Greetings from the Hockley Valley!

Before introducing our new campaign, Celebrate Canada, Hug a Northern River in 2022, we want to provide an update on recent news. On June 6, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary and looking back, we both agree we have had an incredibly wild ride.

During the pandemic, we have experienced great disappointments ranging from cancelled canoe trips to being isolated from family and close friends. We have also experienced unexpected silver linings that have lifted our hearts and inspired us with both optimism and gratitude. We have had time to reflect on the amazing adventures we have shared with our Canoe North Adventures alumni – these memories have sustained us in countless ways. Absence truly makes the heart grow fonder! We have reimagined our adventure travel company – exploring ways to make our trips more sustainable and regenerative by making better use of charter flights to and from the river for example.

We recently received infrastructure funding from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency to completely renovate and restore a small bungalow in Fort Simpson into an operations centre to support new trips in Nahanni and Naats’ihch’oh National Park Reserves. The property will also become a meeting place for canoers and Indigenous youth or elders to meet to exchange stories. Imagine our disbelief last May when record high flood waters in Fort Simpson surrounded our property which backs on to the Mackenzie River! The flood was truly devastating to the community. Miraculously, our little bungalow stayed dry and we began renovations in late August, 2021.  We are incredibly grateful to the community of Fort Simpson for their excited interest in our project.

For 2022, we have made a commitment to introduce Indigenous youth to the hotel/hospitality and adventure tourism industry through a fully sponsored 6-day training camp held next June. We imagine a day in the near future when our guide team will include Dene youth from the Sahtu and Dehcho regions of the Northwest Territories.

Through all of the turmoil and disappointment of missing two canoeing seasons in 2020 and 2021, we want to thank our amazing tripping clients who collectively displayed grace, understanding and an incredible generosity of spirit during the travel disruptions and cancellations caused by the pandemic. One thing became crystal clear during client discussions – the quality and integrity of our wilderness canoe trips is well worth waiting for. So, we look ahead to 2022 with great pride and optimism and we invite you to consider joining us to Hug a Northern River in 2022!

Stay well, Lin Ward & Al Pace