Staff - The Samara Centre for Democracy

Staff



Sabreena Delhon

Sabreena Delhon

Executive Director

Sabreena is an experienced public sector leader who is interested in exploring the intersection of democracy, equity, and justice. She has a proven track record of directing multi-stakeholder social change initiatives across justice, academic, and non-profit sectors. Her research studies have informed the work of Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General and are required reading in access to justice courses at law schools across Canada. In 2016, Sabreena conceived, coordinated, and launched the first annual Access to Justice Week, bringing together government, community, and justice-sector partners to examine complex issues such as digital inclusion, Indigenous child welfare, and public legal education from new perspectives. This framework has since been adopted by regions across the country. She is a Fellow with Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and Massey College. Sabreena holds a Masters in Sociology from Dalhousie University and a Bachelors in Sociology from the University of Alberta.



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Adelina Petit-Vouriot

Research Manager

Adelina helps produce the Samara Centre’s illuminating research on politics, parliament, and civic engagement. She is committed to demystifying government and making Canadian politics more inclusive, approachable, and appealing. These broad interests led her to formally study politics in her hometown at the University of Winnipeg and, more recently, at the University of Toronto, where she completed her Masters. Since then, she has been involved in Toronto’s non-profit sector, managing and developing civic engagement programming and resources for youth. She has found that participating in politics doesn’t mean knowing all the answers; it's more about asking the right questions. When such questioning occasionally becomes overwhelming, Adelina turns to knitting and walking other people’s dogs to refocus her priorities.

Adelina recommends reading Real House Lives, the Samara Centre’s most recent book, which makes the case for a new kind of public leadership. 



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Christine Latimer

Operations Manager

Christine is a senior-level administrator and governance expert with over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector. At Samara, she provides cross-disciplinary strategic support to the staff and Board of Directors. Prior to joining the Samara Centre, Christine held governance and executive support roles with an array of non-profit and public sector institutions, including the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, OCAD University, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Government of Ontario. She has also served in Board governance executive roles with several non-profit arts organizations. Christine graduated from OCAD University with a double-major in Photography and Integrated Media. She is an internationally recognized visual artist, having exhibited work at over 250 galleries and film festivals across five continents. In her spare time, you can find her making things, fixing broken technologies, and watching movies.

Christine is passionate about active citizenship, and how the arts in particular can generate inclusive, intentional spaces for community building and critical discourse. She recommends reading the report Investing in Canadians' Civic Literacy.



Ann Dickie

Ann Dickie

Research Assistant

Ann is a Masters Candidate in International Relations at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. She holds a Bachelors from McGill University in Political Science and History. A strong passion for civic engagement and the democratic establishment led her to start McGill Model Parliament, a place for students to engage with Canadian politics in a non-partisan manner and develop public speaking, bill drafting, and networking skills. She now serves as Research Assistant in a collaborative project between the Samara Centre for Democracy, the Jarislowky Democracy Chair, and the Democratic Engagement Exchange, entitled “Democracy after COVID-19: What Lessons Can Canada offer and Learn?” This project examines whether, how, and why the politics of the pandemic has affected the way democracy works in Canada, and, using other case studies from around the world, aims to share strategies, innovations, and practices that can strengthen democracy. 

Ann recommends reading Party Favours, a report that pries open the “black box” of nomination contests in Canada to examine how political parties select federal election candidates.


Co-founders

 

Alison Loat

Co-founder

Alison is co-founder of the Samara Centre for Democracy, was the executive director from 2008 to 2015, and continues to serve on the Advisory Board. She is co-author of the #1 best-selling book Tragedy in the Commons. The Samara Centre’s early work was used to develop federal legislation on democratic reform, improve politics curricula, the orientation of newly elected MPs, and initiatives to improve citizens’ participation in politics. 

Alison is a member of the Premier of Ontario’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel, and is on the board of the Banff Forum. She was also a fellow and instructor at the University of Toronto from 2007-2014, and served as the past president of the Canadian Club of Toronto, a director of the Toronto Community Foundation, and a member of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Alumni Board.

Alison received several awards for her public service leadership, including the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, where she co-leads a disability rights initiative, and was named one of the WXN 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. She has degrees from Queen’s University (BAH) and the Harvard Kennedy School (MPP).

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Michael MacMillan

Co-founder and Board Chair

In 2007, Michael co-founded the Samara Centre for Democracy, and continues to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors.

In 2011, he co-founded and is CEO of Blue Ant Media, a company that produces, distributes, and broadcasts television programming internationally.

In 1978, Michael co-founded Atlantis Films Limited with fellow Queen’s University grads Seaton McLean and Janice Platt. He was Chairman and CEO of Atlantis (which later became Alliance Atlantis) for almost 30 years.

Michael is also the co-founder and co-owner of Closson Chase Vineyard and Winery in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

A member of the Order of Canada, Michael has volunteered with numerous community and industry organizations over many years. He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College and co-author of the book Tragedy in the Commons.

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  • Thursday, July 08, 2021

    A Consequential Moment

    In the times ahead, our country will be required to make decisions of enormous and lasting consequence. The Samara Centre has an opportunity to influence the important debates that will help determine Canada’s democratic future.
  • Thursday, April 29, 2021

    Introducing our Next E.D.

    As Canadians prepare for historic debates about how to build an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable recovery, we are thrilled to announce that Sabreena Delhon will lead the Samara Centre into an exciting new era for research and civic engagement!
  • Tuesday, April 20, 2021

    Digital Opps and Job Opps

    The Samara Centre is pleased to present Digital Opportunities, a public leader's guide to improving digital engagement during the pandemic and beyond. We're also hiring a Research Director and Project Manager.