October 2020 News

Green Iglu

October 6, 2020

Dear Green Iglu supporters,

2020 has been a whirlwind, to say the least, it seems the world has been turned upside down. Disruptions can be felt in every industry and in every life as rapid change forges unexpected futures. With constant change comes growth, and that’s exactly what has been happening within Green Iglu.

In late 2019, we became a registered charity and our plans to grow our impact went into overdrive, but as COVID-19 hit our organization, we had to re-strategize. Our goals have remained the same:

  1. Food security for all
  2. Cutting edge technology for local food production
  3. Tailored training to support long-term operations

However, the way that we’re going about meeting our goals has shifted. We are revamping our educational programming to reach more classrooms and communities, partnering with community representatives to implement projects in 2+ communities simultaneously, and migrating our sponsor and community communication digitally to ensure our partners are supported despite COVID-19 restrictions. 

As we embrace these changes, our team has adapted. A transformation has begun and we want to share these updates with you, our steadfast supporters.


After 7 years to the month, our co-founder, Ben Canning, is saying goodbye. As we grow and take on new challenges, it is time for Ben to forge his own path as the leader of Arctic Acres, a Green Iglu partner. It is hard to let him go, but we trust and believe that our relationship will continue to flourish, albeit from a different perspective. While his heart and passion will always remain with Green Iglu, we are excited to see Ben take on new challenges. Click here to read more about Ben’s departure. 

As Ben takes his exit, we welcome new leadership including:

Joey Jakob

Joey is the new Development Director of Green Iglu. From her diverse background in nonprofit, charity, private, and education and research sectors, she brings a unique mindset to partnerships and innovation strategy. A passionate development strategist and communicator, Joey is fascinated by the intersection of storytelling and human behaviour, so much so she got a PhD in Communication and Culture, and has produced creative work in film, radio, podcasting, standup, and storytelling events. A data and info nerd who works tirelessly to connect ideas to insights, Joey loves helping organizations and brands meet their mission and tell their stories.

Aaron Smajda

Aaron joins the team as our new Education Program Manager of Green Iglu. Aaron has been a senior science and physics teacher for fifteen years, many of which were international. He is a specialist in the integration of information and computer technology in instruction, holds multiple certifications in project-based learning, and is passionate about pedagogy and curriculum development. Recently, Aaron was a co-founder of the Ryerson Study Buddy Program, a free tutoring initiative for marginalized populations and newcomers to Canada which has provided over two-thousand hours of support to hundreds of students.


As previously announced, Green Iglu has recently expanded to Listuguj, QC with two Growing Domes that have a production and educational focus. After a smooth build that took approximately 2 weeks, the greenhouses were set up to accommodate visiting classrooms with a production layout put on hold until next Spring. Due to COVID-19, the onsite training had to be cut short, however, digital materials were provided in the meantime and greenhouse staff and volunteers quickly took to the available training. Plans to come back were requested and our team will be joining the local staff later in 2020-2021.

Currently, Green Iglu is also evaluating new expansion opportunities that would have new Growing Domes built in British Columbia, Northern Ontario, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Quebec. We are working with sector partners to sponsor community builds across Canada!

Thank you for your time and continued support of Green Iglu, we wouldn’t be here without you. To get a sneak peek at our new strategic plan, send over a message and we can talk shop.

Warm regards,

Stefany Nieto
Executive Director

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Green Iglu is a not-for-profit organization that launched in 2013 and became a registered charity in 2019. We build greenhouse infrastructure and offer remote communities tailored training that embraces culture, working towards food sovereignty in Canada. Be sure to check out our FAQ page to see if we have answered any of your questions.

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Green Iglu recognizes that our Red Deer office is situated on Treaty 7 land, the traditional territory of the Blackfoot, Tsuu T’ina and Stoney Nakoda peoples. The region also falls under Treaty 6, traditional Métis, Cree and Saulteaux territory. We are also grateful to be invited to other territories with their own jurisdictions.
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