Inspiring artist and filmmaker Dianne Whelan ‘83 returned to York House for the school’s 90th-anniversary celebrations on Alumnae Day
On the 90th anniversary of York House School, alumnae and special guests were welcomed back for a morning of celebration and reconnection on Alumnae Day, Saturday, September 24th. Welcomed by our new Head of School, Deryn Lavell, alums gathered together for coffee generously sponsored by Caffe Umbria.
Following a heartwarming introduction by classmate Kirsten Sutton (Koopman-Osterreicher) ‘83 and her daughter, Olivia in Grade 12, keynote speaker Dianne Whelan ‘83 took to the podium. An hour of tremendous storytelling captured our imaginations as Dianne took us on an epic overview of her six-year adventure traversing the 24,000 km Trans Canada Trail. Travelling by foot, bike, canoe and snowshoe, Dianne also managed to shoot a documentary along the way.
A filmmaker, artist, and adventurer, Dianne is ultimately a gifted storyteller and a compassionate community builder. Joined by her parents, John and Geraldine and her sister Nicole, Dianne wowed the audience with footage from her travels and reflected on the many lessons learned over the journey. She also announced that her documentary film project has received funding and in a deal with Elevation Pictures, they will assist with the theatrical release of 500 Days in the Wild in Canada.
Following Dianne’s keynote presentation, Jaclyn and Ruby, two Grade 12 students from the Green Club, conducted a very lively and engaging Q+A with Dianne. Together they posed questions about both the physical and mental challenges that Dianne faced on her six-year journey, the wisdom she gained along the way, and ultimately, what she learned about herself and her place on the planet.