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Board Of Directors

DennisDennis Kam, President

Dennis Kam has been on the Board of Directors since 2007 and is currently President of the Society.Dennis was trained as an Economist at the University of Saskatchewan and at Queens University, but spent most of career as a Senior Executive in the Federal Public Service, working in the area of expenditure and financial management.

“ I joined because I had a long-standing interest in History writ large and, as a new resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake, I wished to learn about the history of the Niagara region.I considered the NHS&M as the best interlocutor for this history lesson. Its key role in preserving and communicating the historical record of NOTL also enticed me to become more actively involved in order to contribute to strengthening and expanding its influence in our community.”

Faith Bell

Faith Bell, Vice- President Museum

Faith joined the Board of Directors in 2013. She was born and raised in St. Catharines. After attending the University of Waterloo she lived in numerous communities in Canada and US with her husband, David. Over that time she raised three children and had several diverse careers including being owner/operator of a retail store in Toronto, and has been involved in many not-for-profit organizations.  Faith returned “home” to Niagara two and half years ago and with David operates AquaBella B&B in NOTL.

lizElizabeth Surtees, Vice-President Society

Elizabeth Surtees joined the Board in 2011 where she is part of the Publications and Communications portfolio.

Liz attended the University of London (UK) and University of Windsor (ON) and has a BA in Psychology.  She has worked extensively in educational environments and prior to retirement she held an administrative position at a not-for-profit radio station.

" I was pleased to be asked to join the Board from a personal interest point of view, and also to help increase the outreach of the Museum and Society to the community.  Specifically, I look forward to contributing to the physical regeneration of the Museum with regard to a new audio-visual display"

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JulianJohn G. Sayers, FCA, CMC, Treasurer

John joined the Museum Board in 2014. He has been Treasurer and a Board member of The Ephemera Society of America for many years, and has also served for several years on the Council of the British Ephemera Society. Prior to retirement, he had a long career in public accounting and management consulting, and many years of volunteer service on various professional committees, leading to his election as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. 

John’s wife, Judith, has been a serious collector of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Camp material since their move here some 14 years ago, and John is a long-time collector of ocean liner ephemera. John has written many articles about ephemera, including for the past several years a regular monthly column, Ephemera Detective, in the New England Antiques Journal.

As a History major from the University of Toronto, John has a passion for a wide range of ephemera. “When something speaks to me, I want to acquire it to listen to the entire message, and then share that message with others in the articles that I write. The challenge is to capture that message and ensure that it will be available to be heard by future generations of scholars and researchers.


Julian Rance, Secretary

Julian Rance joined the Board of Directors in 2010 and is currently part of the Planning and Physical Plant Portfolio and the Finance and Administration Portfolio. Prior to retiring to Niagara on the Lake Julian worked in various industries such as Air Transportation, Aerospace manufacturing and Municipal Water Utilities in Europe, Australia, Canada, the USA and the Caribbean. In addition to his involvement at the NHSM Julian is a Docent at the Shaw Festival and also supports and is involved with a variety of organizations and activities in NOTL.

"Wherever I have lived in the world I have found that the "Soul" of a community can often be discovered in its appreciation and record of its past. As long as I can recall I have been an ardent student of history, not only of the macro events that define world history but also the micro events that define and help explain thedevelopment of a community.The Niagara Historical Society and museum is a wonderful record of our community and in working with the Board of Directors and Staff of the museum I am able to appreciate more fully what a wonderful community we dolive in."

Martin RichardsonMartin Richardson, Director

Martin Richardson emigrated to Canada from the U.K. in 1967, a Chartered Accountant by profession. After 18 years as a financial and risk management executive with large agricultural commodity manufacturing companies, he applied the acquired experience with entrepreneurial start-up companies in similar fields, grew their activities until sold as viable enterprises. Currently he acts as the general manager with a small winery in Niagara. Since early Canadian history was not part of his educational curriculum a series of lectures at the N.H.S Museum gave great insight into the formation of the Canadian identity and a better understanding of our current political environment. A museum can be a great educational tool to understand the development of national characteristics and, to this end, he hopes to assist the growth and use of the Niagara Historical Museum.

Lorraine JoynerLorraine Joyner, Director

Lorraine joined the Board of Directors in 2012 as a member of the Membership and Development Committee.  Lorraine is bilingual and worked in Toronto as a professional translator for several major companies.  She moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake in the early 90s to open her own B&B.  Since then, she has been involved with numerous organizations mostly pertaining to art and just recently has been invited to join the 1812 Bicentennial celebrations by working with volunteer heritage strollers as well as by sponsoring many events. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake Cultural Contribution to the Community award as well as the Volunteer of the Year award.  

“It is an honour to have been asked to contribute in decision making pertaining to the future of the Niagara Historical Society & Museum”.   

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Steve HinchliffeSteve Hinchliffe, Director

Steve Hinchliffe joined the Board in 2011 as part of the Membership and Development Portfolio. Although retired, he continues to work in a contracted management position for a Crown Corporation that serves the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway shipping industry. Steve is active in a number of local organizations, including the Canadian Canal Society, the Friends of Fort George, the Niagara Ephemera Society, Dickens Fellowship and the Niagara East Probus Club.

" As a life long resident of the peninsula, it will be gratifying to involved with those who have a passion for preserving the history of Niagara."

Doug Phibbs

Doug Phibbs, Director

"A descendant of United Empire Loyalists, a visitor to Niagara since 1973 and now a resident. The Region has morphed from a vegetable and fruit canning centre to a destination anchored by wine, The Shaw Festival and a beautiful Regency Town. The Museum is the historical and research centre about one of the earliest European settlements in Canada. The Museum is a special destination of great interest to those curious about the past."

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Denise Ascenzo

Denise Ascenzo, Director

Denise joined the Board of Directors in 2013. She moved to Niagara-on-the-lake in 2010 after living in Unionville, Ontario for over 35 years. Upon moving, the first organization she joined was the Niagara Historical Society.  Denise has volunteered for the society for three summers now, conducting tours for the War of 1812, Town tours and acting in the A Walk Through History vignettes. Prior to moving to NOTL, Denise had been a volunteer for the York Region Interlocking Girls Soccer League as a Director and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets as a Director with the Ontario Provincial Committee. Denise also worked for five years, prior to her move, for the Bel Canto Foundation, raising funds to assist Canadian opera students to study in Italy. The main fundraiser was the annual Bel Canto Gala where she was Chair of the Gala Committee for four years.

"A natural affinity with historical perspectives, combined with an opportunity for travels to distant lands, has heightened my awareness of the importance of the past and it's preservation. To experience it first hand in local surroundings, while being able to recreate it for the enjoyment of others, has allowed me to continue and share these worthwhile pursuits."

® Image: View of Fort George, Oil on canvass, C. Kreighoff 1823