The Illuminating Conversations Series returns for a fifth season and features more interesting people in a series of intimate interviews that aim to entertain, inform, reveal.

Loads of preparation goes into meeting with the guests for the first time. Some guests prefer to leave it uncharted because it lends an element of spontaneity to the evening whereas others know the questions that will be asked. Still, anything can happen.

“We ask a little wee question that gets a big answer,” said interviewer Best Foster, who lets the conversation unfold naturally. “We’re trying to celebrate people with a local connection who have made a difference in their community, people who may offer a perspective that’s different and people that would draw an audience.”

Barrie’s own Craig Busch kicks off the series on Nov. 26. The current Busch Systems CEO started out with an idea to improve curbside collection two years after its inception, in 1983. He was a student at York University when he came up with a lighter, more durable blue box and introduced it to the market in 1985. His first order was from the City of Hamilton for 100,000 bins. Since then he has given back to the community through the Sandbox Initiative, Georgian College’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, the SmOffice program and the Dragon Boat races. Find more about what drives him as well as the events and people that have influenced his life.

Foster serves as host of the series and interviews each of the guests. She has a background in theatre arts, has served on various boards, a retired teacher and a wedding celebrant. The series was developed by Foster and Lin Wilson who serves as co-producer.

Wilson is retired from teaching French as a second language to adults at Georgian College. She has also served on a variety of boards and started Canadian Parents for French. Growing up anglophone in Quebec has influenced both her life and perspective.

With the success of the series, Judy Blaney has joined them as co-producer. She is a retired teacher with the Simcoe County District School Board, has taught up-and-coming teachers at the university level and is very involved as a volunteer with Ontario Educational Leadership Centre.

The lineup also includes Senator Martha (Marty) Deacon; Dr. Jackie Dawson, a University of Ottawa associate professor who examines the human dimensions of environmental change in the Arctic. Award-winning cinematographer Michael Sweeney wraps up the series in 2019.

There’s always a Q-and-A after each conversation and an opportunity to talk with the guest one-on-one. All proceeds go to Talk is Free Theatre. Individual tickets and subscriptions are available at  the box office, 705-739-4228.

Photo:  Award-winning entrepreneur Craig Busch opens The Illuminating Conversations at Five Points Theatre in Barrie, Nov. 26.



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