Staff

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Kanina Holmes
Stories North Founder, Chief Experiential Officer

Kanina is a photographer and an associate professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. She has lived and worked in Europe, East and Central Africa and all over Canada as a writer and as a radio and television reporter and producer at both local and national levels in both public and private media networks. Kanina spent some of her formative years working in the Yukon with CBC North. She dreamed up Stories North as a way to get students out of a conventional classroom and to educate emerging journalists about Canada's North, Indigenous history and culture. Kanina started building this initiative in 2016 and has seen through two summers of intense, rewarding and joy-filled experiences. She sees Stories North as a direct response to Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its calls to action directed at transforming curricula at journalism schools as well as its calls to media storytellers to find better, more contextual, more accountable ways to produce coverage about and with Indigenous communities. Connect with her at kanina.holmes@carleton.ca

 

Andy Gregg
Guest Instructor

Andrew Gregg got started as a filmmaker in Whitehorse, 1986, and says flying north is always like going home. His work has taken him from the high Arctic to South America, Polynesia to India, Iran to Iceland to Nepal to Borneo to Alaska to South Africa to China and Indonesia and all over Canada and the U.S. He is currently based in Toronto and is working on two new films, “The First Animals” for CBC The Nature of Things and “Skymaster Down,” for CBC Doc Channel.  

 
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Matthew Pearson
Guest Instructor

Since completing his Master of Journalism at Carleton University in 2009, Matthew Pearson has worked for the CBC, the Times Colonist newspaper in Victoria, and now covers city hall for the Ottawa Citizen/Ottawa Sun. Previous beats include education and provincial affairs. He also teaches part-time at Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication. As the 2017 Michener-Deacon Fellow for Journalism Education, Matthew created resources to help journalism schools and newsrooms become more trauma-informed. His journalism career began at a campus newspaper (The Gazette, Western University) and later, at a weekly in Smithers, B.C. Matthew is an avid runner, cyclist, lake swimmer, explorer and cook who can’t wait to spend a few weeks in Whitehorse this summer.

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Terra Tailleur
Guest Instructor

Terra is a journalism enabler. She believes journalism needs you and you, and YOU to produce fact-based stories that reflect our wonderfully diverse communities. She is an assistant professor at the University of King’s College School of Journalism, where she oversees the digital newsroom and co-ordinates the internship program. She works with partners like Kukukwes.com and advises communicators at large. She is vice-president of the Canadian Association of Journalists and producer of Examineradio, a podcast that dissects the news in Halifax. She spent nearly 20 years in newsrooms around the country, starting with community newspapers in Alberta. She travelled around the North, from Iqaluit to Whitehorse, in her five years with CBC Radio. She spent 10 years in Halifax on the CBC online desk. She completed a master’s degree in entrepreneurial journalism along the way. As a work-in-progress, she doesn't know what’s coming next, but she is eager for it!

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Dan Pihlainen
Teaching Assistant

Dan Pihlainen is in his final semester in the MJ program at Carleton University.  His Master’s Research Project is a story that takes place in the Western Arctic, which he visited in June before Stories North. His father was a northern engineer who specialized in permafrost, so he was excited to be in the Canadian North this summer for the first time. He is on a year-long sabbatical from Algonquin College where he works as a professor and coordinator in the Radio Broadcasting Program.  His career in radio news was mostly with CFRA in Ottawa where he worked as a reporter, producer and assignment editor over a 10-year period. He loves running, hiking and being outdoors, and feels privileged to be part of Stories North as a teaching assistant. 

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Dave Elliot
Media Producer

Dave has worked at Carleton University with the School of Journalism for 12 years as a media producer helping students learn the craft of video storytelling/production with technology. He loves visual storytelling, especially documentaries, travel, the great outdoors and photography. After graduating from Algonquin College in television broadcasting he worked on various government and corporate videos, TV shows, music videos and numerous live events in many different roles; usually behind the scenes.  One of his first video shoots was recording an open heart surgery. Dave is contributing his time with Stories North to aid students with all elements of video production and storytelling. 

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Kait Labbate
Video Producer and Mentor

Kait is the owner of Quay Creative Co., a content creation company focused on helping brands share compelling stories through unique forms of photography, videography and writing. Her work takes her travelling to new places, immersing herself in local culture to find unique stories that bring out the connections we all share. With Stories North, Kait will be mentoring students, helping them find their individual styles as videographers and develop their skills in visual storytelling. Contact her at kaitlabbate@gmail.com

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Sidney Weiss
Video Producer and Mentor

Sidney Weiss is a recent graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program. She came to the Yukon last summer as a student during Stories North kick-off year, and fell in love. This year, she is part of the Stories North team as a student mentor, sharing her passion for photography, videography and the people and stories in the North with the group. She hopes to inspire students to challenge traditional styles of reporting and storytelling during their time in one of the greatest places on Earth. Connect with her at sidneybweiss@gmail.com.


Students

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Adam VanderZwan
Masters Student,  Journalism

Adam visits the north from the Master's of Journalism program at Carleton University. Before that, he did a degree in communication studies in his beautiful home province of British Columbia. During his time there, he fostered an interested in journalism while working with his student newspaper, where he was Opinions Editor for a couple of years. He developed an interest in politics and northern issues while working for the School’s Media Democracy Project—an organization that advocates for stronger democratic media in Canada. He’s wanted to visit Canada’s north for many years, and still can’t quite believe he’s finally made it to the Yukon. Aside from school, he likes fiddling on his saxophone, hiking, devouring novels with his eyes, and cooking wholesome hobbit food.

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Astara van der Jagt
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Born in Montréal, QC, and raised in the Netherlands, Astara van der Jagt tows the line between two very different countries with strong colonial legacies. She is now based in Ottawa for her undergraduate studies in journalism and political science, and hopes to continue travelling, writing, dancing and photographing on her journey towards inner- and outer fulfillment. She is excited to delve into the plethora of raw talent that provides avenues for deeper interconnectivity. Follow her heart on Instagram @Astara.Aguilar.

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Cat Kelly
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Cat Kelly is from Ottawa and will be completing her journalism degree at Carleton University later this year. Looking forward to the next chapter, Cat hopes to find a career within her passions for social entrepreneurship, progressive policy work, and creative writing. Enchanted by the North, for both its beauty and the generosity of its people, Cat hopes to book a one-way ticket back to the Yukon as soon as she can. Follow @_catkelly to see her journey as it unfolds.

Dana Hatherly
Masters Student,  Journalism

Dana is a master's of journalism student who loves to cover hard news and current affairs with reports on politics, education and social movements. As a born and raised Winnipegger and Bachelor of Arts graduate with honours in anthropology, she writes stories about people’s struggles and solutions while holding power to account. Her first foray into journalism was as news editor for the Manitoban, the University of Manitoba’s student newspaper. Dana has worked with the CBC I-Team and has bylines with CBC Manitoba, CBC Indigenous, the Ottawa Citizen, and the Gradzette, the University of Manitoba’s old graduate student publication.

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Isaac Würmann
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Isaac Würmann is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Journalism program at Carleton University. A childhood narrated by CBC Radio formed the foundation for his desire to tell stories that make people put down what they’re doing and listen. He was called to the Yukon by a desire to flip the script on how journalists interact with historically misrepresented communities. He can be found online at www.isaacwurmann.com, or offline in Winnipeg.

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Julia Moran
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Julia is an Ottawa-based multimedia journalist. Let’s talk human rights and current events while hiking up mountains and playing ukulele. Currently completing a double major in journalism and human rights at Carleton University, and acting as social media manager for jack.org (Carleton chapter). Lover of nature, wellness, justice, and all things creative. Human rights advocate, musician, other things when needed. View her work here and connect with her through Twitter @juliamrn34.

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Katherine Lissitsa
Masters Student,  Journalism

Katherine Lissitsa currently holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Montreal’s Concordia University, during which she also completed a six-month student exchange in Copenhagen, Denmark, studying corporate communications. Armed with production skills and media-related insight, she is now working on a Master of Journalism degree at Ottawa’s Carleton University, melting the two mediums towards which she gravitates to the most: writing and photography. Katherine has always had a penchant for textual and visual storytelling - specifically through subject matter pertaining to gender identity, sexuality, feminism, visual arts and culture. Connect with her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/katherine-lissitsa-280811a2/. View her visual work on Instagram at @katlissitsa

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Katie Jacobs
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Katie Jacobs is a journalism and English literature student at Carleton University. She loves stories about people and how communities work together in order to thrive and overcome challenges. She is interested in nature, visual art, and cultural representation, specifically within media and literature.

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Kiera Kowalski
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Kiera Kowalski is going into her fourth year at Carleton University double majoring in Journalism and Communications. She joined the Stories North crew because she was itching for some adventure and a unique learning opportunity. She’s trying to soak up as much history and culture in the Yukon before her time here is done. You can reach her at kierakowalski@cmail.carleton.ca

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Lauren Hicks
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Lauren Hicks is going into her final year of her undergraduate degree, majoring in journalism with a minor in history. She is passionate about music, travel and photography. Lauren brings a love of learning and storytelling to the Stories North team. Connect with her via email at laurenhiicks@gmail.com or on Instagram at @laurenhicksphotography.

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Lisa Johnson
Masters Student,  Journalism

Lisa Johnson is from Saskatoon, where she completed an M.A. in English at the University of Saskatchewan and worked in publishing and as a library assistant. Her interest in farming and food production brought her to the Yukon as part of Stories North, and she ate an awe-inspiring kohlrabi at the Dawson City Farmer's Market this summer. Connect with her at lisam.johnson@carleton.ca or on Twitter at @reportrix.

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Olivia Robinson
Masters Student,  Journalism

Olivia Robinson is a Master of Journalism student at Carleton University. She worked in the book publishing industry for nearly five years and holds a Master’s degree in Writing for Children from the University of Winchester. Currently on Olivia’s reading list: children’s books penned by First Nations authors about residential schools in Canada. Following Stories North, she will embark on her Master’s Research Project, an in-depth look at how Ontario public libraries have become a multi-purpose space for social work, reconciliation, and journalism. Connect with her at oliviaa.robinson@carleton.ca or @olivianne on Twitter.

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Caroline Mercer
Masters Student,  Journalism

Caroline Mercer is a Master of Journalism student with an undergraduate degree in psychology and philosophy. She loves writing about science, health, and technology. Her writing has been featured in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and The Logic, where she’s a summer intern. She started her career as a communications associate at GALE, a digital marketing firm. Connect with her at caroline.mercer@carleton.ca  and on Twitter at @caromercer.

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Jennifer Liu
Masters Student,  Journalism

Jennifer Liu is a Master of Journalism student at Carleton University, Ottawa. Her interests lie in studying the histories of Indigenous Peoples and the performing arts, and in seeking out the essence of wherever she is visiting — in this case, Yukon until August 2018. In a previous life, Jennifer majored in piano performance and has lived in Toronto and Montreal. Connect with her at liujenniferj.net

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Kira Locken
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Journalist in training and sarcastic intellectual from Scarborough, Ont., Kira is currently in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Journalism and Humanities at Carleton University. Besides being a journalist Kira also enjoys hiking, running and reading any of the following: The Odyssey, Frankenstein, Much Ado about Nothing, Call Me by Your Name or Lolita. Journalism, however, surpasses all others because of two main factors. First, because you never have to stop asking questions and second, because nothing else gives her the same rush. Connect with her at  kira_locken101@hotmail.com.

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Levi Garber
Masters Student,  Journalism

Growing up in Winnipeg, Levi Garber's creativity was constantly fed by the city’s vibrant art scene, bright prairie sunsets, and good coffee. His passion for journalism began while Levi wrote for an English-language cultural news website in Berlin, Germany. After returning to complete his history degree at the University of Manitoba, Levi became comment editor of the Manitoban and later, news editor. In 2016, Levi became the first member of the Manitoba Legislature press gallery from a student newspaper. During his Master’s, Levi worked at the Ottawa bureau of the Canadian Press and CBC’s London, UK bureau. His bylines have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, CBC, and the Winnipeg Free Press.

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Madison Ranta
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Madison Ranta is in the final year of her bachelor of journalism at Carleton University, minoring in political science. An avid storyteller and tea-drinker, she hopes to use the opportunity of Stories North to further her multimedia journalism skills and appreciation of life in Canada’s North. You can find her on Twitter at @_madrants or via email at madison.ranta99@gmail.com

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Maddy Lines
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Madeline is finishing up her journey through journalism school, where she found a love for film along the way. She came to journalism from a love of writing and has stayed with hopes of weaving the written word to tell stories that need to be told. She dreams of becoming fluent in videography in order to tell stories through experimental documentaries. She came to the Yukon because she knows it has a lot to teach her. You can reach her at mnlines2@gmail.com

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Reina Cowan
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Reina Cowan is going into her fourth year at Carleton, double majoring in journalism and history. Through Stories North, Reina aims to work on her photography and videography skills. She looks forward to forming new connections, learning about the Yukon’s history and making every day an adventure. Connect with her via email at reinacowan@cmail.carleton.ca

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Raisa Patel
Masters Student,  Journalism

Raisa Patel is a Master of Journalism student at Carleton University whose work focuses on amplifying underreported voices. She is honoured to learn about life in the North and ready to start conjuring up spells of the Yukon. Connect with Raisa via email at raisa.patel@carleton.ca or @R_SPatel on Twitter.

Shanice Pereira
Undergraduate Student,  Journalism

Shanice Pereira is going into her final year of her bachelor of journalism and minor in film. She hopes to use her combined knowledge in journalism and film to connect to people from all walks of life through documentaries and fiction film work. Shanice hopes Stories North will help her grow in her ability to tell stories that are not being told and connect more to her reporting.