Black Feather Guides


The team of Black Feather guides is exceptional. Over 40 qualified guides work each season, and some have been guiding with Black Feather for over 20 years! We are now reaching our second generation of guides - the sons and daughters of the original founders and guides - who have now matured into guides themselves.


Who are your guides? Most are Canadians who have a strong background in canoe tripping and wilderness travel that has been developed through summer camps, school programs, and/or family trips. Some came to Black Feather with extensive personal resumes, and some started as Black Feather participants and clients. Many work through a long apprenticeship program under the tutelage of our more-experienced guides, and advance to longer, more-remote trips and greater responsibility as their abilities are proven. They are certified by recognized accreditation bodies such as the Canadian Red Cross, Paddle Canada, and Wilderness Medical Associates, to name a few.

Wendy Grater

I’ve been guiding for Black Feather since 1984, when I joined the company as guide and partner.  Since then, I’ve paddled, hiked, kayaked, mountain biked and skied in the NWT, Yukon, Nunavut, B.C., Ontario, Quebec and Greenland. I am now the sole owner and director of Black Feather. This is a rewarding and multifaceted profession. I enjoy the challenges and rewards of operating a wilderness adventure company, the amazing people that I meet, both participants and guides, and the inspiring connection with the land!

A couple of my favourite trips are canoeing the Mountain River and sea kayaking in East Greenland because I love the combination of excellent paddling and fantastic day hiking opportunities. Of course, the opportunity to paddle, hike or ski in any part of our vast land is always a bonus! On trips, I really enjoy the chance to get to know all the participants, feel a sense of challenge and to share the fantastic wilderness environment.

In 2011, I was awarded the Northwest Territories Tourism Lifetime Achievement Award, for service and commitment to the tourism industry in Canada’s north.  In 2013, Black Feather was awarded both the Nunavut Tourism Business of the Year and Northwest Territories Tourism Operator of the Year.  I am honoured to be recognized and to introduce Canada’s wilderness to so many keen adventurers.

When not guiding or in the Black feather office, my interests are cross country and back country skiing, yoga and hiking. I look forward to meeting you and sharing an amazing outdoor adventure.


Michelle Bastien

I have been with Black Feather since 2008 working both as a full time guide as well as at the Parry Sound base during pre-season prep. My experience as both a canoeing and hiking guide have brought me to magnificent places in Ontario, Quebec, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. It is a blessing and an honour to meet adventurous souls, like yourself, who decide to spend their vacation exposed to the elements, submerged in fresh air, and learning lessons about themselves in ways that can only be taught here, on expeditions.

These days I am living in Newfoundland and Labrador where I am completing a fast-track nursing programme. I hope to have the opportunity to return to Northern Canada as a practicing nurse and to continue guiding in and exploring the amazing Canadian landscapes.


Clara Boiscair

I started working for Black Feather in 2017 and I am very excited to be back on the river this summer in our spectacular Canadian northern wilderness. I fell in love with river tripping and outdoor activities in my teens as I went to summer camp in Quebec where I grew up. I then decided to turn this passion into a guiding career. I completed an Adventure Tourism Diploma in 2008, and I have been leading canoe and backpacking trips now for over 10 years, in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, the Yukon, and the NWT. My first taste of the north was in 2010, in the Yukon, and I have been guiding northern trips since, as the beauty and the immensity of Canada’s north won my heart and keep calling me back. Some of my favorite river trips are the Snake, the Broken Skull, the Moosepond section of the Nahanni and the Moisie (Qc). I also work as an outdoor educator for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Canada, the USA and New Zealand. As I always love sharing my passion for canoeing, I teach Paddle Canada canoe courses once in a while. In the winter, I work as a tail guide at Crescent Spur Heli-skiing and K3 Cat Ski, near Revelstoke, BC, where I now call home.  I look forward to share my next adventure with you!

Garret Boyd

My name is Garret, and I started guiding with Black Feather in 2006.  Since a young age, I have always felt most at home traveling and exploring wilderness environments.  I find joy in the simplicity, beauty, excitement and challenge of wilderness tripping.  I spend my winters guiding backcountry skiing throughout British Columbia and Japan.  Summer's are filed with guiding rivers and mountain hiking, with a variety of people, places and intentions.  When I have time away from guiding, I putter away at my off-grid homestead, growing food, and finding adventures in my backyard near Golden BC, paddling, hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.  This will be my fifth season with Black Feather, and I'm excited to be back.  Happy Trails!

Pacal Bredin

Salut, je m’appelle Pascal! As I grew up canoe-camping with my parents and in summer camps, my love for both paddling and nature have ended up playing a big part in my life. In 2017, I paddled from Québec City to the Winnipeg River and back to Ottawa in one season, paddling for a total five and a half months, three of which were solo. I’m thankful to have had been able to enjoy wonderful rivers, amazing lakes and relive in a certain way what the voyageurs did. Among all the breath taking places, Lake Superior has a special place in my heart with it’s immense power, passive beauty and endless sunsets. I live to go back out on expedition, discover new places and catch up with old ones. While I wait to wrap my hands around a paddle, I study biology in university. I’m incredibly excited to guide for Black Feather and to create new memories with you!

Maureen Bretz

I’ve had the privilege of guiding canoe and sea kayak trips for Black Feather for 14 years - the opportunity to share wilderness travel in amazing places is fantastic. I’ve guided rivers and lakes in Ontario, Quebec, Northern BC, Nunavut, NWT and the Yukon.  My personal passion for the outdoors began early, camping on Georgian Bay. Competitive whitewater kayaking in my youth led me to explore many adventures on several continents  - hiking, cross country skiing, biking, canoeing, whitewater and sea kayaking, wherever and whenever I can. On trips you are likely to see me with a camera in hand, or on my hands and knees with a book, wondering and sharing about the local flora, fauna and geology of new landscapes.   My favourite things about guiding:  watching the group become cohesive, teaching and learning new skills, rising to the occasion with challenges, and enjoying stories and good food around the campfire .

Every BF trip has its special highlights, but the Canadian north holds a special place in my heart.  The Mountain, Coppermine, Nahanni, and Wind Rivers for whitewater, spectacular scenery, hiking, wildlife and flowers are favourites.

When I’m  not guiding  my day job is key account sales  in the publishing/book industry. I recently moved to Horseshoe Valley, Ontario  - a good place to grow gardens, photograph, read,  hike, paddle, ski and dream of upcoming trips.

Tegan Brock

Hello there! I have been part of the Black Feather family since 2012, and have had the opportunity to lead sea kayaking trips along Georgian Bay, and whitewater river trips in Ontario, Quebec, and the Northwest Territories. 

My earlier years have been filled with canoe trips in Algonquin Park and Temagami, and whitewater kayaking on the Madawaska River.  While on trip I enjoy sharing stories, learning from others, and experiencing each day as a unique opportunity for something new, as well as a time for reflection.  I have a B.Sc. degree in Environmental Science and a post-graduate diploma in Applied and Community-based Research, and am committed to expanding my understanding of land-use projects and policy in Canada. 

I adore baking, creating good food, and swimming in fresh water.  I am in perpetual awe of the Canadian wilderness and look forward to enjoying its wonders, beauty and challenges with you.

Adrick Brock

I grew up paddling in Ontario’s Madawaska Valley and have run rivers in Quebec, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. Back country life is a perfect compliment and counterpoint to my life in Vancouver, where I work as a writer and researcher during the cooler (wetter) months. I might just be at my best outside: trailing running, whitewater canoeing and hiking in the alpine. You can count on me for strong morning coffee and a great day on the river! 

John Carswell

In 2005 I became addicted to the Arctic. My first trip with Black Feather was the Auyuittuq Traverse and I’ve been going north ever since. Most of my trips have been hiking adventures including Baffin, Ellesmere, Axel Heiberg, Devon and Bylot Island with few Greenland kayaking trips thrown in for good measure. I do enjoy the simple life of a backpacker!!
I’ve completed many trips with Black Feather as a client and more recently as a Guide. It’s great to have both perspectives. 
I have a passion for the Arctic.  The land, the wildlife and the human history all combine to make these Arctic trips special and extremely rewarding. I look forward to sharing these Arctic experiences with you. 

Sarah Creasor

I grew up on Georgian Bay and many of the surrounding lakes which led to my love for water. I became exposed to kayaking and canoeing at a young age and started guiding as an apprentice on Georgian Bay in the summer of 2010. I then started with Black Feather in the spring of 2015. I’ve started teaching more over the years and have dabbled in other areas of water sports like Stand-Up Paddling. One of my favourite parts about guiding is that each trip is so different because of the people you meet, and what they bring to the experience. When I’m not guiding in the summers I’ve been spending my time working away at an undergraduate degree in Bio-Medical Sciences, at the University of Guelph. In my spare time my other interests include: horse-back riding, nordic skiing, ultimate frisbee, and biking to name a few. I love trying new things so my biggest problem is normally that there aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything!

Matt Cuccaro

For all my life I have loved exploring the outdoors, especially by canoe. When I am not guiding for Black Feather I am teaching canoeing to anyone who will ask, working with the Algonquin College’s Outdoor Adventure Programs, guiding on the Ottawa River or teaching River Rescue to professional guides and emergency services across North America. In the winter months I coach alpine skiing and train ski instructors and coaches. I guide for Black Feather for the same reasons you go on trips; to explore great rivers and share my passions with others. I look forward to meeting you all soon!

Jack Cummings

Hi, my name is Jack.  Over the last two summers I was an apprentice guide with Black Feather, taking trips on the Nahanni, Dumoine and others.  I also have been fortunate enough to paddle the Hood, Coppermine, Missinaibi and Upper Magnetewan rivers, as well as a number of others in Northern Ontario.  I currently am a student at the University of Washington in Seattle pursuing a major in Earth and Space Sciences.  I am looking forward to another exciting summer on the water!

Margaret Fahey

Oh hey there, my name is Margaret and I’m new to the Black Feather team as of 2018. I first found my love of the canoe as a young pup at summer camp in Northern Ontario. Having spent my youth exploring lakes and rivers all over the Canadian Shield, I felt drawn to pursue an education and career that would keep me in the wilderness. I went to school for Adventure Tourism at Thompson Rivers University, and have since worked in varying guide roles in Ontario, Quebec, NWT, and British Columbia. I spend my fall seasons in Algonquin guiding outdoor ed canoe trips with teens, and my winters in Revelstoke, BC as a ski patroller. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the Black Feather family and look forward to many adventures in the spectacular Canadian North! 

Jake Fell

My name is Jake and I have been happily guiding for Black Feather since 2015! In this time I have had the pleasure of guiding trips in Ontario, Quebec, the Yukon, the NWT, and Nunavut! I grew up white water paddling and before guiding for Black Feather I spent the majority of my summers out on the land in some way or another and my winters cross country skiing!  When I’m not on trip I’m either paddling, skiing, fishing, or at Laurier University working on a Business degree. I love meeting new people and getting to know people from around the world has definitely been one of the best aspects of guiding these past summers! Rivers hold a very special place in my heart and the opportunity to share my excitement for wild places is what keeps me excited to come back each year! I truly love being outside and look forward to seeing you on the river this summer!

Kira Gangbar

I’m Kira Gangbar and I’ve been guiding for Black Feather since 2007. I fell in love with Canada’s north after paddling the Nahanni River with Black Feather as a guest, and since then have spent my summers working and paddling in the NWT, Nunavut, Ontario, and Quebec. Some of my favorite trips are the Nahanni’s infamous Moose Ponds as well as the Mountain River, because I love the challenging paddling but even more so because I find the beauty of these rivers unparalleled. My favorite parts of Black Feather’s trips are getting to know the guests and helping them enjoy their experience as much as I do. I also am a huge fan of Black Feather’s incredible menu! My hobbies are running, rock climbing, cycling, skiing and snowboarding, reading, and playing piano.

Hannah Gaudet

Hi! My name is Hannah Gaudet, and I am from Ottawa, Ontario. This will be my third season with Black Feather, and I can’t wait to make more memories on the river. I began whitewater kayaking as a young teenager, and developed a love for canoeing and expeditions during university. I’ve found a home in Thunder Bay, Ontario for the past 5 years, where I’ve just finished my Outdoor Recreation and Education degrees. I look forward to starting my masters in Environmental Education this year, where I hope to research the benefits of risk-based and nature-based learning on young students. My favourite river (so far) is the Mountain, in NWT! When I am not paddling, I enjoy cooking, rock climbing, running, and playing in the snow. 

Natalie Gillis

Hi! My name is Natalie Gillis and I’ve had the pleasure of guiding Black Feather trips since 2010. I’ve led sea kayaking, canoeing and hiking trips throughout the Canadian North and some of my favorite routes have included the hikes on Baffin and Ellesmere Island in the high arctic; I especially love these hikes for the sense of knowing that everything you need is in your head or on your back. I feel the best trips are the ones that take you far into the wilderness, where the distractions of everyday life are distant and far removed; it’s these types of trips attract the company of incredible individuals who bring adventure to life. Between the summers, I’m pursuing a Masters degree in Natural Resource and Environmental Studies with a focus on the Eastern Arctic and I enjoy creative writing, skiing, whitewater kayaking, literature, cooking and playing guitar.

Conor Goddard

I have been a Black Feather Guide since 2006 and have been teaching paddlesports and guiding since 2002.  I love the sea, rivers and the land.  I am also fascinated by the human relationship with these places. 

I have fallen for the Arctic particularly, and continue to enjoy exploring its fascinating land/waterscapes.  If I had to pick a favourite trip it would be the Pond Inlet sea kayak trip as I feel it offers a bit of everything.  Beautiful scenery, incredible wildlife, culture, history, awesome paddling and day hikes.  I especially like longer trips as they offer enough time for a group to gel and work together as a team.  They also allow for a bizarre inter-group humour to develop which also makes a trip quite memorable!

Outside of guiding I paddle a lot, spend time on the land with my family and dog, drink tea, eat as much country food as possible & catch what we eat whether it be under water or on land. I live and play in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik with my partner Tracy Partridge and we are expecting our new baby soon!

Colleen Hammond

I am Colleen and I have been guiding for Black feather for 8 years. I have paddled, hiked and kayaked in the NWT, Nunavut, B.C., Ontario, Quebec, and Greenland. Pond Inlet is one of my favorite trips … I love the Narwhal and the serenity of the open landscapes. The Nahanni is another favorite with its amazing white water, day hikes, and stunning views. On trips I love the feeling of leaving everything behind and the opportunity to travel with the great people that Black Feather trips attract. In my spare time I love to paddle whitewater, back country ski, and pretty much do anything outside. During the year when the north is frozen I have worked for a variety of outdoor education programs, instructed at Lakeland College, dog sled guided and travelled when I could.

Shayna Herr

Hi my name is Shayna! I have been guiding with Black Feather since 2015. Growing up around the Georgian Bay area has developed my enormous passion for being outside and on the water. I have had the pleasure of guiding canoe trips in Southern Ontario and Quebec, sea kayaking on the Bay, as well as hiking through Nunavut. The North definitely grabbed my heart the moment I landed there. The vast landscape, mountains, cooking over the fire, and that smell of fresh air, all while enjoying good times with new friends – can’t beat it. I am super excited for this next summer of adventures and I look forward to sharing it with you!

When I am not exploring the wilderness, you might find me working on my human kinetics degree at the University of Ottawa, out for a ski, whitewater kayaking, or shopping for more plants to add to my collection.

Micheil Hill

Ullakut! I’m Mike and I’ve had the privilege of being a Black Feather hiking and canoe guide since 2010. My favourite Blackfeather trip is usually whichever one I have just completed! However, Auyuittuq National Park is a place I hope to keep returning to as often as I can. The landscape has a grandeur beauty that can be felt.  On trip I always enjoy the camaraderie on trail, the history and local flora and the “genius loci” or spirit of the place. In the off season, I spend the time winter camping, climbing and catching up on reading. I also try to remember to fit in my “other job” as a physiotherapist working in out-patient orthopaedics. I am really happy to part of the Blackfeather team and look forward to seeing you on the trail someday soon.

Rhys Hill

Hi, I’m Rhys Hill. I’ve spent my whole life on the water, mostly in sprint kayaks where I competed internationally for many years, including being a member of Canada’s Olympic team.   I started canoe tripping at a very young age on family trips and have always loved everything outdoors.  When not paddling, I enjoy mountain biking, skiing, hiking, trail running, and pretty much any kind of adventure I can get myself into.  I’m currently studying finance at the University of Ottawa and will be graduating this December.  I’m looking forward to meeting everyone soon and hope we can have some fun adventures together.

Brian King

Well hello there, I’m Brian King. This is my third year guiding for Black Feather and so far, I have had the privilege of leading trips in Ontario, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. I am grateful for the opportunity to explore new regions of Canada and to see all that our big and beautiful country has to offer.

I grew up fishing, paddling and enjoying the outdoors of Eastern and Central Ontario. After university, I spent some time as a fisheries biologist before deciding to pursue a career in outdoor education and recreation. I worked as an outdoor educator with Queen’s University in Kingston for 5 years and have also taught workshops on wilderness survival. I have completed numerous wilderness survival trips, the longest of which was a 2-month solo trip living off the land in Northeastern Ontario.

This past summer, I competed in the K2O paddling ultra marathon and won my class as a solo kayaker. I completed the 200km and 20 portages from Kingston to Ottawa in just over 30 hours.

In the off season I enjoy fishing, hunting, paddling, wildlife photography, XC skiing, snowshoeing, hiking or anything else that gets me outside and enjoying nature.

Olivier Lapointe

Hi! My name is Olivier Lapointe. Outdoor adventure has always been a important part of my life. I discovered my passion at a very young age while I was doing trips with my family around Canada. I’ve been paddling since my cousins took me on a canoe camping adventure in northern Quebec when I was eight. I fell in love with it. I participate in many other outdoor sports including mountain biking, trail running and cross country skiing. I am currently a student at University of Sherbrooke to become a physical education teacher to share my passion with other generations to come. I am really happy to say that 2018 will be my first year guiding with Black Feather and I can’t wait for the next expedition!

Fiona Larnder-Besner

I grew up camping in the wilderness all summer and spending my days on the water. Canoes, kayaks and sail boats were familiar to me as a toddler. Since joining the Black Feather team in 2017, I have taken part in both sea kayak and white water canoeing trips. The Dumoine River, the North Channel and the French River have been some of my favorites. I am tirelessly amazed by the beautiful and varied scenery these trips take me to. Every summer, I am excited to go back to Black Feather and share these unique places with new people. I appreciate being able to live in community with everyone working together as a team. A Black Feather trip is a place to share knowledge as well as a unique experience.

Marc-Antoine Lecours-Toutloff

Hi, my name is Marc-Antoine. I have been with Black Feather since 2015 guiding both hiking and canoeing adventures. After discovering the benefits and beauty of the outdoors, it was natural for me to end up in the wilderness adventure business. I do enjoy meeting new people and also enjoy new challenges. Working as a Guide has allowed me to fulfill these aspects of my life and I plan on guiding for many years to come.
I have always been active so when not working with Black Feather, I can be found in my local climbing gym, playing basketball, or enjoying hiking and canoeing in the beautiful outdoors around my home in Sherbrooke, Quebec. 
I look forward to sharing an outdoor adventure with you.  

Ken MacDiarmid

Working at Black Feather is a dream come true for me.  Since 2009 I have been working in the canoe tripping program at Black Feather, paddling northern rivers and southern classics.  I also work on the floe edge and arctic ski trips.

My paddle guiding career began at camp Kandalore, guiding youth trips on rivers around Ontario and Quebec.  I have also worked as an instructor for the National Outdoor leadership school in Utah and Arizona, and I teach spring canoe courses at the Madawaska Kanu Center.  As a certified advanced solo and tandem canoe instructor with paddle Canada I am always looking for new tricks to make paddling easier.   Once in a while I pretend to like rafting and kayaking, but the finesse of the canoe keeps it my true summer love.

When I am not at Black Feather I try to spend as much time as possible outside in the snowy mountains.  I am a certified Ski Guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and a Professional member of the Canadian Avalanche Association.  Winter work finds me guiding at Great Canadian Heli-skiing, Purcell lodge or Golden Alpine Holidays.  I love backcountry ski touring out of home in Golden, BC.

Always keen for a new adventure and meeting people on the trail, I can’t wait for more expeditions this coming year.

Stef MacDiarmid

This will be my second season working with Black Feather and I’m excited to get back on the water! My canoeing started in my teens on flatwater at summer camp and moved to whitewater soon after. I’ve tripped mostly in Quebec and Ontario and look forward to heading north this year! I love being outside, teaching and playing outdoors. I have a degree in environmental sciences with a minor in vocal music…I look forward to creating sweet music together around a campfire! When I’m not working with Black Feather during the summer, I spend my time as the Head Instructor at the Madawaska Kanu Centre and lead a multi-day raft trip in Quebec with local Innu women. For the past 4 winters I have travelled and worked on the rivers of Nepal and Costa Rica guiding kayaking and canoeing trips. Wherever I am, though, I’m pulled back to the mountains, lakes and rivers in this magnificent country we call home. I look forward to sharing these with you!

Willa Mason

I live in Chelsea, Quebec, but I’ve grown up on the rivers - It’s the moments spent on the water with the paddling community that have shaped me the most. Since 2017, I have had the privilege of helping others to find that river magic for themselves through Blackfeather. The Gatineau Park was the first patch of wilderness to catch my attention, and I’m now motivated by helping others to develop their own passion for the great outdoors.

When I’m not guiding, I’m either teaching whitewater canoeing skills courses, playing on steeper rivers, or occasionally at a desk, studying Social Communications in Ottawa. However, you’re more likely to find me roadtripping from one adventure to another, in my hatchback named Hank!

Be it a tripping canoe, a slalom racing canoe, a playboat, or a “steep creeker”, in a canoe is my favourite place to be.

Katja Mathys

“Why would you ever move from beautiful Switzerland to Canada?” many people ask. “Because there is very little wilderness left in Europe!” I moved from Zurich to Parry Sound, Ontario in January, 1998, leaving my teaching career behind. Having scrambled up mountains all my life, I feel most comfortable on my feet and therefore have guided Black Feather’s hiking trips to Ellesmere Island, Devon Island, Auyuittuq and Greenland. I’ve also guided Northern sea kayaking trips to East Greenland and Pond Inlet as well as some canoeing trips in the South.  I love the chance experience the challenge of the north and to help all the participants to feel a sense of accomplishment. 

Cross country skiing is another passion of mine. I work for Cross Country Ontario as the provincial coaching development co-ordinator and sometimes put my own race skis on. I also play violin and enjoy spending as much time as possible with my dog.

Mitch McCambly

My name is Mitch McCambly and I’ve had the pleasure of working for Black Feather since 2016. I have been fortunate enough to turn my love for the outdoors into a career through guiding. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in outdoor education, I began guiding canoe trips for youth in the Alberta Rockies. I’ve worked as a guide on the Nahanni River since 2012, and was blown away by the breathtaking canyons and awe-inspiring landscape and instantly fell in love with the place.

My home when I am not on the river is in Nelson B.C., where in the winter I work as a cat skiing tail guide at Baldface Lodge. In my free time I enjoy whitewater canoeing, rock climbing, camping, fishing, hiking, snowboarding and spending as much time outside as I possibly can!

My favorite part of guiding is sharing incredible places and experiences with new people. Seeing the awe and inspiration that people take away from a trip constantly reminds me of why I am so passionate about the outdoors.

Ellen McIntyre

Hi there, I’m Ellen! I’ve been running rivers since I was 11 and I’ve had the privilege of being a Black Feather river guide since 2017, and I’ve been loving every minute of it. I love paddling in Canada’s north as well as the Ontario and Quebec rivers I started on. My favourite Black Feather trips are the Broken Skull river in Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve, and the first river I ever ran - the Dumoine River in Quebec. When I’m not paddling, I’m in school, playing and coaching hockey, and I enjoy taking time off to travel places in Asia and Africa.

I hope to see you on the river!

Sam McKibbon

My passion for leading people in the outdoors started in earnest in my second year of university.  I had joined the Queen’s Outdoors Club and found a passionate community of outdoor people who took my previous passion of fishing and canoeing with my family as a kid and turned it into a full blown everything outdoors obsession. I quickly began leading trips on a weekly basis and discovered the joy of introducing people to the joy and mystery of the outdoors. I was hooked. University summers were spent pursuing my passion as a raft guide, camp leader and whitewater instructor as I built toward the goal of guiding for an expedition outfit.

When I started to talk to friends and mentors Blackfeather was the obvious choice given the variety of canoeing and backpacking trips they offered all over the Canadian Arctic and beyond. I was lucky enough to be hired on with Blackfeather in the summer of 2015. I’ve been privileged to guided trips on the Petawawa, Nahanni, Coppermine, and done two Traverses of Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island.

I now work as a full time Industrial Arts teacher in BC where the pursuit of my passions are always close by and where I am lucky to have summers off which allow me to pursue a couple Blackfeather trips per summer.

Kate Ming-Sun

Hi, I'm Kate! This will be my second season guiding with Black Feather. I came to canoeing quite late only learning how to paddle in 2012 (on my 35th birthday!) and I haven't looked back. While I'm at my most zen on the water, one of my favourite things to do as a guide is to cook for clients. Flavours seem so much more robust after a good day paddling. When I'm not guiding I teach business classes to college students who are learning to be guides. I look forward to sharing an adventure with you this summer.

Robert Norton

Hello there! My name is Rob and I've been guiding for Black Feather since 2010. In this time, I've had the pleasure of canoeing beautiful rivers in NWT, Yukon, Nunavut, Quebec and Ontario. I have loved each and every one of my trips. A few of my greatest memories have come on the Coppermine River. I love the trip for the excellent wildlife, great scenery, rich history and awesome fishing. I find tripping is an excellent way for people to get out and explore our expansive northern wilderness and create new memories with other like-minded individuals.

When not guiding, I can be found at the University of Guelph where I am entering my final year of my Bachelor’s degree in Ecology. My hobbies include playing & listening to music, white-water paddling, skiing, fishing and playing hockey. I also enjoy poetry and long walks on the beach in the moonlight.

Mark Orzel

I’m Mark, and I am an educational professional with 29 years of high school teaching experience in Ontario. I also instruct Paddle Canada and O.R.C.K.A. Moving Water courses when not guiding. I a passionate about teaching and learning so I endeavor to bring that to my work on the river everyday. One of my favourite things about being a guide is the camaraderie that is shared by a group; paddling and living together in the wilderness. When I’m not working on the water, I love spending time with my wife, three children and my dog. During the seasons of ice and snow, you can find me pursuing Nordic activities in the form of cross-country and telemark skiing.

Zack Pelletier

My name is Zack Pelletier from Montreal, Quebec.  I have been working as a guide for Black Feather since 2014. I am also a student in Sciences and hope to become an engineer in the near future. When not guiding or student-ing, I try to spend as much time as I can skiing, reading, and paddling any whitewater I can find. My favorite Black Feather trip to date is the Nahanni Moose Ponds trip, as it not only provides seemingly endless whitewater but also how you are able to observe the river evolve drastically over 600km of beautiful wilderness. Black Feather has taken me to many fantastic locations over the years, however in my experience what makes a memorable trip is the amazing people that I have the opportunity to share those experiences with. Looking forward to paddling with YOU sometime soon!

Charles Pelletier-Solasse

Hello! My name is Charles and I have been guiding for Black Feather since 2013. I am a whitewater canoe guide, and have had the chance to paddle rivers in Nunavut, the NWT, Ontario and Quebec. The privilege of paddling these rivers and sharing it with co-guides and guests is what keeps me hooked and I plan on guiding as long as I can. When I am not on the river, I am in Montreal studying to become a Paramedic and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.

Hannah Pham

For the past 3 years I’ve had the great pleasure of leading trips with Black Feather.  I’ve been on trips in Southern Ontario, Quebec and the North West Territories and have seen some spectacular places as a result.  My favorite part about being on trip is spending time with new people and cooking on the open fire.  I’m best known for my obsession with dogs, which makes me grateful for the wildlife sightings I get to see on trip.  I’m currently studying Commerce at the University of Ottawa.  To make up for the occasional dullness of my studies, I live an active lifestyle, which fuels my love for many sports including hockey, skiing, running and swimming.  For the past few years, I have been working as a lifeguard and swim instructor.  When unoccupied by sports, studies or work, you will find me curled up in front of Netflix likely eating something unhealthy.

Andrew Pichora

I’ve been guiding with Black Feather since 2009. Over the past several years, I have enjoyed rivers in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, and Québec. Some of my favorite rivers are the Nahanni, Mountain and Coppermine.  Every trip presents the opportunity for new experiences! Every Black Feather trip brings together people of varying backgrounds and perspectives. It’s a wonderful way to meet new interesting people while exploring Canada’s beauty.  In 2014 I finished my Bachelor of Science at Dalhousie University, with a major in general Biology.

Carson Plett

Hello! My name is Carson and I love being outdoors. Having graduated from an Outdoor Adventure Leadership program, I have accumulated an extensive array of experience in numerous outdoor disciplines, including: swift water rescue, moving water canoeing, sea kayaking, snowboarding, and wilderness first aid. In addition to these I also readily enjoy frolicking and rollicking in many other outdoor pursuits. When not at home working for Black Feather you’ll never know where to find me. I could be anywhere in the world, which has most recently included visiting Jordan and hiking around in the beautiful Himalaya of Nepal. But when spring returns to Canada, however, you will most surely find me at home waiting in eager anticipation for the guiding season to begin!

Molly Prendergast

Hi there, I’m Molly! I have been working with Black Feather as a guide, food packer and logistics manager since 2010. I have guided kayak and canoe trips in Ontario, Quebec, all of Canada's northern territories as well as Greenland.

Two of my favourite canoe trips are the Petawawa River in Algonquin Park and the Keele River in the North West Territories. I enjoy “The Pet” for its fun and consistent whitewater, and the Keele for its amazing braided streams and stunning mountainous scenery. Lately I have been proud to be able to guide extended sea kayaking expeditions in East Greenland.

In my free time, I enjoy doing yoga and spending as much time as I can exploring the areas around my home.

Kurtis Randall

Hello. I have been working with Black Feather canoeing and sea kayaking across Canada during the summers since 2006. My favorite river is the Bloodvein River in Manitoba for its exciting whitewater, beautiful Canadian shield landscape, warm water and mosquitoes… though, I spend most of my time on northern rivers. I am a Paddle Canada advanced moving water instructor or both solo and tandem canoes and enjoy sharing my knowledge of white water paddling with others, as well as improving my own skills. Besides summer work with Black Feather, I spend my winters skiing, travelling or working as a sea kayak guide in Antarctica. I graduated university with a bachelor of science in geology at Laurentian university, and this has proven useful time and again looking at the natural world while on trips. The most exciting thing I've done recently is visit the roof of the world in Nepal. I look forward to meeting you on a river!

Caleb Roberts

I am stoked to say that the summer of 2015 will be my first summer guiding with Black Feather.   Having grown up in the woods of southern Ontario, I love all things outdoors and have spent the last five summer guiding with a local camp in Ontario and Quebec.   When I am not paddling, I am ether climbing the Chief in Squamish BC, or diving into the coffee culture in Vancouver BC.  I am super excited for this summer and all the adventures that will come with it.  

Steve Ruskay

I have worked outside full time as a guide, instructor, photographer, avalanche forecaster, and ski patroller since 1999.  During this time, I've guided on the arctic ice floe, in the most remote fjords of Greenland and amongst the giant ice of Antarctica.  With thousands of kilometers of wilderness leadership, I have hiked, canoed and kayaked in every geographical region in Canada. This includes over 30 extended trips in the arctic. In the summer months, I can be found high above the Arctic Circle where I lead multiple sea kayaking expeditions in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland each year. I've also led numerous 30 plus day self supported expeditions including a circumnavigation of Anticosti Island, along the rugged Labrador coast, and across Northern Alberta and the NWT.  I am a recognized director of instructor training of sea kayaking, avalanche skills training, and wilderness leadership, as well as an Ice Rescue and Swift Water Rescue instructor. I work full time as the lead guide for Black Feather. When I am not away on an adventure, I enjoy playing my guitar, flying airplanes, and volunteering as a fire fighter. I look forward seeing you on your next adventure!

Gail Shields

I’m Gail and I have been guiding for Black Feather for many years. My professional and personal tripping and guiding goes back twenty plus years and I have enjoyed paddling on the Nahanni, Mountain, Hood, Thelon, Snake, Wind, Moisie, Pontax, Katawagami, Harricana, North French and many other rivers in Ontario and Quebec - as well as rivers in the United States. My great love of the outdoors and wanting to share it led me to become a guide. I also teach whitewater caneoing to all levels of paddlers from beginners to instructors,  I outfit and repair canoes, work for an outdoor shop doing their buying, and bike, hike, run and ski!

What do I love most about being on trip? The bonding of the group as we meet the challenges along the way and share the beauty of our environment ; that’s what keeps me coming back.

Adrian Smith

Hi my name is Adrian. I have been canoeing and tripping since I was 10 years old at a summer camp on Georgian Bay. I have been down many of the rivers Black Feather runs in Ontario and Quebec and have also paddled in the Arctic on the Nahanni River and the Hood River. I apprenticed with Black Feather for 2 years after 7 years of summer camping and tripping with my camp. I currently am studying Arts and Science at the University of Toronto, majoring in history,  and enjoy skiing, fitness, rugby, fishing, carpentry and cars when I am not tripping in the summer.

Colin Smith

Hi! My name is Colin and I've been guiding with Black Feather since 2007. I’ve enjoyed guiding canoe trips in the Yukon, NWT, Nunavut and Ontario/Quebec. When not guiding for Black Feather, I split my time between Haines Junction, Yukon and Golden, BC spending time amidst the rivers and mountains working as a backcountry cook and caretaker.  The North is in my soul and I always feel very privileged to work there with the land and the people.  I look forward to sharing your next adventure with you and adding a Black feather in your cap!

Graham Stirling-Moffet

My name is Graham Stirling-Moffet, and I started guiding with Black Feather in 2015. I’ve spent several summers teaching whitewater canoeing at the Madawaska Kanu Center, and guiding rafting trips on the Ottawa River. I spent my formative years skiing, paddling, and sharing outdoor experiences with family and friends. I found my introduction to the outdoor industry through the Whitewater Intensive Leadership Development program in 2012 at Esprit Rafting. During the winter months, I spend my time as a computer science and business student at Queen’s University. Considering this doesn’t quite complement my passion for the outdoors, I am very fortunate to be able to spend my summer months working in the Canadian outdoors. I always look forward to sharing my love for the outdoors with others; paddling, exploring, playing music, and sharing unique experiences. I hope to share some of these experiences with you in the near future!

Candice Stuart

Hi!  I’m Candice and I have had the privilege and enjoyed guiding Black Feather trips since 2011.  My guiding career (2002 to present) has taken me to many places across Ontario, Quebec, Labrador, arctic Canada and Greenland, the latter two places of which I am extremely excited and passionate about.  Doing both research and guiding (hiking and paddling) in remote northern regions has offered me stunning wildlife viewing opportunities, the ability to view climate change first hand and the enjoyment 24-hours of daylight can bring!  Some of my best Black Feather moments have been spent trying to find the words to describe the sheer beauty and magnitude of these places which most often defy words.  What I love most about guiding is sharing these moments, vistas, histories, geographical significance, stories and laughs with the people who come on trip.  My “pay-the-bills” job is teaching science, physical geography and outdoor education to high school students within the public system; my hope is that I am nurturing a love and passion within our young adults for the environment and Canada’s remote, rugged and wild places.  My personal interests involve the outdoors and protecting our wild places.  Beyond the great outdoors, I also enjoy reading, cooking, my puppy (an Inuit Sled dog), running and cycling.

Dana Sykora

Hello! My name is Dana, and I started working for Black Feather in 2015, running trips down the amazing and awe-inspiring Nahanni River in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Growing up in Ontario, I was raised on and in the water, and canoeing has been one of my passions for as long as I can remember. That, coupled with an undying love for sleeping outside under the stars has led me here, guiding and teaching Outdoor Education as a career; and I feel so lucky to wake up each day and do what I do. When I’m not in the field or paddling, I also love reading, writing, travelling to the far reaches of the earth and rock climbing…but through it all, no matter what, the water will always my favorite place to be.

Dave Weir

I was born in Switzerland, en route to Zaire (Congo) where my parents were missionaries. I began my guiding career straight out of high school in 1987 at Strathcona Park Lodge on Vancouver Island by graduating from the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training Program then guiding school groups. I also graduated from the National Outdoor Leadership School. Since then I have guided and instructed for a number of organizations, including the National Outdoor Leadership School, Ecomarine Coastal Kayaking School, Whitney & Smith Legendary Expeditions, Explorers Corner and Black Feather. I have been privileged to guide in many locations, including much of the British Columbia and Alaska Coast, the Sea of Cortez and even Patagonia. It was when I first guided in the Arctic in 1999, that I knew I was home.

In the Arctic, I have guided in Northwest Greenland, Baffin and Bylot Islands, Banks Island, on the mainland Arctic Coast and extensively on Ellesmere Island. I have guided on land, sea, river and ice. Outside of work, my adventures have included high altitude mountaineering expeditions, long route rock climbing, bike touring, white water canoeing and kayaking and many, many miles shouldering a backpack.  Over the years, I have earned a reputation for careful, considered judgement and decision making. I have been extensively involved in training new guides and I am a founding member of the Association of Canadian Sea Kayak Guides.

Tim Wheeler

Hello! I am Tim.  I enjoy long walks on the varied terrains of the High Arctic and paddling rivers flowing downstream.  My bald spot may suggest I am older than the average guide but working in the Outdoor industry for 15 years, and with Black Feather since 2003, gives me the ability to morph your desires into experiences.  In my spare time, I teach Technical Rescue courses for Raven Rescue and enjoy frolicking in most outdoor pursuits.  I have a habit of running into large scary animals and leaving with great photographs! Seeking friendships (as Black Feather introduced me to my wife, Sarah Peters) to travel and explore the outdoors.  

Jamie Whiteside

The best times in my life have been outdoors and on big adventures. From a solid year of hiking, biking and traveling around New Zealand and Australia when I was 17, to canoe, kayak and ski adventures with friends, or leading expeditions and guiding in the high Arctic,  Patagonia and the Himalaya's, my life has been full of rich experiences with great people in special places. I am a Paddle Canada moving water instructor (and instructor trainer), an ACMG ski mountaineering and hiking guide, and have a master’s degree in leadership and training from Royal Roads University. While I can and do enjoy the comforts of home in Golden, BC, puttering in my garden, and the nice lodge where I work as a Heli ski guide in the winter (with my own comfy bed!), I seem to spend as many nights around a campfire or cook stove, tent and sleeping mat in some wild location around the globe. I still get back to my Alberta ranch country roots, and love to pull out my guitar for a little Folk music when I can. I look forward to meeting you out on trip!

Lyle Wilson

Hi folks, I was born in Winnipeg, and grew up leading outdoor pursuits through the YMCA at Camp Stephens on Lake of the Woods. I have a Phys Ed. degree which led me even farther into the outdoors when I founded an outdoor store called Fresh Air Experience.  I moved from the prairies to the mountains in the late 1970's and ran an Outdoor Training Center called the Blue Lake Center for the Alberta government.  In 1979 I found a spectacular outdoor mecca on the boundary of Kootenay National Park and built Nipika Mountain Resort <>. 

I have been a cross country skier practically my whole life, which led to a 15 year coaching career including two Olympic Games and ten World Championship events along with countless World Cups and National events here in Canada. I still race enthusiastically as a master skier and have medaled a number of times at the World Masters level.  I have continued to paddle my whole life, competing in Kayak and C2 Slalom at the national level, as well as canoe tripping many of the western prairie and mountain river systems.  I am a certified ACMG Hiking Guide and love trekking in the Rockies around Nipika and my home in Invermere.  My recreational activities include trail running, mountain biking, paddling anything that floats and of course cross country skiing.  My hobby is carpentry and I love to get into my shop and building rustic furniture.  I look forward to sharing future adventures with Black Feather Guests for years to come!