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Spring Speakers Series returns to College’s Penticton campus
Okanagan College Media Release

Throughout January to April, 11 speakers will take the stage weekly as part of Okanagan College’s spring 2016 Speakers Series at the Penticton campus. The public is invited to broaden their horizon of knowledge and hear about the research, published works, and subject expertise present in the South Okanagan region.

“Each year we compile a list of speakers to capture a range of community interests while showcasing the thought-leadership and cultural know-how of these professionals in our region,” said Donna Lomas, South Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Dean at Okanagan College. “Now in our 12
th year hosting the series, we always appreciate the community’s enthusiasm and support to hear from these remarkable individuals.”

The talks will range in topics including: art, history, housing affordability, mental health, sustainability, the environment, immigration and community involvement. 

Lomas herself is intrigued by the highlight of the fine arts in this roundup of speakers. 

“We usually only experience artists – painters, actors, authors – through their creative interpretation. But peeling back the layers, the speakers will candidly share the struggles and rewards of being an artist, and the immense benefit the arts play in our community,” she explained.

Frances Greenslade Jan 2016One such artist is published author and College English Professor Frances Greenslade who will respond to the question of how to find time to write in her Feb. 22 talk “A Writing Life in two Metaphors.” She will draw from her 30 years of writing experience to share the struggles and solutions she’s learned along the way.

“I often feel that writing is more of a trade in that it requires that patience and focused practice with the tools to learn what works,” she explained. “But, I also compare writing to fishing, where a writer needs to plumb the depth of inspiration, and put something on the hook to catch it.” 

Greenslade also adds: “Our society has grown increasingly preoccupied with the economy, and the pursuit of financial rewards. One thing the arts do is remind us of the value of dreams, and shows us the value of things we can’t measure in dollars and cents.”

The Speakers Series takes place on Monday evenings at the Penticton campus lecture theatre from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is by donation, benefitting the College’s Emergency Student Bursary program. Parking on campus is complimentary for the events.
Schedule of events:
  • Jan. 11: Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat, cultural historians, singers, and scholars, “Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932/33 Miner's Strike”
  • Jan. 18: Robert Ryan, Okanagan College Business Professor, “Affordable Housing in British Columbia - Perspectives”
  • Feb. 1: Janet White, Registered Clinical Counsellor at Maya Counselling, “The Importance of Anxiety”
  • Feb. 22: Frances Greenslade, Okanagan College English Professor, “A Writing Life in Two Metaphors”
  • Feb. 29: Jeremy Beaulne, Okanagan College English Professor, “The Play's the Thing: Community Theatre in the Okanagan Valley”
  • Mar. 7: Dorothy Tinning, Artist, former Mayor of Penticton, and Okanagan College Honorary Fellow, “The Essential Elements for an Artist”
  • Mar. 14: Dr. Amy Vaillancourt, Okanagan College Sustainable Construction Management Technology program Chair and Professor, “Benefits of Green Walls”
  • Mar. 21: Don Gayton, ecologist and author, “Overview of Okanagan Wetlands”
  • Apr. 4: Nora Hunt-Haft, Local Immigration Partnership Coordinator at the South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services, “Aspirations of Immigration”
  • Apr. 11: Wendy Weisner, South Okanagan Volunteer Centre Society Executive Director, “Volunteering - It's Good for You, Your Community, and for Those You Help”
  • Apr. 18: Bob and Brita Park, “Why Local Environmental Activism is Important”

For detailed topic descriptions of the speakers’ talks, visit: