Forward Into the Past
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Amy Menary is a librarian who works at Wilfrid Laurier University in the library and at the Bronfman business library at York University. Her primary research interest is in genealogy but over the years she has done a considerable amount of research in costuming specializing in the medieval period.
Class: Costuming Research (1000 - 1800 A.D)

Anatoly Venovcev is in his fourth and last year at Wilfrid Laurier University finishing his degree in Honours North American Prehistoric Archaeology. His two favorite areas of study are pirates and applying Geographical Information Systems to archaeology.
Class: The Archaeology of Caribbean and Atlantic Piracy

Aurora Simmons is currently studying Classics, History and Philosophy, at The University of Toronto. She is a graduate from the George Brown College Jewelry Arts program, and has been working as a jeweler and metal-smith for the last few years. She began reenacting in 2007 and has found her technical skills and interest in craft, invaluable to her, both as a reenactor and a student of history.
Class: The importance of excellence in material culture

Bonnie Coursolle uses her creative energy to make unique jewelry and prayer beads, incorporating natural gemstones in many of her designs for their healing properties. You will find her at a diverse mix of eclectic events across southern Ontario throughout the year, from music festivals & pagan conferences to medieval faires & craft shows. She conducts workshops at many of them. Her work can also be seen on her website at
Class: Tree of Life - Myth & Symbolism

Brendan Smith is a commercial and residential construction worker and renovator. He has one daughter, Miriam, and lives in Kitchener. He enjoys participating heavily in almost all aspects of the SCA, he's a season ticket holder for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and cheers hard for the Ottawa Senators. In the SCA Brendan portrays Yoshikuri Nagayori, a samurai from the latter part of the Sengoku Jidai. (Age of warring states lasting 1467-1603) At this point, he would be a relatively high ranking officer, serving his Daimyo (literally "Great Name," they were roughly equivalent to Barons, or territorial princes)
Classes: Who were the Samurai?
               Japanese cooking

Brent McCrackin is long time member of the SCA and a dance fanatic.
Class: English Country Dance

Bridget Jankowski is an upper-year Ph. D. student at the University of Toronto, where she is writing her dissertation in sociolinguistics, language variation and grammatical change in 20th century English, as well as teaching the occasional Linguistics course. In her spare time, she plays french horn and recorder. She also spins, knits, weaves and dyes. She lives in Toronto with her cat and ever-patient husband, who has learned to stop asking "what's in that strange-smelling jar in the backyard." In the SCA, Brigid occasionally sings and plays music, but mostly, she just plays with fibre a lot and continues to enjoy hearing Language change.
Classes: Introduction to Fibre Prep for Spinning
               Introduction to Drop Spinning

C. Cary Timar received his PhD in mathematics from Vanderbilt University in 1999. His research interests include the Theory of Infinite Graphs, and the History of Computation. He works as a computer programmer in Toronto.
Class: Habits of mind; How tools affect thinking

Christian Cameron is a historical writer. A new Canadian from the US, Mr. Cameron was born in Pittsburg, PA, grew up across the lake in Rochester, and attended the University of Rochester where he got an honors BA in Medieval History and Philosophy with a minor in Art History. After a fifteen year detour from history (flying in the US Navy) Mr. Cameron moved to Canada to marry his wife, Sarah and become a historical novelist. Since 2003, Mr. Cameron has written (and even published) five historical novels. Mr. Cameron has been a reenactor since 1974 and now commands Canada’s "black powder" organization, The Northern Brigade. In addition, Mr. Cameron spent many happy years in the SCA and has recently helped found the multi-period organization Hoplologia (the study of stuff) to cover periods from Ancient Greece (his new love) to the War of 1812. Mr. Cameron enjoys many martial arts, and making things, and—well—everything.
Class: Not Just Costume - Reenactors as serious historians

Darrell Markewitz has been involved in living history, both at museums and as a hobby, for over 30 years. He created the 'Norse Encampment' interpretive program for Parks Canada at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC and the 'World of the Norse' exhibit for the Cranbrook Institute of Science. He has taught interpretive techniques and worked as a program consultant on a number of major traveling exhibits, including 'Vikings - North Atlantic Saga'and 'Full Circle, First Contact'. As both a staff and volunteer interpreter, he has re-created not only the Viking Age, but a wide range of historic periods from Canada's Settlement eras.

In 2001 he consulted on the presentation of the re-created 'Furnace Hut' at L'Anse aux Meadows, and attempted his first experimental iron smelt. Since that date, he has undertaken over 40 smelts, working primarily on methods based the archaeology of the Viking Age. He has worked internationally in the field, both as a core member of the 'Early Iron' symposiums in the USA, and as the only North American included at the 'Iron Symposium at Thy' in Denmark, 2008. Since late 2008, the primary focus of his research has been specifically the Vinland iron smelt.
Classes: Setting the Scene: Interpretive Methods for Living History
               Iron Smelting in Vinland: converting archaeological evidence to a practical method

David Learmonth is a chemical engineer who somehow found his way into dancing in the SCA. Thus, Darius the Dancer was born. I have continued to study and to teach dance in the SCA for approximately 13 years, and consider myself at an intermediate level in my research. My main goal has always been to bring dance knowledge to the masses, and to introduce it in such a way as to be fun and easy to follow for all who are willing to give it a try.
Classes: Intro to 15th Century Italian Dance
               Inns of Court

Dr. David Porreca is an Associate Professor in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Waterloo, where he has been teaching Latin and assorted topics relating to the Roman and Medieval past, including Greek & Roman Religion, Medieval Society, Astrology and Magic in the Ancient and Medieval World, and The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. His publications involve the reception of ancient pagan religious and philosophical texts (especially those attributed to Hermes Trismegistus) by Christian thought in the Middle Ages. He also maintains a keen interest in the dynamics of the rise and fall of civilizations.
Class: The End of an Empire

Eve Harris is an executive assistant and writer. Some published works include the corporate history, "75 Years of Greyhound Canada" (2004) and "Lo Sposalizio del Mare" (2003: Compleat Anachronist Issue 123), a research and practical paper focussing on this Venetian festival. Known in the SCA as Asa Gormsdottir, Eve conducts experiments in paint, food and fabric. She is particularly known for her striking illuminations based on extant Celtic metalwork and delicate hand-sewn silk clothing (Renaissance Venice and Turkey as well as 1450s Gothic).
Class: Beyond the Book of Kells: Ripping off Celtic Motifs

Fred Blonder is a Network Engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland. He has been an active member of the Longship Company, Ltd., since 1980, regularly rowing and sailing their replica Viking ships (as well as the Greek Trireme, "Olympias", twice). He studies (and collects) historical calculating and measuring instruments, and puts them to practical use when possible.
Class: Viking Navigation Techniques

Gary Snyder is a Kitchener grandfather working for Ontario Hydro and has been with the SCA for many many years.
Class: Building a Viking Ship Model - A Boat for the Burning

Ilya Shkarupin is an executive assistant to one of Canada's leading facial plastic surgeons. He has been one of Toronto Vikings, a local reenactment group, for 5 years. As part of Torvik he found an intense attraction to Viking combat and has been Torvik's training officer for over 3 years. He is also part of AEMMA and has been studying Italian and German combat for over a year. As a Viking, he enjoys wood- and leatherworking as well as studies of Scandinavian culture and history.
Class: Viking Combat Demonstration

James Diamond a fourth year student in history and archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University and a member of the international modding group Europa Barbarorum where I coordinate development for Carthage, Numidia and Nabataea.
Class: History in Video Games

Jean Ross is a RN currently away from her work. She was a graphic artist in a previous career. She is interested in many things Medieval especially those of the Norse. She does so many things within the SCA that it is hard to pin down, but lately she is most interested in Beads and Spinning. But mostly beads. She is known in the SCA as THL Aislinne of Alainmor and has played since 1977. She lives with her very tolerant husband, Martin and their very beautiful Lab-mixed dog named Bella.
Classes: Large Menu Planning
               Treasure Necklaces
               Intermediate Glass Beads "The fancy stuff"

Jeff Johnston is a member of The Society for Creative Anachronism and has a long interest in all think alcoholic. As such began studying the interesting history of Mead making.
Class: Introduction to Mead Making

Jeremie Landry is currently finishing his 4th and last year in Prehistoric Archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University. Has participated in archaeological work in Belize on the Maya site of Minanha and has recently been involved in an experimental archaeology project at the Baumann site under the supervision of Dr. Dean Knight which consisted of a reconstruction of a Iroquoian longhouse.
Class: An Iroquoian Longhouse reconstruction: Finding the Fact within the Fiction

Jerry Penner is The Chain Mail Guy; he has been selling finished chain mail, knitting rings, and offering chain mail workshops since 1996. He published Chain Mail Basics in 1996 when he realized there was no formal lanuguage to describe knitting patterns to other people, similar to crochet or yarn knitting. His work can be found at various fairs in Southwestern Ontario including the Fergus Highland Games and the Royal Medieval Faire in Waterloo, and on his website at
Classes: Chainmail - Beyond the Basics
               Chainmail for Beginners

Josh Cadman is an undergraduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Class: Bad Handwriting and Funny Names: The Coalbrookdale Papers

Karen Peterson works in Resource Sharing at the University of Waterloo library where she enjoys the opportunities the job provides to further her own research efforts and those of others. Over the last decade Karen has demonstrated or lectured on various parts of the Viking Era textile process at multiple museums in North America. She has recently become involved in an archeological research project exploring Icelandic textile remains. Karen's primary interests lie in spinning, weaving, dyeing, and naalbinding. Karen is a member of the Dark Ages Recreation Company where she is one of two primary photographers documenting her own and other research projects and activities undertaken by the group. Karen is also the administrater of the DARC blog.
Classes: Iceland - Geography & Museums
               Warp Weighted loom - a Hands-On Introduction

Karina Bates is an independent researcher, a member of The Gypsy Lore Society, The Medieval Pottery Research Group, The Peterborough Potters Guild, The Society for Creative Anachronism and the Dark Ages Re-enactment Company. Karina has spent the better part of twenty years researching and lecturing about the early and medieval history of the Romany people. In the past five years, she has developed a renewed interest in pottery and has begun an equally long journey researching and attempting to replicate historical finds. Karina is also interested in the textile field and is currently looking into historical knitting practices. She has lectured at the University of Michigan at Kalamazoo, the Peterborough Potters Guild and at numerous events for the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Classes: Pottery: An experimental early-period Pit Fire
               Gypsies in Portraiture: Truth or Fiction?

Having studied under-graduate Byzantine history, Larisa Kallaur-Telford has continued to pursue her interest in Byzantine fabrics and embroidery and has honed her skills producing highly ornate period-inspired costume using traditional techniques. Her hands-on skills include producing high-quality spun thread and floss from raw flax, silk and various wools using home-grown, natural dye sources. Her farm now grows many of the plant varieties that old and new world dyers would be familiar with. And just recently she has been able to add weaving to her repertoire.
Classes: Practical Embroidery
               Coptic Clothing

Laura Roncone is currently a Master’s student in the Ancient Mediterranean Cultures program at the University of Waterloo where she also did her Undergraduate degree. Her research interests include Roman History, Art, and Mythology.
Class: The End of an Empire

Laura Stein is a perpetual student with far too many interests and not enough time. In the SCA, Urraca de la Mar hails from the Iberian Peninsula, but where exactly she's not telling. She is often found on the dance floor or the archery range if she's not working on one of her many projects.
Class: Clothing in 13th Century Spain

Marc Collins Marc Collins, BA. Specialized in Mediaeval Philosophy and studied Renaissance Dance as part of a Drama minor at the University of Toronto. He works in IT for an international insurance company. Marc is a long time member of the SCA where he is knwon as Fra. Guillaume di San Marino a Franciscan of the 3rd Order who holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Florance and earns a living doing diplomatic work for various city states.
Classes: Italian Dance for English Country Dancers
               Non-Stop Dance Workout

Marcus Burnham is an analytical chemist for the Ontario provincial government, specializing in the analysis of trace elements in geological samples. Prior to moving to Canada 14 years ago, he participated in 14th, 15th, and 16th century recreations in the UK, but over the last 10 years has developed a second interest in the culture and artefacts of the Viking Era. He has been tinkering with leather for a few years after discovering its versatility and ability to survive the rigours of life. Marcus is a member of the Dark Ages Recreation Company, who are pressuring him to help them shoe themselves for their forthcoming trip to L’Anse aux Meadows.
Class: Feet firmly in the past - Shoes from the Viking Age 800 - 1050

Mark Edward Patchett is a software developer and father. He has been involved in medieval recreation with the Society for Creative Anachronism for the past 20 years, and the living history group Regia Anglorum for about 8 years. Mark is currently responsible for all Martial activities in the SCA for most of the province of Ontario. Count Edward the Red is a Norman Knight who fought at the battle of Hastings, and later settled down in northern England where he married a Saxon lady. (How their son ended up as a Viking is still a mystery.) Edward enjoys fighting, with rattan polearms and swords and rapiers in the SCA and with rebated steel swords and spears with Regia Anglorum. He also enjoys building things - armouring, woodworking, woodturning, leatherworking, and even setting things on fire, and whatever else he can fit into his dwindling spare time.
Classes: SCA Armoured Combat Demonstration
               Viking Combat Demonstration
               Flint and Steel Fire Striking

Martin Ross is studying in the IT field. He has participated in the SCA as Lord William MacDonald of Balnagown for over 20 years were he enjoys woodworking. He is the tolerant husband of Jean Ross and has a beautiful lab mix dog named Bella.
Class: Large Menu Planning

Dr. Michèle Hayeur Smith is an archaeologist with fieldwork experience in Iceland, and North America. Her research interests are in material culture, dress, the body, and gender. Her doctoral research, conducted on jewellery, and dress from Viking Age Icelandic burials, looked at items of dress for clues about the projection of social and cultural identity. Her postdoctoral research addressed these same theoretical issues, but applied to Aboriginal populations along the Gulf of the St. Lawrence prior and after the contact period. This project was a part of the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Cultures (GRASAC), organized by Dr. Ruth Phillips at Carleton University. More recently she has returned to the North Atlantic and Iceland and is currently preparing a research project on gender and the production and circulation of textiles from the Viking Age to the early 19th century. This project will hopefully bring women’s lives and women’s roles in the Icelandic economy, household organization, regional politics, and culture into the forefront.
Class: Out on the town in 10th century Reykjavik: a survey of jewelry, dress and textiles in early Iceland

Mila Little has been employed as an Engineer with the federal government for nearly 20 years. She has used her experience and education to aid her in on-going efforts in experimental archeology, with a particular interest in early Medieval Technology. She has taught at previous sessions of FITP, as well as within the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Classes: Redacting Theolphilus
               Building the Coppergate Helm

Neil Peterson is a project management professional and a student of Archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University. In his spare time he works with museums, libraries, schools, and various groups to promote an appreciation of Viking Era Scandinavia, and the application of project management to museums and historical projects such as this conference. His primary research interest over the last 20 years has been applications of experimental archaeology to the anthropological and technological processes of the Viking Era, specifically including iron smelting and bead making. He is a charter member of the local PMI chapter, a member of the Ontario Museum Association, and a member of multiple re-enactment groups including the Dark Ages Recreation Company.
Classes: Iceland - Geography & Museums
               Bead Production in Scandinavia: converting archaeological evidence to a practical method

Nicholas Cioran has led a varied life. His fascination with history was born in a youth in a cabin in the woods without running water or electricity. It has stayed with him through studying physics in university, a career in the IT industry as a systems architect and manager, and being a husband and father. He began recreating and reenacting history in university, first in the SCA, then later in the western martial arts community, the American Revolution, and archaic Greece.
Class: A Journey into Complete Darkness

Pamela Bottrill is a textile artist and homemaker who likes to say that she went to university to get a degree \“in the SCA.\” She finds that her involvement in the Society for Creative Anachronism, where she is known as Lady Alais de Poitiers, allows her to follow her interest in all things medieval in every possible direction. She is also interested in the history of home economics, in urban agriculture, and in the costume and clothing history of any era. She lives with her very happily large family consisting of 7 humans, 2 dogs and 2 cats.
Classes: The Lost Cathedral: Exploring Cluny in 3 Dimensions
               Flemish Costume: The Sum of its Parts

Peter Monahan is a teacher-librarian with the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board and a part-time student in Museum Studies. He has been studying and re-living early 19th century Canadian history for 16 years. Peter is currently Sergeant Major with the Crown Forces North America, the War of 1812 staff group which coordinates Canadian, British and Native Allies at various events. When renacting 1812 history, his parent unit is the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.
Class: Stepping through Time: shoes from 1600-1900

Richard Schweitzer is a private school teacher from Orangeville, ON. A graduate from the University of Waterloo in history, art and music, he has been involved in living history and museum work since working in the 1980s at the 1914 living museum Doon Heritage Crossroads in Kitchener. Through DARC, Richard has presented Norse culture at several museums including Woodstock Museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Cranbrook Museum (MI), Haffenreffer Museum (RI), and Peterborough Centennial Museum. Currently, Richard is busy reconstructing dances and music from the Gresley manuscript, and recreating tools and other artifacts in anticipation of a trip to L'Anse aux Meadows.
Classes: Norse Music
               Norse Sagas - the Bloody, Bawdy and Bizarre
               Dances from Tudor England (Gresley Dances)

Robert Schweitzer is a high school chemistry teacher with fifteen years of weaving experience. He was a guest instructor at WASOON 2008, a weavers and spinners conference, and has taught numerous classes across the province including many previous FITP sessions. In the fall of 2008, several of his pieces were part of the "Grave Goods" exhibition at the Woodstock museum. He is currently working on recreating a 16th century Ethiopian tablet-woven curtain that was discovered by Prof. Michael Gervers of the University of Toronto in a cave church in Abba Yohanni.
Classes: Introduction to Tablet Weaving
               Tablet Woven Artefacts

Dr. Ronald A. Ross is a CAS Professor of Archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Canada. He teaches in the departments of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Medieval Studies, and Anthropology. His research interests include the medieval origins of the British iron and steel industries, medieval demography and population, and archaeological method and theory. He has been the co-director of the Coalbrookdale excavations since 2002.
Class: Bad Handwriting and Funny Names: The Coalbrookdale Papers

Sarah Backa is a member of The Society for Creative Anachronism, where she is mostly interested in Early Medieval Finland and Norse cultures. Outside of the SCA, she is an upper-year student at Wilfrid Laurier University, studying North American Historic Archaeology.
Class: Finnish women's clothing from excavation to interpretation

Sarah Scroggie is the head of properties and scenic paint at the University of Toronto's Missisauga campus. She has a degree in computer science and drama from the University of Guelph. She has been interested in Living History since she was a child and has visited sites across North America and Europe. She has worked at Upper Canada Village and Woodstock Museum, and traveled with DARC to Newfoundland in 2000 to work at Norstead. Sarah has been doing Renaissance dance since 1992, and for the last 10 years has been working on reconstructing the dances from the Gresley manuscript.
Class: Dances from Tudor England (Gresley Dances)

Scott Caple is a professional graphic artist who works mostly in the commercial animation industry. His blog can be found here. He has worked for many major studios and has credits on such projects as Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan and Atlantis: the Lost Continent, Pixar's The Incredibles and many other titles. His other artistic interests include the medieval and renaissance graphic arts, especially the production of calligraphy and illumination. In the SCA, he goes by Robert of Two Cliffs and over several years has produced much scrollwork for the Middle Kingdom, Ealdormere and the Kingdom of the West.
Class: Three fingers hold the pen...

Simon Newcombe is a first year student at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is working towards a double major in archaeology and medieval studies and has a specific interest in experimental archaeology, religion, and warfare.
Class: How Holy is War?

Steven Strang has an MA in Cultural Anthropology. He has been researching Old Norse culture for over 30 years. His carvings in bone and antler have been acquired by private collections in Canada and the USA, and also by Parks Canada and The Smithsonian.
Classes: Meaningful Scratches
               Bone Carving

Terrence Saulnier is a third year undergraduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is pursuing an Honors Major in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology. Currently his is a member of the Board of Directors for LSPIRG, the University’s joint community organization. He is also assisting Professor Ronald Ross with transcribing an historical steel patent document, which may be inclusive in pushing back the Industrial revolution. A strong advocate for environmental causes he has a deep interested in all things historical with an interest in early medieval cultural transitions.
Class: Bad Handwriting and Funny Names: The Coalbrookdale Papers

V.M. Roberts is persuing an undergraduate degree in history and archaeology at Athabasca University. Over the course of ten years as an amateur reenactor, she has presented at various conferences and museums including the Royal Ontario Museum, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Black Creek Pioneer Villiage, Forward Into the Past, and Pennsic. Her work focusses on early medieval Scandinavia, and on clothing and functional textiles.
Class: Habits of mind; How tools affect thinking

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