Local Stories to Warm Your Heart

Tuesdays, February 2nd, 9th, 6th, 23rd, 2021
1:30 – 3:00 pm
$30 for the Series
Livestreamed into Your Home

This year, we imagine that most of us will be home and looking not only for a bit of comfort but also for the warm spark of inspiration by mid-winter. With that in mind, we’ve assembled a wonderful group of four young people from the Barrie area who have accomplished much, in fields as diverse as child welfare, youth empowerment and mental health, the environment, and healthcare for marginalized communities and refugees.

Join TAB co-founder Pat Mansfield in conversation with each of these inspiring young leaders on Zoom.

February 2, 2021: Tim Irvin

Tim Irvin has worked as a field biologist and wildlife guide across North America, with work ranging from the lynx country of Maine, to the polar bear territory of Manitoba, to the grizzly country of British Columbia, and the Hudson Bay lowlands of Ontario. With a passion for wild places and wildlife, he has also completed numerous canoe trips across Canada ranging from weekend jaunts to multi-week Arctic expeditions, including a 7-week solo trip. Currently, Tim is the owner and Director of Wildlife Journeys, an award-winning travel company providing wildlife photography expeditions in the Great Bear Rainforest in collaboration with the Gitga’at First Nation. Tim is a graduate of Eastview Collegiate, Barrie.

February 9, 2021: Dr. Leslie Shanks


Dr. Leslie Shanks is the former Medical Director of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Operational Centre Amsterdam. A family physician trained in public health, she joined MSF in 1994, has worked in a number of countries, and was the subject of a TVO documentary when she served with MSF in Ruanda. She is also the past President of MSF-Canada. Clinical work in Canada has included Aboriginal communities in northern Ontario and Nunavut as well as in Canadian federal penitentiaries. She currently practices medicine in Toronto and is a founding director of Wanasah, a new mental health agency serving Black Youth and their families. Leslie graduated from Barrie North Collegiate.

February 16, 2021: Jane Kovarikova

Child rights advocate, Jane Kovarikova, grew up in foster care since the age of six and began living on her own at age 16. Understanding the unique circumstances and challenges faced by youth-in-care inspired an ongoing academic and professional commitment to bettering youth outcomes. She graduated with a BA (Hon) in Psychology at Laurentian University and a MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics. As a political staffer at the Ontario Legislative Assembly, she was instrumental in developing legislation that is reducing youth homelessness today. Influenced by these earlier experiences, Kovarikova founded the Child Welfare PAC Canada in 2017. This not-for-profit focuses on systemic changes – policy and legislation – that support youth success after being raised in state care. Currently, Kovarikova serves as the Board Chair of Simcoe-Muskoka Family Connexions, a regional child protection agency. She is also a PhD Candidate and Lecturer at Western University in the Department of Political Science.

February 23, 2021: Shak Edwards

Shanicka Edwards is better known as Shak. She is President of Shak’s World Association and owner of Shak’s World Community Centre. Shak’s World was created to build respectful and successful athletes/community members while bringing awareness to their mental and physical wellbeing through basketball and community engagement. Shak’s mentorship program bridges the gap between mental and physical health by creating a safe space for youth, while bringing together communities through a game that transcends age, race and sex. Shak’s World Community Centre is the home of Barrie’s very first ”for-the-youth-by-the-youth” centre, run predominantly by young Black community members under the age of 30. This is the Stay. Humble. And Kind. Movement – or the S.H.A.K!

Our Emcee,Pat Mansfield,

Educator, Grandma, Lifelong Learner, World Traveler”

For 35 years, Pat Mansfield was a secondary school teacher, consultant, vice-principal and principal as well as an instructor of teacher in-service courses at several universities in Toronto and Simcoe County. After retirement, she became an educational consultant focusing on creating specialized programs for at risk youth and coordinated language programs for international students studying in Canada.

Retirement also gave Pat more time to travel, spoil her grandchildren and continue to give back to the community. She was a founding member of Third Age Barrie and is the current Chair of the Board of Directors of Victoria Village. She believes that life is not a dress rehearsal!

Venue:   Zoom (Online)


You’ll receive the Zoom link from Canadian Webinar Solutions one week (and reminders one day and one hour) before the first session.