President / Co-Founder
Born and raised in Trail, BC, Russell grew up with a love for the outdoors. The idea for Backroad Mapbooks came into existence when Russell and his brother, Wesley, were exploring the Lower Mainland of BC in 1993. Frustrated with the mess of outdated and incomplete maps available, one thing led to another until the map book idea was spawned.
When he isn’t busy sifting through the newest information in outdoor recreation for Backroad Mapbooks, Russell can be found sitting on councils where he has helped with everything from the Trans Canada Trail to the Okanagan Rail Trail. In his time off, Russell loves to get outside and test Backroad Mapbooks products, whether it is hiking, fishing, hunting or otherwise playing.
What is your most memorable outdoor experience? Fishing with my childhood buddies in Trail Creek.
If you hadn’t founded BRMB, what would you be doing? Running an adventure tourism tour company.
Coffee or tea? Coffee.
Name a movie that gave you nightmares as a kid. Pet Cemetery.
What country would you like to live in other than Canada? Australia.
If physical possibility weren’t an issue, would you rather live in outer space or under the sea? Under the sea.
If your kids could describe you in one word, what would it be? Grumpy.
What would you choose as your theme song? “Australia”.
Fishing or hunting? Hunting.
Best BRMB memory? Being known as one of the brothers who opened up the backcountry for the average outdoor enthusiast.
What BRMB product are you most looking forward to using and why? The BRMB Navigator App! It is new technology with an incredible amount of information and functionality. I can’t wait to show this to the Outdoor Community.
Wes grew up in Trail where his father exposed him to the great outdoors and he fell in love with being in the back country hiking, fishing and hunting.
Together with Russ, the two co-founded the company in 1993. At the same time, Wes Mussio of Mussio Goodman (formally Mussio Law Group) has worked as a lawyer extensively in the area of ICBC injury claims. He also handles a variety of other personal injury claims including slip and fall matters and non-ICBC motor vehicle accident claims. He also is involved in estate litigation. Wesley Mussio and Eric Goodman have worked together since 2010. They join forces at the beginning of 2015 to start the partnership, Mussio Goodman. The law partnership is one of the fastest-growing and largest personal injury plaintiff only firms in British Columbia. Wes Mussio is the co-author of ICBCadvice.com, an online website helping ICBC claimants deal directly with ICBC. The website provides free advice to all ICBC claimants. Wesley Mussio has also written a series of books which help claimants deal with ICBC. The latest book is called “What ICBC Does Not Want You to Know”. Check out his personal website Wes Mussio, for more information.
What is your most memorable outdoor experience? Climbing up to Violin Lake in the mountains above Trail to catch eastern brook trout.
If you hadn’t founded BRMB, what would you be doing? I'd be a lawyer working in personal injury at Mussio Goodman (what I am doing now)..
Coffee or tea? Coffee.
Name a movie that gave you nightmares as a kid. Jaws
What country would you like to live in other than Canada? USA (Hawaii)
If physical possibility weren’t an issue, would you rather live in outer space or under the sea? Under the sea.
If your kids could describe you in one word, what would it be? Immature like a 12 year old.
What would you choose as your theme song? Hotel California
Fishing or hunting? Hunting.
Best BRMB memory? Sitting at the top of the mountain and another hiker comes up to me and recognizes me as being one of the co-founders of BRMB..
What BRMB product are you most looking forward to using and why? I'm still old-school so I love feeling a map in hand. I'm excited every time a new addition of Backroad Mapbooks comes out.
Chris’ journey with Backroad Mapbooks began on the ice, when he played on a hockey team with owners Wesley and Russell Mussio. As Vice-President of Backroad Mapbooks, Chris has spent over a decade overseeing the operations of the company. As a spearhead with a hand in everything from sales to Quality Control to human resources, Chris keeps his finger on the pulse of Backroad Mapbooks.
Chris says that he looks forward to the possibilities that lie ahead for Backroad Mapbooks. In his spare time, this avid hockey player can be found blocking shots from the net, and enjoying time with his kids. His goal, he says, is for everyone on the Backroad Mapbooks team to be happy and enjoy life.
Favourite outdoor activity? ATV-ing.
What drew you to a career in sales? I have always liked dealing with people. When I was younger, I had the chance to interact with the public through work while I was going to school. I enjoyed building those relationships, and chose the sales path.
If you could meet one person—dead or alive – who would it be? Patrick Roy.
Beer or wine? Beer.
Favourite sport to watch? None as I do not wear a watch.
Name one superpower you wish you could have. Ability to fly.
What is one product you can’t live without? Toothpaste.
$5,000 in cash or a good night’s sleep? $5,000 cash.
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? My son.
What is your favourite BRMB product and why? Thompson Okanagan Backroad Mapbook. I love the area and enjoy using the map book to find new areas to explore the outdoors.
Information Technology Manager
Farnaz has been with the BRMB team for 16 years, and knows her way around every department. She started out doing the covers, slowly moving into layouts and with her desire to learn and keen knowledge she moved up to the more technical side of things. It’s easy to say that anything you have a question about, Farnaz can answer it and is more than happy to do so. A dedicated and loving mother, Farnaz has been around with BRMB for so long because she loves the tight knit family bond the team has. She would love to travel the world one day, but for now she enjoys spending her summers at Blue Lake camping and sunbathing the days away.
If you were deserted on an island, but could bring one thing, what would it be? I would bring a good book. I love reading. Or a sketch pad, I love drawing as well.
What is your favourite part about working for BRMB?The people. I have worked with them for 16 years now, and in a lot of ways they are like family to me.
Cats or dogs? Definitely Cats. The cuddles, the purrs, the snuggles, the nose kisses... how I miss them all. Just lost my cat of almost 13 years. .
What is one place you are dying to travel to?I would love to do a full tour of Italy. I loved visiting Rome, but there is so much history and culture in that county, that I would love to have a chance to experience it all.
What is one thing you would NEVER eat?Bugs!! and sushi lol I know I know... but I just can't do seaweed.
Favourite outdoor activity?Rafting.
Do you think you would survive a zombie apocalypse and why?Well I have watched the Walking Dead, and you would hope I have learned enough to survive it But in all seriousness probably not. I will freeze and they will eat me, if I have my child with me though, then I will definitely make sure at least he survives it.
What is your favourite thing about being a mom?The hugs and the Kisses, oh and the smiles. Doesn’t matter how tired you are, he gives you one hug or a kiss, or smiles at you and you forget all about not sleeping the night before
If it could be one season all year round, what would you choose?Spring. I love the freshness in the air, the flowers and the range of green hues of the leaves. There is something magical about everything starting anew again. Of course it gives me deadly allergies, but hey no pain no gain right
What is your favourite BRMB product and why?All of them. I have seen these products grow to what they are today. App is probably my favorite cause it’s my baby and I can’t wait to get it to where our GPS maps are today and beyond, as it packs so much more info and punch!
GIS and Cartography Manager
Andrew Allen has been the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Cartography Manager at Backroad Mapbooks since 2003. He arrived at the company with a wealth of knowledge and passion for the practice of cartography. With a keen appreciation for traditional cartography as represented by Swiss and German cartographers, Andrew brings a refined precision to the work that he does.
“What’s exciting about our product,” Andrew says, “is that we can go hiking after work or on the weekend and go to these places that we map. I’m learning a lot about Canada in ways that I normally wouldn’t have.”
What drew you to a career in cartography? I got lost and the map led me to cartography.
Favourite outdoor activity? Biking to my hiking destination, which leads to my canoe, which will get me back to my bike.
If you could meet one person—dead or alive – who would it be? Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
Beer or wine? Good...
What’s your favourite thing about Backroad Mapbooks? The maps of course.
Favourite sport to play? Ice hockey.
What is one product you can’t live without? My Martin D-18.
Describe your ideal vacation. Tropical beach on an isolated island.
Beatles or Stones? Beatles.
What BRMB product are you most looking forward to using and why? The Backroad Mapbook in conjunction with the Backroad GPS Maps. Used together, it not only helps guide my adventure, as cartographer I get to map and edit the existing map art.
GIS / Database Manager
Dave Mancini, coordinator of the Geographic Information System (GIS) department at Backroad Mapbooks, is no stranger to the world of mapping. Responsible for overseeing the data creation of the mapping department, Dave is heralded by his colleagues as a “Postgres wizard.” As the in-house developer of the new BRMB Navigator App, he has witnessed his team’s hard work pay off.
Having grown up on the North Shore with those majestic mountains in his own backyard, Dave appreciates what a good product can do for the outdoor recreationist. In the winter, you can find this mapper snowboarding BC’s slopes. When the snow melts, Dave hits the trails for hiking, biking and camping adventures.
Favourite ice cream flavour? Anything chocolate.
What got you into a mapping/GIS career? I always had an interest for the outdoors and camping. I did a geography degree at UBC and also completed an Advanced Diploma in GIS at BCIT.
Favourite outdoor activity? Camping (all year), snowboarding (winter), hiking and biking (spring to fall).
What’s the best part about working at BRMB? We have some of the coolest outdoor recreation maps I’ve ever seen.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I’ve tried some unique types of sushi and shellfish around Vancouver.
Backcountry camping trip or five-star luxury resort? I’ll take one of each please!
What’s the best day of the week and why? The weekend, because I can get out and play in the backcountry.
Name a movie you have watched more than three times. The Goonies.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars.
Where is your top vacation destination? Southeast Asia.
What is your favourite BRMB product and why? The BC & Alberta Backroad GPS Maps because I can explore the two closest provinces with confidence.
Graphics & Marketing Manager
Elisa Codazzi is the Graphics & Marketing Manager and a key member of Backroad Mapbooks’ Marketing and Creative Services team. Since joining the company in October 2014, Elisa has played a role in contributing to promotional pieces as well as the layouts for Backroad Mapbooks’ print products. She's also in charge of making sure the company stays in brand and all our material are consinstent.
Like all employees of this small but growing company, Elisa wears many hats. She says that her work strikes an ideal balance between creative output and “nerdy” computer work – both of which she loves. This fashionable lady hails from Italy, where she studied communication design at the Polytechnic University of Milan.
Why a career in graphic design? I've always been a little nerdy, but also a creative person. This job lets me be both and also have fun! The biggest problem? I still have problems explaining what I'm doing to my Grandmother.
What is your biggest fear? I think I'm pretty brave, but I have some problems with public speaking.
Favourite place you have traveled? Barcelona, for the happiness you can feel in the city, the narrow streets in the Gothic Quarter, the language, the beaches and the tapas. I love it all!
What do you miss about Italy? I miss the epic nights out with my friends, the big lunches with all of my family, the romantic landscapes of Como Lake, and the big events in Milan like the Fuorisalone and the Aperitivos!
Favorite Italian food? The Piadina Romagnola! It's a thin flatbread that is stuffed and rolled with prosciutto crudo, squaquerone (a traditional cream cheese) and arugula.
What do you like best about Canada? The pancakes, eh! Just kidding. I really appreciate Canadian kindness, the modernity of Vancouver and the amazing natural beauty.
Best part about working at Backroad Mapbooks? The awesome team!
Favorite outdoor activity? Skiing! I started at four years old when I was living in Switzerland .
Name one food you cannot live without. Any food on the barbecue! But no sauces and no weird toppings. #FoodSnob
Responsible for Backroad Mapbooks’ retailers and distributors from Ontario eastward, Basilio's typical day consists of communicating with an exciting variety of clientele across Canada, ranging from mom-and-pop bait and tackle shops to national retailers. Basilio says that he enjoys educating retailers about Backroad Mapbook products and is proud to sell a purely Canadian product.
A lover of travel, he cites Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland as one of the most amazing places he has ever seen. When he isn’t busy traveling Canada for business and pleasure, Basilio can be found target shooting, watching NFL football and dreaming about retiring in the Mediterranean.
What do you like best about working at Backroad Mapbooks? The BRMB team and the products. Working with a diverse and incredibly intelligent team every day is truly rewarding. Our products open your eyes to not only what’s around you but will make you think about so many places to see and experience that are off the beaten path right across Canada.
What was your most memorable vacation? Touring Greece, Turkey and Southern Italy during the summer of 2013. I was hopping from beach to beach across the eastern Mediterranean and visiting some of the world’s most remarkable ruins from centuries ago.
Favourite outdoor activity? Camping in British Columbia’s wilderness. BC offers so many amazing places to visit in the backcountry. Camping at a hot spring, a white water river or a prestigious lake; setting up a tent in BC’s wilderness and exploring the area by foot or ATV is my favorite outdoor activity.
Why a career in sales? A career in sales has allowed me to travel across Canada and visit some great cities and towns. I get to meet and work with wonderful people. Specifically, a sales career with Backroad Mapbooks allows me to work with people in the recreation industry. The recreation industry consists of people living their dreams and promoting adventures and vacations. Let’s just say I’m not selling nuts and bolts.
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla, definitely vanilla.
Name a movie you’ve watched more than three times. Pulp Fiction.
Favourite TV show? Seinfeld and The Sopranos (not sure which one I love more).
How multilingual are you? Fluent in English, French, Italian and learning Spanish.
What board game are you unbeatable at? I don’t play any board games, never been a huge fan; but I am a Fantasy Football Monster.
If you were somebody’s pet, what kind of animal would you prefer to be? A Lion, so I’m not sure if a lion would make a great pet; but I’m a Leo and I’ve always loved Lions.
What is your favourite BRMB product and why? Newfoundland and Labrador Backroad Mapbook. In 2014, BRMB launched the first edition of the Newfoundland and Labrador Backroad Mapbook. It’s loaded with things to see off the beaten path. Newfoundland is a wonderful place filled with great people, amazing landscapes and wonderful parks. Having spent a few weeks on the Rock and visiting dozens of towns and communities while promoting this new product, I realized what a wonderful place it is; just bring your Backroad Mapbook with you.
Dale Tober is Backroad Mapbooks’ senior cartographer and the longest-standing employee in the mapping department. Dale has watched Backroad Mapbooks grow from its days of half a dozen people in a two-room office (with an in-house printer) to the ever-expanding company it is today. Specializing in print projects, Dale brings nearly 20 years of experience to the team at Backroad Mapbooks.
A true map aficionado, Dale explains that, back in the day, both European royalty and Eastern emperors hired cartographers to assist in military strategies. Dale thus views his vocation as an ancient art form, one that he enjoys bringing into the 21st century onto users’ GPS units and tablets.
Why a career in cartography? It is in the noble occupation of kings; an ancient art form.
How long have you been with BRMB? 15 years.
What is your favourite part about working here? My fascination with maps.
Favourite Trailer Park Boys character? J-Roc.
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles.
Favourite movie? Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
Weapon of choice in a zombie apocalypse? I do not follow zombie movies.
What era would you travel to if you had a time machine? 1950s for cheap real estate.
Favourite outdoor activity? Hiking.
Name one product that you can’t live without. Pickup truck.
What is your favourite BRMB product and why? BC GPS for my second jobs.
A familiar point of contact for many a BRMB customer, Oliver is always there to help answer questions about using Backroad Mapbooks’ digital and GPS products. Oliver puts his cartography skills to use on BRMB’s printed maps, creating and overseeing projects such as the company’s line of waterproof recreation maps for BC and Ontario and assisting with Garmin projects.
Originally a small-town boy from northern Germany, Oliver grew up with a fascination for seeing the world. When he isn’t busy handling technical support inquiries or making maps, Oliver joins the sales team at nation-wide trade shows. His favourite part of the job, he says, is its variety.
Favourite outdoor activity? Too many to list; pick one: Hiking, biking, skiing, paddling...
Which celebrity would you take on for a bicycle race? Jimmy Fallon.
If you were stranded on an island, what kind of ball would you want to have with you? Disco ball.
And what would you name your ball? Saturday Night Fever.
Most memorable BRMB experience? Hiding the BRMB Vancouver, Coast & Mountains 20th Anniversary Bonus Cache.
Beer, wine or spirits? Fermented grape juice and matured barley nectar.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten? Sea urchin.
Where is the best hiding place in Canada for a zombie apocalypse? Can’t tell, zombies are reading this.
Why a career in GIS/mapping? Where else can you build your own world? At the age of seven, I started travelling the world with one finger on a map.
Favourite part about working at BRMB? Learning about the great places Canada has to offer.
What is your favourite BRMB product and why? BC Backroad GPS Maps – The lifesaving maps for snowshoe trips in the backcountry.
What BRMB product are you most looking forward to using and why? Haida Gwaii Waterproof Recreation Map – Because when I use it I will be there.
With a background in geology, mining and surveying, Farah brings a wealth of knowledge to the work that she does – and it shows. Responsible for the GIS “heavy lifting,” she manages the larger spatial data sets to help create, polish and build bigger content. The data that Farah creates goes towards Backroad Mapbooks’ GPS maps and can later be used for print products.
Farah completed her studies at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) before joining the team at Backroad Mapbooks. About GIS work, she says, “I really love what I do.” She shares that she receives genuine pleasure from performing advanced GIS analyses and improving her spatial database administration skills.
Why a career in GIS/mapping? I love producing maps and seeing the results.
Favourite outdoor activity? Hiking.
Name an outdoor activity that you refuse to try? Mountain climbing.
Describe your dream vacation? Traveling around the world with my family.
What is the best part about working at Backroad Mapbooks? Working with nice people.
Name one superpower you would want to have. The power of flight.
Name one product that you can’t live without. Food.
Tea, coffee or potato chips? Tea.
What is your favourite BRMB memory so far? Poker ride camping.
Favourite TV show? I don’t watch any TV shows.
What product are you most looking forward to using and why? The BRMB Navigator app, as we have been working hard on it.
A skilled GIS technician, Courtney works with activity data, points-of-interest, recreation trails and the like to ensure that Backroad Mapbooks' map data is correct and clean. She spends her days adding new information and updating existing data, using QGIS and PostgreSQL to bring customers a product they can count on.
Courtney enjoys the rewarding process of seeing the changes that she makes come to life. She says that she appreciates the culture at Backroad Mapbooks for its friendly people and helpful attitude. In her downtime she can be found reading or going on a nice hike to a secluded spot.
Sports car or pick-up truck? Old pick-ups are the best.
Favourite outdoor activity? Barbequing.
Country, pop or hip-hop? If those are my only options I’d pick country I guess.
Best part about working at BRMB? There is usually some sort of organized hike happening on the weekends. We try to hike different areas every time so it lets me explore BC a bit more.
Strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Catfood. I was four.
What are some of your hobbies? Swimming, hiking and reading.
Other than British Columbia, whereabouts have you lived? I’m from Nova Scotia so I’ve lived in a few places there as well.
What is the biggest difference between the east coast and the west? The weather. Winter is a choice in BC and I could get used to that. On the downside, there are no real donairs here.
Name one food that you can’t live without. Pierogies.
Favourite outdoor activity? It’s a tie between hiking and skiing.
What BRMB product are you most looking forward to using and why? The BRMB Navigator App because there is so much information available on it for any adventure you feel like. I’m looking forward to exploring some paddling routes this summer.
Teneesha Turner-Johnson is one of BRMB’s talented GIS Technicians, having joined the company in June of 2018 following a practicum through BCIT. Teneesha resides in Port Moody and enjoys discovering new places to travel while building and refining our ever-expanding map database. When she is not at work, Teneesha enjoys hiking, spending time with her friends, snowboarding and watching live music.
What is the favourite place you have travelled? Amsterdam
What is your favourite BRMB product? Backroad Mapbook
Best part about working at BRMB? How everyone is so willing to offer help when needed, or explain how to do certain things.
Favourite outdoor activity? Hiking in the summer, Snowboarding in the winter.
Where would you go on your dream vacation? Southeast Asia
Which album would you bring to listen to on a desert island? Malibu - Anderson Paak
What is the movie you can quote the most from? I'm terrible at remembering quotes from movies :)
What is one superpower you wish you had? Teleport.
Stefanie Tokarchuk has been with BRMB since the fall of 2018 and is the resident graphic designer/social media coordinator, keeping the brand’s visuals on point and staying connected with our customer base. Raised in Langley and currently residing in White Rock, Stefanie enjoys exploring local hiking trails, soaking up some sun on the beach or just relaxing at home with her two cats, Kanye and Chiggy. #CrazyCatLady
What is the favourite place you have travelled? Monaco. 1 word: Gorgeous.
What is your favourite BRMB product? Western Canada GPS Maps
Best part about working at BRMB? Working with the BRMB Sasquatch
Favourite outdoor activity? Going to the beach!
Where would you go on your dream vacation? Dubai
Which album would you bring to listen to on a desert island? A Beatles greatest hits CD? Cause Beatles would never get old.
What is the movie you can quote the most from? Mean Girls, it's so fetch.
If you had a time machine, what era would you travel to? The Jurassic Period.
Shipping / Receiving Coordinator - Warehouse Manager
An organizational wiz, Jo-ana keeps busy handling everything from customers, filing, and shipping and receiving, to SD card production, lake chart production and topographic map folding. Jo-ana has a knack for ticking items off a to-do list while having a great time getting to know customers. She is heralded as a trustworthy and reliable individual who gets the job done.
When Jo-ana isn’t busy meeting production demands in Backroad Mapbooks’ warehouse, you are apt to find her in one place: the softball field. Jo-ana is a first-base superstar in high demand. She plays on multiple teams across four different co-ed leagues, playing every weekend year-round and throughout the week during summertime.
If Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks were drowning in a river and you only had time to save one, who would you save? Tom Hanks, hands down, no contest.
What is the best day of the week…other than Friday? During NFL season, Sundays are my favorite day; the rest of the year, Saturdays.
Favorite food? Sushi, I could eat it all day every day.
Favorite villain? The Riddler.
What’s your favourite outdoor activity? Softball.
Name a product you can’t live without. I’m not materialistic; I can live without everything.
What are some of your hobbies? Poker and softball.
Describe your dream vacation. Front row, 50 yard line, seats for Superbowl (hopefully somewhere warm)
What is your favourite BRMB product and why? The Vancouver, Coast and Mountains BC Backroad Mapbook. I can find so much to do in my own backyard!
Technical Support Analyst
As with most of the BRMB team, Matt wears a number of hats. When he isn’t busy helping customers with the installation of their GPS maps and answering questions about the product and its features, Matt assists the Geographic Information System (GIS) team with its cartographic work.
With a background in computers and graphics, Matt took quickly to the creation of geospatial data, and is always ready to respond to the next challenge. He studied at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), and since joining Backroad Mapbooks in 2012 has achieved expertise in BRMB’s digital products.
Favourite outdoor activity? Geocaching.
If you could meet one person—dead or alive – who would it be? Steve Jobs.
What’s the best part about working in tech support? Learning something new everyday.
Favourite sport to watch? Football (European style).
Name one superpower you think you possess. The ability to unlock maps.
If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Steak.
Describe your ideal adventure. Road trip with no destination.
Tell us about an embarrassing experience you’ve had….just one. At a Canada celebration, I was waiting in line to use the porta-potty. I wasn’t paying attention, and when it was my turn to use the long line of porta-potties, I opened the door only to find an unsuspecting lady using it that didn't lock the door to occupied :S
Name one device you wish was invented. A device to cure cancer.
If you could travel through time, to which era and location would you go? Silicon Valley during the 1980s to make friends with Bill Gates and actually fix Windows.
What is your favourite BRMB product and why? BC Backroad GPS Maps because it works better than any other BC maps I've used so far.
Courtney Smith was raised in St. Thomas, Ontario and lends her talents to BRMB in the role of office assistant, taking care of a multitude of tasks and manning the office’s front desk. Courtney has a passion for learning new skills and is there to greet everyone with a smile upon entering headquarters. Outside of work, Courtney enjoys spending time outdoors with her four-year old son. You can also catch her tearing up the dance floor and caring for her pet sea snails, who just keep on multiplying.
What is the favourite place you have travelled? There’s so many, but my favorite would be Sachigo Lake Ontario. It is a little island reservation. Even though its here in Canada, it was a culture shock. Its so secluded, I cannot wait to go back again!
What is your favourite BRMB product? The TOPO maps! I could stare at them all day.
Best part about working at BRMB? When I wrote “One Pound” on a quiz asking what the scale was on one of the Mapbooks.
Favourite outdoor activity? Gardening! If that counts as an activity. Picking flowers and berries, anything to do with plants!
Where would you go on your dream vacation? Fiji, because that’s where Survivor is mainly filmed.
Which album would you bring to listen to on a desert island? Queen: Greatest hits. I could never tire of Queen.
What is the movie you can quote the most from? “Why is the rum always gone?” - Pirates of the Caribbean, “Not all treasure is silver and gold mate” - Captain Jack Sparrow, and "If you had a time machine, what era would you travel to?" - The Dirty 30’s!
Outdoor Content Writer
Stepan is a skateboard loving, adventure enthusiast with a passion for not only being outdoors, but writing about them as well. Coming all the way from small town Grand Forks, Stepan came to Vancouver to study creative writing and English literature at UBC, and also came for the skateboarding of course! With his love for the outdoors and his incredible writing skills it makes it easy for Stepan to create compelling content for our Mapbooks.
His main goal in life is simply to be happy, which isn’t hard if he’s shredding down a mountain on a snowboard or cruising around the city on a skateboard. He has yet to travel the world, but one of his favourite places that he’s been to, and goes often, is the Pacific Northwest, specifically Oregon.
What is your favourite thing about working for BRMB? Helping people get out and explore the beautiful outdoors.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be? With the right crew and a sense of adventure, anywhere can be the trip of a lifetime!
Favourite thing to eat for breakfast? Last night’s poor decisions.
Do you prefer going to a concert or going to the movies? Live music, 100%. Faster, louder please.
Favourite outdoor activity? Swimming in a mountain stream or glacial lake.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Full-on vampire. Don’t look at me!
If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be? I enjoy petting other people’s dogs.
Favourite cartoon character? Hans Moleman.
Beer or wine? Beer! Chug life.
Favourite outdoor activity? It’s a tie between hiking and skiing.
What is your favourite BRMB product and why? Definitely the The classic Mapbook. Nice to disconnect from the digital tether once in a while.
An outside member of our team (literally) Leslie Bryant is one of our talented outdoor writers who help bring the famour flavor Backroad Mapbooks customers have grown to love and rely on.
What is your most memorable Outdoor Experience?Camping with my family as a kid and now with my kids.
Coffee or Tea? Tea! I'm alergic to coffee
What country would you like to live in other than Canada? Italy for sure!!! Maybe England
If your kids could describe you in one world, what would it be? Busy
Favourite outdoor activity? Skiing followed closely by hiking and camping
What is your favourite part about working for BRMB? The flexibility and it combines two loves - the outdoors and writing.
Cats or Dogs? Dogs for sure, but I also enjoy our two cats
What is your favourite thing about being a mom? The daily miracle that it is to guide and support a developing human being - they continually amaze me with their accomplishments and make me laugh.
What is your favourite BRMB product and why? The books - I have them everywhere - in the vehicle, on the book shelf - fun for planning and the impromptu adventure!
Researcher / Writer
Jay has been with the BRMB team for almost 5 years. Armed with a degree in Geography, Jay is constantly exploring the varied terrain Canada has to offer. Generally he can be found cruising the back roads with his wife and at least two dogs...never lost, but always searching.
Coffee or Tea? Both, coffee in the morning and tea at night
What country would you like to live in other than Canada? Australia
Favourite outdoor activity? Off roading and camping
What is the best part about working at Backroad Mapbooks? Best part may be the excitement from other people when they hear I work for BRMB. Also I love the flexibility
Cats or Dogs? Both, I currently have 11 pets!
Describe your ideal adventure: oh build up my old Land Rover into an overland camper and ship it all around the world.
What is your favourite BRMB product and why? Definitely the books, I've been using them for years and there's just something about flipping through a mapbook and figuring out where you are and where you want to go.
Colin’s business card lists “Master of Many Disguises” as his occupation. He handles all the back end operations of a high end furniture store in north-east Toronto, is the technical director and lighting designer at a local roadhouse theatre, coordinating all the concerts and events that hit the stage and has recently taken an expanded role research writing for the Canada’s Backroad Mapbooks.
Colin was smitten by the outdoors at an early age as his family spent their summers camping and traveling across Canada. When he purchased his first Land Rover fifteen years ago, it allowed him to travel further out to explore. An avid hiker, mountain biker and canoeist, he’s always on the look-out for new destinations to visit and having a 4x4 vehicle has become a means to that end. Colin and his wife reside in a home they built on a two acre bush lot, about an hour north-east of Toronto.
What is your favorite thing about writing for the BRMB? Finding new and interesting locations for people to get out and discover. My research has been inspiration for many of my trips too.
What is your favorite movie? Blade Runner, I’ve watched it at least ten times.
Favorite Outdoor Activity? Really, anything that gets me into the outdoors but there is nothing like paddling a canoe through a still lake at dusk or dawn.
Best Childhood Travel Adventure? Visiting Banff before it went tourist. Waking up and heading out of the trailer home type motels to feed deer on the front lawn or sitting in our car at the dump, watching the bears forage for food.
Favorite Band? Hands down, Rush, I’ve seen them on many occasions and have had the chance to chat with a couple of the lads as well. Very down to earth and humble about their success.
Dream Vacation: New Zealand
Best Wild Animal Encounter? In Algonquin Park, a line female wolf came out of the woods and followed us as we hiked along an abandoned logging road. It stayed with us for at least a half hour, right up until we came out into the clearing where our 4x4 was parked.
Favorite Sport? NFL football
What BRMB product are you most looking forward to using and why? I always have the mapbook for the area I am travelling with me in case an opportunity to explore presents itself.