Jessica Shepherd

Jessica Shepherd was an ALT in Ehime Prefecture for 4 years, from 2011 to 2015. During that time, she worked in 8 different senior high schools, as well as special education schools. In her free time, she enjoys practicing Ikebana, Iaido, Togei, running, hiking, as well as learning about the subtleties of Japanese sake. She is happy to talk more about this over a nice Junmai Ginjo!

Sara Couture
Vice-President, Communications

Sara Couture was in Shiga Prefecture for two years, from 2013 to 2015. During that time, she worked as an English Language Teacher in Nagahama and taught grades 1, 2, 5 & 6 in two elementary schools as well as special needs classes. She fell in love with Japanese cuisine, onsen and Urasenke tea ceremony. She participated in many cultural events and enjoyed many camping-biking trips around Japan. Since coming back to Canada, she is an active member of the Montreal Association of Chado Urasenke Tankokai & practices tea every week.

Violaine Roussel-Bongiovanni
Vice-President, Membership and Events

On maternity leave



Philippe Paquin Goulet

Philippe left for the beautiful city of Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, in 2015. During his year there, he had experiences as varied as discovering tea ceremony and going to a sumo championship.  A teacher by profession, Philippe continues to educate children in the intricacies of the English language, while also sneaking bits of Japanese into his lessons.

Ugo José Lachapelle

Ugo returned from three years in the gorgeous city of Kurobe, in Toyama (2012-2015). During that time, he worked for the city hall as a CIR in the Policy Planning Division. What Ugo loves most about Japan has always been its language, but he has interest in pretty much everything to be seen in Japan.

Bianca Granato
Weekend Orientation Advisor

Bianca worked as an English Language Teacher in Nagahama, Shiga for 3 years (2012-2015). She taught at two elementary schools (grades 1 to 6 as well as special needs classes). During her stay in Japan, Bianca travelled to many different places, from Aomori to Okinawa. She also had a wonderful time taking Japanese Sign Language classes and participating in cultural events such as Kimono Matsuri.

Ravi Jilwah
Networking Advisor

Honourary Members

Frédérick Canuel – Weekend Orientation Advisor

Sylvie Cornibert – Matsuri Advisor

François Tremblay – By-law Advisor

2017 Executive Committee