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Adventurer Bruce Kirkby attempts Southern Strait of Georgia crossing by stand-up paddleboard

Vancouver -- In support of wilderness conservation, Canadian writer and adventurer Bruce Kirkby will be embarking on an ambitious crossing of B.C.'s Southern Strait of Georgia from Vancouver to Victoria by stand-up paddleboard, setting out on June 13th at 10 AM  from Vancouver’s Spanish Banks and aiming to land at Victoria Harbour at 10 AM on June 17th.

Kirkby is undertaking this trip as part of The Big Wild Challenge, a new fundraising project for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) developed with Mountain Equipment Co-op that invites people to dedicate their outdoor adventures to wilderness conservation.

"I really care about our wild places and, like most Canadians, I want to see them protected. And I love a good adventure. It's my hope that the Van2Vic Stand-up Paddleboard Challenge will bring some much-needed attention to the Southern Strait of Georgia, which has always held a special significance for me," says Kirkby, who is also an envoy for MEC’s adventure program.

CPAWS is leading a campaign with local conservation groups to establish a national marine conservation area in the Southern Strait, with support from MEC.

Accompanied by filmmaker Kalum Ko and friend Dave Quinn in a double kayak, Kirkby will be documenting his trip and sending out real-time updates through social media, with the aim of engaging the public in his fundraising and awareness efforts through The Big Wild Challenge.

"Bruce's support of CPAWS' and MEC's shared vision of protecting more of Canada's wild places like the Southern Strait of Georgia is incredible. We’re thrilled that he’s standing up for our threatened places. His support and that of others will help ensure that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy them as we do," says Eric Hebert-Daly, National Executive Director of CPAWS.

"MEC has been supporting CPAWS' conservation campaigns for over 20 years because we have a strong commitment to protecting the places we love. We're excited to be partnering with them on The Big Wild Challenge," says John Irvine, Director of Sports Marketing and Public Relations at MEC, "We're happy to be supporting Bruce's efforts by providing him with gear for the crossing, and are offering to match donations made to his challenge up to $1,000."


For interviews, contact:

Jessie Corey, National Public Relations Coordinator, CPAWS
(613) 569-7226 ext 232,


For more information on Bruce's Big Wild Challenge:

For more information on the Southern Strait of Georgia:


CPAWS is Canada’s voice for wilderness. Since 1963 we’ve led in creating over two-thirds of Canada’s protected areas. That amounts to about half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory! Our vision is that Canada will protect at least half of our public land and water.

About Mountain Equipment Co-op

An outdoor retail co-operative, MEC exists to encourage and inspire Canadians to live active outdoor lifestyles. From backcountry trails to city streets, MEC supports a range of outdoor activities, including climbing, hiking, camping, snowsports, watersports, cycling, running and yoga. Well known for selling high-quality well-designed products that offer great value, MEC employs outdoor enthusiasts who possess a strong service ethic to provide its members with an authentic and accessible customer experience. MEC has more than 3.5 million members across Canada, whom it serves through 17 stores in 6 provinces as well as and the Shop MEC iPhone® app. Anyone can join MEC by purchasing a $5 individual lifetime membership in the Co-op. More information about MEC is available at