Our Team


Jason Hannan is Associate Professor in the Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications at the University of Winnipeg, where he teaches a fun course called, “The Rhetoric of Animality.”  He is currently writing a book entitled, Voices of the Voiceless: Speaking for Animals and Nature, which looks at the legacies of Rachel Carson, Jane Goodall, Sylvia Earle, and Carol J. Adams.  He is also putting together a volume of essays entitled, Meatsplaining: The Rhetoric of Denial, which looks at the propaganda of the meat industry.  He is thrilled about Winnipeg’s first-ever VegFest.


    Jonas is the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association’s liaison on the Winnipeg Humane Society’s board of directors, and a member of the Society’s Farm Animal Compassion Committee. He works as a small animal Veterinarian in the city of Winnipeg. He has a strong interest in animal welfare and strives to do all that he can, personally and professionally, to stand up for both domestic farmed and companion animals, and wildlife. To Jonas, Winnipeg’s first ever VegFest is a unique opportunity for its citizens to celebrate the growing humane movement and engage in dialogue with, and learn from, the leading voices in the world of animal advocacy.


      Randy Tonnellier has been a volunteer at the Winnipeg Humane Society for over 10 years. He is currently the Treasurer of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Farm Animal Compassion Committee (FACC). FACC consists of approximately 20 dedicated volunteers who seek to make the world a kinder place for farm animals through advocacy and public education.  Randy is excited about VegFest because it’s an opportunity for Winnipeggers from all walks of life to come together, learn and have a good time.


        Brittany is a Veterinary Technologist with a passion for enhancing animal welfare. Through the years, her work has taken her across the globe and has enabled her to gain invaluable experience with a variety of animal welfare issues. She has a special place in her heart for farm animals and understands the necessity of living a cruelty-free lifestyle. She is incredibly excited to be helping plan Winnipeg’s very first VegFest. VegFest is important to Brittany because it showcases the various ways in which one can pursue a cruelty-free lifestyle, while educating consumers on the impact that their choices have.


          Vanessa has been very fortunate to have been surrounded by animals her entire life. This love for animals comes from her parents who somehow allowed she and her sisters to have pretty much every pet you can think of, including two pot belly pigs. Although she grew up in the city, she spent a large part of her teen years on a farm with her beloved horse, Posh. Since graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor’s of Nursing, her job involves caring for human animals. The majority of her time is spent with her beloved dogs, Max and Fig, who she adores beyond words.


            Ellie is very much a nature lover. She is passionate about the environment, animals and animal justice issues. She is also an avid concert goer who enjoys classical, jazz and heavy metal. Ellie likes to spend her free time watching documentaries, reading or walking in nature and she has recently become part of the zero-waste movement. VegFest is important to her because she understands that veganism is one of the most significant justice movements of our time. She is excited to be working with a great team to bring education, resources and entertainment about veganism and animal justice to the public with VegFest.

              LYNN MURPHY

              Lynn Murphy is a strong voice in the local vegan community.  She is a passionate animal rights activist, nutritionist and vegan coach with a BA in Sociology from the University of Winnipeg and an eCornell certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Centre for Nutrition Studies.  Lynn is excited about VegFest because she believes that education is key and that a plant-based diet will become the norm in the not-too-distant future in order to save our planet for future generations.


                MELISSA SERBIN

                Melissa is a lawyer and a sessional professor at the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law. Classed as property, animals have no legal voice, so she advocates for improving the welfare of animals through education and the law. Melissa also works to develop awareness of animal suffering among the legal profession and the general public. She believes that each of us is capable of transforming society in monumental ways and a shift towards a plant based lifestyle helps combat world hunger and the impacts of climate change, while promoting the humane treatment of animals. Melissa is thrilled to be part of the VegFest team.


                  Adriana-Stefania Ciupeanu

                   Adriana is a graduate student in Mathematics at University of Manitoba. She has a BSc(Hons) in Mathematics from Oxford Brookes University in United Kingdom, in her free time she enjoys going to museums, reading or walking in nature. Recently she has discovered the vegan lifestyle and understood the impact this has on the environment and on our health. Adriana is excited about Winnipeg’s first ever VegFest because it is a unique opportunity to spread compassion and educate people on the effect that their choices have, and to witness all the vegans and non-vegans fill a space together enjoying, learning, and sharing positive ideas and a healthy ways of living.



                    Caitlin plays a heavy role in the local handmade community, and enjoys event planning – the social media aspect in particular. She is passionate about plant base cooking and supporting local markets and brick and mortar shops. While her day-job includes Purchasing and Vendor Relations, she devotes the majority of her evenings to her labour of love “Real Swanky”, creating hand embroidered wall art with ethically sourced materials. She has a strong interest in keeping a carbon footprint and support local as often as she is able. To Caitlin, Winnipeg’s VegFest is a huge opportunity to get to know the ever-growing local vegan community and share a snicker at her table of hand-embroidered goods, which are perfectly salty, snarky and made with heaps of care.

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