Diana Beresford-Kroeger

DIANA BERESFORD-KROEGER is a world-recognized botanist, medical biochemist and author, whose work uniquely combines western scientific knowledge and the traditional concepts of the ancient world. Her books include The Sweetness of a Simple Life, The Global Forest, Arboretum Borealis, Arboretum America--which won the National Arbor Day Foundation Award for exemplary educational work on trees and forests--Time Will Tell, and A Garden for Life. Among many honours, Beresford-Kroeger was inducted as a Wings Worldquest fellow in 2010 and elected as a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2011. More recently, in 2016, the Society named her one of 25 women explorers of Canada. Her work has inspired artists and writers, as well as leading scientists. She is the author and presenter of a feature documentary, Call of the Forest, and is also at the heart of an upcoming three-part series airing on PBS called The Truth about Trees. Currently she is advocating on behalf of an ambitious global "bioplan" encouraging ordinary people to develop a new relationship with nature and join together to restore the global forest.

Seth Klein

SETH KLEIN is currently the Team Lead and Director of Strategy for the Climate Emergency Unit (a five-year project of the David Suzuki Institute). For 22 years (1996-2018), he served as the founding British Columbia Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a public policy research institute committed to social, economic and environmental justice. He is a freelance researcher, writer, policy consultant and speaker. Seth is also an adjunct professor with Simon Fraser University’s Urban Studies program. A social activist for over 35 years, Seth lives in East Vancouver with his partner and two children. Seth has been listed by Vancouver Magazine as one of the 50 most powerful people in the city, and by Homemakers Magazine among the “60 men we love.” He does not know how he ended up on either list, but he humbly accepts the latter.

Moira Welsh

MOIRA WELSH is an investigative journalist with the Toronto Star, Moira has co-authored investigations that have won three National Newspaper Awards and a Michener Award for Public Service Journalism. She was a finalist for the Justicia Award for Legal Reporting and the Canadian Hillman Prize. She started as a breaking news reporter and soon joined the investigative team where she has written on social justice, the environment, and the lives of people living in seniors’ homes. Moira lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her family.

Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa

GIL (GUILLERMO) PENALOSA is passionate about creating cities for all people - vibrant cities and healthy communities for everyone regardless of age and social, economic, or ethnic background. Gil is the founder and chair of the internationally recognized Canadian non-profit organization 8 80 Cities. He is also first Ambassador of World Urban Parks, President of G Penalosa & Associates and recently he created Our Third Act, Older - Healthier & Happier. He has worked in over 350 different cities in all continents. Before immigrating to Canada, Gil was Commissioner in Bogota. He holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, where he was selected as one of the “100 Most Inspirational Alumni” in the school’s history. Gil received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Urban Planning at the prominent University in Sweden, SLU. Last year Gil was listed in Planetizen’s Top 100 Most Influential Urbanists and recently received in Australia the World Urban Parks Annual Distinguished Individual Award.

Dr. Angie Abdou

DR. ANGIE ABDOU is the author of five novels and a memoir of hockey parenting, Home Ice. Her first novel, The Bone Cage, was a CBC Canada Reads finalist and was awarded the 2011–12 MacEwan Book of the Year. Angie is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University. She lives in Fernie, B.C., with her family and two beloved but unruly dogs.

Back Roads Bill Steer

BILL STEEER is the General Manager and the “originator” of the Canadian Ecology Centre and its charitable foundation. He holds degrees and diplomas from Laurentian University, Nipissing College, McMaster University and Durham College. Most of his work experience is within the field of environmental education and special education with the Near North District School Board. He was one of the first male kindergarten teachers in the province. That's where he learned to apply his pedagogy of being FAIR, FIRM FUN AND FLEXIBLE! He has authored a variety of natural and cultural books and thematic maps, including a navigation book entitled - 'What do those numbers mean anyway?' He is now a Trustee with the Near North District School Board and teaches senior geography for Nipissing University’s Faculty of Education and outdoor experiential education within the Bachelor of Physical Education program. In 2020 he was the recipient of the chancellor's award for excellence in teaching. He is currently working on a provincial school trip preparedness template process that will allow teachers easier access to taking their students outside.

Catherine Owen

CATHERINE OWEN is the author of ten collections of poetry and three of prose, including her compilation of interviews on writing called The Other 23 & a Half Hours- Or Everything You Wanted to Know that Your MFA Didn’t Teach You (Wolsak & Wynn, 2015) and her short story collection, The Day of the Dead (Caitlin Press, 2016). Her work has been nominated for awards, she has toured Canada eight times and appeared in anthologies, as well as translations. She has been employed by both the Locations and the Props department in TV land, plays metal bass and has two cats- Solstice and Equinox.

Dr. Allan Peterkin

DR. ALLAN PETERKIN is a Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Toronto, where he heads the Program In Health, Arts and Humanities and is Faculty Humanities Lead for Undergraduate and Post -MD Medical Education. He completed undergraduate studies in English and French literature and completed residencies in family medicine and psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal. He is the author of 16 books for adults on medical humanities, cultural history, narrative medicine, human sexuality and physician wellness including “Staying Human During Residency Training-How To Survive and Thrive After Medical School (now in its sixth edition). He has published 3 picture books for children, “The Flyaway Blanket” (Magination Press) being the latest. His poetry and fiction have been published and anthologized in the US, Canada and the UK. Dr. Peterkin is a founding editor of ARS MEDICA - A Journal of Medicine, The Arts and Humanities and has been a humanities editor with both the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) and Medical Humanities (BMJ). He sits on advisory boards with the International Health Humanities Network, AMH (The Association of Medical Humanities-UK), CREATING SPACE (Canada).

Christine Fischer Guy

CHRISTINE FISCHER GUY’s short fiction has appeared in Descant, Prairie Fire, and The Austin Review, and has been nominated for the Journey and Pushcart Prizes. Her novel The Umbrella Mender debuted in September 2014 and was excerpted in Descant and Ars Medica. She is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Eighteen Bridges, Toronto Life, and Reader’s Digest, among others. She’s a fiction critic at The Globe and Mail and is currently a contributor at the LA Review of Books, The Millions, Hazlitt, The Hamilton Review of Books, The Puritan, and Ryeberg.com. She teaches creative writing for the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto. She has lived and worked in London, England and now lives in Toronto.

Andrew Forbes

ANDREW FORBES was the 2019 Margaret Laurence Fellow at Trent University. The story collection What You Need, was a runner-up for the 2016 Danuta Gleed Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the 2016 Trillium Book Award. His second book, The Utility of Boredom Baseball Essays, is currently in its fourth printing. Lands and Forests is Andrew’s latest short story collection. Born in Ottawa, he spent much of his childhood in Atlantic Canada, lived in Oxford Mills, Ontario, and currently resides in Peterborough, Ontario with his wife and three children. Find him at andrewgforbes.com

Gary Barwin

GARY BARWIN is a writer, composer, visual and multidisciplinary artist and the author of twenty-four books of poetry, fiction and books for children. His latest books includes A Cemetery for Holes, a poetry collaboration with Tom Prime (Gordon Hill, Fall 2019) and For It is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe New and Selected Poems, ed. Alessandro Porco (Wolsak and Wynn, Fall 2019.) His national bestselling novel Yiddish for Pirates (Random House Canada) won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour as well as the Canadian Jewish Literary Award (Fiction) and the Hamilton Book Award (Fiction). It was also a finalist for both the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. A finalist for the National Magazine Awards (Poetry), he is a three-time recipient of Hamilton Poetry Book of the Year, has also received the Hamilton Arts Award for Literature and has co-won the bpNichol Chapbook Award and the K.M. Hunter Arts Award. A new novel, Don’t Fence Me In will appear from Random House in 2021. He has a PhD in music composition and is the publisher of serif of nottingham editions, an active literary organizer, and has been writer-in-residence at several libraries and universities. He lives in Hamilton and at garybarwin.com

Waubgeshig Rice

WAUBGESHIG RICE is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation. His first short story collection, Midnight Sweatlodge, was inspired by his experiences growing up in an Anishinaabe community, and won an Independent Publishers Book Award in 2012. His debut novel, Legacy, followed in 2014. He currently works as a multi-platform journalist for CBC in Sudbury. In 2014, he received the Anishinabek Nation’s Debwewin Citation for excellence in First Nation Storytelling. Waubgeshig now splits his time between Sudbury and Wasauksing.

George Couchie

GEORGE COUCHIE has over 33 years of policing experience, including 12 years designing and delivering award winning Native Awareness Training Programs and Initiatives to youth and to members of the Ontario Provincial Police, as well as to other government employees and teachers. A gifted communicator, George speaks from the heart and uses personal stories and humour to broach difficult issues. George has been honoured with many awards for his commitment to educating adults and working with youth.

Terry A. Campbell

TERRY A. CAMPBELL is currently a professor of education in language and literacy at Nipissing University. A storyteller and elementary school teacher before joining the department of teacher education, Terry’s practice and research interests have long been centred around the dynamics of storytelling, story writing, and story reading. Terry has travelled and published widely, presenting workshops on the central role of talk in learning and living. A storyteller at heart, Terry spins various yarns from three-minute folk tales to chapters from Homer’s Odyssey, in spaces such as classrooms, libraries, on CBC radio, and at outdoor festivals.

Helen Humphreys

HELEN HUMPHREYS’ most recent acclaimed work of non-fiction is The Ghost Orchard. Her previous novel, The Evening Chorus, was nominated for a Governor General’s Award and was a national bestseller. Her memoir, Nocturne, was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award. Previous novels include Coventry, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and a finalist for the Trillium Book Award; Afterimage, which won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize; Leaving Earth, which won the Toronto Book Award; and The Lost Garden, which was a Canada Reads selection. The recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence, Humphreys lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Kelly Hill

KELLY HILL, whose middle name is Ann-with-an-E, is an award-winning book designer. During her 20 years in book publishing she has designed books for many Canadian authors, including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Miriam Toews, Ami McKay, as well as international authors Kate Atkinson and Deborah Levy. Drawing on Kelly’s interest in all kinds of crafting and her love of Anne of Green Gables she created an Anne-inspired series of board books for children. Kelly uses fabrics, sewing and embroidery to create the illustrations for these books, which include Anne’s Colors, Anne’s Numbers and two brand new titles, Anne’s Alphabet and Anne’s Feelings (May 2019). Kelly lives near Eugenia, Ontario with her husband, two daughters and their yellow lab, Jack.

Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer

KATHRYN WALSH KUITENBROUWER is the bestselling author of the novels All The Broken Things, Perfecting, and The Nette Spinner, as well as, the short story collection, Way Up. Her work has appeared in Maclean’s, The Walrus, Granta Magazine and other notable national and international journals. She teaches creative writing at Colorado College, The University of Toronto, and The University of Guelph.

Kate Harris

KATE HARRIS is a writer with a knack for getting lost. Her essays, journalism, and poetry have featured or are forthcoming in Outside, The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, Arc Poetry Magazine, and The Georgia Review, among others, with citations in Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. A former Rhodes and Morehead-Cain scholar, and past student of science and the history of science, she has received the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award and the Banff Mountain Book Award for Adventure Travel, and is a finalist for the RBC Taylor Prize. Canadian Geographic named her one of “Canada’s greatest modern women explorers” for journeys edging the limits of nations and prudence, such as a bike ride on the Silk Road and a ski traverse of the Pamir mountains chasing after Marco Polo sheep, but writing is her preferred mode of exploration. Kate lives off-grid in a log cabin with her wife and dog on the border of British Columbia and the Yukon, with stints in Ontario for family visits and hot showers. Lands of Lost Borders is her first book.

Anne Laurel Carter

ANNE LAUREL CARTER grew up in Don Mills. She’s been a librarian, an ESL and FSL teacher, and has inspired kids and adults to read and write stories across Canada. The ideas for her 19 books came from her experiences or from interviews of other people or from the dreamscape of her imagination. She divides her time between Toronto and Nova Scotia.

Roy MacGregor

ROY MACGREGOR is the acclaimed and bestselling author of Home Team Father, Sons and Hockey, A Life in the Bush and Canadians - A Portrait of a Country and its People, as well as two novels, Canoe Lake and The Last Season, and the popular Screech Owls mystery series for young readers. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and was described in the citation as one of Canada’s “most gifted storytellers.”

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm

KATERI AKIWENZIE-DAMM is Anishinaabek from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, Saugeen Ojibway Nation, and is raising two boys in the community of Neyaashiinigmiing on the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. She is an internationally-acclaimed writer, poet, spoken word artist, Indigenous commentator, and the founder and managing editor of Kegedonce Press, an Indigenous publishing house that has been producing compelling books for twenty-five years. Her recent book, The Stone Collection, was celebrated for its “luminescent prose” and was a finalist for the Sarton Literary Award. Kateri is a passionate advocate for Indigenous arts and cultures, and has recently judged both the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award for emerging writers.

Alexandra Risen

ALEXANDRA RISEN is the best-selling author of Unearthed, a meditation on love, family and cultural legacy, and our interconnectedness with nature. In the memoir, Alexandra restores a historic garden while she examines her parents’ history through their war years, and as part of the Ukrainian diaspora of Canada. Unearthed garnered excellent US literary reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal and Booklist (starred review), and spent four weeks on the Canadian national non-fiction bestseller list. She is one of three co-founding editors of the not-for-profit online literary magazine donttalktomeaboutlove.org, which explores love in literary and art forms. Devoted to nature and a closet geologist, Alexandra lives with her husband, son, and rescued dog, Hunter.

Ketha Newman

KETHA NEWMAN lives off-grid with her husband and two children in a log cabin overlooking the forested hills south of Algonquin Park, Ontario. Since graduating with a Fine Art degree from the University of Toronto in 1996, she has devoted herself to painting primarily with watercolour. This is her first book.

Adam Shoalts

ADAM SHOALTS has been called one of Canada’s greatest living explorers and in 2017 completed a nearly 4,000 km solo journey across Canada’s arctic. He’s also an historian, archaeologist, and geographer. Shoalts’ doctoral research at McMaster University examined the influence indigenous oral traditions had on European explorers in Canada’s subarctic and West Coast. He has done archaeology in four countries and enjoys long walks in the woods.

Hilary Cunningham Scharper

HILARY CUNNINGHAM SCHARPER’s current writing project is a two-volume tale unfolding in the haunted (and haunting) landscapes of the Great Lakes and their remote, 19th-century lighthouses. The first novel, “Perdita,” takes place on the northern Bruce Peninsula at a lighthouse on Georgian Bay (Lake Huron), and tells the tale of a woman purported to be the world’s oldest living person. A ghostly, gothic-hybrid—a child seemingly drowned in an 1898 shipwreck—shadows the boundary between life and death, and impedes the allegedly 134-year-old Marged Brice from passing on. A second novel, “Lonely Island,” is forthcoming. Much of Hilary’s fiction falls within the “Ecogothic,” a newly-minted sub genre of the Gothic tradition. Ecogothic literature embraces the wide range of feelings humans have toward the natural world, including emotions of love and awe as well as fear, alienation, and ambivalence.

Stephen Scharper

Dr. Stephen Scharper is associate professor at the School of the Environment and the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. He is also cross-appointed in the department of anthropology at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, and is associate faculty with the Toronto School of Theology. Dr. Scharper’s research and teaching are in the areas of environmental ethics, worldviews and ecology, liberation theology, as well as nature and the city. His most recent book, For Earth's Sake-Toward a Compassionate Ecology (Novalis 2013), explores the notion of how we are being called to develop an affective relationship with the natural world in light of contemporary ecological challenges. His other books include The Natural City-Re-envisioning Human Settlements (co-editor, University of Toronto Press), The Green Bible, co-written with his spouse, Hilary Cunningham, and Redeeming the Time-A Political Theology of the Environment (Continuum).