The Wilderness & Canoe Symposium has been held every year in Toronto since 1986. It now attracts nearly 800 attendees annually, from across Canada and the US, and each year features about fifteen different speakers on a diverse range of wilderness subjects.
In February 2016, David Pelly addressed the symposium (the fourth time he has done so, over the years), this time talking about his latest book Ukkusiksalik: The People’s Story and the power of Inuit oral-history. But before that presentation he was offered the opportunity to provide the audience with a brief explanation of the Ayalik Fund. You can watch and listen to the five-minute presentation below.
The remarkable outcome of this event was an extremely generous corporate donation from the Wilderness & Canoe Symposium organizing committee, which was then added to by dozens of individual symposium participants over the course of the day. In total, more than $8000 was raised for the Ayalik Fund that day, enough and then some to sponsor one more Inuit youth for an Outward Bound experience during the coming summer. It is clear that this was a crowd of people who truly understand the benefits of outdoor experience when it comes to building self-confidence in our young people. The wilderness can be life-changing.