2019 Winner
Wise 50 Over 50 Award™


Bill & Esther VanGorder – Nordic Walking Nova Scotia


Prior to starting Nordic Walking Nova Scotia Bill had been the CEO of the Lung Association of Nova Scotia for 15 years. Prior, he worked 28 years for the YMCA; the last 12 the YMCA Atlantic Area Director.

Nordic Walking Nova Scotia was founded 2012 (Prior to that we operated it under our consulting company, MRC Associates Inc. which was incorporated in 2008). When we started Nordic Walking Nova Scotia, I was 67 and Esther was 52. Esther worked part time with Nordic Walking Nova Scotia until 2015 when she began full time in the business at the age of 56.

Bill & Esther VanGorder are the principal force behind the growth of Nordic Pole Walking in Atlantic Canada. They both began Nordic Walking as a personal fitness activity in 2004, became certified national instructors in 2005 and Instructor Certification Trainers in 2007. 

Their company, Nordic Walking Nova Scotia, is the major educator, trainer and distributor of Nordic Pole Walking poles and supplies in Atlantic Canada.They sell Nordixx brand poles through retail stores in the 4 Atlantic Provinces, online (across North America) and through their instructors. 

They are passionate about helping others maintain their physical fitness as they age.

Participation Canada surveys show that over 70% of Canadians say that walking is their favourite fitness activity. Nordic Walking with the correct technique is just a “Better Way to Walk” (the catch-phrase of their business).

Bill is co-chair and Esther is Treasurer of the Serving Seniors Alliance Cooperative. Both are Board Members of the Theatre Arts Guild. Bill is a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow, a National Board Member of CARP and Founder & Senior Spokesman for CARP NS Chapter.