Meet the artisans, discover their expertise, and share their passion.
A detailed look at beloved brands, inspiring stories, and important events.
A Conversation with Catherine Simard
To celebrate our Creating an Echo collection, influencer and globe-trotter Catherine Simard became our i.FIV5 photography ambassadress for the second time in a row. Accompanied by her partner, Alexis Pageau, Catherine visited the breathtaking landscapes of Golden Ears Park in British Columbia to make the pieces from our eco-friendly capsule collection come to life. The results are absolutely spectacular!
With over 100,000 followers on Instagram and close to 250 posts (each one being more awe-inspiring than the last), Catherine Simard is definitely a photographer you'll want to follow and get to know. Learn a bit about her journey, her passion, and the issues that are important to her.
What was it that clicked to get you started on the path that you’re on today?
After ten years of modelling and a few years of styling, I asked myself if I was really happy. I realized that something was missing in my life, something that would allow me to feel free and be myself. It was after a long trip to Australia, New Zealand, and western Canada that I realized that hiking and photography was the recipe for real happiness.
Talk to us a bit about @mydetoxtravel.
@mydetoxtravel came from a desire to inspire others, not only to travel and explore our beautiful planet, but also to reflect - to reflect on your everyday life and on the world in which we live. Lots of my followers write to me about solo trips or road trips that were inspired by my photos. This way of bringing good into people's lives is one of the things that makes me happiest.
Your photographs are of extremely high quality. Every image is like an escape! Can you tell us about your journey?
Thank you so much! My first contract as a photographer was quite unusual. An Australian bandana company that was sponsoring my boyfriend, Alexis, had seen my work on my Instagram page (formerly @cathsim_outdoors). They contacted me to take photos. At that time, I didn't have a camera, just my cell phone. I still ended up accepting the offer. This first contract pushed me to pursue photography and to quickly get better at it.
The positive responses to my work made me want to continue in this direction. I left for New Zealand to develop my portfolio. Little by little, companies started to contact me to take pictures of their products and the offers kept coming. Then, I had the idea of giving international workshops because I love teaching. This combination of creating content and giving classes allows me to be a full-time photographer and live out my passion.
You make encounters with animals and nature the centre of your art. How do you position yourself in the face of big environmental issues?
On my page, I try to educate my community as best I can about preserving the flora and fauna, and about the environmental impact of humans on our own ecosystem. I regularly talk about the importance of “leave no trace”, respecting the trails, global warming, melting glaciers, and many other subjects that are important to me.
What are your favourite pieces from our Creating an Echo capsule collection?
I love the yellow anorak and the camouflage leggings. The boxy fit of the jacket allows you to layer it if the weather is cooler. In addition to being practical, comfortable, and quick-drying, these are fantastic pieces that fit perfectly into a photo of the landscape, something that’s important to me!
Could you tell us about how this second photo shoot with Simons and i.FIV5 unfolded? How did you prepare for this type of collaboration? Did you have a game plan?
Given the short time that we had, we wanted to stay in Golden Ears Park for the three days we had planned. Unfortunately, the park was closed for the duration of our stay, so we had to go with our plan B. We went in search of places that would suit this spring collection. The conditions were far from ideal; the temperature sometimes got down to -10 degrees. That's not easy when you have to wear a sports bra! At the end of the day, we are very happy with the result. We feel lucky to be able to do this type of project as a couple and in partnership with Simons.
What does a globe-trotter like you keep in their suitcase? What are your tips for staying warm and protected during photo shoots when it's -20 degrees?
I get cold easily, so I always bring a warm coat from The North Face that’s thick enough. Underneath, I slip on merino base layers for my top and bottom, and then a fleece. I finish it off with thin, quilted jacket just before I put on my coat.
Besides photography, do you have any other favourite outdoor activity?
Hiking and trekking come in neck and neck with photography. Then high altitude treks; this really get me energized and gives me a sense of unrivaled peace.
What is the most beautiful place for you here in Canada?
Without a doubt, Alberta because of its high and extremely photogenic mountains, its hundreds of trails, and its wild side. Having been there a number of times, I consider this province to be my second home and the birthplace of my passion for hiking and landscape photography.
Visit us in store or on the Simons website to discover our eco-friendly collection, Creating an Echo.
With the purchase of each item, $5 will be donated to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society whose mission is to protect national wilderness areas. It’s a smart way to contribute to the protection of the great and beautiful Canadian wild while satisfying sports lovers at the same time!