Into The Arctic Expeditions

Spanning 1.5 million square kilometres, the Canadian Arctic is a land of extremes. To capture the breadth of this region, Cory Trépanier has undertaken four expeditions to paint the furthest reaches of the North.

With a pack full of painting, filming, and camping gear, he traversed over 40,000 kilometres, through 6 Arctic National Parks and 16 Arctic communities, and explored many more places in between. He travelled by plane, helicopter, ship, boat, canoe, and on foot, often stripping back day-to-day accoutrements to the basics of hiking boots, food, and a tent, in order to immerse himself in his subject.

Explore the expedition stories, photos and video journals, learn more about Trépanier’s journeys through this wild region of our planet.

9 weeks: paddled the Thomson River in Aulavik National Park, on Banks Island, the most northerly navigable canoe route in North America. Hiked and kayaked around Iqaluit. Explored Ranklin Inlet then up to Naujaat, trekking to the 1845 home of early Arctic explorer John Rae and the Harbour Islands, site of early Whaling activity. Encountered grave sites and human skull. Visited the mountain surrounded Arctic Bay and painted spectacular red 600 foot high cliffs. From Resolute travelled by small boat to Cape Hotham, where artist A.Y. Jackson (founding member of  Canada’s Group of Seven) sketched in 1930. Painted the 1845 John Franklin expedition gravesite at Beechey Island and hiked on Devon Island, encountering Thule homes from 1,000 years ago. Picked up by a One Ocean Expedition vessel and voyaged through the Northwest Passage twice, first west in to Cambridge Bay, then east, around Baffin Island, completing his journey in Iqaluit.

7 weeks: first month backpacking on Ellesmere Island, in Qittinirpaaq National Park. Beginning at Lake Hazen, hiked to Henrietta Nesmtih Glacier for 10 days, encountering Arctic Wolves and Muskox along the way. Then relocated to Tanquary Fiord, hiked to the Omega Lakes and find big vista overlooking fiord. Day trip to Fort Conger, 1880’s site of early Arctic explorers Adolphus Greely and later Robert Peary.

South to Bathurst Inlet and camped at Wilberforce Falls, named by Arctic explorer John Franklin during his first expedition in 1821. One of the highest waterfalls in the world above the Arctic Circle. Then onto Pond Inlet, where travelled by bat to Tay Bay and Oliver Sound, wrapping up journey with helicopter flight into the hoodoos in Sirmilik National Park on Bylot Island.

4 weeks: lands in Pangnirtung to hike for 10 days in Auyuittuq National Park, and paints Mount Thor, the highest sheer rock face on earth. Flies  to Qikiqtarjuaq, then by boat with Billy Arnaquq to Coronation Glacier, abloom in Auyuttuq. Paints study from Billy’s boat that inspires 15 foot wide Great Glacier painting in studio later. Flies to Clyde River, then by boat with Sam and Jayko explores Sam Ford Fiord.

10 weeks: Cory and his family trek across Canada by road, up the Dempster Highway for 750kms to Inuvik. They fly to the remote arctic community of Paulatuk, travelled with the Inuvialuit on the land to the edge of Tuktuk Nogait National Park, where they camp and explore for a week overlooking the Brock River Canyon. Back in Inuvik, Cory flies into Ivvavik National Park to hike and camp in the British Mountains along the Firth River. On return journey, the tundra along the Dempster Highway turns to fall with snow in the mountain tops.