About FOXY

Who We Are

FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) is a revolutionary way of working with young women and gender diverse youth to promote mental and sexual health and healthy relationships. Facilitators strive to pass on practical tools designed to aid youth in making decisions that are right for them, even in the most difficult situations.

FOXY uses traditional beading, theatre, digital storytelling, photography, and music to help young women express their knowledge, opinions, and questions in a supportive and creative environment. With a strong focus on sexual health and empowered decision-making, participants across the North get to understand their own cues and build knowledge through engaging, arts based activities.

Since January 2012, FOXY has reached over 3000 youth in more than 35 NWT, Nunavut, and Yukon communities through over 275 workshops and 8 Peer Leader Retreats that have brought together over 200 Northern and Indigenous young FOXY Peer Leaders.

FOXY’s mission is to use the arts to enhance the education, health, and well-being of Northern and Indigenous youth. FOXY’s vision for the coming five years is to be trauma informed in content and practice.  We strive to provide quality sexual health education for youth of all genders, sexualities, and cultures in Northern rural and remote communities that is grounded in wholistic approaches, evidence-based practices, and reciprocal and experiential ways of learning across generations. FOXY intends to accomplish its’ vision through five goals:

1. Integrated, wholistic sexual and mental health programming.

2. Expanded and accessible programming inclusive of gender, sexuality, culture, and rural/remote location.

3. High quality, comprehensive research plan as evidence for programming, long-term/core funding, and organizational sustainability.

4. Rooted and functional organizational systems.

5. Trauma informed content and approaches.

For more information, check out our Community Reach and the Frequently Asked Questions.  For programming for young men and gender diverse youth, see our parallel program SMASH (Strength, Masculinities, and Sexual Health).

How is FOXY Research?

FOXY is a participatory action research project, which means youth are involved with all aspects of the project, from its development to implementation and evaluation. The research component of FOXY looks at the effectiveness of FOXY for empowering NWT youth and educating about sexual health issues in the North. Please contact the Executive Director, Candice Lys, for more information about the research component of FOXY!

Our Team

Candice Lys, Executive Director

Dr. Candice Lys grew up in Fort Smith, NWT in a very large Métis family, and has lived all over the world, including a brief stint on a ship in the Pacific Ocean. Candice has her Master’s Degree in Health Promotion and holds a PhD in Public Health Science. She is a Research Associate with the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research in Yellowknife, an Ashoka Canada Fellow, and a gardening enthusiast.


Kayley Inuksuk Mackay, Project Coordinator

Kayley Inuksuk Mackay is a photographer, film maker, and traditional Inuit style throat singer born and raised in Yellowknife, NWT with roots in Nunavut’s Kivalliq Region.  Kayley grew up both on the land and in the city.  The presence of such diverse extremes in her upbringing cultivated a unique aesthetic that shows through in her art.  Her passion for art collides with her heart for northern youth in the work she does with FOXY and SMASH.  The vision that inspires her most is to see more indigenous representation across all disciplines.

Nancy MacNeill, Program Facilitator

Nancy MacNeill was born in Iqaluit and has lived in Yellowknife since she was a kid. She received her BA from the University of Lethbridge before starting a local non-profit women’s group called the Northern V Network, and working with Victim Services, the Foster Family Coalition, and Theatre on the Lake. Nancy is a history nerd who enjoys knitting, homemade salsa, and live music.


Brianna Shae, Peer Leader

Brianna Shae is from Norman Wells, NWT and has recently completed grade 12 in Fort Smith. She joined the FOXY team after successfully completing two Peer Leader Retreats, and now travels across the North facilitating workshops as an important part of the FOXY team. In her spare time, Brianna likes being outdoors and Snap Chatting.


Pyper Rehm, Peer Leader

Pyper Rehm was born in Saskatchewan but was raised and lives in Fort Smith, NWT. She joined the FOXY team after successfully completing the first FOXY Peer Leader Retreat and then another Retreat a couple years later. She now travels around the North helping with FOXY workshops while being super-duper fabulous. In her spare time, she loves eating cookies, fangirling, and reading.


Kleo Skavinski, Peer Leader

Kleo Skavinski was born in Fort Nelson, British Columbia. She spent her elementary school years in various schools in Alberta, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories. She currently resides in Hay River, NWT and has worked for FOXY since October 2016. Kleo enjoys learning to play the fiddle, working at her local library, and going on adventures to meet new people. Kleo enjoys long boarding in the summer, playing the fiddle and sports like basketball and volleyball.

Kiera Boulanger-Rowe, Peer Leader

Kiera Boulanger-Rowe attended the 2016 Peer Leader Retreat where she was affectionately referred to as “Mama Kiera.”  Very soon after she was snaffled up by FOXY to be part of the team that travels in to communities to deliver workshops.  She currently resides in Hay River, NWT and is a grade 12 student at École Boréale.  She intends to pursue her francophone education by going to the U of A French campus; Campus St. Jean. Kiera is a very motivated individual who occupies a number of leadership roles in her community and on a national level including her involvement in the Francophone Association of Hay River and the FJCF federation of young French Canadians. When Kiera isn’t traveling she dedicates her time to her studies, volleyball, and soccer, but mostly Netflix.

Delaney Beaton, Peer Leader

Delaney Beaton was born in Sydney, Cape Breton and moved to Yellowknife when she was three. She joined FOXY when she completed the first FOXY Retreat and then another Retreat a few years later. She now works for FOXY as a Community Peer Leader who helps girls with their community projects. In her spare time, Delaney enjoys reading and playing with her dog and cat.


Makenzie Zouboules, Peer Leader

Makenzie Zouboules debuted in the 2012 Northern V Network Play “The Monologues,” shortly after becoming the very first FOXY Peer Leader. This graduate of Yellowknife’s Sir John Franklin High School has played everything from a vengeful lion to a creepy prom date, and is now attending the University of Victoria studying Creative Writing, before becoming the Secretary General of the UN or something.


Sophie Grogono, Peer Leader

This one time Sophie talked to Nancy MacNeill… and now she is a dynamic FOXY Peer Leader! A dance teacher, drama kid, as well as a humanitarian, Sophie had barely gotten back from Kenya before she became passionate about the FOXY project. Sophie is an independent spirit who is determined to make a difference in the place she calls home. You may see her bursting into choreographed song and dance, or perhaps making healthy relationship choices; wherever she is, you can be sure Sophie Grogono is giving her all as a FOXY lady!


Jessie Shaw, Peer Leader

Jessie believes in wit, good fun, and dry humour. She is passionate about people and couldn’t help but be a part of the FOXY project… she was so good we didn’t give her a choice. Her ambitions are to become involved in international humanitarian organizations as well as to find a cure for “The One Direction Infection.” Unfortunately, this is Jessie’s first job and she will from this point on have a moral obligation to be just as passionate about her future employment. Lucky for her (and for us), she is a multi-talented, creative powerhouse who will undoubtedly do great things in the world, especially with FOXY.

Alice Storrie, Peer Leader

Once upon a time, at the start of several long months of stressful revision for exams at a boarding school in England, Alice sent a fateful email that would change her summer forever. Four months later, she found herself in the magical wonderland that is the FOXY Peer Leader Retreat, bedazzling bras, ringing cowbells, imitating accents and, most importantly, helping young women in the North empower themselves. Alice is one of our newest recruits, and spends her time periodically singing, but mostly mouthing the words, in her school choir, acting in various drama productions, playing lacrosse, and being an outspoken advocate for a school Quidditch team. She began the International Baccalaureate syllabus in September 2013 and hopes to then study medicine at university, before continuing to travel all over the world, inspired by the FOXY beliefs as well as the mantra ‘Don’t panic, we got bannock.’

Athena Sharp, Peer Leader

Athena Sharp was raised in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut but has also lived in Ontario and currently lives in Fort Smith, NWT. Soon after Athena attended the FOXY Peer Leader Retreat, she was snatched up to be apart of the wonderful FOXY team. She has been to most of the workshops in Nunavut and is excited to be teaching old pals everything you need to know about sexual health. In her spare time Athena likes to watch Netflix, play sports, and try to figure out which selfie to post on Instagram.