Meet the board
President IHEA Canada & Saskatchewan Representative
Shawna Bellavance has worked for the Saskatchewan Association for Firearm Education(SAFE) since 2009. As General Manager, she works closely with a BOD to deliver the Firearm Education/Hunter Safety course for Saskatchewan. Her job brings her closer to what is important; nature, conservation and proper use of our natural resources, while maintaining a safe environment for everyone involved. She works closely as well with the IHEA Canada Board, to help bring all jurisdictions, worldwide included, together to understand and educate the importance of the future of our wildlife.
Newfoundland and Labrador Representative
Nathan Spence is the Training Specialist responsible for conservation education programs in Newfoundland and Labrador. He has been with the Department for almost 20 years in various capacities but has been working as a Training Specialist since 2008. His love of all things outdoors has lead him to be involved in almost all the hunting and fishing adventures and outdoor pursuits his beautiful province has to offer. These experiences coupled with his background in environmental studies and time instructing at the provincial college lead him comfortably into his current role.
As Master Instructor for the Canadian Firearms Safety Courses and Hunter Education, he enjoys working with instructors new and old throughout the province to ensure that students are receiving the best training that can be offered. Working with the IHEA board is a great extension of his role and offers many benefits each way.
Zone Volunteer Instructor Representative for Western Canada
John Lawson was one of the founding members of Saskatchewan (SK) Association for Firearm Education (S.A.F.E.) as a separate entity in order to provide the hunter education program for this province. He has been the president or on the executive of Meadow Lake Pistol Club for over 30 years.
John is a Master Instructor for the federal non-restricted and restricted instructor train the trainer program; as well as a master instructor for the Saskatchewan provincial hunter safety train the trainer program.
With over 45 years teaching in the education system and 43 years as a hunter education instructor (both youth and adult) John has a demonstrated his intense and continued commitment to the education of new hunters and shooters as well his other activities in the shooting and hunting sports. His past work to create curriculum and educational materials also helps to further the hunter education cause in terms of course content and delivery. John brings with him his many years of experience and expertise to help others in the understanding of the teaching skills required to pass on the important hunter education information to students and help other instructors improve their skills.
Carly Deacon is the Managing Director at the Manitoba Wildlife Federation where she has executed hunting and angling recruitment programs and managed the Manitoba Hunter Education Program for the last 12 years.
Carly’s passion for the outdoors began with her obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree with the University of Manitoba, majoring in Wildlife Biology. Since graduation she has worked a variety of jobs in avian research, conservation and for non-profit conservation groups actively involved in outdoor education, hunter education, hunter recruitment and advocacy. Initiating new hunter recruitment programs and passing along her passion and knowledge through mentorship programs has been one of her favorite experiences. Carly is an avid hunter for waterfowl and bow hunter for big game, but enjoys all outdoor adventures including fishing, trapping, and camping.
Having worked in several outdoors oriented careers Jim has always been drawn to the north. He feels privileged to be working as the Hunter Education Coordinator in a place a unique as the Yukon. As a passionate hunter and outdoors enthusiast the recreation and learning opportunities offered by the Yukon seem limitless and Jim is doing his best at trying to experience as many as possible.
Nova Scotia Representative
Reg is a proud Nova Scotian with a strong passion for the outdoors and is an avid hunter, angler, archer, trapper, and snowboarder. Reg has worked with the NS Government since 2006 for both the Department of Fisheries and Department of Lands and Forestry. He has held positions working with large mammals, furbearers, upland game, various fish species, and licensing services. Reg’s newest role is the Hunter Education Coordinator for Nova Scotia.
Prince Edward Island Representative
Bio coming soon.
Vice-President IHEA Canada & Québec Representative
Michèle grew up on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, playing with everything it has to offer. Unsurprisingly, she completed a bachelor’s degree in Biological and Ecological Sciences. Daughter of non-hunting parents, she discovered hunting in 2018 and never stopped since. After working three years as a naturalist and another four as an environmental advisor, her love for scientific popularization and teaching led her to become, in 2021, the Hunter Education coordinator in Quebec. As a biologist and a hunter, combined with her growing up surrounded by non-hunters, it makes her a major asset in harmonizing the public opinion and the hunters’ rights.
Northwest Territories Representative
Vincent is the Education and Outreach Coordinator, with the department of Environment and Climate Change in the Northwest Territories. He has been involved in the education field for over 20 years in various capacities.
New Brunswick Representative
Hurst Gannon is the Manager of Allocation and Education with the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development. Working in the Fish and Wildlife Branch, Hurst is responsible for delivery of the province’s Conservation Education Program as well as the administration of its Fish and Wildlife Licensing system.
Having a career path that looks like anything but a straight line, Hurst’s most significant turn was after learning about “Helitack Crews” – wildland firefighters transported by helicopter to extremely remote locations. Excited about a new opportunity, Hurst went back to school where he completed diplomas in Forest Technology and in Fish and Wildlife Technology. Hurst then spent two years working in natural resources before becoming a Forest Ranger with the Government of New Brunswick.
Hurst’s love of the outdoors has continued to grow over the years and his hobbies range from hiking and biking to training hunting dogs. As an avid hunter and angler, Hurst is a firm believer in Conservation Education and he is passionate about ensuring access to our natural wealth, for generations to come.
Marty has been working in the fish and wildlife field for over 23 years. An avid angler and hunter, Marty spends most of his spare time in the outdoors with his family, or at baseball diamonds or hockey rinks. Marty has worked as an Environmental Scientist, a Biologist for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and various policy and biology roles during his 13 years with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). Marty is currently the Education Programs Coordinator with MNRF, which oversees the hunting education and trapping education programs for Ontario.
British Columbia Representative
Paul is responsible for administering the hunter education course (Conservation & Outdoor Recreation Education Program) in British Columbia. Prior to his current role, Paul spent 5 years delivering outdoor recreation education & programming in Provincial Parks throughout the province. In addition to a Bachelor’s degree in law and economics, Paul recently received his Certificate of Environmental Conservation. Having grown up hunting in Southern Ontario, Paul now explores the seemingly endless hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities offered by Northern British Columbia.
Bio Coming Soon!