Cochrane Ideas – June 2021


Friday, June 11th, 2021 at 7 p.m.via Zoom, “Doors open” at 6:30 p.m.

Cochrane Ideas Group will gather this June for yet another Zoom meeting. We continue to look forward to the day when we can gather in person once again.
Zoom link: expired

At the last gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group before the summer break, we welcome you to join us at a “Death Café”.  This event will be hosted and facilitated by Heinz Unger but it is expected that everybody participates.  We will sit around in a virtual circle – yes, a “live” Death Café would be preferable – eat cake and drink tea or coffee (or something more stimulating), and we will talk about death.  Such a gathering is intended to increase our awareness of death which is useful at any age, and it is hoped to help us to make the most of our lives.  There is no agenda, no objectives and no specific themes but it should rather be an open and confidential discussion, talking in a respectful manner (very much a Cochrane Ideas principle) about the unique experience of death, and there’s no intent to lead participants to any conclusions, products or any course of action.

Death Cafés are a social franchise and are supported entirely by volunteer efforts.  More than 12,000 Death Cafés have been held all over the world over the past ten years.  The Death Café website    provides much more information.

Please note that a Death Café is not meant to be bereavement support or grief counselling.

Cochrane Ideas – May 2021


Friday, May 14, 2021 at 7 p.m.
via ZOOM
“Doors open” at 6:30 p.m.

Cochrane Ideas Group will gather this May for our second ever Zoom gathering:
Zoom link: expired

At our next gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group, popular “CBC Starman” Don Hladiuk will take us on a journey to Mars! In addition to being Calgary’s eye on astronomy and space science news, Don has a passion for encouraging students to consider a career in the space sciences, careers such as engineering, planetary geology, exo-biology, physics, computer programming, PR, space chemistry, construction and so much more!


There is a child in school today who will become the first astronaut to land and walk on the Red Planet. To inspire and prepare this “Mars Generation” for the challenges of space exploration, Don has been running a Mars landing activity.

In his presentation, Don will share some of the latest exciting news and discoveries from robotic explorers currently on the Red Planet. After the Mars exploration update, Don will describe the Mars simulation activity he has developed and discuss how it all started and evolved into the popular Mars Day experience. If time permits, he will also mention a few upcoming events to watch for in our Night Sky in the months ahead.

Don’s presentation will be followed by a Q & A session with Ideas participants.


Don Hladiuk has been interested in astronomy and spaceflight for as long as he can remember. He has twice been President of the Calgary chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). Since 1984, Don can be heard on the CBC morning show, the Calgary EyeOpener, where he shares his passion for space exploration.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Don was one of the enrichment lecturers for Road Scholar’s “Astronomy Above the Arctic Circle” program. He has also been a leader on several solar eclipse tours all over the globe and has seen 15 Total Solar Eclipses, three annular eclipses and two rare Venus Transits. Don is an active volunteer with several organizations and even has asteroid 73704 named after him for his many years of community service!

In November 2020 Don was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Cochrane Ideas

Our first ever Zoom gathering
9th April

Six women panelists, Ideas April 9th: top left:                                                                                 Heather Kerr, Pat Verge, Nadine Eichinger, Lynda Cooke, May Cummings, Judy Bopp.

Our first-ever Zoom gathering of Cochrane Ideas on April 9th was, by all accounts, a resounding success! The six women panelists responded in a variety of interesting ways to the question of how they have challenged the world: some shared their own personal journeys or what they have learned from other women who have changed the world; others talked about how the world has challenged them or how they have challenged themselves. A common theme that emerged was the idea of connectivity and oneness, the thread that unites us and makes the world a better place for all. Various audience members commented on the great selection of speakers and how inspirational they were. Thank you to all those who participated in our April gathering of Cochrane Ideas!

Cochrane Ideas – April 2021


Friday, April 9, 2021 at 7 p.m. via Zoom opening at 6:30 p.m.

Like everyone, we look forward to the day when we can gather in person once again. Meanwhile, we have chosen to gather virtually and hope that you will join us at our first ever ZOOM gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group: 
Zoom link: expired

Six accomplished women from Cochrane and area speak to this year’s International Women’s Day theme of #ChooseToChallenge. With a variety of backgrounds and rich life experiences, each of the women will respond to the question: How have you challenged the world?


JUDIE BOPP   Co-founder of Four Worlds International, and a Director of the Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning, Judie is a specialist in curriculum design and development and organizational transformation. She is well known for her expertise in culturally based and experiential learning and has designed and written numerous learning programs for schools, colleges, and adult training programs. Judie has a wealth of international and North American experience providing training, technical support and evaluation services related to program development and organizational change. She is also the current Chair of the Rotary District Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Judie has a PhD in education and a master’s degree in curriculum development.

LYNDA COOKE   Lynda is originally from West Vancouver and obtained her Bachelor of Engineering (Bioresource) from the University of British Columbia. Lynda got her first engineering job with Urban Systems Ltd. in Kamloops. She transferred to the company’s Calgary office in 1991, where she has been a Partner for 27 years and was a Director for 15 years. Lynda continues to work with Urban Systems as a Senior Municipal Engineer, having enjoyed serving myriad small to mid sized communities, including Cochrane, for almost 25 years. Lynda’s love of athletics saw her ski racing throughout her teenage and university years, and she continues to play hockey. Her love of the outdoors and of an active lifestyle gets Lynda out horseback riding, fishing, camping and playing golf.

MAY CUMMINGS   May was born in Iran but grew up in Sweden. She later married a Canadian and moved to Canada. Before moving to Calgary after her retirement from teaching, she lived in the Inuit village of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, the First Nations community of Bella Bella, BC, and Saskatoon, SK. As a high school teacher in Saskatoon, May co-wrote the Saskatoon curriculum for the grade 12 local courses of World Religions and Global citizenship. She served as the President of Immigrant Women of Saskatoon and of the Saskatoon chapter of the United Nations Association in Canada. She is now active within the Calgary Interfaith Council. May’s exposure to different cultures and languages reinforces her understanding of the importance of finding ways to apply the principles of the oneness of humanity in an authentic way. May has a Master of Law from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan.

NADINE EICHINGER   Nadine grew up in “very small-town Saskatchewan,” with just five students in her high school graduating class! She trained as a physical therapy assistant and worked for the Brooks Health District for several years in hospital and homecare. She and her family moved to Cochrane in 2001. After staying home to raise her three children, Nadine became involved with the Seniors for Kids Society, a non-profit intergenerational mentorship program. In her dual roles as School Facilitator and Fundraising Coordinator, Nadine coordinates the volunteer seniors, does grant writing and is responsible for the bi-monthly newsletter. Working for the Seniors for Kids Society has broadened Nadine’s sense of community and taught her the importance of story-sharing. She and her husband feel blessed to be able to raise their children in Cochrane. Her favorite things about the area are the people and the surrounding beauty, a beauty that brings a bit of peace to her world every day. Nadine likes to camp, boat, fish and ride her paddle board.

HEATHER KERR   A retired operating room nurse, Heather took advantage of her career to travel and work in four different countries: Canada (four western provinces), Australia, Papua New Guinea and Norway. Travel is a passion for Heather, and she has toured and trekked on all seven continents. Heather also loves music and plays alto sax in a Cochrane band. Her other interests include hiking, skiing, writing and reading. Heather is married to a great traveling partner and is looking forward to their next trip.

PAT VERGE   Pat is a writer and editor who has lived in Cochrane with her husband for over 30 years. Her life has been greatly enriched by relationships with the Stoney Nakoda people over many years. Her latest book, “Equals and Partners: A Spiritual Journey Toward Reconciliation and Oneness, Wazin Îchinabi,” chronicles the story of these friendships. Pat is of Irish and Croatian ancestry, a mother of two and grandmother of four.

Cochrane Ideas – March 2021

Save the date
7 p.m., Friday, April 9th, 2021

Great news – Ideas is back! Although we held out against the Zoom steamroller as long as we could, after a Covid hiatus of more than a year now, the Ideas Group Board has finally relented and decided that we can wait no longer. As such, we will soon be hosting our first ever Zoom gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group!

Save the Date: Friday, April 9th, 7:00 pm

This website will be updated with topic and speakers in the next week or so. The Zoom link to join the gathering will be sent out closer to the date of April 9th. If you would like to participate in the Zoom gathering and are not yet a subscriber on our email list, please go to our website at the link below and email us through “Contact Us.”

We are so excited to be hosting the first Ideas gathering of 2021 and hope that you will be able to join us on April 9th for some stimulating conversation. Make sure we’re on your calendar and stay tuned for more details to come!

Your Cochrane Ideas Group Board

Cochrane Ideas – March 2020

It is with great regret that we had to cancel our March & April Ideas evenings.

A man who used to attend Cochrane Ideas emigrated to Edmonton some years ago.  He formed an Ideas groups there and contacted us, hoping to drive down here with 10 or so Edmonton people.  We were delighted.   They wanted to get to know us, and we were keen to get to know them.  What topics do they deal with?  How do they conduct their meetings? After months of negotiating we were ready to see them here on 21 March.

But we’re sorry to let you know that our joint discussion with Edmonton guests could not go ahead due to concerns about current Coronavirus outbreak.  We are following recommended protocol adopted by many other groups in Alberta to restrict larger public gatherings.

We hope that the next Cochrane Ideas evening will be in May, but we will continue to keep you informed.

Be well, Ideas subscribers!


Cochrane Ideas – February 2020


with Jerry Osborn
Professor Emeritus of Geoscience

7 p.m., Friday, February 14th, 2020
King Solomon Lodge, Centre Avenue, Cochrane
Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Jerry Osborn’s two grandchildren, Sinclair and Liam, are approximately 2 years old.  There is a good probability they will live through the end of the 21st century.  Meanwhile, the International Panel on Climate Change and a number of independent researchers have made a series of projections of global mean and regional mean temperatures, and sea level for the end of the 21st century.  The IPCC has also made ancillary projections about economy, health, food supply, and biodiversity. Which of the projections are most likely depends on society’s energy decisions in the next several decades.  This talk will consider the world in which Sinclair and Liam will live in the latter part of the century. In order to get to that point, the speaker will consider the likelihood that current warming is anthropogenic, the degree to which large-numerical-climate-model output should be accepted, the right-wing and left-wing social agendas draping climate change that place climate in the heart of current culture wars, current climate politics, influences on belief systems, and the inertia of social change.  His conclusion is that 2 degrees of warming is probably wishful thinking, and the world will be a very different place for Sinclair and Liam.

Jerry Osborn is Professor Emeritus of Geoscience at the University of Calgary, with a research specialty in Holocene (last 11,000 years) glacier and climate history. He is very interested in relations between science and society. On the side, he likes to photograph and hike in the desert and photograph and play with his grandchildren; in the future he would like to photograph and then eat more pumpkin pie.

Some of those who attended our January Ideas mentioned how much they enjoyed the presentation on the discovery of the wreck of the Nova Zembla, a Scottish whaling ship, off the Baffin Island coast. The presenters, Michael Moloney and Matthew Ayre, from the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary, showed themselves to be real adventurers and excellent scientists. They also demonstrated humor and youthful energy in their talk. We thank them for their efforts in coming to Cochrane and sharing their stories and knowledge.


Cochrane Ideas – January 2020


The remarkable story of the discovery in Arctic waters
of a whaling ship from 118 years ago

7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 10, 2020
King Solomon Lodge, Centre Avenue, Cochrane
Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Two Calgary-based researchers from the Arctic Institute of North America will demonstrate the challenges and the societal implications of their exploration of the Scottish whaling vessel that sank off Baffin Island in 1902.

Dr. Michael Moloney. For his doctoral studies in Archeology at the University of Calgary, Michael investigated the application of innovative, computer-based spatial modelling to the examination of shipwrecks and shipboard societies.  An adjunct assistant professor at the U of C, Michael also has a masters degree in maritime archeology from the University of Southampton, England, and a BA in classical studies from the University of Waterloo.  He has worked in remote locations around the world, conducting archaeological excavations on land and under water.  He was made a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2018 for his explorations of Canadian Arctic history.

Dr. Matthew Ayre.  Matthew is a historical climatologist at the Arctic Institute.  After gaining his undergraduate degree in geography at the University of Sunderland, England, he went on to complete his PhD there, specializing in the extant log books from 19th century British Arctic whaling trade, and the climate of Baffin Bay.  He continues to work with these rare and interesting documents at the Institute.  They are not only providing new insights into the changing Arctic climate, but are also identifying much of the undocumented whaling heritage in the Canadian Arctic.

Those who attended December Ideas were treated to a refreshing change to our normal Ideas routine.  Dara Dines inspired creative juices to flow with her session on expressive arts.  We are grateful to Dara for leading participants in the creation of a range of hands-on and artful expressions relevant to the holiday season.  Many thanks to Dara for the thoughtfulness and preparation she put into the presentation.

Cochrane Ideas – December 2019


Please join us for a relaxing evening with Dara Dines, a member of our Cochrane Ideas community

7pm, Friday December 6th, 2019
King Solomon Lodge, Centre Avenue, Cochrane

Dara will share with us how she uses Expressive Arts in her work and will gently lead us in creating something meaningful together in preparation for the holidays.

DARA DINES has a degree in Fine Arts & Business from Concordia University, a certificate in Expressive Arts Training from the Prairie Institute of Expressive Arts Therapy (PIEAT) in Alberta, and she also studied Design at Algonquin College in Ottawa. She is a Registered Expressive Arts Consultant / Educator with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA).

When she taught art classes she enjoyed being in process with people as they created. She explored and integrated many forms of art into her classes, such as mindfulness, movement, drama, music and play. Dara has has been working in the field of mental health and wellness, and has also been training facilitators to use Expressive Arts in their workplace. The past few years she has created leadership development workshops for community support workers, peer mentors and volunteers.

Warm thanks to the three brave and highly articulate Millennials who offered their perspectives at the November Ideas on the topic: “The Boomer Legacy.”  Eily Aurora and Zoe Richardson offered more personal visions of what is significant in their lives as young, caring people. Ben Carson dealt with some of the more commonly recognized differences between younger and older people. They helped provide an enlightening evening for all participants.

Cochrane Ideas – November 2019



7pm on Friday, November 8th, 2019
King Solomon Lodge, Centre Avenue, Cochrane

A panel of millennials and others will lead an open discussion on the unique challenges they deal with. And, they’ll debate how much responsibility may be placed on the older and still-dominant demographic of the Boomer generation for these conditions. Other discussion points may include:

◊  What are the major differences between the world your parents lived in when they were young, and the world you now live in?
◊  Were the older Western world generations given a better chance than you have?
◊  Do you think older generations are blocking your access to political power? Does it help your interests to vote?
◊  What worries you the most? Climate change? Economic inequalities? Growing influence of artificial intelligence and other technological innovations? Population predictions? What else?
◊  Have formal mainstream religions lost their significance in your lives?
◊  What gives you the most hope?

Younger panel participants include:

Eily Aurora: 
Eily, 33, combines her background as a Family Constellations facilitator with music. She is a professional harpist, singer-songwriter and producer, with two CDs and a western Canadian tour among her accomplishments. With her passion to support mental health, she founded the Home Shall Be Here project, which toured to 14 communities across western Canada. As a practicing Buddhist, she does regular meditation, and has been a member of Birken Forest Monastery for 13 years. Native spirituality is a strong guiding force in her life, Eily spent four years at Mount Royal University, with two years in a student  executive role.

Ben Carson:
Ben, 32, spent two years as a music teacher in the CBE after completing his Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees at the University of Calgary. He went on to obtain a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Victoria and spent the following two years as Senior Community Relations Officer for the Victoria Symphony. In the summer of 2012 Ben Carson and Richard Marshall rode their bicycles from Calgary to Toronto just for fun.

Zoe Richardson:
Zoe arrived at the moment the panel discussion was about to start, and to everyone’s amazement immediately joined the panel.  Zoe had met Ely previously which led to her being somewhat at ease.  It was a delight to have Zoe share her views on being a millennial.

Katherine Arich:
It was with great regret that Katherine had to cancel her plans to join the panel.  She has been an eloquent 15 year old speaker at previous climate strikes on Calgary City Hall steps – sometimes before crowds of 400 people.  We very much regretted not having a passionate teenager in our midst.