The days are getting longer, the temperature is heating up and I’ve got The Go-Gos on my internal soundtrack — time to hit the road (but not too far) for Staycation 2020!

Join me, co-host Alaina Lockhart and a quartet of incredibly creative and thoughtful women for a lunchtime conversation about eco-tourism and its potential to power local regenerative economies by showing us how to live and play in concert with each other and this shared resource. We’re hanging out in our usual place on the Deep Change Happy Hour Facebook Page Friday June 26th at noon AST.

Jennifer Dingman was born and raised in Calgary, AB but is proud to call New Brunswick home and has lived in Riverview for almost half her life. She holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology from the University of New Brunswick and stayed on to complete a PhD investigating algal population cycling and marine microbial ecology. Jennifer has a strong scientific background and has a wide range of research and project management experience from sectors including municipal and federal government, NGOs and academia. She has a passion for community service and community development, science outreach and education. As the Executive Director, she is responsible for implementing the mandate of the UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve and guiding the organization to meet its strategic objectives around conservation, sustainable development, and capacity building.

Patricia Dunnett is the General Manager at Metepenagiag Heritage Park (MHP) in Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation (Red Bank) New Brunswick. MHP is a state of the art facility that celebrates Mi’kmaq culture through music, oral history, exhibits, trail tours of the traditional Mi’kmaq lands and hands on cultural activities. The park’s mandate is to preserve, protect, and promote two significant National Historic sites, the Augustine Mound, and the Oxbow, both ancient and historic sites of the Mi’kmaq dating back more than 3,000 years.

Émilie LeBlanc was formerly a dietitian and a researcher for the Université de Sherbrooke before deciding to launch Cielo Glamping Maritime with her partner, Patrick. Having grown up in Memramcook on the family farm, Émilie later wanted to educate people about the importance of buying locally grown foods. Concerned about the environment and the human footprint, she is also on a personal journey towards zero waste.

Lily Lynch graduated from the University of King’s College in Halifax and moved to Saint John in 2016. Upon her arrival in Saint John, she was eager to meet people with similar interests and soon co-founded Sankara with Otito Atansi. Sankara is a social enterprise which operates an Online Multicultural Marketplace (www.sankaracuisine.com). The Sankara platform enables the community access to authentic cultural services and products like catering, meal plans, grocery, arts, and crafts from a collective of vendors from diverse cultural backgrounds. Sankara represents 15 different countries, with services in Fredericton, Moncton, Halifax and Saint John. She has organized over two dozen pop-up culinary experiences that feature authentic cuisine by Sankara partner Chefs and informed conversations about various cultures from Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Lily, who is a mixed (White, Black & Mi’kmaq) woman and direct descendant of Black Loyalists, is passionate about creating experiences and public commemorations of Black and Indigenous history. Most recently she helped organize the first-ever raising of the Pan-African flag in the City of Saint John to commemorate Black History Month.