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Beating an Olympian, and other top moments from WWF-Canada’s first Canoe Challenge

WWF-Canada’s first Canoe Challenge enticed 60 employees from some of Canada’s biggest companies to escape the office and get onto the water with Olympic canoeist Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny recently to raise funds to protect Canada’s freshwater while deepening their connection to nature. Competition was fierce as company leaders and staffers strived to be first to complete the nature-based scavenger hunt, which was held at Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles in Laval, Que.

 Here are the top five moments:

1. To help get participants in top form, Olympic canoeist Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny gave an exclusive paddling lesson and shared why his appreciation of rivers runs deep.

© 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

© 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

2.  BNP Paribas took home the title of top fundraising team, raising $2,500 for WWF-Canada’s freshwater conservation work. As a thank you for their outstanding efforts, Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny paddled with their team.

“We are very proud to be a part of WWF’s Canoe Challenge. As a participant in the global economy, BNP Paribas has a role to play in protecting the environment, including engaging employees who wish to contribute to the development of a sustainable and responsible world,” said team captain Vincent Préau, a senior IT project manager at BNP Paribas.

© 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

© 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

3. Despite having an Olympic canoeist paddling with them, BNP Paribas couldn’t beat out the speedy Hewlett Packard Enterprise team, which completed the challenge with the fastest time of exactly one hour.

© 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

© 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

4. This friendly competition proved to be an excellent team building tool as colleagues from Canada Steamship Lines and HP Inc. paddled the Rivière-des-Mille-Îles with enthusiasm.

© 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

HP Inc. © 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

Canada Steamship Lines © 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

Canada Steamship Lines © 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

5. Hunting for scavenger hunt clues once on land, team members from companies such as BMO deepened their connection to nature and their drive to protect it.

© 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

Wild Rivers scavenger hunt trivia sign © 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

BMO employee on the scavenger hunt © 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

BMO employee searching for clues on the scavenger hunt. © 2016 Riccardo Cellere / WWF-Canada

Workplaces play an important role in helping achieve conservation goals – from reducing environmental footprint to harnessing team members’ drive to take care of the planet. WWF-Canada’s first Canoe Challenge is a great example of how businesses can count for nature.

Thank you to BMO, BNP Paribas, Canada Steamship Lines, HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise for your leadership, passion and fundraising efforts. Together, you raised nearly $9,000 to help keep Canada’s freshwater healthy.

And special thanks to our event prize sponsors: Montreal’s Biodôme and Botanical Gardens, LaserQuest Montreal and Atrium Le 1000.

Interested in hosting environmental employee engagement activities and fundraising for nature conservation programs year-round with your colleagues? Join Living Planet @ Work and get free access to tools and resources to help you.

Looking for other ways to protect freshwater this summer? Make your actions count by Taking the Plunge.


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