Our Staff

The Interpretive Guides Association is supported by over 2000 active members, a volunteer governing board of directors, and 5 part-time staff – Executive Director, Program Manager, Operations Manager, Executive Assistant, and Bookkeeper.

We welcome anyone who would like to share their ideas, passion and zest for interpretation to contact us or get involved in the association.


Tracey Gage, Executive Director

Tracey has degrees in Wildlife Biology and Geography from Guelph University and has her teaching degree from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. She has worked as a researcher, an educator, and a guide since 1990 and has been in the Canadian Rockies since 1997.

Since her move to the Rockies, she has worked as a backcountry guide, interpretive guide, manager of an interpretive guiding program, tour guide, grizzly bear educator and an operations manager in the destination management field. Her strengths lie in training and coaching guides in the theory, knowledge and spontaneity of the interpretation field. Tracey loves the mountains and what the Bow Valley has to offer to locals and guests alike. She is an accredited Master Interpreter with the IGA and has gone through the ACMG hiking guide training as well.

Tracey received her Professional certification with the IGA in 2003, designed and developed the interpretive training program used in the AI course, as well as our PI course, and was certified as one of our master interpreters in 2018. Tracey is excited to continue supporting and representing interpretive guides and the interpretive guiding profession throughout Canada and beyond.


Rod Plasman, Executive Assistant

Rod has been a resident of the Bow Valley for 30 years and has led a varied life during this time. When he first moved here, he commuted to Calgary and worked in IT. After 5 years he found himself managing the IT Department at the Town Of Banff.; Rod moved to the Bow Valley for the lifestyle.

While working full-time in IT, he also became very involved with the Alpine Club of Canada at both the National and Section level. His volunteer activities include being on various Executives, leading summer and winter trips, and managing ski camps. Rod started teaching outdoor skills to other ACC volunteers and discovered that he really enjoyed teaching. He expanded some of these courses and they are now offered to the public as well as IGA members.

In 2000, Rod developed a program to teach skiers how to backcountry ski. The program known as the BIT Program has been offered now for 12 years and is highly successful. After working for 20 years in IT, Rod decided that he had spent enough time behind a desk and signed up for the Apprentice Hiking Guide course with the IGA and has been working as a guide since then. This varied background has given Rod a broad base of skills that he can use in his role at the IGA. Look for Rod in the backcountry, skiing in the winter, or exploring in the summer.


Wendy Niven, Jasper Representative, Program Development, and Communications

Wendy is one of those people who came to the Rockies for a summer job and never left. After a long career with Parks Canada, Wendy discovered interpretive guiding thanks to a casual job offer. Taking the Apprentice Interpreter course really opened her eyes to the profession of interpretive guiding. After getting her Professional Interpreter certification in 2017, Wendy applied for a short-term job with the IGA and took on the role of Jasper Representative.

In the fall of 2018, Wendy added the duties of Program Development and Communications to her IGA role. When Wendy isn’t working on IGA projects or helping Jasper IGA members, she’s likely out guiding Jasper visitors, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, ski touring, or hanging out with her horses.

We welcome anyone who would like to share their ideas, passion and zest for interpretation to contact us or get involved in the association.

Christopher Castonguay, Operations Manager

Chris joined the interpretive guiding community in the fall of 2022, coming with a background in sport and recreation. He has a bachelors of commerce from the University of Ottawa as well as an MBA in Sport Management from the University of New Brunswick.

His love of sport led him to a career managing one of the world’s largest Ultimate Frisbee associations. This passion for recreation helped him make the move to the Rockies in the spring of 2021 and he hasn’t looked back east since.

In his personal time, he enjoys hiking, fishing alpine lakes, disc golf, and backcountry camping.