2015 KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Guy Savoie

2015 Paul Petzoldt Award Winner

Guy Savoie

Guy Savoie, owner of Voyageur Wilderness Programme (VWP) located on Nym Lake, border of Quetico Park pristine wilderness area, Ontario, Canada, has presented nationally and internationally on a wide range of topics throughout his lifetime. 

Guy’s values of family, community, culture, and the environment, as well as his insights regarding their inter-connection, have inspired and impacted many throughout his professional career.   With an education in Business Administration including marketing and promotion he has a diverse career extending beyond VWP: Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Independent Business Owner & Consultant; Winnipeg City Councillor serving on many boards, commissions and committees; Community boards and NGO’s including Festival du Voyageur, Brigade de la Riviere Rouge and most notably life-long member and Elder of Canada’s Oldest (Aboriginal) Metis Council:   l’Union Nationale Métisse Saint-Joseph.

Guy cherishes his French-Canadian Voyageur & Aboriginal Metis heritage which was the foundation for his pursuit of wilderness protection of Quetico Park and Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) with VWP founders and friends Charlie Ericksen and Jean Goff.   Wilderness protection challenges on both sides of the Canada/US border brought environmental movements into action in the 1970’s with achievements in the Wilderness Canoe Areas of Quetico/Boundary Water.  In 1977 Quetico received its “Sensitive Area Designation” and complete mechanical ban.  In 1986, Guy Savoie and his family officially undertook VWP’s operation and direction.  Inspired by the Guy Savoie’s family proud heritage, the Programme was further developed to highlight the lifestyle and history of the Voyageurs as the first eco-traveler.  Some say VWP virtually invented the concept of experiential learning when, in 1960, the first Eco-Field trips explored Quetico’s Wilderness.  VWP continues to be at the forefront of ecological practices while assisting in the promotion and maintenance of Quetico Park and wilderness areas.  The mission continues to be ecological/ environmental education through a wilderness experience - The concept is to give people an appreciation and understanding of wilderness which influences their connection to their communities and our world.