April 2021 | Volume 5, Number 4



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Candidates to the OLBA Board and Candidate Profiles


To OLBA Member Clubs Monday, April 19, 2021


Board Elections 2021- Candidates


The Nomination Committee presents an approved list of candidates for election to the OLBA Board.

Details of the positions for election and the candidates are shown on the next page and profiles of all candidates are included in this letter.

Please note that there are two candidates for Secretary one of whom (Karen Atkin) is also willing to serve as a Director. This means there will be two rounds of voting.

If Karen Atkin is not elected as Secretary her name will go forward as a candidate for a Director post in the second round

The election is being managed by Jason Currie and club delegates will receive information on the dates for voting and the process from Jason.

On behalf of the OLBA I would like to thank the candidates for applying to serve on the Board. I would also like to thank my colleagues on the committee, Val McWilliams and Ken Armstrong.

Good luck to all candidates.

Bill Arthur

Chair, Nomination Committee








Phillip Francis

April 2023


John Fantin

April 2023


Karen Atkin

April 2022


Tom Roth

April 2022





There are five Director at Large posts open for election, one of which is for a one year term

Candidate Term

Karen Atkin ** April 2023

Nan Hendren April 2023

Blaine Phillips April 2023

James Rimmer April 2023

Laurie Roth April 2022

Steve Schuknecht April 2023

** Depending on result for Secretary


Candidate name: Phillip Francis

Candidate post: President Candidate profile:

2019 - Elected President of OLBA.

During my tenure as president my primary responsibilities have included;

  • Providing leadership and working together with the Board of Directors that included restructuring of OLBA committees and provincial playdowns,

  • Development of the OLBA long term athlete develop (LTAD) plan

  • Hiring of Executive Director to assist in the administration of OLBA,

  • Arranged full day, face to face, planning meetings with District Chairs and Championship Commit- tees.

  • Assisted in the preparation for the 2020 bowling season, and national and provincial champion- ships


2016 – 2018 Elected as Vice President, OLBA and (Director Grants).

  • Completed the updated application process for OLBA to be accredited as the Ontario Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) representing the sport of lawn bowls.

  • Chaired committee responsible for the development of the OLBA Strategic Plan 2019 – 2022, and annual OLBA operational plan and reporting template.

  • Conducted review and development of OLBA policies as required by Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Ontario Amateur Sport Fund program in compliance with grant requirements,

  • Completed Ontario Trillium Fund registration criteria to enable OLBA member clubs to apply for 2017 Capital Grants. Supported Whitby and Beeton LBC Trillium grant applications, both of which were successful and provided OLBA letters in support of Club applications for funding under the federal “New Horizon” program. Successful grant applications totalled over $900,000.


2015 Elected Director OLBA (Director Grant and Funding)

  • Completed the revised application process for the Ontario Amateur Sport Fund grant accreditation as Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) which qualified OLBA to receive a funding allocation of up to $29,410 for each of 2017 and 2018 (a total amount of $58,820 over two years).


Leaside Lawn Bowling Club

  • Elected to Leaside Lawn Bowling Club as vice president 2007, president 2008 (four years). Other club positions included greens director and director special events, LLBC District Representative.

  • Introduced “Rock n Bowl program”, resulting in ongoing success in the recruitment of curlers from Leaside Curling Club to Leaside LBC.

  • Introduced corporate team building programs and developed various ongoing relationships to assist charitable organizations with fundraising including Lawn summer Nights - Cystic Fibrosis (over $600,000 raised), Stephen Leacock Foundation and a significant number of community events over the past nine years. (over $10,000 continues to be raised annually to support club development).

  • In 2011, provided leadership in the renovation of Leaside Lawn Bowling Club under the Federal Recreation Infrastructure Program including the redesign of the club-house resulting in fully accessible facility. (appprox $300,000)


Candidate name: John Fantin

Candidate post: Treasurer Candidate profile:

I have been President of the Tilbury Lawn Bowling Club for the past 18 years and have been bowling for 22 years. I was the co-ordinator of the move of our new club house.

I have been District Chair for 18 years. I am a level 2 Coach and Level 2 Umpire

I have been the OLBA Treasurer for four years. Also Chair of the Insurance Committee and the Database.

In addition to my OLBA responsibilities I am Treasurer of Chatham Granite Club. Also Past President of Chatham Granite Club where I have been on the Board for 15 years.

I have been Secretary/Treasurer of local Chamber of Commerce for 24 years and organized the Local Business Improvement Association.

I have been Treasurer & Board Member of Tilbury Golf & Curling Club for 26 years.

I have owned my own business for 25 years and do the books for several businesses.


Candidate name: Karen Atkin

Candidate post: Secretary or Director at Large Candidate profile:

I have been bowling at the Leaside club since 2012. I trained as a Coach. Since 2014 I have organized the club’s Rock and Bowl League and since 2016 I have co-ordinated corporate events/rentals at the club which accounts for 25-33% of the club’s annual income.

In addition to lawn bowling I am an avid curler, currently at the Leaside Curling Club. I am Chair of the Weekend Mixed Section which typically has more than 256 members. I have also been a volunteer at a number of curling professional events as a statistician including the Canadian Mixed Championships and Grand Slam of Curling Player’s Championship.

I have extensive governance experience on the board of numerous community, not-for-profit organizations, including: PACE Independent Living; Emergency Services Community Advisory Panel, Trillium Health Centre; Victim Services of Peel; BALANCE and Big Sisters of Peel. My roles on these boards included Director, Secretary and Treasurer.

Before my recent retirement I was an Accreditation Specialist at the Canadian Centre for Accreditation. I was responsible for managing the accreditation cycle for more than 70 organizations, primarily in the child and youth mental health sector. All organizations are reviewed against an established set of standards with a key component being organizational governance and stewardship. As part of my work I have been part of the review of the governance of more than 50 organizations.

I believe that my skills and experience throughout my career would be an asset in the role of Director on the OLBA Board. I am an innovative, creative problem solver with strong critical thinking skill and an analytic mindset. I am a seasoned health policy professional and public sector manager with a proven track record for implementing and managing large complex initiatives.


Candidate name: Tom Roth

Candidate post: Secretary Candidate profile:

I have been a member of the Dresden Lawn Bowling Club since 1998 and have been greenskeeper, draw master, president and on the DLBC Board of directors.

I have participated in many District, Provincial and Canadian championships. I have also been an umpire at many Provincial and National Championships.

I was on the OLBA Board of Directors from the fall of 2016 to the spring 2019, as a Director at large acting as Chair of the Championship committee.

I feel I can be an asset of the OLBA acting as Secretary with having knowledge of being on the Board of OLBA in the past.


Candidate name: Nan Hendren

Candidate post: Director at Large Candidate profile:

I have been a member of the Cobourg Lawn Bowling Club (CLBC) since 1998. I have served on the Executive of the CLBC since 2003 in the role of Recording Secretary, Vice-President (2016), President (2017), Past President (2018) and again as Recording Secretary (2019 to present). Over the past 15 years I have participated in a number of In-Club, Open, District and Provincial tournaments.

I served on the OLBA District 14 Executive Board for 6 years including 2 years as Chairperson. District 14 has 9 clubs and approximately 800 bowlers. I have convened numerous District play downs and in 2016 l convened the Ontario Fours Championship in Etobicoke and the Eastern Ontario Triples Championship in Belleville. I have been involved on the organizing committees for Provincial Youth and Mixed Pairs Championships held at the Cobourg LBC in 2016 and 2018.

In 2011, I obtained my NCCP Club Coaching certificate and provide instruction to new bowlers and visitors to the CLBC. In 2020 I took the Respect in Sport training for Activity Leaders.

I am a long-time member of the West Northumberland Curling Club in Cobourg, where I sit on the Facilities Committee with responsibilities for building safety and emergency planning. I also sit on the COVID Committee where we developed return to curl procedures for the current season.

During my 28 year career with the local school board I worked in Human Resources gaining experience in policy writing, negotiations, labour relations, risk management and health and safety. 1998 I obtained my Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation, now held in a retired status.

I have been a Director on the OLBA Board for 2 years with responsibilities for governance, policy development, assisting with complaint investigations, promoting Safe Sport and other initiatives of the Board.

I am interested in continuing to serve our members on the OLBA Board where I have shown commitment to the Board, with regular and participatory attendance at all monthly and special Board meetings. I have been involved on the COVID 19 return to play committee, the District Chair's workshop committee and the policy review committee. I am also on the Sports Advisory Group with Bowls Canada tasked with developing the Belonging in Bowls initiative.


Candidate name: Blaine Phillips

Candidate post: Director at Large Candidate profile:

I started lawn bowling in 2008. I entered District tournaments beginning in 2011. I have represented District 16 at several Provincial Championships. I participate in District 16 interclub tournaments. I have been a member of 3 clubs in our District and currently hold a membership at 2 of them. I won the Galetta Singles league in 2017. This league hosts many of the best male and female players in our District.

I have had various experiences in lawn bowling including organization of jitneys and assistance with maintenance of the green and facilities. Later, I was Head Coach, Head of the Building Committee, Head of the Liaison Committee, and convenor of the Ladder Board. I am now a Head Coach and umpire. I am currently a club President and President of District 16.

I began to learn more about the OLBA as I participated in Provincial tournaments. I have an interest in scheduling and draws from my curling days and I have watched and learned the differences in lawn bowling. I was invited into the draw room at Windsor and watched as the convenors worked through an issue. I have joined the OLBA Coaching Facilitators, and I am very happy with the progress that we are making under great leadership. I have attended OLBA meetings as the District 16 chair. I was an active participant and learned about other Districts and OLBA issues. I was able to share the successes and issues within our District.

I have been involved in sports organizations throughout my life. Beginning, of course, as a player. I began coaching and became a Manitoba Softball Coaching Facilitator. I coached 2 teams in National events. I coached many sports including Softball, Baseball, Hockey, Curling, and Ringette. I coached a competitive Women’s Curling Team in Local, Provincial and International events. I also became a umpire and referee for all of these sports. I gained a lot of valuable advice as a referee, most of which cannot be printed here. I was President of the Golf Course twice, and President of the Curling club. As a builder, I was Co-Chair of the Building Committees for doing the grass greens at the golf course, for building a tennis court, and for installing artificial ice in the curling club.

I am a Chartered Professional Accountant. I have worked in companies large and small. My expertise was to bring a financial outlook to business options and processes. I have led business teams for departments and for projects.


Candidate name: James Rimmer

Candidate post: Director at Large Candidate profile:

I have been bowling for 18 years; I joined Highland Park LBC as a Junior. I have bowled competitively, at the district level as a novice and as a junior. I represented the Ottawa clubs as a junior at the Governor Generals Championships in 2005. Since I left junior status I have been an active social bowler bowling at club tournaments and jitneys often.

I have contributed to the lawn bowls community in a range of ways. As a junior I earned my high school required 40 hours of community service by helping the greens staff at Highland Park. I ran my club’s yard sale for several years, raising thousands of dollars for the club. In 2019 I joined the OLBA as a director working on marketing. OLBA has been the only amateur lawn bowls association I have been involved with.

I first joined the OLBA board in 2019 as a director at large. I became the Marketing Chair working on promoting OLBA events and the sport in general. In that role I ran the Cooperative Marketing Program, distributing funds to clubs across the province. I also ran a detailed analysis of club growth and retention, identifying which clubs are able to attract and retain members. I also ran an OLBA wide survey giving the board detailed data on what OLBA members want, what they like about bowling, and what their concerns are.

I have a range of voluntary and community experience. I have run societies in University, responsible for the strategic and financial leadership of the club. I also volunteer with the Community Income Tax Program, in which accountants prepare income tax returns for low income individuals.

I am an accredited Chartered Professional Accountant, currently working for TELUS Agriculture. I have a deep experience in strategic planning, budgeting, forecasting, in both of the public and private sectors.


Candidate name: Laurie Roth

Candidate post: Director at Large (One Year period) Candidate profile:

I have been a member of Dresden Lawn Bowling Club since 1998, holding the position of Secretary/Treasurer for 19 years and a Director for 2 years.

I have participated in many District, Provincial and Canadian Championships.

I played in District and Provincial Novice for 4 years. I was a medallist in the following championships:

    • 2007 Provincial Bronze in Fours and Pairs

    • 2010 Provincial Gold in Pairs

    • 2016 Provincial Gold in Pairs, National Silver

    • 2017 Provincial Bronze in Pairs, Provincial Gold in Trebles

    • 2018 Provincial Gold in Pairs

Convenor/Draw Master for Provincial Tournaments – Novice, Singles, Pairs, Open Fours.

Helped with AGM Registration, Scrutineer for Elections, and putting packages together for Districts, OLBA Annuals into Districts, 50/50 Draw

My experience with other Voluntary or Community Organizations includes:


    • Optimist Club of Dresden – President for 2 years, Board of Director for 4 years

    • Ladies Church Group – Treasurer for 2 years


Also involved with different groups in Sun City, AZ in the winter

Candidate name: Steve Schuknecht

Candidate post: Director at Large Candidate profile:

For the past 21 years I have been bowling in Chesley. I am a Past-President of the Chesley Bowling Club. I take the tournament entries for the club and continue to be the club’s greenskeeper.

I am the District 8 Chairperson and have held this position for several years. In this capacity I have chaired district meetings, convened and supervised district playdowns and acted as liaison to the OLBA Executive.

I have been on the Board of Directors of the OLBA for the past 4 years. I have acted as the Boards’ Youth Director during this time and am currently the Championship Chair. I have also convened Ontario Championship competitions.

As a bowler, I have represented District 8 at numerous Ontario Championships. In 2013 I played at the Canadian Championships in Vancouver.

I believe that I have the qualities and experience, both on and off the greens, to be an OLBA Board Director.

I have an honest and direct style of communication. I am a good listener and I am open and respon- sive to all OLBA members’ ideas and concerns.

I am very approachable and accommodating. I am very much a team player.

I am open-minded and flexible. I deal with conflicts in a respectful and non-confrontational manner. I am a good problem-solver.

I am willing and able to commit to the time and effort required to fulfill a Board Position.

I would consider it an honour and a privilege to continue serving on the Ontario Lawn Bowling Board.



Register to Vote at the 2021 AGM

Each OLBA club can register one delegate to vote at the 2021 AGM. Delegates can register here:


All of our relevant AGM documents and information can be found here:

Annual General Meeting - ONTARIO LAWN BOWLS ASSOCIATION (olba.ca)



BCB interview with senior National Team squad member 

Ryan Bester


Candian Bowler Show # 27


Honour your Long Term Volunteers with the Sovereigns Medal for Volunteers

Details on how to apply are here:

Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers | The Governor General of Canada (gg.ca)


Greens Keeping and Maintenance Around the Province


Get Your Shot and Stamp Out Covid-19

Let's Return to Bowls in 2021


Gone walkabout and seeing signs

Published by Casey Donnelly on

Gone walkabout and seeing signs - Biased Bowls

It’s been quite a year for bowlers in Canada. With limited opportunities to travel lately, Mary and Mel Forster of Victoria, British Columbia sent some fond memories to share with the BiasedBowls Blog.

In addition to visiting family and friends overseas, Mary and Mel enjoy a roll-up and a game or two at local bowling clubs when travelling abroad. They also enjoy capturing extraordinary signs and sights. While we’re all waiting to safely travel again, we can enjoy this montage of photos from their past lawn bowling tours.

Roolling-up in Australia is a lot of fun!
Indeed! Many friends were made at this bowlo* in New South Wales.
*Australian slang for a bowling and community club.
Note the fine print! You can see in the next photo why some clubs in New Zealand had to apologize for the weather.
Say no more! This club in New Zealand has a good sense of humor.
Obviously, bowls polish is a no-no on artificial surface, Queensland.
Elaborate scoreboard in New Zealand.
Elaborate scoreboard in Albufeira, Portugal.
Soaring high, to scare off birds from making a mess on the green at a club in Melbourne.
Great view of a “ship” floating in the air, Singapore.
Got to throw this in for good cheer! Nostalgic bar in Albufeira, Portugal, owned by a Canadian.

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Letters to the Editor:


Comments and questions are welcome. (ellis@OLBA.ca)


Disclaimer:The information and articles provided in this email represent the opinions of the articles author and should not be considered as endorsed by or policy of the Ontario Lawn Bowls Association OR it's Directors.

Ontario Lawn Bowling Assoc.

Box 1093
Tilbury, ON Canada
N0P 2L0

John Fantin

Susan Newsham

Steve Schuknecht
Director at Large

James Rimmer
Director at Large

Charles Roach
Director at Large

Nan Hendren
Director at Large



Phillip Francis

Ralph Ellis
Vice President, 

Dave Burrows
Director at Large

Jason Currie
Director at Large

Mary Lou Richards
Director at Large