OC Speakers Series

Location Description:
Lecture Theatre, (PL 107), Ashnola Building

A lineup of experts and authorities will offer presentations, touching on a range of topics like Mindful Self-Compassion, Okanagan salmon restoration and more. See full presentation details below. 

Talks will be held in the Lecture Theatre (PL 107) of the Ashnola Building.  Admission is by donation, with proceeds going to support students in need.

OC Speakers Series

Fall 2022 Speakers Series schedule


Kai Nagata is Communications Director for Dogwood, B.C.’s largest non-partisan citizen action network. Dogwood brings people together to work on the urgent challenges facing our province. Kai is active in Dogwood’s “Beyond Gas" campaign. His writing appears in the Toronto Star, The Tyee, DeSmog, and Vancouver Sun.

You may have heard someone say, "I have no sense of direction." Perhaps you have felt guilty of this yourself. In this talk, I will argue that cities are as legible as the written page - or as illegible depending on the author and not, in fact, on the reader. Cities can be broken down into parts and as an active participant, you can recognize these building blocks and learn to "read" a city. Just as some books become the great American novel, there are those cities that are vibrant, memorable, and exciting. What is their secret? We will investigate what cities have in common, what sets them apart, and what gives a place that distinctive "there-there" that makes us want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

This session will introduce the emerging concept of regenerative design and development as it relates to the built environment. The discussion will explore how regenerative design differs from sustainable design, various strategies and frameworks that can be deployed to maximize the regenerative potential of a project, and some of the challenges associated with actualizing regenerative projects. Case studies from the region will be explored to demonstrate the application of regenerative principles at the building level. Topics covered will include living buildings, net-positive energy, net-positive water, and healthy materials.

Description: TBD

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are enigmatic bursts of light of cosmic origin. The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope has detected more than 1,000 of these bursts with its dedicated transient-search backend (CHIME/FRB). As transformational as CHIME has been in expanding this area of research, the telescope can only localise the FRBs with a precision equivalent to a quarter of the full moon. With the goal of localising 1,000 FRBs to their host galaxy in less than two years, CHIME/FRB is now expanding to include a dedicated very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) array of transcontinental outrigger stations. In this talk, I will motivate the Outrigger project and its goals, discuss how we are overcoming the challenges of low-frequency VLBI, and give a project update and timeline.

Mis-information and dis-information are nothing new, but the internet age has accelerated their proliferation. In this talk we will look at the different types of fake news, who spreads it and why, how to spot it with fact-checking tools, and how to talk to someone who has gone down a conspiracy rabbit hole.

Since its proclamation in 1982, the Charter has had a profound impact on the Canadian legal system.  How does the Charter protect the rights and freedoms set out in the Charter?  What are its strengths and weaknesses?  We will take a look at such topics as the right to an abortion in Canada, the ability of a government to prohibit the wearing of religious symbols, and how a government can impose vaccine mandates and restrict access to church services.

Despite a plethora of treaties, constitutional guarantees, and international organizations, the world continues to be afflicted with senseless atrocities that offend human conscience.   Why are institutions powerless against such waves of human cruelty and ruthlessness?  This session will explore what can be done to make human rights real.  

Extreme weather, pollution, and rising energy prices are causing harm for communities across BC. From health impacts to citizen displacements to economic hardship to failing infrastructure, all segments of society are being affected by climate disruption. Some communities are meeting this challenge head on, but many are not. What sets them apart?
Through an exploration of case studies, including the City of Penticton, this event will identify the driving forces for change within communities, showcase success stories, and explain how each of us has a critical role - and opportunity - to aid in the fight to make our communities healthy and prosperous for generations to come. 


Tami Rothery is a Senior Community Energy Manager with the Community Energy Association, leading their Built Environment service area from her home office in beautiful Penticton. For over 15 years, Tami has worked in local government, post‐secondary, not‐for‐profit, and private organizations advancing the balance between profit, planet, and people. As a passionate community leader, Tami is a firm believer in working collaboratively to find opportunities to create resilient, net-positive systems that improve quality of life for all peoples and that empower community members to create the changes they wish to see in the world.

David Kassian is the Sustainability Supervisor with the City of Penticton, as well as a long time Okanagan resident. At work, David implements the City’s Community Climate Action Plan, Corporate Energy and Emissions Plan, and oversees the waste collection and recycling program. Having grown up in Oliver, David has a vested interest in serving the Okanagan and was previously the Co-Chair of Oliver’s Food Action Advisory Committee.

The Milky Way Galaxy is threaded by a complicated magnetic field with structures ranging in scale from stars up to the Galactic spiral arms. The balance between gravity and magnetism influences many processes in the interstellar medium, including the formation and evolution of the Galaxy itself. The magnetized interstellar medium imprints signatures of its structure onto polarization maps of the radio sky, and a wealth of information can be gained by studying how observed polarized emission from the Galaxy varies across the broad range of frequencies in the radio spectrum. In this presentation, I describe some of the methods used to study Galactic magnetism, along with some recent results, including new maps of the sky created using data from telescopes at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory.

Housing affordability and homelessness are complex social issues faced by many communities across Canada. Community development is one approach to addressing these challenges, in helping communities build the skills they need to work together on social change. In this presentation, Jamie will talk about the advantages of community collaboration, relationship-building, collective decision-making and systems development in the progression of ending homelessness.


Jamie Lloyd-Smith (she/her) works in the Social Development department at the City of Penticton with a focus on housing and homelessness. Trained first in Communications, Jamie spearheaded community engagement in the non-profit sector in areas related to community well-being, before stepping into the world of social planning where she has spent over 3 years in homelessness planning.  In her current role she works closely with community partners and stakeholders to help mobilize collaborative initiatives in the areas of affordable housing and homelessness.