There will be new faces – human and canine – in charge of the kayak shop when it opens next month
Starting this week, Steve Mather and his wife Josie will run the island’s busy kayak rental and tour shop on the pier, which has been in business since 1996.
After eight years at the helm, Brent O’Malley acknowledged that “running the boutique has been one of the most satisfying endeavors I have undertaken”. Admitting that “it is with mixed emotions that I will move on,” he said one of the best things about owning the business since 2014 was providing jobs and mentorship to many. many young Bowens.
Last year’s COVID advisories didn’t seem to deter tourists and student groups seeking a safe outdoor adventure on the water. Surprisingly, BISK’s 2021 season was its most financially successful. According to O’Malley, BISK’s 25 years of success are largely due to the solid foundation laid by his predecessor, Martin Clarke.
The Mathers are no strangers to Howe Sound, having moved to Horseshoe Bay in 2011. Steve has been paddling the waters of Átl’ka7tsem since arriving, as an antidote to his job in global banking. After a 30-year career behind a desk, Steve decided it was time to pursue his dream of running his own business, doing something he loves. Josie has worked with children for many years and also has experience in office management. She looks forward to contributing to the marketing and administration of the business.
With two kids graduating from Rockridge School, the whole family has friends on Bowen Island. They look forward to deepening their ties with the community.
And, while change is afoot, you can expect popular programs like Summer Kayak Camp and Full Moon Tours to continue. In fact, if you have an exceptional gift certificate, it’s a great excuse to come meet Steve and Josie in person.
As in the past, BISK’s season officially opens on Saturday April 2, 2022. Until then, the shop door may be locked, but you can still book online at www.bowenislandkayaking.com
Additionally, there will likely be a few openings for dockworkers, a great first job for high school students who enjoy teamwork and being outdoors.
As for O’Malley, he will be there during the transition as a part-time instructor and guide. But there’s also summer vacation on his calendar, something he’d almost forgotten existed.