Discovery Panels

The Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation: Trans Canada Trail Discovery Program

A national program bringing the true nature of our land closer to the hearts of all Canadians

The Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation's Trans Canada Trail Discovery Program saw the development and permanent installation of more than 2,000 interpretive panels along the route of the Trail. Each panel is designed to inform the public of the richness and diversity of Canada’s natural environment: indigenous plants, animals, ecosystems, weather, and geographical features.

The interpretive panels provide Trail users with vivid pictures and explanatory notes that immediately connect them to their surroundings. Featuring more than 150 natural subjects, Trail explorers young and old will benefit from the Discovery Program.

"This is a great project which runs parallel to our goals of stimulating people's interest in protecting our environment and our culture. These are the ties which bind us to our Canadian heritage." ─ Stephen R. Bronfman

Measuring 41 cm by 61 cm, each Discovery Panel displays its nature subject in brilliant and authentic colours, either as a photograph or an illustration. The descriptive bilingual text on either side of the picture is written in an engaging style, providing the Trail traveller with easy-to-read information about the area and its nature subject. Representative animals, birds, plants, ecosystems and geographical features were carefully chosen with the invaluable help of local and regional Trail partners.

See for yourself - watch a slide show of all the panels and learn about Canada’s rich biodiversity from coast to coast to coast!

About the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation

For two generations, a remarkable Canadian family has devoted and dedicated an immeasurable amount of their time and philanthropy to fostering environmental and cultural projects. Rooted in Canada, the Bronfman family tree has a long and lasting legacy of contributing to the growing greatness of our country.

Stephen and Claudine Bronfman are carrying on this fine family tradition. Through the establishment of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation, the couple is sharing their personal vision for a greener Canada with all Canadians, particularly youth. The Discovery Program exemplifies Claudine and Stephen Bronfman's firm commitment to the Trans Canada Trail and the lasting contribution they believe that the Trail will make to the environment, to communities, and to the health and enjoyment of all Canadians. Through the Trans Canada Trail Discovery Program, Canadians and visitors will have the opportunity to better understand and appreciate their natural surroundings as they travel along the Trail.

Essential contributors

The Trans Canada Trail Discovery Program was officially launched on May 17, 2000 and was implemented in phases, beginning in those provinces and territories where Trail development was most advanced. Over the next three to five years, every province and territory had the opportunity to participate in this national project.

Trans Canada Trail representatives approached communities along the Trail to present the program in detail. The Discovery Panels were made possible through the generous funding contribution of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation and were provided at no cost to participating communities.

The communities involved were then responsible for the cost of building and installing the metal display units at their chosen panel sites. The Trans Canada Trail organization is grateful for the efforts of countless volunteers in local trail groups for getting the Discovery Panels into the ground along the Trail for all to enjoy.

Chapter 150

This circle of influential and visionary leaders will help us connect the Trail and all Canadians.

Donate now

Donate now and help connect the Trail by Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. The Government of Canada will match 50 cents of every dollar you donate!

Photos from the Trail


Photo by: Douglas Gibb
Trail: Whitehorse Copper Trail