Doug Cowie

Museum Manager

Doug began working at the Marine Museum in 2011 after spending 34 years in the marine industry working on everything from boats, building boats, and surveying boats to writing about boats and industry standards for boating safety. A lifelong sailor, he has logged many nautical miles of ocean sailing, but enjoys dinghy sailing most in Kingston harbour and an occasional spin on his DN iceboat.

Doug is also a Director on the Board of the Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites and is a member of its Marketing Committee.

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Dr Michelle Clarabut

Programs and Communications Manager

Michelle joined the Museum in April 2019 with a background in research, education and advancement. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree from Queen’s University in Art History and Italian, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Guelph in European Studies and recently completed her Doctorate in Cultural History from Royal Holloway, University of London. During her time at Royal Holloway, Michelle lectured in cultural history and worked in Advancement.

Michelle volunteers on the Board of the Navy League of Canada, Kingston Branch. She has previously volunteered with Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites as Chair of the Marketing Committee and has been involved with numerous research and public engagement initiatives aimed at connecting people with the cultural heritage of Kingston. As a Kingstonian, Michelle also holds a personal connection to the Marine Museum, recalling fondly the visits she made with her grandfather all those years ago.

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Daniel Rose

Programs and Collections Assistant

Daniel Rose is thrilled to be re-joining the crew at the Marine Museum as an Interpreter delivering historic site tours and supporting program and collections work. Daniel graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in History from Queen’s University (with a focus on Confederation-era Canadian history) in 2015 before completing a Master of Museum Studies degree at the University of Toronto in 2018. After spending several summers as a uniformed military interpreter at Fort Henry National Historic Site, Daniel was inspired to pursue a career in the museum industry in order to share his passion for local history. His previous experience includes two summers spent as a museum intern at Fort Henry and volunteering at the Museum of Health Care. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniel served as assistant and team leader at Canada’s Penitentiary Museum for almost two years.

In his spare time, Daniel sits on the board of the Fort Henry Guard Club of Canada and is responsible for managing the Club’s collection. As the Club’s archivist, Daniel collaborated with staff and management at Fort Henry to produce the Spirit of the Fort Henry Guard exhibit, which opened in August 2018 thanks to funding from a City of Kingston Heritage Fund grant.



Caramel (aka "Cara")

Visitor Services and freshwater shark in training

Caramel joined the Museum in July 2021 as the Museum's unofficial mascot. On a typical day, Caramel welcomes visitors to the Museum and for Museum programs ensuring everyone gets an opportunity to give her an ear scratch and/or belly rub (she's not picky). Her other job is to guard the gallery and ensure no one commandeers any of our ships; she takes this role very seriously.

She is currently working towards her freshwater shark qualification which she expects to earn by summer 2022. Caramel is also one of our bilingual staff members.

Summer Students and Interns



Avery Spoelstra

Research Assistant, Autumn 2022 Internship

Avery is a third-year student at Queen's University. She is currently working towards completing her Bachelor of Arts Honours degree with a History Major and a Certificate in Commerce. Following her undergraduate degree, Avery hopes to attend law school at the University of British Columbia or the University of Sydney.
Avery is excited to be joining our team as our Research Assitant this autumn. She has always loved history and, since moving to Kingston, has developed an interest in the town's vast history. She is looking forward to exploring the museum's archives and sharing her findings with the public to continue to reconnect the community to the Great Lakes' history.



Taylor Villa

Museum Assistant - Programs, Summer 2022

Taylor is a third-year BA and BEd student at Queen’s University. She is majoring in Sociology, minoring in Environmental Studies, and is also in the Concurrent Education program. Following her undergraduate career, Taylor is interested in pursuing a Masters’s Degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of British Columbia. Taylor is excited to be one of this summer’s Museum Assistants at the Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston. She has always loved the environment, education, and history, and she feels this will be a fantastic opportunity to help her as a future educator and environmental conservationist. Taylor is looking forward to helping the Museum on its mission of connecting the local community with the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes and Kingston.


Taylor's position is funded by Canada Summer Jobs.