RBC Foundation Presents

The Walrus Talks Social Impact (Halifax)

Halifax 7:00 p.m., Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Walrus Talks is a national series of events about Canada and its place in the world. Each event offers thoughtful, inspiring thinking from scholars, writers, performers, scientists, artists, and business leaders.

Questions about the Walrus Talks? Read our FAQ here.

General admission $15
Students $10

Spatz Theatre
1855 Trollope St.,
Halifax, NS

Changing the world with visionaries, partners, and great ideas. How systemic change works, and how we can improve society through smart philanthropy, and community action.


  • Mary Gordon, founder and president, Roots of Empathy
  • Angela Bishop, executive director, Community Foundation of Nova Scotia
  • Keith McIntosh, founder, PLATO Testing
  • Rosmarie Lohnes, president, Helping Nature Heal Inc.
  • David Upton, co-founder, Common Good Solutions
  • Deborah Dickey, manager, Dartmouth North Community Food Centre
  • Sylvia D. Hamilton, writer and filmmaker


Mary Gordon

Mary Gordon is an award-winning social entrepreneur, educator, author, child advocate, and parenting expert. She is the founder of Canada’s first and largest school-based Parenting and Family Literacy Centre, and in 1996, she created the Roots of Empathy program. She consults with governments, educational organizations, and public institutions, including the World Health Organization and the United Nations.

Angela Bishop

Angela Bishop has fifteen years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector. She has worked in housing and homelessness, early childhood education, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable food production. She joined the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia, where she helps local communities realize their possibilities. She has taught at both Saint Mary’s University and George Brown College, inspiring students to envision themselves as future leaders.

Keith McIntosh

Keith McIntosh founded Professional Quality Assurance in 1997 to fill a need in the local market. Under his leadership, the company expanded across Canada. After the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Report, Keith founded PLATO Testing to confront underemployment in Indigenous communities and to address the growing tech talent shortage. The company currently employs fifty full-time Indigenous software-testers.

Rosamie Lohnes

Rosmarie Lohnes holds a B.A. in Conservation and Environmental Studies from York University, and has taken courses such as Architectural Design, Horticulture as Therapy, Ecological Landscape Design, Shoreline Erosion, Master Gardener, and Landscape Management. In 1999, she completed an internship in Ecological Forestry and Organic Gardening at Windhorse Farm. It was after her internship that she began gardening, and her own business, Helping Nature Heal, was born.

David Upton

David Upton is the co-founder of Common Good Solutions, a founding member of the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia, and a past member of the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Social Innovation Committee. He teaches social finance at the University of Fredericton. He is primarily interested in building capacity within the social-enterprise ecosystem on the regional, national, and international levels.


Deborah Dickey has worked with individuals and families in Dartmouth North for more than fifteen years. She joined the Dartmouth Family Centre in 2001 as an early childhood educator and has worked in numerous roles since then. She is manager of the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre, where she seeks ways to mitigate food insecurity through respect, dignity, and community action.

Sylvia D. Hamilton

Sylvia D. Hamilton is an award-winning Nova Scotian filmmaker, writer, artist, and educator. Her films have been broadcast in Canada and screened at festivals worldwide. Her poetry collection, And I Alone Escaped to Tell You, was shortlisted for a 2015 League of Canadian Poets Award. She has received a Gemini Award, the CBC Television Pioneer Award, and three honorary degrees. She holds the Rogers Chair in Communications at the University of King’s College.

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