Meet our Speakers – Claire Smith-Burns – BCGS Seminar, June 9-11, 2017

Claire Smith-Burns to speak at the BC Genealogical Society’s 2017 Seminar, June 9-11, 2017 in Coquitlam

Claire Smith-Burns descends from early BC families on her father’s side and became intrigued with family history as a teenager. Her long experience with Canadian, British and Dutch records has been influenced by her educational background in anthropology (Universities of British Columbia and Victoria) and careers in museum, archival and library management.

Claire has been active with genealogy societies across Canada and has many years’ experience in designing and implementing educational programs, workshops and conferences. In 2004, she developed a course on Canadian Genealogy for the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History’s annual Institute in Salt Lake City and she has been a speaker at various genealogy conferences in BC. Claire has made numerous trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and has led a research tour there every two years since 2007. She has published several articles in Canadian genealogy periodicals and was awarded the Marion Keffer Prize by the Ontario Genealogical Society in May 2002 for “best original article.” Currently, Claire is chairperson of the Public Education Committee and Family & Local History Resource Centre for the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society and sits on the Central Okanagan Heritage Week Committee.

In her other life, Claire is the mother of three grown children. She and her husband own and manage an international management consulting company specializing in safety and attitudinal change. Claire is also an avid gardener and tends her half-acre English Perennial garden in Kelowna, BC.

Read about our Canada150 Seminar here.

Meet our Speakers – Mary Read – BCGS Seminar, June 9-11, 2017

Mary Read will be speaking at the BC Genealogical Society’s 2017 Seminar, June 9-11, 2017 in Coquitlam.

When Mary Read inherited her mom’s family research files in 1996, she happily took on the challenge and began finding her ancestors on the internet as technology rolled out a whole new world of possibilities. She joined the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society that same year. Since then she has taken an active role in the society as a director, a committee member and a presenter on various subjects at meetings, forums and workshops. She is currently the editor of the KDGS quarterly newsletter, The Okanagan Researcher.

Mary grew up on the farm in Saskatchewan where her great grandparents homesteaded and even though she now lives in Kelowna, her roots are deeply planted in the prairies. With a large collection of Saskatchewan local histories posted on-line, she spends a lot of time doing look-ups and helping researchers around the world search for their prairie families. Recently retired after 25 years with Okanagan College, she is now very happy to have more time for traveling, camping, sewing, reading, writing, grandchildren and of course research!

Read about our Canada150 Seminar here.

Meet our Speakers – Xenia Stanford – BCGS Seminar, June 9-11, 2017

Xenia Stanford to speak at the BC Genealogical Society’s 2017 Seminar, June 9-11, 2017 in Coquitlam.

Xenia Stanford, a professional genealogist with 40+ years’ experience, has written many articles for genealogy magazines and was editor when Chinook, the newsletter of the Alberta Family Histories Society, twice won best local society newsletter from the National Genealogical Society. Formerly a teacher, educational researcher, corporate librarian, archivist, systems analyst and project leader, she now devotes her time to genealogical research, writing books and editing memoirs.

With Austrian and Ukrainian ancestry, she has spent hours researching her own family history in those countries and also for others with ancestors from Eastern Europe, including Germans from Russia. She has spoken on Eastern European and other areas of expertise to many genealogy groups. She communicates with others of Eastern European backgrounds across North America and even some in Eastern Europe.

For you to make connections and share knowledge, she organizes the Eastern European Special Interest Group of the Kelowna & District Genealogy Society. She has a closed group (ask to join) at the Facebook page for Eastern European Roots at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1229238490426654

Read about our Canada150 Seminar here.

Dave Obee – Keynote Speaker Announced – BCGS Seminar – June 9-11, 2017

 Dave Obee, Keynote Speaker, 2017 BCGS Seminar.

Dave Obee will be the BC Genealogical Society’s 2017 Seminar’s Keynote Speaker, Friday, June 9th, 2017.

Dave Obee is a journalist and genealogical researcher who has written a dozen books and given 600 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada, the United States and Australia since 1997.

He is Editor-in-Chief of the Times Colonist in Victoria, British Columbia. He has worked as a journalist in British Columbia and Alberta since 1972.

He is a member of the Board of Canada’s History Society, which publishes Canada’s History, the magazine formerly known as The Beaver, and Kayak, which is a history magazine for children, as well as related websites.

Dave is a columnist for Internet Genealogy magazine and Your Genealogy Today magazine, formerly Family Chronicle. Dave has also written about family history for Canada’s History as well as Your Family Tree in the United Kingdom.

In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Victoria for his work as a historian, genealogist and journalist. In 2014 he was presented with the Governor General’s Caring Canadian award for his work as a community volunteer.

In 2012, the British Columbia Historical Federation named Dave’s 2011 book, The Library Book: A History of Service to British Columbia, as one of the top three examples of historical writing in the province. It is a comprehensive look at library service and development over the past two centuries. In 2009, the Federation awarded Dave a Certificate of Appreciation “for his many contributions to British Columbia History”. The certificate says that Dave “has researched, spoken, written, campaigned, lobbied and published the province’s heritage.

Dave has also received a Certificate of Recognition from Heritage BC for his work on the British Colonist website which features 60 years of the leading newspaper in Victoria. The website was based on an idea hatched by Dave and university professors John Lutz and Patrick Dunae. This site makes a top resource available to researchers around the world.

Dave was the recipient of the B.C. Library Association’s Keith Sacre Library Champion Award for 2010/2011; this is the association’s top award for non-librarians. This honoured his research into the history of libraries in British Columbia. In 2016 Dave received a Heritage Advocate award from North Vancouver District in recognition of his work on the history of the District’s library system, published in 2014 as Fifty! With a Fabulous Future.

Read more about the 2017 BCGS Seminar