Protect Our Winters Canada is a passionate community of enthusiasts, professional athletes and industry brands uniting the outdoor community to address climate change. We believe our love of adventure in nature, demands our participation in the fight to save and protect it.
While it’s important for individuals to take steps to lower their carbon footprint and adopt important initiatives such as composting, recycling and eating less meat, that’s not the scale of change we need. In order to lower emissions to our target commitments, we need large scale policy solutions. All other sectors of the Canadian economy have organized themselves in a way to have influence over policy decisions which are important to their industry. The outdoor industry in Canada is massive, yet has never been organized in a way to have a collective voice and collaborative influence. That’s our mission and goal. As outdoor enthusiasts we’re on the front lines of climate change and see the impacts first-hand. If we don’t step up and use our voice to protect the places we love and experiences we value, who will?
It’s a daunting challenge, but we like challenge. We get to help dictate the outcome right now. If not, we won’t be worried about powder days, tourism or having fun. We’ll be worried about the stability of our environment, our jobs and our economy. We all have unique skills, gifts and experiences to contribute. Please consider how you can get involved with Protect Our Winters Canada to further our shared mission for climate action.
Protect Our Winters was formed in 2007, by pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones. He found that more and more resorts he’d always counted on for good riding were closed due to lack of snow. Something was clearly going on. He felt the need to act. But organizations focused on mobilizing the snowsports community on climate didn’t exist—there was a gap between the impacts that climate change was already having on our mountains, and any organized action being taken to address it. And so he founded Protect Our Winters.
Since then, the movement has grown to include the wider outdoor sports community. Their playgrounds and livelihoods also depend on healthy winters. Protect Our Winters has grown from a kernel of an idea into a worldwide network of over 130,000 supporters – a social movement on climate, designed to activate a passionate community and create the will for meaningful climate action across the globe.
Board & Staff
As a not-for-profit organization, Protect our Winters Canada is governed by a board of directors who are responsible for the strategic direction and overall governance of the organization.
Mike Douglas, Chair
Mike Douglas has been called one of the 10 most influential freeskiers of all time. He, along with the members of the New Canadian Air Force, pioneered modern freestyle skiing and developed the first high-performance twin tip ski with Salomon back in 1997. Since then he’s won dozens of awards for his skiing, and has more recently added award-winning filmmaker to his resume. His company, Switchback Entertainment, produces documentary adventure films and the web series Salomon TV.
Marie-France Roy, Vice Chair
Growing up at the foot of Mount Éboulements in Quebec, Marie was always surrounded by snow. Like most kids, Marie started on skis, but at the age of 11 she switched to snowboarding after seeing her older brothers ripping down the mountains.
Since then, Marie has made appearances in X-Games and the Abominable Snowjam, while still filming video parts. She has been awarded TransWorld SNOWboarding’s Woman Rider of the Year, Women’s Reader’s Choice, and the Women’s Video Part of the Year. Marie has also worked on a non-profit snowboard documentary called ‘The Little Things.’ Being known for her sustainable lifestyle, she focused the movie on balancing life with the environment.
Daniel Scott, Treasurer
Professor, University Research Chair and Director, Master of Climate Change Program, University of Waterloo. Daniel’s current research program focuses on the human dimensions of global environmental change, climate and society, and sustainable tourism.
M-J Legault, Secretary
As one of mountain sport industry’s leading marketing strategists and co-owner of Origin Design & Communications, M-J Legault is the driving force behind several mountain sports and destination marketing campaigns. Legault holds a degree in Marketing from Concordia University and has worked in ad agencies based in B-C, Colorado and Vermont, never straying far from the mountains that inspire her. Legault has worked with brands such as Salomon, TNF, Jay Peak Resort, Taos Ski Valley, Lululemon and Whistler Blackcomb. After a stint at Origin’s Whistler office, Legault saw the potential for expanding the Origin brand and, in 2002, she piloted her motorcycle east and opened an office in Montreal, where she now lives. MJ is a frequent speaker at conferences for The National Ski Areas Association, Mountain Travel Symposium, The National Parks and Recreation Association and the Outdoor Industry Association.
International Outdoor-Ski and Action Sport industry veteran – Serial entrepreneur – Philanthropist – Global network Passionate about Planet/Climate + Water + Poverty + Food/Health + Education + Indigenous peoples/Elderly + Life. You’ll most likely find him in Whistler / Hanalei Bay / Fjällnäs / Malibu / Patagonia.
John Meisner, Marketing Coordinator
Digital Marketer and Professional Outdoors Photographer. Originally growing up as a ski racer and sprint canoeist in Ontario, John moved West with his camera after graduating University to pursue the mountain lifestyle. John’s portfolio consists of clients across 4 continents including names such as Subaru, Laos Tourism, and the International Conservation Fund of Canada. John has worked on other conservation and climate projects such as the Kayapo Project with the Kayapo Tribe in the Brazilian Amazon. He is now based in Invermere, BC.
Izzy Lynch, Program Director
Izzy holds a degree in Communications from the University of Calgary, but says the mountains have always been her biggest teacher. Her passion for untouched wilderness as well as the birth of her son in 2017 has sparked a growing concern about the threat of climate change on our environment for future generations.
From professional big mountain skier to film producer, co-founder of an adaptive adventure non profit; Live It! Love It! Foundation, Studio Manager for video editing service ChopShop Co, Izzy brings multi-faceted array of event and project management experience in the outdoor industry to POW Canada. She is excited to share and grow POWs influence through the Hot Planet Cool Athletes program and other regional events.
David Erb, Executive Director
Dave has extensive management experience in the business and charitable sectors in Canada. He’s passionate about skiing, environmental stewardship and seeing POW Canada grow to have significant impact on climate policy in Canada.