Our team

Richard Monette: lead of AfL

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

Everything. A professor once called me a “renaissance man”. It’s a great description of my perspective on school and learning in general.

What’s your favourite family tradition and why?

We dress up to watch the Academy Award or “Oscars”. My wife wears her wedding dress every year!

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned during your time with Active for Life?

Unfortunately, our society has changed so much in such a short period of time when it comes to children’s level of play and physical activity. The change has been so sudden from active play outside to inactive play inside that parents have a hard time grasping the situation.

Heather Dixon

Heather Dixon: managing editor

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

I’ve been writing since I was little, and have loved books since I learned to read, so it probably comes as no surprise that my favourite subject in school was English. I took every high school English course I could, and then went on to do an English literature degree at university.

What’s your favourite way to be active and why?

I love meeting up with two of my friends and running in the early, early morning before the world wakes up. It’s the best way to start my day. My husband and three kids and I also love to be outside, so we are huge fans of going for walks, hiking at conservation areas and parks, and going for bike rides together.

What’s your favourite vacation spot and why?
A cottage anywhere in Ontario. Give me some lake swimming, late nights around a fire, family, friends and nature (but also a bed and indoor plumbing!) and I’m a happy person.

Jim Grove: content, professional resources, social media

What’s your favourite way to be active and why?

Playing soccer and hiking. Through soccer, I experience social connection, fun, fitness, and a never-ending brain puzzle in the actual playing of the game – the brain part is very important to me. Through hiking, I reconnect with nature on a regular basis and find my “source”.

What’s your favourite time of year and why?

I like every season, but summer probably wins by a nose. I just about live outdoors between gardening, hiking, camping, coaching, and playing soccer.

Do you have a nickname?

The Professor, or simply Professor. I’ve been repeatedly given this name in different school, work, and social settings by completely unrelated friends and colleagues since I was about 10 years old.

Dingo Hart: design

What’s your favourite time of day and why?

Right before bed. I love to sleep.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned during your time with Active for Life?

How to use my time wisely.

Do you have a nickname?

Yes. Darryl Sometimes.

Michael Brynjolfson: production

What’s your favourite way to be active and why?

Triathalons – it works your whole body and is the epitome of what physical literacy is about – variety of sport.

What’s your favourite time of year and why?

Summer – riding your mountain bike, running a trail, or swimming in the ocean … those things aren’t as fun in winter.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned during your time with Active for Life?

That Physical literacy is for everyone everywhere and is the most important thing to improve quality of life.

Marta Orellana

Marta Orellana: French content, social media

What’s your favourite time of year and why?

My favourite time of year is the summer. I love it when the days are long, the sun is warm, and everything just feels lighter, brighter, and more fun.

What’s your favourite family tradition and why?

Birthdays! Since I can remember, I’ve celebrated my birthday for a whole week. For my children, I try to make them just as exciting. There’s a theme every year; I prepare for a month or more prior to the date, plan scavenger hunts, themed cakes and snacks, and decorations. It’s a whole experience for everyone and we all look forward to each person’s birthday for months.

What’s your favourite vacation spot and why?
I come from a family of travellers and have visited thirty-nine countries in my life. One of my favourite countries is Turkey.
However, anywhere where I can park myself on a beautiful beach will do!

Emilie Roy

Émilie Roy: French content, social media

What’s your favourite way to be active and why?

I do intensive training in road cycling, but since I’m not an Olympic athlete, my coach included my little pleasures in my training plan, such as ice hockey, ball hockey, the golf, etc.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

When I was little, I loved school and I would have a hard time choosing a subject. Physical education absolutely, mathematics, and art to express myself.

What’s your favourite vacation spot and why?

Cuba, without a doubt … and Tucson, Arizona! Cuba for the people – so loving, warm – and for the simplicity and beauty of the landscapes, and Arizona for the dry climate and the most beautiful places to ride a bike!

Liz Smeaton: partnerships/outreach

What’s your favourite vacation spot and why?

Anywhere where good food, family, and friends are hanging.

What’s your favourite childhood memory and why?

Playing Lucy in the production of “Charlie Brown”; my world opened up to the possibility of being involved in the arts.

What’s your favourite time of day and why?

My favourite time of day is evening. Time with family and checking in on how the day unfolded. I always ask the questions: “Did you laugh today and how was lunch”?

Lynn Jobe: partnerships/alliance

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

I loved biology as well as anatomy and physiology. Learning about how my body works was always interesting to me!

What is your favourite vacation spot and why?

Australia was a family trip that we’ll never forget. From the beaches of the Gold Coast to snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef to soaring in a glider above Mount Buffalo National Park, the trip was filled with exciting adventures. Returning to Australia or perhaps heading to New Zealand is on my wish list.

What is your favourite family tradition and why?

When we lived in Ontario, a family hike was our Thanksgiving weekend tradition. We would gather as many members of our extended family as possible and typically we would hike along the Bruce Trail. Hiking along the limestone cliffs somewhere up the Bruce Peninsula overlooking a mottled canvas of trees with their fall colours with Georgian Bay as a backdrop made every hike special.

Briana Tomkinson

Briana Tomkinson: content

What’s your favourite way to be active and why?

I love meditative activities like yoga, long walks, and cross-country skiing in winter. My brain is often buzzing with a billion ideas all once, but I find activities like these help me slow down and feel calmer and more connected to the present moment.

What’s your favourite time of year and why?

Maybe it’s because I grew up in Vancouver, where snow is a novelty, but I really love the winter. I’m in the Montreal area now, and everything looks so pretty and fresh after the snow falls. There are also so many fun outdoor activities to enjoy like skating, skiing, tubing and snowshoeing — plus I love the feeling of relaxing by a warm fire after coming in from the cold.

Do you have a nickname?
People shorten my name to Bree or Bri, but I don’t like it when they write it Brie, because it makes me think of cheese!

Rhiannon Russell

Rhiannon Russell: content

What’s your favourite way to be active and why?

I love trail running. It’s a great way to spend time in nature and take in the beautiful mountain views around Whitehorse, the city I live in. Plus, that run high is unbeatable!

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

I always liked English class. I’ve loved writing and reading since I was a kid, so getting to do both of these things in school seemed like a sweet deal to me (and much more enjoyable than doing math.)

What is your favourite family tradition and why?

When I was growing up, my family would rent a cottage in Port Dover, Ont., for a week every summer. We’d play on the beach, swim in the lake, walk on the pier, and eat lots of ice-cream.