Aletha Humphreys – Café Owner & Project Manager

“My connection to Salt Spring Island started in summer 2010 when my husband, son and I were offered the opportunity to farm-sit for a then acquaintance, now good friend. We were city-folk, living in Vancouver, having spent ten years in London. I loved living in the UK, the feeling of being engaged in world events, eager to put up with the stresses of urban living for the varied, accessible cultural and intellectual opportunities. Family brought us back to the West Coast and the vibrancy and sense of community enticed us to go that little bit further to this small island that immediately felt like home. With my son now in middle-school, in order to spend more time on island and to get more involved with the community, I recently took on the challenge of running Café Talia and also joined the Forum board. I greatly appreciate the value the Forum adds to island life by presenting an amazing array of diverse speakers in such an intimate inclusive format.”

Briony Penn

Briony Penn – Writer & Activist

“When you grow up on the edge of a shifting active tectonic plate, you can’t for a moment forget that we are part of a dynamic natural world. To quote Ed Ricketts, another coastal author who had no trouble finding content and metaphor in tide pools, “Who would see a replica of man’s social structure has only to examine the abundant and various life of the tide pools.” The Salish Sea has always informed and enriched those that live or visit here and the Forum helps bring national conversations into our rich tide pools where we get wet and real. What I love about the Forum is that we lure the world to us and a little bit of Saltspring goes back to the world.”


Derek Lundy – Author

“I moved to Salt Spring Island from Toronto for a quieter life and discovered quite the opposite. True, it was quieter in the sense of less traffic and shouting. It was also beautiful, Edenic. But the sound of informed, exuberant discussion, of ingenious creation, and of community conversation was loud and clear. That’s become even more the case over the years I’ve been here, and it’s nowhere more apparent than through the events and engagements of the Salt Spring Forum. It seems odd to leave the centre of Canada for its fringe and yet to be more engaged with the world than ever before. That’s what the Forum helps happen here, and why I’m honoured to be part of it.”

George Sipos

George Sipos – Former Executive Director, ArtSpring

“In Prince George I ran a small independent bookstore, which was for many years a labour of love and an act of faith in the power of the written word to enrich and transform the lives of human communities. As the former Executive Director of ArtSpring here on Salt Spring, I remain committed to a vision of the arts as central to a community’s collective understanding of itself and of the larger world of ideas. What I like about the Salt Spring Forum is that it is a venture governed not by a political agenda but by openness toward and curiosity about the world of ideas, facts and feats of imagination, particularly as they play themselves out in a public context.”

Jason Mogus

Jason Mogus – Consultant and Campaigner

“My work as a consultant for social and environmental advocacy organizations takes me all over the place, but it’s the stillness of Salt Spring that grounds all that I do. After 22 years in Vancouver we moved our young family here in 2014, and we couldn’t now imagine living anywhere else. Sometimes I feel a little out of place, working a fast paced “city job” from the quiet country, but I know there are more than a few of us living this dual life dotted across this rock. I was amazed at the quality of the speakers and the depth of the conversation at Forum events. The Forum helps us connect with other thinkers and do-ers from all walks of life, people engaged in solving the “wicked problems” of our times, and that feeds me, as I know it feeds everyone who comes.”


Jean Gelwicks – Retired High School Teacher & Active Salt Spring Community Member

“Most of my life has been spent in the field of education: Starting at ten teaching my younger brother and sister arithmetic and reading, and becoming a secondary school teacher/counsellor for 40 years. I retired (sort of) to Salt Spring where I chaired the Education Committee of the SSI Conservancy for a number of years and started, with others, their Stewards in Training Schools program with which I am still involved. I also sit on the Transition Education Committee. I believe that knowledge is the beginning of everything and that learning should be a lifelong pursuit. The Forum has brought to our community the opportunity to learn from the most incredible folks, who each come with a wide breadth of experiences and knowledge. These events help to keep me open to questioning, reevaluating and acquiring a deeper understanding of issues. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to hear from so many interesting people. I learn something from each, including our very own Salt Spring moderators, who have all been brilliant.”

Jim E.

Jim Erickson – Oscar-winning Set Director

“In 1974 I immigrated to Canada seeking a more tolerant society that would be accepting of my homosexuality and a country that believed a healthy society is a more content and productive society. This I found here. Canada allowed me to grow and embrace the challenges of life with confidence, health and through a serendipitous timing of being in the right place at the right time, I found myself invited into the film industry. This career satisfied my curiosity of life. The Salt Spring Forum continues to do this. It is a welcome privilege to be part of this group of smart forward-thinking men and women who really care about lives, the role of government and contemplate our response and responsibility to this island rock on which we live, this northern half of the continent, this blue orb spinning in the blackness of space, the water we drink, the air we breath, and the children we love.”


Michael Byers – Political Science Professor, University of British Columbia

“I moved to Salt Spring Island for its beautiful beaches, parks and vistas — and soon found that the true beauty of this place lies in its cohesive, compassionate, internationally-oriented, highly engaged community. My next book is dedicated to the “Queen of Nanaimo”, the grand old ferry that takes me to – and from – a teaching job at UBC.”

Nigel Fisher

Nigel Fisher – International Humanitarian

“My family has been a nomadic one, roaming the Global South for over 30 years, predominantly in countries and regions in the midst of crises driven by wars or not-so-natural disasters. When turmoil reigns, family and some semblance of community are critical to survival, both and physical and mental. Where would a nomadic Canadian family – its members and friends frequently separated by forced evacuations and postings in what the United Nations calls “non-family” duty stations – go to find that all-important sense of community in this vast country of ours? Salt Spring, that’s where. We washed up on these shores a dozen years ago, to be embraced by the Island, its myriad talents, its passions and lively debates. The Forum epitomises Salt Spring, its inclusiveness, its local and global interests, the world at our door, the community in all of us.”

Tony & Wendy Kennedy

Tony Kennedy – Internationalist

“Thirty years with UNICEF made up the major part of my formal career. My five years at United Nations headquarters in New York were followed by twenty years living and running UNICEF offices in developing countries: Pakistan (where our children were born), Guatemala (dealing with the seven countries of Central America and Panama), Bangladesh and Indonesia; followed by a five year return to New York. The welcoming and interesting range of people on Salt Spring spurred my wife Wendy and me to move here in 2001. Nourished by varied interests in which the Forum stands out, our love for this place and its sense of community has only deepened.”