LondonFuse’s volunteer board of directors is the backbone of our organization, giving strength to our mission and supporting our contributors’ pursuit to promote arts and culture in London, Ontario and beyond.
First up, Laura Thorne (she/her), President & Chair of LondonFuse
Where did you grow up? Tell us your most vivid childhood memory.
I grew up in London in Huron Heights. I remember swimming at the Stronach pool and there was a tornado warning. We had to get out of the pool, but instead of hiding out in the arena where it was safe, my sister and I ran across the park to our house even though we could see the funnel cloud and it was windy and scary. We were obsessed with tornados for a few years after that.
What’s the dumbest way you’ve been injured?
I tripped and fell over a driving range mat and broke my arm in grade six while my brother sat and laughed at me (Yeah, Steve, I still haven’t let it go). To be fair, I also tripped on a strawberry basket and broke my wrist in kindergarten, and I tripped on a sidewalk and dislocated my shoulder a few years ago while walking my dog, so clumsiness is a trend.
What’s your favourite place in London?
Kains Woods in west London! It’s a gorgeous spot along the Thames, and you forget you’re in the city, except for the faint noise of a train passing now and again. Or any of the farmers’ markets in the city. Pre-COVID, I loved being able to take your time strolling around, picking up local food and fresh flowers, grabbing a coffee and freshly baked goods.
Do you have a personal hero?
My big sisters, Sarah and Kathryn. They’re two of the most loving, brave, smart, fun, and amazing women I know.
What do you miss the most during COVID?
So, so many things! Hugging friends and family. Travelling. Sitting in cafes. Going out for breakfast with friends. Going to shows and events. The thing I miss the most though, is probably just running into people serendipitously when out and about. Those chance meetings to say hey and share a laugh with a friend or acquaintance can turn a bad or boring day into a good day.
What is the best concert or show you’ve seen in London?
Stars at the London Music Hall in 2010, but mostly because they’re my favourite band. I’ve been to over 10 of their shows across the country.
What is something that isn’t real but you desperately wish was real?
Where would you like to live?
By the ocean. I lived in Nova Scotia for a couple of years, and I miss it all the time. We’re so lucky to live close to the Great Lakes, but nothing beats an ocean breeze. And in my opinion, Atlantic > Pacific.
What makes you feel old?
My nieces and nephews. I love love love hanging out with them and talking to them, but sometimes the slang they use or even just thinking back to what I was like at their age makes me feel ancient.
What career path did you want to pursue when you were 14 years old? What would you say to that 14-year-old now?
14-year-old Laura wanted to be a journalist or a photographer. I’d tell her, well, you help lead a non-profit arts and culture publication, so that’s pretty cool.
What is your favourite London store? Favourite restaurant in London?
This is the hardest question to answer! I love the Market at Western Fair because it has everything. My favourite restaurant is Milos’ and my favourite store is Brown & Dickson Booksellers because it’s so much more than a store — their community events are incredible.
What’s your favourite LondonFuse article?
There are so, so many to choose from. But one of my favourites has to be Gerard Creces’ How The Bus Killed Old North – A Cautionary Tale. I also love getting to work on the London Neighbourhood Histories Series. So many interesting stories being unearthed by our talented authors.
Feature photo by Laura Thorne