Brian Keating

Award Winning Conservationist, Educator, Naturalist and WildLife Expert

Brian Keating is one of Canada’s most in demand keynote speakers. He previously held the position “Head of Conservation Outreach” at the Zoo, which enabled him to raise money and then spend it on environmental projects around the world. He has been leading groups on nature based travel for three decades, exploring some of the best wildlife areas on the Planet. Because of his experiences, insights and his expertise, Brian Keating is a weekly guest on both Calgary and Edmonton’s CBC Radio. For many years, he was a regular on the Discovery Channel, using his own wilderness adventure and wildlife filming. Media outlets such as CBC, CTV, Huffington Post, and Radio Canada International often call on Brian to learn his past and present stories of adventure, travel, nature and discovery.

Brian Keating is one of those rare speakers who immediately captures your attention.  His stories and experiences entertains you and educates you about the natural world in the most delightful manner possible. Brian Keating always leaving his audience with a real sense of gain and insight. Keating’s presentations are usually considered to be the highlight of many conferences and events.  To summarize Brian’s speaking style, he is entertaining, humourous, eloquent and passionate.

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. He is also a part time Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the U of C. Brian Keating in high demand as an international speaker, presenting at some 50 events a year. Brian’s style would best be described as buoyant, fast-paced, humorous, and always uplifting and meaningful. His talks have proven themselves the highlight of many conferences and special events. He’s also the author of five children’s books celebrating nature.

Keating is a pilot, a naturalist, scuba diver, and mountaineer. He also is the owner of Going Wild. His wife, Dee, is a physician and keen naturalist who always joins him on his adventures. Together, they have explored nearly 50 countries on all seven continents in the last quarter century. Brian Keating was named the “Canadian Hero of the Year” award (2006) from Readers Digest Magazine for his global environmental efforts, and holds an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Brandon University (2009) and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary (2011).

Brian Keating’s Awards:

  • 2006 Alberta Centennial Medal Award – Readers Digest Magazine | Canadian Hero of the Year
  • 2003 Rotary Club of Calgary | Integrity Award
  • 2002 Canadian Council of University Biology Chairs | The Distinguished Public Education Award
  • 1993 Alberta Foundation for Environmental Excellence | Emerald Award


Topic Presentations

Brian Keating is an adventurer, world traveler, and leader of some 60 expeditions to remote locations world-wide.  He returned earlier this year from the Antarctic, having been on some two dozen expeditions there over the past decade alone. One of the most remarkable stories of risk taking and survival was played out in the remote frozen seascapes of the Antarctic. Ernest Shackleton was an extraordinary leader, who beat all possible odds during a 2 year struggle with survival.  Brian has retraced much of his route, including 3 successful landings on the remote Elephant Island where 22 of his men spent 4 long months awaiting rescue.

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

Brian will take you on a voyage through one of the most astounding 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 here, exploring this hauntingly beautiful icescape. This is an inspirational and buoyant presentation, punctuated throughout with wonderful humour.

Brian Keating has been traveling the wilds of the world for over a quarter of a century, exploring some 50 countries on all 7 continents.  His passion for remote travel will be revealed as only Brian can do, with his buoyant method of storytelling.  Punctuated throughout with humour and personal anecdotes, he’ll illustrate his presentation with his own live-narrated video segments.

He promises a journey to deserts near and far, into rich polar regions with unbelievable creatures, to mountain summits and rich tropical forests, and to places where wildlife numbers leave one overwhelmed with satisfaction.  And finally, he’ll return to our own Canadian backyard, reconfirming the value of our collective understanding of the importance of wild spaces. His presentation is designed to inspire and enthuse, offering hope for a better tomorrow.

Brian Keating, former Head of Conservation Outreach at the Calgary Zoo, is an adventurer, world traveller, and leader of some 80 expeditions to remote locations around the world.  This experience, coupled with his earlier career of running the Zoo’s education program for some 15 years, has given him an unusual insight into the importance of nature appreciation in both young and old.

To highlight what has been termed the “Nature Deficit Disorder”, Brian intends to take you on a journey exploring the importance of the natural experience, the effects on health and psychological well being, and the basic need to stay connected with the very substance that makes us human.  Brian will take you on a visual journey to some very special places to illustrate his discussion on the importance of ‘unplugging’ and getting out side.

Using his informative and often humorous method of live-narrated video, he promises to share some very special natural moments, guaranteed to drive home the message that a greener planet is not only nice, but necessary for our very survival.

Nearly 30 years ago, Brian spent four months living in the high Arctic, hiking hundreds of kilometers, encountering wolf, fox, muskox, caribou and hares. He dreamed then of hiking through the only glacier-free pass among a dramatic mountain range that stood shimmering to the east. In July of 2002, that dream came true, and since then, he has completed five additional expeditions in the high Arctic, including a traverse Ellesmere Island in 2007 and Axel Heiberg Island in 2010.

After our adventures in the far north, Brian will then take you into the icy waters of the Antarctic to witness the life-abundance of sea birds, seals, whales and penguins, exploring this hauntingly beautiful icescape. He returned earlier this year from his 12th expedition. This is a polar celebration of wildlife and adventure to two of the planets last great wilderness areas.

Brian Keating has been traveling the wilds of the world for over a quarter of a century, exploring some 50 countries on all 7 continents.  His passion for remote travel will be revealed as only Brian can do, with his buoyant method of storytelling.  Punctuated throughout with humour and personal anecdotes, he’ll illustrate his presentation with his own live-narrated video segments.

His first experience with Sacred Groves was in a remote, dusty and forgotten corner of Ghana, in West Africa.  Since then, his interest in these small forested fragments and their biological significance has taken him on an exploration into Ethiopia, where Sacred Groves number in the thousands.  The relevance of these isolated islands of diversity has since led him back to Canada, where some of his discoveries will most certainly surprise and intrigue you.

His presentation is designed to inspire and enthuse, offering hope for a better tomorrow.

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. 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.

Brian Keating and his wife, Dee, have explored some 50 countries on all 7 continents during the previous three decades. His journeys have taken 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.

During this presentation, you’ll travel on foot, kayak and canoe, on small aircraft, and by motorboat into the heart of Africa, South America, Asia, the Polar regions, and finally, into one of the best remote diving locations in the world. It’s an adventure into unbelievable abundance, diversity and beauty. Brian will present all of this with his usual high energy, buoyant, fun and informative style, punctuated with personal anecdotes and humour.

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Amazing Animal Adventures on Islands

'Islands' is the fifth of eight books designed to encourage children to get out there and explore. Describing the life that lives on these islands and their importance to local ecology, Keating sweeps his readers up under his wing, simultaneously passing along his passion for the world's wildlife and making a wonderful case for wildlife conservation. Once again, Brian Keating’s high-energy creative storytelling makes this book a must read.

Amazing Animal Adventures in Rivers

'Rivers' is the fourth of eight books incredible volumes in the ground-breaking Going Wild series, written for children to encourage them to explore the natural world around them. Brian Keating's high-energy enthusiasm for the wonders of nature is contagious, inspiring children and adults alike to discover, through his eyes, how rivers and the riparian areas around them are ribbons of wilderness inhabited by the most amazing animals and plants. Keating grew up fascinated by rivers, those in his own back yard and ones farther afield.

Amazing Animal Adventures at the Poles: Going Wild

The second of eight books in the Fifth House Going Wild children's nonfiction adventure series, the "Poles" presents world-famous naturalist Brian Keating's amazing-but-true firsthand accounts of his travels in the world's remote polar regions. Seemingly devoid at first glance of all but the most basic of flora and fauna, the Arctic and Antarctic lands and waters are actually full of exciting natural wonders and fascinating creatures that must be seen to be believed!

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