LGBTQ End of Life Speakers Series Schedule


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Upcoming sessions:

January 6 – Wills and Powers of Attorney

 Judith Wahl LLB, former Executive Director at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, and an expert in elder law will share practical advice on how to prepare a will and a detailed look at powers of attorney in Ontario. The workshop is at The 519 from 1:00-3:00 pm on Saturday, January 6. Get the new year started with a plan for peace of mind!

January 27 – Talking About Death & Advance Care Planning   

Rachelle McGuire is the Director of Bereavement and Supportive Care at Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice. Rachelle holds a master’s degree in Thanatology and has spent the last seven years building community based bereavement programs for hospices across Southern Ontario. Rachelle holds a faculty appointment at McMaster University in the department of family medicine, division of palliative care. She is a longitudinal facilitator for professional competencies at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and a guest lecturer in many of McMaster’s undergraduate programs. Rachelle is a queer-identified woman of North-African & Middle Eastern descent and is a fierce believer that grief is our birthright.

February 24 – Navigating Care

Kirsten Schmidt has been navigating the world of health care for the past 20 years.  From birth to death, Kirsten has experience in front-line and leadership roles that have made her a dynamic speaker and workshop facilitator.  In the 90s, Kirsten started her career in the AIDS movement in Toronto and Nova Scotia where she learned the art of advocacy.  She got her Masters degree in Health Promotion from Dalhousie University focusing on women’s spiritual health which further informed her work in public health.  Kirsten has worked as the Executive Director of Durham Hospice and the Director overseeing hospice services in Scarborough before taking the leap to return to school to study midwifery.  Kirsten is queer-identified; living with her Two-Spirited partner Kane and their three kids in Oshawa.

March 24 – After Death Options  

Ellen Newman is a licensed funeral director specializing in green, natural and family-led funeral, burial and end of life care options. She is the co-instigator of The Good Green Death Project.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Green Burial Society of Canada. She is a graduate (2014) of the Contemplative End of Life Care program at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Toronto. She is the host/facilitator of the Halton Hills Death Café. She serves as a member/trainer for the Infant and Pregnancy Loss Doula program of the Home Hospice Association and for the National Lay Chaplaincy Steering Committee of the Canadian Unitarian Council. She firmly believes that if people do not know what options are available to them, they do not have any. She is committed to working toward change that allows for a more participatory, empowered experience at the end of life.

Survey of end-of-life concerns and experiences

In conjunction with the speakers series, we are conducting a survey of end of life concerns and experiences. The online survey takes 3-7 minutes to complete. All individual responses are confidential and will be used by ELPC to better support the needs of LGBTQ seniors and allies. You can fill out the survey here. 

For more information about End of Life Planning Canada visit our home page.

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