Speakers

Canadian Adventure Therapy Symposium 7

Franz Plangger

Franz’s life path changed significantly upon participating in an outdoor expedition in 2001. Ever since then, he has been passionate about sharing the beauty of natural environments and the power of finding one’s own potential. 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.



Zahra Remtulla

Zahra Remtulla works with Nature United and supports Indigenous communities in British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Manitoba in running strong and resilient On the Land programs for youth/emerging leaders. Originally from Toronto, Zahra has a B.A. from Duke University (North Carolina), a B. Ed from the University of Victoria and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of British Columbia. Her background is in research/program evaluation and K-12 teaching. She is grateful to have been living, learning and playing in Coast Salish territory since 2012, spending time in Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver (where she is currently based).



Virginie Gargano Ph.D

As a guide and a facilitator in different types of programs (adventure therapy and outdoor education), Virginie Gargano has spent years in the field while pursuing her studies in an Outdoor adventure program at the bachelor level, then in Social work for her master’s and PhD degree. She has worked with a diversity of organizations, at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)’s outdoor program, at Ottawa University and at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).  Being responsible for creating and executing many adventure therapy and outdoor education programs in Québec over the years has led her to become a leading figure her field. She was last year named Canadian adventure therapy ambassador by the Canadian AT committee.



Angela Krueger

As the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yukon (BBBSY), Angela Krueger believes full-heartedly in the power of mentoring relationships and that relationships can change the world. In addition, her training as an Eco Art Therapist gives her unique insight into the mentoring that is continually taking place all around us in nature. With 20 years of adult education experience, 15 of these focusing on positive, healthy relationships between adults and children, Angela brings an interactive and inclusive approach to her workshops that reflects her Métis heritage.



James Caspersen

James has a passion for promoting mental health that is rooted in the belief that health and mental health are inseparable, and everyone experiences their own mental health. With undergraduate education in health sciences from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver BC, James has gone on to pursue higher education in counselling, public health, and project management. He has over 12 years’ experience is in community services, the homeless serving sector, recreational therapy, and mental health and substance use services (although he prefers to refer to the latter as just “health services”).  James has been facilitating training and workshops for over 8 years. To learn more about James’ work, visit claritytraining.ca.



Katy Rose MA RCC

For over 15 years Katy has been discovering the joys of experiential and nature-based approaches to working with children, youth and families for the promotion of healing and growth. Katy holds a deep trust in the healing power of connection with the non-human natural world, and believes that each individual is born with an innate drive and capacity towards wholeness and health. Katy completed her Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counselling Psychology, with a specialization in Wilderness Therapy, from Naropa University in Colorado, and is a Registered Clinical Counselor with the BCACC.Katy is co-founder of Human-Nature Counselling in Victoria, BC. She has focused her practice on developing innovative and accessible programming for families and youth including the Family Roots Adventure Therapy program (now going on its 11th year of service to struggling single-parent families), and a variety of nature-based therapy groups aimed at addressing the pervasive struggles of anxiety and stress. Katy loves to share her passion for the exciting fields of nature-based therapy and ecotherapy with others, and provides trainings on these topics in the hopes of encouraging other counsellors and youth workers to step beyond the office walls. Katy is particularly interested in exploring how adventure, experiential learning, and deep nature connection can be a powerful tool for family healing. Katy is co-author of the newly released book “Nature-based Therapy; a practitioners guide to working outdoors with children, youth and families”, along with Dr. Nevin Harper and David Segal.



Sarah Duncan MA RCC

I am  privileged to have lived and worked on the traditional lands of the Quw’utsun people for over 15 years. My journey with eco-therapy began when I was a child, but more formally when I was reflecting on what I wanted to take at university over 12 years ago. During that reflection, a moment from when I was 16 stood out for me. I was attending a month long wilderness therapy program for teens when I experienced a major shift in self awareness during a moment in nature. This moment turned out to be the beginning of my journey of self-respect and self-love.Since that moment, just under 30 years ago, I have wanted to be able to offer a moment like that to someone else. I began my education in Child and Youth Care focusing on working with youth in the wilderness in 2006. After a wee hiatus from the focus on nature work,  I was re-inspired, in 2015, to go back to school and tackle a Masters in Counselling degree with a focus on Eco-therapeutic practices. I have since completed an internship with Human Nature Counselling based out of Victoria BC and I have continued, now a registered RCC, contracting privately through Human Nature Counselling working with clients (children, youth, and families) with a variety of life struggles, outdoors from an eco-therapeutic perspective.  



Alex Thompson

Alex Thompson is the executive director and founder of Power For All Adventure Therapy Society. Amazing mentors and partners have helped realize the vision of bringing adventure access and innovative therapy to all abilities with the creation of PFA. Making use of a background in education, outdoor recreation, adventure therapy, program development and occupational therapy, Alex shares her passion and knowledge of the outdoors with clients for PFA, as a consultant in school pediatrics, and teaching at the University of the Fraser Valley and the Ridge Meadows College. Clients and their stories of engagement, recovery and healing are incredible sources of inspiration that keep Alex fired up; she considers it a privilege to be able to partner with clients to learn and grow. Adventure should be accessible to all and societal stigmas related to disability should be challenged every chance we get. This is what her work is grounded on!To contact Alex, she can be reached at:  powerforallats@gmail.com



Nevin Harper

Nevin Harper is a father of two nature/adventure research assistants who inform his practice and teaching as an outdoor educator, guide and counselor. He enjoys spending more time outdoors than in, and is doing his best to let his kids explore, take risks, and discover natural play spaces and their own potential. Currently employed in academia, his research centers on nature, adventure and meaningful outdoor experiences that influence human growth & development. He has been involved in the advancement of the adventure education and therapy fields in Canada and abroad for a few decades and has recently published his first book on Nature-based therapy with Katy Rose and Dave Segal.



Doronn Fox

Doronn Fox is a 29 Year old born and raised Yukoner, father of two beautiful twins and a member of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation. He represents the Crow clan and two of the Yukon’s First Nations on his mother’s side which are the Northern Tutchone and Kaska Dene. On his fathers side he is Ojibway from Saskatchewan. Doronn has been an Entrepreneur for over 6 years, with his work in youth and culture, North America wide. His job title as Youth Cultural Revitalization worker, doesn’t represent the plethora of initiatives and work he does nation-wide. He works with elders and knowledge, teachings and protocols, revitalization of practices and ways of being, attached to Indigenous culture and standards, counselling services, community support and more along the lines of helping and healing. He uses teachings passed down to him to support in helping young people, not only to remember the past as the history it is through stories, but to support through natural law and to get more youth and elders back onto the land where he believes the true healing and help resides. 

Doronn’s passions are to help and support culture and youth, as his life growing up didn’t give him the opportunity for that to flourish. Being a former alcoholic and addict, he now uses those life lessons to not only help others but to support in educating more people on the issues Indigenous people face daily and throughout history. Helping, supporting, healing and trying everyday to make people’s hearts smile more has been his mission since finding his journey. Nothing more makes him happier than the land and his family and passion. 



Dr. Isabelle Bradette

Born in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean in the province of Quebec, Isabelle always loved being in remote areas and in nature. General practitioner specialized in Emergency Medicine, Isabelle has been practicing medicine for over nine years now. She worked in many different emergency rooms all over rural areas in Quebec and has been a crew member of the aeromedical evacuation team of the province of Quebec for a few years. Involved in teaching to undergraduate medical students in Saguenay with the University of Sherbrooke for one year now, she went back to school herself last year. She is finishing a diploma of higher specialized studies (DESS) in nature and adventure intervention at the “Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)”. As a physician, Isabelle always believed in alternative and complementary medicine to heal the patients she takes care of. Nature and adventure have become an innovative approach for her to help global health of everyone!



Dr. Marie-Eve Langelier

Family Physician specialized in mental health. Clinical professor, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke. Current student in tMarie-Ève Langelier has worked as a family doctor in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region since 2013. She maintains a healthy work-life balance through an array of outdoor activities and would now like to share the benefits with her patients. Marie-Ève sees wilderness therapy using adventure experiences as a complement to more traditional medicine. She is currently completing a graduate program called Diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées en intervention par la nature et l’aventure (Graduate diploma specializing in intervention through nature and adventure) at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) and will be presenting the preliminary results of her final project entitled “Une expédition à visée thérapeutique pour les adultes entre 20 et 40 ans vivant avec un trouble anxieux” (A wilderness therapeutic intervention program for adults aged 20 to 40 living with an anxiety disorder). Marie-Ève is thrilled to finally be able to combine her passions for caregiving and the great outdoors.he program “DESS en intervention par la nature et l’aventure”, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.



Hailey

Hailey is a student in the Outdoor Adventure Naturalist Program at Algonquin College. Hailey has worked in outdoor programming for students and with at risk students for a number of years. Hailey founded Huronia Pride and campus pride club, focused on advocating for LGBTQ2S+ rights, education and awareness. Having worked for groups all over Canada she is currently working towards combining her experience in social justice and experiential therapy with outdoor adventure and interpretation programming.



Nicole Lewis RP, Med, CCC

Nicole is a registered psychotherapist who implements ecotherapy practices in individual and group interventions at Algonquin College. Starting her career working with youth at risk in an adventure therapy program leading her to pursue studies in ecological experiential education and then onto her masters in counselling. Nicole believes that mental wellness comes from a focus on both mental and physical health and improving connection with the environment wherever we are. Her program Wellness In Nature Days (WIND) on campus is encouraging inclusiveness and affirmative programming.   She is a trainer for the Positive Space ally training program within Algonquin College and hosts weekly programming for LGBTQ2S+ students.



Mrs. Roxanne Letourneau

Occupational therapist, master’s degree, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval. Specialized in mental health. Current student in the program “DESS en intervention par la nature et l’aventure”, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.



Henri-Bastien Gendreau

Psychosocial intervention coordinator, he spent most of his career in the Great North working all over Nunavik as a special educator and a social worker. He is not afraid of the cold and loves to sit in a tent to talk about emotions. 



Valerie Raymond

Co-founder and chief executive officer, she is a high school teacher and taught in Nunavik for four years. She is now working on a higher specialized studies degree related to outdoor and adventure intervention. For her, the best classroom was always outside!