Even when life circumstances pulled me to other cities and towns throughout my life, there was a greater part of me that always wanted to be home, here in Lindsay and Kawartha Lakes.

I’ve come back to try and make a positive difference in my community – and this time I’m not alone.

We care about the social wellness of our community and our country. Our vision includes strong public enterprises mixed with healthy small businesses to serve our communities’ needs. We put human values ahead of economic values and many of our stories reflect the society we work to build each day.

As a family business, we know that our institutions, non-profit sector, and small businesses are critical community partners. We thank them for their support and we pledge to work together for a healthier, more prosperous Kawartha Lakes.

— Roderick and Joli 


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Lindsay, Ontario

Meet the Team


Roderick Benns

Publisher and Writer-at-Large

Roderick was raised in the east end of Lindsay. In the mid-1990s he was a journalist for Lindsay This Week (as it was called then) capturing a First Place national newspaper award through the Canadian Community of Newspapers Association (CCNA) in the category ‘Reporter Initiative.’

For several years he has turned his attention to public policy, advocating for a basic income for all Canadians. He started The Lindsay Advocate to shed a light on important issues, to advocate for the social and economic wellness of Kawartha Lakes, and to improve community life in his hometown and municipality.



Joli Scheidler-Benns

Research, Strategy, Community Development

Joli is a PhD Candidate at York University in Health Equity and Policy. She is also a sessional instructor at Ontario Tech’s Faculty of Education. Her main interests are in the political, economic and social structures of society that create inequities.

She provides invaluable research for The Lindsay Advocate and is especially interested in the social determinants of health.

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Nancy Payne

Associate Editor and Writer-at-Large

Nancy Payne is a freelance writer, editor and communication trainer, and a part-time pastoral care worker.

She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Carleton University and is a proud graduate of the former Ops Elementary School and I.E. Weldon S.S.

She lives just northeast of Lindsay with her husband and two teenage sons.


Trevor Hutchinson

Contributing Editor and Writer-at-Large

A graduate of the University of Toronto, Trevor Hutchinson is a songwriter, writer and bookkeeper.

He lives with his fiancee and their five kids in Lindsay.


Kirk Winter

Kirk Winter

Municipal Affairs and Education

Kirk is a retired high school history teacher and coach who has had a lifelong interest in politics at all levels.

Since retiring, Kirk has spent the last three years doing freelance writing of all kinds for various platforms.

Kirk can often be found sitting in the press gallery at City Hall observing and reporting on the vagaries of local government.

Jamie Morris


Jamie Morris

Friends & Neighbours/Libraries Columnist

Jamie Morris is a retired teacher and a member of the Kawartha Lakes Library Board.

He has revived the ‘Friends & Neighbours’ column he once wrote for the Lindsay Post for the Advocate. Jamie also contributes columns about the library’s contributions to the community.

Ian McKechnie

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Ian McKechnie

Local History Columnist

Ian McKechnie is a graduate of Trent University and a lifelong resident of Lindsay.

He is secretary of the Kawartha Lakes Heritage Network. Ian writes regularly on issues of historical significance.


Geoff Coleman

Geoff Coleman


Geoff Coleman has been a freelance writer since the days of the Commodore 64.

When not fishing or in his woodworking shop, he can be found playing in an as yet undiscovered classic rock band.

William McGinn


William McGinn


William McGinn grew up in Lindsay. He is a Journalism graduate from Durham College and holds a degree in Communications from Ontario Tech University. His desire is to tell stories that illuminate local issues, as well as the hopes and dreams of the people of Kawartha Lakes.

William, who is also a novelist, is also devoted to various forms of art. He has been an entertainment critic since 2014, reviewing films and books on his website, williammcginn.com.

Denis Grignon

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Denis Grignon

Podcast Producer

Denis Grignon is a veteran print/broadcast journalist and the producer of The Advocate Podcast: Stories from Kawartha Lakes. He is also a professional stand-up comic who lives near Dunsford.

Sylvia Keesmaat

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Sylvia Keesmaat

Occasional Columnist

Sylvia Keesmaat, who lives on an off-grid solar-powered farm in Cameron, has a diploma in Permaculture Design and a doctorate in Biblical Studies. Every summer she and her husband welcome interns to their farm to learn about resilient gardening and farming, and sustainable living. Sylvia is also an Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies at the Toronto School of Theology, with a focus on agrarian and anti-imperial readings of the biblical text.



Robert Rivers

Volunteer Ottawa Correspondent

Robert grew up in Lindsay and attended LCVI. He completed his PhD from the University of British Columbia in Public and Population Health. His goal is to provide Canadians with accurate information about the parliamentary process, political decision making, and health policy to help them engage better with our democracy.

He has spent the last four years in a variety of political and parliamentary affairs advisory roles on the Hill and is currently the Director of Parliamentary Affairs to independent Senator Marty Klyne in Ottawa.



Erin Burrell


Erin Burrell is a lifestyle portrait photographer serving Kawartha Lakes and the Peterborough area. Erin operates All In Images, a home based studio in Peterborough. She enjoys creating images that bring joy to people. Her background in Child/Youth Work and Recreation allows her to build connections with her clients quickly to ensure they have a positive experience.

Erin has documented events, families, weddings, newborns, maternity, sports and nature photography. When Erin isn’t out preserving memories, she is a lifeguard and swim instructor.

Erin currently resides in Peterborough with her husband and young daughter.


Sienna Frost

Sienna Frost


Sienna Frost is a lifestyle and portrait photographer capturing shots around Kawartha Lakes. Having two children has led her to become an Early Childhood Educator allowing her to easily capture photos of children and families.

She operates Frost Quality Photo, her studio on the outskirts of Lindsay. Sienna was raised in Lindsay and considers it her home town.

She loves being able to capture photos of the community for the Advocate.


Kimberley Griffith Durrant

Kimberley Durrant

Web Developer

Kimberley is the only team member with The Lindsay Advocate who doesn’t have a local connection, but her inspiring web development has made her integral to the Advocate team.

Kim is an avid web developer from the island of Barbados. She is passionate about code and entrepreneurship. In addition to her work with The Lindsay Advocate, Kimberley undertakes a very diverse set of things in the technology sphere, from websites to end-user support.

Kim loves to create amazing websites for passionate people.


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Robyn Barton

Graphic Designer

Robyn Barton is a Kawartha Lakes-based, multi-talented creative professional responsible for the graphic design of the Lindsay Advocate’s print edition.

She has over a decade of design, brand, and marketing experience, including formal graphic design training and a past career as a Communications Manager in the telecommunications industry.

Robyn is half of a two woman team (with her sister-in-law, Megan Barton). Together, they operate Barton Creative Co., where they have combined their skill sets to offer a variety of creative services.