Mark Angelo

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Mark Angelo
Mark Angelo.jpg
Mark Angelo
Born (1951-03-14) March 14, 1951 (age 66)
Residence Burnaby
Nationality Canadian
Occupation conservationist
Spouse(s) Kathie
Children 2
Parent(s) Shirley Ann Richards and Edmond Angelo

Mark Angelo, CM OBC (born 14 March 1951) is a Canadian river conservationist, writer, speaker, teacher and paddler. He founded and is the chair of BC Rivers Day and World Rivers Day. In 2009, Angelo was appointed as the inaugural chair of the Rivers Institute at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Prior to that, he was the long-time head of the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation Program at BCIT. Angelo has received the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada in recognition of his river conservation efforts.[1] In 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Simon Fraser University for his river conservation work both locally and globally.[1]


Angelo graduated from the University of Montana, and then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.

He was involved in numerous river conservation and restoration initiatives including restoring heavily damaged urban streams such as Guichon Creek in Burnaby and Still Creek in Vancouver. In the early 2000s, he was involved in cleaning up Britannia Creek, which in 2011 saw salmon return for the first time in a century.[2][3][4][5] In September 1980, Angelo organized a major cleanup of the Thompson River in the southern interior of British Columbia. The event later became known as BC Rivers Day.[6][7] In 2005, Angelo helped set up the World River Day,[8][9] a now annual event on the final Sunday in September, celebrated by millions people in more than 60 countries.[10]

Angelo has traveled on hundreds of waterways, including the Zambezi,[11] Nile, Mekong, Amazon, and Yangtze.[12] From 2003 to 2007, he hosted the National Geographic on-line program, "Riverworld; a personal journey to the world's wildest rivers"; the program's website had more than 40 million visits.[citation needed] In 2007, his follow-up program, Wild Water, Wild Earth, enjoyed similar success.[citation needed]

In late November 2011, Angelo announced his retirement from full-time work and was honored with the title, Chair Emeritus of the Rivers Institute. In 2012, the City of Burnaby honoured Angelo by naming a local city stream, Angelo Creek, after him.[13] In 2014, the 40,000 member BC Wildlife Federation presented Angelo with the Barsby Award, the highest honour their organization can bestow, in recognition of Angelo’s lifelong efforts to protect waterways. Angelo was also installed into the Fraser River Hall of Fame at a gala event hosted by the Fraser River Discovery Center.[14] In 2015, he was named as one of Canada's 100 greatest modern day explorers by Canadian Geographic magazine.[15]


Angelo served as a past Chair and inaugural member of the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council.[16] In addition, Angelo also served as the first non-government provincial representative and Chair of the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board. He was also the inaugural Chair of the BC Heritage River System from 1997 to 2001, and from 1998 to 2000, Angelo was chaired the BC Park Legacy Panel. As long time Rivers Chair for the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC, Angelo also coordinated the compilation of BC's annual "most endangered rivers" list from its inception in 1993 to 2014.[17] The compilation of this list is one of the most in depth initiatives of its kind and has provided much needed profile for river issues around the province.[citation needed]

Angelo is a Fellow International member of the New York-based Explorers Club as well as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. In October 2011, Angelo was awarded a special lifetime achievement award by the BCIT Alumni and Foundation, and in November 2011, Angelo was also presented with the 'Land Champion Award' by the Real Estate Foundation of BC.

Personal life[edit]

Angelo is the son of Australian born actress Shirley Ann Richards, and Edmond Angelo.[18] Angelo and his wife Kathie have two daughters, Kelly and Lindsay, and two grandchildren, Tucker and Grey.


  1. ^ a b "SFU News Online - Six of Canada's finest to receive honorary degrees - May 28, 2009". 
  2. ^ "Britannia Creek in the pink — salmon, that is" (Online article). The Squamish Chief. September 14, 2011. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  3. ^ McArthur, Aaron. "Pink salmon are back". Global News. Global TV. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Fish Return to Britannia Creek!". YouTube. Global TV. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 
  5. ^ Hume, Mark (September 18, 2011). "Fish return to Howe Sound, once a toxic dead zone". Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "World Rivers Day". 
  7. ^ "River clean up will celebrate World Rivers Day in Cowichan". 
  8. ^ "World Rivers Day". GoodSpeaks. 
  9. ^ "Love Your Local River On World Rivers Day". 
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2015-06-29. 
  11. ^ "Mark Angelo paddles on the Zambezi - RiverBlue". RiverBlue. 
  12. ^ "Around-the-World by River". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  13. ^ Bellamy, Andrea (October 25, 2012). "Burnaby creek named for BCIT Rivers Institute Chair Mark Angelo". British Columbia Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2015-06-29. 
  14. ^ "Mark Angelo to be inducted in the Fraser River Hall of Fame". 
  15. ^ "Burnaby man named top explorer". Burnaby NewsLeader. 
  16. ^ "Treat water as scarce resource and manage water better for fish and people, says Fisheries Council". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 
  17. ^ "The 2014 Endangered Rivers List for BC". Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia. Retrieved 2015-06-29. 
  18. ^ "Golden age's film star dies". Sydney Morning Herald. 27 August 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2012.