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Claude-Jean Harel

Master Business Relationships Strategist


Claude-Jean Harel is a master relationship builder with a knack for turning overlooked value into competitive advantage. Expert at generating leads in highly competitive markets, "C-J" is an effective strategist with tactical flair. He founded The Great Excursions Company in 1998 and investigated local, regional, national and international stories for the broadcast media industry during many years - his journalistic work earning numerous awards. In 2004, he was admitted to the degree of Master of Arts in Archaeology and Heritage with Distinction at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

Call: +1 306.539.8135 Email:


International sales and marketing, adventure travel, destination management, spatial analysis and disaster studies, cultural resources management, heritage conservation, tourism strategies, interpretive planning, placemaking, strategic communications and product development.


Director at Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation July 2009 - Present (1 year 10 months)

Is actively involved in ensuring that the Foundation delivers financial support to heritage projects at provincial and community levels that seek to conserve, research, interpret, develop and promote Saskatchewan's diverse heritage resources.The SHF is also mandated to acquire, manage and develop real and moveable property in the name of the Crown, and to accept the donation of cash monies, property and other bequests.

Saskatchewan Representative at Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film Canadian Pre-Selection Committee

1999 - Present (12 years)

Represents the Saskatchewan film and video industry through SaskFilm on the national committee comprised of producers, artists, funding and industry development agencies tasked with selecting Canada's entry for the OSCARS in the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Foreign Language Film Award category.

Founder & Manager at Great Excursions Co. April 1998 - April 2011 (13 years 1 month)


Manages all aspects of the company from sales and marketing activities to interactive, brand and product development, staffing and sourcing. This adventure travel and destination management company has grown into one of Canada's leading international tour operators and is now fully integrated within the CAA/AAA family. Great Excursions offers mostly boutique Canada and US products to North American, European and Australia/New Zealand audiences through innovative travel trade networks. 21 recommendations available upon request

Associate Editor, TOURISM family of publications at Canadian Tourism Commission June 2006 - June 2008 (2 years 1 month)

C-J shared editorial content production responsibilities for the daily, monthly and bi-monthly business-to-business publications of the Canadian Tourism Commission. He was tasked with accessing and providing strategic analysis of industry intelligence from partners around the world for the benefit of Canadian tourism operators. 5 recommendations available upon request

Writer/Editor - Farm and Food Report at Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food

2005 - 2006 (1 year)

Wrote a weekly series of newsworthy articles about agricultural issues of concern to producers, citizens and the industry, made available for reprint to media outlets in Saskatchewan and abroad.

Editor of Web Communications at Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada: The Romanow Commission

2001 - 2002 (1 year)

Oversaw the development and management of the bilingual website, proofed a number of the Commission's publications, managed some aspects of the stakeholder engagement process including on-line inquiries, e-newsletters and acted as francophone press secretary to the Commissioner mandated by the Prime Minister to review medicare, engage Canadians in a national dialogue on its future, and make recommendations to enhance the system’s quality and sustainability.

HISTORICAL CONSULTANT (TELEVISION) at CBC/Radio-Canada January 1999 - January 2001 (2 years 1 month)

Provided production and research expertise in the Prairie region for Canada: A People's History, a 30-hour documentary series produced in French and English as a millennium gift to Canadians. Tasks included locations scouting, personnel recruitment, casting, budgeting, historical research, logistics, liaison with First Nations and various stakeholders, as well as negotiating service delivery agreements.

Network Television Producer at CBC/Radio-Canada

1992 - 1998 (6 years)

Produced national and international award-winning documentaries for programs such as The


National, Le Point, Découverte, Country Canada and La Semaine Verte. Stories covered included:

the peace process in Northern Ireland, the creation of the Nunavut Territory, the dismantling of the American nuclear missile arsenal in South Dakota, the environmental implications of turning warships into artificial reefs off the coast of British Columbia, and the legacy of Indian residential schools in Canada.

Writer-Broadcaster at Radio-Canada

1986 - 1992 (6 years)

Produced short documentaries for CBKFT’s Television regional news and current affairs programs.

TV Producer at Freelance

1987 - 1989 (2 years)





Plains Cree

(Native or bilingual proficiency) (Native or bilingual proficiency) (Limited working proficiency) (Elementary proficiency)


University of Leicester Master of Arts, Archaeology and Heritage, 2001 - 2003

University of Saskatchewan BA, Anthropology, 1981 - 1986 Activities and Societies: Students Arts and Science Society, CJUS/CHSK-FM French host/producer, Diefenbaker Canada Centre bilingual interpreter, Centre for Second Language Instruction conversational French teacher, Wanuskewin Heritage Park French media spokesperson.


Honors and Awards


Fred Heal Saskatchewan Tourism Ambassador Award


Regina Municipal Heritage Award - Education

Radio and Television News Directors Association Award Best Radio Feature (Western Region) – 2004

International Association of Business Communicators Silver Leaf Awards Merit Award - 2002

Prix Gémeaux (Gemini Awards) Finalist - 2002

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Award Finalist -1998

New York Festivals Finalist Awards - 1998/1997/1996 Columbus International Film and Video Festival Bronze Plaques and Honorable mentions - 1998/1997/1996

Canadian Ethnic Journalists’ and Writers’ Club Award Television - 1997

Prix OCS (Office des Communications Sociales) Best Canadian Television Production - 1997

Commonwealth Relations Trust Bursary United Kingdom - 1995


Cultural resource management, agri-tourism, heritage, ecotourism, history, geography, agriculture, range management, grazing, archaeology, anthropology, natural history, vernacular landscapes, architecture, placemaking, railway towns, perception


Claude-Jean Harel

Master Business Relationships Strategist

Master Business Relationships Strategist 26 people have recommended Claude-Jean "As someone with

26 people have recommended Claude-Jean

"As someone with an entrepreneurial spirit can attest to, moving from being on your own to a more structured environment can have its difficulties however I am impressed with how flexible and adaptable CJ has been since joining CAA. He is always willing to jump right in and work with others on projects that will not only benefit Great Excursion but the overall organization as well. I enjoy discussing and debating different processes and software applications with CJ in an effort to understand how it can help us become more relevant to a younger demographic. He has great ideas and a good insight into how we can utilize the tools available. I always leave the conversation feeling a bit more enriched, and perhaps enlightened. I enjoy working with CJ and look forward to the opportunities to continually learn from each other."

— Kelley Orban , Director, Marketing, CAA Saskatchewan , worked directly with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude-Jean has always been great to work with. He has an amazing ability to deal with multiple projects in parallel, and is exceptionally creative within the travel industry. It never ceases to amaze me how many projects he has been involved in, and how well he manages them all."

— Nathanael Noblet , Director Of Information Technology, The Noblet Design Group , was a consultant or contractor to Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"I've known CJ since grad school in the 1980s. We have never worked formally on a project together but occassionally consult with one another regarding our respective fields to assist with projects that each of us are undertaking. I've always found CJ to be informed, very helpful and enthusiastic. His CBC work is informative (and accurate as we cross paths frequently in our travels). I look forward to working with CJ in a formal business relationship in the future."

— Leslie (Butch) Amundson , Senior Archaeologist, Stantec , was with another company when working with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude-Jean is a very trustworthy person. His word is worth a lot and he is fun to work with."

— Jean-Pierre Picard , Producteur, Les Cabarets Dériv'gauche , was with another company when working with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude - Jean is a very innovative business man who is always actively promoting various aspects

of Saskatchewan`s and North America`s growing tourism and recreation industry . He has many ideas and his suceess in various ventures speaks for itself . CJ as he is known to many people , is tireless , enthusiastic and a great spokesperson for tourism in general ."

— KEN LOZINSKY , Assistant Executive Director - Parks Service, Province of Saskatchewan , worked with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude-Jean was on the Board of Directors at CETN when I was the Executive Director. He was always ready to help, provided excellent advice based on his experience in the industry and was extremely supportive of the organization. I would welcome to=he opportunity to work with him again."

— Minto Schneider , Executive Director, Canadian Experience Travel Network , worked directly with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude Jean is a personable manager with a deep knowledge of Saskatchewan people, history and culture. We experienced unforgettable Cree Indian culture with a team building sweatlodge ceremony. Claude Jean works well with varied groups and provides innovative and entertaining Great Excursions!"

— Marc Broadbent , was Claude-Jean's client

"C.-J. is an active and innovative tourim person with a profound background. He is multilingual and is well received by customers. He is also one of the few contacts in Saskatchewan we can professionally work with and who knows international (tourism) business!"

— Martin Reber , was Claude-Jean's client

"Claude-Jean est un formidable partenaire de travail, très bon organisateur, il est aussi un talentueux accompagnateur dont la connaissance du terrain et la bonne humeur font de votre voyage une réussite professionnelle et procurent de formidables souvenirs, je le recommande chaleureusement."

— Philippe Reno , Rédacteur - Photographe, pigiste - freelance , was with another company when working with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude-Jean proposed and led a unique set of night-time tours for Regina's Warehouse District. The concept was novel, linking historic research and an outside-of-the-box format. Events were well attended, very favourably received, and very interesting. Claude-Jean had a great rapport with customers and delivered what he said he would, on time."

— Bruce C Anderson , was Claude-Jean's client

"Claude-Jean hired me to fill in for him on some of the tours he provides in the warehouse district of Regina. I found him a pleasure to work with, immensely knowledgeable about his subject, and

excellent at organizing tours and events that pleased participants and left them with no doubt they'd gotten their money's worth."

— Edward Willett , Freelance Writer, Words by Willett , reported to Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude-Jean possède une expérience unique en matière de développement touristique. Il sait relever avec brio les éléments distinctifs d'un lieu ou d'une région. Sa capacité à identifier des prestations touristiques originales et son expertise en web marketing lui permettent de mener à bien de nombreux aspects touristiques, sans parler de sa plume tout aussi percutante en français qu'en anglais. C'est toujours un plaisir de le référer."

— Marie-Andrée Delisle , Professionnelle, Marie-Andrée Delisle Tourisme-Conseil , was with another company when working with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude-Jean is a creative and talented professional that I have liaised with for years. As a tourism colleague I enjoy his innovation, passion, excellent writing and artistic eye. As a native of Saskatchewan, the province is fortunate to have such talent within their boundaries."

— Nancy Arsenault , Learning Travel Product and Market Specialist, Parks Canada , was with another company when working with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"In the tourism industry especially, it’s essential to surround yourself with people who share your vision and aspirations. Claude-Jean and I have worked with each other for the last seven years, always with a focus on dong the best job we can for the clients we share. Sometimes, given the nature of the adventure travel business, things don’t always unfold according to plan. But, I’ve always been able to count on Claude-Jean to keep a level head and use his considerable expertise, professionalism and good humour to achieve great endings. This dynamic is the backbone of any successful relationship, one that now underpins my friendship with Claude-Jean. He has the ‘big picture’ and continues to be an inspiration to me in these turbulent times. For those looking for a unique vacation in Canada with a personal touch, I always recommend the destination management services of Great Excursions."

— Scott Bonner , Managing Director, Midnight Sun Adventure Travel , was with another company when working with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude Jean is an extremely personable, knowledgeable, creative, detail oriented tourism professional who certainly knows how to think outside of the box and provide a very memorable travel experience. I have had the pleasure of dealing with CJ over the past 7 years and would not hesitate to recommend his services and skill set to anyone in need. CJ is a tourism ambassador not only to the province of Saskatchewan but to our tourism industry in it’s entirety."

— Brent Gavin , Manager, Event Registration & Accommodation, Tourism Industry Association of Canada , was with another company when working with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude Jean has repeatedly delivered Quality work at great value. His strength is the fact he is extremely personable and therefore can delve deep into the needs of his clients - probing and providing ideal solutions, story lines etc. Claude-Jean's background in Media has served him extremely well - understanding each story needs to be relevant to the reader - "the customer". He's customer centric - a true professional who provides quality work above and beyond my

expectations repeatedly. I would not hesitate to re-hire or work along side Claude Jean again in the



future I hope."

Gisele Danis , was Claude-Jean's client


Chantal Cardinal , was Claude-Jean's client

"I have worked with CJ at international marketplaces. He understands the complex dimensions of the travel trade industry, and what it takes to be a proficient and professional service provider."

— Todd Brandt , President & CEO, Tourism Saskatoon , was with another company when working with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"Claude -Jean has been a tremendous promoter and organizer of tourism product in and for Regina. He stays in tune with trends in the industry and builds product to appeal to a wide range of travellers."

— Larry Hiles , President & CEO, Regina Regional Opportunities Commission , was with another company when working with Claude-Jean at Great Excursions Co.

"We engaged Claude-Jean as a speaker at our professional development day for faculty and staff. He spoke to the group using a slide presentation that showed great understanding and appreciation for the topic. Participant feedback was very positive."

— Bill Coulthard , was Claude-Jean's client

"Claude-Jean Harel is a creative, detail oriented individual. He is a conceptual and outside-the-box thinker and his work results in innovative, inspiring, insightful and educational travel experiences."

— Frank Verschuren , was Claude-Jean's client

"Claude-Jean is a great ambassador of the Canadian tourism industry. He is very creative and does fantastic product development which is certainly attractive and relevant to engage potential visitors to Canada. He is acknowledged as a true industry professional.” May, 2010"

— Barbara Ackermann , Manager Travel Trade, Canadian Tourism Commission , worked with Claude-Jean at Canadian Tourism Commission

"I have known Claude-Jean (C-J) Harel for about a dozen years, and since the first time we met I have admired his passion for the Province of Saskatchewan where he lives, and his entire country - Canada. C-J's involvement in the travel and tourism industries is the context in which I know him best, and he has been an especially effective champion of cultural activities and attractions. When he worked with me as associate editor of the Canadian Tourism Commission's business-to-business publications, he was always quick to spot the special and unique stories, and to write about them with charm and conviction. Both of us are still in the industry as business operators, and Claude-Jean is a fine colleague whom I am proud to know."

— Peter Kingsmill , Editor, Canadian Tourism Commission , managed Claude-Jean indirectly at Canadian Tourism Commission

"An amazing editor with the capability off discovering the intrigue in every story"

— Maggie Davison , Executive Director Business Development, Canadian Tourism Commission , worked with Claude-Jean at Canadian Tourism Commission

"One of the challenges at the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) is to connect and communicate with key stakeholders. Claude-Jean being both a journalist and an inbound travel manager was the ideal candidate to tell our story of what was CTC Japan's strategy, marketing plans, promotions and activities in both English and French. Claude-Jean was able to narrate how Japanese travelers were being introduced, excited and compelled to travel to Canada. Claude-Jean's energy, professionalism and passion for the business ensured he captured CTC Japan's message, but also asked the hard and probing questions that a SME in Canada wanted to know about the investments being made on their behalf and for the country. It was a pleasure to work with Claude-Jean and I would have no hesitation in recommending his work."

— Simon Pitt, Managing Director, Japan, Canadian Tourism Commission , worked with Claude-Jean at Canadian Tourism Commission

"Claude-Jean is a very professional writer who has compiled a few articles on our marketing activities here in Germany."

— Karl-Heinz Limberg , Managing Director Germany, Canadian Tourism Commission, worked with Claude-Jean at Canadian Tourism Commission