Board of Directors
A diverse team of volunteers
Board of Directors 2020-2021
Michel S. Beaulieu, President, Thunder Bay
Michel S. Beaulieu, PhD, CAHP is the Associate Vice-Provost Academic (Special Projects) and an External Relations Associate at Lakehead University. A full Professor of History, he is the past chair of the Department of History, a Docent of Social Science History at the University of Helsinki, and an Associate at the Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University.
Michel currently serves on the Board of Directors of a number of regional, provincial, and national organizations. Currently, these include President of The Champlain Society, Vice-President of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, the Board of Directors of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario, and as a member of Lakehead University’s Board of Governors.
In 2018, The Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, appointed Michel as the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment. He is also a member of the Manitoba and North West Ontario Regional Council for the Canadian Forces Liaison Council.
Serge Ducharme, First Vice President, Field
Kris Ives, Second Vice President, Leamington
Caroline Di Cocco, Past President, Bright’s Grove
Mark Plishewsky, Treasurer, Oshawa
Allan Macdonell, Secretary, Green Valley
Janie Cooper-Wilson, Director, Wasaga Beach
Janie has had a life-long passion for history, researching and recording Black History as a crucial part of the collective history of Ontario. She is a strong advocate for the preservation of endangered historical buildings and early cemeteries, and spearheaded the intensive public relations initiative to preserve the 1849 Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church in Edgar, Ontario.
Janie is the founder and Executive Director of the SilverShoe Historical Society and was the driving force behind the restoration and designation of Bethel-Union and the Old Zion Presbyterian Cemeteries in Clearview Township. As well, with the assistance of her dedicated SilverShoe Team, Janie has facilitated the Annual Memorial Candlelight Service at Bethel-Union Pioneer Cemetery for the past two decades.
Over her long career, Janie has welcomed any opportunity that allows her to promote Black History, as part of the collective history of our Province, through her lectures designed for interested organizations, schools, and youth groups, and frequently facilitates Black History tours throughout Simcoe/Grey Counties. One of her greatest joys is assisting families in the process of researching long lost Black Ancestors. Janie has also been the author of numerous articles and publications and has been the recipient of many awards, such as the OHS Carnochan Award (2012), the OMAH Historic Reconstruction Award (2015), and the OBHS Harriet Tubman Award (2018). In September 2018, she was inducted as one of Canada’s 100 Accomplished Black Women.
Gabriella Colussi Arthur, Director, Toronto
Jan Haskings-Winner, Director, Toronto
Jan Haskings-Winner, BA, B.Ed., M. Ed., has been a history teacher and history educator in Ontario and Malaysia. She is currently Principal of International St. Lucia, after retiring from teaching history (and other subjects) for 35 years.
She is Past President of OHASSTA (Ontario History and Social Sciences Teachers Association) and has authored history text books as well as worked on the Ontario curriculum. Jan teaches for Queen’s University in the Continuing Teacher Education program and taught History and Economics at OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) for five years in the Pre-Service Teacher Education program.
Laura Suchan, Director, Courtice
Laura Suchan M.A. is the Executive Director of the Oshawa Museum where she has been balancing budgets for over 30 years. Laura is passionate about the storytelling power of history and has taught oral history at Trent University and Durham College. She has acted as an oral history project consultant for several organizations including the Oshawa Historical Society, whose project and publication Lakefront Memories was recognized by the Ontario Museum Association with an Award of Merit for outstanding research.
She has written extensively about gravestones and cemeteries and is a member of the Association for Gravestone Studies. Laura is a proud founding member of the Women’s Herstory Connection, Durham Region presenting the social, cultural, political and intellectual pursuits of women to the history of Durham Region.
In 2019 Laura was recognized by the City of Oshawa with the Innovation and Creation Champion Award.
Nora Sawyer, Director, Alderville
Eric Payseur, Director, Ottawa
Michael Dove, Director, London
Michael Dove, PhD, is an Associate Professor and the Director and Internship Coordinator of the MA and Minor programs in Public History at Western University. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for London’s Museum of Ontario Archaeology. A specialist in Canadian maritime, business, social and cultural history, his research and teaching interests include public history, early modern shipping, brewing, and pirates and piracy.
His work in public history has encompassed a wide range of topics pertaining to the history of Ontario. As a recipient of Western’s Vice-Provost (Academic Programs) Award for Excellence in Collaborative Teaching, he has worked with numerous local, provincial and national community organizations including The City of London, Southwestern Ontario Region Bicentennial 1812, Labatt Breweries of Canada and Western University Archives, and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
His profile can be viewed at: Faculty Profile.
Rob Leverty, Ex-Officio | Executive Director, Toronto
Thorold Tronrud, Ex-Officio | Editor, Ontario History, Thunder Bay
|Executive Committee||Michel Beaulieu|
|Fundraising Committee||Gabriella Colussi Arthur|
|Honours & Awards Committee||Michel Beaulieu and Eric Payseur|
|Indigenous Affairs Committee||Nora Sawyer|
|Museums and Affiliated Societies Committee||Kristin Ives and Allan Macdonell|
|Nominations Committee||Caroline Di Cocco|
|Preservation and Cemeteries Committee||Laura Suchan and Janie Cooper-Wilson|
OHS Past Presidents
This video is also available on the OHS YouTube channel here.
OHS Past Presidents Reflect on 125 Years
On November 4th, 2013, the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario David C. Onley held a reception at Queen’s Park to celebrate the 125th anniversary of The Ontario Historical Society. In attendance were students from Waterdown District High School’s Student Parliament, under the supervision of Nathan Tidridge, historical educator and friend of the OHS. During the celebrations, secondary student Joelle Easter interviewed Past Presidents of The Ontario Historical Society’s Board of Directors about their tenure with the OHS, and their reflections on the role and impact of the Society.
1. Download and Print the Nomination Form (word/.doc), and mail the completed form to:
The Ontario Historical Society
c/o OHS Nominating Committee
34 Parkview Avenue
Willowdale, ON M2N 3Y2