Our Story

PeaceQuest was founded in 2012 in Kingston by an inspiring group of peace educators and activists committed to promoting peace through education, the arts, policy advocacy, and faithful action. Since then, it has grown to include local community groups, partners and supporters across Canada, and the PeaceQuest Leadership and Education Initiative was established in 2020.

Meet Our Team

Janis Alton

Board member

Janis is a long-time activist in the domestic and international peace movement focused on demilitarization, delegitimization of war, and the inclusion of women directly in all decision-making processes for peacebuilding from conflict prevention to reconstruction. She has conducted 20 study/consultation/lobbying tours for women to United Nations sites, and initiated and coordinated many national women and peace conferences and international workshops.

Eleanor Fast

Board member

Eleanor is Executive Director of Equal Voice, and brings an extensive background in not-for-profit management, and lived experience as a woman candidate. Her career highlights include having been Executive Director of Nature Canada; Program Director for the Council of Canadian Academies; a non-partisan researcher on Parliament Hill in the Library of Parliament; and running a small consulting company.

She ran as a candidate in the 2018 Ontario provincial election, and although she lost she is proud to have won 27% of the vote. Eleanor lives in Ottawa with her husband and two teenage sons. She is an active volunteer in her local community, and enjoys early mornings in the pool with Carleton Masters Swim Club.

Sister Pauline Lally

Board member and PeaceQuest co-founder

PeaceQuest evolved from Sr. Pauline’s dream of holding a peace conference specifically in the Kingston/Katarokwi region, long known as Canada’s first capital, with its significant military presence and several correctional institutions all on traditional Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee Peacemaker Territory – making it a deeply relevant setting for such an event.

For more than two decades, Sister Pauline Lally staged weekly protests at Kingston City Hall against cut-backs to Social Assistance Programs. She opened and operated a Group Home for Girls in the 1970s and over her life has held numerous roles at Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul including General Superior and Director of Justice and Peace.

Kevin Millsip

Board member

Kevin’s work is focused on building progressive social change leadership. He is the co-founder and Director of Next Up, a national leadership program for young social change leaders, and cross-generational collaboration and works as the Sustainability Coordinator for the Vancouver School Board where he focuses on Sustainable Food Systems.

In 1998 Kevin co-founded Check Your Head, an organization that has worked with over 40,000 young people to help them get involved in global justice issues. In 2004 he co-founded Get Your Vote On – a campaign that registered 20,000 new voters for the 2005 provincial election in BC. He’s dabbled in municipal politics, having served as a Vancouver School Board Trustee.

Kevin serves on several boards and advisory bodies for groups including: The David Suzuki Foundation, The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, The Centre for Civic Governance, Theatre for Living, the Small Change Fund, UBC, The City of Vancouver and SUCCESS.

Steven Staples

Board member and Chairperson

Steven has over 30 years of experience in community organizations and the labour movement, and is the founder of the Rideau Institute, a non-profit, independent research, advocacy and consulting group based in Ottawa that specializes in defence and foreign affairs policy. It’s public engagement and advocacy arm is Ceasefire.ca.

Steven Staples is a Board Member of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Peace Bureau, the world’s oldest and largest peace network. He is also serving his third consecutive term on the Members’ Council of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. In 2018, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Council of Canadians, the country’s largest social justice organization.

Emmie Tsumura


Emmie Tsumura is a cultural producer, primarily working in illustration and graphic design. Guided by research into Japanese folk tales and personal ancestry, her work documents an ongoing process of negotiating Japanese settler/colonial identity, and relationships to the urban environment. She aims to build a socially-engaged practice, exploring art activism and solidarity within a fast and furiously forgetful urban and mass media landscape. She is currently based in Toronto/Tkaronto.