Forward Into the Past
All Speakers
Speakers A-E
Speakers F-N
Speakers O-Z
Speakers 5+ years
Speakers 10+ years
Speakers 15+ years
Speakers 20+ years
Previous Suggestions

Aaron Fehir is in his third year for a BA in Near Eastern and Classical Archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is interested in the Bronze Age Aegean and the Phoenicians, though his primary interests lie in Bioarchaeology, specifically cultural modifications. This summer Aaron will be taking a break from excavating the Minoan site of Gournia, and will instead be excavating as supervisor for Laurier's project in Jordan.
Class: Juvenile Osteology

Alex Gabauer is currently finishing up my third year at the University of Toronto in the Arts and Science department, earning a specialist degree in History. She is especially interested in Early Modern England and France, as well as Victorian England and the history of the Aboriginal Peoples history of Ontario. Alex plans to earn a postsecondary degree, a Master of Information, at the University of Toronto and wishes to pursue a career working in academic libraries. Alex enjoys travel comic books.
Class: North American Archaeology and Indigenous Populations

Alexis Cooke is an artist/teacher with over 20 years experience teaching in Montessori schools, various art camps and municipal leisure courses. She has a Fine Arts degree from York and an Education degree from UOIT. Alexis brings a passion for art and people together wherever she teaches. She joined forces with Colleen to spread the joy of Gryphon Medieval Brass Rubbing (
Classes: Gryphon Medieval Brass Rubbings (I)
               Gryphon Medieval Brass Rubbings (II)

Alicia McKenzie teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University in the History Department and the Medieval Studies Program. Her own research focuses on the social history of Merovingian Gaul.
Class: Re-enactment and Education

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)

Carolyn Spelt is currently finishing her last year of an Honours BA in Near Eastern and Classical Archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University. In September 2014, she will be continuing her education by beginning a Master of Science degree at the University of Sheffield in Osteoarchaeology.

Catherine Ollerhead DeSantis has been associated with various 19th century living history groups for the past 12 years as a cannoneer and side saddle equestrian. Currently she is writing a Master's thesis in Rural History at the University of Guelph. She is working on a companion book documenting 19th century housework and women's social networking. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Dufferin County Museum and Archives, and is Vice Chairman of the Canadian Branch of the Richard III Society.
Class: The Medical History of Richard Third

Colleen Moynham is an entrepreneur who owns a personal/small business income tax business, owned/operated an appliance repair business, and has now joined with Alexis to present Gryphon Medieval Brass Rubbings ( to students and adults alike. She also has an educational background as a graduate of Peterborough Teacher's College.
Classes: Gryphon Medieval Brass Rubbings (I)
               Gryphon Medieval Brass Rubbings (II)

Damien Coles is a fifth-year History/Medieval Studies double major at Laurier with a focus on the Anglo-Saxons and their religion, culture, language, and ways of war.
Class: A Prow on a Misty Sea

Darrell Markewitz is a professional artisan blacksmith with over 30 years experience, who specializes in objects from the Viking Age. He designed, created and implemented both the 'Norse Encampment' interpretive program for Parks Canada and the 'World of the Norse' exhibit for the Cranbrook Institute of Science. He consulted on the Smithsonian's 'Vikings - North Atlantic Saga', and the Newfoundland Museum's 'Full Circle - First Contact' exhibits, as well as assisting a number of the institutions hosting both exhibits. His interest in iron smelting goes back to 2001. To date he has participated in over 45 experimental firings, in Canada, the USA and in Denmark. He has documented this work in formal academic papers, a CD-ROM, and extensively on the internet.
Classes: Working an Experiment - 'Turf to Tools' at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop
               Persona and Living History - A Round Table
               Re-enactment and Education

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.
Class: European Dance - Cascarde of 16th Century Italy

David Stamper is a stay at home dad with interests in medieval and Renaissance warfare, arms and armour. He is actively involved in historical recreation through the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) and is the Chief Researcher for Blackthorn Productions, a company that puts on demos of Crusade era combat and culture for Grade 4 classes across Ontario. He is also an avid player of tabletop miniatures wargames as well as a practitioner of Medieval and Renaissance Western Martial Arts (WMA). Someday he will figure out he has too many hobbies.
Classes: Late 16th Century Men's Costume
               To the Hilt: An Examination of the Renaissance Sword Hilt 1460-1600

Debbie Kerkhof and just completed her Master's in Medieval Studies at Utrecht University in May. She is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier in the Medieval Studies program. She currently works at Broadview Press as a sales representative.
Class: A mixed bag: Pirates and Cross-dressers

Dr. Darrin Cox is an Associate Professor of History at West Liberty University. Besides publishing Aristocratic Masculinity in France (1450-1550): From Knight to Courtier, Dr. Cox conducts research in Viking Age expansion and gender, drawing in part from his near 20 years of Viking re-enacting experience. His latest endeavor is the Viking Living History Project, which utilizes college student volunteers to study the reception and effectiveness of living history in the K-12 school system. Having successfully acquired grant money from multiple sources, Dr. Cox uses this funding to finance the cost of materials and tools for volunteers, who get to keep the things they manufacture for future educational use, thereby training and equipping the next generation of Viking re-enactors in the process. Dr Cox earned his PhD in Late Medieval/Early Modern History (with a particular focus in gender and nobility) from Purdue University and his MA and BS degrees from West Virginia University, specializing in Viking History and Journalism respectively.
Classes: Vikings: Medieval Metrosexuals?
               Re-enactment and Education

Emily Sunarine's bio will be along soon.
Class: The Greeks and Their Art

Erik Roth has lived and worked as a goldsmith in several European countries, extensively studying mediaeval artifacts in museum collections, the most recent being the Mary Rose museum where he handled Tudor bows. He has written a comprehensive book on mediaeval archery entitled With Bended Bow: Archery in Mediaeval and Renaissance Europe
Class: Medieval Games People Play

Hillary Weppler is a third year student at Laurier studying Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Archaeology. Her areas of interest are Ancient Gender and Sexuality, and Heritage and Collections Management. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in the Heritage and Museum sector. In her spare time Hillary volunteers for Grey Roots Museum and Archives, is the Vice President of the Archaeology Society, the Marketing and Promotions Executive for the Laurier Student Food Bank, and works as a Laurier Campus Ambassador.
Class: North American Archaeology and Indigenous Populations

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.
Class: Food through Time and Location: particularly the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Jenna Lemay's bio will be along soon.
Class: The Greeks and Their Art

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

Jessica McGinn is a forth year undergraduate student of Near Eastern and Classical Archaeology. She will be continuing her education at the University of Sheffield where she has been accepted into her Master's of Science in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology. Her primary interests include: juvenile osteology, nutrition and diet in the past, as well as biomechanics. She has done archaeological work in both Greece and Egypt, eventually specializing in human remains. Jessica is thrilled to be presenting her paper on Child Sacrifice. This is her first time at Forward Into the Past.
Class: Juvenile Osteology

Jo Duke started medieval recreation about 20 years ago, and unleashed a passion for creating historical garments, dyeing using natural and traditional dyes and all kinds of weaving. Known variously as Jorunn, Jhone of Wodecott, or Joan Woodcote, a weaver or tailleur, tradeswoman, goodwife and mother, she loves to relax with a beer and a game of chance and strategy.
Class: Textiles 202: Historical Dress Design From the Ground Up

John Enzinas is a Software Developer by day and a student of Western Martial Arts night (and some weekends). He has been studing swordplay in one form or another for over 20 years and currently is the assistant instructor at Ottawa Swordplay where the main focus is on the German masters and their martial philosophy.
Class: An Overview of the Evolution of Germanic Swordplay

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 and attended an archaeological fieldschool on Gotland in 2011. Karen's primary interests lie in spinning, weaving, dyeing, and naalbinding. Karen is a member of the Dark Ages Recreation Company, and travelled to L'Anse aux Meadows in 2010 and 2012 to demonstrate many parts of the Viking Era textile process.
Classes: Introduction to Drop Spinning
               Introduction to Drop Spinning (repeat)

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: Brief History of Pottery
               Persona and Living History - A Round Table

Katie Anderson's bio will be along shortly.
Classes: Children: Medieval Board Games
               Children: Create your own Shield
               Children: Face Painting and Colouring
               Children: Movie time
               Children: Playdough Runestones
               Children: Pottery Puzzles

Katie Anderson's bio will be along soon.
Class: North American Archaeology and Indigenous Populations

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.
Class: English 16th & 17th Century dances from the Inns of Courts

Mark Edward Patchettis a software developer and father. He has been involved in medieval recreation with the Society for Creative Anachronism for over 20 years, and the living history group Regia Anglorum for about 10 years. Sir 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.)
Classes: Naalbinding 101
               Naalbinding 102

Melanie Burrett thoroughly enjoys working in a public school library, and also thoroughly enjoys researching and playing historical/medieval music in her spare time, as well as a kaleidoscope of other various other arts, crafts, and martial activities (which change over time, and sometimes come back around full-circle). But the two loves of her life are writing and music. They never change.
Classes: Introduction to Troubadours
               Try your 'Hand' at Calligraphy

Natalia Handziuk is a third year Near Eastern and Classical Archaeology Student at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her areas of interest are focused on Roman Culture and its manifestation in the Near East, particularly the Levant, as well as Viewshed investigations of archaeologically significant landscapes. Natalia currently works in the Near Eastern lab with Dr. Debra Foran and is an Instructional assistant for the introduction to Archaeology course at Laurier. She is a part of the editorial board of the Laurier Undergraduate Journal and is the President of the Archaeology society. Natalia has worked on the Gournia Excavation Project on Crete, the Tell Madaba Archaeological Project in Jordan and is looking forward to joining the inaugural team of the Town of Nebo Archaeological Project this summer. Natalia does not enjoy long walks on the beach; sand is difficult to walk on.
Class: Iconography of Power in the Mediterranean and the Near East

Natassia Lei is an undergraduate student majoring in Classical Studies at McMaster University. Her main interests include classical literature (in particular classical Greek) and its later influence. She is also a volunteer teacher in the Latin class at her local high school.
Class: The Greeks and Their Art

Neil Peterson is a technical director and project manager in the software industry 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 ExArc and the Ontario Museum Association, and a member of multiple re-enactment groups including the Dark Ages Recreation Company.
Classes: Lies, Damn Lies, and Viking Pseudohistory
               History TV's Vikings and History's Vikings

Nicholas (Cole) Cioran Somewhere in the times in between being a husband, father, manager in the financial sector, and serial re-enactor with Hoplologia, I am a student in the Masters of Arts in Leadership program at Royal Roads University. My thesis (in progress) studies the dynamics of leadership at the complex intersection of individual and collective identity in re-enactment organizations.
Class: Stepping Into the Void: The tools, trials, and dangers of re-enactment based learning

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), Peterborough Centennial Museum and most recently L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Currently, Richard is busy reconstructing dances and music from the Gresley manuscript, and recreating tools and other artifacts from the norse period.
Classes: Dances from Tudor England (Gresley Dances)
               Making Musical Instruments

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
               Introduction to Glass Bead Making

Roy Underhill, the instructor for the Cotswold Morris segment, has been dancing Morris since 1982. Instructor (Foreman) of Cold Barn Morris since 1996, he has danced morris in many places -- in pubs, on mountain tops, and in the high Arctic and loves it when the group goes to traditional Morris gatherings, called Ales, where we dance, feast, sing and make merry.
Class: Morris Dancing

Sam Falzone is an elementary teacher and practices various crafts including blacksmithing, silver smithing, woodwork, wood carving, marquetry and stained glass - and occasionally makes sausages and likes to cook.
Class: Norse Stamped Jewellery

Samantha James is an office manager at an investigations firm. A graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, with an HBA in Classical and Medieval Studies and an MA in History, she has an enduring interest in medieval culture and has been involved with FITP in previous years.
Class: A mixed bag: Pirates and Cross-dressers

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: Bone and Antler Carving
               Meaningful Scratches
               Persona and Living History - A Round Table

Teresa Wight's bio will be along soon.
Class: Iconography of Power in the Mediterranean and the Near East

V.M. Roberts is an artist, re-enactor, and parent living in Toronto. Specialties include visual communication and viking age fashion. Unnr Hringsdottir is a traveller/trader from Iceland, who has settled in Eoforwic where she raises two sons, and some trouble, and doesn't have to convert.
Class: Round table on sources for Viking Age textiles

Vandy Simpson is a life long afficionado of food. She has been researching and cooking historical food for 40 years. She was instrumental in the design of the foodways program for the L'Anse aux Meadows interpretive program, as well as Norstead Viking Village, and several other museum programs and interpretive presentations. In real life she is a costume designer for Theatre Orangeville, and historic food researcher, experimenter, and blogger.
Class: Food of the Vikings (or what DID Lagertha have in that pot?) !

Wendy Maurice retired from administrative work nearly five years ago and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, her beloved cat, knitting, crocheting, sewing, spinning, weaving and gardening/flax farming. Her quest to learn how to get the fibre from the flax she has been growing for 14 years led her to the SCA in the fall of 2003, where she is known as THLady Anne of Saffron Walden. She sees her bleaching project as an extension of the linen produced from the flax. Anne enjoys learning as many new A&S skills as possible especially, but not exclusively, in fibre arts.
Class: Bleaching with Cow dung

Contact us if you have any questions or suggestions