STAR OF SURVIVORMAN, MUSICIAN, AUTHOR, FILMMAKER
Best known as the Canadian Screen Award winning producer, creator, director and star of the hit TV series Survivorman (OLN Canada, The Science Channel US, Discovery Channel International, City TV (Rogers) Canada amongst numerous others around the world), Les Stroud is the only producer in the history of television to produce an internationally broadcast series entirely written, videotaped and hosted alone. With Les credited as the original genre creator of ‘Survival TV’, Survivorman is one of the highest rated shows in the history of OLN Canada, the Science Channel US and Discovery Channel US and remains the highest rated repeat show on the Discovery Channel. Survivorman is licensed for broadcast worldwide, with ratings in the US hitting 2 million on individual episodes. Les’ work been nominated for 27 Canadian Screen Awards (formerly the Geminis) including Best Director, Best Host, Best Music, Best Show, Best Audio Mix and Best Editing and has won for Best Writer (twice) and Best Photography.
Stroud has appeared in and/or produced numerous television specials including hosting the 20th Anniversary of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, I Shouldn’t Be Alive, The Science of Survival, Surviving Sharks, Expedition Everest, Surviving Urban Disasters, The Mad Trapper, Surviving Alaska, The True Story of Robinson Crusoe, Shark Feeding Frenzy, After the Experiment, Deadly Waters and the documentary feature Off the Grid with Les Stroud. He was also featured in the series Extraordinary Lives. In 2010 and 2011, Les was Executive Producer/Host of the hit kids’ TV series Survive This (YTV, Cartoon Network, Nat Geo Kids) and made celebrity guest appearances on Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Top Chef and MTV Cribs. He Executive Produced/Hosted the NHL celebrity survival series Survival Challenge (OLN/Rogers), and the Discovery Channel series, Les Stroud; Beyond Survival earned top ratings on both Discovery Channel US and OLN in Canada and on at least one occasion during prime time viewing was the highest rated show among men 24 to 59 in all categories on TV. He is at the helm of many productions with Rogers Canada, National Geographic (Alaska’s Grizzly Gauntlet), The Science Channel US, Discovery Channels International, Blue Ant Media and is currently in production for PBS.
A celebrated keynote speaker, musician and author, both his books Survive! – Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere–Alive! (Harper Collins) and Will to Live (Harper Collins) have made the Globe and Mail bestseller list. Les was nominated for Best Travel Writer at the Canadian National Magazine awards as well as nominated for a 2011 White Pine Award for Will To Live for the Forest of Reading Awards by the Ontario Library Association. Les’ third book Beyond Survivorman launched into stores Jan 2014 and he is currently writing his next book; a children’s book for Annick Press Canada. Les took home Best Writer in Non Fiction at the 2013 and 2015 Canadian Screen Awards as well as the Executive Producers Award for Excellence at the Lewiston Film Festival. He currently pens hundreds of articles for Boy Scout Magazine and BC Outdoors amongst others.
Musically, Stroud has shared the stage with the top in the business, including Slash, Rob Thomas (of Matchbox 20), Journey, Jonny Lang, Dave Mason, the late James Cotton, Steve Stevens, Alice Cooper, Steven Stills, Tommy Shaw, Robbie Krieger, Blues Traveler, Tesla, Jakob Dylan, Randy Bachman, Chicago, Montgomery Gentry, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Roots. Revered worldwide for his iconic harmonica playing, Les’s songwriting style runs an eclectic gambit, from art-folk to contemporary rock and progressive rock. He has written all the theme songs for his TV series and scored several independent films. He has won numerous regional music festivals and recorded six CDs (one in collaboration with the Canadian hit makers the Northern Pikes). His third CD, Wonderful Things, and fourth CD, Off The Grid, include feature documentary films entitled The Barn Sessions. He released Bittern Lake in 2018, and released his long awaited Mother Earth album in 2019 with a re-release scheduled for 2020 on vinyl. Les is currently recording his 7th and 8th albums with legendary Producer Mike Clink (GnR’s, Aerosmith, Beth Hart). Mother Earth is an art rock genre album and includes a solo from Slash of Guns N’ Roses fame on the lead single “One Giant Farm” as well as a feature solo from Steve Vai on the song “Mother Earth”. He performed at the prestigious Green Ball for Barak Obama in Washington, DC where he met Vice President Joe Biden and was the MC for the inaugural Oceana Ball in New York with Susan Rockefeller.
Stroud has made numerous talk show appearances including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The View, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson, Larry King Live, The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos (CBC), House of Strombo and CBC’s Q to name a few. Stroud was featured in the now famous Geico Gecko commercial and referred to by David Letterman, Howard Stern and numerous other media personalities. He has been parodied on the hit TV sitcoms The Office (segment officially titled, “Survivorman”), King of the Hill and most recently Modern Family. During their 2010 Royal Tour of Canada, Les was invited by the Prime Minister of Canada to meet the Queen of England and the Duke of Edinburgh.
A proud member of the prestigious Explorers Club, Les received Fellow (highest rank) of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. Les has received the Distinguished Alumni award from Fanshawe College and was nominated for the Ontario Premieres Award for Excellence for work in his field. He contributes to dozens of charities and benefits, is an ambassador for Shelterbox International, and is an advanced survival trainer for the Canadian Military Armed Forces as well as sits on the board of advisors for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Organization and the Canadian Canoe Museum.