EPIC’s Learning Team


A BC Ministry Certified teacher onsite with children two days per week. They oversee home learning component, SLP and be the interface with NIDES.

Madelaine (Maddy) Elia is an Artist Educator and EPIC’s Teacher. She was born as an uninvited guest in the traditional territories of the Ktunaxa nation. Maddy grew up in the mountains, loves the ocean, and believes that everyone is an artist with the ability to create beauty and meaning. She enjoys swimming, walking with dogs and drawing. Maddy holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and a BEd from the University of Victoria. She has worked for both Independent and Public Schools as a Teacher and Mentor. Maddy has spent the last year engaged in the community through the Ministry of Casual Living, an Artist Run Center, as an Art Club Facilitator and Exhibiting Artist, exploring how art and being outside can enrich our lives. Maddy is excited to begin a new adventure as part of the EPIC Learning Community.


An additional educator, specifically with outdoor wilderness awareness training. The mentor is present onsite all 3 days.

Ben Sarma is EPIC’s Forest Mentor, and a nature enthusiast philosopher dad who appreciates the beauty of complexity.  He has worked as an educator in a variety of settings, from formal schools to a horse Ranch to local Victoria forests.  He appreciates that nature can help enliven people and especially children. A strong believer in the power of humanity, he remains ever hopeful that we can find ways to grow together.  He hopes to be an edge walker, like the coyote, who helps bring out the best in others as they learn and grow.

Cilla Holmes is a graphic designer and writer, a visual and narrative arts teacher, a lover of ink, clay, and campfire ballads, maker of tiny wool skeletons, driftwood looms, and fairy apothecaries. Kids, including her own, are her favorite creative co-conspirators. In 2009 Cilla moved from the American east coast to Vancouver with her Canadian partner and spent a decade training in fine arts, creative arts education, literacy and counseling, and raised a family while working as a Reggio Emilia inspired instructor and educational documentarian at the Lyceum of Literature & Art. She holds a certificate in Fine Arts & Design from Emily Carr University, completed her graduate work in creative writing at the Stonecoast MFA program, and she is currently studying towards a masters in Counselling Psychology, with a projected focus on wilderness and art related therapies. Cilla is an apprentice and mentor at an elementary school pottery studio, and at Thriving Roots Wilderness School, and she is excited that all of her passions dovetail so beautifully with her work as EPIC’s Nature Arts Mentor.  

Curriculum Designer and Coach

Experienced educator who provides collaborative, reflective and inquiry-based support in curriculum development and issues of teaching practice.

Angèle Verrier bio on the way


Parents and forest community members are invited to be involved onsite with EPIC. They can also facilitate workshops for learners and the EPIC community.

Deepen the Connection

Questions? Email us: epiclearningvictoria@gmail.com