Community Profile-Susan Woodfine

One Year Later: Adventures of our Executive Director

Susan Woodfine is celebrating her one-year milestone as Executive Director at Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence (HLSL).  “I’m absolutely loving my new challenge, I knew it would not be a walk in the park, but wow, we’re busy,’’ says Susan. HLSL runs 30 programs and is multisectorial: health and social services, cultural, heritage, sustainability, employment. “I’m continuing to build upon the solid groundwork laid before me, and I’m fortunate to have a committed team who, like me, deeply believes in HLSL’s mission.  I’m actively engaging with the community, seeking input and feedback whenever possible. And there’s lots to be had. We conducted successful public consultations in the Rimouski region for a new community space initiative. My colleague, Alexandra Rao, has been analyzing her research findings to understand the English-speaking community’s identity and vitality, and she’s preparing to share her findings. Progress is also being made on designating Leggatt’s Point as a historic site, alongside ongoing outreach efforts in Riviere du Loup, including teaming up with the city’s public library to deliver bilingual events in their space. We’re dedicated to enhancing community vitality, with a focus on Metis, Rimouski, and Riviere du Loup, where our English-speaking community thrives.

 And now for some tough questions:

Did you know about poutine before you arrived? Best place to get it if you do know?  

Before I landed in Rimouski over twenty years ago, I was already familiar with poutine – and I’ve been hooked ever since! Though I don’t indulge regularly, my go-to spot is Cantine ASL in Saint Anaclet, probably because I bike there. I’ve got this intense workout routine where I cycle for the poutine, swing by Bar Laitier in Ashini in Saint Luce, and then pedal home guilt-free.

What is your favorite place in the Lower Saint Lawrence, and why?

My favorite place is simple yet special: my backyard. It’s not fancy, but it’s wild and charming, with  lots of bird feeders dotted around. Plus, it’s right by the Rimouski river which I consider an extension of my backyard. 

Your favorite pastime?

I’m all about staying active and healthy! You’ll often find me swimming, cycling, and running with our Rimouski triathlon club. People say I’m almost too chill – I’m never first or last, and sometimes I don’t even finish – call me a hard-core, recreation-loving triathlete!  Oh and walking my crazy Australian-shepherd dog.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Knowing my kids are ok, happy and traveling with them and my husband.

What talent would you most like to have?  

Financial wizard like my friend and colleague Anja.

What is your greatest achievement?

My children, but raising them to be good and kind people.

What is your motto? 

Do your best and treat others as you’d want to be treated yourself. Oh, and laugh at yourself often!

Biggest regret? 

Learning to let go of stuff that doesn’t matter, and embracing the present moment – it’s a journey, and I’m still a work in progress, even at almost 60.