Richard Weber and Josée Auclair
Josée and Richard both started skiing at an early age. Richard was competing by the age of six and was a member of Canada’s national cross country ski team for 7 years. Richard has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont and has co-authored two books about his adventures. Josée also spent some years competing for Canada on the national ski team. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in botany from the University of Vermont and a teaching certificate from the University of Quebec. Richard and Josée met while ski racing. Richrard is a renowed polar explorer. He completed the only trek to the North Pole and back without assistance of any kind.
If you are in the Ottawa area and want to know more about Arctic Watch, Richard and Josée invite you to have dinner with them. They’ll show you photos and videos that depict the beauty of their High Arctic resort and explain, in detail, the kind of adventures that await you.
Tessum Weber, athlete and former ski racer, was born to be an adventurer. In the Arctic from the age of six weeks, he is now regarded as one of the foremost Arctic guides and experienced Arctic travellers. One of the world’s most eligible candidates for leading polar expeditions with international clients, his experience ranges from technical projects that include leading sea kayaking trips, ski expeditions and hiking/trekking trips to logistical projects such as working with film crews in remote regions.
Tessum has recently graduated with an undergraduate degree in commerce and devotes his time to working in the family business, Arctic Watch and sister lodge Arctic Haven while maintaining a seat on the board of Nunavut Tourism. In 2010, Tessum became the youngest person to ever trek to the North Pole. He accompanied his father RIchard, Howard Fairbank and David Pierce-Jones on the speed-record-setting trek to the North Pole.
Nansen Weber has grown up in the arctic, spending every summer exploring the Arctic. Nansen Weber is Arctic Watch’s lead and professional wildlife photographer.
When he’s not busy leading a private photography trip, or working with film crews in the Arctic, Nansen is a lead guide and makes sure guests capture their picture perfect memories of Arctic Watch on camera.
Nansen knows Arctic animals and environment - don’t be shy to ask him questions! Arctic wolves, caribou, muskoxen fights, sleepy polar bears, curious arctic foxes and playful belugas; ten years of Arctic photography and he’s seen it all happen. When he’s not photographing in the Arctic, Nansen devotes his time to photographic projects across the globe - recently with National Geographic. Be sure to visit his wildlife photography website - www.NansenWeber.com
Alexandre Deschenes Phillion
Alex was born to be outdoors. In the outdoor industry from a very young age, Alex began exploring the wild regions on foot, bike and kayak. He's recently cycled across South America, guides in the high Arctic, and shares a deep passion for the environment. Alex is currently pursuing a masters degree in international development with a specialization in environmental sustainability from the University of Ottawa. When he's not guiding at Arctic Watch, or sister lodge Arctic Haven, you can find him paddling the Northwest Passage! We're proud to have him on our team!
Madison Espie, grew up in the outdoors of Ontario. An Arctic Watch and Arctic Haven veteran, Madison is our head sommelier and chief foodie. A bubbly and enthusiastic adventurer, she is engaged with all the aspects of guest services and hospitality at Arctic Watch. Her numerous years of experience in the culinary world, outgoing personality and constant smile make her a great addition to the team. You’ll find Madison at the lodge, serving wine, assisting in the kitchen and out on the tundra, sharing in adventure!
Justin Tse has been in and around the restaurant industry since he was in diapers. He is a third-generation chef. Hailing from a Chinese restaurant family in Kingston, Ont., Justin moved to Ottawa, Ont., in 2010 after completing culinary school in his hometown. In Ottawa, he worked under chef Michael Hay at the Courtyard Restaurant, at that time known for an upscale French-influenced menu dotted with the best of molecular gastronomy techniques. At Courtyard, Justin rose to the position of pastry chef. In spring 2012, he joined the opening team at Odile, a renowned French Canadian bistro in Gatineau, Quebec. During Justin’s tenure at Odile, the restaurant was selected to participate in Gold Medal Plates, a prestigious culinary competition and fundraiser in support of the Canadian Olympic team. Odile also reached 56th place in Vacay magazine’s list of the top 100 restaurants in Canada. As head chef at Arctic Watch, Justin is interested in pursuing locality and seasonality – bringing the ingredients of the North to Canadian cuisine.
According to Justin, “Josée sources only the finest ingredients, making my job easy. The Weber’s have always had a passion for great cuisine. The kitchen becomes the heart and soul of the camp. When clients aren’t out on the land or water, it’s all about the food.”
When not wielding his chef’s knife, Justin can be found with a fishing rod in hand, eagerly fishing for Arctic char.
Known for his love of maple syrup, his passion for making it and his wonderful laugh, Vince takes frequent working holidays at Arctic Watch. Vince built the “Invincible", invented the grey water system, and designed and installed much of the infrastructure at Arctic Watch. Vince also helped Richard drive the bulldozer across the ice of the Northwest Passage to Arctic Watch.
An avid traveller who has roamed all 7 continents, athlete and adventurer, Virginie has been a member of the Arctic Watch team since 2007. A polar adventurer at heart, Virginie has spent numerous years guiding, travelling and exploring remote regions of the Arctic. Formerly a nationally ranked cross-country skier, Virginie combines her passion for fitness and the outdoors with adventure. A crucial member of the team, Virginie is engaged in all aspects of hospitality at Arctic Watch. When she's not guiding an adventure on the tundra, Virginie devotes her time to pursuing her other passion - her career as a physiotherapist in Vernon, British Columbia. When not in the Arctic, she can be found on foot or on skis in the mountains of British Columbia.
Hailing from the small town of Beaupré Quebec, Laurence has always had a deep passion for outdoor adventure. As an Arctic Watch and sister lodge Arctic Haven veteran, and a member of the team since 2013, Laurence knows the commitment it takes to exploring remote regions of the Arctic. A guide, in-house tech expert and always there with a big smile, Laurence is truly passionate about polar adventure.
Hadleigh has devoted his career to polar travel. Having spent the past ten years guiding in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, Hadleigh has a deep passion for polar adventure. A historian at heart, Hadleigh grew up in England and has spent time living in the USA and Canada. When not on polar adventure, he devotes his time to diving and alpine mountaineering.
Sous-chef at Arctic Watch, Jagjit's passion for cuisine began as a youngster. Growing up in an Indian household, Jagjit quickly learnt the staples of indian cuisine from his mother. "Western dishes always had an indian flare in our household; scents of ginger and cumin popping out". His passion for cuisine eventually led him to leave university, and pursue a career in cusine within Ottawa's fine dining scene. Jagjit's style focuses on ingredients from sustainable sources; in the pursuit of creating dishes that not only connect the senses, but memory, time and place.
Guide at Arctic Watch, Drew was born in the interior of British Columbia. Having been brought up in the mountains and indulged in their riches from a young age, a road trip with friends to Yosemite National park at 17 crystallized his love for wild places. Climbing was his first endeavor and that soon developed into a love of skiing, cycling, and long distance mountain running. He's cycled across North America twice, climbed abroad in Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. Ski guiding in the winter months and running Ultra marathons, Drew finds his love for wild places has never been stronger and is happy to talk about his wonder. His pursuits have had him working in the territories for five summers and is now a self proclaimed "cold water enthusiast". Polar passionate and lover of all things adventure, we're proud to have Drew on our team.