David Reid moved from Scotland to the Canadian Arctic in 1989. After living and working in several Arctic communities, he moved to Pond Inlet in North Baffin Island in 1991. For over 20 years, he has been involved in the Arctic expedition and travel business. To date he has led, organized or participated in more than 300 Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, trips and projects. In that time he has traveled thousands of miles by dog sled, ski, snowmobile, boat, kayak, ship, foot and most recently by bike, becoming the first person to cross Baffin Island by fat-tire bike. He has completed fourteen successful expeditions through the famous Northwest Passage and guided over fifty trips to the polar bear capital of the world – Churchill, Manitoba. He was recently honoured by Canada Goose by being asked to be a “Goose Person” (one of only 50 people chosen across Canada) and share in the 50th anniversary of this great Canadian company. David has been recognized by the Explorers Club and was recently honoured by becoming a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.
Captain of the Vagabond (see website link below) an ocean engineering expert, globe trotter, father and citizen of the world. Eric Brossier’s experience and commitment to improving our knowledge of the Arctic and its challenges has made him a leading figure in the polar world. After working in Egypt, Botswana, Venezuela and South Africa, he has travelled across the Far North with his family in the Vagabond since the 2000s. Collaborating with several universities and science laboratories, Eric spends his time studying climate change and biodiversity in the Arctic – a key indicator of our planet’s health. After spending five winters in the ice with Vagabond in Svalbard, Eric, his wife France and daughters Leonie and Aurore moved to the Canadian Arctic. Where better to over-winter than Canada’s most Northerly community Grise Fiord. Between Grise Fiord and most recently Qikiqtarjaq, the “family crew” have now spent another five winters living aboard Vagabond. In addition to his Arctic work and experience, Eric was also Head of the Observatory of Magnetism and Seismology in the Kerguelen Islands in the French Southern and Antarctic region for the Earth Physics Institute of Strasbourg and Geophysicist consultant Nenets Territory in Russia. Eric will be heading up and leading the science component of the Bear Witness Expedition.
Ingrid, originally from Germany, lives and works in Spain. An avid adventurer, she started her expedition career more than thirty years ago. She has lived, worked and traveled throughout Europe: Germany, Switzerland, Holland, England, Scotland, France, Italy, Greece, Ireland and Croatia. Her first visit to Canada came when she was 28 years old. An expedition through the fabled Northwest Passage signified the realization of a dream. Since then she has lead and participated every year in some incredible expeditions in Greenland, Lapland and in the Canadian Arctic. Among these expeditions; ski crossings of Akshayuk Pass and the Penny Icecap on Baffin Island, skiing across Svalbard in 2015 from East to West and most recently crossing Greenland from West to East. In 2011, Ingrid was a member of the Thule dogsled expedition, a 300 km dog sledding trip with Inuit hunters through North Greenland to Siorapaluk, the Northern-most village on Earth. In 2006, she crossed on skis the frozen Gulf of Bothnia off the coast of Finnish Lapland. Ingrid has become one of the Arctic’s most accomplished explorers and is excited to be heading back to the Baffin region and being part of the Bear Witness team.
David Reid Jerry Kobalenko Martin Garcia
Founded in a small warehouse in Toronto, Canada over fifty-five years ago, Canada Goose has grown into the world's leading maker of Arctic luxury apparel. Informed by the rugged demands of the Arctic, relentless innovation and uncompromised craftsmanship inspire the form and function of every collection. From the South Pole research facilities and the Canadian High Arctic, to the streets of New York City, London, Milan, Paris, and Tokyo, people are proud to wear Canada Goose products. Employing more than 1,000 people worldwide, Canada Goose is a recognized leader for its Made in Canada commitment, and a long-time partner of Polar Bears International.
The Bear Witness Arctic Expedition is proud and delighted to have Canada Goose as a clothing sponsor.
Martin was born and raised in the Basque Pyrenees, and grew up jumping in mud puddles and fishing in the local rivers with his father. He started mountain climbing at the age of 15 and his life long love affair with mountains continues to this day. He spend his mandatory years in the Spanish army at a high altitude centre in the Pyrenees and spent two years training and competing in ski mountaineering races. He immigrated to Canada in 1981 because, as he told his mother, “I was born in the wrong country”. He started in Quebec and over the years moved west, where the mountains of Jasper were his backyard for many years. He finally came to rest in Nelson BC. He has climbed mountains and ice in North and South America and of course Europe. In 2012 he moved to Yellowknife as a way of seeing and experiencing the north, and lived on an off the grid houseboat near Yellowknife for 3 years. Memorable Arctic trips include kayaking off northern Baffin Island, and his high Arctic 2012 dog sled expedition, an attempt to travel from Tuktoyaktuk to Kulgluktuk with a team of 11 feisty Canadian Inuit sled dogs and two men on skis. He presently divides his time between Nelson and Yellowknife, with his lovely wife Tandi and a beloved Golden Retriever.
David Reid Eric Brossier Ingrid Ortlieb Martin Garcia
Putting together a major expedition like Bear Witness takes many parts, people and companies. The expedition team has been carefully put together - they are though, the tip of the iceberg.
Without the incredible support and endorsement of many individuals, companies and organisations, the expedition could never get off the ground and would not be happening. Collectively, we are all the expedition team. Thank you / Merci to everyone who has supported and encouraged.
“ With 70 years of flying experience, First Air is the largest scheduled airline in Canada’s Arctic with a fleet of 20 aircraft. Together with its codeshare partner airlines, First Air is providing scheduled services to 30 destinations, conveniently connecting the southern gateways of Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton with its fleet of Boeing 737-400 and ATR 42 300/500 aircraft. Headquartered in Ottawa, the Airline of the North has its two main hubs in Iqaluit and Yellowknife.”
The Bear Witness Arctic Expedition is proud to have First Air on board as the "Official Airline" of the project.
"On Dec 8, 2009, The Honourable Jim Prentice, Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the beginning of a $5 million feasibility study to create a new national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound, at the eastern entrance of the Northwest Passage.
At that time, the Minister said: "As global climate change continues and traffic through the Northwest Passage is expected to increase, our government is committed to safeguarding Canada’s Arctic and protecting its most special natural features," said Minister Prentice. "The Government of Canada recognizes the increasing importance of understanding and protecting the Arctic and this project will allow us to significantly advance our knowledge as well as our protection and conservation activities in this area."
On July 23, 2010 on CFRA Radio, the Minister repeated the Government’s commitment to permanently protect Lancaster Sound:
“The government is committed to a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound. This is an incredibly rich ecosystem. It's sometimes referred to as the Serengeti of the Arctic. It's an incredibly rich ecosystem for marine mammals, and certainly our intent is to proceed with the national marine conservation area, modeled really on what we've just done in Gwaii Haanas.”
Parks Canada, in close collaboration with the Government of Nunavut and Inuit organisations, along with other federal departments, has begun a feasibility assessment to decide if this area will be included in the of national marine conservation area system. Public consultations and feedback, particularly in local communities, are an important part of the project.
Lancaster Sound is the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage, the legendary corridor through Canada’s Arctic Archipelago. It is an area of critical ecological importance to marine mammals, including seals, narwhal, beluga and bowhead whales, as well as walrus and polar bears, and it is bordered by some of the most important seabird breeding colonies in the Arctic, with populations totalling in the hundreds of thousands.
A national marine conservation area (NMCA) would conserve a representative portion of this vital marine ecosystem while also allowing human uses to continue in an ecologically sustainable manner. An NMCA could support the sustainability of coastal Inuit communities and protect this marine heritage for present and future generations of all Canadians."