Meet Your Guides


Over the past 5 years Winterdance has outgrown all our expectations. Along with this came the need for help!!!! Hank can still be found out on the trails guiding tours 7 days a week, but we needed more guides to help him out with the dogs. We are fortunate to have a Sir Sandford Fleming College campus in the village of Haliburton which specializes in post graduate diplomas in Eco & Adventure Tourism Management. Through working with the college to offer all students an opportunity to experience dogsledding, we have met some phenomenal individuals who have not only gone on to work for us full time, but who are also like members of our family. Being professional guides, every spring they all head off their separate ways, pursuing their own interests, goals & careers, but while varied, they all live to work & be a part of the great outdoor world around us.

It is with excitement however that we approach fall as the guides all start getting in touch again, and by November & December it is like a homecoming as they all start rolling into Haliburton complete with tales of their summer adventures! We feel truly honoured & privileged to have these great folks as part of our Winterdance team and those of you who have met them know exactly what we mean!!

Fraser Newton

Fraser will be returning for his 7th year with us and is our Head Guide. He and his dog Nika have spent the off-season from Algonquin Park to the Canadian Rockies! A graduate of both the SSFC Eco-Tourism & Adventure programs, Fraser spends his summer’s pursuing various interests including working on & inventing bikes, supporting and running extreme mountain bike adventure races in the Rockies. He also enjoys climbing, snowboarding, and music. Some of you may have seen Fraser on YTV a couple of years ago with some of our dogs. He and 6 of our dogs were guests of Paula during the Saturday morning cartoons.

Jon Silcox

Jon will be returning this winter for his 7th year with us. Also a graduate of SSFC Adventure Tourism program his background is forestry management and he planted trees for several years before deciding to head back to school. He has spent the past 9 months in Alberta working in the oil fields as a paramedic and doing canoe trips into Kanaskas with at-risk-youth. Jon’s hobbies include canoeing, kayaking, film making & playing guitar.

Leah Blenkinsop

Leah is returning for her 4th winter with us. Leah came to us with a background in wilderness canoe/kayak trekking and a degree from Lakehead University in Outdoor Recreation. She has spent this summer working for Haliburton County’s Water Trails system. We are lucky to have Leah now residing in Haliburton full time with her dog Sienna. Leah’s hobbies include kayaking, canoeing & travelling she has a special gift for training our puppies during the fall.

Adam Barkovitz

Adam is returning for his 2nd year full time but he has been around Winterdance for about 4 years now in total as a helper. Adam’s background is in forestry and every summer he heads out to northern Alberta to lead & organize crews of tree planters. Adam also worked for the County of Haliburton as their forestry by-law officer for several years before choosing more of a nomadic lifestyle again. Adam became our in house celebrity last year when he was choosen to be Rick Mercer’s guide to dogsledding 101 at the Haliburton Dogsled Derby for the Rick Mercer Report. Adam’s hobbies include canoeing.

Paul Braunton

Paul will also be returning for his 5th winter with us this year. A graduate of SSFC Eco-tourism program, Paul took a year off after graduating and backpacked around Asia. He returned with some amazing tales! Paul also recently went back to school and earned a diploma in firefighting and is hoping to get a job in that field. In the meantime he is spending summer working in Algonquin Park with Algonquin Outfitters. He enjoys canoeing, snowmobiling and travelling.

Corey Pietryszyn

Corey is returning for his 6th winter with us this year! Corey is a graduate of the SSFC Eco-Tourism program. This summer Corey stayed in Haliburton and managed the new Boatwerks Kayak store and got a lot of time on the water. In past summers you may have met Corey at Algonquin Outfitters. Corey has a great talent for photography, he also enjoys canoeing, rock climbing, pottery and has a beautiful 4 year old Siberian Husky, Tasha. He and his wife Stacey also just welcomed their first child Parker into the world on August 2nd.

Jess Matthews

We (and Leah!) were thrilled to have another female guide join us last winter and more thrilled yet to have Jess come back this winter.  An energetic, fun person she keeps things lively!  Jess’s background is in Parks and she returns to the Ontario Parks system in the summer to work in her field as a naturalist.  Her hobbies include highland dancing, canoeing, hiking & spending time with her sweet dog Sirius.

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