Elia Saikaly

Elia Saikaly

Social Entrepreneur | Award-Winning Filmmaker | Global Adventurer

Elia Saikaly is an award-winning adventure filmmaker and high-altitude mountaineer. His global adventures inspire others to find their most meaningful life and spark positive change. Having reached the summit of Mount Everest four times (a Canadian record), scaled the world’s second tallest peak, and completed over 18 high-altitude expeditions, Saikaly has proven he has the determination, stamina, skill, resourcefulness, and vision required to meet the greatest of challenges. Through his extraordinary keynotes, he shows audiences how to find the courage and strength to live their dreams, embrace the unknown, and make a difference.

On May 22, 2013, Saikaly stood on top of the world for the second time. Not only did he climb to the summit of Mount Everest, he shot a reality television series, Everest: On the Top, which garnered him a CINE Golden Eagle Award. Saikaly and his team have also won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Sports Program for Home and Really Far Away in 2015, Aaron Sanchez: Limitless in 2018, and for Anything is Possible in 2021, Saikaly also co-created and co-starred in Discover Canada television series and branded content campaign, Unclimbed: Reaching the Summit.

In 2014, 2015, and 2019, Saikaly survived the two deadliest seasons on Mount Everest, which claimed the lives of over 40 climbers. He broke his back in a paragliding accident while piloting solo in Nepal and, against all odds, recovered after dragging himself off of a roof. Resilience, perseverance, post traumatic stress, and the power of the human spirit are but some of the themes explored though Saikaly’s experiences and presentations.

The adventurer, who speaks both English and French, spends much of his time working in partnership with charities, such as The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada, Moving Mountains Trust, Under the Same Sun, Nepal School Projects, and Child Haven International. His work and imagery have been featured on National Geographic, Discovery, ESPN, HBO, PBS, BBC, and many other prominent media outlets.

Saikaly is currently working on two documentaries, one that shares the story of the disastrous season on Mount Everest in 2019, and the other on the disappearance of teammates John Snorri, Ali Sadpara, and Chilean climber JP Mohr on K2.

Elia Saikaly est un entrepreneur social canadien dont les films honorifiques, les aventures planétaires et les initiatives d’engagement publique dynamique en inspire d’autres à DÉCOUVRIR leur VIE la plus positive et suscite un changement positif.

Le 22 mai 2010, en plus de se tenir sur le toît du Monde, il a partagé son parcours avec 20 000 jeunes canadiens en pleine salle de classe par l’intermédiaire du Vidéo HD, de sites internet Skype et des médias de société tels que Facebook et Twitter. Cette sensibilisation a appris aux étudiants qu’ils possèdent le pouvoir de changer le monde et a donné lieu à des fonds ramassés au nom d’une charité internationale venant en aide à des orphelins.

Qu’il voyage avec une tribu nomade du Sahara, ou qu’il escalade les monts les plus élevés de la planète (4 expéditions dans le Mont Everest), ou bien encore qu’il vive en communauté avec les ours polaires des fins fonds nordiques – Elia s’est démontré comme un homme possédant de la détermination, de l’endurance, des habiletés, de la débrouillardise et une vision qui lui permet de rencontrer face à face et surmonter les plus grands défis présentés à l’Homme.

Lorsqu’il n’est pas derrière la caméra, comme motivateur, Elia révèle sa passion intense de cinématographe et d’aventurier sur la scène emmenant avec lui les spectateurs dans les plus beaux et les plus dangereux endroits de la planète. Ciblé pour les jeunes, le public en général et des employés de sociétés diverses, chaque présentation démontre une richesse d’humanité extraordinaire, de messages inspirants, de sagesse pratique et de récits personnels mystifiants.

Ses expériences comme acteur, modèle et journaliste dans les arts musicaux lui ont fourni une expertise qui le met bien à l’aise devant la caméra. Il est le Nouvel Aventurier d’un canal Web innovateur à but non lucratif, WIGUP, le mentor médiatique destiné aux enfants.

Elia est aussi l’hôte dynamique d’une nouvelle série télévisée d’aventures qui met en primeur les 15 sites canadiens du Patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO « La part du monde ». La série diffusée en 15 épisodes devrait entrer en ondes au canal TFO dès janvier 2011.

Elia passe le plus clair de son temps à travailler avec des organismes de charité tels que les Amis du Tibet, section Ottawa, « Ottawa Friends of Tibet » et  la Fondation d’accueil  international pour enfants « Childhaven International ». Il a récemment mené une initiative, par l’entremise de son organisme, Finding Life, de construction d’un puits au Népal pour les enfants en besoin avec l’aide des étudiants de partout dans l’Est ontarien; il a aussi collaboré à la campagne de financement à la construction d’une école pour orphelins à Katmandou.

Il vit présentement à Ottawa au Canada.


Discovering Our Life Purpose

Elia Saikaly tells an incredible story of challenge, courage, compassion, and taking huge risks in life in order to achieve one’s higher purpose. His underlying messages encourage awareness of the challenges and adversities we face, and help inspire an understanding of how they lead us to become who we were born to be.

Saikaly’s story takes his audience on an emotional, unforgettable, and inspiring journey. From growing up as a “punk-rock” rebel, out of school and living on the streets, to breaking a world record at the young age of 17 through goal setting techniques and visualization. He tells the extraordinary tale about how he went from the lowest point in his life, to soaring high above the clouds on the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest, to honour the death of his mentor, who died during an Everest climb. Saikaly, at that time, had never even slept in a tent!

Saikaly delivers a jaw-dropping multimedia presentation that transports us into the world above 8000 metres, commonly referred to as the “Death Zone”. Using props, HD video, and compelling soundtracks, Saikaly literally brings Everest to life. He introduces audiences to the most remote environments filled with incredible life stories, and shares lessons of success and failure during his adventure to the top.

Fitness, wellness, goal setting, teamwork, courage, calculated risks, resilience, believing in oneself, and the incredible rewards that come along with giving back to society are all explored through this rich presentation.

Reaching the Top

With over 16 high-altitude expeditions under his belt, including two summits of Mt. Everest, Elia Saikaly has proven time and time again that he has the determination, stamina, resourcefulness, and vision required to meet the greatest of challenges. While most struggle to place one foot in front of the other, Saikaly shoots, climbs, and broadcasts his journeys in “real-time”.

In this visually jaw dropping and content rich presentation, Saikaly takes us around the world from the summits of the world’s tallest peaks, including Mt. Everest, to the hidden secrets of the Amazon jungle bringing to life lessons of failure, success, and the strategies required to reach incredible heights. World-class expeditions require proper planning, training, teamwork, calculated risks, and the ability to remain optimistic while all odds are stacked against you. Through the use of powerful imagery and video captured on his adventures, Saikaly illustrates these lessons in a dramatic, colourful, and emotionally engaging fashion.

FindingLife: Empowering Students Through Adventure

Elia Saikaly takes us on an incredible journey and shares his vision of FindingLife — an organization that combines adventure, education, technology, and charitable initiatives to inspire youth to create positive change. From summiting the world’s tallest peaks, to building classrooms in Kenya for disadvantaged communities, FindingLife transports students on interactive journeys all across the world. Audiences are empowered and encouraged to take action offline to make a tangible difference in the world. Saikaly’s interactive adventure-based expedition’s help students discover who they are.

FindingLife uses modern social media technology to captivate youth. Saikaly takes audiences to the summit of Everest, sharing how he interactively shot, edited, blogged, and GEO mapped his team’s adventure while literally hanging off the side of a Mountain 26,000 ft. above sea level. His relentless pursuit of reaching the summit of Everest alone is enough to leave us inspired; but the real driving force is the story of how 20,000 students followed along daily and raised funds to support an international charity.

Throughout his presentation, he illustrates how high school students summited Africa’s 2nd highest peak while building classrooms in a remote region in Kenya, and, how through an interactive Soccer tournament, brought technology to hundreds of children in a community who had never even seen computers!

Using an eye-catching, multi-media presentation, Elia leverages his film-making skills to transport audiences into his world. He shares his innovative use of technology in remote and often inhospitable environments on Earth to move, affect, enable, and inspire young people. His courage, vision, creativity, and determination has not only contributed to a successful organization, but has inspired tangible change in our youth and in communities across the world. Audiences leave inspired and filled with endless creative ideas of how to use technology to engage online communities.