Our Town - Kitchener-Waterloo Volunteers
The following are brief bios of some of the volunteer participants in the Our Town project. These talented folks wholeheartedly gave their time and creative efforts to spotlighting many of the stellar aspects of their Kitchener-Waterloo community. As you can see, quite a few were not strangers to the visual arts and their enthusiasm for the project can easily be seen in their philosophies and in the stories they told.
Shirley Fowley is a resident of Waterloo. Since “retiring” as a public school art teacher, she has been busier than ever pursuing various avenues in the arts. She has designed and built floats for the Oktoberfest parade for a number of years, while also pursuing an acting career. She has appeared in many American television commercials, and has voiced commercials on KOOL FM. She continues to construct theatre props and to create one-of-a-kind art dolls, as well as paint in acrylics. Shirley approached the Our Town project as a way to explore the field of film making, and as an opportunity to tell the “behind-the-scenes” story of the tremendous efforts of the unsung heroes that produce our yearly Thanksgiving Day Parade.
James Leiper is a Kitchener resident and freelance videographer, voice artist and producer. Always passionate about approaching the viewfinder no matter the project, James eagerly stepped forward for the chance to assist with a community based production created by the WNED team. He took on the monumental task of selecting Oktoberfest as his topic. In the summer, James can be seen at various ball diamonds when not shooting for film or video, and in winter the sports venues of choice are the many hockey rinks across Ontario while shuttling his goaltending son to and from the action. Energetic, with high standards, and very serious about his profession, James was happy to contribute to the production. Thanks again to the team at WNED for choosing our community to be profiled on Our Town.
Steve Lindt is chairperson of the City of Waterloo's “55+” Advisory Board and chose to focus on Seniors for his topic. Steve is an aging hippie who likes some hip hop music, avoids oldies radio and owns a marketing company. "Being a baby boomer defined my generation," says Steve. "Let's hope, as we boomers retire, we can recapture the idealism of the 60s and leave our world a better place."
Philip Bast graduated to videography following a 26-year newspaper career. Since retiring as Arts Editor for The Record he has been producing weekly webcasts and television reports in Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph. He also produces documentary and archival video for business and cultural agencies. In addition, he is a feature writer for Grand magazine and Guelph Life magazine. Volunteer activities include board of director positions for The New Quarterly literary journal and Ed Video Media Arts Centre. Philip looked at the Multicultural Community for Our Town: Kitchener-Waterloo.
A retired teacher, Terence Scully is happily free now to devote his time to travel (always packing his video camera), to municipal heritage work, and to his research and publications in the area of early European food and cooking and their relationship to ideas about health and medicine. For this program Terence told the story of the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Markets.
Jan Purvis is a dedicated volunteer providing services and support to a number of grassroots organizations engaged in ecological, social, and cultural change. Volunteering has allowed her to remain connected to the "outside world" while staying home to raise her 3 boys. Prior to having children, Jan spent 15 years in the field of Television Production in Toronto and Vancouver. It is this expertise that has led her to become involved with a variety of non-profit organizations that are interested in self promotion and making change. Jan's unlimited enthusiasm and appreciation for building community through her volunteer efforts continues to grow to this day. She chose to explore K-W’s Universities for Our Town.
Sher DiCiccio is the Executive Director of the Waterloo Community Arts Centre, a unique facility located within the walls of the Button Factory, a well-known historic landmark in K-W. As an artist herself, she has a deep appreciation for the architecture of heritage buildings that preserve our sense of place. Sher chose to focus on these Heritage Buildings for Our Town: Kitchener-Waterloo. A long time champion of the arts in Kitchener-Waterloo, Sher continues to build community partnerships and create opportunities for people of all ages and skill levels to engage in the process of discovering the artist within.
Looey Tremblay is a respected real estate broker and a successful entrepreneur, to boot. Looey’s passion is Salsa dancing. He has a phenomenal capacity to teach and mentor Salsa dance students, and has danced his way into the hearts of many with his unbridled energy and enthusiasm. It was only natural that Looey would work with Candee Tremblay and Andrei Grichine to introduce the viewers of Our Town to Salsa Dancing.
Candee Tremblay is a freelance writer whose aim is to coax the extraordinary out of the commonplace. She is a seasoned professional whose talents include research, copywriting and marketing initiatives. When she’s not working on her next project, you can find her kicking back at her lakeside home. Her pet phrase is “I love my life”!
Andrei Grichine is a recognized Art Director/Producer with
extensive experience in film/motion graphic projects, web and
multimedia design. He has founded a successful film/design production
studio providing services to local and international businesses. His passion lies in film directing and producing, taking the lead in many projects from instructional SALSA dance DVDs to commercials and short films. Currently Andrei is working on his own feature film.
Stephen Andrews has been a resident of Kitchener-Waterloo for more than 30 years. He is a tax consultant, but he developed a passion for amateur videography following the purchase of his first camcorder in 1987. Thanks to his Mac computer and iMovie Stephen has filmed and edited a variety of movies, including travel videos, weddings for friends and sporting events. He chose to focus on The Grand River for Our Town.
Mallory Richard is a fourth year Film, English and Communication Studies student at Wilfrid Laurier University. She chose to profile the Indy Music Scene in Our Town. When she's not busy with school work Mallory enjoys visual arts, swimming and working on her manuscript. In January 2008 Mallory staged her first play, “Panda-Monium!” co-written and directed with friend Adam Cilevitz at the Wilfrid Laurier University Fr!nge Festival. Mallory hopes to one day be a sitcom writer, an independent filmmaker . . . or a pirate.
Roger Montgomery began dabbling with his new Nikon F2 in Toronto in 1980. He experimented with nature shots and portrait photography and began to pursue his hobby in earnest. Then strangely, in the mid-eighties, his life took a turn from visual arts to the performing arts that had him perform in film, television and theatre for almost 20 years including a prominent role as math teacher Jorge Garcia on hit television series Degrassi Junior High. Roger went to Los Angeles for two years where he studied Film Production at the American Film Institute and Screenwriting at UCLA. Both he and his wife Lisa have since settled in Waterloo, where he has rekindled his desire to tell stories--only now, through his pictures. Overall it seems only fitting that he would combine his eye for talent and acute passion of the arts, to capture the most powerful and unique still images. Roger is also President and Chairman of the Waterloo Community Arts Centre in Waterloo. Influenced by his background in the entertainment industry, Roger chose Entertainment Venues as his topic.
Tim Osland lives in Waterloo with his wife and two sons. For Our Town he chose to highlight Victoria Park which he refers to as the “Jewel of Kitchener”. He is currently the President of the Laurelwood Neighbourhood Association, as well as the President of the Waterloo Community Council. Tim’s career as a Sales Manager takes him around the country far too often, but you can’t find him on a warm, sunny day, he’s probably off playing golf.
Caroline de Gruchy is the owner of C.R.Visuals, a new media and graphic
design studio with 8 employees. Born in Montreal, she received her M.A.
in anthropology from the University of Calgary, studied design in Toronto, and then moved to Kitchener-Waterloo to be near her parents. She knew Waterloo Region was a good place to live as soon as she turned off the highway and saw the exquisite Rockway Gardens. Caroline explores the gardens in this program.
Chuck Snider and his family have been residents of the historic Doon area of Kitchener since 1977. His love of the area’s rural heritage lead him to choose Doon as his topic for the Our Town project. He worked for thirty-one years as a teacher of English, Drama, Media Studies, and Screen Education in four secondary schools in Waterloo Region. Since retiring four years ago, Chuck has continued to present workshops in video editing and production for teachers of the Waterloo Region District School Board. He also creates videos commercially as Across the Wire Productions and operates a home handyman service as KW Handy Husband.
Mark Whaley is a second term councillor for the city of Waterloo. He was joined in the production to tell the story of Intelligent Waterloo by Sophie Moroz, a second year broadcast arts program student at Conestoga College.