Several young climbers organizing holds, getting ready to construct new routes in an indoor climbing gym

United Giving: Canadian Explore Fund

August 7, 2020

The world found itself in the midst of a global pandemic outdoor exploration came to a halt. While this pause affected us all, some of the biggest economic impacts have been felt by communities that serve as the gateways to the parks and trails we love. 

From family and friends who encouraged us to follow our curiosity, to the guides, educators, and volunteers who work tirelessly to fuel an enduring love of exploration, these are the communities we’re working so hard to support. 

In March of 2020, we committed to over $1 million to support outdoor communities across the globe that make exploration possible through our social impact and advocacy platform, the Explore Fund.

Now, we’re excited to share the amazing work already being done in communities as they enable a safe return to outdoors in a world forever changed by the impacts of COVID-19.

The North Face teams around the globe are continuing this work in each of their local communities. We will continue to update the information on this site so that you can learn about all of the amazing partner organizations that work tirelessly to support outdoor exploration on a global scale.

For over 50 years, we've led the world forward through exploration—an action and a mindset capable of uniting us. Exploration has the power to change lives and connect us all.

We’re immensely grateful to these communities and organizations who make exploration possible, and we can’t wait to get out there together again soon.

 

THE B.I.G. INITIATIVE

The B.I.G. Initiative is a not-for-profit organisation with a goal of increasing the number of womxn in leadership roles in the climbing industry.

In their inaugural year B.I.G gave carefully crafted routesetting workshops across Canada, giving womxn an introduction to routesetting and additional routesetters were able to deepen their knowledge. B.I.G offered all its workshops for free, removing yet another barrier to entry to the participants.

The Explore Fund will allow B.I.G. to continue their mission in 2020. Their mission continues to be to give womxn high-quality, concrete, real-life skills and opportunities that will help them achieve the goals they’ve set for themselves.

Participants from the route setting clinics watching climbers
Photo credit : Alexa Fay

Facebook @thebiginitiative
IG: @the.big.initiative
https://thebiginitiative.ca/

 

FITSPIRIT

The North Face and FitSpirit have been working together to encourage teenage girls to engage in physical activities in a fun and non-competitive environment.  At the end of high school, 9 out 10 teenage girls do not meet basic Canadian physical-activity standards due to several factors including availability and limited access to equipment.  Since FitSpirit is offered in schools, it lowers barriers that cause young girls to experience a disengagement from physical activity and sport. Throughout the program, The North Face has also donated over 440 pairs of running shoes the girls can use to practice of physical activities. 

Young students running at the annual Fitspirit race
Photo credit : Jeremi Poulin

Facebook: @Fillactive  
IG: @fillactive_fitspirit
LinkedIn: @FitSpirit /Fillactive
Twitter: @Fillactive
https://www.fillactive.ca/  (FR)   
https://www.fitspirit.ca/ (ENG)

 

INDIGENOUS WOMXN CLIMBING

Indigenous Womxn Climb is a virtual and Land-based community dedicated to self-determination and representation of Indigenous Womxn/non-binary and Two-Spirit climbers in the outdoors. Their work is to ensure Indigenous land/place based knowledge systems, protocols and governance practices exist in their relations to the outdoors and ground their climbing practice. At this point, they are an entirely volunteer-based organization who is working towards long-term transformation within relations to one another and to the Land. 

Climbers gathering together before a day of climbing
Photo credit: Erynne Gilpin

 

FBM & BLOC SHOP

The Fondation Bouldering Montréal (FBM) along with Bloc Shop have set up a project to integrate black and native communities into the Quebec climbing community. The values ​​of health, self-confidence, cooperation, commitment, humility, belonging, self-knowledge and sharing are an integral part of the sport of bouldering. It promotes and consolidates the role that climbing can take in that regard, always with a social approach of integration and enhancement of human relationships.

http://boulderingmontreal.com/

 

LES CHÈVRES DE MONTAGNES

Les Chevre de Montagnes’ mission is to introduce women to outdoor exploration, to develop skills and grow the community in an inclusive, safe space. With The North Face’s support over the past 3 years, they’ve activated more than 75 winter activities and 200 summer adventures that reunited more than a thousand women throughout eastern Canada.

The event participants after a day of ice climbing
Photo credit : Yan Kaczynski

Facebook: @chevresdemontagne
IG: @les.chevres.de.montagne
https://www.leschevresdemontagne.com/

 

The North Face teams around the globe are continuing this work in each of their local communities. We will continue to update the information on this site so that you can learn about all of the amazing partner organizations that work tirelessly to support outdoor exploration on a global scale.

For over 50 years, we've led the world forward through exploration—an action and a mindset capable of uniting us. Exploration has the power to change lives and connect us all.

We’re immensely grateful to these communities and organizations who make exploration possible, and we can’t wait to get out there together again soon.