Barbara Seagram hails from Barbados, West Indies. She was educated in Barbados and then graduated from the University of New Brunswick with her Bachelor of Nursing degree. Barbara used to teach nursing & now teaches bridge in Toronto, Canada, with her husband, Alex Kornel who hails from Poland.
Barbara & Alex owned and ran the Kate Buckman Bridge Studio for many years. The largest in Canada and the 4th largest on the continent. In 2006, it was named by ACBL as the top Bridge Club in North America (the Jane Johnson Award).
Barbara now owns and runs a School of Bridge in Toronto. They teach tens of thousands of students a year at all levels.
Barbara and Alex also travel all over the world teaching bridge and have now visited 169 countries. They have been escorting bridge groups for 40 years. Barbara is also a licensed travel agent. They love to spend time with the people and nationalities of so many diverse countries. Their real passions are Africa, Cambodia and Laos. In Cambodia, Patti Lee and Barbara (with the help of the bridge communities of USA and Canada) have built and now sustain five schools there, as well as having outreach programs for victims of landmine accidents. In Laos, they fundraise for thousands of water filters and have schools there also, working through the NGO, Adopt a Village in Laos. Barbara and her colleague, Patti Lee take turns visiting Cambodia and Laos and teach English in the schools while checking up on their projects in both countries. Barbara and Alex also have foster children in Burkina Faso (a small landlocked nation in West Africa) and Barbara has visited them there.
Barbara has been the recipient of a number of awards in bridge: The Kate Buckman Award, given to the person who has contributed most to others’ enjoyment of the game and the most recent being the Audrey Grant Award for teaching. She is a Sapphire Life Master and a frequent speaker at NABC’s. She was named # 40 on the list of the top 52 bridge personalities that have most influenced the game.
Barbara was a co-founder (one of two) of the Zero Tolerance program. Barbara is the co-author of 30 published bridge books; the most well-known being “25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know” This is now in its 18th. printing and has been translated into French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Danish. This book has been named one of the top five best-selling bridge books of the last 60 years.
Barbara tirelessly promotes bridge wherever she goes in the world. She jokes: “It is my solution to world peace!” She also has mentored many players as students and as teachers and directors. Many of the classes that she teaches are done for charity; either for a local charity or to raise funds for Cambodia or Laos or both.
Barbara is also very active in the American Bridge Teachers’ Association. She is passionate about marketing events of all sorts and writes a monthly (sometimes weekly) newsletter, advertising all upcoming events and including lots of bridge articles in order to further students’ knowledge at the same time. She sends this out to 6500 of her former and current students. She loves to support local bridge events and community causes. More than anything, she loves to play bridge and would do so morning, noon and night, given a chance, with her favourite partner, her husband, Alex.