Our Board & Staff

Carolyn Hyslop

Executive Director

Carolyn has been with the museum since 2002 in roles including Education Co-ordinator, Public Programs Manager, Interim General Manager, and Director of Operations. Prior to joining the museum, Carolyn held positions at Camp Kawartha, Outward Bound Canada, Canada World Youth, Quetico Foundation and the Bluewater District School Board. She earned a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University’s Outdoor and Experiential Education program and a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University. She is devoted to outdoor education, and has active memberships with the Ontario College of Teachers and the Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association (instructor level).
– Contact Carolyn –

James Raffan

Director of External Relations

James has been a part of the museum since its inception, having held a number of roles including, most recently, the Director of Development and Director Emeritus. He served as the Executive Director from 2008 to 2014, the Curator in 2007, and worked on the first education program in 1999. This work stemmed from his volunteer involvement on the museum’s Education Advisory Committee in the 1990s, which he undertook as a professor at Queen’s University in the Faculty of Education. He held a number of positions with Queen’s from 1982 to 1999 and is also a graduate of the University. James holds a Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Education, Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science. He is a celebrated author of numerous books including Circling the Midnight Sun: Culture and Change in the invisible Arctic, and the national bestsellers Emperor of the North: Sir George Simpson and the Remarkable Story of the Hudson’s Bay Company and Deep Waters: Courage, Character and the Canoeing Tragedy of Lake Timiskaming. James has been honoured with numerous recognitions and awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada, Honourary Doctor of Laws from the University of Guelph, and a number of others related to his considerable work as a writer and outdoorsman. Years spent as a camper and staff member at Camp Kandalore from 1959 to 1973 inspired James’ lifelong interest in the collection.
Contact James

Jeremy Ward


Jeremy’s involvement with the museum began as a volunteer. He joined the staff in 1997. Previously, he coordinated a field school for Trent University in the Nunavut community of Pangnirtung, and undertook cabinetmaking, birch bark canoe building and archaeological work in Greece. A graduate of Trent University’s Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies programs, Jeremy’s work has included curating or producing more than ten major exhibitions, many of which are still on display or travelling. He has also researched, and been featured in, documentaries aired on the Discovery Channel and the BBC, including most recently The Nature of Things. A notable project was the research and construction of a 36-foot birch bark canoe. Working before the public at the museum along with a team of volunteers, Jeremy built an authentic, functional example of the canot du maître, the workhorse vehicle of the 18th and early 19th century fur trade in Canada. Jeremy has also acted as the Director of the Museum Small Craft Association on a volunteer basis.
– Contact Jeremy –

Karen Taylor

Director of Programs

Karen has been with the museum since 2007 and in the role of Education Manager since 2012. Previously, she facilitated school programs as a Part-Time Animator. Prior to joining the museum, Karen led the coordination of the Peterborough Parent-Child Mother Goose Program and taught private music lessons. Past volunteer roles include Executive Director of the Peterborough Folk Festival and as a Board Member of Children’s Stage Lakefield. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts Joint Honours in History and Anthropology from McGill University. In 2012, Karen’s education team won the Samuel Armour Heritage Award from the Peterborough Historical Society.
Contact Karen

Emily Buss

Manager of Finance

Coming from three years in public accounting, Emily is eager to join the CCM team as Manager of Finance. Bringing a lifelong love of education and environmental charity work, she left her hometown of Sudbury to receive a Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management at Waterloo University. From there she came to Peterborough to gain experience as an auditor and tax accountant and found herself drawn again to the non-profit sector. She loves walking all over the East City with her border collie Milo, and spends her free time reading, writing, cross stitching, and playing weekly Dungeons and Dragons.- Contact Emily

Beth Stanley

Associate Curator

Beth has been with the museum in many different capacities since 2006. After starting as seasonal staff, she worked to grow the Artisan Workshop Program and took on her current role in the Curatorial Department. Beth has had a life-long love of making things, and she found her passion for sharing history and traditional skills in a previous position at Lang Pioneer Village. She earned an Honours Degree in Arts and Science at the University of Guelph combining her interests in History and Biology into her studies.
Contact Beth

Diana Francis

Finance Officer

Raised in Peterborough, Diana returned to her hometown in 2018 and joined our team as Finance Officer. With diplomas in Accounting, Office Administration and Human Resources, Diana brings over twenty years of experience in payroll, employee benefits, finance and business operations. Diana’s employment history includes working for accounting firms in both Calgary and Peterborough, Office Manager for Dart Canada in Campbellford and a finance position at Ste. Anne’s Spa, in Grafton. Given her employment history, it’s evident that Diana is pleased with her role as Finance Officer with The Canadian Canoe Museum which allows her to continue in a position she enjoys and remain in Peterborough.
Contact Diana

Jen Burnard

Lead Animator

(Part-time) Having volunteered as a tour guide with the museum for several years, Jen joined the Education Program as an education animator in 2001 and took on leadership responsibilities with the team in 2012. Jen studied Indigenous Studies and Anthropology at Trent University and Nursing at Fleming College prior to becoming part of the award-winning team – twice recognized with the Peterborough Historical Society’s Samuel Armour Award for heritage education. A love of the canoe and its place in the Canadian experience is an important aspect of Jen’s every day, both at the museum and as an occasional ORCKA instructor. 

Kate Kennington

Development Officer

Kate joined the museum in 2018 and has a varied career background including the healthcare, education and charitable sectors with over ten years’ experience in administration in Ontario and Manitoba. Most recently, Kate was the Family Support Manager at Threads of Life – the Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support. With a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Sociology from Trent University, she is also a graduate of the Post-Grad Event Management Program at Fleming College and is proud to call Peterborough home.
Contact Kate

Laura Peers

Exhibits Project Manager

A graduate of Trent University, Dr. Laura Peers has opened dialogues between Indigenous communities and museums across the UK, Europe and North America; she joins The Canadian Canoe Museum as Exhibits Project Manager, leading on the development of exhibitions for the new building project. An historian and museum anthropologist as well as a curator, her research and curatorial practice explores the meanings of heritage objects to Indigenous people today and ways that museums can support Indigenous communities. She has managed complex international projects linking museums and Indigenous communities, including the Great Box Project with the Haida Nation and the Blackfoot Shirts Project. She is Emeritus Curator, Pitt Rivers Museum, and Emeritus Professor of Museum Anthropology, at the University of Oxford, and holds an adjunct appointment at Trent University. She is delighted to be based in the Kawarthas where she can get some decent canoeing in.
Contact Laura

MaryJane Proulx

Exhibits Project Coordinator

MaryJane is a nishinaabeg-scottish kwe who has joined the team as the Exhibits Project Coordinator. Prior to this role, she volunteered, interned and worked at the museum in different capacities since 2016. MaryJane holds a Bachelor with Honours in History and Environmental Resource Studies, a diploma in Ecosystem Management Technology and a certificate in Museum Management & Curatorship. She has worked as an Artisan Interpreter and Tour Guide at the museum teaching visitors about Indigenous-settler histories through the story of the canoe. She has also worked for Dalhousie University as a researcher, exploring Indigenous knowledge systems and partnerships in ocean stewardship. MaryJane’s ultimate goal in both her personal and academic career is to bridge cultures through ecological problem solving and storytelling
Contact MaryJane

Rachelia Giardino

Marketing & Social Media Specialist

Rachelia is passionate about storytelling and relationship building. She enjoys bringing alive the countless stories held within the 650 canoes and kayaks in our collection, and the people and places they connect us to. Rachelia joined the museum in 2018 as Interim Volunteer Manager before taking on the role of Marketing and Social Media Specialist in 2019. She has more than ten years of experience in program development and community organizing and comes to the museum from the Kawartha World Issues Centre. Rachelia holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Gender Studies from Trent University
Contact Rachelia –

Museum Board of Directors


Vicki Grant, Chair

Vicki Grant is from the Loon Clan, Teme-Augama Anishnabai Qway, (Deep Water Woman) whose Traditional Territory is the Temagami area in Northern Ontario. She is a status Indian registered as a member of the Temagami First Nation, a status given to her through Canada’s Indian Act. She would describe her most important roles in her life is that of being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Throughout her career, always with a passionate voice, in her work and in her volunteer activities has always been and continues to be an advocate for more robust Indigenous engagement. Vicki has served on board of directors for a number of Foundations, locally, provincially and nationally, including as Chair of the Board of Directors for Community Foundations of Canada. 

Jocelyn Brown

Jocelyn found her love of canoes and canoe tripping as a camper and then staff member with Camp Wapomeo, a Taylor Statten Camp in Algonquin Park. She is an experienced Customer Success and Sales Executive and has worked at several successful Canadian startups. Jocelyn lives in Toronto, spends her summers on the shores of Lake Huron and her winters skiing in the Rockies.

Meredith Brown

Meredith Brown, a champion for freshwater protection, is widely known throughout the vast Ottawa River Watershed as the founding Riverkeeper and former leader of the charitable organization Ottawa Riverkeeper, a licensed member of Waterkeeper Alliance.

Meredith holds degrees in biology, environmental engineering and resource and environmental management. Meredith is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and was awarded the Nature Inspiration Award from the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Over 15 years as a Riverkeeper, Meredith significantly raised the profile of the Ottawa River and brought together community organizations, municipal, provincial, federal governments, First Nation leaders, industry and civil society to work collaboratively to protect and restore the ecological health and resilience of the watershed. Under Meredith’s leadership, Ottawa Riverkeeper brought annual paddling events back to the Ottawa River, created a large network of dedicated citizen scientists and was a founding affiliate of the Waterkeeper Swim Guide.

Connecting Canadians to their local lakes, rivers and oceans is Meredith’s passion and she is continuing her work in this field through several exciting projects, always with a focus on water protection and restoration.

Bryan Buttigieg 

Bryan is a partner at Miller Thomson LLP. He is a certified specialist in Environmental Law and considered by his peers to be one of the leading environmental lawyers in Canada. He is a former Chair of the Rouge River Watershed Task Force that developed a multi-jurisdictional watershed plan for the Rouge River Watershed. He served for 8 years as a board member of the Durham Children’s Aid Society and was President for three of those years. Bryan emigrated to Canada as a teenager and fell in love with canoeing and its importance to understanding Canadian geography, history and cultures. With his wife and later their children, he has travelled to numerous local and remote rivers and hopes to continue to do so for many years to come.

Kate Farnell

Kate Farnell is Senior Vice President, CFO and CIO at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. She has a strong history of professional experience in financial management, including prior roles with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and BMO Capital Markets. Kate began her career at Ernst & Young LLP and became a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) in 2007.  She completed a Bachelor of Science at Queen’s University before going on to earn a Master’s of Management and Professional Accounting at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.  Kate and her husband Steve enjoy spending time lakeside with their three young children at their cottage north of Kingston.

Brian Groves

Brian Groves is an avid paddler and outdoor enthusiast originally from Temagami, Ontario, who lives in Whitehorse, Yukon. He is a graduate of both Trent University and Fleming College and had his first job in the museum sector welcoming visitors to the Kanawa Canoe Museum – Temagami Collection. He has been working in the museum and heritage sector for close to 20 years.

Brian is currently the Manager, Museums and Heritage for the Department of Tourism and Culture, Government of Yukon. He is responsible for managing a broad range of programs and technical services in support of Yukon museums, interpretive centres and First Nation cultural/heritage centres and oversees the management Yukon’s archaeology, palaeontology and place names programs.

Brian has served on the executive of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, including as President from 2014 to 2016. Brian has worked with other cultural heritage institutions, including the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre as Manager.

Dr. Jenny Ingram

Dr. Jenny Ingram is a specialist in Internal and Geriatric Medicine, practicing in Peterborough, Ontario. She is the Founder and Principal Investigator at the Kawartha Centre ~ Redefining Healthy Aging, a specialist geriatric clinic and clinical research site for dementia. Jenny is also the founding Chair of both the Peterborough Council on Aging and the Peterborough chapter of Osteoporosis Canada. Her pivotal role in supporting primary care management of complex seniors led to the development of the Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network (GAIN) and the Seniors Care Network. She is the recipient of countless awards and accolades, including the Irma M. Parhad Award for Excellence from the Consortium of Canadian Centers for Clinical Cognitive Research, the Glenn Sawyer Service Award from the Ontario Medical Association for outstanding contributions to the medical profession and the community, Trent University’s Community Leaders Award, and the Senior’s Care Excellence Visionary Award from the Seniors Care Network.

Deborah Jacobs

Deborah Jacobs is a Councillor with Curve Lake First Nation and an active member of her community. Having lived in Curve Lake all her life, Deborah worked for many years at the Curve Lake Day Care Centre and also taught early childhood education classes for the Anishinabek Education Institute in North Bay. Her parents, Aileen and Amos Irons, are full-blooded Ojibway, both from Curve Lake. Deborah’s family is her “pride and joy.” She has been married for 46 years and has three sons and 10 grandchildren. She has always enjoyed the water; fishing, boating and canoeing at her family cabin on Dead Horse Island have played a significant part in her life.

Robert R. Janes

Robert R. Janes is a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester (UK), and the founder of the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice. He was the CEO of the Glenbow Museum  (Calgary), the founding Director of the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (Yellowknife), and the founding Executive Director of the Science Institute of the Northwest Territories. Janes has a Ph.D. in Subarctic Archaeology and has worked with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada throughout his career. He was given a traditional Blackfoot name in 1995.

Janes has worked in and around museums for 45 years as a director, consultant, author, editor, archaeologist, board member, teacher, and volunteer – devoting his career to championing museums as important social institutions capable of making a difference in the lives of individuals and their communities. His publications have been translated into ten languages. Janes lives in Canmore, Alberta, with his wife, Priscilla, and on Denman Island, British Columbia, where they co-own a farm and nursery with their son, Peter.

Kevin Malone, Treasurer

Kevin Malone has been with BMO Financial Group for over 30 years in senior leadership roles with two business groups, BMO Private Banking and BMO Capital Markets.  Kevin began his banking career at BMO in Corporate Banking in 1985 and moved to the Investment Banking Group in 2000 where he was a senior relationship manager in the two industry sectors, Media and Telecommunications and Diversified Industries where he advised public and privately owned Canadian companies with respect to mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, debt and equity financings.

Kevin joined BMO Private Banking in 2009 and is currently responsible for the overall leadership and strategy of Ultra High Net Worth Group in the Greater Toronto Area.  With many years of experience serving corporate, ultra and high net worth clients, Kevin and his team work with wealthy Canadian families and assist in managing their complex wealth management needs.

Kevin has an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Queen’s University, and a certificate from the Sauder School of Business Family Enterprise Advisor Program, University of British Columbia

Kevin is active in the community; he is a Trustee of Lakefield College School, a Director and past President of Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme’s National Board, and has served on the fundraising committees for a number of not-for-profit organizations including Nature Conservancy of Canada, Stratford Express and Dixon Hall.  Kevin is a recipient of Her Majesty the Queen Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).

Kevin and his wife Mona are proud parents to 3 children and as a family are actively involved in amateur sports, travel, the arts and numerous charitable organizations.

Val McRae

Val McRae grew up in Toronto and attended the University of Western Ontario. After teaching for four years, she turned her attention to raising their four children. Meanwhile, Val’s involvement in the Peterborough and Lakefield communities has focused on education and health care, including work with Lakefield College School, Festival of Trees, School for Young Moms, Beaver Club Gala, Osteoporosis Peterborough Chapter and the Osteoporosis Ladies Golf Classic. In 2012 she was a recipient of a Diamond Jubilee Medal for involvement in the community. She currently serves on the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation Board. She and her husband, John, spend as much time as possible in Whitney near Algonquin Park with their four children and grandchildren, enjoying canoeing and all that the area has to offer.

Raif Richardson

Mr. Richardson is Co-CEO of PSI Engineering, which manufactures and integrates automation solutions for high volume warehouse and distribution centers. Mr. Richardson has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Arts degree of Economics from Queen’s University. He currently serves as a Governor of the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, as a Director of the Richardson Foundation and the Siobhan Richardson Foundation.

John Ronson, Past Chair

John Ronson is a retired telecommunications executive and a lawyer by training.  He previously held the position of Chief of Staff to Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. John has served on the Waterfront Toronto Board, and on both provincial and national boards for the Canadian Cancer Society. He lives in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island and is an avid canoeist and camper.

Tim Rutherford

Tim Rutherford, CPA, CMA, is the CFO and Associate Head of School, at Lakefield College School. Lakefield College was established in 1879 and is a co-ed boarding high school that currently welcomes students from over 40 countries around the world. In addition to the financial duties for the School and Foundation, Tim is responsible for major capital projects and year-round operations. Tim previously held senior finance and management roles at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada and PepsiCo Foods (Quaker Oats Company). Tim resides in Peterborough and has been involved locally as a Board member (Finance Chair) at Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (GPAEDC) and the Peterborough Hockey Association (coach and manager)