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Please join us in welcoming our wonderful Defenders! Each Library chooses a defender who presents their favourite Canadian titles to debate at our Georgian Bay Reads evening.

And our 2023 Defenders are:

Wasaga Beach Public Library – Patricia Copeland

Patricia Copeland is the retired past President of Humantec Inc. a consumer technology development and sales company. A graduate of Metro Toronto University,

she has had successful careers in Journalism, charitable sector management and as a consultant.

She and her husband Steve Copeland are new residents to Wasaga Beach after living in Barrie for over three decades. She was honored to be an elected member of Barrie city council initiating the building of the library, Communities in Bloom program, cycling trail system, and championing the first Accessibility Committee in the city of Barrie.

She has been an active volunteer sitting on over 20 Boards across Simcoe County and looks forward to contributing to her new community. She currently sits on the Wasaga Beach Library Board, is a member of the local Writers Club and a member of the Beachcombers Probus club.

Springwater Public Library – Carrie Adams

Carrie spent most of her teaching career at Elmvale District High School in the English and French classrooms, serving for a time as Library Chair. Following her retirement from teaching, Carrie joined the Springwater Library team. She works two days a week as a courier and fills in on the circulation desk from time to time. Having an endless supply of books at her fingertips and the freedom to read again, strictly for pleasure, has been a very lovely part of this new lifestyle. When not circling the township for work or pleasure, Carrie is often found walking the fields with her dog Scout or sitting with him on the porch, reading a good book. 

Meaford Public Library – Elgin Pecjak

Elgin (he/him) is a researcher and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Ottawa. Elgin is one of many wonderful members of the Meaford Public Library Board, and volunteers on several other 2SLGBTQQIA+ and healthcare committees. Elgin’s love of reading began early in life with his mom reading him and his sister classics such as Shel Silverstein, Robert Munch, and David Kirk. His father, on the other hand, created his own dark and comical interpretation of some of his now childhood favourites. As an adult(ish) Elgin enjoys reading anything from Frankenstein, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Don’t Panic), Before We Were Trans. Regardless of science-fiction, fantasy, memoir, historical fiction, or books on local mushrooms, Elgin cherishes the way others express themselves through the miraculous powers of writing and reading. 

Clearview Public Library – Michele McKenzie

Representing Clearview Public Library in this year’s 14th annual Georgian Bay Reads event is Michele McKenzie (Deputy CEO) who will be defending, promoting and recommending WORLD OF WONDERS by Robertson Davies in this year’s version of the Battle of the Books around Southwestern Georgian Bay.

She has always loved the “worlds of wonder” created from the 26 letters of the English language known as stories that are found in-between the walls of the libraries that she has known and loved throughout her life.

She is hopefully predicting that this 3rd part of the Deptford Trilogy featuring the trials and tribulations contained in the life-story of conjuror Magnus Eisengrim will place as successfully and be as popular as FIFTH BUSINESS (Part 1 in 2009) and The MANTICORE (Part 2 in 2016)!

Collingwood Public Library – Gia Lynde

Gia Lynde grew up in Creemore, Ontario and works as the Youth Services Coordinator at the Collingwood Public Library. Gia has a background in politics and education and has taught in various remote locations across Canada. She is passionate about learning with others, positively contributing to her community, and creating safe and welcoming spaces for youth. During her downtime, Gia can be found enjoying non-fiction books, walking her dogs, and hiking portions of the Bruce Trail.

Moderator – Connie Cooke


Clearview Public Library

Stephen Colwell

Collingwood Public Library

Annie Schiefer

Meaford Public Library

Leslie Ransome

Springwater Township Public Library

Katie Moore

Wasaga Beach Library

Connie Cook


Kieron Rupke


Meaford Public Library

Ashley Trusler

Collingwood Public Library

Suzanne McLean

Wasaga Beach Public Library

Ali Elder

Springwater Public Library

Donna Kenwell

Clearview Public Library

Kieran Rupke

If you are interested in being a Defender, please contact your library.