Advisory Board

The participation of our ALL Advisory Board is very important to the success of the program. Our Advisory Board members contribute ideas for courses and events, and they help represent the interests of our membership.

If you are interested in joining the ALL Advisory Board, you are welcome to contact us.

ALL Board member Ilze Andzans

Ilze Andzans

Ilze Andzans is an urban planner and landscape architect by profession with a B.A. and MLA. from the University of Toronto and Guelph University. She is semi-retired, but still engaged as an independent consultant on various environmental planning projects across Canada.

Ilze spent most of her career in the public sector and on secondment to several non-profit organizations. Her expertise lies in planning, project management, policy development and fundraising in the environmental field.

She has served on several Volunteer Boards including the Toronto Botanical Garden, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and has been a Library Board Trustee. Her personal interests include travel, photography, and reading. She has located temporarily to Wolfville, for her daughter's education.


Blanca Baquero

Blanca Baquero's origins are Spanish and French. Born in Chicago in 1944 and raised in New York, her family returned to Canada in 1959, making Montreal their new home. She moved to Nova Scotia in November 2002 and lives on the North Mountain near Canning.

Her working career encompassed being an administrative assistant for senior executives in the iron ore and paper industries. After thirty years, she followed her heart and switched to educational institutes, working six years for the Director of the Secondary School at Selwyn House School in Montreal and five years as Head Librarian for Flemming Elementary School in Sept-Iles, Quebec. In Nova Scotia, she was a guide-interpreter for almost seven years for Parks Canada at Grand-pré.

A published writer, Blanca's interests include short stories, children's stories and memoir writing, reading, card-making, bicycling and photography. She has a keen interest in climate change, racism, and women's gender issues, as well as being a volunteer for various community organizations.

Blanca was an ALL board member in 2012 but resigned after one year to continue with her studies at Acadia and graduated with a B.A. in French in May 2016. She had promised back then to serve for two years and has returned to fill that promise. Through the years, she managed to squeeze in some ALL courses in Acadian history, literature and brain health. To her, people are the landscape of life and knowledge combined with empathy is the fertilizer to nourish that landscape.

ALL board member Wes Booth

Wes Booth

Wes is an Acadia graduate and has lived in Wolfville the majority of his life. Wes is keen on working with ALL because of his belief that everyone can benefit from lifelong learning. Wes is a storyteller and digital marketer by profession, is the founder of the creative movement We Are NS and is privileged to be involved with local organizations such as the Mud Creek Rotary where he is the Director of the Youth Committee and is a part of the Kings County Youth Engagement Committee. Wes is super excited to be apart of such an exciting time in Nova Scotia. He understands the obstacles we must overcome, but is growing more confident each day because of all the amazing people we are fortunate to have working hard every day to make Nova Scotia a better place!

ALL board member Alison Scott Butler

Alison Scott Butler

Alison retired from solo law Practice in 2015 after 40 years during which she served as a volunteer in many capacities including Chrysalis House, Family and Children’s Services of Kings County, Nova Scotia Barristers Society, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, Farmworks Investment Co-operative Limited.

During her legal career, she represented CRA, formerly Minister of National Revenue, Family and Children’s Services, the Municipality of Kings County, and countless small businesses and individuals latterly as a solicitor as opposed to a litigator. She also taught at Dalhousie Law School and wrote for severa; major legal publications on the law of planning and Zoning and Wills Trusts and Estates.

Currently, Alison serves on the Board of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, a national organization which advocates for restriction or elimination of pesticide use, burning of coal for electricity generation, and action to limit climate change as it impacts human health. Alison has been a member of ALL for many years, and often takes courses in literature, gardening, brain health, and Spanish course audits. She has a particular interest in nutrition, food production and agricultural land preservation as well as the future of our planet as the habitat for her three grandchildren, two of whom live in Texas.


Helen Harper

After attending Guelph (B. Sc) and Western (B. Ed) Universities, Helen embarked on a 35 year career teaching high school chemistry, physics and mathematics and coaching volleyball, badminton and basketball.  After completing an MA in Counselling at Durham University (UK), she served as her school’s university and academic counsellor for the 17 years, helping students select universities that suited their academic and career aspirations as well as their personal attributes and needs. She served as the Calgary liaison between University Recruiters and Guidance Counsellors for 10 years, spearheading the planning and implementation of week-long university fairs.  She also volunteered on the University of Calgary Medical School admissions committee.  Helen’s decision to retire to Wolfville was influenced by the presence of Acadia University and its recognized positive involvement in Wolfville and surrounding communities. 

ALL board member Brian Jones

Brian Jones

Brian grew up in Dartmouth. He studied Commerce at SMU and Computer Science at Acadia. His work included being a technical specification writer at Bell Engineering, auditor at Revenue Canada, Planning Officer at Construction Engineering at CFB Greenwood, and network support at Aurora Software Development. He spent his last five working years for a New York-based company called L3 as a programmer working on code for new equipment on the Aurora aircraft at CFB Greenwood. Work ended in 2007.

Brian helped raise a family of six children who are all doing well today. They are a little weak on the grandkids.

His interests are science, what's going on in the world, travel, hiking, mind exercise games and reading.

ALL chairperson Carolyn Mallory

Carolyn Mallory, Chairperson

Carolyn Mallory is a writer and artist with two nonfiction books to her credit - Common Plants of Nunavut and Common Insects of Nunavut. Her latest book, Painted Skies, a children's picture book, was launched in May 2015. She lived in Nunavut for 12 years before moving to Nova Scotia a few years ago. Slowly but surely all of her children are migrating back to the North.

ALL Vice-Chairperson Heather McNally

Heather McNally, Vice-Chairperson

Heather was born in India where her Canadian parents were working. Her family permanently returned to Canada when she was 12. She fulfilled her dream to be a doctor when she graduated from Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. Her life completely changed 3 months prior to completing a Residency in Family Medicine when she survived a severe car accident and 15 day coma. However, only 15 months later, after several months in hospital, with the support of family and friends and her own great determination, she returned to complete her medical training and received her Family Medicine certification.

Prior to moving to the Valley in 2011, she practiced for nearly 20 years in a variety of medical settings including geriatric Rehab, the University of Waterloo Student Health Centre and the federal Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

She is no longer involved in clinical medical practice and has transitioned to Wellness Coaching. Due to her past history and the fascination with the field of neuroscience, she is particularly interested in helping people optimize their cognitive function. She has presented several ALL courses and Brown Bag Lunches related to memory and brain health. In 2015, she launched her own ABBI coaching business, Aspire Beyond Brain Injury.

Heather serves on multiple Volunteer Boards, including rgw ALL Advisory Board (presently Vice-Chair), Wolfville Newcomers Club, and the Acadia Cinema Cooperative. She loves movies, travel, entertaining, biking, hiking, participating in a reading group and attempting to optimize her own brain fitness.

ALL Board Member Jim Prime

Jim Prime

Jim Prime is the author of more than twenty books and numerous magazine and newspaper articles. A native of Freeport, Digby County, Jim is a graduate of Acadia ('69 and '71) and worked in the educational publishing business for 36 years prior to his retirement.

Jim's sports writing has given him the opportunity to interview dozens of high-profile professional athletes. He has coauthored books with baseball legend Ted Williams and Canadian hockey icon Paul Henderson. He has also written two baseball books with colourful baseball personality, Bill "Spaceman" Lee.

He was the editor/writer of The AxeNews, a publication that he created for Acadia's Department of Athletics and is a long-time contributor to the Alumni Bulletin where he served as editor in 1998.

For the past two years, Jim's plays have captured People's Choice Awards at the Kings Shorts Festival of Ten Minute Plays. He was recently chosen to write a three-volume series of 150 profiles of prominent Acadia graduates to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Acadia University.

Jim is a big believer in ALL and has been an enthusiastic participant in Susan Haley's Fiction Writing courses over the past few years. He looks forward to taking advantage of the diversity of course selections in the future.

Jim lives in New Minas with his wife Glenna. They have two children, Catherine in San Diego and Jeffrey, in Kentville.

ALL Board Member Elaine Rivers

Elaine Rivers

Elaine Rivers is semi-retired after a 25-year career as a program evaluation consultant. She grew up in Nova Scotia, received a BA from St. FX and did graduate degrees at Boston University and University of Victoria. She worked for AT&T, the Department of Communications, the CRTC, and the BC Office of the Ombudsman before starting her consulting practice in Victoria. She returned to Nova Scotia in 2008, and moved to Wolfville in 2015. She has been a member of ALL for the past two years, attending Brown Bag Lunches and auditing courses in the English Department.

ALL Board Member Susan Surette-Draper

Susan Surette-Draper

Susan grew up in Lower Eel Brook, a small Acadian village of in Yarmouth County, NS. She received her BA from Mt St Vincent University, worked for Fairweather Stores in Toronto and Maritime Tel and Tel in Kentville. In 2002 she became an interpreter at Grand-Pré National Historic Site. In 2004 she was inspired to write the booklet "Return to Acadie. A Self-Guided Memory Walk of the Annapolis Valley".

Susan and husband Ernie have lived in Port Williams for over 30 years. Now that their son Alex has "left the nest" Susan has more time to devote to writing her family history, travelling, painting and volunteering.

ALL Founding Member Don Wells

Donald Wells, Founding Member

Don was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and attended high school and university in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. He obtained his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Physics from Stanford University. After 10 years teaching and doing nuclear physics research at the University of Oregon and the University of Manitoba, he became involved in university administration. He served first as an Assistant Vice President Planning (academic) before becoming Vice President (Administration) at the University of Manitoba in 1975. In 1986, he moved to Mount Allison University as its 10th President, and in 1990 he assumed the position of President of the University of Regina. He has long had a keen interest in community affairs, having served in many volunteer capacities. Among those interests have been many aspects of lifelong learning. He has been a member of the Board of the ALL Program since its inception.