Meet Our Course Leaders

Our course leaders come with a wide variety of experience from different backgrounds. Have a look at some!

Ken Beattie is an award-winning photographer who continues developing his photo expertise exploring the techniques of digital artistry. Creations range from high quality photos, painting with light, to blends of reality and fantasy.

Kristin Butcher was a schoolteacher for 21 years. After that, she embarked on a second career as a writer, publishing 30 books in 25 years. She is an experienced and knowledgeable presenter who enjoys helping others discover their talents and hone their skills. Visit to see more about her.

Steve graduated from UVic in 1969 (Chemistry, Education), completed Paramedic training in 1981 (EMA II), retired in 2002, and moved back to Campbell River in 2009. He loves to travel and also enjoys working with rocks. A long-time member of the Campbell River Elder College (CREC) Advisory Committee, he teaches lapidary courses (rock shaping and polishing) and presents travelogues for CREC.

Following an education at a prestigious private boarding school in England, Quentin was professionally trained in journalism in the 1970s. As a writer, he’s written thousands of biographical stories about people in a wide variety of walks of life in both Canada and the U.K., and he continues to be active as a writer/reporter/freelancer. In addition, he’s a long-time member of CREC’s Advisory Committee, and has taught courses for CREC for several years.

Arija Fisher is the Adult Services librarian at the Campbell River branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.

Jennifer minored in art at university. Over the years she has dabbled in different kinds of media, including scrapbooking. She particularly enjoys mixed media. Junk Journaling is her passion (and therapy) she would love to share with others of like mind.

Christol is the current President of the Campbell River Genealogy Society. She has been doing her own genealogy for 25 years. Since doing her first DNA test in 2015, Christol has tested with all the major companies, and has immersed herself in genetic genealogy education. She has been helping adoptees and others, uncover unknown ancestors since 2018.

Michael has been a Bridge player for over 60 years. He brings a love to the game which he hopes to pass on to others.

Until he retired, Mike had never travelled outside BC. But he’d heard stories about Colditz when he was a child, and in 2013 he fulfilled a lifelong dream and visited it for the first time. In 2015, he returned for a second, longer visit.

Jocelyn is a published author in both fiction and non-fiction. Her career in writing began as a copywriter for radio and a journalist. From there, she branched into oral storytelling, writing short stories and novels, editing and publishing. For over 30 years, she's taught writing workshops for youth and adults.

Wendy has worked for North Island College as a Regional Training Officer, scheduling programs, developing curriculum, providing student support, implementing provincially funded programs, and acting as as Advisory Committee Vice Chair for Elder College. She holds a Provincial Instructors Diploma and has taught several courses for Elder College.

We had traveled in the past. Cathy spent 2 years working in Ghana and backpacking for 6 months around the world: Gord travelled to Spain and Portugal. Our honeymoon was spent in Hong Kong and Thailand. After working for years as a Med. Lab. Tech (Cathy) and a Co-Op General Manager (Gord), we decided to start our second careers by working as English teachers in China. That was the beginning of our 10-year adventure in China.

Joan flew a Cessna 182 out of Kitimat, BC for 19 years to most corners of BC, east to Manitoba, and north to the Arctic Ocean. During that time, she was also involved with CASARA (Civil Air search and rescue association.

Diana Stevan is a traditionally and self-published author of poetry, short fiction, newspaper articles, and five novels. Her latest trilogy is based on her family's Ukrainian roots and has won her critical acclaim. Sunflowers Under Fire was a finalist for the 2019 Whistler Independent Book Award, and Paper Roses on Stony Mountain is on the Mira Michi Readers' list for Best Fiction for 2022. Visit to see more about her.

Dan is a woodworking hobbyist, maker of sawdust and boards that are too short.

George is a retired Mechanical Engineer who came to Campbell River in 2012. He enjoys the active lifestyle of Vancouver Island, has travelled, has volunteered with the Van. Is. Society for Adaptive Snowsports in the past, and currently volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.

Nancy Welsh, B.Ed., has been an Artist since a child. Her art training began in Jr.& Sr. High, where she learned pottery, drawing, painting, Commercial & Fine Art. She graduated University in 1992 as an Art & Drama Teacher. She also trained as a Professional Photographer in studios and has been a Face Painter for 20+years.