— Par Mathilde
Charles Frobisher, who founded Windigo in 1996, is the direct decedent of a famous North American explorer. History takes us back to 1560, when Martin Frobisher lead an expedition to travel the northern Canadian seas, mandated by the English crown. Navigating his way through the north he opened the doors to the Northwest Passage, leaving his name on one of the major Arctic bays, Frobisher Bay. Nearly four centuries later, Charles Frobisher, a passionate adventurer inspired by his ancestor, founded Windigo, a leading North American adventure tour operator.
The idea to create Windigo came to Charles during a trip to Botswana. He originally went there to work with his aunt, but quickly found his independence and became an assistant guide for a local safari tour company, leading small group camping trips. Observing, learning, and taking notes, Charles realized there was a specific type of clientele seeking untouched natural landscapes and animal observation opportunities, all of which was available back home! 1996 thus marks the beginning of Windigo’s adventure, setting out to pioneer small group adventure travel across the North American continent.
A few years after its creation, Geneviève joined the Windigo’s “office” which was, at the time, located inside the storage warehouse! 20 years later, Windigo has expanded: the office team is comprised of over twenty zealous adventurers located in both Canada and the United States, and employs 50+ knowledgeable, passionate guides. It also houses its equipment in not one but three different warehouses: two in Canada (Montreal & Canmore), and one in the United States (Santa Rosa, California). Our headquarters is located Montreal’s historic Mile-End neighborhood, with an exceptional view overlooking the city!
A Windigo Timeline:
1996: Windigo is founded
1997: The company’s first European clients arrived
1998: Began offering trips to the Maritime Provinces and the Canadian Arctic
1999: Opened a second warehouse out west in Canmore
2001: Opened the USA office in association with a local operator
2003: Began offering trips to Alaska
2004: Began offering in dependent hiking tours
2005: Began offering trips to Hawaii
2007: Windigo USA is officially founded, dedicated to running our US tours
2008: Windigo joined forces with Toundra
2010: Windigo became the largest receptive adventure tour operator for France, the UK and Holland
2012: Windigo designed and produced its own custom made tents
2014: Windigo welcomed Chinese, Indian, and Brazilian clients into its market
2016: 20 years of adventure! A new website is launched, a snowmobiling base is opened, and new trips were designed visiting the Canadian Arctic
Important Windigo Events in 2016
Windigo celebrated 20 years in 2016, and a lot happened to mark the occasion!
The Camping Party – June
For the second year in a row, Windigo organized an overnight Camping Party for its team, the perfect occasion for Windigo and Toundra to get together for two whole days away from the office and spend some time outdoors! Right up our alley!
The 2nd annual trip took place in the Cantons-de-l’Est, a mountainous region just an hour and a half from Montreal. This year we tried out “glamping” at the Huttopia site in Sutton, with its fully equipped tents and charming chalets.
The weekend celebrated Windigo’s birthday with a convivial BBQ dinner, chatting around a large campfire, a hike to the summit and a luncheon picnic, finished off by a fabulous dinner and dance party!
20 years! The T-shirt!
A special “20 years of adventure” t-shirt was designed for the occasion, immortalizing this incredible feat, ready to wear wherever we travel!
New Image, New Website
Windigo is proud to present its completely renovated website, launched this past September.
Our new colors, orange and blue, represent our key operating seasons of summer and winter. The site’s sleek design allows for easier and clearer navigation through our company’s various trips and information pages.
The visuals are engaging and inspirational, inviting you to travel with us. Additionally, a new blog is available through the site written entirely by our staff members. Each article highlights our team’s favorite places, offers advice, and tells stories about traveling in North America. In combination with the new website, the blog offers users inside information about some of our tours and destinations.
Speaking of our office team, get to know our passionate adventurers, responsible for Windigo’s success. Discover a little bit about each member by reading their bio, see where their favorite destinations are, and read their blog entries. Don’t hesitate to write to us!
Learn more about some of our guides and what it means to them to guide. Interested in joining our guiding team? Check us out!
In 2016, we developed new ways to highlight our favorite photos and videos from the season: Our guides contributed to an amazing photo contest, a few of our office team members put together videos from their own adventures, and, coming soon will be a 360 degree view from hikes and adventures filmed by our guides! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube !
A lot of road has been covered in 20 years, but our passion still drives us!
2017: The adventure continues!
See our upcoming tours here.
— Translated by Julie RotharmelGo back