Canmore is rich with published authors, whether its history, trail guides, fiction, environmental/sustainability subjects, travel literature or childrens books...... Canmore's talent has you covered.
Colin Harris is the founder and executive director of Take Me Outside. He initiated the organization by running 7600 km across Canada over nine months, going into 80 schools across the country and engaging 20,000 students in the conversation about their time spent in front of screens compared to their time spent outside, being active and connecting to nature. Colin has been immersed in the field of outdoor and environmental education for over 15 years. He has been the director of outdoor education at an Ontario-based centre, he has instructed canoe trips for Outward Bound Canada, and he has worked with Indigenous students in the Western Arctic Leadership Program in NWT. He has taught grades 7 and 8 and has completed a Master’s of Environmental Education and Communication through Royal Roads University. He enjoys trail running, writing, and continuing to find ways to engage Canadian students in exploring this country’s incredible backyard. Colin lives in Banff, Alberta.
Brandon was born and raised in Ontario and is a graduate of Lakehead University. He started writing for publications in the late ’90s and is now editor-in-chief of Gripped, Canada’s Climbing Magazine. He has over 100 published articles in print, and countless contributions by him can also be found online. His alpine pursuits have introduced him to dozens of legendary climbers and mentors, motivating him to compile and archive collections of stories from this older generation of mountaineering greats. Brandon is the author of The Bold and Cold: A History of 25 Classic Climbs in the Canadian Rockies and To Be a Warrior: The Adventurous Life and Mysterious Death of Billy Davidson, as well as the co-author of Northern Stone: 50 of Canada’s Best Rock Climbs. He lives in Canmore, Alberta.
Helen Y. Rolfe
Helen Y. Rolfe is a professional writer and editor, and the author of Women Explorers: One Hundred Years of Courage and Audacity. She lives in Canmore, Alberta.
Meghan J. Ward
Meghan is an outdoor, travel, and adventure writer. She is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief at Crowfoot Media, a mountain culture publishing house and the creative force behind the Canadian Rockies Annual. An avid adventurer with a voracious appetite to understand her surroundings, Meghan has established herself over the past decade as a mountain historian and an authoritative voice in the Rockies outdoor and travel scene. Her work has taken her from authoring books to writing for films, anthologies, blogs, and some of North America’s top outdoor, fitness, and adventure publications. She lives in Banff, Alberta, with her husband, Paul Zizka, and their two daughters.
Paul McKendrick lives in Canmore, Alberta, where he enjoys spending time in the mountains with his family. He holds degrees from UBC and Dalhousie. Most of his career has been spent in renewable energy, and more recently he has become the owner and operator of a running and Nordic ski store with his wife, Kylie.
In 1978, Nattalia Lea became the first woman to graduate from the University of British Columbia with a bio-resources engineering degree - an era when less than 0.5% of Canadian professional engineers were female. Then 26 years later, in 2004, after four engineering job terminations and a 16-year journalism stint, this working class woman made a comeback into Alberta's oil patch boardrooms. Lady with the Iron Ring is the heartwarming, witty and tell-all memoir of a woman with a mission, who didn't recognize it as one at the time. "This story has universal appeal."
I grew up in a family that hiked, climbed and went into the mountains whenever they could. Some of my earliest memories are of long backpacking trips, wind-blown summits and surviving winter skip trips. The first sport I really got into on my was caving. When I was 14 I started kayaking. At 16 I bought my first climbing rope, and did my first new rock route. At 25 I first flew a paraglider.
Establishing the hardest mixed ice climbing lines in the world.
Setting the world distance record for paragliding. Twice. 423 km (263 miles) the second time.
Kayaking down dozens of first ascents across North America.
Winning the Canadian National Sport-Climbing Championships. Four times.
Winning three gold medals at the X Games. And the Ice Climbing World Cup.
Winning the US and Canadian Paragliding Nationals.
Flying my paraglider over the Grand Canyon.
Climbing icebergs off the coast of Labrador with Ben Firth.
Flying my paramotor across the USA with Jim Grossman.
Using supplemental oxygen to explore high carbon-dioxide caves in Thailand.
Ice climbing in underground mines in Sweden.
First one-day ascent of the tallest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, Mt. Robson. Solo.
Climbing big new rock, ice and alpine routes all over the world.
Sharing the above through writing, presentations, clinics, TV shows, magazines and on the web.
Kevin Van Tighem
A former superintendent of Banff National Park, has written more than 200 articles, stories, and essays on conservation and wildlife which have garnered him many awards, including Western Magazine Awards, Outdoor Writers of Canada book and magazine awards, and the Journey Award for Fiction. He is the author of Bears Without Fear, The Homeward Wolf, Heart Waters: Sources of the Bow River, Our Place: Changing the Nature of Alberta, and Wild Roses Are Worth It: Alberta Reconsidered. He lives with his wife, Gail, in Canmore, Alberta.
Nancy typically writes about our world's most unique destinations alongside her husband whose photography exposes remarkable landscapes and intriguing cultures. She earned an executive MBA in London, United Kingdom and held a Chartered Professional Accountant designation for nearly twenty years before voluntarily giving it up in good standing when she became an author.
Nancy has lived across five continents while working in finance roles before switching to write about her true passion of exploring lesser-visited regions. Her love for nature and cultures is revealed in narratives pulled from all seven continents.
I was born in Saskatchewan and grew up on a farm. My childhood, and most of my education, was focused on music. I practised constantly, and studied music history and theory. I was well on my way as a contemporary music specialist when life took a sharp turn.
Volunteering for the Banff Mountain Film Festival eventually led to a new career. For twenty years I worked at The Banff Centre, directing the Banff Mountain Festivals and starting a new division – Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre.
During the last few years of my work with Mountain Culture, I began to get involved with book projects, first as an editor, and then as an author. That led to the next life turn, although not quite as sharp. I resigned from my position as Vice President in 2006 to write full time. My greatest, but not only, area of interest is mountains: mountaineering, history, culture and environment. I love everything about the entire writing process, even the deadlines! I have so many ideas for books that I’ll never live long enough to write them all.
I also lecture and consult on mountain cultural issues. I’ve worked with start-up festivals and mountain institutes. I have lectured on a variety of mountain topics for universities, festivals and alpine clubs and I have curated many mountain-related exhibitions.
Coming from the flat expanse of the Prairies, my focus on mountains may seem a bit strange. But from my first mountain experience I knew that I had found the landscape and the community that resonated for me.
Ryan was one of Canada’s most accomplished adventure cyclists. In addition to writing about these adventures in two books, A Purpose Ridden and Bikepacking in the Canadian Rockies, Ryan regularly spoke to professional groups about turning passion into purpose and was actively involved in various forms of charity work. He was also the founder of Bikepack Canada (bikepack.ca) and was a tireless promoter of cycling and outdoor adventure. Ryan died in April 2018 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Margo Talbot is an author, speaker and coach based in Canmore, Alberta. She works with organizations and associations looking to enhance their wellbeing through a focus on vitality in the work place and runs experiential learning programs for youth-at-risk battling addiction.
A sponsored ice climber, she has taught clinics all over North America. Her work has taken her from the High Arctic to Antarctica, guiding clients on expeditions to the South Pole and Antarctica’s tallest peak, Mt. Vinson.
Her mission is to help you Maximize your Mental Fitness by building your resilience, enhancing your vitality, and reclaiming your mental mojo.
Whether you're a small municipality, massive protected area, or an out of the way patch of Crown land, managing wildlife, people and development is incredibly complex. You need someone with diverse experiences who can examine the big picture while defining tangible day to day actions that make a difference. My career has focused on taking a holistic view to wildlife and landscape planning both in and out of protected areas. My Masters and PhD integrated biological and social research to understand how bears and recreationalists share some of western Canada's most prominent parks and protected areas. As a professional conservationist, I have worked with teams of people to create new provincial parks, increase species protection, and design facility plans that serve wildlife and people. Ensuring accurate representation of community needs in government planning processes and decision making has been integral throughout my career. My work has led me on incredible journeys and been published in every kind of media you can imagine. Check out my full resume to see how I researched grizzly bears from a beach.
Geoff has been a mountain writer, editor and presenter for more than 30 years. He has written pieces for magazines and newspapers around the globe, was the editor of the renowned Polar Circus magazine and spent 13 years at the helm of the Canadian Alpine Journal. He has been the host of the Voices of Adventure interview series at the Banff Mountain Book Festival for the past 20 years, and has been a regular contributor to CBC Radio and to the Globe and Mail travel section. He is the author of Strange and Dangerous Dreams: The Fine Line Between Adventure and Madness. Geoff Powter lives in Canmore, AB.
John E. Marriott
I first visited the Canadian Rockies in September 1969 at the ripe old age of one month old. I would show you the photos, but I don't think I look all that adorable as a small bald person in the arms of my Grandma on the shores of Lake Louise.
Six years later, I began photographing in the Canadian Rockies, snapping shot after shot of what I was sure were award-winning images on my family's annual pilgrimages from Salmon Arm, British Columbia in the family wagon to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. Of course, $20 Kodak Instamatic cameras don't often produce award-winning shots and neither do most 6 year-olds using them, so while I still have my old photo albums of bears and moose and so on, I've decided to keep those for myself too!
Since those inauspicious beginnings, the camera equipment in my hands has changed and so have my skills as a nature photographer.
In 1992, I came across the incredibly fortunate situation of being hired by Parks Canada in Banff National Park to go out and shoot roll after roll of photos of people, wildlife, and scenics in the mountain environment -- and from that, my career as an outdoor photographer was born.
In the mid to late 1990s, I photographed extensively in the frontcountry and backcountry of the parks in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta and British Columbia. I also spent several months over those years photographing grizzly bears and other wildlife along British Columbia's West Coast, working out of Knight Inlet Lodge 500 kilometers north of Vancouver.
The past decade has led me to more exotic locations, from the Yellowstone backcountry to the highlands of Scotland and Ireland. However, the vast majority of my work has been done in Canada, where I've carved out my niche as a photographer specializing in Canadian wildlife and nature photography. I've sailed the BC Coast from the Queen Charlottes through the Great Bear Rainforest to the Inside Passage. I've climbed aboard fishing trawlers in the Atlantic seaboard in search of whales and puffins, and I've trekked across the frozen tundra and ice of the Great White North from the Yukon to the Northwest Territories to Nunavut. And because it's nearby and I love it, I have spent the largest portion of my time on the Canadian Prairies and in my 'backyard' in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta.
I am not formally trained as a photographer, but rather have learned by trial and error as I've gone along. I have also been lucky enough to have met and forged friendships with some incredibly interesting and skilled photographers over the years that I have gleaned information from: Al Williams, Jeff Waugh, Alec Pytlowany, Darwin Wiggett, Tom Murphy, and Terry Berezan come to mind. Unfortunately I never did get to meet the photographer I most wanted to -- Japanese wildlife photographer Michio Hoshino, who died in Kamchatka, Russia in 1997.
My business started twenty years ago and is now firmly entrenched in Canmore, Alberta on the edge of Banff National Park. I started slowly (veryslowly, as you'll read in my latest book, Tall Tales, Long Lenses), but now consider myself lucky enough to be successful at what I do.
International bestselling author of 'Wolf Winter'
I was born in Sweden in a small northern town. My parents come from Lapland.
Over the 20 years following university, I moved around a lot. I lived in Russia, Germany, France, Portugal, the Middle East and the UK.
In 2010 I finished a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway.
In 2011 me and my husband were blessed with two beautiful girls.
I now live in Canmore, Canada, with my husband and twin daughters.
Mary A. Tidlund
Mary was born in Calgary and is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and new author. In Mary co-founded and was president and CEO of numerous corporations, including Williston Wildcatters Oil Corporation, a public oil and gas exploration and service company that pioneered horizontal drilling. In 1998, Mary transformed herself, moving from oil to philanthropy with the founding of the Mary A. Tidlund Charitable Foundation. The global NGO worked in 29 countries for 19 years focusing on empowering women and children to make lasting changes in health, education, and the alleviation of poverty.
Currently, Mary is a board member of numerous public corporations and NGOs and is an inspiring public speaker on philanthropy, transitions, purposeful leadership, and the power of choice. Mary is a pilot and an avid skier and enjoys hiking, tennis, traveling, reading, riding horses, yoga, and meditation. She lives and plays in Canmore.
Winter sport? Summer sport? Clara Hughes is an athlete for all seasons. She’s one of the biggest stories to emerge in Canadian sports, and she’s not finished yet. A six-time Olympic medalist in cycling and speed skating; she’s the only athlete in history to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter Games. She’s back on the bike with her eyes firmly set on London 2012. But there’s far more to Clara than athletic achievements.
For Clara, success means more than earning medals. It means having a voice and using the opportunity to reach out and help others. When she uses this voice, it’s loud and clear.
After winning gold in 2006, Clara donated $10,000 of her personal savings to the Right to Play programs. This donation challenged Canadians to support the cause, raising over half a million dollars for the international humanitarian organization that uses sport for development. In 2010, she donated her $10,000 medal bonus to the Vancouver inner city school program, ‘Take a Hike’, which uses adventure based learning to give youth at risk a better direction in life.
She is the National Spokesperson for Bell Canada’s Mental Health initiative and the ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign. By sharing past struggles with depression, Clara has helped break down the stigma associated with mental illness.
She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Member of the Order of Manitoba, holds honorary doctorates from various Canadian Universities and has been awarded the International Olympic Committee’s prestigious ‘Sport and the Community’ award for her commitment to promoting the values of sport and play around the world. Clara also has a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Clara was given the great honor of being the Canadian Flag Bearer for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, proudly leading the home team to its historic medal winning performance.
She’s an avid adventurer and enjoys bike touring, distance hiking and exploring with her husband Peter.
By giving back and connecting to her community and the world at large, Clara shows how it is possible to achieve your very best on and off the playing field.
Kathy grew up in the Canadian Rockies. In 1974 she became one of the first female national park wardens in Canada; in 1977 she was a member of the first all-women expedition to Mount Logan and in 1989 was on the first all-women ski traverse of the Columbia Mountains from the Bugaboos to Rogers Pass. She is the author of four books: Don Forest: Quest for the Summits, Guardians of the Peaks: Mountain Rescue in the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains, June Mickle: One Woman’s Life in the Foothills and Mountains of Western Canada, and Ya Ha Tinda: A Home Place – Celebrating 100 Years of the Canadian Government’s Only Working Horse Ranch. She and her husband, Dale Portman, live in Cochrane, Alberta.
Stephen is a critically acclaimed author of eight literary non-fiction books on the history of science, exploration and ideas. I take a biographical and narrative approach to my writing, using the techniques of fiction writing – strong storytelling, creative language, emphasizing people, their decisions, actions and motivations – to tell factually and historically accurate stories. I believe that people and their behaviour never change, only the context is different. My lifelong interest in history is fuelled by the lessons to be learned from studying the successes and failures of history's greatest thinkers, leaders and innovators, those who challenged conventional thinking and entrenched power structures to change their world. I am particularly interested in how the world we live in today was formed by individuals who were responding to the big challenges of their time, and in particular, how and why those individuals became pioneers.
I grew up in Montreal where I studied creative writing at Concordia University while I pursued adventures in fashion and dance music all over the city’s hopping nightclub scene. I first visited Banff, Alberta, in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, in the early 1980s, and fell completely in love with the mountains and mountain life. I’ve lived in the Canadian Rockies ever since.
I began writing about mountain life in the mid-1990s, and since then I’ve written 12 books celebrating the unique culture, adventurous lifestyle and intriguing personalities of western Canada’s distinct mountain community.
I contribute articles about adventure and mountain history, culture, science and people to magazines and newspapers including Explore, Canadian Geographic, Canadian Rockies Annual, Crowfoot Media, Kootenay Mountain Culture, Experience Mountain Parks and Travel Alberta; and the Rocky Mountain Outlook, Whistler Pique Newsmagazine and Jasper Local. For 13 years I edited the Alpine Club of Canada Gazette.
I gave my first public presentation as guest speaker for the launch of my book Expedition to the Edge: Stories of Worldwide Adventure at the 2008 Banff Mountain Book Festival. Since then I’ve shared presentations for audiences of dozens to hundreds in theatres and halls across western Canada. I truly enjoy the opportunity to engage with audiences by sharing what I’ve learned about the places, people and their exploits that make Canada’s mountain community so utterly fascinating.
When I’m not working at my keyboard, I’m outside ski touring, climbing, backpacking and capturing photos of places and people in our precious mountain wilderness — and never with earbuds blocking nature’s music! And I’m always working on the next great story…
Katrina Rosen loves the outdoors. Along with her husband, Mike, they’ve raised their son to believe it’s entirely normal to sleep in huts and tents as often as your own bed, and to spend as much time as possible biking, skiing, hiking, and playing. Eager to share her passions and inspire others, Katrina works as a hiking and cycling guide in the Rocky Mountains, opening up her guests’ minds to the forgotten possibilities in life. When she’s not roaming through the wilderness or competing in ridiculously long races, she can be found curled up by a fire with a cup of coffee, poring over maps and dreaming up adventures. Katrina and her family live in Canmore, Alberta.
Sharon Wood is the owner of her own speaking and mountain guiding business, Adventure Dynamics. She has co-authored an ebook with Pat Morrow, Everest: High Expectations (Bungalo Books, 2012) and has been published in several anthologies, including Everest: Eighty Years of Triumph and Tragedy (Mountaineers Press, 2001). This is her first full-length memoir. Wood can now be found in Canmore, AB, writing, public speaking and, of course, climbing mountains.
Jocey Asnong was raised by a pack of wild pencil crayons in a house made out of paper and stories. After finishing several years of illustration school at Sheridan College, she left the land of maple trees in Ontario and moved to the mountains of Alberta so she could wear mittens most of the year. When she is not chasing her cats around her art cave, she might be caught in a blizzard near Mount Everest, or running away from wild dogs in Mongolia, or peeking out castle windows in Scotland, or sleeping under the stars in Bolivia. Jocey’s books for children include Nuptse and Lhotse in Nepal (winner of a Purple Dragonfly Award), Nuptse and Lhotse Go to the Rockies, Nuptse and Lhotse Go to Iceland, Nuptse and Lhotse Go to the West Coast, Rocky Mountain ABCs, Rocky Mountain 123s, <West Coast ABCs, and West Coast 123s. She lives in Canmore, Alberta.
Steph is the author of fourteen books, including most recently Where Rivers Meet: Photographs and stories from the Bow Valley and Kananaskis and earth and Sky: Photographs and stories from Montana and Alberta. he is a full time conservation activist, writer, photographer, public speaker and strategy consultant who lives in Canmore, Alberta with his wife Jenn and two sons. He has been writing since 1988 and for nearly as long has been leading national and international conservation programs and organizations. He recently served as the program director (Crown, Alberta, NWT) of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation initiative (Y2Y). His writing includes nine murder novels, books of essays on Buddhism and Taoism and a collection of works by 25 authors on the Bow Valley of Alberta
Jeremy is the author of Motorcycle Therapy and Through Dusk and Darkness, as well as the editor of the original Motorcycle Messingers and Motorcycle Messingers 2. With his motorcycle, he has traveled to over 30 countries while managing to do at least one outrageously stupid thing in everyone
Katherine has published 10 novels, 3 short story collections and 2 anthologies of travel writing. She has won the City of Toronto Book Award and the Marian Engel Award. She is a Distinguished Alumna of The University of Alberta, one of York University’s “Famous Fifty” alumni, and this spring is being recognized by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for Excellence in the Arts.
Katherine’s novel CREATION, about John James Audubon, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her novel THE GHOST BRUSH has been published in the United States, France, Spain, Romania, Latvia, and Japan. Her most recent novel is THE THREE SISTERS BAR AND HOTEL, set in the fictional town of Gateway, on the eastern slopes of the Rockies.
Katherine was born in Edmonton and grew up in Edmonton and Calgary, skiing and hiking around Banff. She now divides her time between Toronto and Canmore, with her husband Nick and two grown children. She has been President of PEN Canada and Chair of the Writers’ Trust. She directs The Shoe Project, a nation-wide writing workshop for refugee and immigrant writers in which they write about the shoes that symbolize their journey to Canada.
Jamey Glasnovic was born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1968, and grew up in the suburb of Beaconsfield. A family trip to Spain when Jamey was seven was the first step in creating an avid traveller, and he was drawn early in life to such faraway destinations as Australia, Japan, Mexico and Ireland. He has visited much of North America, from Florida to Alaska, and repeated trips to the mountain West led to a move to Calgary in 1995. After relocating to Canmore in 2004, Glasnovic began freelancing for newspapers such as the Banff Crag & Canyon, the Canmore Leader and Rocky Mountain Outlook, and he continued to roam. Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Nepal and Tibet have since been checked off his life list of destinations. His first book, Lost and Found: Adrift in the Canadian Rockies, was published by RMB in 2014. More stories and photos by the author can be found at jglas.com. Jamey Glasnovic lives in Canmore, AB.
Karsten is a University of Calgary trained wildlife biologist and writer who also works as a seasonal park ranger in Canadian national parks. He is a gifted public speaker and best-selling writer of award-winning magazine articles and books for adults and children. He is the recipient of the Wilburforce Conservation Leadership Award, the Outdoor National Book Award (2006), the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award (2007), a National Magazine Award (2010), and the Banff Mountain Book Festival’s Grand Prize.
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