Cochrane Ideas – June 2022

Dave Beattie, Dick Broatch, Betty Bryant,
Gordon Davies, & Ted Westerson

Reminiscing about the Roots of Cochrane with Those Who Lived It!

Friday, June 10th @ 7:00 pm

Frank Wills Memorial Hall
405 – 1st Street East, Cochrane

Are you recently arrived in town and curious about how things used to be in a Cochrane with just 500 people? Do you already consider yourself an “oldtimer”  because you have spent 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years here? Whichever the case, you will not want to miss this evening of reminiscing with a group of “real” oldtimers who have spent some 80 years each right here in Cochrane!

Our panel of esteemed Cochrane Oldtimers:
Dave Beattie, Dick Broatch, Betty Bryant, Gordon Davies, & Ted Westerson

Come spend an evening hearing about “Old-Time Cochrane” from five Cochranites who were all born and raised here and have spent their lives in our community. The group will share their rich life experiences of having grown up in Cochrane in the 1940s and 1950s.

Imagine how different our community was back then and the changes they have seen! Experience Cochrane when it was a tiny village of just 700 people, when there was no running water and the streets were bare dirt, when there was just a four-room schoolhouse and … well, you get the idea.

Experience the stories through the voices and eyes of those who were there!

Questions and a lively group discussion to follow.

Come enjoy the fun and/or make your own contributions to the conversation about “how things used to be”!


Cochrane Ideas – May 2022

Patti Fisher

how Covid-19 aggravated domestic violence in our communities

Friday, May 13 at 7:00 pm

King Solomon Lodge
12o Centre Avenue, Cochrane

Every six days in Canada a woman is murdered by her past or current intimate partner. Growing evidence reveals the pandemic has made intimate partner violence even more prevalent. Reports of domestic abuse and family violence have increased around the world since social isolation and quarantine measures came into force. The issue is local, too!

Patti Fisher is the co-founder and Program Manager of Big Hill Haven, Emergency Shelter and Outreach Services for women who are experiencing and/or fleeing domestic violence. A Registered Social Worker, Patti has worked in the corporate sector and the non-profit field with vulnerable individuals and families for over 35 years. She has done front-line work with clients, managed residential programs and served on numerous boards. In her work, Patti has observed that there are a small number of key challenges that are common to all marginalized populations.

Patti is a fierce advocate for women and children who are caught in the cycle of domestic violence. The work being done at the shelter can be heartbreaking, but Patti believes the team at Big Hill Haven plays a big part in improving the lives of its clients. In her presentation, Patti will address the following:

  • What is domestic violence? Why Cochrane? Why now?
  • What have been the biggest surprises? The biggest challenges?
  • How has the pandemic affected the situation? What is changing? Are there solutions?

Questions and group discussion to follow – please do join us!


Cochrane Ideas – April 2022

Nathan Klassen

Friday, April 8 at 7:00 pm

King Solomon Lodge
120 Centre Avenue, Cochrane

Innovation is often linked to high tech. In Cochrane there are many examples: Garmin (formerly Dynastream Innovations), 4iiii Innovations, and mcThings, just to name a few. But innovation is broader than this definition. And shows itself in every corner of our community. Or has the potential to …

Presenter Nathan Klassen has spent a great deal of time on the topic of innovation, both personally and professionally. Currently leading at CP Rail in the Innovation & Business Transformation group, his professional path has also taken him through related roles in Continuous Improvement, Change Management and Organizational Effectiveness. As a senior leader in both business and not-for-profit settings, Nathan has seen these themes play out in all organizational forms. His most recent studies have targeted practices and frameworks relating to personal transformation leading to organizational transformation leading to systemic transformation. This commitment to innovation and transformation at all levels has fueled his passion for the creation of an innovation centre in Cochrane, the community he and his wife and 3 daughters have called home for 7 years now. Four years of community-level advocacy contributed to the creation of The Station: the transit hub and innovation centre currently under construction across from Nan Boothby Library. Nathan’s current community focus is the launch of Innovate Cochrane, a community-initiated, community-informed organization dedicated to fostering and releasing innovation for meaningful impact in Cochrane and beyond.

In his presentation, Nathan will dig into the topic of innovation, sharing the qualities, mindset and practices that encourage its release – at a personal, organizational and community level. Drawing on his learning and experience, he will provide insights into key contributors to the successful release of innovation at a community level, including real-world examples within the Innovate Cochrane story. Questions and group discussion to follow – please do join us!




Cochrane Ideas – March 2022

Jorden Dye

Implications & Opportunities
for Net-Zero Canada

Friday, March 11th @ 7:00 pm

Zoom link: 

Meeting ID: 856 5955 3775

Passcode: 369514

The transition to a Net-Zero economy presents opportunities and challenges for the Canadian economy. Governments and industries have recognized that Canada cannot meet its climate commitments without significant reductions in emissions from the Oil and Gas industry. However, O&G production is concentrated in four provinces, with ~80% occurring here in Alberta. The geographic concentration of O&G emissions drives tensions between producing provinces and the rest of Canada, while also creating a perception of unfair burdens. Balancing these domestic tensions while pursuing a path to Net-Zero is key to achieving Canada’s climate commitments. This conversation aims to unpack these regional tensions to discover common climate ground and explore opportunities for Alberta in this transition.

Jorden Dye is the Program Administrator and a Researcher at Mount Royal University’s Institute for Environmental Sustainability. He is also a member of Climate Talk Canada, a pan-Canadian initiative to create space for the difficult conversations surrounding the transition to a Net-Zero Canada. A graduate of Mount Royal University, Jorden’s work on the energy industry has focused on industry response to environmental concerns and the impacts of the financial institutions embracing the energy transition.

EVERYONE WELCOME – Please do join us!

Cochrane Ideas – February 2022

Renita Bartlett
Let’s Talk Safer Spaces!

Friday, February 11th @ 7:00 pm

Zoom link: 
Meeting ID: 845 7659 3011
Passcode: 179780

Gender equity and inclusion are vital topics in today’s conversations! A “safer space” is a place or environment in which a person can feel they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, judgment, or emotional or physical harm based on their gender or sexual diversity. But how to open that dialogue on creating a safer space—a space where people can find themselves reflected and know that ALL people will be treated with respect and dignity?

Presenter Renita Bartlett (pronouns she/her) was born in small-town Nova Scotia. She has been a long-time active member and ally in the 2SLGBTQ community. She helped found the Kindred Cochrane Pride Society and was active on the board until 2021. Renita was also a member of Calgary Outlink and served as vice president on its board of directors. With her passion for making the community a safer, kinder place for everyone, Renita welcomes questions, so bring them along!

In her presentation, Renita will explain the difference between sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; define the terminology used to describe sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in today’s world; outline ways to be an advocate/ally for 2SLGBTQ people; and discuss the simple actions you can take toward making the world a Safer Space for all!


Cochrane Ideas – January 2022


with community builder


Friday, January 14th @ 7:00 pm

Zoom link:
Meeting ID:     859 5558 0896
Passcode:       320855

Cochrane IDEAS is excited to open the New Year by hosting Calgary entrepreneur and community builder extraordinaire, Gar Akicak Gar.

The country of Sudan has been in ongoing conflict since the 1950s. The Second Sudanese Civil War (1987-2005) resulted in over two million deaths and the displacement or orphaning of tens of thousands of children. Despite the independence of South Sudan in 2011, the conflict continues: there are currently over 4.3 million displaced people from South Sudan. Gar Gar will share his journey with us, including key elements of the conflict in Sudan and his family’s flight, highlights of the challenges he faced as a young South Sudanese refugee in Canada, and his current untiring efforts to build community, vision and hope for the youth of South Sudanese origin in Calgary today.

Gar Gar arrived in Canada in 2005, a refugee from war-torn South Sudan. As a young man of late high school age when he arrived, Gar was determined to gain a strong enough foundation in English to be able to go on to higher education. His persistence paid off when he became the first member of his South Sudanese community to achieve a Bachelor of Business Administration from SAIT. Along the way, Gar also became the first Black student president of the SAIT Student Association and sat on the SAIT Board of Governors.

Gar has been a strong voice on a number of boards and committees, including the City of Calgary Immigrant Inclusion committee. His innate spirit of volunteer service and leadership has led Gar to establish various initiatives to help the less fortunate during the Covid-19 pandemic: YYC Kids Ride, School Supply Surprise, and Free Friday Family Pizza. He is a tireless advocate for community safety and civic engagement with a special passion for youth mental health, a commitment he is taking action on as the current Executive Director of the Youth Empowerment and Skills (YES) Centre, as well as serving as a member of the Attendance Board of Alberta.

We do hope you will join us!

Cochrane Ideas – December 2021


featuring distinguished economist

Friday, December 10th @ 7:00 pm

Zoom link:
(“doors open” at 6:30 pm)
Meeting ID:    895 1576 9797
Passcode:    086233

Trevor Tombe is a Professor of Economics at the University of Calgary and a Research Fellow at The School of Public Policy. His research, which focuses on economic and fiscal integration, internal trade, and fiscal federalism, has been published in top economics journals, including the American Economic Review, Journal of Monetary Economics, and the Canadian Journal of Economics. He also serves as Graduate Program Director in the Department of Economics, is on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Economics and is Co-Director of Finances of the Nation. In addition to his academic research and professional service, he is deeply committed to promoting the public understanding of economics through policy publications and active media engagement.

 Current world events make this presentation particularly relevant
to all Albertans.

Please do join us … and bring your questions! 


Cochrane Ideas – November 2021

Martin Parnell

Friday, November 12th @ 7:00 pm
via Zoom (“doors open” at 6:30 pm)

Zoom link:
Meeting ID:     852 4107 8737
Passcode:      810072
International keynote speaker, author & local Cochranite, Martin Parnell …

Through his Quests for Kids initiative, Martin Parnell has run 250 marathons in one year, set 5 Guinness World Records, summited Mount Kilimanjaro in 21 hours, raised over $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play, and given the gift of hope to some 27,000 children. Martin has also published 3 books, including The Secret Marathon: Empowering Women and Girls in Afghanistan through Sport, and is the executive producer of The Secret Marathon documentary. Through books, films, articles, keynotes & workshops, Martin shares his message of having a “Finish the Race Attitude.” Martin is a member of the Rotary Club of Cochrane, is married to Sue, and has 3 children & 3 grandchildren.

While recovering from a rare & life-threatening blood clot on his brain, Martin read about Zainab, the first woman to run a marathon in Afghanistan. He was so inspired by her story that he decided that if he was able to recover from his illness, he would run with her at the next “Marathon of Afghanistan” in support of rights for girls and women. Martin Parnell’s presentation takes the audience on an inspirational journey into a country known for political chaos & female oppression. Audience members will be transported to a country of beauty, hardship & complexity, sharing in the despair, resilience & friendliness of the Afghan people as they continue to strive for freedom & equality for themselves & their fellow citizens.

As you can well imagine, recent events in Afghanistan lend an added dimension of urgency & importance to Martin’s message.

We do hope you will join us for this topical presentation and what promises to be an engaging follow-up discussion!

Cochrane Ideas – October 2021


Friday, October 15, 2021 at 7 p.m.
via Zoom (“doors open” at 6:30 p.m.)

Zoom link:
Meeting ID844 0657 0666
Passcode: 740060

Mark your calendars, everyone — You do not want to miss this!

For the October gathering of Cochrane Ideas Group, we are thrilled to present Terry Poucette, PhD, from the Stoney-Nakoda First Nations of Treaty 7. Terry has a BA in First Nations studies and both a master’s degree and a doctorate in public administration. She is a Team Lead in Indigenous Relations with the City of Calgary, as well as an adjunct professor at both the University of Victoria and Carleton University.

Terry’s doctoral dissertation was on effective First Nations governance. She is passionate about the need for First Nations to transition out of the Indian Act and implement their inherent right to self-governance.

Please DO join us for this highly topical presentation.
We are confident you can look forward to an engaging follow-up discussion!

Hope to see you on Zoom!

Cochrane Ideas – September 2021


Friday, September 10, 2021 at 7 p.m.
via Zoom
“Doors open” at 6:30 p.m.

Cochrane Ideas Group will gather virtually once again in September.
We hope that you will join us!

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID:   839 9141 8725                             Passcode:   895019

Well, folks … we had hoped that this next gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group would be an in-person meeting and we had, in fact, rebooked our speaker, Mansoor Ladha, for a presentation. Unfortunately, given that Alberta is diving head-first into a fourth wave of Covid-19 and the number of active cases is rising daily, it was deemed unwise to move back to an in-person meeting just yet. Fingers crossed for a live gathering in October!


At this juncture of a full 18 months into the Covid-19 pandemic, we thought it might indeed be an opportune moment to have an IDEAS round-table discussion on where we have been, where we are at now, and where we think we are headed!

There are myriad aspects of the pandemic that provide food for thought and discussion:

* Coping with the ups and downs of Covid shutdowns and re-openings (personal & small business)
* Covid-19 variants: Reimpose restrictions? Or “open for business”?
* Long-term effectiveness of the vaccines
* Booster shots
* Vaccine cards or ‘passports’ for international/domestic travel
* Back to school & how that looks
* Mandatory vaccines in the workplace
* Restrictions worth keeping in place post-pandemic

At our Ideas round-table discussions, we do not have a designated speaker or presentation; rather, all participants are encouraged to arrive ready to share their thoughts and opinions on the topic at hand. As always, we invite a respectful exchange of ideas and an in-depth discussion of our experiences and thoughts. See you there!

 We continue to look forward to the day
when we can gather in person once again!