What Travel Writers Say

The Niagara Blog
    Mike Keenan Bio


  Mike Keenan - a brief bio!

Mike Keenan knows the Niagara Region well for he has lived in St. Catharines (2 yrs.), Fort Erie (20 years), Niagara Falls (7 years) and now resides in Niagara on the Lake (12 years). After starting a high school teaching career in Oakville, he taught in Fonthill and Fort Erie, finishing off as a teacher-librarian at A.N. Myer S.S. in Niagara Falls. While in Fort Erie, Mike obtained an M. Ed. from the State University of New York at Buffalo to augment a B.A. in English (UWO) and a B.P.E (McMaster). Mike played varsity football and in his first year, was named to the OUAA all-star team. He was a first round draft choice by the Calgary Stampeders, and returned to Ontario to teach and marry Diane. They have two daughters, both lawyers.

Over the years, Mike accumulated numerous academic certificates: Instructor's Certificate, PAIRS (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills), Falls Church, Virginia; Creative Problem Solving Institute Leadership Development Program Certificate, The Creative Education Foundation, Buffalo State College; Library Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Education and Ontario Teacher's Certificate.

In the realm of politics, Mike was elected to four consecutive terms on municipal council in Fort Erie as well as to the Board of Directors of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. He was active in federal politics, organizing all aspects of and chairing the Federal PC Party's Niagara Regional Rally in Port Colborne as well being active in several successful candidate elections for Erie Riding MP Girve Fretz.

Since 1998, Mike has written a weekly newspaper humour column, "Retired, eh!" for the St. Catharines Standard and taught humour writing at the Chautauqua Institution in New York State. He writes travel pieces for the Toronto Star, Sun Media newspapers and a variety of magazines. He also writes entertainment and theatre reviews for View Magazine in Hamilton. He founded the zine, "What Travel Writers Say" and pens the "Niagara Blog." He contributed to CBC's "News in Review," and has been published in many poetry journals such as "The Saving Bannister Poetry Anthology." Many humour pieces have appeared in "Stitches, The Journal of Medical Humour." Articles have appeared in The Globe and Mail, West of the City, the European Reporter, Niagara Magazine, Education Forum and Downtowner, The Magazine for Contemporary Niagara, now Niagara Life Magazine. As a photographer, he was recently published in National Geographic Traveler Magazine.

Mike has served as President of Niagara's Canadian Authors' Association, and belongs to the Travel Media Association of Canada (past chair of the Ontario branch) and the Society of American Travel Writers. He served on the Board of Directors of the Mildred Mahoney Doll's House Museum, the Fort Erie Public Library Board and the Fort Erie Senior Citizen Advisory Council.

Mike taught at the Outdoor Leadership Centre at Bark Lake, Ontario and served on the board of the Ontario Orienteering Association. He founded the Council on World Affairs of Canada, a Niagara-based non-profit, charitable organization that staged international Model United Nations programs and annual conferences in Niagara. His teams won numerous awards at competitions at Harvard, Yale and the University of Chicago as well as throughout Europe. As a speaker, he addressed international educators in New York City at a conference sponsored by the United Nations Association, U.S.A.


 




Mike Keenan


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