Steering committee


Tony Cox - Leaders of the Day
Steering Committee Chair

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Tony Cox is the CEO and Senior Trainer at Leaders of the Day and is a long time wilderness practitioner, guide and consultant. He has deep roots in the outdoor industry and specializes in leadership, training and personal development. His passion is found in his love of storytelling and in helping people to reconnect with the beauty of wild spaces. Tony has spent time honing his skills in the wilderness, war zones, lecture halls, classrooms and boardrooms. He is the sitting board chair for the Canadian adventure therapy advisory committee and is also chairing the steering committee for the upcoming Canadian Outdoor Summit.


Franz Plangger - Outdoor Council of Canada
Steering Committee Assistant Chair

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Franz completed a Bachelor's of Outdoor and Adventure Tourism in the beautifully scenic Saguenay/Lac Saint Jean region of Quebec and a Masters of Education, Leadership studies in the historical Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. He has spent more than a decade leading experiential education programs with organizations such as Outward Bound, NOLS, Class Afloat and Enviros Wilderness School. His journeys exposed him to many different environments, where he felt the power of the howling wind, saw rainbows painted on mountain sides, understood the lifesaving power of words and heard stories carried from generation to generation.


Dr. Nevin Harper - University of Victoria

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Dr. Nevin Harper is an Associate Professor in the School of Child & Youth Care at the University of Victoria and the National Research Coordinator for Outward Bound Canada. He has more than twenty-five years leadership experience in outdoor adventure education as a guide, youth counsellor, administrator, consultant and researcher. Nevin founded the Canadian Adventure Therapy Symposium series and is the past Chair of the Adventure Therapy International Committee. His research examines the role of natural environments and adventure experiences as they relate to human health and development.


Magalie Bernard - Aventure écotourisme Québec

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A graduate of the Technique d'intervention en loisir at Cégep Saint-Laurent in Montreal, Magalie Bernard has a great knowledge of the needs and expectations of the various clienteles and members with whom she works harmoniously. Magalie has been with Aventure écotourisme Québec for the past 6 years. Her role within the organization is to ensure that outdoor tourism service providers, and regional parks service providers respect the highest standards of the industry in regards to quality, safety and client services. As a passionate outdoor practitioner, she has visited many provincial and national natural environments and tried a diversity of outdoor tourism experiences, which makes her an expert in the field.


Dr. Stephen Ritchie - Laurentian University

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Dr. Stephen D. Ritchie is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Master’s programme in the School of Human Kinetics at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He has worked in the outdoor field on and off for over 35 years as a guide, teacher, facilitator, and most recently as professor and researcher affiliated with the Outdoor Adventure Leadership programme at Laurentian University. Dr. Ritchie is also a faculty investigator at three different research centres, and is involved in several collaborative research projects with Indigenous communities across Canada that include program development, implementation, and evaluation phases.


Table plein air de l'Outaouais

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Michelle McShane, Executive Director Paddle Canada

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The newly appointed Executive Director of Paddle Canada, Michelle McShane, has been spending time in the outdoors since she was a child. A student at various outdoor education centres, she went on to study at Sir Sandford Fleming College, taught at an outdoor education centres, led canoe trips for her local school boards, and has been both guiding and instructing in multiple paddling disciplines for the past 20 years. Michelle also brings a team approach to the table with her years of adventure racing, managing an outdoor gear/apparel store and raising her two boys (with her husband) to be as involved and connected to the environment, paddling and a life outdoors as possible.


Dr. Virginie Gargano - Canadian Adventure Therapy Symposium

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First as a guide, then as a teacher and as a facilitator, Dr. Virginie Gargano has spent years in expeditions with groups. Over the past 15 years, being responsible for creating and executing many adventure therapy and outdoor education programs in Québec has led her to become a leading figure in her field.


Dr. Pat Maher - Nipissing University

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Dr. Pat Maher is the Dean of Teaching, and a Professor in Physical and Health Education, at Nipissing University. For more than 25 years he has worked in various aspects of the outdoor field. He has worked in higher education settings from the Pacific to the Atlantic and has run expeditions to the Arctic too - coast to coast to coast. Pat is the former editor of the Journal of Experiential Education, current chair of the Outward Bound Canada Research Advisory Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. When not playing at work, he enjoys playing with his family in whatever natural areas are nearby.


Loisir Sport Outaouais

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Advisory committee

Mandate of the Advisory Committee

The mandate of the Advisory Committee is to review the work of the Steering Committee and ensure that the Summit  meets the needs of the national outdoor community.

Membership of the Advisory Committee

The following organizations are members of the Advisory Committee:







Le Réseau

Esprit Rafting

Raven Rescue

Scouts Canada


Take Me Outside

Adventure Works

Camp Chief Hector

Canot Kayak Québec

Tim Hortons Summer Camp

Slow and Steady Hiking club

Physical Health Education Canada

Association des camps du Québec

Le club plein air des 50 ans et plus

Public Safety Canada/ Adventure Smart

Jeff Jackson, Professor and Coordinator Outdoor Adventure Program at Algonquin College

Be Part of the Collective Effort!

If you care about bringing people outside, this Summit is for you. It is designed to give space for your opinion to influence the results.  Join this unprecedented national collaboration and help co-create the future of the outdoor community.

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