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Director Candidates for Paddle Canada Board 2016

The provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nunavut Territory are currently running elections this year.  For full details on the Paddle Canada Board of Director Election process, please read more here.  

Nominations for 2016


There are two candidates at this time for New Brunswick:

Nancy Clifford 

Nick Kitchen

nancy clifford2Nancy Clifford

My excitement for teaching goes beyond my job as an education assistant in an elementary school. I have experience working on the board with the Fundy Paddlers Club, the NB Paddling Symposium, National Paddling Week events, paddling opportunities for special need individuals and of course as an instructor, passing on my passion for getting people in boats. My interest lies with creating programs for the young and for women, especially those over 50 which is the growing demographic in this area.

Vision for Paddle Canada

As a Director for Paddle Canada I would work to increase public awareness of Paddle Canada and increase its membership base beyond instructors. I would help make Paddle Canada the go to provider for recreational paddling certifications for both standard skills and for special skill sets as defined by age or gender.

As a Director I would continually look for ways to strengthen and support Paddle Canada, our instructors and programs.

I would work for and support programs in all of the Paddle Canada disciplines with attention to regional and age related needs.

My vision would be to see Paddle Canada set the standard for paddling excellence.

Since I know many of the paddling instructors in this area, I would be available to connect and work with them. I work in the school system so I am in a good position to work with clubs, schools, and youth groups to promote and use Paddle Canada Courses and the PaddleSmart Program.

I am interested in developing new ideas to get more youth in paddling activities. I have some ideas in youth programming and would like a chance to raise the bar in this area for Paddle Canada.


nick kitchenNick Kitchen

A passionate individual committed to the development and growth of paddling in New Brunswick for the better part of two decades.  Considered to be a leader among my peers, I bring a unique blend of practical paddling experience combined with years of experience as a senior manager at various corporations.

Objective and Vision

My main objective would very simply put be, Growth.  It may sound simple at first and a little underwhelming, however, when you take a moment and look specifically a the province of New Brunswick there is a huge opportunity for growth.  With NB’s combination of rivers, lakes, and coastline, it is literally a playground for paddlers, however, there seems to be a disconnect.  There are a number of individuals that are trying there best to move the paddling community forward but without help and support these individuals are only capable of so much.  There are paddling clubs throughout the province as well as a provincial association and the perception is that they all operate independently.  Whether or not that is truly the case is irrelevant because that is the perception, and as the saying goes, when perception meets reality, perception always wins.  I feel that there is an opportunity to collaborate with the provincial paddle association to grow and improve paddling in New Brunswick.  Now back to my growth comment.  I’m confident that my background in the corporate world as a senior manager and as a business coach would lend itself very favourably to my goal of achieving growth.  This growth would include an increase in PC membership, increase in paddling clubs, increased alignment with the provincial association, and an overall increase in public awareness of Paddle Canada and what Paddle Canada has to offer.  My role at was literally that of leading business owners through all aspects of their business in order to grow their business and become profitable.  I worked with all levels of owners, from start up right up to owners that were looking at incorporating and building teams around them. 

As it relates to where I would like to see Paddle Canada as whole.  I would like to see Paddle Canada continue to strive to be a leader in the paddling community.  I would like to see PC continue to support and nurture the growth of the paddling community not only nationally, but on a provincial level as well.  I would like for Paddle Canada to be the model of what a national paddling association should look like and one that others try to model themselves after. 

I firmly believe that there is a huge opportunity here in New Brunswick and I’m very confident in my abilities to help grow the PC footprint and promote a safe, smart, and engaged paddling community. 


Lana Ohler-Madsen 

Lana resides in Edmonton area and is a director at Hela Ventures and an outdoor recreationa programmer with Strathcona Wilderness Centre. She has been a past director on the boards of Paddle Alberta, Salto Gymnastics and the Alberta Camping Association. Instructor certificatioins include PC Lake Instructor Trainer, NLS and first aid CPR Instructor and CANSI Level 4 Instructor.  Her goal in becoming a Director on the Paddle Canada Board is to ensure paddling courses are accessible to all Canadians.  As an Alberta Rep., her goal would be to promote safe paddling to all Albertans, and to reach individuals in rural communities with courses and programs.  She believes that if we can increase the number of instructors at a basic level throughout Alberta (and Canada), we will create a pool of individuals wishing to move on to higher levels.  These courses must be cost effective and physically accessible.



biran jBrian Johnston 

Brian Johnston is an avid paddler, instructor, and wilderness tripper. For 20 years Brian has promoted paddling in Canada including delivering the Paddle Canada program in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

Brian has worked with Paddle Canada as a Director and longtime Canoe Program Development Committee member. Likewise, Brian has served on Paddle Manitoba’s Board and committees several times.

Based on his diverse paddling experience, Brian contributes to the paddling community by writing articles (Kanawa, Rapid Media, Che-Mun, Nastawgan,, and giving presentations at symposiums and events.

As part of Paddle Canada’s outreach program, Brian volunteers with PaddleSmart.

When off the water, Brian enjoys reading and trip planning as well as x-country skiing, backpacking and hiking, as well as trail running and orienteering.

Vision for Paddle Canada

As the Manitoba Director, I will support Paddle Canada. I will continue to work towards expanding Paddle Canada’s safety initiatives and metrics as well as its profile as the National Paddling Organization, with an international presence and reputation for its superior padding instruction program.

I believe we can improve our national instruction program, with an openness and willingness to meet the changing needs of the paddling community as it evolves.

I will support Paddle Canada’s effort to increase membership engagement and partnerships.

I will continue to foster a love and respect for our natural resources by championing our heritage and environmental stewardship within the Paddle Canada organization.

I believe Paddle Canada needs to continue its open and regular communication with Paddle Manitoba. I’m always willing to help out Manitoba Instructors and work on the relationships between Manitoba Instructors, Retailers, and Paddle Manitoba. Paddle Canada continues to be a vital and integral part of skill development in Manitoba. Thank you for being part of this important growth and development.

It has been an honour to volunteer and help out at Paddle Manitoba Events, MEC’s Winnipeg Paddlefest, Manitoba Whitewater Club Shindig, Whitemouth River Valley National Paddling Day, Wilderness Committee Save the Bird River, and Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship Parks Strategy Consultation Process.

It is my honour to serve Paddle Canada as Manitoba’s Regional Director and I hope that I may count on your support for re-election.


(vacant – no candidates at this time)