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Keynotes for 2024

Dean McLeod:

Across 400 km of Prairie Glacier: 39 years ago a much younger Dean could not afford to even ask Canada's preminent Artic Explorer, Richard Weber, if he could apply to join the Polar Bridge Expedition, though he dearly yearned for such an adventure! His next best thing was a 400 km solo trek down the entire length of Lake Winnipeg in January. This trip shifted quickly from "next best thing" to "epic adventure" as weather, ice, and open water gave him more than expected - more than he needed - almost too much!! A half-lifetime later Dean shares stories, lessons learned, and the perspective gained from 5 decades of outdoor education and land-based learning.  

Dean is natural born educator and adventurer with an infectious passion for sharing the outdoors with others.  He has insights on winter camping that can only be gained through spending 30-50 nights/winter outdoors over a career that has stretched 40+ years.  In addition to epic trips for 450km down the ice of Lake Winnipeg, he has spent a lifetime introducing others to the outdoors in all seasons and conditions through his work as an elementary and secondary educator in the Winnipeg region.  He is new to our Frostbite community, but has already shared and given so much.  


Kevin Kossowan:

Kevin is a filmmaker and creator of the 2-time James Beard Foundation Awards nominated series From the Wild, his most recent nomination in visual and technical excellence aside Netflix’s Chef’s Table and CNN’s Parts Unknown. He has produced a large volume of work in the agriculture industry including tea plantations in China, taro in Japan [and Hawaii], bananas in Colombia, sheep in Ireland, and biodynamic market gardens in
Norway.  Kevin has participated in two editions of the international culinary project Cook It Raw. He also has filmed for Food On The Edge, an international culinary symposium in Ireland.  Both projects bring together internationally renowned chefs to foster collaboration, innovation and industry development.  Kevin teaches an annual outdoor filmmaking workshop for Devour! Food Film fest in Nova Scotia, and bi-weekly wild edibles workshops in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta.

Past Keynote Presenters


Al Wardale, Moose Country Outfitters

Story teller, outdoor educator, forester, outfitter and friend.  Mr. Wardale has been part of the Alberta outdoor community for decades, and has shared the campfire with dozens of members of the Frostbite community.  As Keynote 2023, Al will bring together many different strands of our community; the history, the teachings, the community, the youth and so much more.  Thanks for all you!  You can read more about Al's adventures HERE.


Tim Smith, Jack Mountain Bushcraft

"Tim Smith founded the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School in 1999 and has been a Registered Master Maine Guide for over 20 years."  As a warning, it is important to note that,  "He was on one episode of a reality tv show a long time ago that no one saw, but still demands to be treated as a celebrity."  

If you are looking for more details, be sure to visit the website for Jack Mountain Bushcraft.  The school operates a wide range of courses, from weekends to multi-week semesters. 

Past Keynote Presenters


Jay Kilgannon:  Current member of the Edmonton Fire Department and member of the Alberta Bushcraft Instructor community.  Famously lived in a Super Shelter through at least one winter.


Kevin Callan:  Noone can forget the Happy Camper, and everyone learns and has a great time when he is presenting.  We are working closely with Kevin to create a unique and custom event for Frostbite.+


Ryan Fox: Current board member and mastermind behind the legendary Winter Camping Symposium in Minnesota.  Expert winter camper who camps more in winter then summer.  Frostbite continues a strong relationship to rely on their experience to create valuable and memorable events


NIKO Wilderness Education

"The more you know, the less you carry" -Mors Kochanski.

These words really resonate for me in today's gear crazy outdoor world.  It was this gear heavy, low knowledge approach that got me into big trouble in my early 20's. Lost and stranded, with gear but no real skills, I made a promise to myself to learn all I could about this beautiful place in which I'd found myself feeling so helpless. Luckily I made it out, but we will have to cover the rest of that story another time.

Determined to fill the void, I chased down books on camping, plants, and survival skills. At every opportunity I practiced what I'd been reading.  Unfortunately, there was a lot of frustration to be found in attempting to master such a vast subject in this way. After years of trial and error I was gifted with an unforgettable experience; I was enrolled in a 7 day winter survival course with Mors Kochanski, a legendary wilderness living and survival instructor. Teaching alongside Mors was master instructor Kelly Harlton. During that week these two excellent and distinguished teachers basically wiped out and re-wrote everything I thought I knew. The "veil of green", as Kelly would say, had been lifted and I now saw the forest for what it was: my hardware store, grocery store and medicine cabinet. Over the last 7 years I've taken part in many courses with these great men, beginning as a student and eventually being privileged enough to teach along side them, still learning all I can, and doing my best to pass that knowledge on to others.

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Bull Moose Patrol.jpg

Bull Moose Patrol and Scott Oeth have a long history of working with youth, educating the general public and providing quality information in the field.  With background in high performance athletics, Scout leadership, the Maine Guide tradition and as a student of Mors Kochanski, Scott offers a wonderful perspective on leadership and winter activities.  His website features links to his adventures, guided trips and courses, and features a blog full of sound advice, good recipes and solid information.  Thanks for joining us for Frostbite! 2020.


Dale and Colleen Kiselyk with Nature Alive

Like many young boys, I grew up spending much of my waking hours outside with a frog in my pocket and a stick in my hand. I was born and raised in a small town along the Athabasca River and Muskeg Creek watershed. Mom and Dad encouraged me to learn fishing, hunting, camping, and canoeing, and through that I become proficient with firearms and hand tools such as the axe, knife, various saws, hammer, and nails while building forts, campfires, shelters, and exploring the forest. I had a generous amount of free time to roam trails, climb trees, swim in creeks, rivers, and lakes, and I learned to operate motorbikes, quads, and snowmobiles. I developed strong empathetic bonds with the natural world and dreamed of meeting an old Indian in the forest to learn from.

In 2003, I was hired as Program Director and eventually became Director of Camp Encounter – a year-round outdoor/retreat center run by the Catholic Church. It was here that I catapulted my experience as an instructor by offering programs such as archery, rock climbing, ropes course, canoeing, tipi camping, outdoor skills, leadership workshops, religious retreats, and team building initiatives to close to 3000 visitors per year. I also joined the local Search and Rescue group and was rewarded with excellent training such as Mantracker, Swift Water Rescue, Team Leader, SAR Fundamentals, and Wilderness First Aid. This is also where I began facilitating Drum Circles as a recreational music making and fun experience for groups of all ages and backgrounds.

In 2007, I started up my business “Nature Alive” and together with my wife, Colleen, we continue to offer programs throughout Alberta. ‘Nature Alive’ is a multi-faceted school offering numerous levels of Survival Courses, Bushcraft Courses, and Outdoor Education workshops, as well as Guided Canoe Trips, National and Provincial Canoe Certifications, Recreational Drum Circle Facilitation and Djembe Instruction.

Kevin Callan aka "The Happy Camper"

Kevin Callan is the author of 13 books, including the hugely popular Paddler's Guide series and the bestselling The Happy Camper. His writing and photography appear in Explore and Canoeroots Magazines, and he is the recipient of five National Magazine Awards. Kevin lives in Peterborough, Ontario.

Partial list of his book publications:

  • Brook Trout and Black Flies: A Paddler’s Guide to Algonquin Park (1997)

  • Gone Canoeing: Wilderness Weekends in Southern Ontario (2001)

  • A Paddler’s Guide to Ontario (2003)

  • A Paddler’s Guide to Algonquin Park (2004)

  • A Paddler’s Guide to Ontario’s Lost Canoe Routes (2004)

  • A Paddler’s Guide to Weekend Wilderness Adventures in Southern Ontario (2004)

  • A Paddler’s Guide to Killarney and the French River (2006)

  • A Paddler’s Guide to Quetico and Beyond (2007)

  • Wilderness Pleasures: A Practical Guide to Camping Bliss (2008)

  • The Happy Camper: An Essential Guide to Life Outdoors (2012)

  • Dazed but Not Confused: Tales of a Wilderness Wanderer (2013)


Kelly Harlton and Wildside Adventures

It took place at Grade 6 camp, I would have just turned 11; this ‘old guy’ with a beret or on his head sporting a thick beard shows up. He starts off by whipping up a pack frame out of 3 sticks, slinging it onto his back, and then continued on by taking us for a 2 hour hike.  This little walk profoundly changed the way I looked at the wilderness. Before that moment it had just been a sea of green trees and grass. It was like the veil of green had just been lifted! I was so enthralled when I left camp, that I began a lifelong quest to collect survival manuals, study wild edible plants, gather outdoor gear and clothing, and of course spend as much time as possible stomping around the bush. One year later at the age of 12 I did my first winter overnight solo in the bush. I was known as ‘Camper Kelly’ by my peers until high school. That first hike was nearly 40 years ago, today Mors Kochanski jokes that I am probably his oldest student.


My Fun

  • Watching my wife and kids realize their dreams.

  • Doing cool things as a family (Mountain biking in Moab, Surfing in Costa Rica, etc)

  • Every other year for 18 years a 2 week whitewater wilderness canoe trip with friends

  • In 2010 Pedaled bicycles across Canada with my sweetie

  • Active In Search and Rescue

  • Lieutenant in the Fire Service (volunteer)

  • Business entrepreneur investor

  • Bit of a Geek (system administrator, fix computers, good at smartphones, GPS’s etc)

Caleb Musgrave and Canadian Bushcraft

Caleb Musgrave is a wilderness skills instructor of the Mississauga Ojibway Nation in Ontario Canada. Caleb has traveled across much of Canada and the United States and has received training from some of Canada’s best survival instructors, including countless Native elders. Caleb has spent three-quarters of his life enveloped in bushcraft. Caleb currently lives in his home community, the Mississaugas of Rice Lake, where he has run the wilderness school Canadian Bushcraft since 2008. His straight-shooting style of education, mixed with his wry sense of humor has made him a fan favorite among his students and colleagues.

Outside of wilderness training, Caleb also works as an Archaeological Liaison, and Field Crew member. His work has lead him all over Ontario, Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana, working in what is now being called "Deep Woods Archaeology", or "Remote Environment Archaeology". His experience in the outdoors, in-depth knowledge of his Ancestors' ways of life, combined with his knowledge of archaeology, has caused him to become a highly sought after consultant for Archaeological firms across Canada and American.


Bruce Zawalsky and Boreal Wilderness Institute

Bruce has over 22 Years’ Experience Working as a Professional Wilderness Survival Instructor. He has a practical Hands-on Philosophy on the Teaching of Modern Wilderness Survival. His Monthly Podcast the Canadian Outdoor Survival's Podcast is available directly or through iTunes.

Jon MacArthur and Bear Lake Bushcraft

Jon has been heavily involved with Volunteer Search and Rescue since his reintroduction nine years ago.  Starting as a member of the local team, he quickly became President, Director of North East Region of Alberta and VP of Search and Rescue Alberta. He is a Sergeant Aircraft Structures Technician currently posted to 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron. Jon is very passionate about his secondary duty with RCAF GSAR team, located at 4 Wing Cold Lake, where he currently holds the position of second in command.  Most recently he became the President of Cold Lake Search and Rescue for his fourth term. Jon has always had a flare for the outdoors and now is a instructor with Karamat Wilderness Ways. He teaches all over the province both in Wilderness Living Skills, Basic SAR Skills and SAR Leadership. He has combined his enthusiasm for both SAR and outdoor living skills to create a unique learning environment for all skill levels.

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