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Brian Keating

Wildlife Explorer and Leadership Expert

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Brian Keating: Wildlife Explorer and Leadership Expert

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Brian Keating Head Naturalist of goingwild.org & Honourary Conservation Advisor, Calgary Zoological Society

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Calgary

Brian’s previous job at the Zoo was to raise money and then to spend it on environmental projects around the world.  Presently, he’s the Zoo’s Honourary Conservation Advisor to their outreach efforts, and a part time Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the U of C, and the owner of www.goingwild.org

He’s been leading groups on nature based travel for three decades, exploring some of the best wildlife areas on the Planet.  He’s a weekly guest on both Calgary and Edmonton’s CBC Radio, and for many years, was a regular on the Discovery Channel, using his own wilderness adventure and wildlife filming.  He’s in high demand as an international speaker, presenting at some 50 events a year.

Brian’s a pilot, a naturalist, scuba diver,  mountaineer, and an author of five children’s books celebrating nature. He’s an honourary chief of a West African village which supports a hippo sanctuary.  Brian has been presented with the distinguished “Canadian Hero of the Year” award from Reader’s Digest Magazine, an Honourary Doctor of Science degree from Brandon University (2009) and an Honourary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary (2011).  All three accolades were presented in recognition of his global environmental efforts.  His latest documentary, “Going Wild in Madagascar”, recently aired world-wide on Discovery HD-TV.  His wife, Dee, is a physician and keen naturalist who always joins him on his adventures.


Alpine Highlife
A spirit lifting adventure that blends and compares wildlife adaptations to our own every day survival abilities and life choices.

Feeling a little overwhelmed with your everyday demands at work and at home?  Is the new technology leaving you breathless?  Our technological explosion is pushing us to work faster, harder, more efficiently, and all with less people and support. And on all of this, there’s your family needs too!  What should we do to enable all of us to lead a healthier, better balanced life?

Leave town.  That's right, get out.....!

Brian uses the mountains as a metaphor to creatively illustrate some of life’s exciting options and possibilities. It's a story that passionately illustrates the pure joy of life in high places, illustrating with a buoyant pace, the importance of taking time out for number one…..you!

This is a buoyant and humorous program with a solid ecological message that encourages people to get the most out of life and life’s possibilities. 

In this presentation, Brian uses (computer) slides and video to illustrate the story.  The slides and video segments are projected (using a standard LCD video projector) and live-narrated to best fit the expectations of the audience. 


A little Sex, a little Adventure, and a bit of Passion

A keynote or after dinner presentation by Brian Keating

Please excuse the title, but it’s all true.  This is a fascinating look at the inner workings of the Calgary Zoo that make working there one remarkable experience.

Brian Keating will take you on an adventure that only he can tell, because he was there, watching and filming, right in the thick of things.  By persistence, good planning and plain old dumb luck, Keating happened upon more than you’ll bargain for during this sometimes humorous, often profound, and highly personal presentation.  

In this presentation, Brian uses video to illustrate the story.  The video segments are projected (using a standard LCD video projector) and live-narrated to best fit the expectations of the audience


Cold Leadership……into The Last Great Wilderness.
A presentation illustrating the extraordinary leadership capabilities of the failed Antarctic expedition of Ernest Shackleton

Brian Keating, Head of Conservation Outreach at the Calgary Zoo, is an adventurer, world traveler, and leader of some 60 expeditions to remote locations world-wide.  He returned earlier this year from his twelfth voyage to the Antarctic, this time repeating a month-long expedition retracing much of Shackleton’s route. 

Early last century, one of the most remarkable stories of risk taking and survival was played out in the remote frozen seascapes of the Antarctic. Shackleton was an extraordinary leader, and he somehow managed to beat all possible odds during a two-year struggle with survival. 

What lessons can Shackleton teach us about life and leadership?  How could his ice-bound situation of courage and endurance give us insights into the possibilities for our own future?

Brian plans on taking you on a voyage through one of the most astounding wilderness survival adventures of all time, illustrating the brilliant leadership qualities that enabled Shackleton to return home without the single loss of life.  He’ll then take you into the icy waters of the Antarctic using his informative method of live-narrated video, to witness the life-abundance of sea birds, seals, whales and penguins, exploring this hauntingly beautiful icescape. 

This is an inspirational and buoyant presentation, punctuated throughout with wonderful humour, and includes a solid ecological message.


Places to see before you Die
A look at several extraordinary world travel destinations

Brian Keating and his wife, Dee, have been explored some 50 countries on all 7 continents during the previous two decades.  His journeys have taking them into some of the best wildlife locations on the planet.

Using a series of his own professionally edited video clips, Brian will live-narrate some of the options of modern travel opportunities, taking you on a surprising journey into the heart of some of his most memorable life experiences.

You’ll travel on some profound and sometimes surprising arm-chair journeys that are designed to get your travel juices flowing. He’ll head to the poles, into the heart of the Antarctic, retracing Earnest Shackleton’s footsteps, and to the Arctic, getting up close and personal to 3000 beluga whales.  You’ll also travel by kayak into the remote fjords of Ellesmere, looking for walrus and narwhal.   He’ll then venture into the heart of Africa, first climbing Kilimanjaro and then into Central Africa, gorilla watching.  He promises to take you to his favourite African paradise, consisting of a float down the best river on the continent: the Zambezi, where elephant watching takes on an entirely new meaning.  From there, you’ll venture deep into one of the best remote diving locations in the world, into a place of unbelievable abundance, and then dance from ocean to ocean, looking for the best whale watching. 

Along the way, he’ll house you in rustic bark-cabin accommodation in the jungles of Borneo, small tents in Madagascar, space age fabrics of Kevlar in the Arctic, and into undeniably luxurious accommodation in the heart of southern Africa.  

Brian will present all of this with his usual high energy, buoyant, fun and informative style, punctuated with personal anecdotes and humour, presenting remote travel in an entirely new light.


Polar Possibilities: Adventures in Paradise

The Arctic is on many peoples minds these days: it's hot politically; it's hot physically (or at least it’s warming), it's hot militarily; and because of all this, it's hot psychologically.  Or at least it should be: our Canadian High Arctic backyard is 33% of who we are!

Nearly 30 years ago, Brian Keating spent four months living in the high Arctic, hiking hundreds of kilometers, often encountering wolfs, fox, musk ox, caribou and hares. He dreamed then of hiking through the only glacier-free pass amongst a dramatic mountain range that stood shimmering to the east.  In July of 2002, that dream came true, and since then, he has completed four additional expeditions in the high Arctic. 

With this program, Brian will present segments of these adventures with his own unique method of live-narrating his video edits, hiking through breathtaking landscapes of icy cold rivers, glaciers bulging from nearly every side valley, amongst the carpets of brilliant Arctic-alpine flowers, encountering beluga whales, musk ox, caribou and polar bears.

This is a celebration of our own Canadian Arctic wildlife and the landscapes they live in, a celebration of one of the planets last great wilderness areas.

“I have had so many clients call to rave about you and your presentation.  Thanks so much for making our evening one to remember by all who came.”
Portfolio Strategies Corporation

“The response to your talk, both content and presentation, has been overwhelming, and all of it glowingly positive.  The time you took to gear your talk to the audience was a wonderful touch, and really added that extra mile."  Many of the attendees stated it was the best luncheon they had been too, and this was all due to the unique venue, the fantastic staff, the wonderful food and your passionate talk.  We would love to have you again at one of our events, and I am personally very much looking forward to that day.” 
Calgary Real Estate Board

"Brian, thank you so much for sharing your experiences, and your presentation on Shackleton's expedition.  The staff loved it, and we had numerous accolades about including you on the morning's agenda; how inspired staff felt, and the leadership messages that staff could take away from our stories. You are inspiring.” 
Recreation Calgary Conference

“While perhaps not on the scale of the Beatles, I can tell you that you've got a smash hit on your hands.  Attendees at last week's PM Conference loved your presentation.  Many commented on the connections to our work here at Shell.  Others enjoyed it as a pure diversion and well-narrated travelogue to places they'd never seen.” 
Shell Canada Limited

“Thanks again for speaking at our event last week.  Your talk went over extremely well and the feedback so far is even better than last year.  We would like to invite you back for 2007 for the Friday lunch to close the event…..”
Environmental Services Association of Alberta

"THANK YOU for bringing in such an incredible speaker. Not only is he inspirational in his approach but he has the knowledge and background to back up his observations. I already knew about Shackleton and for that matter Brian Keating and his adventures, but now find I have two more people to look up to in this world."
Mount Royal College Support Staff

"Wow!  What an amazing life this man lives!  Bravo!; Great Guy; wonderful presentation, highly passionate – excellent choice; Unique/Refreshing ; Excellent presentation & humour; Beautiful images and moments presented in a funny yet so knowledge based manner.; Simply the best!"
Young Presidents Organization

“The feedback about your presentation is above our greatest expectations.  Initial response for our conference survey places your presentation as the #1 part of the conference.   93% of the participants said your presentation was above average…..”
Environmental Services Association of Alberta

“I really believe that your huge success is in part your ability to connect us to something visceral, a call back to our true selves and our place in the natural world…..I'll see what I can do to foster a return visit.”
RBC Dominion Securities

“Having a fantastic speaker like yourself really elevated the entire conference.”
Environmental Prosecutor, Alberta Justice