Canoeing the Keele: a New Expedition with Adventure Canada

“What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel. Travel a thousand miles by train and you are a brute; pedal five hundred on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature.” —Pierre Elliott Trudeau


One of the best ways to explore Canada is by canoe. No other vessel has shaped our nation’s history more completely—no other mode of transport, except perhaps the kayak, seems more central to our ethos as a northern nation. The canoe is elegant in its simplicity, a craft that is as at home in the world of modern travel as it was essential to the lives of Canadians centuries ago. At Adventure Canada, we’re always concerned with looking backward as much as we look forward, and carrying a reverence for tradition into the new ways we explore our great country (and beyond). With that in mind, we’re proud to present a brand new expedition for 2018: Keele River by Canoe. Set against the rugged backdrop of the Northwest Territories, Keele River offers an iconic Canadian wilderness canoeing experience through the rugged Mackenzie Mountains; turquoise water flow from high in the divide between the Yukon and Northwest Territories through towering mountain scenery and broad valleys full of rugged black spruce with inviting vistas on every curve.

Adventure Specialist Sheryl Saint recently travelled alongside expert guides and excited guests to try out this fifteen-day trip of a lifetime for herself! When she got back to the office, we sat down for a chat—because she had a lot to say about the experience!

Mike Strizic: Hi Sheryl! How many trips have you done with Adventure Canada?

Sheryl Saint: I’m gonna say eighteen or more? I should count!

MS: What is your canoe tripping experience?

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 1.21.48 PMSS: Zero! When I was thirteen I did a canoe trip through a camp I went to. It was in Algonquin Park. We got initiated by rain, the entire week. We looked like drowned rats. And of course the canoe I was in got tipped. By me.

MS: What was most exciting aspect for you in preparing for this canoe trip?

SS: I was just blown away by where I was going. I was so excited to get up to the NWT and see some of the pictures I’ve seen in real life. The mountain ranges, the rivers.


MS: What were you most worried about? How did that play out?

SS: [laughs] lots! I was a nervous wreck! The biggest thing was having not canoed for twenty-some-odd years … or even camping! I haven’t done that in at least twenty-five years. Or at least, in a tent. I also have a moderate fear of water … at least, water that I can’t see through! But I persevered through those fears and after my first day on the trip they had been completely assuaged.

MS: What was the most useful piece of kit you had with you?

SS: Quick-dry clothing, and a good Thermarest [air matress]. It makes all the difference being able to stay warm and dry, and having that one-inch cushion to keep you off the ground is hugely important. People may not be aware that an air matress actually keeps you warm—because you’re not losing body heat into the ground. So that was huge for me.


MS: What was the most spectacular moment of the trip for you?

SS: Our first wildlife viewing. We saw a caribou swimming in the water. AT first it looked like a log, and then it started to move onshore directly opposite our camp. As it emerged out of the water, it was so dramatic and magnificent. It stared at us for a good three minutes before moving on. It made me feel that we were really with mother nature … it was the first day. One of those moments of being welcomed to the wilderness.

MS: What other kind of wildlife did you see on this trip?

SS: We saw a big black wolf! Also, two types of foxes. We saw lots of evidence of bears, and saw a few moose. Porcupines were around, ground squirrels, and tons of birds—eagles, hawks, whooping cranes, a variety of duck species. We had a birder along for the ride who was pointing out the never-ending bird calls.

MS: Who would you recommend this trip for?

SS: Anyone who is active! You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to know how to hold a paddle! One of our team was seventy-nine years old, which was incredible. As long as you know that you’ll be paddling six to eight hours a day—with lots of breaks—you can handle this. If you want to get close to nature, and really see the land by travelling through it, this is the trip for you.IMG_6196

MS: How was the food?

SS: The food was beyond exceptional! We had bacon, eggs, pork loin, pancakes, French toast, all cooked on a fire or on propane as the situation warranted. There were two guides who assisted with the food prep and obviously did all the shopping and packing—but we were assigned to teams that helped out in the campsite kitchen on any given night. It was actually a ton of fun to work with each other like that, as a team. It really gave us a sense of ownership over our experience and adventure. And food tastes so good after a day of paddling. Which was probably a good thing whenever I was on duty [laughs]. There’s also great fishing for those interested—both fly fishing and traditional.


MS: What was campsite life like?

SS: It was great. Every night we’d gather to get to know each other and tell stories, or reflect on the day. One day, we were trying to wait out some rain to pitch tents—and instead, ended up holding tarps up for each other while people pitched their tents underneath! It was amazing how quickly we shifted from being strangers to being friends, partners, and teammates. We were a well-oiled machine by the end of the trip.


MS: What surprised you about this trip?

SS: A few things. I found everyone came back feeling more self-confident. Everyone gained new nuances about themselves that they didn’t know they had. For me, it was strengths that popped out that I had been afraid of, previously. One woman confessed at the onset that she was out of her element and feared that the trip would break spirit. Instead, she found herself rising to and surpassing the challenges before her, and just loved every second of it. I guess that’s the transformative power of the wilderness … and doing things under your own steam. It’s such a great opportunity for Adventure Canada types—you know who you are—to experience the vastness of the north from the ground up. This type of intimate setting—fourteen people maximum—really lays it all out for you. We didn’t see another soul the entire time. It was utterly unlike anything I have ever done. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.


Click here to learn more about Keele River by Canoe 2018!

“Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing.” —Henry David Thoreau

Student, On Ice

A guest post by Alexia Galloway-Alainga.

image2.JPGMy name is Alexia Galloway-Alainga. I was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut. I am Inuk, meaning that I am part of the three different Indigenous groups in Canada. I am a third-year University student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I am majoring in Social Work and minoring in Psychology. I enjoy being on the land and outdoors, keeping active, throat singing, and learning. I participated in the 2017 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition which sailed from Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada, to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. Here is a tiny look into my wonderful Students on Ice journey!

My 2017 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition experience began in Ottawa, Ontario with a pre-program for the Northern participants. This included participants, elders, educators, and leaders from all across the circumpolar North. Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, Inuvialuit Region, Greenland, and Alaska. This pre-program ran for a couple days where we got to know each other through ice breakers, workshops, and sharing of our stories and talents. It was a great way to build on your own knowledge of Inuit homelands, by getting to know the experience of life on Inuit Nunaat from others across the circumpolar North. One particular eye opener for me, was meeting a participant from Alaska. It was interesting to learn about the differences in culture, in part due to the national border that separates the US and Canada. But more specifically, I was fascinated to learn about our similarities in life as Inuit, or as Indigenous Peoples, the border between us notwithstanding. These similarities span from Nunavut to Alaska, and East, from Canada to Greenland—values of the land, of family, and of practicing and preserving our traditions and culture. The pre-program for the expedition was meant to bring us together, with the knowledge of our homeland, and prepare us as ambassadors of the North. The remaining participants, those from other provinces in Canada, and from different countries around the world, came after the two-day program. We had a couple ice breakers the night before boarding the Ocean Endeavour, to get to know each other. We played some Inuit Games, and tried to do a square dance.

Day One rolled around and we flew from Ottawa, Canada to Resolute Bay, in Canada’s Arctic. There we attended the announcement of Qausuittuq Park, from Federal Minister Katherine McKenna, PJ Akeeagok president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, and the Deputy Minister (I believe) of Environment, David Akeeagok. Along with the announcement, artist Celina Kalluk, who originates from the area, sang songs that were related to the families and land of the area.

Students on Ice was also fortunate to attend the announcement of Canada’s largest Marine Conservation Area, Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), measuring an area of 109,000 square kilometres. The protection of this area in Canada’s Arctic is comparable to twice the size of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It was an honour to attend an announcement so important to Inuit, to Canada, and in the long run, to the world.

After the announcement of the opening of Qausuittuq National Park, we boarded our floating home for the next two weeks. On board, we attended workshops of our choice. These workshops varied in topic from science and climate change to reconciliation and cultural identity. We participated in these workshops throughout the expedition.

It was my goal to make Students on Ice as much of a learning experience as possible, so some of the workshops I chose were sometimes outside of my comfort zone. Some of them include, Finding Your Political Voice, held by Bruce Heymen and Nancy Karetak-Lindell, History of Inuit Dog Sledding, by Shari Fox Gearheard, Indigenous Identities, which was a panel that included Becky Mearns, Jessice Bolduc, Ivalu Rosling, and Brandon Pardy. These are just a few of the amazing workshops and presentations that were available to all of the participants and staff aboard the ship this year.

As the days continued, many of us began to lose a sense of time and day. With day-filled schedules, no cell phone or internet service, and so much learning at our fingertips, nobody really cared about what day it was. Our days were never set in stone, but each day typically consisted of attending workshops, eating delicious food (thank you, Ocean Endeavour crew!), adventuring on land to a historic site, or simply going ashore to do workshops, and reflecting on our own experience individually or in groups. The experiences created, either on land, learning about the history of Inuit at historic sites, visiting different communities along the way, or in workshops aboard the ship, were life-changing. As an Inuk, I found that it was an opportunity to share my culture, share the beauty and vastness of my homelands, and meet new faces from all over Canada, and the World. Students on Ice was an opportunity to build upon the knowledge I have about Inuit and our land, but was also an opportunity to witness other people and their discovery of the Arctic through their own lenses. These moments were my absolute favourite part about this year’s Students on Ice expedition. Sharing what I know, building on that knowledge, but also witnessing people from all around the world grow an appreciation for the Arctic, for Inuit, and for Indigenous Peoples.

I personally would like to thank the Students on Ice Foundation, from the staff on board to the staff in Ottawa, the sponsors who brought this wonderful group of people together, and the staff aboard the Ocean Endeavour for creating an experience that touched and/or changed the lives of everyone on board. The Students on Ice experience contributes to building a knowledge about Indigenous Peoples in Canada, that undermines what many Canadian youth are taught in schools. This experience shines light to some of Canada’s history that the government has repeatedly attempted to hide and/or doesn’t propagate. This was a life-changing and educational experience that will contribute to creating a healthier, safer, and truly multicultural future for Canada. Thank you to the International participants and staff who came into this experience with an open mind and heart, and for carrying this knowledge with you for the rest of your lives. Students on Ice was educational in the realization of the reality and rapidity of climate change and sea level rise, of the reality for Indigenous Peoples in Canada today and in the past, and was also an opportunity to meet many people with curiosities and lenses that sprout from all over the world. I am truly grateful to have participated in this year’s expedition, and will continue to be thankful for this experience for the rest of my life.

Alexia is a third-year student at Carleton University. Click here to read her profile on our blog. Each year, Adventure Canada sponsors an Inuk youth from one of the four Inuit regions of Canada to take part in Students On Ice, established in 2000 “to educate the world’s youth about the importance of the Polar Regions, to support their continued growth and to inspire initiatives that contribute to global sustainability.” We are proud to partner with such a worthy organization, and delighted to have sponsored Alexia on her journey.

Nunavut Day 2017: in the Words of John Houston



“There’s a gulf between the Nunavut that southern Canadians hear described in the media and the one that actually exists—there’s no substitute for going there and having the people share their land and communities with you.” —John Houston

With our team of resource staff, Adventure Canada travels the world’s wildest places. Our expeditions take us to the west coast of Greenland and the east coast of Canada, down the mighty St. Lawrence River, and even into the Tanzanian Serengeti. Next summer, our ship sets sail for Scotland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. And today, we’re anchored off the coast of Sable Island. But there is one region that has always been at the heart of all that we do: Nunavut.

Today is Nunavut Day, which marks the anniversary of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, which This agreement gave the Inuit of the central and eastern Northwest Territories a separate territory called Nunavut. It is the largest Aboriginal land claim settlement in Canadian history. The NLCA provided the Inuit of Nunavut with a number of new rights, including representation on wildlife, resource, and environmental management boards. When the territory was officially created in 1999, it represented the culmination of work that began in 1973 by the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada. On April 1, 1999, Nunavut as an independent territory with an independent government became a reality. This was a huge boon for the nearly 60,000 Inuit people who call the Canadian Arctic home, scattered across fifty-three communities in the vast North. Nunavut itself comprises a staggering 350,000 square kilometres—accounting for over twenty percent of Canada’s landmass—making it one of the most sparsely populate territories on Earth.

That being said, the Nunavut Inuit population retains a rich and vibrant culture, heritage to its origins over 6,000 years ago as the Thule culture. Nomadic hunters and fishermen originally, Nunavut art and culture follows a rote-oral tradition with a deep-seeded focus on storytelling, song, and a reverence for generational knowledge kept by elders. Today, the capital of Nunavut, Iqaluit, is a vibrant hub of culture including the widely attended Alianait Arts Festival, hometown heroes The Jerry Cans, and more. A new generation of young Inuit are making waves around the world as they find their place within a modernizing world, preserving their cultural heritage while working with contemporary organizations to carry those skills forward in a modern Nunavut.

Heart of the Arctic, Adventure Canada’s upcoming expedition, is by far and away our most community- and art-focused voyage, paying a visit to Kinngait (Cape Dorset)—epicenter of the Inuit printmaking movement. John Houston, son of James and Alma Houston, widely credited with introducing Inuit art to the world at large, has been travelling with Adventure Canada since 1991, making him one of our longest-standing resource staffers.

“My great thrill,” says John, “is the ongoing collaboration between AC and the Inuit of Nunavut, which is where I come from. Having the community greet us at the shore as we step out of Zodiacs that contain Inuit as drivers, Inuit as resource staff, Inuit as Expedition Leaders … seeing the looks on the faces of the young people gathered as they witnessing that collaboration, and perhaps see a path for themselves. That’s immensely gratifying for me.”

John grew up in Kinngait and, while watching westerns with the community at about six years old, decided that he wanted to make films and show them to his community. Since then, he’s dedicated his life to the creation of art and craft of filmmaking, and to continue the promotion of Inuit art and culture in the footsteps of his parents.

“Adventure Canada has grown up as a company with Nunavut,” John says. “We were up there getting going in the run-up to Nunavut becoming a terrority. We’ve had a number of Nunavut leaders aboard as staff and guests—like Tagak Curley, Ann Hanson [first commissioner of Nunavut]. The spirit and excitement of Nunavut becoming a territory matched our own spirit and excitement of exploration and getting to know the people who call the region home. In the early days, we didn’t know the first thing—we relied on local knowledge and understanding to equip ourselves with the skills to explore the region safely, responsibly, and sustainably. We do to this day.”

Tradition and Transition—Sharing the Work

Guest post by Ossie Michelin

arch research at Joahnnes Pt summer 2016

Arch research at Johannes Point, Summer 2016

Hundreds of years ago—in the late 1400s as Inuit spread east from the Western Arctic—groups made camp in what is now known as the Johannes Point on the north coast of Labrador. The point sits within the steep cliffs of barren rock that makes up Hebron Fjord. The deep inlet provides protection from the harsh weather of the Labrador Sea.

Few besides local Inuit have ever stepped foot inside the Hebron Fjord, but each year Adventure Canada passes by, brining visitors to this breathtaking location as part of its voyage up through the North Atlantic traveling between St. John’s and Greenland.


A traditional qulliq — photo courtesy of Tradition and Transition

Last summer, with the help of Adventure Canada’s and the Ocean Endeavour, archeologist Peter Whitridge and his team from Memorial University traveled to the remote fjord to study the archeological site. Whitridge is a researcher with the Tradition & Transition Research Partnership—a five-year research partnership between the Labrador Inuit, Memorial University, and many other partners—including Adventure Canada. The partnership aims to work with Inuit communities to protect, preserve, and promote Inuit culture and language—and to provide long lasting resources for the communities.

It is not hard to see why Inuit have been coming here for centuries. The area is abundant with wildlife and, to this day, remains a popular location for hunting, fishing, and harvesting. Many Inuit have cabins in the area and there were thriving Inuit settlements here until they were relocated in the mid-twentieth century.

Nachvak Fjord, Torngats National Park

Nachvak Fjord, Torngat Mountains National Park. Photo by Dennis Minty.

The cold temperatures of the subarctic mean that many archeological remains left behind by early Inuit are remarkably preserved. For archeologists like Whitridge, the pre-European contact sites at Johannes Point can shed some light on what life was like for early Inuit in the region hundreds of years ago. “This site can show us an interesting part in the story of the Inuit peopling Northern Labrador,” says Whitridge. “We were at Johannes Point for about five weeks this past summer mapping a really interesting Inuit site, and excavating small test units next to a couple features, especially a pre-contact Inuit winter house.”

The weather conditions can make entering Hebron Fjord tricky for large parts of the year. When Whitridge and his team tried to embark from the Ocean Endeavour, ice had blocked their entry. It took multiple tries but the researchers finally made it ashore, and the ship continued on its way to further adventures in Greenland.

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 2.33.51 PM


Adventure Canada brings visitors to the shores of Nunatsiavut each year. The entire area is steeped in history as Inuit lived, traveled, hunted, fished, and gathered all across the region for centuries. Because of this many of the visits include archeological sensitive areas. Michelle Davies is an archeologist with the Nunatsiavut Government, which represents the Labrador Inuit and PhD candidate at Memorial’s Department of Archaeology working with Tradition & Transition researcher Lisa Rankin. Davies traveled with Adventure Canada last summer to see how those policies unfold in the real world.


Arch Midden test at Johannes Point, Summer 2016 — photo courtesy of Tradition and Transition

“It was a great experience! It was pretty different from what you read in a report versus what is happening on the ground and what leads to certain decisions,” says Davies. “Even though I was working as the Nunatsiavut Government archeologist, I still gave a few lectures aboard and talked about the importance of archeology. I spoke about why it is important to protect this stuff and not to touch anything, and how to visit an archeological site appropriately, so that won’t be damaged over time.”

Davies says that ships like the Ocean Endeavour that bring visitors to Inuit communities have a lot of potential to boost the local economy and teach people from around the world about Labrador Inuit.

“Tourism is a growing industry in Labrador, as more ships and tours are coming in we really wanted to address this growing industry because it could potentially damage sites in the future if we don’t address it early on,” explains Davies. “I have to say that I was really impressed with the way that Adventure Canada approached us about this, and all the protections they had lined up and in place already.”

With partnerships like Tradition & Transition in place, Labrador Inuit, archeologists, and visitors can all make sure that the beauty and culture of the area are celebrated while making sure that history is preserved.

Ossie Michelin is a freelance journalist from North West River, Labrador. He grew up with his family going off on the land—hunting, trapping, fishing, and foraging. His heritage and upbringing instilled in him a lifelong love of the natural world—and of the Labrador environment in particular. He holds a BA in journalism from Concordia University and worked for five years with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, eventually helping them establish its first home-based bureau in Labrador.

Explore more of Tradition & Transition’s work here, and follow them on social media here and here.

Adventure Canada will visit Nunatsiavut again this season with the Greenland & Wild Labrador expedition from September 23rd to October 7th.

The Floating Book Club

author-coversAcclaimed publisher, editor, and storyteller Doug Gibson—whose authors have won every major book award in Canada—will lead our first-ever onboard Book Club, featuring bestselling authors Terry Fallis and Kathleen Winter.

Kathleen Winter will guide readers through her groundbreaking novel, Annabel. Set in coastal Labrador, Annabel was a #1 Canadian bestseller, and a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

Terry Fallis will present the first of his four national bestselling books. His hilarious debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and the 2011 Canada Reads competition. A CBC TV miniseries based on the book aired in January 2014.

In addition to his literary leadership, Doug Gibson will perform an exclusive showing of his one-man play, Stories About Storytellers, and offer his unique editor’s insights into the work of Alice Munro.

Join the Floating Book Club on our Newfoundland and Wild Labrador voyage, July 5-17, 2015.

Entranced by tuckamore

This lovely video pays tribute to one of the unique attractions of the Newfoundland and Labrador coastline: tuckamore.

As picturesque as its name suggests, tuckamore is tree growth shaped by the constant wind into dreamlike sculptural formations.

In places like Gros Morne National Park, you’ll find plenty of tuckamore: beautiful, unusual, and wild.

Just like Newfoundland and Labrador.

See tuckamore for yourself on these amazing voyages:

Newfoundland Circumnavigation, June 2-12, 2014
Newfoundland and Wild Labrador, June 29-July 12, 2014
Greenland and Wild Labrador, September 11-24, 2014

Arctic Explorer Teaser


Our 2013 Arctic Explorer adventure has recently come to an end, and what an adventure it was full of great people, visiting memorable places and taking in some iconic Arctic wildlife.

While our travellers anxiously await their post-trip package including official trip log, we were lucky enough to have Dennis Minty send along some stunning photos for us to share.

Polar Bear, South Baffin

Aaju Peter & Bernadette Dean, Welcome Ceremony

By all accounts it looks like everyone was having far too much fun on this trip! It looks like the only downside of the adventure was that Adventure Canada – once again – lost the Arctic soccer challenge. We’ll be back to Itilleq again one day to try and redeem ourselves.

Itilleq Soccer Match

Itilleq Soccer Trophy

If you want to join in the fun next year, the 2014 version of our Arctic Explorer trip runs from August 2-12.

Sisimuit, Greenland

Sunneshine Fjord

Photos all courtesy of Dennis Minty.

Get to know Iqaluit with Google

Google Trekker in Iqaluit

In case you missed it, Google streetview was recently up in Iqaluit, trekking around town.

Now, Google has posted a great recap with a “behind the scenes” look at their time in Canada’s North. You can explore town on your own, or view their audio tours and Google Maps videos. You can view the page at

We’re pretty excited that our travellers have the chance to get a glimpse of what they’ll experience during their town visits by checking out this Google page. We just so happen to visit Iqaluit on many of our Arctic cruises, including during the Alianait Arts Festival.

Check it out and have fun exploring Iqaluit on your own!

Photo taken from the Google Maps website link above.

It’s Not Too Late for 2012!

As the summer heats up, we’re ready to keep you cool! Join one of our 2012 Arctic Adventures and spend two unforgettable weeks above the Arctic Circle. Be captivated by the magic and mystery of the far north – stunning vistas, warm people and incredible wildlife are all on the itinerary. Cruise in comfort and style as we follow in the footsteps of famed explorers aboard the 118-passenger Clipper Adventurer.

Epic High Arctic: August 9 – 19, 2012

Into the Northwest Passage: August 19 – September 2, 2012

Out of the Northwest Passage: September 2 – 18, 2012

There are a handful of spots left – if you’re interested please call or email Loretta.

New Trip Announcement: Art on the Rock

Literature, music, visual art, theatre – Newfoundland has it all, and in abundance far beyond anything you might expect of half a million people. Join celebrated Newfoundland writer Kevin Major for an insider’s look at the culture of his Island and three art-filled days at the edge of the North Atlantic. Let him take you through the multi-hued streets and back lanes of St. John’s, to his favourite galleries and music haunts. Meet artists, poets and musicians (sometimes all three in one). Spend time in their studios. Hear them explain their art. Listen as they read from their award-winning books, and relax and chat with them over wine. From the intimacy of an ornate nineteenth century reading room to the sweeping views of the city from the ultra-modern galleries of The Rooms (what The Globe and Mail has called ‘one of the world’s great small museums’), you’ll know you’re in the midst of a culture like no other in North America. Aesthetically, you might think yourself in Europe. Whether walking the stage of the LSPU Hall (where Mary Walsh and Rick Mercer honed their skills) or enjoying a pint and a song at The Ship or The Crow’s Nest, you’ll know for sure you’ve fallen into the arms of a spirited arts scene.


Taken in conjunction with our Newfoundland Circumnavigation or as a stand alone program, Art on the Rock with Kevin Major will surely not disappoint.


Dates: October 11 – October 14, 2012.


For more info, please click here or email Judy to reserve your space today!

Haida Gwaii Update from Carol Heppenstall

 Our Haida Gwaii trip gets better every time and this year was no exception. Fourteen clients – some Adventure Canada veterans and others new to our family embarked on this extraordinary journey to one of the world’s most sacred landscapes. Our Island Roamer ship staff were fabulous – haute cuisine from the galley, a diving marine biologist who introduced us to most of the species of the intertidal world and a captain – par excellence – who knew where all the wildlife was and found it!

We saw humpback whales spy-hopping and dolphins (two types) in the hundreds. Rookeries revealed puffins and murres and ocean currents brought sooty shearwaters, petrols and the black footed albatross. Did I mention the ancient forests? There is simply nothing that compares to this experience.

Perhaps the most profound moments occurred when we met the watchmen stationed at the abandoned village sites. These are men and women who live on site during the summer greeting visitors, sharing the history of the place and allowing quiet time for guests to chat with members of the Haida nation. It was a pleasure introducing this special place to my guests – Howa – thank you!

– Carol Heppenstall

Join the Adventure in 2014! Email Judy to reserve your space today.

Steve Gorman – the Art of the Wild

Steve Gorman would like invite the Adventure Canada family to visit my brand-new to view the photographs on exhibit, wander at your leisure through the photography galleries, and enjoy the dispatches from the field. Please use the contact form on the home page to keep in touch!

For all those on Facebook, I’d also like to invite folks to stay in touch, keep up to date with news and events, and share stories, photos, and traveller’s tips by clicking here.

You can still enter the Stephen Gorman & The Art of the Wild Photo Contest Through August 31!

Epic High Arctic photographer Steve and Adventure Canada’s Matthew James Bradley-Swan were in a Zodiac scouting the shores of Monumental Island for wildlife when they turned a corner and suddenly had a surprising face-to-face encounter! Steve invites you to enter the “Name the Image Contest” and win this signed limited edition print. Click here to name and win this new release from Steve’s latest Arctic expedition!

Steve will be joining Adventure Canada on our Epic High Arctic Expedition –  we have one cabin still available! Email or call Judy to join us today!

Updates from Ken McGoogan!

Author / Historian Ken McGoogan, who will be sailing  Into the Northwest Passage, August 19 -September 2, is touting a new book. He wrote an introduction to The Arctic Journals of John Rae, which will hit bookstores in September. During the forthcoming voyage, Ken hopes to lead a mini-expedition to the spot where, as described in his book Fatal Passage, he erected a plaque honoring Rae.

Email Loretta to reserve your space today!

Ken also has an article in the latest issue of Canada’s History on the discovery of a new Viking site in Ireland, and he put together two short videos celebrating Adventure Canada’s recent Circumnavigation of Ireland.
Ireland’s Islands:

Daniel Payne Sails the Irish Sea of Music:

Join Adventure Canada in the Celtic Isles in 2013 on our Scotland Slowly Expedition! Email Sheryl for more information or to reserve your space.

From Gros Morne to Ghana with Kevin Major!

Kevin Major’s much-praised novel Hold Fast (voted by Quill & Quire magazine as second only to Anne of Green Gables in its list of top Canadian novels for young people) is coming to the big screen. Filming was completed in early July and stars Molly Parker and a host of Newfoundland actors, among them Andy Jones, and, in the role of the 14-year boy at the centre of story, exciting newcomer Avery Ash. The movie was shot in various locations across the island, including a perennial stop for Adventure Canada – Gros Morne National Park. Watch for the release of the feature film in 2013.The author’s other big adventure this month has been to Ghana in West Africa. As a volunteer with CODE (Canadian Organization for Development through Education) and the Ghana Book Trust, Kevin led two workshops for writers and editors, with the goal of encouraging the publication of more culturally-revelant, local literature for young people. Canadian philanthropist William Burt had made a ten-year commitment to Ghana and three other African countries for awards to honour the best such books each year. While in the capital city of Accra, Kevin met with other jury members to consider this year’s submissions.Kevin joins the Greenland and Wild Labrador Expedition in September, followed by his l tour of the Newfoundland arts scene, Art on the Rock, in October. Email Judy to reserve your space today!

Congratulations Jerry Kobalenko!

Arctic Eden Cover

Jerry’s latest book, Arctic Eden, has just won the William Mills Prize, given by polar librarians – a discerning audience – for the best nonfiction polar book of the last two years!

Through words and pictures, Jerry uses a series of journeys taken across the High Arctic over the past twenty years to provide a multifaceted view of this beautiful and most vulnerable part of the Arctic


Join Jerry on our Greenland & Wild Labrador Expedition!Email Sheryl to reserve your space today.

Adventure Canada & Unikkausivut

Adventure Canada is proud to announce our four-year partnership on an exciting project with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the Inuit Relations Secretariat (IRS) of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).
The Inuit have a long and vibrant tradition of passing tales and legends down from one generation to the next using visual arts and storytelling. For over 70 years, the National Film Board of Canada has been documenting life in the Arctic, producing an impressive collection of more than 110 films by and about the Inuit-a unique and powerful portrait of Inuit life, past and present.


In 2011 Adventure Canada donated $10,000 to this initiative and passengers onboard our 2011 Arctic Season raised another $3,800!

The goal is to provide this unique collection for free, to Inuit as well as to all Canadians in Inuktitut, French and English. This past fall, the project reached the 53 Inuit communities of Canada and the Inuit in the urban centres with the launch of a DVD box set of 24 films. This historic NFB undertaking will ensure this collection is available online by 2015, making Unikkausivut a bold heritage initiative of unprecedented scope.

With your support the Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories will provide all Canadians with the opportunity to discover the traditions, culture and values of the Inuit, who have shaped a part of Canada’s history and continue to shape contemporary Canadian society.

Adventure Canada will once again be striving to raise funds during our 2012 Arctic Season and will happily match all donations . Please email Sheryl to learn how you can support this important initiative.

Iceberg breaks off from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier

An iceberg twice the size of Manhattan has broken away from the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland. Images from a Nasa satellite show the island breaking off a tongue of ice that extends at the end of the glacier.

In 2010 an ice island measuring 250 square km (100 square miles) broke off the same glacier. The process that spawns icebergs – known as calving – is a natural, periodic process affecting all glaciers that terminate at the ocean.

A previous calving event at the same glacier in 2010 created an iceberg twice the size of this one.

Scientists have raised concerns in recent years about the Greenland ice shelf, saying that it is thinning extensively amid warm temperatures.


The calving is not expected have an impact on sea levels as the ice was already floating.

You’re Invited to Join the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir

Join the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir on Friday October 12, 2012, and step back in time to recall the glamour and tragedy of the Titanic.  Set in Casa Loma, Toronto’s ultimate Edwardian mansion, the evening includes dinner, wine, music, and a multi-media show.  Well-known Canadian actors Christopher Newton and Brigitte Robinson join best-selling author Hugh Brewster and members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in telling the tale of this unfortunate maiden voyage.  Among the Canadian passengers whose stories will be featured are Lady Duff Gordon, the world’s most famous couturiere, who grew up as Lucy Sutherland in Guelph, Ontario, and a fun-loving bachelor named Thomson Beattie who hailed from Fergus, Ontario.  All proceeds go to support the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.  Edwardian attire is optional, but highly encouraged … prizes for best outfits!  Please visit for complete information.

It’s not too late – ONE cabin left on our Circumnavigation of Ireland!

Join us on our inaugural circumnavigation of the Emerald Isle! Ireland is one of the world’s most beautiful countries. Our journey will be filled with wild bluff coastlines, rain-laden loughs, inspiring homegrown talent for conversation and, of course, a pint or two of Guinness against the backdrop of irrepressible Irish music.


Our top notch resource team will cover history, archeology, bird and marine life, culture, music and will offer insight and enlightenment both afloat and ashore as we conduct our circumnavigation of Ireland aboard one of our favourite vessels – the 118-passenger Clipper Adventurer.

It’s not too late to join! For more information on our upcoming Circumnavigation of Ireland, please click here or email Sheryl.

Featured Destination: Santa Fe

by Carol Heppenstall

There is never a wrong time to visit the city different – Santa Fe. 2012 however, adds some additional spice to your time here as the State of New Mexico celebrates 100 years of statehood. They have rolled out the red carpet for visitors and Santa Fe, the capital city has outdone itself with cultural events, great food and more.

Most people do not know that Santa Fe was first a Native American pueblo tracing its history back some 2000 years. When the Spanish arrived in 1598 and claimed the territory for Spain, it was ruled from abroad and considered part of the Mexican Territories. When Mexico claimed independence from Spain in 1821it belonged to Mexico until it was claimed as an American territory without incident in 1852. Finally, deemed “respectable” it was granted statehood in 1912.

Just imagine the heritage of such a place – older than the settlements of the Pilgrims and as culturally rich as the Canadian colonies of the New World.

Join me in my chosen terra firma for an insider’s look at this remarkable “small town” where the footsteps of history are still evident and celebrated.

For more information please email Judy at or click here.

Join Aaju Peter for the International Polar Year: Focus on Nunavik

Join Adventure Canada, the National Film Board, IPY and Aaju Peter this Saturday for a discussion of Inuit culture and art in Montreal!
From April 26 to 28, visitors to the NFB’s CineRobotheque will have a chance to discover Inuit culture by taking part in a gamut of free activities and screenings that showcase Nunavik. Each screening will be followed by a discussion with the guest directors and preceded by a presentation by multidisciplinary artist Aaju Peter. Attendees will also have a chance to taste Arctic herbal teas offered by the Avataq Cultural Institute.

When:Saturday, April 28
Where: CineRobotheque
1564 St-Denis Street (Métro Berri-UQAM)
Montreal, Quebec
H2X 3K2
Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Unikkausivut – A selection of short Inuit films for the entire family.

Followed by:
Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos
Alethea Arnaquq-Baril | Unikaat Studios Inc. | 2010 | 50 min | In English and Inuktitut with English subtitles

The screening will be followed by a meeting with Aaju, who also participated in the film and will share her knowledge of Inuit culture and art.

You can also join Aaju in her hometown of Iqaluit during our upcoming Alianait Arts Festival program, June 28 – July 5, 2012. For more information, please contact Sheryl at

Islands of Ice

by Jack Seigel

In 2011 as we travelled along Devon Island during the Northwest Passage trip last August, participants were fascinated by an unusually large, flat-topped or tabulate ice mass. We speculated that it was an ‘ice island’ resulting from the accelerated break-up of ice shelves on Ellesmere or glacial ice-tongues on Greenland.

I recently discussed our observation with Dr. Derek Mueller of Carleton University and he confirmed that we most likely saw a fragment of the Petermann Ice Island. The Petermann Glacier in NW Greenland has calved several ice islands in recent years and most recently in early August of 2010. The separated piece, 30 km by 14 km in size with an area of about 245 sq km. was the largest iceberg in the northern hemisphere. It subsequently broke into several pieces and one labelled PII-A, made international news as it headed for Newfoundland in August 2011. Another, PII-B, is currently grounded off Baffin Island and the one we observed, PII-Ba is still moving along Devon but has begun to break up and we witnessed many adjacent icebergs.

Tracking beacons were installed and Dr. Mueller was involved in field research on all of these pieces this past summer. Further information is available on the website of the Canadian Ice Service.

If you want to track these ice islands, you can see their positions at: (PII-Ba) (PII-B)

Very few have the privilege of a visit to the Arctic. Our experiences provide graphic reminders of the rapid changes in global climate. Is it not also a reminder of the need to urge our governments into responsible action? With climate events now decades ahead of projections, the rate of change is more rapid than scientists anticipated. This week, April 22-27, more than 2000 scientists are meeting in Montreal for the International Polar year 2012 conference, “From Knowledge to Action”. Adventure Canada is also in attendance. Follow it at:

Jack Seigel

Join us in the Northwest Passage this year! For more information, please email Loretta at or click one of the links below:

Into the Northwest Passage:  August 19 – September 2, 2012

Out of the Northwest Passage: September 2 -18, 2012

Hurry – there are only a few spots remaining!

Walker’s Inuit Art Auction – Bigger and Better

After the spectacular success of its first Inuit sale last November, Walker’s Fine Art & Estate Auctions will hold its second major Inuit art auction in Ottawa on May 3rd. This auction includes over 400 Inuit works from important Canadian and American estates and collections. This sale includes a truly impressive group of Inuit sculptures, prints and drawings, and hangings. Ingo Hessel, Inuit art curator and author of Inuit Art: An Introduction, has once again researched and written the auction catalogue. Ingo has officially joined Walker’s as Head of their Inuit Art Department.

Visitors to the Toronto preview are invited to attend an informal talk and Q&A on Inuit prints presented by Sandra Barz, whose landmark catalogue of Inuit prints, artists and printmakers is now available from the National Gallery of Canada on-line. Adventure Canada will also be in attendance at both previews- make sure to come by our table and say hi!

Toronto preview:      April 28-30, King Edward Hotel, Windsor Ballroom

Sandra Barz talk:     Toronto, Sunday, April 29 at 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Ottawa preview:       May 2-3, Tudor Hall

Live auction:             Tudor Hall, Ottawa, Thursday, May 3rd, at 5:30 p.m.

(Absentee, telephone and Internet bidding available)

Catalogue:                On-line, PDF on-line, or printed copy on request

More information:

1-866-224-5814 (Walker’s); 613-818-2100 (Ingo Hessel)

Join us on our Alianait Arts Festival and gain insight into the Inuit culture, and enjoy a chance to purchase some Inuit art.  For more information, please click here or email Sheryl,


Updates from Ken McGoogan!

After circumnavigating Ireland with Adventure Canada, historian and travel writer Ken McGoogan will sail with us in August Into the Northwest Passage. For the first time since 1999, he hopes to visit — and lead voyagers — to the spot where John Rae discovered the final link in the Northwest Passage.

Before heading north, Ken will participate in the Elora Writers’ Festival (May 27) in Fergus, Ontario, reading from his book How the Scots Invented Canada.  On June 26, he will travel to Ottawa to give a keynote presentation to a meeting of the Sons of Scotland. And from July 16 to 20, he will teach an intensive non-fiction writing course at the University of Toronto Summer Writing School.

Join Ken on our Into the Northwest Passage Expedition, August 19 – September 2, 2012. For more information,please click here or email Loretta,