Highlighting Youth Leadership in our Community.

We are delighted to introduce the two young leaders who have taken on the 2023-24 leadership of the Sustainable Orillia Youth Council (SOYC): Kate Sontag, a Grade 12 student at Patrick Fogarty (PF) has taken on the role of President. Kate is supported by Vice-President Anna Bivol, a Grade 11 PF student.

As students move through their high school years, SOYC membership and leadership has been refreshed from year-to-year. It is a credit to the previous Council’s leadership (Blythe Wieclawek and Weiqi Xu) and to Kate and Anna that this year’s handoff has been seamless. One of the Council’s objectives and benefits is the opportunity to learn and practice leadership skills. The competence of these future leaders has been impressive.

Kate Sontag grew up in Orillia and joined the SOYC to show younger kids and teenagers that they can be advocates for what they believe in and make tangible, positive change in their communities. As President, her main goal is to organize and host the second Sustainable Simcoe Youth Summit in the early spring of 2025–a project she and Anna are very committed to.

After high school, Kate hopes to attend university in Nursing, ideally in a nature-rich locale – perhaps British Columbia.


Bivol arrived in Orillia from Toronto six years ago. She was attracted to the Youth Council by their initiatives and messaging. Anna also credits previous SOYC Leadership and is following in their footsteps to continue the productive and informative nature of SOYC, spreading knowledge among young people about climate change.

Anna has strong technical skills and has volunteered to help out with our website and social media platforms, help that is greatly appreciated. She plans to attend university and will likely major in Nuclear Engineering.

Together Anna and Kate are a strong team with ambitious plans to build membership and organize and host a repeat of the successful 2022 Youth Summit. High school students from all three local high schools are welcome to join the SOYC.

Kate can be reached c/o <katesontag@sustainableorillia.ca> and you can contact Anna c/o <anna@sustainableorillia.ca>.

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