About

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, using the Advocate as an instrument of change.

The Advocate is focused on the social wellness of our community, pushing for 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.

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

Meet the Team

Roderick Benns headshot

Roderick Benns

Publisher and Writer-at-Large

Roderick grew up in Lindsay’s east ward. In the mid-1990s he won a first-place national newspaper award through the Canadian Community of Newspapers Association (CCNA) in the category ‘Reporter Initiative.’ His is the author of several books, including Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World.

Nancy Payne Headshot in front of bookcase

Nancy Payne

Associate Editor and Writer-at-Large

Nancy Payne is a freelance writer, editor and communication trainer. 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 and her husband live just northeast of Lindsay.

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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.

Joli Scheidler-Benns

Joli Scheidler-Benns

Community Development

Joli is a York University PhD Candidate in health policy and equity, a researcher, and an advocate for justice. She teaches the social justice courses for the Faculty of Education at Ontario Tech University. She is a member of several committees in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Kirk Winter Headshot

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

Geoff Coleman

Geoff Coleman

Writer-at-Large

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.

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William McGinn

Writer-at-Large

William McGinn grew up in Lindsay and is a journalism graduate from Durham College and a communications graduate of Ontario Tech. His desire is to tell stories that illuminate local issues, as well as the hopes and dreams of the people of Kawartha Lakes. Find out more about his interests at williammcginn.com.

Ian McKechnie head shot

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.

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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.

Ginny Colling

Environmental Columnist

Ginny Colling was passionate about the environment before retiring from teaching college communications students. After retiring she trained with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. She has presented to numerous groups about the climate crisis.

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Jamie Morris

Occasional Columnist

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

Sylvia Keesmaat headshot with trees in background

Sylvia Keesmaat

Occasional Columnist

Sylvia Keesmaat lives on an off-grid solar-powered farm in Cameron. She has a diploma in permaculture design and a doctorate in biblical studies from the Toronto School of Theology. Every summer she and her husband welcome interns to their farm to learn about resilient gardening and sustainable living.

Erin Burrell holding camera in the middle of tall grass

Erin Burrell

Photographer

Erin Burrell is a lifestyle portrait photographer serving the Kawartha Region. All In Images is her home-based studio. Her background in child/youth work and recreation allows her to build connections with her clients quickly to ensure a positive experience. Erin is also a lifeguard and swim instructor in Lindsay.

Sienna Frost headshot with baseball cap on backwards

Sienna Frost

Photographer

Sienna Frost, born and raised in Lindsay, is a lifestyle and portrait photographer. She is also 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. She loves capturing photos of the community for the Advocate.

Kimberley Griffith Durrant

Kimberley Durrant

Web Developer

Kimberley is the only team member with the Advocate who doesn’t have a local connection, but her inspiring web development has made her integral to the team. Kim is an avid web developer, passionate about code and entrepreneurship.

Robyn Barton headshot in formal attire

Robyn Barton

Graphic Designer

Robyn Barton is a Kawartha Lakes-based, multi-talented creative professional with over a decade of design, brand, and marketing experience, including formal graphic design training and a past career as a communications manager in telecommunications. Robyn and her sister-in-law, Megan Barton, operate Barton Creative Co together.

Jenn Fice

Graphic Designer

Jenn is a freelance graphic designer with Barton Creative Co who grew up in the Lindsay area. She is an honours graduate of Georgian College. Her primary focus has been in the print and sign industry. She enjoys using her creative skillset to help you tell your story.