About

What We Do

Pinnguaq Association, a not-for-profit organization, incorporates STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) into unique learning applications that promote storytelling, health, wellness and growth with rural and remote communities. At its core, Pinnguaq embraces diversity and creates opportunities in order to empower all people.

Our Staff

Brandon Bunnie

3D Artist

Brandon is a 3D artist and game designer. He builds and textures 3D objects for game environments as well as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality experiences. He dabbles in computer programming for game mechanics and is well versed in the Unity and Unreal engines. Brandon graduated from the 3D Game Art program at Centennial College and holds a degree in Graphic Design from George Brown College.

Hailey Bennett

Program Admin

Hailey provides company-wide administrative support. Specifically, she manages the Computers For Success Nunavut program and assists in the lesson development for te(a)ch. Hailey also creates content and manages Pinnguaq’s social media accounts. Professionally, Hailey is interested in furthering her understanding of mental health and care. Her interests include biking, music, and all animals.

Maria Alejandrina Coates

Development Manager

Maria coordinates partnerships that support Pinnguaq’s programs. She liaises with key stakeholders, funders, and investors to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization and its initiatives. Maria has a long history of working with non-profit media and arts-based organizations. She holds a Master of Arts in Art History and Curatorial Studies from York University.

Jennie Cross

Curriculum Developer

Jennie is the Curriculum Developer for te(a)ch. She provides holistic leadership for the design of each lesson in the program. Jennie is a graduate of OISE, University of Toronto, with a Masters of Education and has over 16 years developing education programmes and resources for organizations such as the Toronto International Film Festival and ArtsCan Circle.

Emily Canfield

Graphic Designer

As Graphic Designer, Emily is involved in the branding of multiple company and client projects. Emily holds diplomas in Web Design and Public Relations from Durham College. She has a wide range of professional industry experience, having previously worked as a designer in agency and corporate settings.

Gail Hodder

Iqaluit Makerspace Manager

Gail graduated with her BFA from NSCAD. She moved to the North soon after, where she would spend the next five years immersed in Inuit art and culture. With several more years raising two computer geeks, organizing education for an art gallery and periodically running her own business, she moved said geeks and the rest of the famjam, including pets, to Iqaluit where all are enjoying life in the Arctic. Interests; photography, digital media, social media, anything art, atv adventures.

Ryan Oliver

Director

Ryan is the Founder of Pinnguaq. His experience includes eight years in the Economic Development and Transportation Department in Nunavut and six years as the Executive Director of Pinnguaq. He has conceptualized and delivered the te(a)ch program since its inception and has a solid portfolio of business and community relationships in Nunavut that support the project.

Ian MacLean

2D Artist

Ian is a Jewish artist of West Indian descent. He is passionate about all forms of art, but has a particular interest in “purist” pixel art, pen & ink, and watercolours. An honours graduate of the Illustration programme at the Ontario College of Art & Design, he has worked primarily in the video game and role-playing game industries.

Alyssa Amell

Digital Artist

Alyssa is a Digital Artist at Pinnguaq. With 3D modeling, texturing, concept art, and animating skills she develops video games alongside the great artists at Pinnguaq. Alyssa also develops curriculum about 3D modeling and how to use freeware art programs. Her hobbies include watching and playing video games, creating art, and learning new skills.

Trevor Hutchinson

Bookkeeper

Trevor is Pinnguaq’s Bookkeeper and Financial Guru. He also works as the contributing editor and writer-at-large for The Lindsay Advocate, and is a volunteer for Kawartha Lakes Food Source. He has previous experience as the Financial Manager of the Ontario Federation of Students and is the former Associate Publisher of This Magazine.

Talia Metuq

Curriculum Developer

Talia Metuq was one of the first students in the te(a)ch program, back when it was still called just Code Club. Talia went from te(a)ch, to the Vancouver College of Art and Design in BC, and has been with Pinnguaq now for three years. Talia helps develop curriculum, leads te(a)ch sessions, and is a developer on all major Pinnguaq projects.

Reagan Mcfadden

Web Developer

Reagan is a creative problem solver who aspires to work on projects that make the web a much more informative and vibrant place. As Web Developer, he is involved in video game development, server & database administration, creating tools & configuring tooling, developing websites & mobile apps, and mentoring. He holds a degree in Internet Applications from Fleming College.

Mac Pavia

Makerspace Educator

Mac is our youngest staff; as our techy Intern. Although born in Alberta, Mac has lived all over the country and now resides in Iqaluit, Nunavut where he is loving every second of it. He is currently attending Inuksuk High School. His interests includes 3D printing, robotics, HTML and a new VR Beat Saber addiction.

Amoudla Kootoo

Makerspace Educator

Amoudla was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She graduated from the Computer Systems Tech Program at the Nunavut Arctic College and has an extensive background of working with computers. Her interests include travelling, food, and hiking.

Michelle Jilesen

Education Facilitator

Michelle is a te(a)ch Facilitator who delivers and develops curriculum for Northern Ontario and Nunavut. She has taught children from ages 4-18. Michelle is a graduate from the Concurrent Education program at UOIT with a focus in Mathematics and Science. She loves camping and being outdoors. Michelle enjoys finding creative ways to incorporate technology like Scratch and Robotics into lessons. One of her passions is to inspire girls to be interested in math, science, and technology.

Tobi Ogunnowo

Administrative Finance Officer

Tobi Provides support for the Finance Department. A previous banker and a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants UK (ACCA). She holds a master degree in Business Administration from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. She is in the process of obtaining her membership with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA). She contributes to managing the books of Pinnguaq. Tobi loves traveling and meeting people.

Taya Sharman

Marketing

Bio coming soon.

Brandon Ellery

Web Developer

Brandon is a full-stack web developer at Pinnguaq working primarily on web and mobile apps. He began developing websites in the sixth grade and his passion for technology has only grown since. Lifelong interest in the psychology of learning and the potential of artificial intelligence led him to a double major in Computer and Cognitive Science at the University of Toronto. Now he looks to leverage these passions to create impactful apps and games to further Pinnguaq’s mission of empowerment.

Nathan Gardiner

Nate oversees the delivery of our te(a)ch program in the communities that Pinnguaq partners with. A recent graduate of the Trent BEd program and holder of an HBA and MA, he has focused his academic background on early Canadian history and reconciliation. Coming from a strong background in education he has taught in various communities across Canada and in a village in Tamil Nadu, India. A lifelong learner, he always looks forward to learning alongside his students and peers.

Kita

Office Dog

Kita is a retired sled dog who joins the team from the Halliburton Forest Wolf Centre (www.haliburtonforest.com). In retirement she spends her days guarding the Pinnguaq Lindsay office space, chewing on bones, and demanding walks along the beautiful Scugog River. So far all of her project ideas have been politely rejected.

Contributors

Contributors are people who work with us on a part time basis, on contract or as partners in the work we do.

Chelsea Singoorie

Community Coordinator

Chelsea Singoorie is the Community Coordinator based out of Iqaluit. She liaises and consults with community leaders to implement the te(a)ch curriculum in Nunavut. She has extensive experience with the private airline industry, economic development, and with contracting and procurement related to Designated Inuit Firms.

Michael Pewatualuk

Education Facilitator

Michael Pewatualuk is from Pond Inlet, Nunavut and has completed two years of the Nunavut Sivuniksavut college program. He enjoys composing music and dabbles in many instruments including guitar, bass, drums, and piano. He will be attending Carleton University in the fall. Michael joins Pinnguaq as a te(a)ch Facilitator, delivering the joy of computer coding and game design to kids around Nunavut.

Kim Smith

Videographer

Kim leads the video department and is responsible for any and all video recording and video editing associated with the company. Her interests include wildlife videography / photography and survival / crafting / building video games. She has BA with honours in Film from Brock University, an education from Sheridan College in Advanced Film, and is currently a Fleming College student in Outdoor Adventure skills to further pursue wildlife video / photography in a professional guiding setting.

Leah Jackett

Software Developer

Leah is a Software Developer at Pinnguaq, supporting ongoing projects where necessary. She is a Durham College graduate with an advanced diploma in Game Development. She has worked on multiple software projects including two video game prototypes and one source engine game. She has extensive computer and software knowledge and is also talented in art. Ultimately she aspires to become a biologist with a focus in oceanography, conservation, and animal behaviour.

Jaime Fortin

Education Facilitator

Jaime is a te(a)ch Facilitator who will be delivering the te(a)ch curriculum to communities in the Mushkegowuk region, as well as in Nunavut. She has previous experience working with youth of various ages both on and off reserves. Jaime is from Chapleau Cree First Nation but attends Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario during the school year. She is currently working towards a degree in Indigenous Studies and Gender Studies, with an emphasis in Law and Policy.

Sim Knickelbein

Education Facilitator

Bio coming soon.

Shanese Steele

Education Facilitator

Bio coming soon.

Awards

Best Social Enterprise 2017

Startup Canada Awards • North

Best Social Enterprise 2017

Startup Canada Awards • Canada Wide

Artic Inspiration Prize 2016

Artic Inspiration Prize