Projets des Olumni

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Nos Olumni sont des individus très passionés et inspirés, et nous aimerons partager ce fait avec tout le monde ! Voici quelques exemples des certains des initiatives incroyables que nos Olumni ont lancé suite à leur expérience avec le Project Otesha. 

Katrina Siks

Hidden Harvest

Tricia Enns 

 Branch Out Bakery

Josh Suppan 

and Jen Valberg

Fat Chance Farmstead

Jawn Lafratta

Hub City Cycles

Laura McGrath

Laura McGrath

Chad Hamre

 Ethical Ocean


Katrina Siks  - Hidden Harvest
Katrina Siks

After nearly adopting a small Saskatchewan ecovillage as her own, Katrina followed her heart and caught the train, pulling up with her paniers in Ottawa, two t-shirts to her name. There she hung out at the Otesha HQ for a few years as Outreach and Communications Director. As her time with Otesha came to a close, she pursued another passion - this one closer to her stomach, and wild edible foraging. In 2012 she co-founded Hidden Harvest Ottawa, a urban fruit rescue social purpose business. We organize harvests for existing trees and sell edible trees that make sense for Ottawa’s future harvests.

Fruit and nuts that would otherwise go to waste on public and private property are rescued by connecting tree owners with those eager to harvest local food. The bounty from harvest events is shared amongst the nearest food agency, the homeowner, the harvesters, and Hidden Harvest Ottawa (HHO). With volunteer support, these harvest events will provide the opportunity, education, infrastructure and legal means for people to access the edible fruit and nut trees around them.

We make it easy to plant good food-bearing trees by offering high quality trees for sale and for donation to community groups who have vacant land.

By removing challenges such as harvesting and planting food-bearing trees, HHO aims to increase our food security, address climate change and evolve our culture to be a food-tree friendly city.

Find out more about Hidden Harvest here:


Tricia Enns - Branch Out Bakery
Tricia Enns

Tricia Enns has long wanted to open some sort of bakery that not only provides food, but is a catalyst for change and for building community. Her first tour (Kootenay Mountain 2011) planted a seed inside that allowed confidence to build around her dream. On her second tour (Rising Tide 2012), Tricia “met amazing entrepreneurs that owned micro coffee roasters and sustainable vineyards,” and “discovered the change that entrepreneurs can make on the world.” So she went for it, and out came...

Branch Out Bakery! A bakery that travels through the streets of Ottawa on a bicycle. The plan is for Branch Out to be “the most sustainable and inclusive bakery in Ottawa”. Tricia does this by using local, organic, fair-trade and plant based ingredients as well as ensuring everything is free of soy, nuts, and gluten. Branch Out Bakery is also open to accepting payment through bartering, because money can be limiting.

Check it out at where you can watch the video, order some cookies and read the blog!


Josh Suppan and Jen Valberg - Fat Chance FarmJosh Suppan bio pic

Fat Chance Farmstead is located on a 4 acre piece of land roughly 10 minutes north of Kingston. Although it is being farmed by Jen and her partner Josh it is owned by The Morleys whose family has lived there for over 80 years. The land has seen a variety of animals and grain crops over the years. For the past 5 it has been a hayfield but will now go into full time fruit, vegetable and beef production. 

Little did Josh know that in landing his first job at the ripe young age of 13, he would be foreshadowing his future career path. The only place that would hire him? A peach, plum, and kiwi farm in Niagara on the lake. At the time this was just a way to earn some extra spending money and pass the summer hours outside. Fast forward to the summer of 2009 in the Okanagan valley of BC where Josh spent the summer and fall picking, thinning, packing, and tractoring on a unique and innovative fruit farm. The experience inspired Josh to set his sights once again on agriculture. While much of his experience comes from cultivating fruit, he has spent three seasons on vegetable farms ranging from small-scale organic to large-scale conventional operations. He has a passion for raising animals and in some parts he is known as a chicken whisperer. His hands are always dirty, whether it’s from soil, bike grease, or cake batter.

Jen Valberg

Jen’s trajectory as a teenager was slightly different from what she is doing now. If you look under her graduating picture in her yearbook it reads “Most likely to be a rich businesswoman.” As such, Jen attended Queen’s University and studied Commerce. She started two clothing businesses (Ghetto Tees and Ghetto Couture (now Donkey in a Basket) but never went to Toronto to work for a large multinational. Instead she went on a cycling tour through northern Ontario that lead her to work in the non-profit sector. By 2011 Jen had a 1,000 sq. foot community garden plot, a pantry full of her own preserves and was itching to go farming. Having now worked on both fruit and vegetable farms, Jen is excited to bring her entrepreneurial experience to the table. No pun intended.

In February 2012 Josh and Jen loaded up their Subaru and drove from Victoria, BC all the way to Jen’s hometown: Kingston, ON. After a year of setting down roots and creating their homestead, Jen and Josh adopted chickens and took on a new title: farmers of Fat Chance Farmstead.



Jawn Lafratta - Hub City Cycles Co-op

Jawn's Story



Laura McGrath - Ready for ChangeLaura McGrath
Laura McGrath biked from Vancouver to Toronto with the very first Otesha tour in 2003. After Otesha, she continued working in social change organizations, and became more and more disturbed at the level of burnout she saw in herself and those around her. After plunging into all sorts of personal development work herself, Laura started Ready for Change, a coaching and therapy practice to help smart people to live from their hearts. Drawing on all sorts of tools, including Co-Active Coaching, Jungian and Gestalt therapy, and mindfulness practices, Laura works with her clients to help them connect with the heartfelt, spiritual, authentic side of themselves when all the other forces in their life are pulling them in different directions.
Based in Ottawa, Laura uses the magic of Skype to connect with clients all over the world. She loves working with people who are ready to start connecting their head and their heart, and she offers a free initial consultation to anyone interested in finding out what coaching is all about. You can learn more about her work at


Chad Hamre - Ethical OceanEthical Ocean

I'm Chad. In the year 2000, I started Mechanical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. I picked engineering because I wanted to design monster trucks with crazy suspension, snowmobiles that could glide on open water, and engines that torqued.

Quickly though, I learned that what really defined what Engineers did, were the economics and the industries of the time. So while we all had dreams of what we'd do "when we grew up" - 75% of us ended up working for Oil and Gas Companies in Alberta. This was my life prior to Otesha.

I worked on the 63rd floor of a sky scraper in Calgary, helping a 40-billion dollar company recover oil more efficiently when one day my phone rang. It was an old friend, who was riding across the country as part of something called the "otesha project". He told me that he was having the time of his life, and that they'd be in Fernie that weekend, and I should come visit ...and he needed me to drive somebody from the airport.

I spent a weekend with this group. 23 of them I think, the maiden Otesha trip in 2003. I was blown away by what they stood for, the way they lived, and most of all the passion that drove them. I went back to Calgay on Sunday night to get ready for another week of work.

That week was trying. Otesha was all about how our individual actions have larger collective impacts, and I started thinking about my impact, the decisions I made, both large and small. That Friday, I found out where they were, drove 3 hours and joined them again.

On Sunday night, I was talking with my friend, about how "lucky" he was that this was his life, that this was his mission. And he said, "Why don't you join us?"

Hmm. Would that even possible?

That night back at home, I drafted a letter of resignation and handed it to my boss first thing Monday. That was the summer of 2003, and that resignation changed my life.

By the end of the tour, I had developed such a strong belief in power of individual decision to shape their social and environmental impact.  It's been a long time since then, but I've never made decisions the same; my world view had changed.

Today, I'm co-founder and CEO of Ethical Ocean. Ethical Ocean is an internet start-up that aims to transform the entire consumer market in North America. We want to make vegan, fair-trade, organic, sweat-shop free products accessible everywhere to everyone. We're about helping people purchase in alignment with their personal values.

We're now five full-time staff, raised 1/2 million in investment money, and were recently nominated to spend a month in Silicon Valley as one of Canada's hottest start-ups. I don't believe that shopping will save the world, but I do believe that making better consumption decisions should be easy, and am I am proud of what I do.

I'm thankful for my chance encounter with Otesha, and I'm glad to be with you here today.

Impressed? I know you are.  If you are involved in a project that you are really passionate about and wish to share, let us know so we can feature you on this page or on our monthly Riding on Hope newsletter.

Check out what the rest of our Olumni are up to on our Olumni Profiles page