About Bereaved Families of Ontario – Ottawa Region

Heal From Within Our Mission

We inspire hope and healing for people in the Ottawa Region grieving the loss of a loved one

Our Values

Empathy | Patience | Kindness | Compassion | Courage | Companionship | Self-Care

"Our ongoing commitment to all those involved with BFO Ottawa is to listen and learn and then lead through our actions in order to build and support an organization that is diverse, equitable and inclusive for all".

BFO Ottawa
BFO Ottawa volunteers accept the Mayor of Ottawa's Community Builder Award in 2019


We have been operating in Ottawa since 1978 when two mothers came together through a common experience of losing a child.

We are part of a provincial network : Bereaved Families of Ontario.

Our Wonderful Office Staff

BFO Ottawa


Program Manager & Bookkeeper


Jane has been involved with BFO Ottawa since 2004 following the death of her daughter Emily. She is a grief support facilitator, Program Manager and a previous Board member. Jane retired as a financial analyst after spending her career at Calian and The Ottawa MacDonald Cartier International Airport Authority.

Monique Strathern

Office Manager

Monique Strathern joined the BFO Ottawa staff in 2023. She brings to BFO Ottawa a background in training, business development, event planning, finance and working with volunteers. She is a retired Chartered Professional Accountant, a business owner and is involved in the local business networking community. After losing her best friend tragically, Monique turned to BFO Ottawa for support. Later, she chose to give back to BFO by volunteering as a grief and bereavement facilitator. Monique enjoys camping, backpacking, and hiking with her family.


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Shalyn Isaacs

Contractor: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager

Shalyn Isaacs joined BFO Ottawa as a Program Manager for the Diversity Outreach Program in September 2023. She holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of Toronto and has previous experience working as a Psychotherapist in private practice, as well as in other research and DEI-related roles. Her experience with grief stems from loss of family members. This has brought her to appreciate the community support that BFO Ottawa offers to those seeking compassionate understanding along their grief and bereavement journey.



Our Dedicated Board of Directors

Our Dedicated Board of Directors

Micheline Lepage

Board Chair

Micheline joined our Board in January 2021. She held positions with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), among other companies. Micheline retired from a career in information technology in 2019. She participated in BFO Ottawa's programs after the loss of her son Bruce to cancer in 2014. She is a trained facilitator who supports others who have lost a child.

BFO Ottawa

Scott Robertson


Scot Robertson joined the Board as treasurer in the fall of 2023. He owns Tasman Financial Services, an advice-only financial service. He has been a volunteer for many organizations over the years, including the Queensway Carleton Hospital, The Children's Aid Foundation of Ottawa, and the Institute of Advanced Financial Planners. He lost his daughter in 1998 and benefited greatly from the services of BFO. A constant cyclist and skier, he keeps active all year long, when he is not playing with his grandkids.

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Lisa Vadeboncoeur


Lisa joined the board in September 2023. She is an experienced grief peer support group facilitator with BFO Ottawa and has many years of work experience providing administrative and program support in the public health care industry. Lisa is grateful to the support that she received from BFO Ottawa after the loss of her only sister Nicole in 2015. She is very keen in finding meaning in everything she does.

Barrie Marfleet

Director, Provincial Representative and Fundraising

Barrie joined the Board in September 2023. He is currently retired and a now resident of Stittsville (Ottawa). Before retirement, he was the COO and Ontario President for the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) and prior to that, he was the Senior Business Development Manager for Ajilon Consulting. Barrie is an active sailor and boating enthusiast. He enjoys playing the piano and the accordion and entertaining seniors. He also enjoys creative cooking.

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Stéphanie Fragman

Director Fundraising

Stéphanie joined the BFO Ottawa Board in March 2022, bringing with her over 20 years experience in the non-profit sector.  Since 2014, she has been the Director of family services at the Vanier Community Services Centre in Ottawa overseeing a wide range of children, youth, and family programs. She is fully bilingual and has lived experience with bereavement having lost her spouse in 2001.

Tracy Halliday


Tracy joined the board in September 2023. Her career spanned over 20 years in the social service sector, working with a wide range of mental health and behavioural issues with children, youth, and their families. Tracy brings to the board her understanding of people and the importance of wellness from her current role as a human resource professional. In 2015, Tracy lost her oldest son to suicide. This loss, and navigating her own grief has driven her commitment to supporting others who are struggling with the loss of a loved one. 

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Samantha Thompson

Samantha Thompson

Director Communications

Samantha joined the board in February of 2024, bringing deep expertise in public affairs and strategic communications in health care, honed through her work supporting various health organizations and wellness charities. She has worked across a broad range of industries as a strategic communications and government relations consultant. Samantha's personal experience with grief and loss, coupled with her active involvement in the community, underscores her dedication to supporting BFO’s mandate and those grappling with similar challenges.