Riversdale Love LAUNCH

We're really excited about the diverse, talented group of presenters coming together on April 30 to share their visions for the future of Riversdale. See our Events page for more details. In the meantime, let us introduce you to some of our speakers. We'll be adding bios and pictures as we near the event, so stay tuned!


RYAN MEILI is a Family Doctor at the Westside Community Clinic in Saskatoon and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan where he serves as head of the Division of Social Accountability. He was involved in the establishment of the SWITCH student-run clinic and the Making the Links Certificate in Global Health, and is the author of A Healthy Society: how a focus on health can revive Canadian democracy. Ryan also serves as vice-chair of the national advocacy organization, Canadian Doctors for Medicare and is the founder of Upstream, a new organization to equip and inspire citizens to demand a healthy society, and to understand the best ways to get there.


SANDRA STACK is the Executive Director of the Friendship Inn, a community center in Riversdale that serves free meals for breakfast and lunch. Sandra moved to Saskatoon 6 years ago to marry a home grown Saskatchewan husband. She was hired at the Friendship Inn as the Family Worker, where she got to know many guests of the Friendship Inn. In 2014 she was promoted to Executive Director, a role which allows her to make changes that creatively create community at the Inn. Sandra has fallen in love with the core neighbourhoods and feels passionate about walking alongside the guests of the Friendship Inn as they look to her for compassion and friendship.

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DARBY KELLS is the Executive Chef and a partner of Riversdale Delicatessen & Market and Capanna Pizzeria. He was born and raised in Saskatoon, and grew up eating fresh garden vegetables and locally sourced products. As a young adult he came to discover that he was passionate about food and decided to pursue a career in cooking. Darby is committed to the growth and revitalization of the Riversdale neighbourhood and is excited to be apart of the local community and a member of the Riversdale BID. He has a strong commitment to quality, communication, and supporting local. 


LYNN THOMPSON is originally from Pine Creek First Nations Manitoba. Lynn has lived and worked in Saskatoon for the last 16 years as an HIV/AIDS & Hep C Consultant as well as an Essential Voices employee for Integrated Community Ministries.

Lynn Thompson is a Two-Spirited female, advocate, activist, educator, mother, grandmother and last but not least a person living with HIV.

Over the years Lynn has been part of developing the STC Health Centre, Station 20 West, Footprints (HIV positive provincial group), Sixty Survivor Group, and Positive Women: Exposing Injustice; an important documentary project on the issue of criminalization of HIV non-disclosure in Canada and its effects on women. This is just to name a few of the projects Lynn has played a vital role in. “My goal is to have all community members involved at all levels. It takes a Community to Heal a Community!”

MARCEL PETIT is an independent producer, filmmaker, writer and photographer from Saskatoon. He runs m.pet productions, an independent production company that explores human experience through visual arts. He is an active and engaged member of the community, having served as the Executive Director of the Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op, and program coordinator for the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company. Marcel enjoys traveling, taking photos, making movies, and Star Wars.


YVONNE HANSON is the Executive Director of CHEP Good Food Inc. – a charitable organization housed at Station 20 West. CHEP works with children, families and communities to improve access to good food and promote food security. Yvonne has an extensive background in community development, program management and adult education having worked in the non-government (NGO) sector and at the U of S for many years. Her life’s work has been committed to social and environmental justice.

Yvonne’s interest in community food security has been embellished with direct involvement in food advocacy, community-based health research, community gardens, collective kitchens, and farmer’s markets. Yvonne was one of the founding members of the Saskatoon Regional Food System Assessment team and is currently on the Executive of Saskatoon’s Food Council. Yvonne has an undergrad in Women’s Studies from Mt. St. Vincent University in Halifax and a Master’s degree in Education from the U of S.


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FAITH EAGLE is the proud mother of eight beautiful children, and a faithful partner to Conrad Slippery.  She is from Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Toka Nuwan District and Ochapowace First Nation. Faith has been employed with Essential Voices for the past six months and has been a member of STR8 UP - a community organization that helps male and female individuals exit gang life for the last four years.  Both these organizations have helped Faith re-discover her sense of self- worth and has ignited a passion within her to speak out against all forms of injustice and oppression. In her spare time Faith enjoys writing and spending quality time with her children. 

CHARLES OLFERT has been in private practice as an architect in Saskatchewan since 1980 and currently represents the Saskatchewan Association of Architects on the University Senate. He has been chairman of the Meewasin Valley Authority design review committee as well as serving on the council and fulfilling the role of provincial president of the Saskatchewan Association of Architects. Recently, Charles completed a term as the Representative for Saskatchewan/Manitoba on the National Architectural Board (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada). In 2014, he was appointed to the College of Fellows of the RAIC. His position as CEO of aodbt architecture + interior design since 1989 has provided the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients including many educational and health related organizations as well as private developers and many First Nations communities.  Charles was born and raised in Saskatchewan, but has also lived in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario while attending three different post-secondary institutions. Charles and his wife Leila (a fabric artist) have two grown children and most Monday nights he plays with an amateur blues band.

INGRID GOMEZ, a 21 year old originally from Colombia, has been involved in Media Arts, Visual Arts and Dance Performance since she was a child. In 2013 she became a part of the theatre community through the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company and since then she has been involved in various forms of art and theatre performances and workshops throughout Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. She hopes to inspire youth and her community to explore the beauty and opportunities around their world. Ingrid Gomez can be found working along The Danza Morena Dance Academy, SNTC, The Fringe Festival, and with many independent artists.


CURTIS OLSON is the CEO of Shift Development—a property development company at the heart of a collaborative, creative community in Riversdale. Focused on urban infill projects in Saskatoon’s core neighborhoods, Olson’s buildings are the seeds of vibrant urban lifestyles. From the first warehouse-condo conversion in Saskatoon to The Hayloft—a 1930s grocery store turned live/work space and house concert venue—Olson’s projects are unique and varied. Such as The Two Twenty, a former furniture store he converted into a co-working community of creative entrepreneurs. As the Chair of the Board for the Riversdale Business Improvement District since 2012, Olson puts this passion for fostering a rich, diverse community to work.

MICHAEL LINKLATER has helped take basketball to new heights in Saskatchewan.  As team captain, Michael lead the U of S Huskie Men’s basketball team to its first and only CanWest Conference championship and CIS National Championship in 2010. After that season he played professionally in the International Basketball League.  Michael has recently competed for team Saskatoon in the FIBA 3X3 World Tour, and advanced that team to the World Tour Finals in Sendai, Japan where they represented Canada and placed 2nd in the world respectively.  Michael grew up in the inner city of Saskatoon and understands the importance of giving back.  He has passionately shared his motivational story to thousands of youth and adults across Saskatchewan for the past sixteen years. He is the founder of Prime Basketball Development and is currently the recreation coordinator at the White Buffalo Youth Lodge, working with inner city youth from the community he grew up.  Michael is a proud father who role models a healthy life style to his children and countless youth, by remaining drug and alcohol free.