James Raffan - speaker


Subject knowledge, passion and personal experience drive his presentations, which are often enhanced by maps, photographs, animated graphics, and music.  He’s informed and entertaining, often touching and always challenging.

Whether he is presenting to an audience of ten around a dining room table or to a thousand people in a hotel ball room or theatre, James is at home teaching and telling stories.

As an award-winning teacher and conference convener in his own right, James is always interested in working with organizers to tailor his presentations to fit the audience, tone, theme and flow of a gathering, whether it is a one-time keynote or a presentation/panel/hosting combination in the context of a multi-day program.  He’s happy to talk about mini-keynotes done in conjunction with a main talk, or to collaborate on creating workshops or other conference/pre-conference contributions that could add value to a conference presentation package.

Based in the Rideau Lakes north of Kingston, Ontario, he travels within a 400 km radius by road or rail and expedites air travel from either Ottawa or Syracuse.  He has also done presentations by Skype and video conference and jumps at the chance to work with organizers to minimize the carbon footprint of conferences and other gatherings.  Although he has talks ready to go, in a number of different categories, when possible James tailors his presentations to the needs and interests of particular audiences.

Hear James Raffan Speak:

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Explore: A Canadian Geographic podcast.

Host David McGuffin talks to Canada’s greatest explorers about their adventures and what inspires their spirit of discovery.

“… James Raffan, author, filmmaker, teacher, explorer and former executive director of the Canadian Canoe Museum.” David McGuffin interviews James Raffan about the far north and its peoples.

Listen to James Raffan on Episode 7 (Spotify) »

What others have said…

The Raffan presentation received rave reviews. There was superb photography together with an articulate discussion of various frontiers that only the canoe can reveal.

Michael McKeown

Arts and Letters Club (est. 1908) Toronto

Hilarious, quirky and at times touching … [your] descriptions and anecdotes fleshed out the world into which this incredibly significant collection of canoes and kayaks was born.

Jeremy Ward

Curator, Canadian Canoe Museum responding to illustrated lecture entitled “Canoe Country: A lovingly skewed geography of Canada.

Master story teller.
Anne Jansen

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Where would you like to go next?

A recent client said this:

“As the organizer of the series, I can say it was always a pleasure to work with James, he was always calm, always prepared, always flexible, and always entertaining. He paces his presentations perfectly, not too long, not too short, using accessible and articulate language. He was probably the most low-maintenance ‘talent’ I have ever encountered.”