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50 Years, 50 People: Brian Johnston

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Brian has been part of Paddle Canada since the 1990’s, eventually becoming an active volunteer in 2004. He is a long time member of the Canoe Program Committee, and contributed greatly to the scribing and editing of the many of our canoe manuals now being used (no small task!). In more recent years, he was our Director for Manitoba, and he retired as our Vice President  in 2020. He was also a member of the Membership Committee, the driving force behind our current Strategic Plan, and was part of the team that hired our current Executive Director.

When asked what he is most proud of, aside from supporting fellow paddlers across Canada, he enjoyed being involved in the overhaul of our national canoe program and believes it to be the best in the world. In 2019, Brian was awarded the Kirk Wipper Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Paddle Canada.

Brian still enjoys paddling, canoe tripping, and instructing canoe courses, and continues to work on our Canoe Program Committee. Every spring he dusts off his canoe to squeeze in some whitewater trips. And other times, he hangs his paddle up and you’ll find him experiencing nature on foot, such as orienteering, trail running, adventure racing, backpacking and long distance walking tours.

“Canada is truly a country that begs you to witness nature and its interconnected vast waterways. I fill my days striving to do that.”

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Brian in an orange whitewater canoe