Sat down with the amazing Gary Diggins. Gary has worked for over three decades as an expressive arts therapist. His work combines counselling, mindful practices, and music as medicine. As an educator, Gary teaches in the expressive arts department of Fleming College and he lectures at various learning institutes, including Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Gary’s current publication is entitled Tuning the Eardrums – Listening as a Mindful Practice. The content of Gary’s work has been shared in communities affected by conflict in both Africa and Israel . At home, Gary has supported autistic clients at Toronto Geneva Centre, cancer patients at sick kids hospital and addiction recovery groups. In addition to Gary’s therapeutic practice, he continues to perform Internationally as a cornet player and multi-instrumentalist artist. He plays a range of acoustic instruments from around the world. Combining ancient sounds with modern music, the airwaves become a canvas for imaginative soundscapes. Gary has appeared on dozens of recordings and composed for three films. His musical collaborations have taken him to India, Israel, Europe, and throughout North America. Gary has collaborated with artistic organizations ranging from Cirque Du Soleil to Canadian composer, R. Murray Schaffer. Gary is a co-owner of an arts space in Guelph that houses Silence, a not-for-profit collaborative devoted to new music. His personal sound sanctuary and therapeutic studio is based in this downtown facility.
Dr. Arla Kasaj practices as a Naturopathic Doctor and Registered Acupuncturist at Belmont Natural Health Centre. Dr. Arla has experience with treating a variety of conditions that are encountered in a family practice including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, digestive concerns, and hormonal imbalance. She has a special interest in assisting patients with weight loss and establishing a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Her background in Kinesiology and sport therapy has allowed Dr. Arla to provide very effective treatments for pain management and rehabilitation from sport and workplace injuries. She prefers to use a variety of Naturopathic modalities when treating her patients including but not limited to nutritional and lifestyle counseling, botanical medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, and hydrotherapy. Dr. Arla is also an NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique) practitioner with extensive experience in the treatment of allergy and sensitivity related illness. In addition, Dr. Arla has been trained by Dr. Sat Dharam Kaur ND to provide advanced care for breast health especially for patients who are at higher risk or who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Recently, Dr. Arla has added cosmetic acupuncture treatments to her practice as a great option for patients with dermatological concerns including acne, rosacea, skin discoloration, and aging.
Natasha McKenty, has been a Daytime Reporter/Guest Host and Television Host on Rogers TV. As the host of an urban magazine show, IN STUDIO, feature writer for 570’s Kitchener Today and Public Relations consultant Natasha McKenty has a thirst for devouring all that her community has to offer. Her experience as a producer, journalist, writer, mother, and communicator propelled her to find her calling: public relations. Her decision to go back to school was driven by her desire to pursue her dreams of becoming an expert writer and communicator.
Joanna Rickert-Hall is a social historian whose research interests focus mainly on Waterloo County, its people and their little known stories that include Black history, local Indigenous history and even more supernatural themes. Passionate about sharing the past with new audiences, Joanna has developed (and taught) courses in local history at Conestoga College and Wilfrid Laurier University. In honour of her contributions in this area, she received the 2015 Jean Steckley Award for “Excellence in Heritage Education” from the Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation.
Most recently, Joanna has written a new book entitled “Waterloo You Never Knew: Life On The Margins” (which was just released in June of 2019 by Dundurn Press @dundurnpress .It is available through all of the normal online channels like Amazon, Indigo and even locally at Wordsworth Books @wordsworthbooks in Uptown Waterloo).
For Peggy Dietrich, the idea for “The Women in the Moon” came suddenly. What she quickly scribbled has now turned into a children’s book that explores and celebrates the ties that bind women
While the book is the brainchild of Dietrich, it was a family affair. Her granddaughter, Ali, did the illustration for the book. The idea of the moon connecting people is inspired by her relationship with her grandchildren. While it is a children’s book, Dietrich said it speaks to women of all ages as well. We, as women, can join together to form a healing community throughout the globe. We just have to look up at the moon and believe in ourselves, says Peggy Dietrich who wrote The Women in the Moon
Kira Burt, has worked at the library for 3 years as a Children’s Programmer. She has worked with kids of all ages from preschool to teens for many years and continues to enjoy it. An outdoor person, she has always enjoyed cycling and being outside and was one of the first to volunteer to be a rider for the Book Pedaler. The Book Pedaler is all about getting out into the community and meeting people where they are. We also want to be an active and engaged part of the community, says Kira Burt