Our Mission Statement
We promote, educate, and support the recreational paddling community, paddling instructors, and partners.
Board of Directors
The Paddle Canada Board of Directors is comprised of 13 Regional Directors (one from each province and territory of Canada), the immediate Past President and the President Emeritus.
As per the Paddle Canada Bylaws, the term of office for each Regional Director is nominally three years, with one-third of the Board of Directors elected in a three-year rotating cycle:
2023 (year one): Yukon, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador
2024 (year two): Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia
2022 (year three): Nunavut, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick
President & Director, ON
Living in Ontario, Matt has always loved exploring the outdoors, especially by canoe. He says he will teach anyone canoeing-just ask him! By day you will find him working with Algonquin College’s Outdoor Adventure Program, guiding on the Ottawa River or teaching River Rescue to professional guides and emergency services across North America. In the winter months you can find him coaching alpine skiing and training ski instructors and coaches.
Between all of his other work, he still finds time to guide occasional trips for Black Feather: “I guide for Black Feather for the same reasons you go on trips; to explore great rivers and share my passions with others.”
VP & Director, YK
Trevor was destined to a life of boats from the time his father strapped his car seat to the top of his outboard motor. A few years later, he had his first experience in a canoe at a summer camp. Growing up in the small mining town of Faro, Yukon he really got hooked on whitewater canoeing & tripping by a highschool teacher who introduced him to his favorite Yukon river- The Lapie River.
As the owner and operator of Yukan Canoe, Trevor’s passion is sharing paddling experiences with people from around the world. He thrives on teaching whitewater canoeing and getting people hooked. He has over 50,000 km of canoe tripping and guiding behind his paddle. Trevor also has extensive wilderness experience in the Yukon, from mushing in the Yukon Quest, to guiding extended Dog mushing expeditions and spending winter on a remote Trapline.
There is not a day that paddling is not present in some form or another in Trevor’s life. Trevor’s wife and two children share his love of canoeing; and his son was a member of Canada’s National Junior Slalom team competing in C-1 in 2 Junior World Championships.
Richmond, British Columbia
Mike grew up back East and is a graduate of Queen’s University in Ontario. He took up sea kayaking when he moved to the west coast.
Currently Mike is a Level-2 IT, Level-3 Instructor and certified Level-4 Skills.
Mike is also a PaddleSmart Presenter Trainer, a registered Examiner for VHF Radios and an IT in our Camping Program.
Mike is the owner and operator of BC Kayak Centre which provides courses, clinics, classes and guided tours nationally and internationally.
Treasurer & Director, SK
Geoff lives in Regina, SK with his wife and business partner Regan and their two young girls.
An outdoor retailer going on 24 years, he currently owns stores in Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.
Geoff is an all-round outdoor enthusiast; he holds multiple Instructor Trainer certifications with Paddle Canada, and when he’s not in his shop, or teaching paddling he can be found actively promoting year-round outdoor adventures, such as skiing, snow shoeing, adventure racing and mountain biking.
Geoff teaches paddling courses all over the province of SK and can be found most summers instructing canoe courses for Churchill River Canoe Outfitters in Northern SK, the hub of canoe activity in the province. While primarily a canoeist, Geoff enjoys paddle boarding and kayaking and like many paddlers often struggles with the dilemma, “what craft to paddle today?”
Secretary & Director, NB
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Rob lives in Fredericton, NB and is an Instructor at the Maritime College of Forest Technology. Rob was introduced to canoeing at an early age through family friends and supported by an ever so patient father that took his boys on a memorable canoe trip to Kejimkujik National Park. He has been paddling most of his life but it was a Paddle Canada Course he participated in that became the catalyst for his commitment to becoming a better paddler and to share that passion with others. He currently holds Instructor certifications in Lake and Moving Water Canoe and is an IT in Canoe Poling. Rob spends his free time paddling and exploring the lakes and rivers of NB by canoe and kayak with his wife and friends.
“I have been involved in the paddling community in NB for over a decade and love to see others discover the magic of paddling. I value the volunteer work of others in the paddling community and want to contribute. Having served the NB paddling community as a board member of Canoe Kayak NB in the past, I am excited to engage with paddlers across the nation as a member of the Paddle Canada Board of Directors.”
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Jason is a true Islander ,born and raised he has spent his entire life living on PEI. He spends his days as an automotive painter and has been in the collision industry since 1996 . He currently lives in Charlottetown with his wife and two daughters.
Jason started kayaking in 2013 as a way of staying active , but it didn’t take long for the addiction of being on the water to take hold. He quickly started taking Paddle Canada skills courses to improve his personal skills . And after a couple of seasons working on personal skills he then turned to the instructor stream in order to help others down the road he took himself .
Jason has found a true passion for rough water paddling and pushing his personal skills. He also loves the reward of expedition paddling and camping out of his boat as a way “to get away from it all” . Anytime you are on the water with Jason his passion and dedication for the sport truly shines through. “Being involved with Paddle Canada as an instructor is truly rewarding ,helping other achieve their goals and watching them grow as paddlers is a wonderful feeling !”
Valley, Nova Scotia
With 27 years of working in the Paddle Sport industry Christopher is pleased to be part of the Paddle Canada Board of directors.
Being the owner of Committee 2 the Core Sea Kayak coaching and Executive Director of the Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium allows him to stay connected with paddlers in Nova Scotia and beyond.
He has been an active member of the paddling community spearheading the Atlantic Paddle Symposium, board member of Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia and delivering 5 successful rounds of the Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium.
“My 2 main focuses are delivering adventure sport coach education program and delievering the highest quality technical paddling programs with a student focussed approach”
Sea you on the water.
Pauline makes her home on 80 acres of forest in the Turtle Mountains in SW Manitoba. She is the owner and operator of RiverSong Wilderness Outfitters, specializing in canoe tripping on the many rivers and lakes in NW Ontario and Northern Manitoba. She also works at a local park on the US/Canadian border, and in the winter months, Pauline coaches cross-country skiing. When not paddling, you will often find Pauline mountain biking, skiing, or woodturning. While she has no specific dream trip, she figures there are so many local rivers and lakes to explore where she discovers something new each time she explores.
In her role as Director at Paddle Canada, she says:
“I decided to join the board because I am passionate about canoeing and sharing its artistry and finesse with people. I am still getting a feel for the culture of the board but feel that it’s important for women in the outdoor industry to have a voice.”
Lana lives in Edmonton but spends her summers at Rocky Mountain House, AB where she and her family run an Adventure Education Centre (HeLa Ventures).
Lana also works part-time as an Outdoor Programmer with Strathcona County. In the winter, when not instructing from the seat of her canoe she takes to her Nordic skis as an instructor with CANSI.
“I am passionate about paddling, and about anything that connects people to the outdoors. Paddling provides a pathway to beautiful areas of our country that people would not otherwise be able to experience. My life has been dedicated to providing positive, growing experiences for youth, and I see the outdoors as the perfect medium for a classroom – a perfect venue for young people to develop strong inter and intrapersonal relationships with self, others, and the environment. I appreciate the professionalism that Paddle Canada instills in instructors and the standards of excellence that it promotes. I like being a part of that!”
Her dream trip would see her returning to the Nahanni River, (where she guided in her younger years) with her daughters.
Vancouver, British Columbia
EJ lives in Vancouver, BC and is the manager of the Jericho Beach Kayak Centre.
He has been a part time kayaking instructor for over 10 years. A couple of years ago he decided to stop following a ‘regular’ career path and instead do what he loves and work in the kayaking community full time. He then took on the school director role at Ecomarine and started operating the Jericho Beach Kayak Centre in 2019.
EJ got introduced to paddling by playing canoe polo in Germany but quickly started also going on multi-day kayaking trips. One of the reasons he moved to BC in 2008 is the world-class paddling we are blessed with. He loves to explore the various waterways in BC whether it is paddling on the ocean by kayak or SUP, exploring our lakes by canoe with his kids or paddling down a river in a whitewater kayak.
He loves paddling as a sport, but what really draws him to it -both in his job and as BC Director- is that it allows us to create connections, to bring community together, to learn, teach and support ourselves and each other and to enjoy the great outdoors.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Rachel was born and raised in Sǫ̀mba K’è (Yellowknife), Denendeh where she still lives today. She is a nêhiyaw-English paddler and land-based program advocate. In 2019, she completed a Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria. Rachel also has a certificate in Land-Based Research. Currently, Rachel is studying a Masters of Indigenous Land-Based Education at the University of Saskatchewan. Rachel is the On The Land Programs Consultant at the NWT Recreation and Parks Association where she supports community-led on the land programs through training, advocacy, and networking opportunities.
Rachel is a Paddle Canada certified Lake Canoe Instructor Trainer, Sea Kayak level 1 Instructor, and Introduction Moving Water Canoe Instructor. She has also spent time guiding in the Mackenzie Mountains and on the Yukon River.
“Being on the land makes me feel whole. This is why I am passionate about strengthening peoples connection to the land as I believe it is the foundation for revitalizing Indigenous cultures, languages, and ways of being.”
Eric served as Paddle Canada President from 2001-2005. He lives in Tiverton, Ontario, and after a career in engineering, he is now an active Anglican Priest.
As a canoe instructor, and instructor trainer for much of his adult life, Eric enjoys memories of the three-to-four-week canoe trips taken with his family every summer. When asked what his favourite canoe trip is, he says “The one I am on”. But he does recall with fondness in 2008, when he was the organizer and “Gouvernail” for the Paddle Canada 1 team on the 3600 km, 66 day “David Thompson Brigade” from Rocky Mountain House Alberta to Old Fort William, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
On why he first joined Paddle Canada as a volunteer: “Kirk Wipper twisted my arm! Sustaining the waterways as a great environment to teach young people, while trying to reduce the number of fatalities each year. I continue to take each Canadian small boating fatality personally: what didn’t we do to prevent it? Accidents do not just happen, we let them happen!”
Michelle makes her home on a small piece of land just north of Kingston, Ontario with her husband and two sons. Surrounded by lakes and forests, she’s often out exploring by foot, pedal, or paddle. She’s not fussy about which kind of paddle-canoe, kayak, or SUP!
Michelle has been a canoe trip guide, a paddling instructor, an adventure racer, and worked in outdoor retail for almost 18 years. Her dream trip, “to paddle a northern river where the sun never sets” came to fruition in 2017 when she and her family paddled the Dehcho (Mackenzie River) in the NWT.
On working for Paddle Canada, she says “I love all of the people I am meeting (virtually of course!) across the country, it’s like I suddenly have friends to paddle with anywhere in Canada. I am also very much enjoying being able to bring paddlers’ concerns, ideas, and voices to other organizations in the outdoor sector.”
Bethan has been working at Paddle Canada since 2015. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her young family and has taken on more paddling activities over the years of working with the organization. Luckily her abilities to balance finances is better than balancing a kayak but she is always excited to get out and explore the wonderful lakes in the surrounding Kingston area.
Bethan has always enjoyed travelling and exploring other regions of the world and our country and was fortunate to travel the country to meet some of our wonderful members on the west coast and throughout Ontario at boat shows and meetings.
Annual General Meetings
Invite notices to the AGM are distributed each spring by email, our newsletter Current Strokes, and the Paddle Canada website. The Annual General Meeting is held by webinar and conference call unless otherwise noted.
Read reports and minutes from past Annual General Meetings.
Three notices for nomination are sent to membership between 90 days and 45 in advance of the deadline. Afterward, and no less than 45 days, voting will commence online via members’ accounts. Notices of elections and the AGM are distributed by email, Current Strokes, and the Paddle Canada website. Final results are confirmed at the Annual General Meeting, to be held by webinar and conference call.
Members interested in joining the dedicated team on the PC Board of Directors, tackling issues making a difference for your organization, are invited to apply typically in January of each year.
Nominees, their nominators, and seconders must be Instructor Members in good standing of Paddle Canada as of the close of nominations. Paddle Canada Board of Directors Nominees must also be members in good standing of at least one Paddle Canada Regional Member Association in their province or territory, where one exists.
For questions, comments, and concerns regarding the nominations and election processes please contact our Executive Director.
Paddle Canada Bylaws
Learn about the rules and bylaws that help guide our organization.