About us

LOOKING FOR ENGLISH SERVICES?

WE’RE HERE TO HELP!

Our dynamic team is striving to make the presence of the English-speaking minority more visible and to ensure that cultural and leisure activities, as well as services in English, are more accessible for seniors, adults, families & youth in the Lower St. Lawrence.

Mission

«We mobilize people and resources to support the vitality of the English speaking community of the region, foster the wellbeing of all its members, and promote its interests.»

Vision

«The English-speaking community of the Lower Saint Lawrence is inclusive, connected, and mobilized in building a healthier and more vibrant future for all.»

Our Mandate

To meet community needs and improve the social, cultural, and economic life of the area as it affects the English-speaking population. Our organization represents the community’s interests and creates an enabling environment that fosters a sense of belonging and identity. We support the development of partnerships initiatives and services that aim to improve the vitality of the English-speaking community in the region.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PRESIDENT – ALEXANDER REFORD

Alexander Reford is the director of Les Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens. He holds degrees in history from the University of Toronto and Oxford University and was awarded an honorary Ph.D from Bishop’s University in 2018. He held the position of Dean of College at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto before leaving in 1995 to run Les Jardins de Métis (Reford Gardens). The great-grandson of Elsie Reford, creator of the Gardens, he was instrumental in creating the not for profit organization that purchased the Gardens from the Quebec government in 1995. Alexander Reford is a member of the board of directors of various local, provincial and national organizations committed to gardens, historic preservation and culture.

VICE-PRESIDENT – MICHELINE WILLIAMS

Micheline Villemaire-Williams was born in Toronto, raised in Mississauga but has roots in the area. Her mother was born, raised and married in Price. They moved to Ontario when the sawmill in Price burned down. The family returned yearly, to visit relatives until they purchased a home on Leggatt’s Point in ‘71 for their retirement.  In 2003, Micheline moved to Metis to care for her ailing mother and worked in the Wind Industry until 2016. She purchased the house from the estate in 2009. She comes to us with 6 year’s previous board experience from Oxford Child and Youth Centre in Woodstock, ON, (a Children’s Mental Health Centre). She was also their representative on the regional and provincial boards for Children’s Mental Health.

TREASURER – BRETT MITCHELL

Brett Mitchell was born 1971 in Sydney, Australia, and he is proudly part-Australian Indigenous. He studied at Sydney University as a Mathematics and Computer Science teacher. He taught for 8 years at James Busby High in South-Western Sydney. Brett moved to Canada in 2001 after marrying a French Canadian from Matane with whom he now has 3 amazing children, 16, 14 and 10-years old. He has been working at Metis Beach School since 2001 and became principal in 2006. Brett has been involved with Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence since moving to Canada and became a board member in 2014.

SECRETARY – SANDI DE LA RONDE

Sandi de la Ronde was born and raised in Montreal. She came to Metis-sur-Mer in 1961, at which time she met her future husband, Erik Nowers. Sandi attended medical school at the University of Toronto and worked as an Obstetrician in Calgary, specializing in pregnancies in marginalized populations. Sandi also ran a Maternal Child clinic for Indigenous women at an Aboriginal Health Centre in Ottawa. When Sandi retired, they decided to make Metis their year-round residence. Sandi is president of the Regional Access Committee that advocates for improved access to English services in the CISSS. She was recently elected as a Director for the Board of the Quebec Community Group Network (QCGN)

ADMINISTRATOR – JOAN SULLIVAN

Joan Sullivan, documentary photographer, moved to the Lower Saint Lawrence in 2008, after having lived and worked in Africa for nearly two decades on the HIV epidemic. Her photographs of the energy transition have been exhibited in group and solo shows in Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom.  She is co-owner of Ferme La Vallonneuse, an organic garlic farm in Saint-Valérien that has been selling garlic at the Rimouski farmers market since 2010. She is currently a student at the Université du Québec à Rimouski in a master’s seminar, the Study of Artistic Practice.

ADMINISTRATOR – JAMES DARLING

James Darling comes from western Canada, where at an early age, he was selected to participate as cellist in the Special Studies for Gifted Youth program at the prestigious Banff Centre. He has been a member of l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec. Since 2002, James Darling resides in Rimouski in Eastern Québec, where he is on the faculty of the Conservatoire de musique de Québec à Rimouski and teaches at the École de musique du Bas-Saint-Laurent. He is Artistic director of Concerts aux Îles du Bic and musical director of l’Orchestre des jeunes du Québec maritime, as well as wearing multiple hats as cellist with various ensembles in his region. An active father of four, he enjoys tennis, soccer and hiking with the family.

ADMINISTRATOR – TED SAVAGE

Ted Savage lives and works in Métis-sur-Mer where his family has a long history. Educated at McGill University and at advanced technical institutions in Switzerland, the USA and Québec, he has served on the National Council as a Director for the Coast Guard Auxiliary and presently commands volunteer marine Search & Rescue for Eastern Quebec. Ted devotes most of his energies to local emergency services as an Officer-Firefighter, EMT, Instructor, and Coast Guard rescue Commander. He can be counted on to help with almost any community project for the schools, music, sport or cultural efforts either locally or regionally. He is married to his wife Kirsten and they have a daughter Hailey who is based in New York City.

THE HERITAGE TEAM

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – GUY CARON

Guy Caron was born and raised in Rimouski. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Ottawa in 1992, and a master’s degree in economics from Université du Québec à Montréal in 2001. Caron was an economist with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada before being elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 2011 election to represent Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques as a member of the New Democratic Party (NDP). He was re-elected in 2015 and was appointed as the NDP’s parliamentary leader in October 2017. He was defeated in the 2019 federal election and joined Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence as its Executive Director in June 2020.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR (HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES) – ANNA CONE

Anna grew up in New Mexico in a Ukrainian, Scottish, and Irish family. She immigrated to Canada in 1991 and has worked in the field of socio-cultural development in Rimouski  as a musician, a teacher and  an engaged citizen for almost 30 years. She currently serves on the board of the Cégep de Rimouski and on the CISSS-BSL Regional Access Committee. Mother of two wonderfully different children, Anna graduated with a bachelors of social work from UQAT (2017) as HLSL’s Dialogue McGill Community Leadership Bursary recipient and joined the Heritage team in 2018. She networks and builds partnerships with our Health & social services partners and coordinates HLSL’s Expanding Regional Community Capacity project.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR (CULTURE AND HERITAGE) – LISAN CHNG

Lisan Chng was born and raised in Singapore and moved to Rimouski in 2008, after living in France, Singapore and the U.S. Lisan is also a mosaic artist and initiator of community mosaic and participative art projects. Selected as one of two laureates in Quebec for the first bursary in cultural mediation mentorship by Culture Pour Tous, Lisan is passionate about the exploration of cultural identity, the liberation of creativity and building community bonds through art. Her personal projects can be found notably in Quebec, Singapore, China and Belgium. Lisan also serves on the board of Accueil et Intégration BSL as vice-president. At Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence, Lisan brings her artistic flair to develop community projects and activities that favor intercultural, intergenerational and socially inclusive bonding

PROJECT COORDINATOR (HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES) – MARIE-CLAUDE GIROUX

Originally from Quebec City, Marie-Claude has lived in Métis-sur-Mer year-round for over 35 years and has been spending summers there since the age of 5. Entrepreneur for nearly 25 years and always very involved in the community, she has been working for Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence since 2009. Marie-Claude’s role is to develop the networking and partnerships of HLSL with other community organizations and with the public health and social services stakeholders to make them aware of the presence and needs of members of the English-speaking community throughout the Lower St. Lawrence region. She promotes public health campaigns and is responsible for the bilingual community newsletter Info-Métis.

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR – MELINDA TURRIFF

After graduating from Metis Beach School in 1999, life took her on many work related adventures. From working in the oil fields in Western Canada to logistics coordinator for Chemin de Fer de la Matapédia et du Golfe. Melinda devotes her time to helping out community members whichever way she can and has just recently joined the Metis Beach School Governing Board. Melinda is in charge of communications at Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence. She works with each individual member of Heritage to help them create posters for their event, post news on our website, handling the Facebook content as well as newsletters and press releases.

ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR – ANNIE LECAVALIER

Born and raised in Baie-Comeau, Annie studied at Université Laval and at the Université du Québec à Rimouski, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. After graduation, she worked in a number of economic regional development organizations in Lower Saint Lawrence. Retired from the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves, she is now an active Firefighter and Rescue Boat Coxswain with the Canadian Auxiliary Coast Guard. As the Administrative Coordinator of Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence since 2016, she primarily supports the administration of the organization, but she also coordinates the Canadian Heritage Administrative Project and co-coordinates the McGill Retention & Educaloi Projects.

HISTORICAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR AND COMMUNITY LIAISON OFFICER – PAMELA ANDERSSON

Pam lives and works in Métis-sur-Mer where she has a long family history. She started with Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence in 2002 and seen it grow into the organization it is today. In the early years Pam worked in all departments in Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence, but enjoyed the historical section the most and has collected varied information and artifacts on the history of our region since 2002. Pam also does exhibitions where she has many partnerships within the community and in the region.

FINANCE CONTROLLER – ANJA KREYSCH

Originally from Germany, Anja Kreysch lives in Rimouski since 2007. She holds a master’s degree in economics with a specialization in operations research at Humboldt University in Berlin. Anja offers her expertise as a financial management analyst to non-profit organizations and film production companies in the Lower Saint Lawrence region in English and French and has been working at Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence as the financial controller since 2011. Previously, she worked in Berlin as a finance analyst at Portus Corporate Finance, Cris-Cris and Bombardier.

INTERIM LIBRARY COORDINATOR – FRANCE ROUSSEL

A native of Mont-Joli, France spent nearly 30 years in Western Canada where she held various positions related to the delivery of services to members of the official language minority community in Alberta and Saskatchewan. As a Social Development Officer attached to the Rimouski satellite office, she worked closely with the volunteers involved with the library while providing support for the cultural activities offered. With the temporary absence of the Library Coordinator, France has accepted the challenge of taking over the management of the bilingual library at Métis-sur-Mer.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER – MARGARET WINN

Originally from Eastern Ontario, Margaret recently decided to move to Rimouski. The Lower St. Lawrence region is close to her heart, having spent her summers on Lighthouse Point, Metis Beach, swimming and playing on the beach with her siblings.  After earning a BA in English Literature from McGill University, Margaret lived and worked in Montreal. She then spent 6 years in Paris, working as an English-language trainer and French-to-English translator. Fully appreciative of her time spent abroad, she is thrilled to now be back in her own country, living her bilingualism and experiencing the natural and cultural beauty of the Lower Saint Lawrence region.

BOOKKEEPER – HENDRIK KREYSCH

Born in Berlin, raised in Germany, Norway and Canada, Hendrik Kreysch has been working at Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence as the accounting assistant since March 2020. He is currently studying piano at the Conservatoire de musique de Rimouski and is enrolled in the language program of the Cegep de Rimouski. Hendrik is also a passionate and successful fencer.