McMaster University Presents

The Walrus Talks Healthy Cities

Hamilton Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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  • “Activating Space” by Santee Smith, Kahawi Dance Theatre
  • “Good Stories Make Good Neighbours” by Miranda Hill, Project Bookmark
  • “Loneliness is the Greatest Poverty” by André Picard, the Globe and Mail
  • “Breaking Down Stigma” by Jennifer Heisz, McMaster University
  • “The Odd Interplay of Cities and Infection” by Gerry Wright, McMaster University
  • “Health Happens When You Fight for It” by Nick Saul, Community Food Centres Canada
  • “Creating Culture” by Tim Potocic, Supercrawl

Santee Smith (Tekaronhiáhkhwa), a mother, performer, award-winning producer, and choreographer, is from the Kahnyen’kehàka Nation, Turtle Clan, from Six Nations of the Grand River. She trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, holds kinesiology and psychology degrees from McMaster University, and has an M.A. in dance from York University. She produced her first choreographic work, Kaha:wi, in 2004 and founded Kaha:wi Dance Theatre in 2005, a vehicle for her artistic work. Santee is a recent recipient of a Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding new choreography in the dance division.

Miranda Hill is a writer and founding executive director of Project Bookmark Canada, the organization building Canada’s literary trail. In 2011, Miranda won the prestigious Writers’ Trust / McClelland and Stewart Journey Prize for her story “Petitions to Saint Chronic.” Doubleday Canada published her critically acclaimed short story collection, Sleeping Funny, in 2012, and it won the City of Hamilton Award for Fiction. Miranda reads and writes in Hamilton, Ontario and Woody Point, Newfoundland and Labrador, where she serves on the board of Writers at Woody Point. She is at work on a novel for Knopf Canada.

Robin Cox is director of the Resilience by Design Innovation Lab and head of Royal Roads University’s Disaster and Emergency Management graduate program. Her research deals with youth and their capacity for community resilience in the face of disasters, climate change, and socio-economic challenges. The RbD is a virtual and face-to-face consortium of academic and community researchers, students, post-doctoral fellows, and young people committed to resilience. Its strategies include arts-based methods, digital storytelling, design, and gamification.

André Picard is the health columnist at the Globe and Mail and one of Canada’s top public-policy writers. He is the author of the best-selling books Critical Care: Canadian Nurses Speak for Change and The Gift of Death: Confronting Canada’s Tainted-Blood Tragedy. André has received the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism, the Canadian Policy Research Award, and the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, and is a four-time finalist for the National Newspaper Awards. He lives in Montreal.

Jennifer Heisz began her appointment as assistant professor in kinesiology and associate director (seniors) of McMaster University’s Physical Activity Centre of Excellence after receiving her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience. Jennifer directs the Neurophysiology and Fitness Lab; has published extensively in prominent journals on the neurophysiology of fitness, aging, and cognitive neuroscience; and recently received an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Research Coalition.

Gerry Wright, a former student at the University of Waterloo and Harvard, joined McMaster University’s Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences in 1993 and holds the Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Infection and Anti-infective Research. He is founding director of the McMaster Antimicrobial Research Centre, co-founder of the McMaster High-Throughput Screening Facility, past chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a member of the American Academy of Microbiology. He has received the a former and he received the Killam Research Fellowship, a Premier’s Research Excellence Award, and a John Charles Polanyi Prize.

Nick Saul is president and CEO of Community Food Centres Canada, a national organization that builds vibrant, food-focused community centres in low-income neighbourhoods. He is a recipient of the Jane Jacobs Prize and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Nick speaks regularly on issues of justice and the Community Food Centre model of food access, health, and community building. His bestselling book, The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement, written with his wife, Andrea Curtis, was nominated for the Toronto Book Award. Nick lives in Toronto.

Tim Potocic is co-owner and president of Hamilton’s Sonic Unyon Records, which includes in-house labels Sonic Unyon Metal and Goodfellow Records. Tim currently sits on the boards of the Canadian Independent Music Association, the Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Area, the Hamilton Arts Council, and Cobalt Connects, and he has received a Canadian Music Industry Award and a Hamilton Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2009, Sonic Unyon expanded into live music as part of Supercrawl, a yearly award-winning festival, which Tim founded.

The Walrus
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