2014 Forum

Link to Image of Poster for Sources of Knowledge 2014 Forum Beneath the Waves Fathom Five


May 2 – 4, 2014

Tobermory Community Centre · Tobermory, Ontario

Beneath the Waves: Underwater Discovery in Fathom Five National Marine Park

This year’s Forum celebrated the long history, and bright future, for underwater exploration in the Tobermory area.

There are lots of rich and interwoven stories here. These include the early surveys by British and American navies, the rich history of diving in the area, the role of that dive community in the establishment of Fathom Five and the technologies such as Sublimnos that have been pioneered. This background is timely as we embark upon exciting new projects to better map our wrecks and monitor subsurface conditions. For example, laser imaging and advanced filming techniques are now being employed to produce 3-D and interactive models of the wrecks.

The field trip on Friday afternoon, May 2, featured demonstrations of subsurface mapping and diving techniques. Members of the Canadian Navy’s Experimental Diving and Undersea Group participated. Friday evening, Stephen Scharper from the University of Toronto hosted the annual film festival on this year’s theme.

Saturday Speakers

  • Stuart Seldon on the early years of discovery around Fathom Five;
  • Dr. George Harpur: a pioneer in medical diving and hyperbaric medicine;
  • Andrew Leyzack: an expert on high resolution hydrography with the Canadian Hydrographic Service
  • Flora Davidson: of the Parks Canada Marine Archaeology Unit on modern methods of surveying shipwrecks;
  • Doug Elsey: pioneering diver and engineer on the 1969-71 Sublimnos habitat project with Dr. Joe MacInnis, who will provide a video-taped introduction;
  • Dr. Jim Rusak of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment on the Global Lake Experimental Observatory Network (GLEON);

Event Details

2014 Program Details

2014 Program Agenda

The dinner on Saturday was catered by The Grandview, Tobermory and featured keynote speaker, Marc-André Bernier of the Parks Canada Underwater Archaeology Section. He gave a presentation on 50 years of Marine Archaeology carried out by Parks Canada personnel, including the location of HMS Investigator and the recent search for Franklin.

The first session on Sunday morning featured Lt. Troy Beechinor of the Canadian Navy’s Experimental Diving Group who described new techniques for deep diving. If you have ever wondered what those mysterious black-suited divers in black Zodiacs are up to, this was your chance to find out.

For the remainder of the morning, Dr. Gordon Nelson moderated a panel – Daryl Cowell, Scarlett Janusas, Eric Fowle, Jim Uhrinak – previewing the 2015 Forum on The Great Arc – a look at the social and scientific issues common to communities, like Tobermory, living around the rim of the Michigan Basin.



2014 Forum video proceedings can be found here.


Weekend Activities

In addition to the plenary sessions, there was much more to experience at the Forum.

On Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. the doors to the Community Centre opened to the musical sound of guitar strings provided by John Haselmayer, and a cash bar. From 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Stephen Scharper hosted his engaging mini film festival which as always resulted in stimulating and lively discussion.

The morning and break refreshments on Saturday were generously provided by The Friends of Bruce District Parks. A yummy brown bag fundraiser lunch was lovingly prepared by the Cafeteria Ladies from Bruce Peninsula District School.

Following the plenary sessions on Saturday afternoon, there were a couple of options: 1) a before-dinner hike to Burnt Point led by a friendly Bruce Trail Conservancy member; and 2) an historical walk where the always popular Holly Dunham shared stories about Fathom Five and the history of making a living in Fathom Five – fishing, tour boats, diving, etc.

Everyone gathered back at the Community Centre in the evening for a social hour followed by a delicious dinner catered by The Grandview, Tobermory followed by Marc-André’s captivating presentation.

Ongoing during the Forum was an Art Show – Reflecting Fathom Five – featuring the creativity of Bruce Peninsula Artists, and a variety of interesting exhibits in the Exhibitor’s Gallery.



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