Preserved Stories Blog


In the mid-1980s, young Calgary lawyer Michael Niven was out of a job because of a severe stutter

In the mid-1980s, young Calgary lawyer Michael Niven was out of a job because of a severe stutter.

He attended a three-week speech clinic in Edmonton, returned to Calgary, and set up his own highly successful law firm.

He’s one of the co-founders of the Canadian Stuttering Association.

He was MC at the recent 25th Anniversary celebration for ISTAR (and celebration of ISTAR co-founder Deborah Kully’s retirement) at the Faculty Club in Edmonton on March 3, 2012.

It’s a beautiful article that succinctly tells the story of Michael Niven’s career.

A minor detail requires correction, however.

Some time back, there were 290,000 Canadians who stutter — one percent of the population.

Today the figure is about 337,000.

Michael Niven is a showman, and a good one. He’s appeared in media in so many places (including cross-Canada on CBC television in 1991 when we organized the first national conference in Canada for people who stutter) and so many times.

I’m looking forward to getting a link from Daniele Rossi to the podcast where he appeared on the Stuttering Is Cool podcast show. It’s always good to hear Michael speak. He’s been very diligent in applying the skills that he learned in Edmonton.

As he’s said, when he attended the ISTAR clinic he was handed a key, metaphorically speaking, that would open many doors, and he’s made good use of it.

As a volunteer, these days he does fundraising for the current premier of Alberta.

He was one of the key players in the founding of the Canadian Stuttering Association (CSA), and took the minutes at a meeting of stuttering self-help leaders from around the world at an international conference in San Francisco around the early 1990s. The minutes of the meeting were a key element in the steps leading to the founding of the International Stuttering Association in 1995.

He also did the key work in ensuring that CSA became incorporated.

We owe many things to Michael Niven.

 

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