Who we are

About BFO Ottawa

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

Today our expert facilitators run about 120 peer support groups each year, attended by more than 2000 participants. We help and support people in our community who are dealing with grief that stems from many different types of losses:

  • loss of child
  • loss of spouse
  • loss of parent, relative, sibling or friend
  • for youth (grades 7-12)
  • for francophones 
  • by suicide
  • by substance use 
  • perinatal loss 


We are a volunteer-run organization made up of people in Ottawa who have each experienced our own grief, and who have decided to share our courage and knowledge with others. 

Expert Facilitators

Our trained facilitators have experienced their own losses. They offer peer support through our different weekly and monthly support and share programs throughout the year.  


We are growing as an organization, as more people continue to seek out our support  and as more people participate in our memorial events. 

Our Team

Jane Davey

Jane has been involved with BFO Ottawa since 2004 following the death of her daughter Emily. She now pays it forward through helping others. She is a grief support facilitator, and was previously program director and a Board member. 

Jane retired as a financial analyst after spending her career at Calian and The Ottawa MacDonald Cartier International Airport Authority.

Nicole Frenette
Office Manager

Nicole became our full-time office manager in February 2021.  Nicole is a fully bilingual, experienced administrative professional who has a strong organizational, communications and computer skills and experience. She has previously worked for the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, Bruyère Continuing Care and the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre, among other positions. She manages administrative projects to support our programs and Board priorities.

Julie Ann
Julie Ann Levett
Program Manager

Julie Ann became program manager in February 2021, working three days a week. Fully bilingual, Julie Ann is committed to providing grief and bereavement support in an atmosphere of safety, dignity and respect. With a background in ministry, funeral and cemetery services, she is a Masters candidate in theological studies at St. Paul’s University. Julie Ann is responsible for managing and improving our programs in both English and French. 

Elaine Dean
Chair, Board of Directors

Elaine joined our Board in May 2019 and became Chair in February 2021. She is committed to improving the long-term health and organizational capacity of BFO Ottawa. She is a business consultant, who previously held senior management positions in communications and marketing.  Elaine volunteers her time in memory of her son Christopher Dean Moran, who she holds close in her heart. 

Sean O'Brien
Board of Directors

Sean is BFO Ottawa’s Treasurer. Recently retired from a successful career with Bell, Sean joined the BFO Ottawa board in May 2019 to support the organization that helped his family heal after the loss of their 20-year-old son in 2014.  

Michel Desloges
Board of Directors

Michel is a retired diplomat with 35 years service at Global Affairs Canada. He joined our Board in the summer of 2020 and in currently looking after Human Resources. Michel previously participated in one of BFO Ottawa’s closed groups after the loss of his  daughter Annemarie in a terrorist attack. 

Doug Cargo
Board of Directors

Doug has been with BFO Ottawa since he lost his wife to liver cancer in 2004: first as a participant and then as a facilitator. He joined the Board of Directors in 2010 and has held various positions on the Board since then. Today he coordinates liaison with BFO’s Provincial office and provides guidance to other Board members.  Doug retired from the Canadian Forces after a 37-year career. He happily remarried in 2013. 

Micheline Lepage
Board of Directors

Micheline retired from a career in information technology in 2019. She  joined our Board in January 2021 to look after Sponsorships. Micheline held positions with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), among other companies. 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. 

Daniel Read
Board of Directors

Daniel has been involved with BFO Ottawa since 2018 following the loss of his father. He is a trained facilitator who supports youth, children and adults. Daniel joined our Board in July 2020 and currently looks after Marketing Communications. He has been involved in various community initiatives over the past few years, advocating for individuals with disabilities as well as underserved populations.  

Erika Wagner
Board of Directors

Erika is a trained event planner and fundraiser. Her career is in the non-profit industry. She has assisted BFO Ottawa with its annual events since 2015, and joined our Board in January 2021 to look after Fundraising. Erika is dedicated to continuing the programming BFO Ottawa provides for the community.

We are extremely grateful to our many volunteers

BFO Ottawa is made up of a community of people who have been brought together by loss and love. 

Our Volunteers

Clodelle Abdo

Manii Aponte

Greg Atkinson

Dina Bell-Laroche 

Jan Casselman

Susan Clarke 

Cathy Crepin

Gail Christy

Anne DeButte

Carl Dowsett

Barb Duncan

Kathryn Dunlop

Karen Gardner 

Lisa Glavin

Linda Goldberg

Kathryn Harper

Barb Hayduk

Mary Ellen Henniger

Rita Jackson

Lynne Lajoie

Lorraine Lefebvre

Sue Lefebvre 


Allene Lewis 

Tara McMaster

Barrie Marfleet

Mary McQuillan 

Samantha Medaglia

Paula Naponse

Catherine Paris

Nathalie Pickell

Andrea Purcell

Marion Rattray 

Rebecca Ross 

Jadzia Romaniec

Hilda Sabadash

Vanessa Scott

Donna Sharkey 

Randy Sorenson

Andrea Steinwand

Christine Tomlinson 

Cathy Trebinskie

Donna Troop 

Joey Ward

Lisa Vadeboncœur 

Our Friends

About Bereaved Families of Ontario

BFO Ottawa is part of a provincial network of local charities that make up Bereaved Families of Ontario. 


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