Mario Rigby is a Toronto-based eco-explorer, author, speaker and former professional track and field athlete.
Originally from the Caribbean island of Turks and Caicos, Rigby moved to Canada at the age of 16 and has made a career out of his passion for pushing boundaries and exploration. In 2015, Rigby embarked on a two-year journey across Africa, walking and kayaking from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt, with the mission to encourage people to be brave and explore the world. In the years since, Rigby has kayaked the length of Lake Ontario, spent 89 days cycling from Canada’s east to west coast, traversed the Turks and Caicos islands using only human-powered propulsion and more.
“My message is to explore the world in ways that encourage you to become even more curious and explore even more but also to do it in a sustainable way,” says Rigby. “To me, to be an Explorer-in-Residence is essentially becoming the face of an organization that prides itself on exploration, research and discovery. There are so many possibilities with this opportunity, and I am excited to try out any one of them.”
As a passionate champion of diversity in the outdoors, Rigby strives to inspire people to explore the world sustainably. In his day-to-day life, Rigby practices sustainable travel by paying attention to the “small things”: how he packs his food, prepares for adventures and preplans. He also strives to connect with the communities he visits by sharing their stories with the world, aiming to bridge the gap between humanity.
In 2018, Rigby was chosen as one of the 200 nominees for the Most Influential People of African Descent global 100 list and is a Fellow-elect of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.
Rigby was named an RCG Explorer-in-Residence in June 2023.