Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)

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Editor's Note

This profile originally appeared in the 2019-20 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

CPAWS is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land, ocean and freshwater, and ensuring our parks and protected areas are managed to protect the nature within them.

CPAWS works collaboratively with all levels of governments, Indigenous peoples, industry and other environmental groups to develop innovative, science-based conservation solutions. We strive to engage Canadians in speaking up for nature conservation through our outreach, advocacy and education programs.

CPAWS also works closely with all levels of governments and partners, holding them to task to meet current conservation targets by 2020, but also to set more ambitious targets for the years to come to help preserve the world’s biological diversity for future generations.

Royal Creek joins the Wind River, a tributary of the Peel River in northern Yukon Territory, Canada © Peter Mather

At a glance

Year founded: 1963

Geographic region of focus: Headquartered in Ottawa, with 13 regional chapters across Canada working locally on conservation campaigns.

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $6,412,372

Top funding sources: 

  • Foundation: 61%
  • Individual: 27%
  • Government: 4%
  • Corporate: 3%
  • Other: 5%

How you can help


With your help, CPAWS is able to be the voice for wilderness when decisions are being made about the use and management of Canada’s public lands and waters.

Canada is well-positioned to become a world leader in conservation. Our priority is to leverage this incredible opportunity. We will continue to work with our regional chapters across the country by building their capacity to deliver conservation measures on the ground. We will also continue to implement a nationwide strategy to inspire Canadians to be the voice for wilderness.


Help make a difference in your community by connecting with your local CPAWS chapter. With 13 regional offices across Canada and a national office in Ottawa, we are working coast to coast to coast to protect more of Canada’s iconic land, seascapes and wildlife.

Aurora Borealis over a traditional cabin in Thaidene Nene - Tessa McIntosh

Events and fundraising

CPAWS Soirée:
Nov. 14, 2019

Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ottawa Valley Chapter on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. There will be a dinner and silent auction with keynote speaker Gilbert Whiteduck. Join us at the Wabano Centre, Grand Gathering Space, 299 Montreal Rd., Ottawa, Ont. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. There will be a cash bar, free street parking and loads of fun! Tickets are $75 and are available at

Giving Tuesday: 
Dec. 3, 2019

Giving Tuesday is an international day dedicated to giving back. There’s no better way to give back to your community than to help protect Canada’s iconic landscapes and wildlife for our collective health and enjoyment, and for generations to come.

Board members and executives

​​​​Schwartz and Colella
National executive director Sandra Schwartz (left); President Laura Colella

Erik Val (Yukon)​

Alex Abboud (Alberta)

Alicia Aragutak (Quebec/Nunavik)

Rosemary Dohan (Manitoba)

Jim Donohue (Saskatchewan)

John Grandy (Ontario)

Bob Halfyard (Newfoundland)​

Stephen Langdon (B.C.)

Ina Lucila (Alberta)

Nikita Lopoukhine (Ontario)

Don McMurtry (Ontario)

Lavinia Mohr (Ontario)

Amber Nicol (Nova Scotia)
Chair, governance committee​

Richard Paisley (B.C.) 
Chair, litigation committee

Kathy Scalzo (B.C.)

Fundraising priorities

  • Parks and protected areas
  • Oceans and freshwater
  • Wildlife and species at risk
  • Outdoor education and outreach

Get in touch

600 - 100 Gloucester St.
Ottawa, Ont.
K2P 0A4


Facebook: CPAWS
Twitter: @cpaws
Instagram: @cpaws_national