The Fresh Outlook Foundation (FOF) envisions a future where people of all ages and from all sectors collaborate to make our communities healthier, happier, and more prosperous. This is possible only when people talk with one another about important community issues, challenges, and opportunities. To that end, the Fresh Outlook Foundation’s passion is “inspiring community conversation for sustainable change.”

FOF creates opportunities for those conversations to unfold at events such as the Building SustainAble Communities conference, CommUnity Innovation Lab, Fresh Dialogues, REEL CHANGE SustainAbility Film Fest, ECO-BLAST Kids’ Camp & Concert, Breakfast of Champions, Women 4 SustainAbility, and Talking DIRTy x 10,000. New to our line-up is the HEADS UP! Community Mental Health Virtual Summit and HEADS UP! Community Mental Health Podcast.


FOF was established in 2007 by communications consultant Joanne de Vries, with support from a committed group of board members and volunteers who shared her passion for building sustainable communities in British Columbia, Canada. Now a registered charity, FOF is highly acclaimed as the creator and host of innovative and interactive events, programs, and projects that enable and encourage community sustainability.

The Building SustainABLE Communities Conference and Reel Change SustainAbility Film Fest, for example, involve people from government, business, and the nonprofit and academic sectors. These events are designed to accelerate change across whole communities.

Other FOF projects aim to address particular issues or sectors. Talking DIRTy x10,000, for instance, used the award-winning documentary DIRT to promote soil ecology and conservation in the Okanagan Valley, while the Breakfast of Champions model celebrates sustainability successes in the private sector. And, the Thompson-Okanagan Climate Action Exchange showcases greenhouse gas reduction successes in communities, business, and the nonprofit and academia sectors.

Board Members

Fresh Outlook Foundation Board MemberJoanne de Vries, Founder & CEO

The foundation is the brainchild of Joanne de Vries, a communications consultant with more than 30 years experience in social marketing, risk communication, market research, and project design, development, delivery, and evaluation. She has worked closely with all levels of government throughout BC to help them educate and consult with their publics about sustainability issues, such as strategic and community planning, water and wastewater management, solid waste management, transportation demand management, and energy efficiency.

Fresh Outlook FoundationDayna Margetts, Board Member

Dayna Margetts is a high school science teacher with 18 years of classroom teaching experience and a passion for sustainability education. Since completing a Master of Science in Environmental Practice, she has come to see how important education is in working for a just and sustainable future for all beings. As a teacher, she has seen firsthand the suffering experienced by today’s youth as a result of what they see in the world. She is eager to help educators and their students thrive in the face of much instability and uncertainty, by reflecting upon the lens by which they view their world.

Fresh Outlook FoundationDavid Fehr, Board Member

David Fehr (M.Ed.) was shaped by the rich biodiversity of Panama in Central America, where he spent his formative years. Drawing inspiration from the diverse ecosystems around him, David has dedicated his life to harnessing the power of education as a catalyst for cultural transformation. He believes education is not merely about information, but rather about transformation. He does that now as founding director of the Students Without Borders Academy in Vernon, B.C., which focuses on the interconnected and globally needed fields of conservation ecology, community philanthropy, and cultural anthropology.

Fresh Outlook FoundationLily Smith, Board Member

Lily Smith grew up in Vernon, BC and lived there for most of her life. She worked as a high school teacher for 33 years and still identifies as a teacher even though she is retired. She taught a variety of subjects in her teaching career and worked as a Guidance Counsellor. She earned an M.A from San Diego State University and spent time studying in Germany and Thailand. Lily has a keen interest in environmental concerns as a result of her children making her aware of many issues and our role in being part of the solution for a better future.


Fresh Outlook FoundationGinny Scott, Board Member

Ginny Scott is the Local/Group Sales Manager for SilverStar Mountain Resort. Originally from Nova Scotia, Ginny moved to Whistler, BC in 2004 and made skiing a career. Since coming to Vernon, BC in 2018, she has evolved her role in sales to leading the SilverStar Play Forever initiative that focuses on supporting the local community and protecting the environment. The goal is to ignite conversation and partnership to best serve our community with new ideas and actions to make a difference for which our youth can be proud.