team who worked with the war victims affected and tortured during the war. She was humbled by what she did not know. 

Wendy Nordick holds a PhD and practiced social work for 25 years in acute care psychiatry and mental health in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. She has published academic journal articles and is a member of a local writing group.  As a life-long learner, she is tackling the intricacies of bridge, and meets her need for fresh air with skiing, pickleball, cycling and hiking. She and her husband, Bill, love adventure and have visited more than 40 countries. A mother of five children and two stepchildren, she delights in her 11 grandchildren. 

May 10 LiR AGM – LiR Board


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