Silver Donald Cameron

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Environmental, Green, Entrepreneurship, Sailing, The Blue Nose

Travels From: Halifax, NS
Fee Range: $ 4000+

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Silver Donald Cameron is one of Canada’s most versatile and experienced professional authors. He is currently the host and executive producer of, an environmental website devoted to intense, in-depth conversations with the brilliant thinkers and activists who are leading the way to a green and sustainable future. His guests on The Green Interview include Vandana Shiva, Farley Mowat, Robert Bateman, Ronald Colman, James Lovelock, Jane Goodall and the Prime Minister of Bhutan. A recent partnership with Gale Cengage Learning has made the Green Interviews available in 15,000 libraries around the world. Dr. Cameron is also the writer and narrator of The Green Interview’s two documentary films, Bhutan: The Pursuit of Gross National Happiness (2010) and Salmon Wars: Salmon Farms, Wild Fish and the Future of Communities (2012).

His literary work includes plays, films, radio and TV scripts, an extensive body of corporate and governmental writing, hundreds of magazine articles and 17 books, including two novels. His non-fiction subjects include history, travel, literature, politics, nature and the environment, community development, ships and the sea, as well as education and public affairs. His most recent books are Sailing Away from Winter and A Million Futures: The Remarkable Legacy of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

His books have received the Evelyn Richardson Award, the Atlantic Provinces Booksellers Award, and the City of Dartmouth Book Award. His TV drama Peggy was named Best Short Film at the Canadian Film Celebration and the Moonsnail Awards, and was also a Gemini Award finalist. His magazine articles have received four National Magazine Awards. Four of his radio dramas have been ACTRA Award finalists; The Sisters (available on CD) was also nominated for the international Prix Italia. He has also won a Mercury Award and a Wilmer Shields Award for corporate writing.

He has been Writer-in-Residence at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the University of Prince Edward Island, and the University College of Cape Breton. He has been a member of numerous Canada Council juries, and has served as a consultant to many corporate, governmental and non-profit clients, including four federal departments, five provincial departments, several important corporations and major charitable foundations.

Dr. Cameron is also a distinguished educator, having served as the first Dean of the School of Community Studies at the University College of Cape Breton (now Cape Breton University). He previously taught at Dalhousie University, the University of British Columbia and the University of New Brunswick. He holds a B.A. from U.B.C., an M.A. from University of California, and a Ph.D. from the University of London, England. In 2004 he received an honourary Doctor of Civil Law degree from the University of Kings College, and in 2007 Cape Breton University awarded him an honorary D. Litt. In 2012 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Cameron was the founding Chairman of Telile, Isle Madame’s community television station, and was also a founding director of Development Isle Madame. He has served on many volunteer boards, including several terms on the executive of the Writers Union of Canada, of which he is currently Treasurer.


Greening our Minds
“A soft and wistful message”
“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment,” said Dan Quayle. “It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.”

Sorry, Dan. The main environmental problems are between our ears. And so are the solutions.

We’ve all experienced the obvious problems first-hand – the smoggy air, the littered landscape, the fetid water, the overflowing garbage dumps. We all know that the processes of industrial society now endanger the survival of hundreds of species, including our own. Yet practical solutions are available, and many of them are neither difficult nor expensive. So why does the environmental crisis become steadily more threatening?

Silver Donald Cameron shows that we are looking through the wrong end of the telescope, measuring the wrong things, making our problems worse by attacking them with the same mind-set that created them. The good news is that better tools and ideas already exist, and that millions of people are already using them.

You, Inc.
Ten Top Tips for Successful Self-Employment ( And Why ALL Employment is Self-Employment)

Stephen Leacock put it perfectly.

“You know”, said Leacock,” many a man realizes late in life that if when he was a boy he had known what he knows now, instead of being what he is he would be what he won’t; but how few boys stop to think that if they knew what they don’t know instead of being what they will be, they wouldn’t be?”

Okay. As we take our places in the work force, what should we know that we don’t know?  We should know that we’re working for ourselves, no matter who writes our pay cheque.

People today change jobs and careers the way they change their motor oil. So, despite the illusion of permanent employment, nobody actually has an employer. We just have serial clients. The main difference between employment and self-employment is that the self-employed professional usually knows when the job will end. And s/he knows how to get another, and another, and another.

Shouldn’t everyone know that?

Minding Our Own Businesses: Commerce, Community and Renewal

On January 5, 1914, Henry Ford shocked the business world by more than doubling his employees’ wages, from $2.34 a day to $5.00. On that day, he said later, “we really started our business, for on that day we first created a lot of customers.”

In 1971, Allan Blakeney’s government in Saskatchewan introduced Canada’s highest minimum wage – and business profits went up. “Employees who get good wages spend their money,” says Blakeney, “ and – big surprise – employers do well.”

Business is an integral part of the larger community. It’s the people of the community at work. It includes public-sector and non-profit businesses, like schools and hospitals and the Red Cross. Every business is a network of customers, employees, suppliers and professional practitioners. It relies on its community at every turn. And every community is equally reliant on its businesses.

In adversity, that deep integration is the greatest resource of both the community and its businesses. Ask the people of Isle Madame, Nova Scotia. What did they do when the codfish went away?

Dream. Plan. Go!
Sailing Your Dreams to Success and Adventure

In July, 2004, Silver Donald Cameron and his wife Marjorie Simmins set sail from Cape Breton Island, bound for the white sand beaches and palm trees of the nearest tropical islands. They were accompanied by their Brave and Faithful Dog, Leo. The skipper was an old age pensioner. His youthful mate was new to the cruising life. At 13, the BFD was antique and arthritic.

Six months later, after 3000 nautical miles, this improbable crew rowed ashore in Little Harbour, in the Bahamas. The BFD frisked like a puppy. The skipper and mate looked ten years younger. At Pete’s Pub, a palm-thatched tiki bar on the beach, they would celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary by eating conch salad and lemon hogfish, and playing Cape Breton jigs with a muster of sun-browned vagabonds. The skipper — in swim trunks — raised a glass of cheap rum.

“To Marjorie’s voyage with two old dogs,” he said. “And to absent friends, God help ’em, frozen stiff and buried in snow.”

Well, Silver Donald and Marjorie were lucky, right? That’s the romantic life of an author.

Wrong, says Silver Donald. Hundreds of couples cruise south every autumn, and what they share is not luck or wealth, but discipline, imagination and and a lusty appetite for life – the very qualities that produce successful businesses, happy marriages and rewarding careers.

The Ship on the Dime
The Life and Times of a Canadian Legend

Bluenose Grill. Bluenose Vending Machines. Bluenose Laundry. Bluenose Well Drilling. Bluenose Gifts. Bluenose Video. Bluenose everything, everywhere in Nova Scotia.

And out in the harbour, an elegant wooden ship, 143 feet long, looking like a vision from the past – Bluenose II, looking just like the ship on the Canadian dime. She’s an exact replica of one of Canada’s most cherished national symbols, the Grand Banks fishing schooner Bluenose – the ship that beat every Canadian and American challenger in a racing career that spanned nearly three decades.

As the author of a book, a radio play and several articles on the subject, Silver Donald Cameron knows the Bluenose story intimately. In this presentation, illustrated with dozens of period photographs by such notables as Wallace MacAskill and Frederick William Wallace, he traces the history of schooners and the schooner fishery as well as the races themselves, illuminating the shared sea-going culture of New England and New Scotland.

That culture, he says, should be an inspiration to Nova Scotians and New Englanders today.

“He did such an excellent job — and received such glowing remarks from attendees — that I truly could not suggest improvement.”
Larry Kennedy, Human Resources Development Canada

“Sometimes hilarious and sometimes heart-rending. In the short term, his comments were entertaining. In the long term, his ideas were thought-provoking.”
Anne Heinze-Silvis, University of Illinois

“Stimulating, insightful and provocative.”
Peter Nemetz, Vancouver Institute, University of British Columbia

“A master at his craft — intelligent, funny, poignant, thoughtful. Our conference was a great success— and Silver made it gold.”
David Hopper, Canadian Land Reclamation Association

“Your poignant and thought-provoking remarks set the tone for the weekend and played an important part in the success of the whole event!”
Dave Crumby, Easter Counties Regional Library

“We wanted someone who was witty, thoughtful, known to people, and who could lead the participants through an enjoyable, productive and stimulating day. Silver Donald Cameron was great to work with and did a superb job for us. Nice style, good quips, good anecdotes!
Renee Lyons, Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre

“I congratulate you on blowing them away!!”
Sue Rickards, Selby Associates Inc.

“Silver Donald Cameron has the ability to grasp his audience with stories that reflect his zest for life, his compassion for those less fortunate, the humorous characters that have crossed his path and especially his passion towards protecting our planet.”
Terry MacIntyre, Nova Scotia Salmon Association

“I’m sure it was as clear to you as it was to me that the crowd thoroughly enjoyed your tales. (The story of the peddler from Canso was new to me and surely must count among your greatest hits.) I believe the underlying message hit home, too. Thanks again. ”
Rick Alexander, Government of Nova Scotia

“Silver Donald Cameron was the perfect speaker for an evening celebrating Nova Scotia beaches. His unique insight about the complexity and beauty of our beach systems paired with his ability to describe coastal processes in clear and moving ways is rare. His wit and wisdom, his easy-going manner and his adventurous spirit really made the evening.”
Jen Graham, Ecology Action Centre, Halifax, NS

“Silver Donald Cameron is very down to earth and related well to the audience. He used stories and examples that the group found stimulating and useful. He also gave us lots of laughs! Overall, our group really enjoyed his speech.”
Liz Roberts, Manitoba Association of Agricultural Societies





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