JEAN-DANIEL PETIT is the Co-Founder of abitibi & co., a Canadian canoe and kayak company that inspires great adventures and protects the great outdoors. He is also the founder of Beside, a media who aims to bridge the gap between humans and nature—with high-quality editorial content and immersive experiences.
Petit is the Former Creative Director at N/A Montréal, a new kind of marketing agency with a singular goal: to connect people and brands in ways that affect positive social change. Jean-Daniel has worked on several local and international accounts such as: RISE Kombucha, McDonald's Canada & U.S, Paramount Picture and more. Previously, Petit worked at SID LEE for over three years as an Art Director for New Era, Coca-Cola, Bacardi, Square Enix, Georges St-Pierre and more.
3 words to describe Nature?
Welcoming. Interconnected. Resilient
3 things Nature taught you?
To be humble
That life is a circle
To keep using all of my senses
3 most treasured Nature spots?
The Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region, in Northern Quebec, and its 15 000 lakes and rivers.
The Bonaventure River in Gaspésie, Quebec. Probably the most beautiful river in the world.
Anticosti Island, also in Quebec.
When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?
When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?
When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?
When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?
When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?
Excited like a kid
When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?
Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?
Share with us a childhood nature memory?
I grew up in Northern Quebec surrounded by lakes, rivers and forests. Most of my childhood was spent outside, building tree houses, exploring the woods and observing small wildlife.
That said, there’s one memory that has a lot to do with who I am now. From the moment I was 11 until my late teenage years, I spent my entire weekends on a small island with two of my best friends. We would borrow a small boat from a relative and navigate our way there every Friday after school. This unnamed island felt like it was ours, like no one else had ever been there except us.
We learned to be on our own, to make good use of simple tools and to analyze our surroundings. We learned friendship and solitude through laughter and silence. We learned to fish, to make a fire and to leave as little trace as possible. We learned to be creative, independent and brave, but also silly once in a while.
During the day, we would fish and swim. And before nightfall, we would head to the mainland on a treasure hunt, to collect enough deadwood to sustain our campfire all night.
I never realized back then how important these little getaways were… until now.