Brooke began her journey with gardening when she was “knee high to a grasshopper” in her grandparents’ backyard. After studying International Development at the University of Guelph and volunteering in Guyana, she realized her passion for food security issues and the need for bioregionalism. She believes that growing food and growing relationships are two essential aspects of food security and has been involved with permaculture design, small-scale organic farming, market gardens, urban agriculture, community gardens and community development for over 15 years.
Brooke also worked and learned with Building Caring Communities - an Asset Based Community Development initiative. She is studying creative facilitation with PYE Global and taking courses towards a diploma in Community Leadership and Social Change at Capilano University. Her favorite part about coordinating community engagement in gardens is watching relationships strengthen as diverse groups of people work together and share their stories and knowledge while learning new skills.
Cinthia has been with Can You Dig It since its inception and grew it from a concept to a leading actor in the world of community gardens and social inclusion. She is now supporting the initiative on special projects. Originally from Quebec, her passions took her to live and work in Burkina Faso, Mali, France, Indonesia, and across Canada. She completed a Masters Degree in Agroforestry and a Graduate Diploma in Integrated Rural Development at Université Laval, Quebec.
Cinthia brings over 10 years of experience in project management, food security and community empowerment. She is a wealth of knowledge and expertise on engaging multiple stakeholders in creating and sustaining inclusive community hubs and fostering strong stewardship within the community. She is passionate about social innovation, food (growing, cooking, eating, sharing!), and the powerful things people accomplish when working together.
She is the mother of 2 healthy children, and when she is not playing with them, you will find her gardening, cooking, or practicing yoga.
Hemant supports the implementation and administration of a number of innovative projects for posAbilities, one of his favorites being Can You Dig It (CYDI). With a BA in psychology from McGill University, he has worked in the fields of special education and community living for almost 20 years. More recently, to support his interest in organizational strategy, finance, and oversight, he completed a Certificate in Management at UBC’s Sauder School of Business.
CYDI is dear to Hemant’s heart because he likes to think of himself as having a multi-generational connection to growing and the soil. Both he and his wife had grandparents who were farmers by trade, have parents who have maintained food gardens throughout their lives, and he, himself, has gardened for the past 15 years. CYDI provides Hemant the opportunity to combine this passion with his interest in building a diverse and inclusive community and creating connections between friends and neighbours.
With CYDI, Hemant has focused particularly on developing and building networks and multi-stakeholder partnerships with an eye towards the long-term growth and sustainability of the initiative.