Paul W. Bennett, Ed.D.

Paul W. Bennett, Ed.D. (OISE/Toronto) is a widely published Halifax author, education consultant, and commentator. His latest strictly history book is Turning Points: 15 Pivotal Moments in Nova Scotia’s History (2019).

Paul is founding Director of Schoolhouse Institute, and former Adjunct Professor of Education at Saint Mary’s University. Over a career spanning three decades in three different provinces, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, Dr. Bennett has written or co-authored ten books and dozens of articles in both the popular media and the academic press. He is currently the regular education columnist for Brunswick News.

As a published historian, Paul is best known across Canada as the author of three widely recognized Canadian history textbooks, Canada: A North American Nation (Toronto: McGraw Hill Ryerson, 1995), Years of Promise, 1896-1911 (Toronto: Grolier, 1986), and (with Cornelius J. Jaenen) Emerging Identities: Problems and Interpretations in Canadian History (Scarborough: Prentice Hall, 1986). His 2011 book, Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities: The Contested Schoolhouse in Maritime Canada, was recognized in Acadiensis as one of the top works in Canadian education history.

His tenth book, The State of the System: A Reality Check on Canada’s Schools, is coming soon from McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Patrick Lacroix, PhD

Born and raised in Quebec, Patrick Lacroix earned a master’s degree in history at Brock University and attended the University of New Hampshire on a Fulbright scholarship. His doctoral dissertation, “John F. Kennedy and the Politics of Faith,” is set to appear at the University Press of Kansas next spring. Beyond his work on the church-state issues in modern American history, Dr. Lacroix is widely published in the field of French-Canadian migrations and Franco-Americans studies. His research has notably appeared in the Catholic Historical Review, the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and the Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française. He has taught at Phillips Exeter Academy, Bishop’s University, Acadia University, and Mount Saint Vincent University. 

Colonel (Ret’d) John L. Orr C

Photo caption: Colonel (Ret’d) Orr and his wife Cheri attend the induction of one of his favourite helicopters to the collection at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on 9 December 2019.

Colonel Orr joined the Royal Canadian Navy in September 1963 and graduated in 1967 from the Royal Military College of Canada. Selected for aircrew duties, he completed five operational tours on the Sea King helicopter. Colonel Orr attended the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College and has held a variety of command and staff appointments in Canada, NATO and the Middle East. He retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in September 2000 and since then has volunteered as a researcher at the Shearwater Aviation Museum where he has concentrated his efforts on documenting the history of the Canadian Sea King helicopter as well as the history of the air station at Shearwater, Nova Scotia.


Mathias Rodorff

Mathias Rodorff is a PhD-candidate at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU Munich) with a joint supervision at the Department of History at Dalhousie University. He received a joint master’s degree from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel, in Modern, Social and Economic History, and Media Studies, funded by the European Campus Program (EUCOR). His dissertation examines how transatlantic processes, the American Civil War and the Canadian Confederation, interacted with local spaces and how public sphere was created in Great Britain and Canada during the 1850s-1870s.

Since July 2018 he is a Research Associate at the Gorsebrook Research Institute at Saint Mary’s University, and, since January 2019, a Member of the Council of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society.

Currently, Mathias is teaching the second year course “20th Century Germany” at the Department of History at Dalhousie University.

Title of dissertation:
“The American Civil War and the Canadian Confederation in Canada and Great Britain: Its Representation, Impacts and Repercussions in Liverpool, Halifax and Montreal (1856-1873)”

Further information and abstract of the dissertation can be found here:

Susan Surette-Draper

Susan grew up in Ste Anne du Ruisseau (also known as Lower Eel Brook) in Yarmouth County, NS, where her family has lived for 7 generations. You may know her from her most recent employment as an interpreter at Grand-Pré National Historic Site.

In 2004 she wrote the booklet “Return to Acadie. A Self-Guided Memory Walk of the Annapolis Valley” as a tool for anyone interested in discovering the Annapolis Valley from an Acadian perspective. Whether people have downloaded it from the website of Les Amis de Grand-Pré or have a hard copy, it is still providing useful information to searchers.

For the last 10 years, Susan has been the president of Les Amis de Grand-Pré.

Susan is presently finishing a second book, tentatively called Refuge, which promises to shine a light on a little-known Acadian story of survival, in a very personal way.

Her blog: has suffered from lack of attention lately but you can still read her personal stories animated by Acadian landscapes, whether they be found in Atlantic Canada, Québec, France or England.

Susan and husband Ernie are empty nesters living in Port Williams with their cat. In the summer you can find her in her garden or heading off to paint en Plein Air.

Dr. Louise Carbert

 Carbert has been at Dalhousie University since 1995. She teaches and publishes on women’s political leadership, rural political economy, and Nova Scotia politics. She was a member of the national 2012 Boundaries Commission for Nova Scotia and has served on the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

Dr. S. Karly Kehoe

Dr. S. Karly Kehoe is the Canada Research Chair in Atlantic Canada Communities. Karly’s primary research areas are religion, migration, and minority identities in the British Atlantic, but she is also interested in sustainable development and rural change in Nova Scotia and the Scottish Highlands. In addition to co-editing (with Chris Dalglish) the Histories of the Scottish North Atlantic book series with Edinburgh University Press, Karly is an advocate of displaced and at-risk academics. She sits on the editorial boards of both the Scottish Historical Review and the Innes Review and is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She is also president-elect of the Royal Society of Canada’s College.

Sara Hollett

Sara Hollett has a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Atlantic Canada Studies and History from Saint Mary’s University, and completed her Master’s in Public History at Carleton University in 2017. Her MA research focused on the Nova Scotia tourism industry in the 1950s and 1960s. Her Major Research Essay, which today’s paper is based on, questions past and present reception of tourism promotion in the province and how this promotion can shape and be shaped by Nova Scotia identity, economy and culture. Professionally, she has worked for the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Library and Archives Canada, Parks Canada, and currently as Archives Advisor for the Council of Nova Scotia Archives.

Stefanie Slaunwhite

Stefanie has had a lifelong fascination with all things historical. From a young age, she and her parents ventured to museums across the Maritimes. Upon entering university, Stefanie knew she wanted to study history. She completed her Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Atlantic Canada Studies and her Master of Arts in Atlantic Canada Studies, both at Saint Mary’s University. Her Master’s thesis, entitled “The Intricacies of Integration: The Case of Graham Creighton High School” won the Governor General’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence at convocation. The research from Stefanie’s thesis inspired the lecture she is giving for the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society. Stefanie is currently a PhD Candidate at UNB New Brunswick in Fredericton. In her free time, she enjoys fishing, hiking, and volunteering with Girl Guides of Canada.