Our guides and instructors are professionally trained and nationally certified through Paddle Canada, in Wilderness First Aid, and all have additional life skills and talents. They travel extensively and continually add to their experience and expertise. They love to paddle and share that love with others.
HORIZONS programs and expeditions are directed by Rick Wise. Rick has been paddling the North Shore of Lake Huron for over 25 years and Lake Superior for over 20 years. He is a Level 4 paddler and Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor Trainer for Paddle Canada . He has a University of Waterloo degree in Recreation and Environmental Studies. Rick now leads expeditions for Horizons Adventures and teaches many of the courses. He has been involved with a number of Northern Ontario programs including instruction at Laurentian University and Cambrian College. Rick is a Senior Instructor for Sirius Wilderness Medicine and is a First Aid and CPR instructor for the Canadian Red Cross.
Sarah has been a guide and instructor with Horizons for the past 7 years as she follows her own career path in Health Promotion. She attained both her Paddle Canada Basic Kayak Instructor and her Paddle Canada Basic SUP instructor certification and in 2017 earned her Paddle Canada L3 sea kayak skills and L1 instructor certification in 2018 when she graduated from Health Promotion at Laurentian University. She took part in a curriculum exchange program in Ireland and spent a month in Mongolia delivering health related services in remote locations. She recently traveled to New Zealand for a 5 month working tour. She has graduated with a Masters in Occupational Therapy in Sept 2021 and always looks forward to getting out on the water again guiding trips around the North.
Rikki is now one of our senior staff members. She comes to us as a graduate from Algonquin College in the Outdoor Adventure Naturalist program. She is a local Sudbury girl and graduate of Lively District High School. She is now certified as a Level 1 Instructor and earned her L3 Skills in 2022. She spent the winter of 2019 in New Zealand guiding in Marlborough Sound and lead many of our trips in 2020, 21 and 22.
PJ is a Sudbury local and graduate of Laurentian University’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Concurrent-Education programs. Coming from a background of flat water and river canoe tripping, PJ has various L1 canoe certifications from ORCKA, OCC and Paddle Canada, and is currently a Paddle Canada Level 1 instructor with L2 skills certifications. When not out tripping, PJ enjoys rock climbing, barefoot skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. 2023 is PJ’s third year with Horizons and he’s looking forward to more adventures.
Alex's background in the kitchen will bring some delicious meals, along with sharing his passion for music. His background in outdoor adventures and qualifications in L1 Sea Kayak Instruction, with L2 skills, will broaden your experience as you explore the subtleties of what our local nature has to offer. He comes to us from Massey, just down the road from Sudbury, but has been spending the past few years working and studying in Ottawa. Some of his exploits include climbing around Eastern Ontario, Quebec, and Europe but he is quickly embracing what the world of Sea Kayaking has to offer.
Kevin is a level 4 skills paddler and a Level 2 instructor. He comes to us from the 1000 Islands area where he has guided multi day trips and has explored the many islands in the area. He has kayaked the shores of the little province of PEI and Nova Scotia. He also enjoys flat water canoeing and open canoe solo/tandem white water. During the shoulder seasons and winter, you will find Kevin working in his woodshop producing custom furniture and cabinet pieces. Or ... he may be cooking a fine meal in a camp Dutch oven over campfire or traversing the frozen lakes with freight taboggan enjoying the solitude of winter camping.
Marlies and Dieter Schoenefeld
This couple has been with Horizons for all of our 27 year history. Marlies is our treasured artist and Dieter is her treasured confidant, spouse, logistical support and all around Horizons handy assistant. Both have been traveling Canada's wilderness and have made many trips abroad as well. Dieter is a retired engineer and active naturalist and Marlies is an accomplished and celebrated local artist and birder. You can see Marlies's work hanging around Sudbury, at the visitors' center in Killarney Provincial Park and in my living room. They add joy and spice to any kayak or canoe excursion and both are excellent story tellers.
Ryan Mariotti is a Canadian filmmaker, camera operator, drone pilot and editor specializing in environmental filmmaking that captures the beauty and importance of the natural world. After graduating with a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Trent University, Ryan entered the world of freelance videography at 21 and quickly gained traction in the budding film industry of Northern Ontario. At 28, he turned his focus to documentaries and produced a series titled The Science in Saving Species at Risk for Ontario Parks in 2015. He has shot extensively for various CBC Doc series (We Are Canada, The Nature of Things), Ontario Parks, and over 20 feature films/series in the North (Slasher, Falls Around Her). In his free time, you’ll find him exploring the waterways of Northern Ontario.
Jim is a level 2 Paddle Canada instructor and an Assistant Guide. His eclectic background ranges from handmade cedar kayaks to sheep farming. Jim has paddled in New Zealand, Florida Everglades and all around the Great Lakes. Jim helps out Horizons on an occasional basis, when his schedule as a Log Home builder and renovator allows it.
Dan is a Level 2 Instructor and Guide currently working on his Level 1 Instructor Trainer certifications. He is a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces having served in both the Royal Canadian Navy and Army. Dan has been guiding and instructing various outdoor pursuits for the last 17 years all across Canada, including Nova Scotia, Vancouver Island, Manitoba, the Ontario Great Lakes and more! He has previous experience working with youth in wilderness therapy programs, youth program development and is currently Co-Chair of Get Kids Paddling as well as Chair of Paddle Canada Youth Committee. Dan can’t wait to see you folks in his favourite office, the great outdoors!