Dianne Whelan's Canadian Odyssey 

500 Days in the Wild

500 Days in the Wild is an independent feature documentary about an artist’s ecological pilgrimage on the world’s longest trail.


From pushing 150-pounds of bike and packs over rocks, to hiking through flooded bogs, paddling the largest lake in the world, snowshoeing through dense coniferous forests, skiing across wind-blown plains, biking along pristine trails in all seasons, the trail beckons. Dianne travels the ‘Old Way’, the slow way of the turtle, seeking wisdom from those that live close to the land, asking the questions “what have we forgotten?” and “What do we need to know?”

500 Days is the continuation of an old story - the artist dropping out of society and reconnecting to nature - but it is also a new story, a realization that we will not survive traveling solo. 500 Days in the Wild challenges us to revisit our past, our connection to the land and its people, to find our inclusive story that will carry us into the future.

Join Dianne on her journey: 

Watch the Trailer


Bring 500 Days in the Wild to a screen near you. 

Donate and protect the Canadian Wilderness. 

By using the button below and specifying that your donation is intended for the 500 Days in the Wild project, Dianne will be able to continue her journey (and a portion of funds will go to CPAWS, to protect the wild spaces that she traverses). 

Donate Now

A letter from Dianne: 

It is a great honour to begin this relationship with CPAWS. As a storyteller my purpose in creating 500 Days in the Wild is to make a film that inspires a return to a place of reverence for the earth.

My projects over the last three decades have all been the result of blending my passion for adventure, art, and nature. I have made films and written books on Everest and in the High Arctic. Now I am making a film on the longest trail in the world. For me, the trail is a metaphor, an umbilical cord; for all that makes us different, this land and water is what connects us all. I also chose this trail because when you look at the line it stretches not just across Canada but across this continent, before international borders, when this land was called Turtle Island by the ancestors who lived here thousands of years ago.

This is the first time in my 30-year career I have collaborated with an organization, and I chose CPAWS  because we share the same core values about protecting the land and water for wildlife and humans.  And I share their commitment to do this work in a framework of reconciliation.

I invite you to visit my website, www.diannewhelan.com to learn more about my work and if you feel called and are able, to make a tax-free donation here on the CPAWS website. All donations are shared with them to further the wonderful work they do.  Please know that after five years on the trail which has been mostly self-financed, whatever you contribute will be greatly appreciated.  All those who donate will be listed in the film's credits.

In love and gratitude



In addition to 500 Days in the Wild, Dianne is also working on The Beacon Project: a three part series made in collaboration with Indigenous communities along The Great Trail and is  a companion piece to the feature documentary 500 Days in the Wild. Read more about it here.