2023-2024 Series 3 - Hope and Inspiration in Grey Bruce

January 4 to February 8, 2024 

BALL presents a lot of topics that examine problems in the world. While these discussions are critically important, sometimes it's good to celebrate the many positive forces in the world - individuals and groups making our communities better places to live.

This online series will look at the positive activities of projects that are restoring our local environment, improving the lives of the those with disabilities and an innovative start up educating all ages on nuclear energy as a possible climate solution.

Series Coordinators:

Joan Irvine and Leslie Garnett

Supporting Community Resiliency through Philanthropy

  • Date: Thursday Jan. 4, 2024  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Location: Online (Vimeo) only

Reid will discuss the impact of community philanthropy on the wellbeing and resilience of people in Grey Bruce by empowering and enabling creative work of local charities and non-profits for the good of all. Reid will discuss knowledge gathering through Vital Signs reports and how knowledge informs strategic grant making. An introduction to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals will link local activity with global priorities. He will also touch on projects such as Lake Huron Forever, forging nature-based solutions to stormwater management, and Youth in Transition, a poverty alleviation project aimed at keeping young people in housing. Reid will talk about the growing network of social enterprises across Canada.

Lecturer: Stuart Reid

Stuart Reid is a graduate of York University, Toronto. Reid has over 30 years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector at art museums in Ontario and Saskatchewan. He joined the community philanthropy movement in 2016 as Executive Director of Community Foundation Grey Bruce.

Miracle on 8th Street

  • Date: Thursday Jan. 11, 2024  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Location: Online (Vimeo) only

The surprising journey of the REACH Centre Grey Bruce. A heartfelt story of resilience, determination and joy.

Lecturer: Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller is the Executive Director of the REACH Centre. Jennifer was Owen Sound area Trustee for Bluewater District School Board, past president of Autism Ontario Grey Bruce, and a mom of an amazing child on the Autism Spectrum.






Creating a Better Environment with NeighbourWoods North

  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024   10:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • Location: Online (Vimeo) only

This lecture is about finding hope and inspiration through engaging in environmental projects that directly impact your local community, now and for decades to come. Starting with some examples from around the world and in our province of community environmental projects that have created a positive legacy, we then narrow the focus to similar projects in Owen Sound. We will pay particular attention to the many local tree planting projects started by our volunteer organization called Neighbourwoods North, and the hope that is derived from engaging in such positive action. We will conclude with a look at possible future projects and how volunteers may get inspired to create their own hope.

Lecturers:  Lloyd Lewis and Vicky Thompson

Retired to Owen Sound after a 32 year career as a high school Outdoor Education teacher in Guelph, Lloyd Lewis became inspired by engaging students in school ground greening projects that transformed their outdoor spaces. Seeking to continue this work, he created NeighbourWoods North, focusing on local tree planting and naturalization.


Having lived and worked in Grey/Bruce for 38 years as a physician in the area of mental health, Vicky Thompson retired to continue to enjoy our beautiful region and volunteer in the community as a Master Gardener in 2018. She joined NeighbourWoodsNorth to work in naturalizing with native species. Always learning!


Bagida'waad and Climate Change

  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024   10:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • Location: Online (Vimeo) only

This engaging workshop will be led by Natasha Akiwenzie, the Manager of the Bagida’waad Alliance. It will feature how climate change is affecting the Saugeen Ojibway Nation fishing families’ ways of life. Her son Christopher Akiwenzie, who runs Aki Tours, will also show his documentary Gchi-Jimaan Jiime about a Ceremonial Big Canoe Journey that was organized to spark conversations about the decline of lake whitefish. Bagida’waad was formed in 2018 to educate people on the fisheries and climate change, to encourage people to do more climate action, and to help people to connect to the natural world around them.

Lecturer: Natasha Akiwenzie

Natasha Akiwenzie, member of Lac Seul First Nation lives with her family at Neyaashiinigmiing. She and her famiy ran a sustainable commercial fishing business for 15 years, watching the effects climate change had on the fish. This lead to forming the Bagida'waad Alliance and the closing of their fishing business.

Sustainability + Regeneration

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024   10:00 AM -12:00 PM

  • Location: Online (Vimeo) only

The Sustainability Project wants to create a culture of sustainability in our communities.  We challenge existing narratives and affect change through education, outreach, and networking to "cross-pollinate" all the other contributors in sustainability in our region.  Our members are all civic leaders and champions of at least one community project that creates positive change on climate action, community gardens, waste diversion, landscape regeneration, food security, climate adaptation, and the pursuit of a doughnut/green economy. This lecture will feature all the friendly faces you've come to know, discussing the many opportunities available to make the leap to sustainability.

Lecturers: Leigh Grigg,   Beth Anne Currie, Simona Freibergova, Jo-Anne Harbinson, Bruce Davidson, Susi Schmidt, and Nick Schwass

Leigh Grigg is a Board Member of The Sustainability Project, a non-profit that resides on the Traditional Territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, known also as Grey-Bruce.   This organization is led by an array of community leaders who are creating a culture of Sustainability in our region.



Technology: Friend or Enemy?

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024   10:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • Location: Online (Vimeo) only

Artificial intelligence. Robotics. Virtual reality and holograms. 3D printing and 5G communications.

The speed of technological change can often feel overwhelming. But inventing and adopting new technologies is part of the human experience – always has been – and a better understanding of how they work can determine if they become a force for good, or bad.

Lecturer: Bruce Wallace



Bruce is CEO of the Nuclear Innovation Institute, which seeks to help people of all ages come to grips with the emerging technologies that are upending our world. He'll talk about how NII's educational programs approach that challenge, and engage the audience around some of the philosophical questions raised by technological advances.