Our mission is to build a resilient food system in Greater Victoria by growing, harvesting, and sharing food. Year after year, we strive to make a difference by caring for the land, empowering our community, and building momentum within the local food movement to continue to connect people with healthy food.

We care for the land

By increasing biodiversity, abundance and health in the Urban Orchard and supporting the development of healthy food environments.

We empower the community

By providing resources and supports to program participants, volunteers and staff to help them become leaders in food systems change.

We are building a movement

This is more than just food. By providing opportunities for people to learn and interact with the local food system, we are changing the way the community lives, thinks, and eats in Greater Victoria. When you collect dirt under your fingernails gardening, or feel sunshine warm your shoulders in an orchard, or bite into a fresh picked fruit and let the juice drip down your chin, you are grounded in a shift that strengthens our connections with each other and the natural world.

Staff

Sarah Hamill
Communications Coordinator
Alex Kuhn
Social Media Coordinator
Maasa Lebus
School Farm Coordinator
Leah Seltzer
Program Manager
Tim Fryatt
Social Entrepreneur
Rowen Warrilow
Welland Orchard Coordinator
Joan Stonehocker
Executive Director
Amira Maddison
Education Coordinator

Board

Michael Brinsmead
Director
Susan Tychie
Director
Jess Gunnarson
Vice Chair
Hannah Estabrook
Secretary, Youth Director
Gaylia Lassner
Treasurer
Rhianna Nagel
Chair
Tina Athena
Director
Katie Dragert
Director

Our Roots

Grown from seeds first planted in 1994.

On an international youth exchange program in Santiago, Chile, our founding members learned about the links between globalization, the corporatization of food systems, environmental degradation, and food security. The program in Chile worked with local organizations to develop projects that would enhance the quality of life within urban communities. Our founders wondered how they could do the same thing at home, and from there the idea for the LifeCycles Project grew. 

Our first project was the development of community gardens, tended by youth, whose harvests supplied local soup kitchens. Since then, our programs have grown to include a number of interrelated initiatives that address urban sustainability and food security by offering practical, accessible and hopeful solutions. 

While “Think Globally, Act Locally” seems simplistic, it is still the best model for social and environmental action. This is one of our founding principles and it is why we have endured as one of Victoria’s best-loved community organizations for over 25 years. Local action, rooted within the community, is the most effective way to create change.

Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge support from: