To promote and enable outdoor education and activity

Log in


Board of Directors

The National Board of Directors is made up of elected members from the Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC). These individuals are elected during the Annual General Meeting and hold their positions for the term of two years. The Board meets regularly in person, and via conference calls, to help direct the path of the OCC.

The Executive Director of the Outdoor Council of Canada is Albi Sole

AlbSole has been guiding since 1979 and has spent the last fourteen of those years working at the Outdoor Centre at the University of Calgary programming avalanche awareness, ski touring and climbing courses for the public. Albi has an extensive resume including: writing the World's first waterfall ice climbing guide, first climbing ascents in Europe, North  and South America, and the Himalaya. Albi worked as a heli-ski guide for 13 years, has guided groups to Aconcagua, Huascaran,  and   Denali, led two expeditions to Himalaya, and was a participant in lightweight sieges of the West Ridge of Makalu and the first ascent of the West Ridge of Everest from Tibet. In 2008 Albi completed an MSc. researching risk taking in avalanche terrain. Albi lives in Calgary and is married with three children aged 24-30.

Directors serving on the National Board are:

Bernie Woods: President

Bernie began the Company of Adventurers with a goal of passing on a love of wild places to generations of young people in the Calgary area. He grew up exploring the Canadian Rockies and continues his explorations with programs that appeal to students of all ages in our beautiful landscapes. For more than 35 years Bernie has enjoyed a career in the outdoors as a camp director, outdoor educator, teacher and guide. He relishes pursuing adventures of all sorts and maintains certifications in a wide variety of outdoor pursuits and disciplines.

Vice President


Kelly McDonald: Treasurer

Kelly McDonald has always been called to by the Rocky Mountains. As a child and youth, some of his fondest memories are of camping, hiking and backpacking in Kananaskis and the National Parks. Today as a father of two, he is active in Scouts Canada as a Beaver Leader, and is always eager to get his kids out into the mountains. During the week, Kelly is a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Technology Strategy Practice and holds a MBA from Cornell University.

Nick Townley: Director for BC.

Nick is a teacher who lives, works and adventures on the shores of the Salish Sea. He teaches social studies and outdoor education with the TREK Outdoor Education Program at Prince of Wales Secondary School, in Vancouver. He worked on the coordinator team for seven summers with the Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership. For thirteen spring and fall seasons, he taught in the outdoor classroom of Howe Sound with Sea to Sky Outdoor School for Sustainability Education, where he was a Program Director and well known for his bio-regional comedy routines. He has spent a total of six months as the Eco-guardian on Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.  

Nick is currently pursuing a Masters in Environmental Education and Communication, at Royal Roads University. He also has a BA in Classics from the University of King’s College, a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from Otago University and a Diploma in Outdoor Environmental Education from the University of British Columbia.

Tracy Aiello: Director of Communications

Tracy is a Registered Nurse working in Vocational Rehabilitation, a wife of 27 years and a mother of 3 wonderful young men.  She was a “Football Mom” for 17 years holding many senior volunteer positions in the Capital District and has served on committees and as a Board member for the Alberta Occupational Health Nurses’ Association (AOHNA) since 2016.   Her passion is hiking and she fulfills her love of it by volunteering as an organizer of hiking and snowshoeing events with Slow and Steady Hikers. She became aware of Outdoor Council of Canada when she enrolled and took her Field Leader (Hiking) course.   Tracy believes that there is no better way to relieve stress and get exercise than being in the outdoors and strongly encourages clients and friends to join groups that will safely expose them to the benefits of the great outdoors.  Based on her occupation and background Tracy feels that safety and training are important aspects of enjoying our wilderness and though they may tease; her hikers are grateful for her preparedness when they go out with her. Tracy has been instrumental in updating websites in her volunteer roles and developing social media identities for her volunteer groups.  She is familiar with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, newsletters and most website platforms.  What she doesn’t know she is willing to learn.  She loves to engage with people and welcomes anyone who wants to reach out to her!

Dave Mitchell: Director for Associate Members

Shauna Heighton: Director for the Maritimes

Shauna currently teaches in a public high school in rural Nova Scotia and over the last twenty years she has had the opportunity to live, explore and teach in Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.  During this time she co-founded and coordinated the TERRA Outdoor School in Port Coquitlam, B.C., authored curriculum for the Nova Scotia Department of Education, has written for PHE Canada,  has taught elementary, middle, and high school students, and mentors and supports fellow teachers in their efforts to bring experiential approaches into their programs.  Shauna has a BPe, BEd, and MEd, along with NOLS and Project Adventure courses. Shauna continues to ride, hike, paddle, ski, and snowshoe with her students and along with her partner shares her love of the outdoors with their daughters, Ella and Severn.

Court Rustemeyer: Director for the Prairies (AB,SK,MAN)

Court has been a full time Outdoor Education teacher at Vincent Massey Junior High School in Calgary, Alberta for the past 12 years. He is also the President of an Alberta Teachers Association Specialist Council – GEOEC (Global, Environmental and Outdoor Education Council).

Court’s passion in student-led and experiential learning allows him to be out in the environment with his students in an outdoor classroom almost daily. Those hands-on experiences and inquiry-based learning allows Court to instill a greater understanding of indigenous and land based knowledge into his students and others.

When not teaching, you will find Court out in the mountains participating in any number of activities, unplugging and recharging in nature.

Nicholas Vienneau: Director for Canada North

Nicholas was born and raised in Ontario where his parents introduced him to the outdoor life style. Nicholas grew up exploring all of Ontario’s backwaters going on countless canoe trips around the province. In 2007 Nicholas moved to the Yukon to teach where he brought his love of the outdoors to the classroom. Since then Nicholas has infused experiential education into all his teaching practices. Nicholas was the acting Experiential Education Consultant for the Yukon for almost two years and really enjoys helping teachers incorporate more experiential education into their daily teaching practices. 

Gina Marucci: Director for Ontario 

Gina is the Outdoor Education Resource Teacher at the Vivian Outdoor Resource Centre, located in the York Region District School Board. Prior to this, she was seconded to Waabgon Gamig First Nation School where she helped to develop the Mother Earth Mentoring Program, a land-based program that works to build students’ naturalist skills and nature awareness while integrating big ideas from the Ontario curriculum and indigenous knowledge. Her work over the years has allowed her to partner with Deep Nature Connection Practitioners to design curriculum that integrates core routines into daily practice. Before teaching, Gina had an extensive career in archaeology that allowed her to work throughout remote regions of the continent. She is passionate about transformative education, hands-on experiential, inquiry-based learning that embraces indigenous knowledge. Gina spends her free time playing in nature with her husband and two boys. To contact Gina:

Simon Trudeau: Director for Quebec

Content to come.

Ryan Barfoot: Director-at-Large

Ryan is happy to serve as the BC Director for the OCC. After graduating from the University of Victoria, Ryan completed his Bachelor of Education specializing in Outdoor and Experiential Learning at Queens University and a M.Ed. in Curriculum Development and Implementation at Simon Fraser University. His research interests include transformative education, contemporary Rites of Passage, place-based and ecological learning environments. Ryan has delivered education programs at the grassroots and governmental level. He has worked with Parks Canada, BC Parks, the National Forest Service and the National Parks Service before building the Outdoor & Ecological Learning department for the Powell River School District. He also chairs the district Sustainable Schools Committee and is the program coordinator for the Coast Mountain Academy. Ryan has piloted sustainability programs and co-authored curriculum documents with the BC Ministry of Education. He speaks & delivers workshops in the areas of Environmental and Nature-based Education and is a core team member of the Classrooms to Communities Provincial PD project. With a passion for pretty much everything, he puts his heart and soul into all he does. Ryan is guided by his belief that a better world is possible and relentlessly endeavours to be a net benefit to this world. He, his wife Karin and son Wren currently live in the old Townsite (Powell River) on the Sunshine Coast BC, Canada.

Sarah Sandy: Director for Aboriginal Members

© Outdoor Council of Canada

Donors & Sponsors 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software