Featured Speakers

Kate Harris

Kate Harris is a writer with a knack for getting lost. Her words have been featured in The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, and The Georgia Review, among other publications, and cited in Best American Essays and Best American Travel Writing. A Rhodes and Morehead-Cain scholar, she was named one of Canada’s top modern-day explorers and in 2012 won the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award. Her journeys edging the limits of nations, science, and sanity have taken her to all seven continents, often by ski or bike. She's been profiled in Guernica, The Globe and Mail, VOGUE Germany, and the short film The Art of Wild. When she isn't wandering the world, she lives off-grid in a log cabin in Atlin, British Columbia. Her first book is the national bestseller Lands of Lost Borders.

Pauline Dakin

Pauline Dakin is the bestselling author of Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood which won the Edna Staebler Prize for Creative Non-Fiction, was named one of the best 100 books of 2017 by The Globe and Mail, and was shortlisted for the BC Book Prize, the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award – Non-Fiction.

For many years Pauline was a trusted voice on health and medical issues as health reporter for CBC National News. She was a long-time host of the regional CBC documentary program Atlantic Voice. Her reporting and documentary work has been recognized with many regional, national and international awards. She is a three-time recipient of fellowships from the National Press Foundation in Washington and is a fellow of the MIT/Knight Science Journalism program on medical evidence in Cambridge, Mass.

She currently teaches journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, N.S., Canada.

Dale Askey

Dr. Dale Askey currently serves as Vice Provost (Learning Services) and Chief Librarian at the University of Alberta. Previously, Dale was the Associate University Librarian for Library & Learning Technologies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he also occupied the role of Administrative Director of the Lewis & Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship. He has filled a wide range of roles in libraries, primarily in collection development, public services, Web services, and information technology management. After starting out in libraries and IT at Washington University in St. Louis, he embarked on his professional library career at the University of Utah, with subsequent stays at Yale University and Kansas State University before joining McMaster. In 2009-2010, he was a visiting professor in electronic publishing and multimedia at the University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, teaching in their library science, publishing, and museum studies programs. His ongoing research project documents the cultural manifestations of the German-speaking minority that remained in the Czech and Slovak Republics after the post-WWII expulsions. This work formed the basis of the doctorate he completed in 2018 at the Humboldt University in Berlin. He earned his MLIS from the University of Missouri in 1998, and holds a BA from Colorado College and an MA from Washington University in St. Louis in German language and literature.

Christina de Castell

Christina de Castell joined Vancouver Public Library in 2006, and she was appointed Chief Librarian in 2018. She is passionate about the role of libraries in building communities, and fascinated by the way that technology is changing our learning experiences. Christina's prior roles at VPL include director of collections & technology, manager of online information & news and manager, InfoAction. Christina received a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from the University of British Columbia in 2001. In 2015, Christina represented libraries at UN forums as manager, policy and advocacy for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). She has been an active member of national and international library associations and leadership groups throughout her library career.

James Turk

Dr. James Turk is Distinguished Visiting Professor and Director of Ryerson’s Centre for Free Expression. From 1998 to 2014, Jim served as Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers; previously having taught Canadian studies and labour studies at the University of Toronto. He has also held several senior positions in the Canadian trade union movement. Jim speaks and writes extensively on intellectual freedom, freedom of expression, academic freedom, civil liberties, human rights and related public policy issues. His most recent book is an edited collection, Academic Freedom in Conflict: The Struggle over Speech Rights in the University. Jim is a member of the Board of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a member of the Steering Committee of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and is Adjunct Research Professor at the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University. He holds degrees from Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Toronto, and was a Knox Fellow at Cambridge University.

Pilar Martinez

Pilar Martinez is the Chief Executive Officer of the Edmonton Public Library, where she is responsible for strategic leadership, financial management, supporting the Board of Trustees, and stakeholder relations. She holds a MLIS from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English from Acadia University. Pilar is very active in the library community, and currently serves on several boards nation-wide, including chairing the Canadian Urban Libraries Council and serving on the Public Lending Rights Commission. Pilar is married to Tim, and they have two amazing children – Jeremy and Ethan.

    print the page