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Bios

Neil Orford

President & Co-Founder

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. Neil is the owner and president of Defining Moments Canada, Ltd.

Jenifer Terry

Executive Director

Jen Terry (née Sguigna) graduated from Western University with an MA in Public History in 2013, after completing an Honours BA in History and English Literature. She is a creative and driven leader, who is passionate about heritage and education. Most recently, she worked for the Juno Beach Centre Association, leading their Canadian programming and playing a key role in the development of special anniversary projects and their Canadian education reputation.

Anna England

Projects Manager & Digital Curator

Anna England is a graduate of the Master of Museum Studies program from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information and holds an MA in History and a BA in History, minoring in French. Anna has worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Tim Cook at the Canadian War Museum and as Curatorial Assistant at the Royal Canadian Military Institute. She has also worked with the MultiCultural History Society of Ontario and Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.

Louis Lebel

Digital Content Manager

Louis Lebel has worked in the field of public history and storytelling ever since working as a guide at the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum during high school. He has since worked in interpretation at the Juno Beach Centre, The Haunted Walk of Ottawa, the Vimy National Memorial in France, and Canada’s Parliament, along with other sites of note. Equipped with degrees in Political Science and History, Louis’ focus is finding and sharing stories with the public at large, and he is thrilled to be able to do so with the Defining Moments Canada team.

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.

Amy McBride Bowen

Communications Manager

Amy McBride Bowen graduated from the University of Guelph in 2019 with a Master’s degree in History, and received a Government of Canada History Award for her thesis on Women’s Liberation in the 1970s. Amy has worked with the Guelph Historical Society as the Co-Director of Programs since her graduation, and as a lover of history she was excited to become a part of the Defining Moments Canada team. Since her undergraduate days at Guelph, Amy has been passionate about telling Canadian stories to ensure that they are preserved and can be shared with others.

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.

John Lorinc

Senior Editor

John Lorinc is a Toronto journalist and editor. He writes for several publications, including Spacing, the Globe and Mail, and Corporate Knights. Besides his work with DMC, John is also the Toronto non-fiction editor at Coach House Books, currently overseeing its uTOpia series. His next book, Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias, will be published in fall, 2022.

Linn Øyen Farley

Website Designer/Developer

Linn Øyen Farley is a Toronto-based web designer and developer with a theatre production degree. She builds websites for arts and culture organizations, small businesses, and self-professed “non-technical people” that empower them to manage their own online presence. She strongly believes in demystifying technology and making things that are accessible for everyone.

Vincent Sabourin

Videographer

Vincent is an emerging freelance videographer who has recently graduated from the Television-Broadcasting program at Algonquin College. Having previously worked as a tour guide for many years, his goal is to combine the storytelling aspects of both professions and tell honest and exciting stories in video form.

Education Contributors

Madelaine Mant

Education Consultant

Dr. Madeleine Mant is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her biocultural research program examines health inequities in marginalized and institutionalized human groups through an interdisciplinary integration of bioanthropological and archival datasets. Her work investigates and amplifies previously unheard voices, demonstrating the powerful legacy of historical health in shaping health consequences and experiences today.

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.

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

Education Consultant

Scott Smalley is a new-service classroom teacher at the Secondary level. He has a B.A. in History and French Studies at Huron University and is completing his B.Ed at Western University (2023). He has a previous college diploma in Film Studies (2009) with honours at Fanshawe College. Scott previously worked on Defining Moments Canada’s Insulin 100 project as a researcher and curator of the Sir Frederick Banting exhibit. At Huron University he has worked as a Research Fellow under Dr. Tom Peace, and as a Research Assistant under Dr. Amy Bell. He was awarded the Huron Community History Centre’s Prize for Public History in 2020/21.

Craig Brumwell

Education Consultant

Craig Brumwell has been teaching Social Studies for over 30 years in Vancouver. The focus of his practice is inquiry approaches to place-based learning through digital interactive storytelling. Examples of his projects are Dilemma 1944 and its online educational resource siteThough Poppies Grow and Kitsilano Fallen. He is the recipient of three national awards for teaching excellence, the Governor General’s History Award (2015), the Government of Canada History Award (2015), and the Prime Minister’s Award (2018).

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.

Translators

Geneviève Desaulniers

Translator

Anne-Chantal Fontaine

Translator

Marie-Catherine Gagné

Translator

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.

Juno75

  • Program Leader – Neil Orford
  • Project Manager – Tatiana Zamozdra
  • Research & Content Development, for the Juno Beach Centre Association
    • Alexander Fitzgerald-Black
    • Jenifer Sguigna
  • Inquiry Learning, for the Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2)
    • Garfield Gini-Newman
    • Laura Gini-Newman
  • Testaments of Honour Video Interviewers
    • Blake Heathcote – English
    • Major-General (retd) Pierre Lalonde – French
  • Website Development
  • Translation Services
    • Hélène Ally
    • Geneviève Desaulniers
    • Myriam Gagnon
    • Marie Eve Vaillancourt
    • Scott Entwistle
    • Katie Beaudette
  • Copy Editing
    • John Lorinc
    • Jennifer Hounsell
  • Teacher Reviewers
    • Melanie Williams – Dufferin Peel CDSB, Cardinal Ambrozic CSS, Mississauga ON
    • Kerri Martin – École Secondaire Oak Park High School, Winnipeg MB
    • Boni Thompson – Upper Grand DSB, Mono Amaranth PS (Gr.7), Orangeville ON
    • Anne Hodgson – Rosedale School (Gr.6 & 7), Calgary AB
    • Carly Wenner – St. George’s School (Gr.8/10/11), Vancouver BC
    • Kris Tozer – Centennial Collegiate VI (History), Guelph ON
    • Dave Hunt – Unionville High School (History), Unionville ON

Pandemic 1918 – the 100th Anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic

  • Program Leader – Neil Orford
  • Digital Creative Lead – Blake Heathcote
  • Project Coordinator(s) – Tatiana Zamozdra & Jessica Knapp
  • Recovering Canada Contest Coordinator – Jessica Knapp
  • Lead Researcher – Ellen Scheinberg (English)
  • Lead Researcher – Mathieu Arsenault (French)
  • Education Lead(s) (for TC2.ca) – Garfield Gini-Newman / Laura Gini-Newman
  • Editor – John Lorinc