Keeping Kenauk Wild

Nature Conservancy of Canada and Kenauk Institute to create an open-air research lab

Montebello, Outaouais, QC (November 16, 2022) – The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and the Kenauk Institute (KI) are joining forces to create a permanent open-air lab devoted to studying the impacts of climate change in Kenauk. 

NCC and KI are partnering in a unique campaign to ensure Kenauk is not only protected for the long term, but that this natural, 25,000-hectare gem is also dedicated to natural sciences and educating future generations. By partnering with universities and public stakeholders, we’re creating an expansive laboratory dedicated to research located in a temperate forest. This project was possible thanks to significant financial contributions from Age of Union Alliance and Inovia Capital. 

The families of Doug Harpur, Dominic Monaco, Patrick Pichette and Mike Wilson — co-founders of KI — donated half of their lakeside properties to NCC to create a protected area with the 645-hectare tract of land. They have pledged to donate the other half of their land to protect this territory in perpetuity. The donation of 645 hectares was completed as part of NCC’s Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels, for which the Government of Quebec provided financial assistance and by the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund. 

Located between Montreal and Gatineau, and easily accessible by highway, this land is particularly vulnerable to development. The families saw the necessity to protect this area, which falls within an ecological corridor linking Plaisance and Mont-Tremblant provincial parks. In addition to offering a protected natural area, research and education for future generations, Kenauk is open to the general public year-round through Kenauk Nature outfitters. 

Kenauk’s old-growth forests and wetlands house exceptional biodiversity, including rare and at-risk plant and animal species, such as black maple, which is designated as a vulnerable plant species under the Quebec Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species, and eastern wood-pewee, designated as a species of special concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA). Kenauk’s Lake Papineau is the source of the Salmon River (Kinonge River), whose pure water provides essential habitat for various fish species and maintains water quality.

NCC and KI are now launching a private capital campaign for the remaining $20 million necessary to ensure the 25,000-hectare Kenauk territory can be protected and stewarded by NCC and KI in perpetuity. Kenauk Institute co-founder, Inovia Capital associate and former Google CFO Patrick Pichette chairs the fundraising campaign.

More than 75 per cent of the $20-million goal is already secured, thanks to contributions from the four families, Age of Union and Inovia Capital. NCC and KI are now aiming to raise the remaining $5 million through individual and corporate donations.

To get involved, learn more or donate to the campaign, people can visit

The expansion of the Kenauk Nature Reserve is an example of the scale at which NCC is now working to deliver conservation outcomes. Emerging from partnerships with government and organizations, and with significant support from individuals, success demonstrates the whole-of-society approach essential to conserve the natural areas that are our life support systems. Protecting nature at scale is a tangible solution to counter biodiversity loss and climate change and ensure a nature-positive future.


“We recognize the unique and extraordinary ecological value of Lake Papineau and its surroundings, which unfortunately makes the lake a prime target for development. By handing our respective properties over to NCC, the area will now remain intact for the benefit of the community for generations to come. We can only accomplish this together.” – Doug Harpur, Dominic Monaco, Patrick Pichette, Mike Wilson, and their families, donors of land surrounding Papineau Lake and co-founders of KI.

“Thanks to the generosity of the four families and the broader Papineau Lake community—Kenauk’s centrepiece—is now protected. It’s very exciting news because of the rich biodiversity that inhabits its waters, shores, and forests all around it. We’re extremely grateful to our donors for enabling us to protect a growing amount of land in Kenauk.” – Claire Ducharme, Vice President at the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Quebec

“We are honoured to help bring Kenauk Institute and the Nature Conservancy of Canada one step closer to reaching their goals for protecting, restoring and conserving Kenauk. With combined funds to conserve this land and build the new research lab, we can restore one the world’s few remaining temperate old-growth forests and pristine wetlands, home to biodiverse, rare and at-risk plant and animal species. ”  – Dax Dasilva, Founder of Age of Union 

“These major land donations will help to protect important areas for numerous plant and wildlife species. The acquisitions will expand our network of protected areas and promote the conservation of biodiversity in Quebec. We are also thrilled about the creation of an outdoor lab, which will allow our scientific community to obtain relevant data. Congratulations to all the partners involved in this initiative, made possible by the Partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) project!” – Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks; Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region

“The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are two sides of the same coin, and we must tackle them together. By working with partners such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada and The Kenauk Institute, we are helping to protect the natural environment in Quebec and across the country. Protecting lands plays a vital role in helping to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, and contributes to the recovery of species at risk. Through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, the Government of Canada is making progress toward its goal of conserving a quarter of lands and oceans in Canada by 2025, working toward thirty percent of each by 2030.”– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change


“The Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) is very proud to be a partner in this magnificent project providing professors, researchers and students in natural sciences access to Quebec’s largest outdoor laboratory. The UQO’s Institute of Temperate Forest Sciences (ISFORT), in Ripon, is an asset for this teaching and research initiative. The agreement will allow us to carry out a variety of activities related to conservation and the adaptation of ecosystems to climate change.” – Murielle Laberge, Rector of the Université du Québec en Outaouais


This project was made possible thanks to the contributions of several partners. NCC extends its gratitude to :

  • The families of Doug Harpur, Dominic Monaco, Patrick Pichette and Mike Wilson for their land donations
  • Inovia Capital
  • Age of Union, for a considerable contribution of US$3 million over three years
  • The Government of Quebec, which provided a grant of $53 million over four years, through its Partenariat pour les milieux naturels project 
  • The Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act).
  • The Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO)


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares.

The Kenauk Institute (KI) is a charitable organization in Montebello, QC, Canada, whose mission is to support, coordinate and supervise scientific research on the property of Kenauk and its surrounding area and to promote environmental education. The abundance and diversity of flora and fauna in combination with the property’s unique history as a pristine watershed and wildlife corridor provides endless opportunities for research, education, and conservation. The combination of research and environmental education plays a critical role in moving society towards a sustainable future. Our goal is to provide youth with a chance to connect with nature, so they grow up as leaders with the understanding and motivations to take responsible actions that incorporate conservation and sustainability.

Inovia Capital is a venture firm that partners up with audacious founders ready to build enduring global technology companies. We are known to roll up our sleeves and serve founders with dedicated, long-term mentorship, a global talent network and strategic support for global scale. Inovia Capital manages over US$1.9B across early and growth-stage funds and holds offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, San Francisco and London.

Age of Union is a non-profit environmental alliance that supports and makes visible a global community of changemakers working on-the-ground to protect the planet’s threatened species and ecosystems. Launched in October 2021 by tech leader and environmental activist Dax Dasilva in Montreal, Canada, Age of Union seeks to ignite a flame within every person through conservation efforts that solve critical environmental challenges around the world and inspire high-impact change by showing the positive impact that every individual can make.

The Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) is a four-year grant of more than $53 million from the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques to NCC. It provides support for voluntary conservation initiatives to ensure the protection of natural areas of interest by establishing financial partnerships with conservation organizations in the province. The PPMN thus aims to develop and consolidate Québec’s network of protected areas located on private land. It follows the Ensemble pour la nature project, which ended on March 31, 2020, and had similar goals. 

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) is a program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique public-private partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).  Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community. 

The Quebec Ecological Corridors Initiative proposes a collective approach to land use planning to increase the conservation of natural environments connected by ecological corridors. The Initiative aims to consolidate the commitment of municipal actors, woodlot owners, farmers and other key land use actors. To this end, mobilization, capacity building, recognition and action support activities are being carried out at the provincial level and in 11 regions of Quebec. The Initiative is coordinated by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, implemented by 10 organizations and supported by some hundred experts.

Photos and videos: click here

Fly Fishers International Rendez-Vous 2022 at Kenauk Nature

On September 10th and 11th, 2022 Fly Fishers International (FFI) will be hosting the first edition of Rendez-Vous Kenauk at the renowned fishing destination of Kenauk Nature. This event will be a succession of fly-casting workshops for single and two-handed rods. In all, the workshops will include 12 group casting workshops for one-handed rods, 5 workshops for two-handed rods, 5 presentations on different types of casting, 4 fly tying courses, 4 scientific workshops, and not to mention the popular individual clinics.

A total of 27 FFI certified instructors from all over North America will be present to offer these workshops. Whether you are a novice or experienced angler, the various workshops offered will allow you to learn and improve your casting technique.

Workshop and Presentations Schedule:

Registration is now closed (September 9th)

Costs are $50.00 / day (unlimited number of workshops) / person

100 spots available per day

Kenauk also offers many accommodation options to complete your experience.  For more information on accommodations, contact: 1-800-567-6845

Pat Johnson at:

Stillwater fly fishing clinic with Phil Rowley – 3rd Edition

Gaspé Fly Co, Kenauk Nature and its Fly Fishing Center are partnering with Phil Rowley for the third edition of the Stillwater School. This year, we have added a casting improvement course to Stillwater 101. We’ve also added a 3-day advanced course. Come join us for this incredible learning opportunity and don’t forget, we always have surprises for participants!

Places are limited, register early!

Stillwater 101 – Friday May 27th-Sunday May 29th, 2022

Day 1 (Friday)
4:00 pm-7:00 pm Meet and Great/Orientation including casting practice and Stillwater presentation techniques.

Day 2 (Saturday)
8:00 am -12:00 pm Stillwater 101 Presentation including gear review and set up

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm On the Water Practice

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Dinner/Debrief

Day 3 (Sunday)
8:30 am – 3:00 pm (On the water practice)

Cost for Stillwater 101: $799.99 plus taxes per person.

Lodging available at Chalet Papineau: $105.00 plus taxes/night. Includes Meals.

Only 12 spots available.


Advanced Stillwater – Monday May 30th- Thursday June 2nd

Day 1 (Monday)
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Meet and Great/Orientation including recommended gear set up

Day 2 (Tuesday)
8:00 am – 9:00 am Making Sense of Stillwater Fly Lines

9:00 am – 10:00 am Loch Style Techniques

10:00 am – 11:00 am Approaching a New Lake

12:00 pm – 5:00 pm On the Water Practice

Day 3 (Wednesday)
8:00 am – 9:00 am Going Deep – Sinking Line Techniques

9:00 am – 10:00 am Lord of the Rings – Dry Fly Techniques for Stillwaters

10:00 am – 11:00 am The Naked Technique – Floating Line Nymphing Techniques for Stillwaters

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm On the Water Practice

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Stillwater Fly Tying Session (w/ refreshments)

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Dinner w/ chef Martin Lampron

Day 4 (Thursday)
8:30 am – 12:00 pm On the Water Practice

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch (Panel Discussion and Q&A-Ask the Instructors anything)

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm On the Water Practice


Cost for Advance class: $1199.99 per person. Includes Meals.

Lodging available at Chalet Papineau: $105.00/+tax/night.

Only 12 spots available.


To register :

Contact: Pat Johnson


Phone: 1-819-430-2928


Winter like never before!

Kenauk Nature offers year round chalet accommodations in the most beautiful settings. Our chalets are secluded on private lakes or rivers allowing you to fully disconnect in total privacy.

Escape the city for a memorable stay in the Canadian wilderness:
– Five star accommodations
– Various activities to spice up your time on the property: ice fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skating and many more.
– Catering services by Beaumont, Signé Toqué!

You deserve to experience winter like never before and that starts when you step foot on our 65 000 acre private nature reserve.


Outdoor activities in nature

It’s time to get moving! Kenauk is pleased to announce that our activities are now open! Challenge yourself by ascending our new climbing wall or experience nature and explore our hiking trails. Join us this summer and choose from an incredible selection of activities to create your own unique moment. For more info, visit our website at

  • Climbing
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing – Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Clay shooting
  • Fly fishing lessons

Wildlife of Kenauk Nature

Why did the turtles cross the road? To lay their eggs!

Did you know that Kenauk is home to 3 distinct turtle species? Many of these turtles prefer to lay their eggs in the soft sand beside our roads, so keep an eye out and you might be lucky enough to see one! You can do your part in conservation by giving these turtles lots of space to take care of their business. That way, the turtles can safely lay their eggs and our guests will be able to enjoy their presence for years and years to come.

Nature is waiting for you

Dear guests and friends,

Good news! Starting on June 15th, it will be possible for us to receive groups in our chalets that are; mixed groups of 10 people or less, from three households or less.

In the meantime, you can plan your vacation by contacting a member of our team at  Use our virtual tours to discover the chalet that’s perfect for you!

The Kenauk Nature team

New Chalets!

Kenauk Nature has some amazing surprises in store for 2020.

Three new chalets will be added to our Deluxe series. The Boreal, Bent and Baie Noire chalets will be magnificent chalets designed in an environmentally responsible way. With capacities of up to 12 people, these chalets are divided into four bedrooms, each with their own on-suite bathroom.

The main floors will consist of the kitchen, a common area and fireplace, a large gallery overlooking breathtaking views of a lake and two master bedrooms. On the second level, a game room and two family rooms will also overlook the lake.

The first of these new chalets will be ready in February, while the others will be open at the start of the fishing season! Call our reservations team at (819) 423-5573 for more information. Book online here

An Unforgettable Break

Planning spring break is a challenge every year, the goal of making the whole family happy has never been easier than with a stay at Kenauk Nature!

Our high-end chalets will provide you with an incomparable accommodation experience at the heart of nature. The second you arrive to our nature reserve, you will feel how well the territory has been preserved; TRUE nature! Our three series of chalets: Heritage, Classic and Deluxe offer you a range of possibilities to make the whole family happy. Ranging from 1 to 7 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 20 people, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. If adventure calls to you, try our yurt for a winter glamping experience or even our prospector tent as part of a cross-country ski trip.

Here are some activities that will appeal to the whole family:

– Snowshoeing to the Magic School Bus
This is a must for young children. The bus is in the heart of the forest, a short snowshoe hike gives you access to this large canvas, a place where your creativity can flow freely! Graffiti, messages of hope and drawings can be painted with eco-friendly spray paint.

– Get moving at Kenauk Nature
Snowshoe trails, cross-country ski trails, skating and winter hiking are all waiting for you to finally enjoy winter. What could be more pleasant than cross-country skiing on a freshly maintained track network that will feel all but private! There are so many trails to explore on this 65,000 acre nature reserve.

– Ice Fishing for Fresh Trout
The fishing season never needs to end at Kenauk Nature. Book an ice fishing guide and enjoy a truly Canadian experience on a private lake. Keep your catch and eat fresh fish that same evening!

Kenauk Nature is full of unique and active family activities to make this spring break an unforgettable one.

Canadian Ski Marathon 2020 Edition

The Canadian Ski Marathon is North America’s longest and oldest cross-country ski tour. Unlike most ski events, there are no winners or losers in the Canadian Ski Marathon: it is not a race. The event offers something for everyone, regardless of age, endurance or ability. Tourers and families who ski less than the full distance make up about half the participants. Each skier can select his/her own level of challenge and try to achieve it. One can ski as little as 12 km or up to the maximum of 160 km over the weekend.

Kenauk Nature is a proud partner of the CSM for another beautiful edition. Join us on February 7th-8th-10th to experience the marathon.

For more information: Click here for the CSM website