Speakers

Educators, innovators, and collaborators from across Canada.

Speakers will be added as they are confirmed. Please check back to stay up to date!


 
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Chúk Odenigbo

Chúk is incredibly passionate about the links between public health and the environment. Currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa in Medical Geography after completing his Master's degree at the School of Public Health at Université de Montréal and a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Chemistry at Queens University.

Having a particularly varied professional background, Chúk worked with the Canadian Parks Council to write "Let's go out and play in Nature", an action plan to encourage all Canadians to take action to put the new generation in contact with Nature and proposing ways to do it. He was also Environmental Scientist in the Alberta Petroleum Sector and Director of Sustainability at Club Monaco Chinook Center.

Chúk was recently named one of the top 30 change agents under the age of 30 by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation. He was named one of the Top 10 young Franco-Albertan leaders by CBC, and was recently selected to be part of the first cohort of Ocean Portal, a group of young Canadians leading health and wellness projects. ocean awareness in Canada.

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Mark Schmidt

Mark is the lead trails analyst for Parks Canada. He began developing trails in the mid 1990’s, while volunteering for several trail organizations throughout Canada. In 2001 Mark turned his hobby into a profession, working in both the USA and Canada, and now has over 17 years of professional trails experience including trail design/planning, trail construction, trail management, trail assessment and trail restoration. Mark has also lead over 150 trail education workshops focusing on a range of trail topics from trail design to advanced trail construction. He joined Parks Canada, as National Trails Analyst, in January 2010 and is responsible for the creation of national trail standards and guidelines, creating new trail resources, working with external partners, and providing trail support for Parks Canada’s field units. In the last 8 years Mark has worked in over 40 Parks Canada sites across the country and has travelled to other countries as a Parks Canada representative to assist with trail projects.

Mark spends most of the time exploring the world with his wife and 3 little girls. Any leftover time is spent mountain biking, hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

Dawn Carr Atlantic Outdoor Forum

Dawn Carr

Since 2012, Dawn Carr has been the Executive Director of the Canadian Parks Council, providing professional services to senior executives in Canada’s provincial, territorial and federal park agencies. With over 20 years of experience in parks, Dawn’s passion extends into volunteer roles on 3 world conservation commissions, and board positions with the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, Outdoor Play Canada, and the Canadian Committee for the IUCN. Dawn holds a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University and a Master of Arts focused on protected area planning from the University of Waterloo. She will be speaking about Parks for All: An Action Plan for Canada's Parks Community was released and endorsed by federal, provincial and territorial Parks Ministers to connect people with nature and to conserve our incredible network of parks – city parks to national parks!

Dawn will be involved with several aspects of the forum and will be speaking to her Parks for All initiative. This program is a major partnership between the Can. Parks Council and Can. Parks and Rec. Association. It marries two separate documents, Connecting Canadians to Nature by the CPC and The Framework for Recreation in Canada by the CPRA, into one cohesive message and set of actions for the entire country. This is no minor accomplishment and the support it’s received by the whole community is equally unprecedented! Click here to learn more about Dawn and the Parks for all program.

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Micha Fardy

Growing up between St. John’s NL and Riverview NB, Micha has had the great fortune to infuse her professional and personal journey with passion and purpose.
For over a decade Micha worked as the Director of Community Development for the United Way of Greater Moncton and SENB. Here she developed community impact strategies for NB’s largest United Way while working with community organizations, businesses and government agencies throughout the province. During this time she focused her learning and practice in the fields of outcome evaluation, collective impact and community economic development in rural areas. More recently, Micha has been focused on growing the Fundy Guild, a charitable organization that operates as Fundy National Park’s “Friends of Fundy” cooperating group."

Micha will take part in a panel discussion around how partners in Albert County, St. Martin’s and Sussex are working together to leverage Fundy National Park investments in conservation, recreation and culture & heritage to have a tangible impact in the corridor communities that lead into the Park around regional community economic development goals. Learn more here.

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Christian Bagg

Christian Bagg is a Calgary born inventor and mechanical designer. Injured in 1996, while snowboarding, Christian broke his back and was paralyzed from the waist down. Using his background as a machinist, he starting inventing his way around the challenges he faced. With a love for the outdoors and a passion for problem solving, he has spent the last 22 years designing and building adaptive equipment. What started as a way to solve his own problems grew into an outlet to help others experience the very outdoors that he loves so much. Sharing his story has helped Christian establish partnerships with government agencies, private corporations and post-secondary education institutions, all with the belief that “everyone belongs outside”

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Patrick Maher

Pat Maher is an Associate Professor of Community Studies and Outdoor Leadership at Cape Breton University. He sits on the Leadership Team for the Nova Scotia Outdoor Network as well as the core steering committee for the Unama’ki Cape Breton Outdoor Network. Learn more about his panel discussion on lessons learned through the development of the NS Outdoor Network (NSON) and the Unama’ki Cape Breton Outdoor Network (UCBON), alongside other relevant connections between the panelists here.

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Michael Haynes

Michael Haynes has been involved in trail development across Canada, and is the author of numerous trail guides covering Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the National Capital Region, and Western Québec. A former Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Trails Federation, he is also a travel writer and regular commentator for CBC Radio. His travel articles have appeared in Ottawa Magazine, Saltscapes, and Explore. Learn more about his presentation with Gooselane publishing’s Susanne Alexander here.

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Dr. Samuel Daigle

Co-founder of Aventure Nepisiguit Adventures with his wife is a retired family physician, having done ER for 17 years. He opted to hang his stethoscope early and help create this company knowing he can bring as much benefit by getting people back in nature where we evolved, eating healthy and being active than by prescribing pills. He is a proud Acadian having good ties with the First Nations and wishes very much to keep that wonderful cultural heritage alive. He traveled quite a bit, preferring to go off the beaten track and spending as much time outdoors as possible. He gained significant experience in the woods from a very young age, has done some long range hiking, is an avid woodworker / woodturner and is always willing to share any of his stories and tips. Samuel is also a strong force with many volunteers in helping to restore the 140 km hiking trail used for centuries by the Mi’gmaq people.

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Susanne Alexander

Susanne Alexander is the publisher of Goose Lane Editions, one of Atlantic Canada’s largest publishers and its principal publisher of trail guides. Susanne began as the managing editor of Goose Lane when the company published fewer than 10 books each year and she was the only full-time staff person. The company now publishes more than 25 books each year, for national and international markets, including three guides in trail guide series, in a newly update format, complete with full-colour maps and photographs, GPS coordinates, and reliable information for avid outdoor persons. Learn more about her presentation with Michael Haynes here.

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Louis Carpentier

M. Louis Carpentier is Route verte’s director of development at Vélo Québec where he has been working for more than a dozen years. In constant contact with managers and partners throughout Quebec, he coordinates the activities related to completion and enhancement of the national cycle route. He also ensures the continuous improvement of the Route verte being the main pivot of the project within the Vélo Québec team. Louis Carpentier also sits as Vice-President of the Conseil Québécois du Sentier Transcanadien. Louis Carpentier holds a Masters from Montréal University’s Institute of Urban Planning.

Louis will be giving a seminar on the development of a value based system for La Route Vert and Other outdoor spaces.

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Gabrielle Riley Gallagher

Gabrielle Riley Gallagher is a Recreation Consultant with the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage - Communities, Sport and Recreation Division. She sits on the Leadership Team for the Nova Scotia Outdoor Network. Learn more about her panel discussion on lessons learned through the development of the NS Outdoor Network (NSON) and the Unama’ki Cape Breton Outdoor Network (UCBON), alongside other relevant connections between the panelists here.

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Wayne McKay

Wayne McKay is the Cape Breton Regional Physical Activity Consultant for the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. He is part of the core steering committee for the Unama’ki Cape Breton Outdoor Network. He is also an artist who combines his love of the outdoors with his artistic work, including working with middle school youth in Sydney on projects that combine drama and outdoor adventure. He spends his spare time exploring Cape Breton’s many hiking trails and beaches with his wife and two daughters. Learn more about her panel discussion on lessons learned through the development of the NS Outdoor Network (NSON) and the Unama’ki Cape Breton Outdoor Network (UCBON), alongside other relevant connections between the panelists here.

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Janet Barlow

Janet Barlow is the Executive Director of Hike Nova Scotia and the Chair of the Nova Scotia Outdoor Network. She was formerly the Recreation Nova Scotia Project Manager for the Nova Scotia Outdoor Network. Learn more about her panel discussion on lessons learned through the development of the NS Outdoor Network (NSON) and the Unama’ki Cape Breton Outdoor Network (UCBON), alongside other relevant connections between the panelists here.