A personalized, collaborative, "village" approach 

We make sure we do things right, and take pride in providing personalized customer service through a collaborative approach. Our "village"  of  carefully vetted creative and technical experts provides a wide range of complementary services, including content development, SEO optimization and social media management. 

We’ll deliver a complete project from start to finish, or integrate with your existing web and IT team for specialized support, according to your needs. Either way, your end result will be an engaging website and efficient software solutions at an affordable cost.

Northern Village is based on Guelph, Ontario. The company was established in 2002, and is a certified B Corporation, a designation that verifies the company meets high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Northern Village was founded by Arni Mikelsons.

Northern Village team


Arni Mikelsons
Arni Mikelsons


Arni Mikelsons has been building software and websites since the beginning of the Internet. He founded Northern Village to help small businesses, organizations and charities have accessible technology. He combines his software experience at Open Text and Burntsand with his care for the community to deliver purpose-driven tools.

Favourite outdoor activities: Hockey, going for long walks, swimming.

Erin Caton
Erin Caton

Account Manager

Erin Caton is an accomplished project and product manager with substantial experience in web development, and app development. At Apple Inc., Erin was a senior engineering project manager on .Mac, .Me and iCloud. Erin has also worked on the NPR and eBay iPad apps via Strobe Inc. Prior to this, Erin primarily managed website development for EA Games and Nintendo through digital agency Blast Radius. They also had a long career in online games, working their way up from IT support to Director of Web Development with Mindspan Entertainment.

Favourite outdoor activities: Gardening and biking on Guelph's amazing trails with their daughter.

David Parker profile picture
David Parker

Website Developer

David is a software engineer, full-stack web developer, educator, artist and system administrator. He loves problem-solving and working closely with other people to build systems that match their visions and needs. David ensures that NV's sites reflect best practices, use the right tools, and are built to run smoothly. He can also customize just about anything you need.

Favourite outdoor activities: Hiking, gardening, and playing with his son.

Lisa McMurtry
Lisa McMurtry

Project Consultant

Lisa’s a research and development professional with a PhD in Communication and Culture. She supports clients’ visions and the growth of Northern Village. She has held senior roles at multiple consulting firms and non-profits, has founded three social enterprises, and has managed projects at a local to international level. She thrives on advancing social impact driven organizations through strategic and operational support.

Favourite outdoor activities: Cycling, kayaking, and climbing

Claire Grady-Smith
Claire Grady-Smith

Designer & Social Media Specialist

Claire has 12 years experience working with clients as diverse as jewellery artists and international corporations. She is tirelessly focused on developing new audiences and improving your ROI month over month. If your brand is lacking in digital lustre, Claire will assist with rendering your authenticity in a way that sticks.

Favourite outdoor activities: Gardening, swimming, biking with her babies in a bucket seat.

Leanne Caron
Leanne Caron

Graphic Designer

Leanne's design work and photography have graced the cover of national journals, books and magazines, as well as featured on several Northern Village sites. Her publishing company Log Cabin Press merged with Northern Village in 2017. She is primarily focused on logo design and creation of graphic elements to help client's best express their brand.

Favourite outdoor activities: Hiking, swimming, camping and gardening.

Our Partners

Stacey Curry Gunn
Stacey Curry Gunn

Strategy and Content Specialist
Curry Gunn and Associates

Stacey began her career as a journalist and now combines her storytelling skills with brand strategy expertise to help clients build relationships with customers, partners and media infuencers. She is also a mentor at Innovation Guelph.

Favourite outdoor activities: Gardening, hiking, skiing and camping

Mark Goldberg
Mark Goldberg

Business Development Advisor

Dr. Mark Goldberg is a serial entrepreneur who has started 4 companies and an NGO. He has over 25 years’ experience in business in several capacities, including director of research, CEO and board chair. He currently works part time as a Mentor at Innovation Guelph where he helps entrepreneurs start and scale up technology companies.

Favourite outdoor activities: Favourite sport is hockey but also skiing, canoeing, fishing and hiking.

John MacKenzie
John MacKenzie

SEO Specialist
Ethical Host

John MacKenzie is the founder of EthicalHost, a socially conscience and environmental web hosting provider. He has also been doing SEO (search engine optimization) for over 20 years and has a successful track record of improving google search rankings with a combination of on page techniques as well as a large database of link building resources and directories.

Favourite outdoor activities: Canoeing, Hiking, Playing Hockey, Camping

Rob McLean
Rob McLean

Marketing and Strategy Specialist

Rob has been helping brands, businesses and organizations to communicate with efficiency and effectiveness for almost twenty years. He wants Northern Village clients' communications to be compelling, straightforward and effective. He is currently an Instructor of Marketing at the University of Guelph.

Paul Cassel
Paul Cassel

Sustainability Marketing, SEO
Up Marketing

Paul Cassel employs the power of markets through Up Marketing to drive social and environmental awareness at personal, corporate and institutional levels to support the design, development and promotion of intelligent, transparent, democratic and sustainable practices. Up Marketing is a Certified Google Partner.

Favourite outdoor activities: Canoeing, x-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, observing nature and its Inhabitants


We had an outdated website that was in desperate need of a total overhaul. The reason we put this project off was basically the time it takes and the cost. After researching different website designers, we decide Northern Village would be a good a good fit for us. They were very organized and had me provide them with the information we needed changed, so we quickly reached a finished product. The time and the cost were not nearly as problematic as I had anticipated. Would highly recommend!

Elizabeth Kent , Executive Director
Victim Services Wellington

My website is not a burden anymore. It's taken away that administrative stress of having to do something that I'm not equipped to do. The process of designing the site was very collaborative. We met and had conversations, and he really looked into who I am and what I'm trying to achieve. That part of the process can take a long time if the person you're working with doesn't take the time to understand you. He knew the right questions to ask so we got to a format and design very quickly.

Karen Farbridge
Karen Farbridge and Associates

We are a small business who were looking to make our website current and accessible. We chose Northern Village to help update our site as they came highly recommended from other satisfied clientele. We were not disappointed!

When you work with Northern Village you get the sense they are committed to their business, which makes us confident that they will be around to support us when our website needs updating/changing in future years.

Hilary Stonehouse , Co-founder
Grand River Physiotherapy

Northern Village was invaluable to us. No one at the Society is overly ‘tech savvy’. I would be better characterized as ‘tech challenged’. We needed to be led by the hand through software selection, website design and content loading. Northern Village bent over backwards to help us out. They completed the work on time and on budget. We have received many compliments on the new website and experienced a noticeable spike in new members following the launch of the website.

The Stanley Thompson Society can’t thank Arni and team enough for their tremendous help and patience. I would enthusiastically recommend Northern Village to any organization with similar needs.

Grant Forrest
Stanley Thompson Society

NV made our website painless. It looks good and functions well. The value proposition is great service, cost effective, and a good turn around.

Len Khan

We had to all of a sudden move an existing webpage to get Google search results working. Over the course of a weekend NV took time out to work with me on it so that by Monday morning everything was working perfectly. It was above and beyond. When we created the site, they sat down with me and mined my knowledge of what I really wanted. They really put heart and soul into the design, they understood me, and the results were seamless.

Elizabete Ludviks
www.ludviks.com, www.imtexmembranes.com

We moved to home delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic, and NV was very quick in helping us to ensure that everything was up and running, figuring out shipping and other needs. It’s great to have a person to call directly when we need something custom. We’re very satisfied with the customer service.

Gord Auld
Wellington Brewery

Arni has put his heart and soul into the company. As a long time Chamber member, I have been happy to refer him to other members and have received positive feedback from them. He's easy to talk to and always responsive. He’s also into continuous improvement and certifications. He’s managed a good business in a competitive market for many years.

Jane Wielhorski
Guelph Chamber of Commerce

Northern village is our go-to for migrating or setting up a website quickly and enabling the owners, users or staff to easily, actively manage the content.

Paul Cassel
Up Marketing

The value add for me is that I don't have to worry about the website. It's a turn key solution. NV handles all the updates and patches, and the domain hosting, and makes sure everything's working. The owner has a breadth of knowledge so he can provide broad strokes and specific details to address whatever need I have. It's a one stop shop.

Kyle Mackie

They listened to us and gave us suggestions about what the site should look like. Then they were very responsive to our suggestions. I felt like they heard and understood what we needed, and gave us what we were asking for.

Hindy Kennedy
Guelph Solar

We needed something quite unusual and were having difficulty getting all the parts to function. We needed a custom calculator to work out pricing and unusual currency conversions. Arni had to be fairly creative in the way he used what was available through Shopify to come up with what we needed. It was a challenge but he made it work. Being able to figure things out is a selling point, and he responds to requests in a timely way, so customer service is excellent

Bob Nadon
Upper Canada Stretchers

I’ve recommended many clients to Northern Village. Arni is such a relationship builder. He connects to so many people, and is therefore able to really understand what people want. I like the website platform and think its versatility is great. I could always get in touch with Arni and he would make it do whatever I wanted. He's always been very quick to respond.

Candice Lepage
Candice Lepage

Their support and accessibility is very good. When I break stuff, Arni just fixes it. I really like him and know he does awesome work.

Crystal Wilson
Flow Office Wisdom

What I've appreciated as a charitable organization is that they provide a solid, basic and well-priced website. I find the platform simple and easy to manage. There were a couple of times we had problems and Arni was able to provide immediate customer service. I thought he was a great listener, understood what the needs were, and was relaxed and easy going to work with, not too technical. It felt like we were speaking the same language.

Glenna Banda
United Way Guelph

The owner’s eager to get it right and make sure the customer's happy, at a price that's reasonable, especially for a charity. It feels like he's part of our extended family at the Children's Foundation, and truly cares that we do well. He's always quick to respond and makes us a priority. He's helped us tremendously over many years, including designing a user-friendly online system for families to apply to our Free to Grow Program.

Karyn Kirkwood , Program Director
Children’s Foundation of Guelph and Wellington