Who We Are

Host Organization
Live & Learn is a program of the nonprofit organization the One Straw Society (www.onestraw.ca).  One Straw has deep roots on the Sunshine Coast, with over 15 years of galvanizing the community for local food, from Seedy Saturday to Edible Garden Tours.  Find out more about One Straw on their website.

Live & Learn Program Coordinators

Justin FrenchJustin French and Kim Wilkinson

Justin French derives his love of nature from his childhood exploring the forests and marshlands of his native Ontario. From an early age he learned to track animals and identify plants. His thirst for adventure led him to the Sunshine coast in 1998 where he explored the mountains and waterways equipped with only a canoe and provisions and living in a hand built shelter. In 2005 Justin began studying the arts of food preservation and wild-crafting from the Sechelt native elder Barbara Higgins. Justin and Barbara spend their time together gathering in the mountains and preserving foods and medicines for their families and the community. After becoming one of the first mentors in the Live & Learn Program, Justin now enthusiastically shares his knowledge in lectures and workshops as well as creating delicious food products with the fruits of his forage.  He enjoys helping others learn to share their skills by becoming Mentors too! He has been the program administrator for the last 3 years and is working hard to capture our L&L model on paper and begin to incorporate other communities within it.

Kim Wilkinson

Kim Wilkinson

Kim Wilkinson is a social ecologist and writer. She specializes in land restoration training to bring back native and traditional trees and human connections to them. Before coming to BC and the Sunshine Coast, she worked in Hawaii applying traditional Polynesian agroforestry practices to sustainable farm and forestry planning.  She’s certified in permaculture, has a master’s degree in environmental management, practices wilderness living skills, and loves to learn locally adapted know-how from Live & Learn mentors!

Live and Learn Program Founders

Robin Wheeler

Robin Wheeler, Xwu’p’a’lich Barb Higgins, & Kim Wilkinson

Robin Wheeler a beloved writer, farmer, food policy activist and long time resident of the Sunshine Coast. Robin passed away in Feb 2012. She was the founder of the One Straw Society and the Sustainable Living Arts School and taught a variety of classes on her property in Roberts Creek. Live & Learn was Robin’s vision to create a culture of learning and sharing for all.

Barb Higgins


Xwu’p’a’lich Barb Higgins is a valued elder of the Sechelt (shíshálh) First Nation.  As a community leader, Barb helps teach community and life lessons, one method being through the traditional way of the canoe journey. She offers workshops and activities in food harvesting, preparing and processing, as well as traditional skills in the use of natural resources for sustainable living.

Kim Wilkinson – see bio above.

What Learners are Saying about Live & Learn
“Great stuff, keep it up!”
“Thank you again & again & again.”
“Good to see all the local knowledge tapped in these areas.”
“Please continue this valuable work.”