As an historian, speaker and author, Barbara Dickson has entertained, educated, and enlightened audiences for almost twenty years.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1992, Barbara refused to succumb to her illness without a fearless fight. She quickly re-discovered her love of writing and history when she retired from her career as an IT software analyst. Barb has spent many years researching local and Canadian history including Canada in the early to mid 1800’s, Ireland’s Great Hunger, and the invaluable contribution made by Canadian men and women engaged in war work during World War II.
Now a multi-published author and public speaker, Barb has been invited to speak to myriad organizations, her presentations appealing to a wide range of audiences, including:
- Women’s groups
- Church groups
- MS associations
- Veteran legions
- Retiree associations and retirement homes
- Business and professional organizations
- Historical societies
- Corporate events
- Support groups
Barbara brings her own unique perspective to your event, whether she’s sharing what life was like in Toronto in 1833, offering a glimpse into the incredible work carried out by courageous women who risked their lives to bring their men home during the Second World War, or inspiring her audience to look to their future with hope and confidence, equipping them with practical ways to make immediate improvements in the quality of their lives.
Barbara’s current speaking platform includes a wide choice of presentations.
- “Scarborough’s Bomb Girls”: Come and learn about one of Canada’s best kept secrets–the vital work undertaken at a top secret munitions factory during WWII. The General Engineering Company (Canada) Ltd. employed over twenty-one thousand mostly young women and mothers who worked around the clock six days a week, risking their lives handling high explosives to fill ammunition for Canada’s Allied forces. Come hear about these amazing, courageous women. What’s more, learn about the over four-kilometre tunnel system built under the complex that still exists today.
- Life in “Muddy York”: Come discover Toronto through the eyes of a newly-arrived immigrant in the mid-nineteenth century.
- An Emigrant’s Journey to Canada: Barb presents a harrowing true-life account faced by future Canadians as they survive a two-month voyage upon the unforgiving and turbulent North Atlantic in 1833.
- Where the Irish Died: The Irish people helped build Canada, but at a great cost. Countless died from poverty and disease, especially during the Great Hunger from 1845-1852. Tragically, tens of thousands died upon Canada’s shores before they had a chance to begin a new life. Even more tragically, many of their final resting places remain unmarked or unremembered today. Come be part of honouring the courage and tenacity of the Irish people and their lasting quiet legacy to Canada’s history.
- MS Doesn’t have to Be a Mess: A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis doesn’t mean giving up or giving in. It means getting tough and getting even.
To contact or book Barbara
- Leave a reply below
- Send an E-mail to: barbara at barbaradickson dot ca
- Write in care of:
P.O. Box 30001
Scarborough, ON M1T 0A1
“Wow! What a wonderful turnout last evening. The headcount was 100. The committee is very happy with the enthusiasm for your programme with so many questions and comments. Thank you for your great presentation and should you decide to write another book as a sequel of the subject of GECo or of another subject we certainly would be interested.” ∼∼ Jan Howe, Chair, Programme Committee, Scarborough Historical Society
“…the (GECO) program was a huge success and I will be in touch in the New Year to set up another!” ∼∼ Cathy Pyper, Community Branch Head Eglinton Square Branch of Toronto Public Libraries
“Your presentation on GECO was excellent! I myself, was not aware that there had been any under ground tunnels in the area during World War II. In spite of the fact that you are living with M.S. your positive attitude to life left a big impression. You gave us an afternoon that I am sure we will all remember.” ∼∼ Evelyn Lonergan, Telco Community Volunteers
“Our guest speaker, Barbara Dickson, kept our members completely enthralled with her presentation of the massive contribution by (mainly women) workers at the Scarborough G.E.C.O. plant during World War II.” ∼∼ Gord Blackwell, President, Scarborough Centre Probus Club
“It was such an incredible and inspiring event. Barbara Dickson gave the story of the birth of her book which in turn was much of her life story and then shared a beautiful devotional message that carried through from the theme of her book. We had over 80 ladies there and everyone came away from the event captivated and challenged by Barbara’s message of God’s amazing love.” ∼∼ Captain Shelley Kerr, Salvation Army Scarborough Women’s Ministry
“It was a pleasure to hear Barb speak at EMD Serono and it was incredibly well received by the group!” ∼∼ Darina Landa, Senior Coordinator, Partnerships & New Business Development MS Ontario
“We at the MS Centre of Hope, the local MS Chapter for Sudbury were treated to a rare presentation. Barbara Dickson author extraordinaire, travelled from her home in Scarborough and gave us a presentation of her book, “Mountains for Maddi”. It was actually her personal story of how she has gotten to this point in her life. She has MS, but that is only a part of Barbara. It was so interesting, there was only silence during Barbara’s presentation. The book is great, and we bought her out.” ∼∼ Laurel Ireland, Sudbury Chapter of the MS Society of Canada
“The ladies were still commenting on Barb’s life story (four days later.) It has had a lasting effect. They were all touched by Barb’s visit. She has a wonderful ministry and purpose.” ∼∼ Caroline Tiberio, Women’s Ministries, Cornerstone Community Church, Mississauga