Only the most solid, tightly-knit team, ready to face the worst storms, can manage to cross the Canadian Arctic from one end to the other. Only two members of the crew will make the entire crossing, but in all, some ten people will be part of the expedition at one time or another. Their trust in each other is boundless.
Crew on land
Nicolas Roulx // A history and geography teacher at a wonderful little high school in Quebec City, he is also a speaker, author and Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. To date, he has canoed, skied, cycled and walked over 12,000 km across Canada. He participated in the AKOR expeditions in 2018 and 2021, and in human geography research projects on Baffin Island. For nearly 8 years now, Nicolas has been constantly witnessing the incredible potential of major expeditions to act as a lever of motivation and perseverance among young people. This realization led him to combine adventure and education on a grand scale. Today, over 15,000 people – mainly young people – have attended his conferences, and more than 200,000 people worldwide will soon have seen the film Canada vertical, which he produced and co-directed. Nicolas had a bad leg injury two years ago and is now living with a drop foot and experiencing physically challenging limitations, but he is determined to demonstrate that no one has to give up on his dreams just because is life has changed.
Catherine Chagnon // During her studies in biology, Catherine discovered a real passion for northern ecosystems. She had the privilege of completing a Master’s degree which involved spending many weeks in the remote regions of Nunavik. Since then, she has been perpetually driven by the desire to return to the immensity of tundra landscapes. An accomplished climber and paddler, Catherine also works as a research professional in forestry at Université Laval, and shares with her boyfriend Guillaume the pleasure of combining scientific research and expedition. Catherine is about to undertake the entire AKOR 2024 expedition route, from Alaska to Baffin, over a 6-month period.
Guillaume Moreau // Newly nominated as professor in the Department of Wood and Forest Sciences at Université Laval, Guillaume is the author of more than 16 scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as the book 234 jours about the AKOR 2021 journey. In recent years, he has covered more than 14,000 km mainly by canoe and ski through some of the wildest and most remote regions of Canada. In 2016, Guillaume co-created AKOR to lead ambitious scientific expeditions across Canada’s Arctic. Doing so, he has successfully combined his passions by using his expeditions as an opportunity to collect data and conduct original research on the most northern, remote, and undisturbed forests of Canada. The 2024 expedition represents the perfect opportunity to assemble the largest tree-ring database from Canadian subarctic forests, which will be the main subject of a PhD student under Guillaume’s supervision in 2024. Guillaume will do the canoe portion of AKOR 2024, from the Little Nahanni River to Baker Lake.
Dominic Roulx // A lifelong lover of long-distance travel, Dominic is a doctoral student in philosophy, interested in the socio-economic roots of the current ecological crisis. In addition to representing historic opportunities to cross the Canadian North in the midst of climatic change, long northern expeditions are for him a mean of investigating, on a practical level, alternative ways of relating to the territory. His insatiable hunger for transcendent life experiences and his passion for the great outdoors led him to embark on a 2-month canoe trip across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Mathieu Béland // Mathieu’s interest in natural environments led him to study and work in the environmental field to defend what is most important to him. Long canoe expeditions are a way for him to connect with nature in its raw state, and to expand his already impressive knowledge of ecosystems. With several weeks worth of expeditions under his belt, and a paddler with honed technique, Mathieu is throwing himself wholeheartedly into a new adventure, on a larger scale: the 3-month canoeing expedition AKOR 2024, across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Laurence Garçeau // A yoga teacher and trainer for the past 10 years, Laurence thrives on sharing her knowledge and passion for movement. She is known for her avid trail running and climbing. Two years ago, life took a turn for the worse. A serious car accident broke both her legs, dislocating her right knee and shattering her tibial plateau. She, who attaches so much importance to physical activity, had to learn to walk again. After weeks in a wheelchair, a year on crutches and numerous surgeries, she is still undergoing rehabilitation and still has limitations. Nevertheless, these events have not taken away her motivation or her dreams of adventure and the great outdoors. Laurence will spend 2 months canoeing in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Crew at sea
Louis Poliquin // Introduced to sailing at the age of 4 on the sailboat built by his father, Louis took part in numerous races as a member of the national junior team. Owning his own sailboat, he embarked on the adventure of ocean racing between Boston-Halifax and Halifax-Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. An accomplished sailor, Louis crossed northern Hudson Bay with his son Hubert, enabling the land team to reach Baffin.
Hubert Poliquin // Hubert grew up in a family with a passion for sailing. From an early age, he gained a great deal of experience on the St. Lawrence River, which is renowned for being a complex river to navigate. Hubert is in charge of the overall logistics of the sailing expedition, and will be aboard the Anorak with his father Louis to cross Hudson Bay. Hubert is also a professional photographer, a talent he will be putting to good use during Expedition 2024.
François Lanouette // Having had a long career at sea, he was a commander in the Canadian Coast Guard for many years. With over fifteen Arctic voyages under his belt, François has exceptional expertise in high-latitude navigation. He will be on board the Anorak to bring it back to Quebec from Baffin, and will ensure the smooth repatriation of the yacht in the autumnal conditions of the Labrador coast.