Linda Geggie, Executive Director
Linda has been actively working on regional food system issues since the early 1990s and has been instrumental in building and shaping CRFAIR into the organization it is today. She has worked extensively with a wide range of individuals and groups and believes in collaboration as a meaningful path to getting results. In addition to her work with CRFAIR, Linda is a member of the Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission and co-chair of the BC Food Systems Network. In 2015 she was recognized by Food Secure Canada with the Cathleen Kneen Award for vision, leadership, and a commitment to grassroots activism in building a more just and ecological food system. She was also the Community Research Fellow with the University of Victoria's Institute for Studies and Innovation in Community University Engagement. Linda is an avid food grower and fisher.
Ally Candy, Operations Manager
Ally grew up in a family of outdoors and travel enthusiasts who migrated yearly between the west coast and West Kootenays. In high school she planted and tended her family’s backyard garden, raising starts and tropicals in a small greenhouse. It was only natural for her to study Geography and Environmental Studies at UVic while living on a boat, financed by summers of ecological field research all over BC. An avid naturalist and adventurer, she has spent the last 25 years in the ecosystems and communities on the traditional lands of the Ktunaxa, working on projects that connect people and place. As a social entrepreneur and teacher, her work has been multi-disciplinary, cross-sectoral, with a focus on healthy living. Ally brings a creative pragmatism to her role with CRFAIR, as she is handy with both spreadsheets and shovels. She is dedicated to ecologically literacy, for everyone from individuals to institutions, and has a particular interest in advancing youth engagement.
Eden Murray, Youth Coordinator
Eden is a young woman whose passion for good food has made her a brilliant coordinator of the Youth Food Action Team. She has not only brought together a great group of youth, but is growing our youth initiatives to include a Youth Food Network. Eden is a brilliant student at Victoria High School, excelling in academics and earning the highest award for Leadership given to an undergraduate student. She is also a certified yoga teacher, organizes Vic High's Salad Bar program, and is the driving force behind the Victoria High School garden.
Board of Directors
Lee Fuge, President
Lee has been an avid supporter of local farms and foods for over 35 years, on both a personal level and through her work in the retailing of natural and organic foods. Lee is a founding member and manager of the International Women’s Catering Co-op, serves on the board of LifeCycles Project Society, and is a board member the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society. Lee has served on the boards of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia, Moss Street Market, and the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation. Her interest in re-localizing the food system merged with her interest in co-ops and led her to become a founding member and manager of FoodRoots Co-op, which for several years hosted the Pocket Market Network; the Sustainable Feast series of local, organic dinners; and Cinema in Season, a collaboration with Open Cinema. Lee envisions local, community controlled food systems in which co-op ownership plays a major role.
Wendy Farwell, Treasurer
Wendy has lived in the Capital Region for 40 years, and was a frequent visitor prior to that. A lifelong gardener and ‘urban farmer’, she is intensely interested in the challenges we face in our local food system and concerned about the food skills (growing, processing, cooking) that we seem to be losing. Her personal contribution to the local food system is operating a micro artisan bread bakery in the Gorge Tillicum community. This is a retirement activity; after a long career in management consulting in Canada and the UK, Wendy brings skills and experience in strategic planning, program design, outcome management and change management to the Board of CRFAIR. Recently she has been actively involved in the planning and creation of the Gorge Park Community Gardens and is a member of Gorge Tillicum Urban Farmers (GTUF).
Christina Peacock, Board member
Currently House Manager at Jeneece Place, Christina has a long history with CRFAIR. In its first phase, CRFAIR was a program of the Community Social Planning Council and Christina was the staff liaison for 10 years. She joined the Board of this independent organization in the fall of 2015. On the home front, Christina works to implement the vision and values of CRFAIR by turning her lawns into vegetable and fruit growing zones, and keeping chickens and sometimes bees in the back garden. Her occasional successes and more regular failures (aka learning moments) ensure she maintains a healthy perspective on life and daily challenges. She has a deep commitment to strengthening food security and access to local, nutritious foods for all in this region and is proud to be part of the CRFAIR Board.
Patricia Reichert, Board Member
Patricia is a socio-economic researcher currently doing a doctorate at Royal Roads University. Local food issues started to resonate with Patricia when she realized that communities all over the world are losing control of their food lands and waters to the industrial system. She is concerned that communities have lost food skills knowledge, and even the plants and seeds that comprise local food heritage. Being on the CRFAIR board gives her an opportunity to work with others across the region to turn this situation around, and bring food back into the heart of the community. Patricia lives on Salt Spring Island and loves the diversity of the region that provides so many opportunities for collaboration and creativity. She is also on the Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust board, has been a vendor in farmers’ markets, and has organized more local food community dinners than she can count. Patricia is also a member of the Transition Town movement and loves the thought that Transition Towns in our region are connected across the globe to celebrate diverse local food cultures and to make the changes that will bring regional food sovereignty back to peoples all around the world.
Janelle Hatch, Board Member
Janelle Hatch has been working as a dietitian in the community for more than ten years, bringing attention and focus to the area of food security, food systems, and healthy eating. She has worked as a dietician in public health, and now works specifically with the Healthy Schools program for Island Health. She brings passion for food literacy and healthy eating and this enthusiasm is reflected in her home and volunteer work also. She is a busy mother of two children and as a family they work together to grow a vegetable garden and fruit growing trees to maximize their urban garden area and the pleasure derived from eating whole, fresh food. Janelle has been supporting the work of CRFAIR for over a decade and joined the Board in 2015.
Jess Bossert, Board Member
Jess has had a diverse career that includes more than two decades of leadership and project management experience in the public and private sectors. Having spent many years working for government and large corporate organizations, Jess is thrilled to be seeing the world from the perspective a small but highly effective not-for-profit. Jess has travelled extensively throughout his professional life but loves his little farm in Central Saanich best. In his spare time, he gardens, tends to goats, chickens and pigs, operates a small business, and enjoys being active in the outdoors with his kids.
Michael Brinsmead, Bookkeeper
Michael founded Far Hill Bookkeeping & Business Services in 2005. He has a diverse set of clients, and about half of the work he does is for not-for-profit organizations. Michael believes passionately in local solutions to local issues, and that a strong local economy should have a strong element of self-reliance. He has been providing accounting services for CRFAIR since it became an entity independent of CSPC in 2014. Michael enjoys cycling, traveling in foreign parts, hoppy beer, laughter, family meals, walks on the beach, sunshine, playing with his grandson and working with organizations that are trying to improve our world.
Aaren Topley, Capital Region Farm to School Hub Animator — In Partnership with Farm to School BC
Aaren Topley is Farm to School BC’s Community Animator for the Capital Region, which is administered by the Public Health Association of BC (PHABC). He collaborates with the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR), the backbone organization in the Capital Region for Farm to School, to support regional animation work in schools and across communities. Aaren has been working in the field of food system development for over five years, with a focus on building community food literacy and youth engagement. He is pursuing his Master’s degree in the Social Dimensions of Health at the University of Victoria where he is investigating factors that promote school garden sustainability. During his spare time, he co-chairs the Urban Food Table, a food systems advisory body to the City of Victoria. Reflected in his work is his belief that food is a powerful tool that can create common ground to bring communities together. Outside of work, Aaren loves to cook new recipes, explore the west coast, travel the world, and ride his bike.