VEQ is comprised of a small but dedicated staff that carries out the day-to-day operations of the office and ensures the overall success of projects and activities.

Brigitte Wellens

Originally from Montreal, Brigitte moved to Quebec City in 2005 after living in St-Gabriel-de-Brandon, a small municipality in the Lanaudière region for 13 years.  Having worked in the forestry industry most of her life, Brigitte found VEQ through her participation in a mentorship program that allowed her to be a silent member of the Board of Directors for 6 months, enabling her to learn how boards function.

Wanting to continue the experience and with the desire to give back, she asked to join a VEQ committee, the Newcomers committee specifically. It wasn’t long before she joined the Board of Directors, getting involved in several more committees over a period of 8 years.

Thrilled to take on this new role; Brigitte wishes to continue serving the English-speaking community of Quebec City and looks forward to working with the team at VEQ and the various partners and community members to maintain the quality services VEQ offers.

Ellie Fleming

Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ellie came to Quebec City in 2008 after living in Ottawa for several years, and is loving life north of the border.  After completing a bachelor’s degree in Music from Duquesne University, she spent several years working in arts management.  She has worked at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center, and at the League of American Orchestras in New York where she managed several programs for young conductors and administrators, and organized annual national conferences.Having benefitted personally from VEQ services as a newcomer, Ellie is thrilled to join the team and become more involved in the English-speaking community.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

- Winston Churchill

Heather McRae

A native Torontonian, Heather studied at Glendon College, York University’s bilingual campus. There, she was able to study both her passions: theatre and French. After completing her degree, she moved to Quebec City to continue learning and living in a completly Francophone setting. A year and a half and many French courses later, she joined the team at VEQ and is happy to call Quebec City home.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

- Coco Chanel

Jeanne Nivischiuk

Jeanne Nivischiuk is an army brat and spent her childhood in warm foreign countries, like Panama , Venezuela and Texas before attending the Unites States Military Academy at West Point where she graduated with a degree in Spanish and Latin American Politics. She served in the U.S. army as a logistics officer for 6 years, where she deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  She did a tour in northern Afghanistan as a company commanded for a forward logistics company before leaving and joining the Vermont National Guard.

Having never seen snow before she was 18 or spoken French, she decided to tackle the last part of the western hemisphere that was foreign to her, Canada.  When she is not promoting Be Active Québec at area events or working to make children healthier and fit, she can be found discovering new activities in the Quebec City area with her husband and daughter.

Ad astra per aspera

Jessica Price

Born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Jessica is a seasoned traveller that has lived and worked across Canada as well as abroad.   With a BA in Linguistics and a diploma in Intercultural Education, Jessica is passionate about languages and supporting her community.

In 2007 Jessica moved to Québec with the goal of learning French.   She initially planned to stay only one year, but fell in love with life here and now calls Québec City her home.

Having been a newcomer on multiple occasions in different settings, Jessica has experienced the adaptation process first hand and is thrilled to be working with newcomers in Québec City’s English-speaking community.

Juanita Craig

Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Juanita first came to La Belle Province in 1996 on an AFS student exchange. Twenty years later, she became a Canadian citizen.

Her tertiary studies include a BA (Honours) in Maori language and culture and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) specialising in second language acquisition. While teaching in New Zealand, Juanita held the position of Head of Department at her old secondary school, for three years.

Her responsibilities included the development and management of the Maori department and Maori cultural group working closely with students, parents, the community, senior management and government organisations. She was also actively involved in the school and community, organising overseas trips, voluntary teaching, managing and playing in sports and cultural teams. She has also worked in England and France.

Juanita is passionate about Indigenous cultures, education, history, travelling (having travelled to more than 40 countries), music and writing.

Over the past twenty-one years, she has lived in Quebec under different capacities: a high school student, new immigrant, worker, wife and mother. Now she is proud and delighted to be working for VEQ, an organisation that has been of great assistance to her in the past.

Alexandra Hartley

Alexandra spent most of her life in Kingston, Ontario in a family of strong, intelligent women who were driven to leave their mark on the world. From an early age she enjoyed social and creative pursuits and knew she wanted to contribute in some way to the well-being of others. This strongly influenced her decision to complete a BA in Psychology and Sociology followed by an MA in Sociology in order to satiate her curiosity on the experiences of the incredible and diverse people that compose our society. Her firm belief is that everyone has a place where they belong, a role to play, and experiences to contribute, and she is committed to helping them find it.

Having been on the receiving end of VEQ’s support when she was a newcomer, she understands the positive impact the organization has in the community and is grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a great team.