Orchids & Pollinators


Orchids & Pollinators:

July 15th to July 17th


An informative lecture series presented virtually due to COVID19.



1)    “Identifying Orchid Species on The Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula”  

Presented by Brian Popelier at 7:00 pm

There are more than forty varieties of orchids growing on the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula. This presentation focuses on identifying many of the Orchids that you are likely to encounter on a hike along the Bruce Trail in the Peninsula section.

Brian Popelier works with the Bruce Trail Conservancy as the Land Stewardship Coordinator/Ecologist. He utilizes and builds on his years of experience to perform ecological inventories on over 13 000 acres of BTC-managed land. Brian prepares management plans for BTC properties as well as supports BTC clubs in stewardship, encroachment and ecological issues. He holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and Biology from Trent University as well as certificates in: Ecological Land Classification, Bird and Plant Identification, Butternut Assessment, Ontario Pesticide Forestry License and Ontario Wetland Evaluation.  He can often be found in the forests and watersheds of Ontario hiking, fishing, photographing, camping or simply enjoying nature's beauty.

2)    “Time Travel on an Alvar; a Plants Perspective”

Presented by Tyler Miller at 8:00 pm

 During this presentation, you will virtually explore the fascinating ecosystem of the globally endangered alvars found on the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula. This experience will provide a virtual prologue and tour through time; where you can learn about plant-environmental relationships on alvars and the changes they have experienced over the last quarter-century. You will also see many rare plants that call alvar’s home, touching on charismatic orchids to newly discovered lichens. 

Born and raised on the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula, Tyler has spent the entirety of his life interested in the natural environment; this naturalist’s curiosity inspired him to pursue a career in ecology. Over the last decade, Tyler has held many field-ecologist-related positions with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and currently Parks Canada in Tobermory. His passion for studying natural history recently landed him back in school at Trent University, where he completed an undergraduate degree and thesis focusing on alvar ecology of the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula. Tyler’s career and hobbies have shaped him into a well-round naturalist with formidable expertise in field botany.



3)    “Creating Habitat for Birds, Bees and Butterflies.”

Presented by Audrey Armstrong at 7:00 pm.

 Sometimes listening to news about bird, bee, and butterfly population decline due to chemical impact, land development, and climate change, we feel helpless! How can we as individuals help?  Well -we can help by creating nature-friendly habitats in our own urban or rural backyards.  We really can make a difference! 

 Audrey graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in experimental art and textiles, for ten years she ran her own weaving business Watercress Weavery. She then graduated from both University of Guelph and the University of Toronto with an honours BA and B.Ed. Audrey taught elementary school with the Bluewater District School Board for 25 years, receiving the Teacher of Excellence award. A presenter with the Monarch Teacher Network, Audrey has led in-depth workshops on monarch butterflies, habitat development, and Voices from the Land workshops, developing visual and literary interpretations of nature in Canada and the USA. She continues her love of teaching by leading workshops for Ontario Parks and Parks Canada staff. She is active in many community volunteer organizations including the Owen Sound Field Naturalists and Huron Fringe Birding Festival. Recently becoming a Master Naturalist with a special interest in habitat creation, Audrey shares her passion and concerns for the natural world with the public.

4)    “Nature Conservancy of Canada’s acquisition of Vidal Bay on Manitoulin Island”  Presented by Megan Bonenfant at 8:00 pm 

 The Vidal Bay Forests and Shoreline property; located on Manitoulin Island covering 7,608 hectares (18,800 acres) with 18.5 kilometers of shoreline on the north channel of Lake Huron; presents an incredible opportunity to conserve a vast coastal wilderness and the unique species it sustains. During this presentation, you will virtually tour globally rare alvar communities, coastal cliffs, undeveloped Lake Huron shoreline, inland lakes, and wetlands, and intact forest systems. The habitat of this property provides a home to many species including American Black Bear, Gray Wolf, Mottled Duskywing, Lakeside Daisy, Hill’s Thistle, Eastern Wood-pewee, Blanding’s Turtle, Least Bittern, and Otter. The carbon stored by this property is 8,764,969 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) and the annual carbon sequestration is 22,675 tonnes of CO2e per year.


After more than a decade in the provincial and municipal government sectors, Megan Bonenfant has joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) team in midwestern Ontario as a conservation biologist, covering the Manitoulin Island Archipelago and the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula Natural Areas. Megan has a soft spot for Massasaugas and is quickly developing an orchid obsession in her new role. She lives in the woods on Manitoulin Island and spends her free time hiking, homesteading, and reading murder mysteries.



5)    “Technical Tips for Successful and Ethical Wildflower Photography”

Presented by Peter Rasberry at 7:00 pm.

 Join us for a virtual look at some of the Bruce Peninsula’s rare and beautiful orchids and learn some technical tips for successful and ethical wildflower photography. Whether a novice or experienced photographer, understanding camera settings can help achieve spectacular results!  Peter has facilitated wildflower photography workshops at two previous Orchidfest weekends, and twice was the opening night speaker with his Gaia photo presentation celebrating the beauty, diversity and complexity of the many species we share the planet with.

Peter Rasberry is retired following a 38-year career in Outdoor and Environmental Education.  As a hobby photographer, he is excited to share his deep connection to Nature through some of his images and experiences.  Peter's photographs have appeared in the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Canadian Wildlife, and children’s Wild magazines. They have also been on exhibit at Environment Canada’s Biosphere Museum in Montreal for the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity

6)    “Virtual Guided Hike showcasing the many pollinators of orchids” and

“How to become a citizen scientist using the iNaturalist app.”

Presented by Bruce Peninsula National Park Interpreter 8:00 pm

This closing presentation of the 2021 Orchid Festival will be a most interesting virtual hike in the National Park and an introduction on how to download and use the best app for your phone, iNaturalist. This app, using your photo, identifies what you have seen be it plants, birds, trees etc.