Our Team

VALOUR CANADA’s small team is dedicated to educating Canadians about our country’s military history and heritage.

Peter Boyle,  President

Peter Boyle was born and grew-up in East York (Toronto), Ontario.  His career spans three key areas which occurred concurrently through much of his life.  He joined the Army Reserve with The Royal Regiment of Canada as an infantryman in Toronto where he served for several years prior to being commissioned as a Logistics Officer.  His civilian career would be in the information technology sector with Bell Canada where he worked in various positions supporting and managing complex projects.  He also had a keen interest in military history which saw him leading battlefield tours in Northwest Europe (First and Second World War) and Southern Ontario (War of 1812 and Fenian Raids).  In 2006, Peter was transferred to the Bell Canada office in Calgary and concurrently transferred to the Calgary Highlanders, a local army reserve regiment.  In 2007 he volunteered to serve on Operation Athena in Afghanistan and deployed in early 2008.  LCol Boyle served in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as part of the National Support Element until September 2008.

On return from Afghanistan, Peter continued to work in various management positions within the information technology sector while continuing to serve as an officer with the Calgary Highlanders.  This period saw him organize and lead two battlefield tours to Europe in 2010 and 2015 and be the project leader for the construction of the Calgary Soldiers’ Memorial.  He also served as the part-time Curator of the Calgary Highlanders Regimental Museum and Archives located within The Military Museums from 2011 to 2017.  In 2016, Peter’s combined interests of management, information technology and military history merged when he accepted the role of President of Valour Canada.

Peter’s career with the army reserve has continued to develop with promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel and appointment as Commanding Officer of 41 Service Battalion (2017 to 2020).  He has deployed domestically on Operation Recuperation (1997 Ice Storms) and Operation Lentus (2013 Calgary Floods).

He holds an under-graduate degree from the Royal Military College of Canada and a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation.  For his military service, he has been awarded the General Campaign Star – South-West Asia (with bar) and the Canadian Forces Decoration (with bar).  For his community service, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in 2019.  In 2013, he was awarded the Commander of the Canadian Army Commendation, in 2014 a Vice-Regal commendation and in 2015 a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation.

Peter resides in Calgary with his spouse Nancy and is an avid outdoorsman who likes to fish, kayak and hike in the nearby mountains.

Aaron Curtis,  Lead Educator

Aaron was born in Eastern Ontario and spent his childhood in the Rideau Lakes area, primarily Lanark and Leeds Grenville counties, an area that marks the high elevation point of the Rideau Canal. In his younger years Aaron could be found playing competitive hockey in the winter and enjoying the countryside in the summer.

His employment experience includes work as a home construction labourer, building supply yard worker, truck driver, fire and burglar alarm installer, circuit pack repair technician (Nortel), production worker (3M), and archaeological assistant.

During the mid-2000s, Aaron attended the University of Calgary where he earned a degree in Archaeology (B.Sc.) and a minor in Earth Sciences. Upon graduation, Aaron went overseas. After a year and a half of teaching English to youth in South Korea, he returned to Canada and attended the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (University of Toronto) where he received his B.Ed. After leaving Toronto, Aaron was hired as an occasional teacher for both the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario and the Upper Canada District School Board. Over the course of a few years, Aaron settled into a role that allowed him to focus his teaching efforts in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Realizing that student enrolment was trending down and that increasing numbers of teachers were being surplussed, Aaron decided that for greater job security he would accept a job with an environmental consulting firm in Calgary, Alberta.

Prior to his time at Valour Canada, Aaron worked for five years at the environmental firm alongside countless First Nations and Métis communities in Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, and N.W.T. During the course of his employment, he spent weeks with many incredible people who taught him a ton about traditional knowledge and ways of life. Aaron will always be thankful for this experience.

Currently, Aaron resides in Calgary and vacations near his grandfather’s farm in Rideau Lakes Township (formerly Bastard Township). He spends the majority of his leisure time reading, playing recreational hockey, and with family.

Rachel Vendsel,  Program Administrator

Rachel was born and raised in central Ontario. Throughout her childhood, her family loved to travel and spent summers exploring Canada coast to coast. She fell in love with the Rocky Mountains as a child and knew Alberta would one day be her home.

She attended Lakehead University in northern Ontario and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology with a minor in History. She is currently working on completing her Master of Arts degree.

Rachel moved to Alberta in 2008 after spending the summer working in Banff. She then spent six years as an administrator at a property management company in downtown Calgary. She enjoyed learning the complexities of running a busy office with 100+ staff. She then transitioned into public health care and worked as a medicine coordinator for five years at a very busy, rural hospital. This position allowed her to further refine her time management and organizational skills. Throughout this time, she enjoyed volunteering with organizations like the Canadian Cancer Society, the Humane Society, Kids Help Phone and 7 Cups of Tea. She volunteered in various roles, including transportation coordinator, kennel cleaner/dog walker and crisis responder. Through these roles, she developed a passion for the not-for-profit sector and was thrilled to have the opportunity to join Valour Canada in December 2019.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking her dogs, and spending time with her family.

Richard Ferris,  Program Development Manager

Richard Ferris is an Entrepreneur who comes to Valour Canada with 12 years of experience running his own Property Inspection company, where he has assisted buyers, sellers, agents and company owners in both Residential and Corporate transactions. Richard is not only the owner and an inspector with his company, but is also worked for the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) as a specialist and guest instructor for their continuing education programs and annual conferences.

Before starting up his inspection company in 2008 Richard spent 18 years as a Corporate Trainer with Bell Canada and Direct Energy. He specialized in teaching soft skills and IT training for employees of both companies. Richard found his passion for teaching when he enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1989. Since the start of his military career as a Military Police Officer, he later transferred to the Cadet Instructor Cadre as a Commissioned Officer, where he continues to facility youth engagement through instructional technique and leadership. Within the Canadian Cadet Movement Richard is an expedition instructor, qualified as; a rappel instructor, canoeing instructor, range safety instructor and a gold coach biathlon instructor.

Richard resides in Toronto, Ontario with his wife Danielle, and his two young children; Fynn and Addison, aged eight and four respectively. In his free time, Richard teaches Corporate First Aid and CPR for Link to Life.