Our Story

Discover Churchill is a local tour company founded in 2016 by photographer and guide, Alex de Vries. Initially founded as a private guiding service for photographers and film crews during Polar Bear Season, Discover Churchill has evolved and grown to employ five guides operating year round nature, wildlife and cultural tours of the Churchill area for small groups and independent travellers, however our specialty remains in working with photographers and film crews. Our experienced guides work tirelessly to get guests in the best position possible by anticipating animal behaviour in a non-invasive manner in order to create stunning natural images.  As a tour operator we are strongly committed to ethical wildlife viewing and strive to set industry standards for safety and conservation. 

Photographer Friendly

Small Group Sizes

Private Tours Available

Meet Our Guides

Alex de Vries

Alex first visited Churchill near the end of Summer in 2009. Within 48 hours he spotted his first Polar Bear, kayaked with Beluga Whales and stood in awe as the Aurora Borealis danced above him. He instantly fell in love and moved to Churchill the following year working a variety of seasonal jobs while pursuing an interest in photography. In 2015 he bought a local photography gallery and shortly after began receiving guiding requests from photographers and film crews. In 2016 he founded Discover Churchill and started leading small photography tours of the Churchill Area. Living in Churchill year round, his love and respect for the land radiate from him and there’s a good chance he’ll try to convince you to come back and experience a different season.


Drew Hamilton

Drew has been guiding photographers and film crews for bears across North America for over 20 years. After getting his start with brown bear and polar bears in Alaska he was introduced to Churchill in 2014 and felt right at home. As a lover of all things Northern, Churchill is the perfect place to explore all the things that make the north unique: from birds to belugas to bears to borealis.

As a photographer Drew likes to explore many different styles and is well versed in what it takes to help guests take their photography to the next level.  In 2019 Drew was awarded the Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award by the Alaska Conservation Foundation for his use of imagery to highlight the threat to brown bear populations by the proposed Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska.

Due to his deep love for bears he endeavours to run trips that provide positive experiences for both bears and humans.


Mike Gere

A resident of Jasper Alberta, Mike Gere has been a photography guide in Churchill since 2015. Mike is the owner/operator of Jasper Photo Tours www.jasperphototours.com and has been a photographer for over 20 years.

Wildlife Landscape and night photography are his main subjects with night photography being his favorite. Outside of astrophotography and aurora photography, Mike is well versed in lightpainting, tube painting, light spinning and fire breathing. He’s always up for a photography adventure of any sort and can be easilly bribed with oatmeal rasin cookies.


Lianne Thompson

Lianne first came to Churchill in the summer of 2013 and fell in love with the varied ecosystems of the tundra, boreal forest and Hudson bay. With her passion for exploring the wild, she began working as a naturalist and photographer in 2018, hoping to help facilitate extraordinary wildlife experiences for people visiting the North. She loves to share her knowledge of nature and local culture in a way that leaves guests feeling inspired and connected to the ecosystems they explore and the people they meet along the way. Though she lives in BC, Lianne returns to Churchill multiple times a year to share her love of polar bears, beluga whales, aurora borealis and so much more with travellers from all over the world.


Tomas Taylor

Tomas originally moved to Churchill to pursue his career in environmental science and biology, and began working as a research technician at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre in 2017. Having photographed nature since he was 16 he quickly fell in love with all the beauty Churchill has to offer! As a photographer Tomas loves to capture wildlife in interesting light and environments. He also likes to translate what he sees to oil paintings when he’s not in the field. He has since moved to Vancouver to continue his efforts in conservation biology, but returns to Churchill to photograph and share his love of the north.

Dave Allcorn

Dave moved to the Canadian North in 2006 and now calls this wild region his home. He has worked for many years as an interpretive guide and science technician. Dave regularly guides trips throughout the arctic, be it on land, or on water. He has been continuously involved in arctic research projects, including flora surveys, bird counts, snow sampling, ice-coring, and monitoring the polar bear and beluga whale populations.
He has been part of many expeditions voyages through the Canadian Northwest Passages, East and West Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, Russia, and even the North Pole. In the far south, Dave has completed numerous voyages to Antarctica too, where he continues to be awestruck by the magnificent landscape.
A passionate naturalist, Dave loves the vastness and silence of these magical places. He has a great respect for the Polar Regions and their flora and fauna. Dave is also a big fan of the challenging conditions of the arctic winters. He is always looking forward to being outside and sharing his knowledge through stories, exploration, and infectious enthusiasm.
Dave can also speak enough Inuktitut to get into trouble… But not out of it!
Above all else, Dave loves watching guests soak in the pristine beauty of the Polar Regions.

Our Partners

The Seaport Hotel

Nights Under Lights