Who We Are

About the Yellowknife Community Foundation

The Yellowknife Community Foundation was formed in 1993 to provide interested individuals and organizations with a means of supporting projects in our community for the enduring future. Our vision is to be a catalyst for sharing, supportive, and connected communities. 

The Yellowknife Community Foundation is a charitable organization that inspires and enables impactful giving in Yellowknife and the NWT. We strive to align donor interests and community needs through evidence-based grant-making, fundraising, strategic investment, public education, and community relations. 

The Foundation is not dedicated to any specific area of support. In carrying out our mission to identify and address community needs, grants are made to organizations across the NWT in support of projects which: advance the welfare of the needy and alleviate human suffering and poverty: assist and promote arts and cultural activities, sport, recreation and community development; advance education; assist and advance the provision of medical services; and assist and advance other community activities or facilities of a charitable nature.

The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors of respected community leaders who are appointed by a committee of community representatives. 

Our Board

Laurie Gault


Director, Technology Service Centre – Education: Bachelor of Commerce, Queen’s University; Masters Certification in Project Management.

Laurie joined the Technology Service Centre (TSC) in January 2008 as Manager of Client Services and has fulfilled the Director’s role since January 2009. Prior to joining the GNWT, Laurie had 20 years’ experience in Information Technology and Project Management at Bell Canada. She has significant experience in systems development, project management and process development. Laurie was directly involved in leading-edge digital telecommunications and broadband solutions for residential and business customers in southern Ontario.

During her tenure at TSC, Laurie has overseen the ongoing expansion of the GNWT municipal, territorial and internet networks across the NWT, as well as the evolution of desktop, telecom and mobile technology to approximately 5000 Government, Agency and Board staff. The Division works closely with all GNWT departments to deploy and support core applications and programs for internal staff and NWT residents. The TSC has partnered on major initiatives including Devolution, Mackenzie Valley Fiber Link, the new Stanton Hospital and strategic Departmental amalgamations.


In addition to the Yellowknife Community Foundation, Laurie volunteers for many community events and enjoys exploring all that the north has to offer.

Meaghan for website

Meaghan Brackenbury


Meaghan truly believes in the power of a vibrant, resilient community connected through generosity and kindness. Needless to say, she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to this exact mission with the Yellowknife Community Foundation. 

Originally from Perth, Ontario, Meaghan graduated from Carleton University in 2020 with a Combined Honours in Journalism and Human Rights. She was instantly drawn to the North after taking a 6-week internship with local newsroom, Cabin Radio. Three years later, she’s still here – and loving every minute. 

Meaghan is now working as the community outreach coordinator for YWCA NWT, advocating on important issues in the territory such as gender-based violence, domestic abuse, and housing insecurity. It’s been an incredibly eye-opening experience, and she’s eager to continue learning and growing. 

When she’s not working, Meaghan loves to spend time reading a good book, noodling around on her guitar, and exploring the outdoors with her beloved dog, Tseni. 

Elizabeth Doyle


Liz has lived in the NWT twice, first moving to Yellowknife in 2010 as a producer for CBC and to Fort Smith as the Manager of Communications and College Relations for Aurora College, a position she left to go to law school. After law school and 4 years in  her hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Liz returned north in 2018 in her capacity as a lawyer. In Toronto, she was involved in urban community organizations, most recently as a Board of Management Member for the City of Toronto’s Ralph Thornton Community Centre. She looks forward to making new connections in Yellowknife and contributing to the Foundation’s role in the community.


Paul Gillard

Vice Chair

Paul has spent his entire career, spanning thirty years, in Telecommunications. The last nineteen have been spent in the North with Northwestel.

His career path has included stops in a broad range of functions. These include Customer Service, Finance, Marketing, Sales, Partnerships & Acquisitions, Project Management, Field Operations, Outside Plant Construction and Governmental Relations. 

In his time in the North, Paul has managed Northwestel’s relationships with its largest customers and been part of Northwestel’s largest projects. 

Located in Yellowknife, Paul is an active participant in the local community. 

Paul is currently a board member of the United Way NWT, just completed 7 years on the board of the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation (two as Chair) and is a past Director of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce. 


Lana de Bastiani


Lana was born and raised in Yellowknife. Lana has a degree in Psychology from Trent University and a Masters in Education from the University of Northern British Columbia. Before joining the Yellowknife Community Foundation board, Lana served as the Director of Youth and Alumni with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. Lana was the 2014 recipient of the Lilly Borges-Oldham Language Scholarship and looks forward to giving back to the next generation of students. In her spare time, Lana enjoys spending time camping, going on adventures with her dog and is a best-selling northern children’s book author. 


Marta Moir


Originally from Ontario, Marta moved to Yellowknife in 1991. She is married and has two adult children who were born and raised in Yellowknife. 

Educated in Ontario in Computer Science and Systems Development, her 35 year career with various private and public organizations has provided her with a variety of experiences in the Information Technology and Information Management field. During her career, she held management and leadership positions in a variety of sectors and attained certifications in Change Management and Project Management. Prior to retiring in 2020, she was the Director of Informatics and Health Technology with the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority.

Marta enjoys the outdoors, travelling and she is a competitive curler. In her spare time she volunteers for various local groups and is delighted to join the Yellowknife Community Foundation and its work to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Yellowknife. 

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Stephen Dunbar


Stephen is a born and raised Yellowknife. A graduate of Trent and Carleton University, Stephen is currently serving as currently serving as the Chief Electoral Officer of the Northwest Territories. Prior to this appointment, he worked for over ten years at the Legislative Assembly, as an advisor to a Premier, three Ministers, and Director of Research and Committee Advisory Services. 

Outside work, Stephen is busy raising two children with his partner, and an active coach at the Yellowknife Ski Club, and with Team NWT at many Arctic Winter Games and Canada Winter Games.  


Sara Brown


Raised in Yellowknife, Sara started out in construction and consulting working with communities as clients. Sara took her first job as a Municipal Engineer and then Town Manager in Iqaluit over 25 years ago. Sara has dealt with the varied issues facing various communities as Senior Administrative Officer, Manager of Engineering, Director of Public Works and By-law. 

Sara is now Chief Executive Officer of the Northwest Territories Association of Communities and is enjoying on the issues that are important to NWT communities and working to assist them as much as possible. On a professional level, Sara has been volunteering with the development of numerous northern infrastructure standards and on various committees of NAPEG. 

Sara has been involved with various board such as the Yellowknife International Airshow and the Old Townglass Works since returning back to Yellowknife as well as assisting the Alzheimer’s Society. 


Robin Greig

Past Chair

Born in Hamilton Ontario and educated in London Ontario (Fanshawe College), Robin is a long-term resident of Yellowknife moving here in 1978 to work for Stanton Yellowknife Hospital in the Medical Laboratory. He has been married for over 34 years to Colleen and together they have raised two adult sons.

Professionally, Robin has worked all his career with the Stanton Territorial Health Authority. He started as a Medical Laboratory Technologist and later became the Manager of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services.  During this time Robin served as a Director at large on the Canadian Society of Transfusion Medicine board.

Robin retired after 34 years in the fall of 2012 from the Stanton Territorial Health Authority from the position of Director of Operations. 

Robin has been actively involved for over 25 years in short speed skating at the local, territorial, national and international level. He has served terms on both the Yellowknife Speed Skating Club as the Coach Coordinator and the NWT Amateur Speed Skating Association as the Coach/Officials Coordinator. Robin currently is a certified Level 2 coach and Level 3 Referee. 


Robin enjoys playing hockey, snowshoeing, cycling, fishing and gardening.


Jason Snaggs


Jason moves to Yellowknife in 2014. An Industrial Engineer by profession with over 25 years, Jason has worked in Asia, Europe, New Zealand and North America, in mining, manufacturing and engineering consulting. Jason is currently the CEO at the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. He enjoys travelling with his family and volunteering.

Our Staff & Volunteers

Sophie Kirby

Executive Director

Sophie moved to the Northwest Territories in 2016, first living in Fort Liard and then eventually moving to Yellowknife in 2018. Sophie is a graduate from the University of Saskatchewan and UiT the Arctic University of Norway with a Joint Master of Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas. Her Masters thesis was focused on analysing funder-grantee relationships in the Northwest Territories. 

Before becoming Executive Director in 2021, she worked as the Youth Resiliency Program Coordinator for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut Division. Sophie loves to be outside, spending time with family and friends and discovering different parts of Canada’s North!


Alexander Weir

Administration and Grants Coordinator

Alexander was born and raised in Yellowknife. He studied Linguistics at Concordia University, has a certification in web development, and is working to become a second-year apprentice electrician. He has released three hyperpop albums under the name lilamancy, available now on all major music platforms. Alexander loves the quiet nature of life in the North and the close friendships it fosters. 

Check out Alexander’s 2022 performance at Folk on the Rocks! 


Alexander Legaree


Yellowknifer turned Sydneysider (that’s the term for someone who lives in Sydney, Australia), Alexander has been the Foundation’s go-to digital volunteer since 1999.

If you have any questions about the website or our digital communications channels, please drop Alexander an email.

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Our quarterly newsletter shares highlights from our community involvement, ways you can get involved with the Foundation and when our grants and scholarships are open for application. Subscribe today (don’t worry, we won’t share your email with anyone and you can remove yourself at any time)!