The Defining Moments Canada Team
Neil Orford – Program Leader
Neil is a retired History Teacher, from Dufferin County, Ontario. A winner of both the Governor General’s and Ontario Premier’s Award for History Teaching, his Digital Historian Project© won the 2015 Government of Canada History Award. He has been featured on CBC’s “The National”, TVO’s “The Agenda”, and in numerous articles across Canada. He has written for major Canadian publications and is a regular presenter at Conferences and workshops. He has worked extensively with the Juno Beach Centre and has led a Summer Institute for History teachers in Normandy. The proud son of two veterans, Neil Orford is married, with two grown children and lives in Orangeville, Ontario.
Blake Heathcote – Creative and Digital Leader
Blake worked as a director and playwright in the theatre across Canada, the US, and the UK. In 1999, he conceived the Testaments of Honour project. The Testaments archive contains 550 veterans’ interviews on digital video (85 in the French language), 14,000 photographs, and 4,000 documents. He created interactive video displays for the Juno Beach Centre, HMCS Haida, Veterans Affairs, and is the author of several books, including the #1 Canadian best-selling Testaments of Honour (2002), and A Soldier’s View (2005), both published by Random House.
Mathieu Arsenault – Director of French Content
Mathieu holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in History from Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) and is currently preparing a PhD thesis at York University (Toronto). Director of Francophone Content at Defining Moments Canada, he is also working as Research Advisor at the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation of Ontario. A member of the editorial board of HistoireEngagée.ca since 2012, his field of interest are the political and intellectual history of Québec and Canada in 19th and 20th centuries, the history of the special relation between First Nations and the Crown, regional history, as well as historiography and the philosophy of history.
Ellen Scheinberg – Research Leader
Ellen Scheinberg completed her BA and MA degrees in history from Queen’s University and her Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa in 2007. She is an historian, writer and seasoned information professional. She is the president of Heritage Professionals, a consulting firm specializing in archival, museum and information management initiatives. She has produced many articles in areas such as: women’s studies, immigration history, labour history, Jewish studies, and archives. She was also a contributor and co-editor of the award-winning book The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood (Coach House Books, 2015).
Tatiana Zamozdra – Coordinator
Tatiana holds a Master’s degree in European History from Queen’s University and a Bachelor’s degree in History and English Literature from McGill University. A recent alumna of the student guide program at the Centre Juno Beach/Juno Beach Centre in France, she is passionate about education, and telling history in a nuanced and compelling way. She contributed to research and educational programs at the Juno Beach Centre and has been involved in various capacities in research on 18th Century France, World War II in Asia and Europe, 1930s Canada, and the Spanish Flu Pandemic.
John began his career as a history and social studies teacher in an inner-city high school in Toronto in the early 1970s. He became interested in immigration and multicultural history represented by his students. Since then he has taught from grades 3-adult in four provinces and three countries. His most recent work has been in the areas of history teaching and classroom assessment at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. His interest in diseases comes from knowing the late Michael Bliss who wrote about medicine and the effects of diseases in Canadian history.
Mary-Ellen is a professor of history at Simon Fraser University specializing in settler colonial and medical histories of North America. She is the author/editor of many Award-winning books, including, Colonizing Bodies: Aboriginal Health and Healing in British Columbia 1900-1950 (UBC Press, 1998), The Letters of Margaret Butcher: Missionary-Imperialism on the North Pacific Coast (University of Calgary Press, 2007). Her history, A Wilder West: Rodeo in Western Canada (UBC Press, 2011) is an illustrated examination of rodeo’s small-town roots, and a look at how the sport brought people together across racial and gender divides. She is currently examining the ideas and methods medical researchers brought to the study of Indigenous health in North America from 1910-1990. She is co-editor of the Canadian Historical Review.
William (Bill) Stewart
Bill earned his PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2012 under Professor Gary Sheffield after a thirty-year career in senior management positions in high-tech. His research focus is on the tactics, operations, and administration of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He has published two books entitled The Embattled General: Sir Richard Turner and the First World War and Canadians on the Somme 1916: The Neglected Campaign. He is the author of ten articles in academic publications and regularly presents at conferences on the First World War. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
After completing his undergraduate education in Australia, Niall gained his Masters at Wilfrid Laurier University and his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He has written or co-authored numerous articles on pandemic influenza in a range of journals, including Nature Medicine, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Clinical Infectious Diseases, and the Bulletin of the History of Medicine. His book on the pandemic, Britain and the 1918-19 influenza pandemic: A dark epilogue, is published by Routledge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Niall works at the Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Health Care.
David Earn was born and raised in Winnipeg and was an undergraduate in Mathematics at the University of Toronto. He obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge, where his research involved the application of mathematical methods to problems in theoretical astrophysics. During his postdoctoral years, he became interested in applying mathematics to biological problems and soon shifted focus entirely to biology, especially the epidemiology of infectious diseases. More recently, his research has expanded to include some projects in music perception and music theory. Dr. Earn is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at McMaster University, where he has been since January 2000. He has been a member of the executive committee of the M. G. DeGroote Institute of Infectious Disease Research since its inception in 2007. He is a recipient of a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), an Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award and a J. S. McDonnell Foundation Research Award.
Amy is a secondary school teacher in both the Social Science and Science departments at Centre Dufferin District High School, in Shelburne, ON. Holding a Bachelor of Arts and Science from the University of Guelph, Amy enjoys teaching a blended time table between both disciplines. She enjoys challenging her students to see the value in learning about both subject areas, and works to impart an understanding of how the Sciences and Social Sciences are intrinsically linked. A former participant of the Juno Beach Centre’s Summer Institute and Battlefield Tour, Amy has been able to take advantage of some excellent opportunities to deepen her connection and understanding of the Canadian role in both World Wars and enjoys being able to incorporate what she has learned outside of the classroom into her lessons.
Véronique Dupuis is completing a master thesis at the Université du Québec à Rimouski. With years of experience in the fields of tourism and maritime history, she has organized various types of historical projects, including the commemoration of the centenary of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland. She is currently working on the story of Blanche-Olive Lavallée, a French-Canadian nurse who served in Europe during World War I, and made a significant contribution to the recognition of women’s participation in the Canadian military. In all her projects, Véronique wishes to put the human aspect of history in the foreground.
Alain Gagnon is Professor and former Chair in the Département de démographie at the Université de Montréal. Based on historical as well as contemporary data, his research focuses on early life conditions (nutrition, infections, socioeconomic status) and their long-term consequences for health and mortality. In particular, he is investigating how early life infection to influenza affects later life risk of death from influenza. His research also addresses the healthy immigrant effect, the biodemography of fertility and mortality, and the evolutionary and genetic implications of demographic behavior.
Matthew Miller completed his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Western Ontario. He then moved to the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in Manhattan, NY for his Postdoctoral Fellowship with Dr. Peter Palese – a titan in the field of influenza virus research. During this time, Dr. Miller made seminal contributions to the understanding of how broadly-neutralizing antibodies against influenza virus are generated in human. This work has helped to guide the development of “universal” influenza virus vaccine. After completing his postdoctoral studies, Dr. Miller was recruited to the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University. As a member of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Diseases Research and the McMaster Immunology Research Centre, Dr. Miller’s team continues to study viral infections, and methods for developing more effective vaccines and drugs against influenza virus.
By the age of ten Eric Zweig was already a budding sports fanatic who was filling his school news books with game reports instead of current events. He has been writing professionally about sports and sports history (mainly hockey) since graduating from Trent University in 1985 with a degree in Political Studies. Eric is the author of 40 books for adults and children, including the Y/A Novel Fever Season about the Spanish Flu and the 1919 Stanley Cup. He has worked with Dan Diamond & Associates on the NHL Official Guide & Record Book and many other publications since 1996.
Kandace is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies in the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her doctoral research at McMaster University focused on the 1918 influenza pandemic among soldiers of the CEF, and she is excited to return to ‘flu as a topic of inquiry in this commemorative project. Her current research explores the period after the First World War (and the 1918 influenza pandemic), examining veterans’ experiences with war trauma and medical rationale.
Andrew is a first-year medical student at Queen’s University. Having taken Life Sciences (major) and Classical Studies (minor) at Queen’s for his undergraduate degree, Andrew was selected as the Museum of Healthcare at Kingston’s 2017 Margaret Angus Research Fellow. In this capacity he researched the Spanish Influenza in Kingston, which he has continued to research during 1918, the 100th anniversary of the epidemic.
Gail Lord – Senior Program Advisor
Gail Dexter Lord is Co-founder and President of Lord Cultural Resources, the world’s largest cultural planning firm. Based in Toronto with offices in New York, London, Mumbai and Beijing, Lord has conducted more than 2300 assignments in 57 countries and 450 cities.
Gail’s clients include the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa, Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa, National World War II Museum in New Orleans, the National African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, The Lowry in Salford, Saadiyat Island Cultural District of Abu Dhabi, Tate Britain and Tate Modern, the Louvre, Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Chicago Cultural Plan and its Chicago Architectural Biennial, and Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Gail has co-authored five museum planning manuals. Her latest books are the new Manual of Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations, and Cities, Museums and Soft Power, co-authored with Ngaire Blankenberg, that redefines soft power for the urban age and designs new roles for cultural institutions.
Gail is a Member of the Order of Canada (2016), and Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in France (2014). In 2016, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters, by McMaster University. Gail was a member of the UNESCO High Level Forum on Museums (2016-17).
Esyllt W. Jones
Esyllt is Professor of History at the University of Manitoba. She is the author of Influenza 1918: Death, Disease and Struggle in Winnipeg, and editor with Magda Fahrni of Epidemic Encounters: Influenza, Society and Culture in Canada, 1918-1920.
Ann is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at McMaster University. She joined McMaster in 1989 and retired in 2016. A medical anthropologist, her research and teaching centered on the anthropology of infectious disease. In particular, she has been fascinated by the 1918 influenza pandemic and has published a long series of articles about its emergence and effects on people in Canada. She is currently collaborating on a project investigating the relationship between the Russian influenza pandemic (1889-90) and the 1918 influenza pandemic in Canada, led by Alain Gagnon at the Université de Montréal.
Mike worked with the York Region District School Board for over 30 years. He has a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on digital applications in the teaching of history and social sciences. He has also worked with Historica and done contract work with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology while developing combined curriculum digital resources with the National Council for Social Studies in the United States and various provincial history teachers’ associations in Canada. He is the author of the interactive iBook, The Spanish Flu Epidemic 1918 – 1919: Dancing With The Spanish Lady.
Lisa Sattenspiel is a Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she has been since 1987. Her interest in the 1918 flu ignited in 1993, when she began joint work with Ann Herring looking at how fur-trapping activities carried the disease from place to place in central Manitoba. Since 2005 she has shifted both east and west to compare pandemic experiences within and between Newfoundland and Labrador and the US state of Alaska. She is especially interested in how factors influencing social contact impact the risks for transmission and spread of disease across time and space.
Svenn-Erik holds a doctorate in demography, and is a research professor at Work Research Institute at OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University. He has more than twenty years’ experience studying the demography of epidemic diseases, with a particular focus on the 1918 influenza pandemic. At the Work Research Institute, Mamelund has also studied health consequences of workplace re-organization and conflicts and tracked the effects of various policies implemented by Norway’s Ministry of Labor.