Deep Change Happy Hour welcomes seven community innovators to our virtual Friday lunch table

Written by Lisa Hrabluk

Best-selling author. Award-winning journalist. Purpose-led entrepreneur. Find me hanging out where culture, people and ideas collide.

May 14, 2020

We are super excited to welcome a septet of creative purpose-led community-anchored leaders to our first show. Join us on the Deep Change Happy Hour Facebook page at noon on Friday May 15th, for our live stream.

Jo Dixon is an artist, wife, mother and reflexologist. Jo has worn many hats and has engaged in many different communities across Canada, including working as a painter for film in Vancouver, working on projects with celebrities such as Nicolas Cage. She resides in Saint John NB, where she most recently was head of theatre for InterAction School of Performing Arts. Jo’s work has taken on different mediums but has always centered around building community and giving voice through the arts, such as her inter-generational production WWII Christmas. It featured actors from children to seniors to recreate the experience of attending a recording of a 1940s radio show broadcast on Christmas Eve during World War II using period songs and stories inspired by actual veterans.

Micha Fardy is the executive director of Friends of Fundy (Fundy Guild). Growing up in Newfoundland and New Brunswick, Micha has had the great fortune to infuse her professional and personal journey with passion and purpose. Since 2003, Micha has worked in the public, private and non-profit sectors along-side individuals, organizations and communities helping to achieve their goals. Over the last 15 years, Micha has focused learning and practice in collaborative approaches to community change, collective impact, sustainable tourism & community economic development in rural areas. Described as an engaged volunteer committed to finding common ground and reaching shared goals, Micha currently serves on the board of the UNESCO designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve, the Albert County Chamber of Commerce and the Albert County Tourism Association. Prior to this, Micha had the privilege to Chair the New Brunswick Food Security Action Network and serve as Director for the OMISTA Credit Union. Appropriately, Micha’s Twitter bio reads: “Fan of community, real food, and life-long learning; Craft Beer and coffee snob.”

Charles Gaffney is a Wolastoqiyik visual artist who combines mixed media techniques to his art works that reflects a sensitivity and knowledge of Indigenous culture. Charles is the creator and lead instructor for the Indigenous Arts program at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. He is also a founder of Mawi’art: Wabanaki Artist Collective,a non-profit Aboriginal-owned and operated organization for traditional and contemporary Indigenous artists. Charles’ artwork is represented in private and government collections in Canada, Asia, Australia, England and the USA. He holds both a Masters in Education, Bachelors of Education from the University of New Brunswick and a Bachelor of Arts degree for St. Thomas University.

Khairunnisa (Inda) Intiar is the Moncton reporter for maritime business publication Huddle.Today, and the co-founder of Woven Cultures, a non-profit project promoting cultural diversity and inclusion in New Brunswick. Originally from Indonesia, Inda has also been involved in various initiatives related to diversity and inclusion, interfaith dialogue, youth empowerment, and truth and reconciliation in Canada, as well as education projects for children in Indonesia. Having lived her life across eight countries, the STU alumna is passionate about storytelling, building bridges between peoples, and sustainable development. Inda was named one of 21 Young Impact Leaders in Canada by Future of Good in 2019. She was also named one of Moncton’s top 20 under 40 young professionals and a YWCA Women of Distinction the same year. In 2018, she was named one of the top 25 immigrants in the Maritimes, and a cultural diversity champion by the New Brunswick Multicultural Council. Connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/indaintiar/

Wendy Keats is the founding Executive Director of the Co-operative Enterprise Council, a provincial economic development agency that helps create healthy, sustainable communities and build local economies through the co-op and social enterprise business model. She has worked for 40+ years to address issues of inequality, poverty, exclusion, and climate change and has known for a long time that big change was coming. Wendy says that, as devastating as COVID-19 has been, she is very excited by the possibilities to finally make real and lasting change to our horribly broken economic system that rewards greed and the depletion of our natural resources to a new model based on fairness, inclusion, and the well-being of our people and the planet.

Mohammed Khirallah is the founder and CEO of Roticana Coffee is a bold and ambitious coffee venture to serve coffee connoisseurs while preserving the traditions of this ever-flourishing commodity. Mohammed and his family emigrated to Canada in 2016 and opened Roticana in 2017. A graphic designer by profession, Mohammed channeled his skills along with his family’s seven decade experience in the Middle Eastern coffee business to create Roticana, which imports beans from Colombia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Guatemala to create its own blends, including Turkish and Middle Eastern styles. He is the co-founder of the New Brunswick Business Immigrant Association to assist newcomers with establishing businesses in New Brunswick. In March 2020 he helped create the Egyptian Cultural Association of New Brunswick.

Charles Thibodeau is the Program Coordinator for Green Economy New Brunswick, a project of the New Brunswick Environmental Network. Originally from Shediac, Charles held many positions in the federal government such as serving as head of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations’ Working Party on Pollution and Energy, managing the Secretariat of the International Partnership for a Hydrogen Economy, and as Operating Agent for the International Energy Agency. Charles now lives in Cormier-Village on a 75-acre permaculture-inspired homestead.

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For our final Deep Change Happy Hour episode before Alaina and I take a summer break, we’re bringing the conversation back to where we began – talking about how change comes to communities, both big and small, with ‘roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-it-done’ change-makers.

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