The Team

Neil Orford – President
Jenifer Terry – Executive Director
Anna England – Projects Manager & Digital Curator
Louis Lebel – Digital Content Manager
Amy McBride-Bowen
John Lorinc – Chief Editor
Linn Øyen Farley – Website Design & Technical Expert

Amanda Merpaw

Project Coordinator

Amanda Merpaw (she/elle) is a Franco-Ontarian writer, editor, researcher, and educator. She is originally from Ottawa and is currently based in Tkaronto (Toronto), Dish With One Spoon Territory. Amanda has taught history and English in Ontario classrooms for nearly a decade, and has worked as an educational coach in justice-based practices and pedagogies. She is also an artist-educator and producer creating and supporting a range of performance projects and installations, including in documentary theatre. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Toronto, where she explores the intersections of queerness, disability, writing, community, and the body.

Crystal Fraser

Consulting Historian

Dr. Crystal Gail Fraser is a Gwichyà Gwich’in scholar and consulting Historian with Defining Moments Canada. She is currently an assistant professor in History and Classics and the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta.

Garfield Gini-Newman

Education Consultant

Garfield Gini-Newman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE, University of Toronto. He explores how to teach through sustained critical inquiry while nurturing deep conceptual understanding and genuine competence. Garfield has worked with thousands of teachers across grades and subjects, helping them to frame learning around engaging and provocative activities and rich, authentic assessments. Currently, Garfield is engaged with schools across Canada, in South America, and in Europe. Over the past two decades request for Garfield’s services have taken him from Asia to the Middle East, Europe, the Caribbean and across North America. His interest in effective teaching and learning has led him to actively explore the challenges and opportunities presented by teaching and learning in the digital age. In addition to his work at the University of Toronto and delivering workshops, Garfield has also authored several articles, chapters in books and seven textbooks and has taught in the faculties of education at York University and the University of British Columbia. His most recent book co-authored with Roland Case, Creating Thinking Classrooms has received widespread praise from leading educators across Canada and internationally.

Laura Gini-Newman

Education Consultant

Laura Gini-Newman is a recently retired educator with over 30 years of experience working as a university professor, classroom teacher, resource teacher, coach and instructional co-ordinator. She has taught History, Geography, Politics, Philosophy, Computer Science, Economics, and Mathematics. Laura has developed a new reasoning-focused approach for math learning that she has been sharing in her role as the math consultant with The Critical Thinking Consortium working with students, teachers and leaders to become better thinkers in mathematics and other subject areas across Canada, in the USA, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. She has published and co-authored textbooks, papers and learning resources in philosophy, history, mathematics, Indigenous education and most recently applied positive psychology. She is a certified applied positive psychology practitioner and co-founder of FlourishCo, a Canadian company that supports the cultivation of a flourishing mindset and that works with individuals, communities and businesses to help them learn how to flourish in their work and lives. Prior to her career in education, Laura worked as an economist and accountant. She has taught at both the University of Toronto and York University. She is also a professionally trained facilitator. Laura volunteers with the Alma Foundation to help young disadvantage learners in remote Andean villages experience learning success.

Christopher Rutty

Contributing Historian

Christopher J. Rutty, Ph.D., is a professional historian with special expertise on the history of medicine, public health, infectious diseases and biotechnology in Canada. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in the Department of History, with his dissertation on the history of poliomyelitis in Canada. For his Ph.D. Christopher was supervised by the late Professor Michael Bliss, author of the seminal book, The Discovery of Insulin, which serves as the foundational source for much of the insulin story he has developed for the “Insulin 100” project. Since completing his Ph.D. in 1995, Dr. Rutty has provided a wide range of historical research, writing, consulting and creative services to a variety of clients through his company, Health Heritage Research Services. Dr. Rutty holds an Adjunct Professor appointment in the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He has also curated prominent historical exhibits, including on the discovery of insulin, most notably for the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine to mark the 90th anniversary of the discovery. Dr. Rutty has also published several articles on the history of insulin, as well as books on the history of public health in Canada, the history of the Canadian Nurses Association, the history of St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, ON, as well as numerous articles in print and online on the history of polio and the history of vaccines.

Brent Crane

Education Consultant

Brent Crane graduated from Nipissing University’s Concurrent Education Program with a BA Honours Specialization in Mathematics and a Minor in History in 2021. Brent’s passion for interdisciplinary education, particularly within his teachable subjects led him to work on educational resources for the Defining Moments Team. He hopes to create enthusiasm for Canadian history in learners across the nation.

Scott Smalley

Community History Research Fellow (Huron University)

Scott Smalley is a mature undergraduate in History and French Studies at Huron University, with a goal of earning his B.Ed and becoming a teacher.  He has a previous college diploma in Film Studies (2009) with honours at Fanshawe College, and is interested in curriculum development. Scott has previously worked as a Research Assistant under Dr. Amy Bell of Huron University, and is a volunteer at London’s Palace Theatre as a technician and performer.  He is also involved with the Palace Theatre’s “New Stage” program, which is a theatre education program for new actors. Scott was awarded the Huron Community History Centre’s Prize for Public History in 2020/2021.

Geneviève Desaulniers


Anne-Chantal Fontaine


Marie-Catherine Gagné


Seasoned translator, Marie-Catherine has over 25 years of experience, working in many fields. She has been a translator for the federal government for over 15 years, but also for several humanitarian non profit organizations. Marie-Catherine enjoys literature, cats and great food.

Janelle von Kleist-Bernard

Communications Coordinator

Janelle von Kleist-Bernard graduated cum laude from the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce with a specialization in Marketing. She has acquired years of marketing and communications experience throughout her work at Scotiabank, the CRA, Corus Entertainment, and G Adventures. She is passionate about supporting nonprofits, which has lead to the launch of her own fundraising platform for nonprofits in the spring of 2022. A proud member of the team at Defining Moments Canada, she is excited to increase awareness for their incredible projects.