Cory Trepanier

Cory Trépanier is a Canadian landscape painter and filmmaker best known for his detailed oil paintings of the Canadian wilderness. He is also the creator of five films documenting his extensive painting journeys: "A Painter’s Odyssey", "Into the Arctic", "Into the Arctic II”, "TrueWild: Kluane” and "Into the Arctic: Awakening"

Canadian Geographic named Trépanier one of Canada’s Top 100 Living Explorers. He is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a National Champion of the Great Trail, and a member of The Explorers Club, where he received the Canadian Chapters highest award, the Stefansson Medal.

In 2019, Cory partnered with the Canadian Geographic Education to create the INTO THE ARCTIC Film Trilogy K-12 teachers guide where his films are being made available to educators and students nationwide and beyond for free. Seven modules educate and engage about geography, environmental and social sciences, humanities, Indigenous culture, history, survival, and the arts.

In the Fall of 2020, Trépanier is set to launch a coffee table book entitled "INTO THE ARCTIC: Paintings of Canada’s Changing North" with Rocky Mountain Books. The coffee table book will feature his Arctic paintings, sketches and stories and feature a foreward by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Trépanier has been featured in media around the globe, and his documentaries broadcast internationally, sharing his passion for the wild places that he explores and paints.

3 words to describe Nature?

Beautiful. Irreplaceable. Freedom

3 things Nature taught you?




3 most treasured Nature spots?

The forest behind my home and studio in Caledon, Ontario

Lake Superior’s Canadian coastline

The Canadian Arctic. Can that 1.5 million square kilometres of archipelago be consider a “spot”?

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Very small, but free, and curious about what lies beyond

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Alive, surrounded by an endless living biodiversity, a nursery to so many forms of life

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

In awe at the power of nature, and wanting to reach of for my easel some day to try and paint this stunning display from life “en plein air” 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

At peace, and grateful for a new to come, another day lived, and a new world about to unfold in the night sky 

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Excited for the show that is about to begin. And like a kid, reaching for a bar of soap and running outside into a rain storm for a quick shower, feeling the rain drops pelting down and stinging my skin as it washes me clean

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Awakened, as fresh air rushes into my lungs with each breath I get a sense of adventure tingling inside. I want to face into it with my eyes closed and feel it rush by.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Being an Ontario native, I grew up more of a Forest person. My painting expeditions however — to the Arctic and other places — have deepened my appreciation for Mountains and Oceans in the last couple of decades. And even the Desert, as in the Polar Desert. I long to bring my easel to a hot desert some day, to try and capture the stunning beauty of its sandy curves and desert sun. Maybe then I will become more of a desert person too :) 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

Ten. With so much negativity and challenges in the world — especially now in these unprecedented times of a pandemic and environmental degradation — time in nature, or even just contemplating nature, reminds me that there is so much to celebrate in this world. It feeds my sense of wonder and appreciation for each breath I take, and inspires me to share this experience with others, in hopes that they too may have their lives enriched by this gift that is available for free to all.

 Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I was maybe 10 or 11, and my family had moved to a farm near North Bay, Ontario: 200 hundred acres that backed onto 2,000 acres of Crown land. There was a creek behind our place, and my older brother Carl I had a small leaky dingy that we barely fit in. We got up early, dragged it through the field, and began meandering down the creek into the unexplored frontiers of our “backyard”. Chasing frogs, seeing waterfowl of all kinds, we were drawn onward by the lure of the unknown that lay beyond each bend. We carried on our quest until the sun lowered in the sky, eventually making our way back home. It was 30 years later, when my brother joined me in the Arctic for a month-long expedition to Ellesmere Island, that I realized how deeply that day from our youth, and many others like, embedded a desire for me to be in nature. A desire that would grow into a life long pursuit.