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Dedication, Thanks, Permissions


Thanks & GratitudeDancing Backwards is all about role models. I’d like to dedicate this project to my greatest role model, a woman of strength and beauty, my mom, the late Eleanor Patten. My mom taught me many things: to stand up for myself and others; to define and defend the principle at stake; to recognize that there’s always more than one side to a story; to make safe choices because bad things don’t just happen to other people; and to try to imagine how others feel and choose to behave accordingly… oh yes, and never to wear lipstick or high heels with blue jeans!

Her love and generosity of spirit has shaped me into the woman I am today.

Thank you, Momma.


Dancing Backwards has evolved over several years of collaborative work – there are many people who have contributed their assistance and expertise.

My husband and partner, John Gould, a man with boundless compassion and smarts, not only provides me with unconditional love and support but generously offers his way with words to every one of my projects.

Dancing Backwards Society Board of Directors Karen L Aitken, Lacey Jones, Kayleigh Erickson, Monica Prendergast, (former member Carol Matthews)

The Program Writers
Johanna Lee, who joined me during the pilot school process, wrote and compiled the original Dancing Backwards school program. Educator Jessica Hoyt, then of Gordon Head Middle School, was one of the first teachers to participate in the pilot program, and subsequently updated Dancing Backwards to align with the new BC Curriculum. Dr. Monica Prendergast, Professor of Drama Education at the University of Victoria, offered advice and content and facilitated a UVic Centre for Outreach Education (CORE) grant, allowing us to hire a First Nations Women’s Studies Student - Lacey Jones, who reviewed the program, helped expand it to be inclusive of a First Nations perspective, and, with grace and honesty, led a pilot program for First Nations students at Craigflower Elementary in 2016. Dr. Carmen Rodriguez de France, who provided guidance and insight into the Aboriginal perspective. And Alexa Lewis Mitchell, Intern since 2017, who has contributed her time, creativity and political science knowledge as we updated the Teachers’ Program together with John Gould, in the fall of 2018, and who gives me hope in the young women who will lead us in this very new world.

Website Design and Management
Jonathan Michaels
and David Michels at Geeks on the Beach - Web Agency designed and built this website.

Eva Schmieg and Sarah Fitzpatrick of Miller Thomson LLP
who gave generously of their time and advice.

French Translators, Mario et Marie-Josée Couture at Correctout, Gatineau, Quebec

Special thanks to Camille Ancessi, my new assistant, who is at the helm with me launching the French site. Merci Camille!!

Promotional Materials Design, Soren Henrich, Watershed Moment, Victoria, BC

CIVIX .ca Executive Director, Taylor Gunn, who has offered ongoing interest and guidance to Dancing Backwards, and to Frédérique Dombrowski Outreach and Stakeholder Manager, Gestionnaire, promotion et relations avec les partenaires, and Méissa Gutiérrez for donating her time to review the French translation of the Teachers’ Program to insure it was letter-perfect for school usage. (Toronto, ON)

Political Women Inspirations - The Honourable:
Elizabeth May - a fearless defender of justice, the environment and the cause of women and leadership - who's generously shared her time and insight with both me and the students. Also Carolyn Bennett, Sharon Carstairs, Myrna Driedger, Sue Hammell, Lisa Raitt, Linda Reid and Denise Savoie, who are all ongoing sources of encouragement and guidance.

And thanks to all the women politicians who took the time out of their busy schedules to be interviewed for my various projects on women and politics. Your courage and strength of conviction in stepping up to provide leadership alongside your male counterparts is very much appreciated. You’re showing us all that women have a rightful place in this world.

Support During the Development Phase

The Team
Writer, video editor and social media whiz Angela Hemming has been pivotal to this project from its inception – she’s helped create a dynamic public presence for Dancing Backwards, and for the mother project Dancing with the Octopus. My wonderful executive assistant Sarah King brings clarity, intelligence, research and organizational skills to the project, and keeps me on track and moving forward even when life threatens to bring me to a standstill. Peter Campbell of Gumboot Productions gave me support and insight from behind the video camera, documenting the incredible journey Dancing Backwards has become. Leanne Allen, CVV Magazine, offered her excellent stills photography and video support skills to the pilot project, warming each school we visited with her presence and talent.  

There have been many others along the way who have offered invaluable help, and to them I say a big thank you: Nancy Peckford, past National Executive Director, Equal Voice; the Women Voters Congress and the Vancouver Women’s Campaign School; Clare Beckton, Executive Director, Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership, Carlton University; The Honorable Sharon Carstairs, former Senator and co-writer of the book Dancing Backwards; Anne Giardini, Chancellor, Simon Fraser University for recognizing the value of Dancing Backwards and offering next steps, Willeen Keough, past Chair, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Simon Fraser University; Sandi Chan, who donated her time and talent to support me in Vancouver at events and for her designs for early Dancing Backwards postcards and materials; Jo-Ann Roberts, former CBC Radio host for conducting many interviews with me about my work, and who had the courage to step up to politics; Rebecca Hansen, DWtO contest winner, and creator of the short video, “What Would Your Country Look Like if There Were 75% Women in Government?

Hilary Pryor, May Street Productions and Educating Towards Change Society ETC generously supported the project through its development stages. Many other private donors have expressed their faith in us through their gifts. 

J. Michael Hutchinson, Smith Hutchison Law Corp. gave generously of his time and advice.

Video support from Kal Jones and April Butler at Pan Productions

Leanne Allen, Sally Armstrong, Kathleen Arnason, Dawn Binns, Maureen Bradley, Myrna Driedger, Kate Frieson, Dani Gagnon, DD Gaston, Veronique Herry Saint-Onge, Barbara Huck, Vicky Husband, Willeen Keough, Amy Marcus, Kerry Anne MacDougall, John Martens, Carol Matthews, Michael Mayzel, Dr. Catherine Murray, Sarah Neville, Peter McCoppin, Elizabeth Sarjeant, J. Scott, Sandra Sterling-Weicker, and Jennifer Sweeney, Mike Thomas, Judy Tomlinson, Janice Vansickle, Marian Van Der Zon, Marylou Wakefield. Deborah Nohr, Victoria BC School Trustee, and Susan Ruzic, Social Justice Coordinator of the BC Teacher’s Federation.

Pilot Program in Victoria Schools
The principals of Gordon Head Middle School, Colquitz Middle School, Spectrum Community School, Sir James Douglas Elementary, and Craigflower Elementary.
Teachers: Darlana Bartle, Judy Chessa, Jessica Hoyt, Amei Mai, Jennifer O’Ryan, Bill Thistle
Coaches: Ellie Dion, Renee Livernoche, Judith Price, Iliana Turner, Jessica Van der Veen
Video/Sound/Edit Crew: Leanne Allen, Peter Campbell, April Butler, Dan Carruthers, Angela Hemming, Kal Jones, David Malysheff, Eric LaMontagne, David Parfit, David Springbett, and Geoff Stevenson.

Thank you to Canadian Heritage for the matching grant to translate this website into French.


Thanks to you all!



Our appreciation to those who have granted permission to use their materials in our program:

CIVIX.ca who gave us permission to use the video "The Right to Vote".

Dundurn Press and Merna Forster for use of the Faith Fenton/Alice Freeman story copyright @Merna Forster, 2011: 100 More Canadian Heroines: Famous Forgotten Faces, with permission of Dundurn Press Limited.      

Heartland Associates Inc. who published a social history of Canadian women in politics, Dancing Backwards, written by Sharon Carstairs and Tim Higgins, illustrated by Joshua Stanton.

Heartland publisher Barbara Huck and writer Tim Higgins, whose Timeline from the Dancing Backwards book graces our website’s home page.

Filmmaker, Jo Dee Samuelson, and producer, The Prince Edward Island Women’s Network, for the short animation The Women of Confederation.

A Bold Vision Conference and The Prince Edward Island Women’s Network who provided us with the photo of the 23 Women Visionaries, photographed by Brian Simpson, Provincial Photographer Communications PEI Executive Council Office

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