Week 1: January 31 – February 4, 2022

Roberto Perez Rivero

Roberto Perez Rivero is Environmental Education and Biodiversity Program Director of the Foundation for Nature and Humanity in Cuba. Trained as a biologist and an international sustainability expert, he is truly a ‘renaissance’ man thanks to his extensive knowledge about Cuba’s healthcare, social services, history, foreign relations, baseball history, and much more.

Roberto has been a friend of Leading Edge Seminars for over 20 years. He has enthusiastically led many tours to help North Americans gain a better understanding of the Cuban reality (viewed as a real highlight for all participants). He has also been invited to present and teach in Canada over 35 times and has presented on sustainability and environmental issues at many international conferences.

Robert Perez Rivero - Paradise Perks VIP - Innovations in Psychotherapy Cancun 2022

As a VIP featured in our complimentary Paradise Perks program, Roberto will offer two presentations during Innovations in Psychotherapy Cancun 2022. He will also be available to mingle with you and your guests, join you for meals or drinks, and participate in our Daily Meet & Mingle.

Need a conversation starter to strike up a chat with Roberto?

  • Ask Roberto how Cuba, a small nation of 11 million people, is doing today — it’s economy, protests, relationship with the US and internationally? And what about Cuba’s future?
  • Dig into Roberto’s views on sustainable energy, climate change, or why Cuba is so like Hawaii.
  • Find out about the current state of Cuba’s famed free medical care, education, and other social services.
  • Cuba has developed several COVID vaccines. How are they doing in Cuba and around the world?
  • Ask Roberto what he has learned from his many international travels in Canada, Australia, and the US.
  • What’s the Cuban music scene like now?

Week 2: February 7 – 11, 2022

Farzana Doctor - Paradise Perks VIP - Innovations in Psychotherapy Cancun 2022

Farzana Doctor

Farzana Doctor is a Toronto-based author, activist, and Registered Social Worker.

In the mornings, Farzana is a writer. She has written four critically acclaimed novels: Stealing NasreenSix Metres of PavementAll Inclusive, and Seven. Seven was described by Ms. Magazine as “fully feminist and ambitiously bold” and was shortlisted for both the Trillium and Evergreen Awards. And Farzana’s poetry collection entitled You Still Look the Same will be released in spring 2022.

In the afternoons, Farzana is a psychotherapist in private practice. She’s a fan of hypnosis, IFS therapy, somatic therapy approaches, and energy psychology.

And as if Farzana wasn’t already busy enough, on weekends she volunteers with groups working to end female genital cutting. She is also the Maasi behind Dear Maasi, a new sex and relationships column for FGM/C survivors. Farzana is also a dog mom and an amateur tarot reader.

Learn more about Farzana

As a VIP featured in our complimentary Paradise Perks program, Farzana will offer two presentations during Innovations in Psychotherapy Cancun 2022. She will also be available to mingle with you and your guests, join you for meals or drinks, and participate in our Daily Meet & Mingle.

Need a conversation starter to strike up a chat with Farzana?

  • Farzana’s third novel, All Inclusive, is set in Huatulco, Mexico. It dives into a variety of issues, including the politics of all-inclusive resorts, non-monogamy, and the Air India bombing. Ask Farzana about her thoughts on any of these.
  • Dig into how Farzana creates a balance between her psychotherapeutic and artistic work, and find out how she manages the complex boundaries of both her public author life and the private world of a therapist.
  • Farzana’s fourth novel, Seven, addresses nuances of family, religion, sexuality, and female genital cutting in the insular Dawoodi Bohra community. These are issues she’s happy to talk to you about.
  • Want to know how to get started as a writer and how to navigate the publishing world? Farzana has great tips to share.

Week 3: February 14 – 18, 2022

Lynn Noel

Lynn Noel is a singer and storyteller, geographer and historian, community organizer and digital life coach. She works in data management and serves on the Board of the New England Folk Festival Association, where she is currently the Program Chair.

Lynn’s musical adventures as Crosscurrents Music have led her across the North American continent in pursuit of true tales of women explorers. She celebrates voyageurs, Vikings, navigators, and other traditional women’s roles in her award-winning program series A Woman’s Way: The First Millennium of Adventurous Women. And her book VOYAGES: Canada’s Heritage Rivers was voted Best Conservation Publication by the Natural Resources Council of America.

During the pandemic, Lynn founded an online folk club, The Mermaid’s Tavern, and coached artists and festivals to deliver successful livestreaming programs. She and her husband share an interest in marine biology, scuba and snorkeling, Morris dancing, beer and whiskey tasting, English music hall, Mayan glyphs, proper tea, gardening, and genealogy. They live outside Boston with a large dog, a small cat, and a happy axolotl (an amphibian commonly known as the Mexican walking fish).

Lynn Noel - Paradise Perks VIP - Innovations in Psychotherapy Cancun 2022

As a VIP featured in our complimentary Paradise Perks program, Lynn will offer two presentations during Innovations in Psychotherapy Cancun 2022. She will also be available to mingle with you and your guests, join you for meals or drinks, and participate in our Daily Meet & Mingle. She is also happy to sing for you, join in on your conversation, or tell a story to your table.

Need a conversation starter to strike up a chat with Lynn?

  • Ask Lynn how participatory music and folk arts build community and carry culture forward.
  • Lynn has seen more of Canada than most Canadians. So how did an American citizen wind up working with the Canadian government and visiting every province and territory? She will be glad to explain in English or French.
  • Beyond women’s history, Lynn’s folklore work covers maritime and freshwater music, traditional ballads, and the magic of the seasonal round. Ask her about sea chanties, mermaids, Maypoles, Irish and Newfoundland music, family values in Child ballads, the poet Robert Burns, how to wassail an apple tree, or how she got interested in traditional folk music and song in the first place.
  • Has your practice gone online during the pandemic? Lynn has coaching tips on Zoom sessions, live-streaming, document and data management, marketing and publicity, and more.

Week 4: February 21 – 25, 2022

Nicholas Williams

Nicholas Williams is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer who has toured extensively across North America and Europe with groups such as Genticorum, Crowfoot, and the Kehler & Williams duo. Deeply immersed in networks of traditional music and dance from Québec, Ireland, Scotland, the US, and Scandinavia, Nicholas plays accordion, piano, and blackwood flutes. Having recorded over 30 CDs, Nicholas’ musical journey charts the territory between deep musical roots and personal expression.

Nicholas also leads harmony singing workshops across the country and has developed a network of 100 singers in his hometown of Waterville through his community singing program ‘Les Voix du Village’. Inspired by singing traditions from England, Québec, Eastern Europe, the US, South Africa, and beyond, Nicholas enjoys bringing people from all walks of life together to lift-up their voices in song. He is constantly amazed at the transformative power of collective music-making and the impact it can have on our wellbeing and our sense of community connection. His accessible, attentive, and nuanced teaching style has generated interest and praise from workshop organizers and music programs across North America.

When Nicholas is not making music, he might be found simmering some dal makhani on the stove, smoking some BBQ pork on his charcoal grill, tending to his bees, paddling the Mistassini River, or playing ping pong in the back yard. He lives in the Eastern Townships of Québec with his wife Milène and their two kids, Zoé and Owen.

Check out this musical treat featuring Nicholas and Genticorum:

As a VIP featured in our complimentary Paradise Perks program, Nicholas will offer two presentations during Innovations in Psychotherapy Cancun 2022. He will also be available to mingle with you and your guests, join you for meals or drinks, and participate in our Daily Meet & Mingle.

Need a conversation starter to strike up a chat with Nicholas?

  • Ask him to describe how singing traditions differ between England, Quebec, the US, and South Africa.
  • Inquire about his favorite sea shanties and ballads.
  • Explore with him what is learned about the power of community singing.
  • Challenge Nicholas to get you and a colleague singing in harmony — he teaches workshops on this!
  • Try to coax Nicholas to divulge his favorite BBQ pork recipe.
  • Ask Nicholas how many hives he has, how to spot the Queen bee, and how many times has he been stung.

Milène Richer

Milène Richer is a social worker who is passionate about music, art, and the outdoors. She is involved in numerous innovative projects that use the arts and the outdoors to cultivate healthier lifestyles and healthier communities.

Through her work with La Coalition des Travailleurs de Rue (Sherbrooke Street outreach workers) and the Tremplin 16-30 (a community support organization for 16-30 year-olds), Milène has had hands-on experience creating and implementing projects that use the arts as a vehicle to address social and mental health issues with youth, immigrants, and marginalized populations.

Milène has recently completed a training course with L’Université dans la Nature, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the scientifically proven mental and physical health benefits that come from immersion in nature. L’UDN works to provide access to natural spaces for all citizens and advocates for ‘nature reconnection’ as a universally recognized public health tool.

During the pandemic, Milène co-realized a project called ‘Accès-Nature’, where private landowners agreed to provide access to their forests for local residents to walk, ski, and snowshoe.

A pillar of ‘Les Voix du Village’ in Waterville, Milène is always ready to sing with guitar or ukulele in hand and often helps with the workshops offered by her husband Nicholas. She can also be found hiking up mountains, practicing yoga, leading local kids and parents in traditional dances, or giving it her all in a cardio-zumba routine.

As a VIP featured in our complimentary Paradise Perks program, Milène will offer two presentations during Innovations in Psychotherapy Cancun 2022. She will also be available to mingle with you and your guests, join you for meals or drinks, and participate in our Daily Meet & Mingle.

Need a conversation starter to strike up a chat with Milène?

  • Ask her about her proudest moment in community outreach work.
  • Invite her to tell you about her experience with L’Université dans la Nature and the connection of nature to mental health and wellbeing.
  • Ask her about the value of music and dance with her own children/family and their community.

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