Speaking Engagements

David Finch entertains groups all over Canada.

The following presentations are currently available for groups of any size.

1948 – The Year Alberta Came of Age

Premier Manning of Alberta juggled two crises the year after the discovery of crude oil at Leduc, near Edmonton. A wild well was blowing thousands of crude oil into the air and covering a farmer’s field with flammable oil. And an electrical utility was refusing to provide power to farms. So the premier called an election. Leadership is necessary in times of transition and Premier Manning’s wise decisions provide many lessons for today.

Alberta’s Provincial Sales Tax – Lessons from the 1930s for Modern Day Alberta

Economists today recommend a PST for Alberta, but politicians refuse to implement a reasonable and fair tax that would help flatten out the booms and busts in government income. The new Social Credit government of Premier Aberhart instituted an “ultimate user tax” in 1936 and rescinded it in 1937. Why? Alberta voters apparently prefer to play the petroleum revenue lottery. What works for everyone else is anathema in Alberta.

Turner Valley Oilfield – Western Canada’s First Commercial Oilfield

Calgary rightfully boasts that it is the centre of the petroleum industry in Canada, and yet Edmonton is much closer to the 1947 oil discovery historic site at Leduc. The sleepy town of Turner Valley, southwest of Calgary in the foothills, is at the centre of the first commercial oilfield in the Canadian west. Discovered in 1914, Turner Valley oil created an industry that changed Canada.

Pocaterra and Patterson – How an Italian and A Brit Saved the Kananaskis in Alberta

A wild Italian famously charged up and down the Highwood River valley West of Longview, blasting off his pistols in the 1920s. And a crazy Brit attempted to ascend the north face of a mountain in the front range without proper equipment. Stories of both adventurers, explorers and raconteurs abound. Tales and yarns of these men encompass today’s Kananaskis Country and provide a backdrop for our travels today.

Pipeline Perplexities – Hydrocarbon Transportation Stories

“You can’t control the pipeline I’m building to Winnipeg” an entrepreneur famously quipped in 1914, during Alberta’s first big oil boom based in the Turner Valley oilfield. A century later pipeline projects continue to raise ire, dander and blood pressure. On average, a major pipeline project has erupted every decade into the public spotlight. Politics, economics, struggle for regional power and international trends all play important roles in the petroleum transportation game.

Pricing begins at $500 per presentation, or $10 per audience member. Negotiations are possible but must include other negotiable items such as in kind services, memberships, or shares in corporate entities.

“…incredible expertise….thoughtful and impactful.”

…nails it with intellect, humor and a lot of wit.”

“….a national treasure.”