Comox Valley Growers and Seed Savers

Our mission is to conserve and preserve our local plant diversity by encouraging and supporting public participation in growing heritage and non-hybrid food crops and other plants.

Board of Directors


Chairperson: Sylvain Alie

Sylvain grew up in Eastern Canada and spent many hours helping Mom and Dad prepare weed and harvest the family plot, his introduction to gardening. A graduate in Business Administration Sylvain worked in many fields ending his career with a decade long stint in industrial baking. Now retired, he lives on Steller Raven Farm with his spouse Royann Petrell, where they have farmed organically for the past 20 years. His passion for farming, rekindled in his early 30’s, is almost an addiction. He says “There is nothing likedirt under your fingernails to make you feel in touch with nature.“ He loves to share his passion for the land and explain how Steller Raven has provided most of their fruits and vegetables while living the “100 foot Diet“. He loves experimenting with new crops and hopes to get more people growing different plants with his continued involvement in the the Plant Sale and Seedy Saturday.

Recording Secretary: Mary Anderson

Treasurer: Matt Sutton

Directors at large:

Adam Chatburn

Yvonne Muir

Colline Sutton

Jon Toogood


Directors’ Duties

BOARD MEMBERS – make decisions on behalf of the CVGSS membership guided by the society’s constitution and bylaws. The Board members are elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting, or as needed during the year.

CHAIRPERSON – Chairs Board meetings, creates and distributes meeting agendas, and represents the organization in the community. Decisions are made by consensus. The Chair may conduct other meetings as well, including the Annual General Meeting and monthly membership meetings.

VICE CHAIR – Takes over the duties of the Chair when that person is absent and may assist the Chair when necessary.

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY – Keeps an updated list and contact information of the membership, keeping that information confidential. Forwards newsletters, membership renewals, announcements and other documents as needed.

RECORDING SECRETARY – Takes minutes of the Board meetings and sends them to the Board executive. The minutes are corrected as needed and archived for reference.

TREASURER – Keeps track of financial matters of the society, records and reports this status to the Board at regular intervals.

DIRECTOR AT LARGE -Takes on various duties as needed, such as coordinating events, writing and distributing the newsletter, or updating documents.


What does non-hybrid mean?

Plant offspring can be expected to be virtually identical to the parents. Original plant varieties must be preserved because seeds from hybrid plants do not breed true. Non-hybrid is also known as “open-pollinated”.

Why save old non-hybrid varieties and native plants?

To perpetuate our seed heritage
to maintain genetic diversity and integrity to have control over our food supply

Advantages of growing older varieties:
extended harvest season:

Greater disease and pest resistance
proven over time
adapted to fluctuating water tables and temperature extremes