Guest Speakers and Panelists

/Guest Speakers and Panelists
Guest Speakers and Panelists 2018-09-24T09:24:05+00:00

Stephen Flemming

Embracing Relevance: Refocusing Sherbrooke Village Museum to become an outstanding living history attraction and an institution that fosters vibrant and sustainable rural communities.


Stephen Flemming spent much of his youth along the St. Mary’s River, near Sherbrooke, NS. He completed BSc and MSc degrees at Acadia University and then a PhD at Queens. Stephen then joined Parks Canada, working in biologist, manager, and superintendent roles. He also led research programs for Atlantic Canada in both natural and cultural heritage, was cross-appointed in universities, and co-facilitated leadership courses for managers across the country. He has been recognized with several awards, including the Public Service Award of Excellence for Canada. Stephen has returned to Sherbrooke Village as Executive Director of the museum, and is looking forward to contributing in his home community and province.

Philip DeNuke

My name is Philip DeNuke, and I am a history major at Acadia University.

Growing up I was always aware of my family’s strong ties to the Annapolis Royal area, going back as far as the mid 1700s. This knowledge of my own family’s history from a young age, along with the atmosphere of history that permeates this area, are reasons that I love history and am pursuing a career in the feild. In 2012 I started volunteering with the Annapolis Heritage Society, which has benefited me greatly, and I would strongly recommend anyone interested in history to consider getting involved with their local heritage organization. In 2014 I was honoured with the society’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Besides my volunteering, I have been employed at the museums operated by the society in the summer for the past five years. These opportunities have allowed me to gain valuable experience and knowledge.

Heather LeBlanc

With a background in business, heritage preservation, and consultancy, Heather LeBlanc has provided project managment for the Age Advantage Association since its inception  in 2012.

Students and instuctors from Nova Scotia Community College’s Centre for Geographic Sciences, and dedicated Annapolis County volunteers collaborate on mapping community assets in an informal inter-generational learning environment. is the result, where the Association makes these community-created maps available to the world. Heritage homes and structures, graveyards and churches, trails and waterways, Black Loyalist and Acadian settlements: maps once limited to paper copies are now all available. received a Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming in 2017.

Wendy Fitch

Wendy Fitch is the Executive Director of the Museum Association of Saskachewan (MAS) and has worked with the museum community in western Canada for more than 30 years. In her role as lead staff for MAS, Wendy has collaborated with several heritage and culture umbrella organizations including the national leader and innovative SaskCulture organization. MAS has focused on museum sustainability initiatives in recent years which has included development of a process for communities wishing to establish an Ecomuseum.

Deb Kuzyk

Deb Kuzyk is the Lucky Rabbit. It all started in 1988 in Calgary with a home-based earring business called Lucky Rabbit Jewelry. Several years later, in Newfoundland, Deb decided to keep the “Lucky Rabbit” name when she began collaborating with her husband, Ray Mackie, to create pottery. Established in Annapolis Royal in 1999, Lucky Rabbit Pottery became a cornerstone of the local arts scene.

Working and living in the big yellow house on the market, Deb and Ray produced pottery and tiles which they sold through the shop in the front of their studio space. In 2017, Deb and Ray moved to a new home. Deb decided to convert the yellow house, invited other artists to join her in a new venture, and Lucky Rabbit & Co. was born.

Lucky Rabbit & Co. is a collective of independent and community minded artists. Each artist has their own studio space and produce unique, one-of-a-kind works. The gallery, pop-up space, artist-in-residence apartment and seasonal events make the artists’ house a dynamic meeting place for artists and art lovers.

Ceramic artists Debra Kuzyk and Ray Mackie have been collaborating as Lucky Rabbit Pottery for over 25 years. Their work has appeared in over 50 exhibitions nationally and internationally.  Their work appears in many private and public collections such as the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts in Toronto.

Krystal Tanner

Krystal Tanner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Acadia University and is also a graduate of the Museum Management and Curatorship program at Sir Sandford Fleming College. Since 2015, she has held the position of Curator/Manager at Randall House Museum in Wolfville, NS. She has broadened her work experience through various contract positions at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Colchester Historeum, and the Acadia University Art Gallery. She also serves on several volunteer committees including the Kings Hants Heritage Connection and the Art in Public Spaces Committee for the Town of Wolfville. She is also a board member for the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia.

Christopher Shore

Chris is a director in the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage responsible for Culture and Heritage Development. Formerly he was the first director of Arts Nova Scotia, the professional arts funding agency for the Province of Nova Scotia, where he managed the creation and implementation of many arts funding programs.  He is currently the chair of the Canadian Public Arts Funders (CPAF), the national network of public funders and co-chair of the senior leadership team of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.  Before joining the public service, Chris amassed over twenty-five years’ experience in the cultural community as a leader for many key organizations such as: Theatre Nova Scotia (ED), Cultural Federations of Nova Scotia (Chair), Strategic Arts Management (Chair), The Legacy Centre for the Performing Arts (Chair), and Performing Arts Lodge Halifax (Chair).  Chris is also an award winning professional writer and actor and has degrees from the National Theatre School of Canada and McGill University.

Kevin Barrett

Kevin Barrett is currently the Coordinator of the Provincial Heritage Property Program where he has been working for the past 15 years. Kevin holds three degrees: Bachelor of Business Administration (Acadia University); Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies – Architecture and Masters in Urban and Rural Planning (Technical University of Nova Scotia).  In 1997, he began his heritage career with the Halifax Regional Municipality as the Heritage Planner. In 2003, he transitioned to the Province of Nova Scotia in his current capacity with the Provincial Heritage Property Program to oversee the administration of the Heritage Property Act.  Kevin provides expert opinion on applications for provincial heritage registration; alteration to, or demolition of, a registered provincial heritage property; applications to deregister a provincial heritage property; and provides support to municipal heritage property programs.  Kevin also coordinates two other funding programs; 1) the Strategic Development Imitative Program that support eligible projects to better share a community’s unique culture and heritage and 2) the Community Museum Assistance Program that provide operational support for community museums.  He was a founding board member of the Provincial Heritage Property Owners Association for Nova Scotia and served on the boards of the Carleton House Preservation Society and the Paraplegic Association of Nova Scotia.

Matthew Gates

Matthew Gates has been working at Ross Farm Museum for 14 years starting as a summer student and then working full time in many areas of the museum as a Heritage Interpreter. Matthew received a diploma in Information Technology with a Web Development Concentration at the Institute of Technology in 2004 while still working at the museum. He is credited with creating a strong online presence for the museum through online marketing and social media and has been capturing and sharing life at the museum with his photography. When asked what’s his favourite thing about working at Ross Farm Museum he always answers, “it’s the variety of the work”, herding sheep one minute and posting photos of it the next.

Brian Arnott, BA MFA, ASTC, CAHP

Brian Arnott is Senior Partner at Novita Interpares Limited, Canada’s oldest cultural consultancy with offices in Toronto and Lunenburg. Brian has been a professional heritage consultant for over forty years.

Brian Arnott is a Founder and a past National President of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals and he was member of the federal Task Force on Canada’s Heritage Labour Force.

Brian has written widely on heritage subjects and is a specialist in several areas of Canadian industrial history. His latest book is “Learning Lunenburg: 100 Ways of Being in a Small Community.”

Brian is also President of Leaf + Branch Lands + Building Corporation Inc, a company that develops, owns and operates heritage properties and buildings of character.

Brian Arnott was educated at Bishop’s University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta.

Kaitlin MacLean BA, MA – Staff Archaeologist  (KMKNO)

Coastal Erosion and Landscape Change in Mi’kma’ki

Landscape change is nothing new to the Mi’kmaq. We have inhabited this land since time immemorial and have been witness to glacial change, coastal rise and fall, and the creation and loss of vast landscapes. Today, we aim to preserve and protect that heritage from the latest ravages of the crisis of coastal erosion and sea level rise. There are many challenges in accomplishing this; from the more gentle archeological signatures of Mi’kmaw sites, to considering the importance of submerged landscapes, as well as the cultural sensitivities of eroding burial grounds. All of this must be carefully balanced and managed in a multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary environment while ensuring that the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia can make meaningful decisions for their own heritage.


Kait received her BA in Anthropology (Minor in Biology) from St. Mary’s University and worked on excavations in both Nova Scotia and in Europe.  She then moved to Denmark where she completed her Master’s Degree in Maritime (Underwater) Archaeology at the University of Southern Denmark, and also became a licensed commercial SCUBA diver. After some time in Europe, Kait returned to Nova Scotia and joined the Archaeology Research Division of the Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO) in 2016 and is currently the Staff Archaeologist. At KMKNO Kait works on a variety of archaeological sites and projects throughout Nova Scotia.

Becki Dunham

Rebecca (Becki) Dunham is a Parks Canada archaeologist who has spent the last twenty years traversing the bogs, forests, and shores of Fortress Louisbourg in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She has recently joined the Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate’s Terrestrial Archaeology team contributing to a broader focus of heritage site management in Atlantic Canada, in addition to Louisbourg.

Becki’s work has focussed on coastal rescue archaeology, public archaeology, environmental impact assessments and mitigation, 17th-18th century heritage and material culture, military archaeology, cultural landscape management, assisting student research, and public presentations on these subjects.

At Louisbourg, a site heavily impacted by sea level rise and storm events, Becki developed a coastal heritage management strategy (2014) to address climate change impacts at the site. The coastal research carried out to develop this strategy, and lessons learned, are far-reaching and may be relevant to many locations in the Atlantic Region.

While having degrees in anthropology, palaeobiology, and heritage management from Saint Mary’s, Saskatchewan, and Birmingham, Becki’s greatest lessons and challenges have come from the land and sea – they are remarkable teachers!
When out of the field, Becki is a traveller, watercolour painter, optimistic gardener, and ‘learning’ sheep farmer.

Gail Robertson

Renaissance Property Services was formed in 1990 to offer ongoing service to the local and provincial built heritage inventory within Nova Scotia.

The past 10 years we have been working under a Standing Offer with Halifax Regional Municipality for Heritage Construction Services on an inventory of 22 Registered Heritage Building. Including Halifax City Hall , Dingle Tower, Khyber Arts Building, James Power Cottage, Halifax Public Gardens, Court Houses and Museums.

All built heritage undertakings are performed with compliance and understanding of The Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Historic Places in Canada as well as all National Building Codes.

We have worked on various projects in concert with Parks Canada, The Heritage Canada Foundation, University of Kings College, as well as many renowned Architects, Archeologists and Conservators in the built heritage field.

We also have extensive experience in museum facility restoration. Past clients include Evergreen Museum, Quaker House, Scott Manor, Sinclair Inn and O’Dell House Museum. Other projects range from Lighthouses to Boathouses to privately owned built heritage homes.

Our efforts have been recognized for our participation in award winning projects. Nova Scotia Heritage Trust Award for Best Institutional Restoration – 2014
Lieutenant Governors Award of Merit – 2016
Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals Award of Merit – 2017

Renaissance Property Services is proud to be a hands on leader in the Built Heritage of Nova Scotia.