And now for something completely different… RoseAnna Schick was selected from more than 500 applicants to participate in the adventure-of-a-lifetime during the summer of 2001. This epic journey involved the historical re-enactment of the fur trade voyages that took place in western Canada in the 1800’s.

RoseAnna – the only woman along with seven other ‘tripmen’ – traversed a York Boat from the heart of downtown Winnipeg north to York Factory on the Hudson Bay, following a traditional fur trade route and using only 1840’s gear and provisions. The 1,225 kilometer trip took 61 days to complete and was taped for Quest for the Bay, a five-part television series produced by Winnipeg production company Frantic Films. One of the highest rated programs ever to be shown on History Television in Canada, and currently playing on PBS stations across the US, Quest for the Bay received a 2003 Blizzard Award for Best Documentary Series.

Needless to say, the voyage changed RoseAnna’s life, outlook and attitude. She has written and published print articles about the profound experience, and is often asked to share her story at conferences, special events, annual meetings, corporate retreats, in schools, and for various other groups. This keynote session has been enjoyed by thousands, and described as inspiring, moving, positive, motivating, engaging, and entertaining.

If you are looking for an energetic, enthusiastic and interesting speaker for your next event, download information about RoseAnna’s Quest for the Bay presentation here.


West St. Paul School – grade 7 class (2008)
Walk in Balance Two – keynote speaker for Aboriginal wellness conference in Fort St. John BC – Quest for Spirit(2007)
Manitoba Hydro TSO Division Seminars – two keynotes at corporate retreat (2007)
Executive Assistant Conference – professional development conference in Kelowna BC – Quest for Change(2006)
Eastman Seniors Council – 30th anniversary Eastman Senior Citizens Council in Lac du Bonnet MB (2006)
Winnipeg Beta Sigma Phi Founder’s Day – membership annual dinner (2006)
Rotary Club – monthly membership luncheon (2006)
University of Manitoba – organizational behaviour continuing education class (2006)
Herzing College – staff meeting (2006)
Women Business Owners of Manitoba – keynote speaker for membership meeting (2005)
Manitoba Forestry Association – Manitoba Envirothon high school conference (2005)
The Feminine Highway:  Women With Drive – youth conference – Challenge Your Limits (2005)
Golden West Radio – corporate retreat – Three Secrets to Success:  Teamwork, Attitude and Motivation (2004)
Junior Achievement World of Choices – career conference – Quest for Confidence:  Believing in Yourself (2003)
Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature – meeting of museum volunteers (2003)
Manitoba Historical Society – annual membership meeting (2003)
University Women’s Alumni Club – annual membership meeting (2003)
Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference – professional development conference in Brandon MB (2002)
Manitoba Recreational Canoeing Association – annual membership meeting (2002)
Westwood Church – meeting of congregation (2002)
Bobby Bend Elementary School – grade 1 class in Stonewall MB (2002)
Nordale School – grades 7-9 classes (2002)
Rundle College High School – grades 10-12 classes in Calgary AB (2001)

trip photos

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published articles

Manitoba History Magazine – My Quest for the Bay – cover feature (2003)
University of Winnipeg Alumni Journal – Quest for a Challenge – cover feature (2002)
Winnipeg Free Press – Quest for courage: Rowing York boat to Hudson Bay stretches limits of body and spirit – travel section cover feature (2002)

trip journal

During production of Quest for the Bay, each participant was encouraged to keep a journal. Being a writer, RoseAnna found great solace and satisfaction in daily writings that would forever document this unique once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here are a few selected excerpts from her personal journal…

DAY 1:  Sunday, July 1, 2001

ROUTE LOG: Departed from The Forks in Winnipeg traveling north, downstream on the Red River to Lower Fort Garry. (25km)

Well, after three intensive weeks of training and preparing for this ultimately unpredictable adventure, here we go… The send off at the Forks was incredible and overwhelming. There were so many people there, lots of family and friends, and a whole bunch of media asking us questions, even a few people asking for autographs. It was all very surreal and also very emotional. Before it even started, though, we had our first challenge when we got to the boat at 7:30am and found two feet of water inside! We had to bail and repack everything! It set us back two hours and we had to miss out on our final breakfast, arriving at the Forks late and in the middle of a frenzy of 3000 people. As crazy as it was, I felt really proud to be part of this event and receiving such a warm send-off. We rowed away calm and cool, looking good and all in synch! We rowed to Lower Fort Garry and camped there. My family followed us all the way to our campsite, and it seemed really hard for them to let me go. They are happy for me, but I think it’s also bittersweet. I will do them all proud, and come back safe and sound, and a changed woman in some profound way… Made our first fire with the flint and steel, a very exciting moment! It actually works! We had pemmican and potatoes for dinner – eating it cooked is better than I thought it would be…

DAY 23:  Monday, July 23

ROUTE LOG: Second portaging day… After a few more hours of grunting and heaving, we were relieved to be leaving from “Portaging-Totally-Sucks Island” traveling NE down the Nelson River. Traveled on to High Rock and turned down the right channel of the Nelson, to a campsite at the end of High Rock. (10km / 50m portage completed)

Twas a cold rainy windy day when we awoke to complete our portage, and we were not in the best of spirits knowing what lay ahead of us today. It was very difficult, and very dismal, and took most of the day to get BOB back in the water, using rollers and numerous belay points. Finally, by about 4:00pm, we were back in the water and able to load the cargo, now soaking wet and totally gross. Have to say this was one of the hardest days so far on the trip. Portaging BOB is exhausting! Am not looking forward to the next one… Couldn’t get away from this place soon enough, as we rowed on down the Nelson River, in search of the next challenge… Rowed through a few swifts (our first ones), and past a pictograph. Set up camp in near dark, at a nice place at the end of High Rock, with lots of blueberries – not quite ripe, though! It is a pretty cool camp site. Pretty uncool is the fact that BOB is leaking bad again…

DAY 39:  Wednesday, August 8

ROUTE LOG: Departed from “Would-Love-To-Stay-Another-Day Point” traveling NW down the Hayes, beginning the day by shooting Hahasew Rapids (CI), Moore Rapids (CI) and Seeseep rapids (CII). Portaged a winter road at Wipanipanis Falls (approx. 10m), then lined the second part. Exited Hayes River onto SW arm of Oxford Lake, and camped on the hillside along north shore. (10km / 3 sets of CI & CII rapids run / 10m portage completed / 1 stretch of rapids lined)

Back on track today, and me with a head cold. Great… Busy today, with a little bit of everything. Shot three sets of rapids off the top, small but tricky. Did a bit of dragging on the second set (ooooh, that does not sound good), and hit a shelf on the third set. But it all worked out okay. On to the Oxford House winter-road bridge, over Wipanipanis Rapids. Beautiful rapids, but the bridge was way to low to get BOB under. What a drag! Had to portage over the road, short but steep, and it took a while to inch BOB along. Stopped to do some repairs with the boat out of the water. Slow going, but necessary to do so. At least there are lots of raspberries here! After the portage, we traveled about 100m to the bottom level of the same rapids, this one too shallow to run. We portaged all our gear and lined BOB – our first attempt at lining. All in all it worked pretty good, but extremely hard to do. BOB was unpredictable, and we learned pretty quickly two lessons: do not attempt to control BOB without a belay, and do not get between BOB and ANYTHING. Good learning opportunity. Pretty beat by days end due to this cold, and just wanted to lay down. We camped at a sloped icky spot, just across from the mouth of the Hayes River. I found an eagle feather, nice spotty one. Rained all night, sounded so wonderful from inside the tent…

DAY 49:  Saturday, August 18

ROUTE LOG: Rescue BOB day… (0km)

Seven weeks today, and we are now stuck here for who knows how long. Last night we sat and watched BOB just lying there on the bottom of the river – there was steam rising up and it was very dark, with northern lights dancing above. BOB looked really spooky, like some deserted, abandoned ship. This morning we began the big drag over to land. After some scouting, planning and clearing, we began to move BOB slowly toward shore. It was actually amazing how quickly he moved – almost like he was cooperating with us, so we could take him out of his misery. The damage was pretty extensive, and for a long time we doubt we can even fix him. Fortunately, it is a beautiful hot day, so we manage to get some spirits up, and all agree to try. There are great northern lights tonight. They looked like a big eagle feather. A promising sign perhaps?