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Free Presentations – Open to Everyone – No need to register. Just show up!

Steven Wapple, Rafting Coordinator, Guide


Have you ever been interested in exploring our city from the Bow River but not sure how to get started? The Outdoor Center is a leader in raft rentals and we are offering this FREE info session to help promote and educate people about river safety. Our certified paddling guide will answer all your questions. Please register in advance by calling 403.220.5038.

When: Jun 8, 2017 at 7–8:30 pm 
Where: Outdoor Centre

Past Free Presentations

Canoeing the Green River–Labyrinth Canyon, Utah
Angela Harder and Matthew Steele, Paddling Programmers and Guides

Green RiverImagine massive red canyon walls, desert landscapes and endless stretches of calm water. The Green River is a favourite for canoers and hikers alike because of its unique landscape, breathtaking views, and multiple canyon trails to explore. Bring your questions!

When: Jan 26, 2017 at 7 pm
Where: KNB132

Exploring the Frenchman River, Saskatchewan
Angela Harder, Paddling Program Manager, Extended Canoe Tripping Guide

Frenchman RiverTake a virtual paddle with us through the heart of Southern Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park. Angela will share canoe-tripping experiences including the beautiful natural landscapes, the wide range of wildlife, and the many hiking routes that can be explored. Bring your questions!

When: Feb 15, 2017 at 7 pm
Where: KNA160

My Favourite Canoe Trips in Saskatchewan
Angela Harder, Paddling Program Manager, Extended Canoe Tripping Guide

Canoe TripsThe exhilarating whitewater, calm lakes, northern lights and star-filled skies bring Angela back to paddle in her native province every year. She’ll provide insights into Saskatchewan canoe-tripping locations like the Porcupine River, Churchill, Cree, Fond du Lac, Geike, Waterfound, Sturgeon-Weir, Athabasca Sand Dunes, and the Paul.

When: Mar 13, 2017 at 7 pm
Where: KNA160

My Favourite Sea Kayaking Trips
Finlay MacNeill, Paddling Program Coordinator, Guide

Sea KayakingWe all dream of paddling in beautiful locations! Our experienced guide will inspire you with details of magnificent sea kayak trips in this evening presentation. We’ll cover the Broken Group Islands and Clayoquot Sound on the West Coast, the Green River with it’s towering red rock cliffs in Utah, and Isla Espíritu Santo and Loreto Marine Park in Baja California. If you’ve ever thought of adding kayaking to your bucket list, now’s the time to come out and ask questions.

When: Mar 30, 2017 at 7 pm
Where: KNA160

Avalanche Safety Awareness

Jeff Bullock - ACMG Guide, Canadian Avalanche Association Professional Member

Do you snowshoe, ski, board or snowmobile in the mountains? Play it safe this winter and attend UCalgary Outdoor Centre's AVALANCHE SAFETY AWARENESS. You'll learn what an avalanche is and get an overview of current companion rescue/gear. You'll discover the thought process of an experienced backcountry traveler, and how to develop skills for a lifetime of play in the Rockies. This presentation is great as a refresher for experienced backcountry enthusiasts, or as an introduction for first-timers. Bring your questions!

WhenNov 8, 2016 7-9pm
Where: NEW ROOM: Craigie Hall C 119. (Across from Parking Lot 1). Limited seats…first come-first serve. See red star on map.

This presentation is FREE to the public. Come a bit early to park and find a good seat. Canned food donations for the Campus Food Bank will be accepted but is not required. No registration needed to attend.

Parking Maps

Angela Harder, Paddling Instructor/Guide

Porcupine RiverPreview this trip that is so remote, you access it via a float plane! Big canyons and lots of whitewater make it perfect for intermediate paddlers—and it has exceptional fishing and beautiful waterfalls to enjoy as well. Our certified paddling guide will answer all your questions!

When: Mar 14, 2016 at 7 pm
WhereKNB 126

Whitewater Paddling in the Foothills

Ryan Lemphers

This session will include video, photos, stories and trip information about the amazing paddling we have in the foothills of Alberta. Ryan Lemphers has been paddling in the Foothills since 1997, has instructed tandem and solo paddling on many of these rivers, and has taught many of the current paddling professionals in Alberta.

WhenMar 22, 2016 at 7 pm
WhereKNB 132

Carter Arlette, Sea Kayaking Guide/Instructor

West Coast

Come out and see our slide show of the best sea kayaking trips on Vancouver Island. Guides will talk about tripping in the Broken Group Islands, Deer Group, Nuchatlitz and Clayoquot Sound. If you’ve ever thought of adding this to your bucket list, now’s the time to ask questions from our experienced and certified guide.

When: Mar 29, 2016 at 7 pm
WhereKNB 132

Cody Johnston, Biking Coordinator, Instructor

New Bike

Investing in a new/used bike? The process can be challenging, with an enormous range of prices and specifications. Come learn from an expert ‘outsider’ about topics including bike sizing, materials, how to get most of a test ride/demo, and tips on getting the most value and service from a professional bike shop. No particular shop or brand will be highlighted - just learn and ask questions!

When: Apr 14, 2016 at 7–8:30 pm
WhereOutdoor Centre

Angela Harder, Paddling Instructor/Guide


Take a photographic journey down the Thelon River as it was 15 years ago! One of the best wildlife rivers, paddlers travel through tundra landscape, the Thelon Game Sanctuary, and will  get a chance to see muskoxen and large herds of caribou. We’ll feature the section between the Hanbury River and Beverly Lake.

When: Apr 26, 2016 at 7 pm
WhereKNB 132

BLOODVEIN RIVER - Canoe Tripping
Angela Harder - Paddling Program Coordinator and Extended Canoe Trip Guide

Bloodvein RiverThe Bloodvein River is a classic Canadian Heritage River! Angela will highlight the reasons that it's one of her favourites to paddle. You'll get a preview of the unique, beautiful pink granite and see the river as it cut through to Lake Winnipeg. This unforgettable trip is known for fantastic camping, exciting rapids, fishing and beautiful scenery. Preview it before you paddle it, and take the opportunity to ask questions of a certified paddling guide!

WhenMar 2, 2015 at 7pm
WhereKNB 131 - (Just down the hall from the Outdoor Centre)

Carter Arlette - West Coast Sea Kayaking Guide

Broken IslandsThe thrill and majesty of sea kayaking around Vancouver Island, Canada is an unforgettable, life-changing experience! Come out and see our slide show of this beautiful trip in the Broken Group Islands of Pacific Rim National Park. The 40 islands and 80 islets provide a great backdrop for spectacular photography and video. If you've ever thought of adding this to your bucket list, now is the time to preview it and ask questions from our experienced and certified guide. 

WhenMar 23, 2015 at 7pm
WhereKNB 132 - (Just down the hall from the Outdoor Centre)


MikkelCome and meet one of River Kayaking's best! See videos and pictures of some of Mikkel's most notable descents and his stories of running big rivers. Sit back. Be inspired. Bring questions.
Mikkel St. Jean-Duncan grew up in a kayak! He has competed in various aspects of the sport from a very young age—Slalom Nationals at 11, Freestyle Worlds at 17 and in recent years, extreme races including the North Fork Championship in Idaho and the Adidas Sickline Extreme Race in Austria. He's paddled in Ecuador, Norway and New Zealand but still loves the rivers of the Rockies and throughout BC. Mikkel has 3 successful descents of the Grand Canyon of the Stikine in northern BC, which is considered one of the world's most difficult whitewater rivers and the Everest of whitewater kayaking.

WhenMar 30, 2015 at 7pm
Where: KNB 132 - (Just down the hall from the Outdoor Centre)

Angela Harder - Paddling Program Coordinator and Extended Canoe Trip Guide

Sand DunesAttention paddlers! The Athabasca Sand Dunes are the the most northerly active sand dunes in the world and they can be found in Northern Saskatchewan. Last summer Angela paddled there twice and has put together a show of the highlights. You'll get to see the endemic plants that are unique to the area, the river and surrounding landscape getting swallowed up by the sand, and the fragile desert pavement and shifting dunes. There was also exciting whitewater on the way to Lake Athabasca, so if you've ever considered paddling it, here's your opportunity to preview the trip and ask questions of a certified guide that's been there.

WhenFeb 9, 2015 at 7pm
WhereCome to the Outdoor Centre—room number will be posted on the board.

Icefield Bunnies, Gullible Bees
and Why the Tallest Mountain is Not the Highest
Ben Gadd on the Quirky Natural History of the Canadian Rocky Mountains

Ben Gadd Rockhounds, flower-fanciers, wildlife-watchers and birders: you will love Ben’s light-hearted and stimulating one-hour talk about this remarkable mountain range. From little-known facts about grizzly bears and half-grabens to the amazing relationship between the calypso orchid and a species of bumblebee, prepare for an eye-opening presentation. Bring your questions, too. Sponsored by: Patagonia Calgary and the Outdoor Centre.

Bio: Ben Gadd is one of Canada’s better-known naturalists and Rockies writers. Author of the ground-breaking Handbook of the Canadian Rockies, Ben has written nine other books and contributed to several more. His novel Raven’s End has become a prize-winning Canadian best-seller. Ben has received four Banff Mountain Festival awards for his work, including the Summit of Excellence.

With a university degree in earth science, Ben has pursued a career mainly in natural history, including a stint as a Parks Canada naturalist. He has also taught writing at SAIT and Grant MacEwan College. For nearly 30 years he has worked in the summer as a freelance interpretive guide—one of only eight master guides in Canada’s professional Interpretive Guides Association—and in the winter as a writer and sought-after lecturer on Rockies topics. He also produces interpretive signs for national and provincial parks. Lately he has been preparing museum exhibits.

Heard from time to time on CBC radio, Ben has also appeared in many television items and several documentaries on the Rockies. He supports various conservation groups in promoting wilderness protection. After 29 years in Jasper, in 2009 Ben and his wife Cia moved to Canmore to be Grandpa and Grandma across the yard from Marie and Rose. (Photo: Chic Scott. Photoshop: Ben Gadd)

When: March 19, 2014 at 7:30 pm
Where: University of Calgary – Room ICT 102 (IT Building)

Broken Islands

The thrill and majesty of sea kayaking around Vancouver Island, Canada is an unforgettable, life-changing experience! Come out and see our slide show of this beautiful trip in the Broken Group Islands of Pacific Rim National Park.  The 40 Islands and 80 islets provide a great backdrop for spectacular photography and video.  Our presenter is Carter Arlette who is our trusted and fantastic guide out on the coast!

When: Feb 10, 2014 at 7pm
Where: Outdoor Centre (room to be announced)

Lower Stikine River Slide Show

The Stikine, named the Great River by the coastal Tlingit is a special place steeping in history.  Let your imagination wander as you experience a photographic journey down this great river.  You will see outstanding mountain scenery with peaks and glaciers and rainforest along the whole way.  Two highlights are paddling by icebergs on glacier lake and soaking in natural hot springs along the way.  This northern canoe trip is a once in a lifetime experience as you paddle to the sea!

WhenMarch 3, 2014 at 7pm
Where: Outdoor Centre (room to be announced)

FREE SPEAKER EVENT: Great Trail Divide
David Hockey - The Great Divide Trail Association

The Great Trail Divide is one of the most spectacular and challenging long-distance hiking trails in North America, wandering through the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rockies for more than 1200 km. Learn all about past and future efforts to build and protect the trail. 

WhenApril 7, 2014 at 7pm
Where: Outdoor Centre (room number will be posted at the outdoor centre the day of the event)

FREE SPEAKER EVENT: Exploring Alberta's Rivers
Mark Lund - Author and Paddling Guide

Mark Lund, founder of Paddle Alberta and author of the most used river guide book in Alberta, Mark’s Guide for Alberta Paddlers is coming to speak at the University of Calgary’s Outdoor Center! Don’t miss your chance to see Mark present on one of his most passionate subjects, The Rivers of Alberta. One of the most experienced paddlers in Western Canada, Mark has spent years paddling in Alberta and recently has been working with Alberta Trail Net to establish a water trail on the Athabasca River. This is a free event. No need to register… just show up!

When: April 28, 2014 at 7pm
Where: Outdoor Centre (room to be announced)

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