Mission

Our mission is to turn passionate outdoor people into effective climate advocates. Protect Our Winters Canada is a passionate community of enthusiasts, professional athletes and industry brands uniting the outdoor community to advocate for policy solutions to climate change. We believe our love of adventure in nature demands our participation in the fight to save and protect it.

Vision

For our communities and outdoor playgrounds to be healthy, safe, and resilient to a changing climate, we envision a future where we’ve transformed our economy and energy systems and cut our carbon emissions in-line with science-based targets the world agreed to in the Paris Climate Agreement. To achieve this, we advocate for the following:

POW Canada Policy Statement

The Opportunity

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 reach our targeted emissions, 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. Our mission and goal is create such a voice. 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 challenges. 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.

Board

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

  • MJ Legault

    Vice Chair

  • Daniel Scott

    Treasurer

  • Marie-France Roy

    Secretary

  • Sven Sandahl

    At Large

  • Amil Reddy

    Board Member

Mike Douglas

Chair

Mike Douglas has been called one of the ten 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, Mike has won dozens of awards for his skiing and more recently, added award-winning filmmaker to his resume. His company, Switchback Entertainment, produces documentary adventure films and the web series Salomon TV. 

Mike has spent most of his life training for skiing on the Horstman Glacier in Whistler, British Columbia. Over the years, he started to notice the glacier shrinking and changing. He noticed that not only was it changing, but the change seemed to be accelerating. Around the same time, there was more and more talk about global warming and climate change. Mike realized it was happening right before his eyes. Since then, he has been a major advocate for climate action, highlighting the importance of using our collective voice to make a difference.  

MJ Legault

Vice Chair

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.

Daniel Scott

Treasurer

Dr. Daniel Scott is a Professor and University Research Chair in Climate and Society as well as the Executive Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo (Canada). He has worked extensively in the areas of climate change and the global tourism sector, including collaborations with the United Nations World Tourism Organization, United Nations Environment Programme, the World Meteorological Organization. Dr. Scott has been a contributing author and expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third, Fourth, and Fifth Assessment Reports.

Marie-France Roy

Secretary

Marie-France Roy grew up in Quebec, Canada, and began following her two older brothers around the local resort on a snowboard at 11 years old. A love for snowboarding influenced her move to Whistler, British Columbia, where she began happily living the life of a professional snowboarder for over a decade. From her early competition experience at the X Games to her more recent back-to-the-mountains approach, Roy has travelled the world while enjoying the ride. Known for being one of the most stylish and versatile riders in snowboarding, Roy is also recognized for her humble and giving nature. She is the recipient of the 2015 Climate Activist Award from Protect Our Winters and TransWorld SNOWboarding magazine. Roy divides her time between Whistler and a self-built, environmentally-minded cob home on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Sven Sandahl

At Large

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.

Amil Reddy

Board Member

Amil Reddy, CCIP (they/them): my personal lens
Trans person of colour
Child of immigrant, Grandchild of indentured labourers, Settler
Parent of human and fur babies, Partner to someone who challenges me
Friend, Bridge builder, Lifelong learner
Coffee over tea (except mom’s chai), bread making over winning, trails over streets
Why a lens vs bio? It’s my perspective and how I see the world. I developed the lens as a way of disrupting the traditional biography and centering diversity of perspective.

Staff

  • David Erb

    Executive Director

  • Izzy Lynch

    Program Director

  • John Meisner

    John Meisner

    Marketing Coordinator

  • Golden Chapter

    Emilie Grenier

    Community Engagement Coordinator

  • Nat Knowles

    Research Coordinator

  • Max Young

    Brand and Design Coordinator

David Erb

Executive Director

Dave is a father, husband and outdoor enthusiast with 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.

Izzy Lynch

Program Director

While most Calgary skiers Izzy Lynch’s age were riding the lifts and hitting gates, the Lynch family was busy building a backcountry lodge in British Columbia, an experience which fostered Izzy’s love for nature and big mountain skiing at a young age. Although Izzy did ski race, competing at an international level, it was that feeling of freedom that she found in the isolated mountains at the lodge that pulled her to build a life in the mountains. Now a mother, she shares those same values with her son. As a storyteller, Izzy’s craft is to merge skiing with those kismet moments she has in remote areas, sharing different narratives of herself and others pushing their boundaries in films and writing. She wears many hats in the outdoor industry, merging all facets of her life – from backcountry skiing, coaching , motherhood and filmmaking, to collaborating with fellow athletes and volunteers as the Program Coordinator for POW Canada. Izzy currently resides in Revelstoke, BC. 

John Meisner

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 Whistler, BC.

Golden Chapter

Emilie Grenier

Community Engagement Coordinator

 Emilie has spent all of her free time climbing, running, skiing, paddling and camping since her early childhood. Her passion for the outdoors, and the peace of mind she finds in wild spaces, led her to Canada’s only Master’s in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University.  She hopes to bring her love of grassroots organizing to the playing field at Protect Our Winters Canada

Nat Knowles

Research Coordinator

Nat Knowles is a climate scientist, wilderness conservationist, and outdoor athlete. Her research focuses on mitigating climate change, managing its inevitable impacts, and using outdoor recreation and tourism for sustainable socio-economic development. She completed a Master of Science on these topics at the University of Oxford and is now a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo. While currently an avid backcountry adventurer, as a former alpine ski racer she won two NCAA National Championships with the University of Denver, and represented Canada at the World Junior Championships and the World University Games.

Max Young

Brand and Design Coordinator

As a passionate cyclist and skier, social responsibility and environmental conservation are the guiding principles behind Max’s work as a designer. With over 10 years of experience at design agencies and pro sports teams, he wanted to use his creativity for something more valuable than product sales. Max hopes to contribute thoughtful and engaging work that helps grow POW Canada and its influence on climate policy.

Regional Chapter Leads

  • Alex MacInnis

    Vancouver

  • Annabelle Santerre

    Quebec City

  • Arianne Dufour

    Montreal

  • Catherine Prud’homme

    Montreal

  • Golden Chapter

    Emilie Grenier

    Golden

  • Florina Beglinger

    Revelstoke

  • Fraser Blackwell

    Ottawa

  • Josh Der

    Josh Der

    Toronto

  • Julie Kaden

    Collingwood

  • Kristen Meilicke

    Revelstoke

  • Monika Tesiorowski

    Vancouver

  • Natalie Austin

    Natalie Austin

    Whistler

  • Calgary

    Sharalee Hazen

    Calgary

  • Tina Matthews

    Tina Matthews

    Edmonton

Alex MacInnis

Vancouver

Alex graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma in Outdoor Adventure. He has always been drawn to the outdoors and adventure sports. After graduation, the draw of the mountains brought him out west, bouncing back and forth between Ontario and BC for several years; until finally, permanently moving to BC in the fall of 2011. As an avid kiteboarder and split-boarder, he has seen first-hand, the effects of climate change, motivating Alex to get involved with POW and to help push for positive climate action.

Annabelle Santerre

Quebec City

Annabelle is a slopestyle skier and alpinist athlete from Québec City, Canada. Currently pursuing a bachelor degree in environmental and language studies from Laval University, she hopes to take affirmative and efficient action against climate change in Canada. Her passion for the outdoors and conservation is a driving force in her advocacy efforts for carbon neutral and waste-free sporting venues. 

Arianne Dufour

Montreal

Arianne is full of energy, always eager to try new sports and explore the outdoors. Her point of view on the world is optimistic and she believes sharing knowledge will bring humanity further. Deeply concerned about the planet and convinced that the climate crisis can be reversed with people working together, she has been a sustainability advocate for a few years now. Working in the marketing for The North Face Canada enables her to make a difference on a larger scale through partners and events. She makes her own cosmetics and household products, she’s a mountain bike and ski addict and she has two cats; you can talk about one of these subjects with her next time you’ll see her at a POW event and she won’t stop talking!

Catherine Prud’homme

Montreal

Catherine is an outdoor enthusiast and connector of people. She’s a snowboarder, painter, world traveler and food lover. She’s always seeking opportunities to grow professionally and personally. Catherine works in marketing and manages all partner relations at Altitude Sports, one of the biggest online retailers in Canada. She works with brands such as The North Face, Arc’teryx, Patagonia, Fjallraven, Salomon and a few 100 more. Through meetings and deep conversations about climate change with her friends and industry partners, Catherine felt the need to get involved and influence positive changes. She got involved with POW to be part of a movement and act on climate change more directly and effectively than before. Her determination and passion are helping drive POW’s mission forward in Greater Montreal and beyond.

Golden Chapter

Emilie Grenier

Golden

Emilie has spent all of her free time climbing, running, skiing, paddling and camping since her early childhood. Her passion for the outdoors, and the peace of mind she finds in wild spaces, led her to Canada’s only Master’s in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University.  She hopes to bring her love of grassroots organizing to the playing field at Protect Our Winters Canada

Florina Beglinger

Revelstoke

Florina was raised at a backcountry lodge outside of Revelstoke. As she grew up, she watched the glacier in her remote backyard melt back at an ever increasing and alarming rate, which instilled in her a deep passion for climate advocacy.

She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at UBC Vancouver in film making, and escaped the city back to Revelstoke to pursue a career in guiding. She is training to be an ACMG and internationally certified mountain guide. She took on a leadership role with the POW Revelstoke chapter in May 2020 and is excited to help move her community towards a more sustainable future.

Fraser Blackwell

Ottawa

Fraser retired from a career in social work and public education in 2017. The windfall of time and freedom from 9 to 5 was a welcome change, but just playing in the outdoors wasn’t working for him. He sees volunteering with POW as a great opportunity to engage in positive, locally developed solutions to the climate crisis. Since the launch of our nation’s capital chapter, the core group of active members has been a strong voice in advocating for meaningful climate action. 

Josh Der

Josh Der

Toronto

Growing up in Toronto it was the time Josh spent in the mountains which fostered a love for the outdoors. An Economics and Environmental Studies student at the University of Toronto, Josh’s goal is to make the, at times overwhelming, topic of climate change easier to understand and climate activism more accessible. He is always up for a day of skiing, down for an outdoor adventure and is looking forward to growing a community and working toward a sustainable future with POW

Julie Kaden

Collingwood

City born and bred Julie traded the concrete jungle for the ‘wood 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back.  She calls Collingwood home, while working and raising her family 10 minutes from the slopes. Both she and her two kids have been sliding down the mountain since they could walk and now enjoy frequent family chairlift rides. A snowboarder, avid reader, former world traveler, live music lover and amateur foodie, Julie seeks opportunities wherever she goes to spread kindness and track down the best coffee shops.

Kristen Meilicke

Revelstoke

Kristen grew up immersed in the Rocky Mountains in Canmore Alberta. After a few seasons of chasing snow around the world she settled in Revelstoke, BC.  She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who is working towards becoming a splitboard guide in the winter and forest fire fighter in the summer. She has always wanted to do more to protect the places she loves to play, and as the leader of the Revelstoke Chapter of POW she has been able to connect engaged citizens to start taking action in her community. 

Monika Tesiorowski

Vancouver

Polish by birth, Canadian by transplant. Growing up in North Vancouver and being raised by a competitive ski racing coach, Monika was taught from an early age that the mountains are the ultimate playground and should be respected as such. After spending many years working and adventuring across the world, she returned to Vancouver in 2019 for the long-haul. Now, with both her work at Arc’teryx in marketing and her involvement in POW, Monika hopes to spark action in her local outdoor community. There is a lot of work to be done, but Monika believes that there is no greater lens than that of adversity. 

Natalie Austin

Natalie Austin

Whistler

I grew up in North Vancouver where I spent my winters as a reluctant, overdressed ski kid and my summers wreaking havoc at a kids camp on a gulf island. 

I moved away from Vancouver for the first time to attend McMaster University. I spent four years earning a degree in Anthropology with a minor in Archaeology, and all the while my love for BC mountains grew. The saying that ‘distance really does make the heart grow fonder’ is no joke. After graduating, I felt that I had read too much and seen too little so I decided to take various opportunities to work, study, and travel in various countries.

 In Australia, I saw trees turned bright orange from recent forest fires. In South East Asia I was shocked at the layers of garbage on the beaches and in the sea. Recently, the impacts of climate change have been felt at home here in Canada. I’ve suffered from headaches while landscaping due to forest fire smoke in the summer, and my ski instructing seasons cut short due to low snow levels. 

  I first got involved with POW when I lived in New Zealand in 2019 and have been actively involved ever since. POW has given me the most direct opportunity to turn my passion into purpose and work to protect all these places near and far. I asked one of my ski students Donny, age 5, where was home? “Earth,” he answered. Me too Donny, me too.  

Calgary

Sharalee Hazen

Calgary

Born and raised in Alberta, Sharalee grew up on a farm with an incredible view of the Rocky Mountains – leading to her passion for the outdoors. With a background in Environmental Policy from Queens and a degree in Law & Society from the University of Calgary, Sharalee believes POW is creating a platform to connect individuals who appreciate nature to the bigger picture surrounding climate change. As an avid snowboarder and mountain biker, Sharalee thrives on community connection and is optimistic about where POW will go in the future.

Tina Matthews

Tina Matthews

Edmonton

Tina grew up in Australia and fell in love with winter when she started skiing at age 12. Over the last five years she has become much more aware of the dangers our planet is facing, and as a result entered the world of self-propelled adventures like ski touring and making a lot of personal choices to reduce her carbon footprint. More recently she has decided to do more to convince others to make similar choices for a better planet. She worked on helping to establish POW New Zealand and after settling in Canada, continues to contribute as our Regional Chapter leader in Edmonton.