Meet our Team
Our team at LevelUp Planning & Consulting brings more than 40 years’ experience in applied research, community planning and well-being service delivery to each project. Each member of our team has worked directly with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities using a healthy communities approach, with a strong emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. We have worked with a variety of types of communities across Canada - from large urban centres to small towns, rural areas, and Indigenous communities. At the same time, we have been part of policy development and evaluation at the local, provincial and national levels.
Victoria Barr, MHSc PhD (Planning)
Victoria brings 25 years of expertise and passion as a research planner, specializing in the connections between community planning, health and equity. Victoria has worked in a variety of settings, including health authorities, local governments, provincial government and the private sector. She has been a private consultant for 20 years. With a Masters degree in public health and a PhD in planning, Victoria is one of only a handful of people in Canada with formal education in both health promotion and community planning.
Victoria is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health & Social Policy at the University of Victoria and has taught healthy communities principles and strategies at five Canadian universities. Prior to joining LevelUp, Victoria was manager of the provincial PlanH program, on behalf of BC Healthy Communities.
Victoria is grateful to live, learn and work on the lands of the Lekwungen peoples, specifically the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.
Lavleen Sahota, BSN, MPH
Lavleen has 9 years of experience advocating for underserved populations in her role as a community mental health nurse in Vancouver. She has also been volunteering with the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House for 3 years as an elected community board member. In this role, Lavleen strives to help the neighbourhood house fulfill its mission of making the neighbourhood a great place to live for all its residents.
Lavleen completed her Master’s in Public Health with a focus on social policy, and recently finished a four-month full-time practicum with BC Healthy Communities where she was able to put all her equity learnings into practice. Specifically, she brought an equity lens to her culminating project, a housing strategy for the Mount Waddington region.
Elle Wayara, BScN, MPH
Elle has 6 years of health care experience as a Queen's University nursing graduate, holistically supporting maternal and neonatal populations within a family-centered care framework. She also has public health and nursing research experience, conducting participant study visits for immunization clinical trials at BC Children's Hospital. She has recently began volunteering with Black Women Connect Vancouver as Volunteer Coordinator, a new collective aimed at providing community and support for black women within the Lower Mainland area.
Elle recently finished her Master's in Public Health through the University of Victoria, focusing on social policy and worked to apply this knowledge to her 8-month part time practicum with BC Ministry of Health's Healthy Communities and Healthy Aging programs. Elle is passionate about evaluation, sustainability strategies, and equity-entrenched work; she is especially driven to work with vulnerable populations to enhance well-being at the community level and augment positive outcomes of social determinants of health.
Celeste Zimmer, BSc
Celeste is a passionate community-minded individual who believes that strong citizen engagement is a key factor to successful community building. She brings experience in the area of public engagement as an IAP2 certified professional and has been working in the field of community development for the past 12 years.
Celeste’s diverse background includes supporting the establishment of the Central Saanich Community Association, a volunteer group which she currently chairs; working to inspire youth through hands on health and environmental education; liaising with local governments and stakeholders as a Community Engagement Coordinator; and organizing events and social media campaigns. With a passion for upstream approaches and a solution-oriented mindset, Celeste is committed to ensuring greater equity and authenticity in her work to support overall community health and wellbeing.
Holly Hughes, BASc, BSc
Holly is a passionate advocate for healthy communities and brings a trusted reputation for delivering effective supports, knowledge translation, and resource to build community capacity. She has been an engaged resident of northern BC for 11 years and has a history and understanding of the relationships, processes, and timelines necessary for effective community engagement. She has built skill in facilitation and public participation in her role as a Healthy Settings Advisor, and has supported local governments and community partners with strategic planning and needs assessment. She applies an equity-based, process focused, community driven, and evaluative approach to her work with communities.