PRESS + MEDIA

Official Bio’s

Michelle Pante

Co-Founder

Compassionate, creative, insightful, and able to cut through the chaos to achieve clarity, Michelle is energized by death, dying and grief as pathways to healing.

Prior to WILLOW, during her tenure with LEES+Associates, North America’s cracker jack cemetery design and planning firm, Michelle was a key player in the launch of the Green Burial Society of Canada. She advocates for environmentally sensitive and ecologically sustainable interment, cremation, funeral service and bereavement care practices in all aspects of deathcare delivery in Canada. Michelle volunteered with a children’s bereavement program at a local hospice and trained as a Funeral Director in the province of British Columbia. She worked for two years at a corporately owned funeral home helping families from diverse cultural, faith and income backgrounds to be with their dead and say their goodbyes.

Download Michelle’s biography

Reena Lazar

Co-Founder

A creative thinker, compassionate listener and a facilitator of peace on every level, Reena is fuelled by her passion for personal growth + transformation.

As someone committed to lifelong personal development, Reena has an eclectic background and education. She is a graduate of the BEyond Yonder Virtual School of Death Midwifery in Canada, a 12-week course given by 10 different experts on such topics as grief, disposition, rituals, body care, advance planning, being with the dying, and funeral alternatives. Reena is committed to facilitating green and holistic approaches to deathcare in our families, communities and in our culture at large. Prior to WILLOW, she created and led Peace it Together, which brought Palestinian, Israeli and Canadian youth together for dialogue, filmmaking and community engagement. For 11 years she created and led emotionally-charged processes about the world’s most intractable conflict.

Download Reena’s biography

Approved Photos

You are free to use the below photos with our and the photographer’s permission as long as you include the photographer’s credit and send us a link at hello@willoweol.com to where they are being used.

Michelle Pante, Co-founder of WILLOW. Photo by Michael Kesten

Credit: Michael Kesten

Credit: Marie Poulin

Reena Lazar, Co-founder of WILLOW. Photo by Michael Kesten

Credit: Michael Kesten

Credit: Marie Poulin

Media Mentions


Roundhouse Radio

Michelle speaks with Stirling Faux of Vancouver’s Roundhouse Radio about the fears around death and how facing it through holistic end of life planning can lead to a more inspired life (10 mins).

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Deep Roots, Cortes Community Radio

Michelle + Reena join Mercedes Grant for a conversation on death and how we can overcome our fears surrounding the subject (29 mins. Michelle + Reena are first heard at 11:15 min).

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The Vancouver Sun

Vancouver Sun

Read how WILLOW helped our friend and client have the end of his life reflect his values. And find out why Vancouver’s only cemetery is a very green way to go.

read article


Death Matters Live, Coop Radio

Michelle + Reena chat to the Death Matters Live Show on Coop Radio about inspiring purposeful living through end of life planning (62 mins).

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Roundhouse Radio

Michelle and Reena speak with Martin Strong of Roundhouse Radio about inspired end of life planning and soulful personal development (5 mins).

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Vancouver Courier

Michelle + Reena speak to the Vancouver Courier about how end of life planning can lead to a focus on living with purpose.

read article

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