Raised on the Pacific waters of Vancouver Island, some may call Kate Hives amphibious! Starting kayaking at an early age, Kate has had a committed love affair with the natural world. Turning her passion into a career, she has worked as an outdoor educator, instructor and guide both commercially and in adaptive settings with school students and adults from around the world. A graduate of Lakehead University, with an Honours BA in Outdoor Recreation Parks and Tourism and a BA in Geography, specializations in Cartography, she has continued to pursue her training. Kate has worked with Liquid Skills Kayak School, and United World College in South East Asia. She is an SKGABC Level 3 Guide with Class 4 Waters Endorsement, Guide Trainer and Examiner; a white water kayak Level 2 Instructor Leader with CKC; and a Level 2 Instructor with Paddle Canada. While traveling the world, Kate is a 'West Coast Girl' and has been returning to the BC coast for the past 10 years guiding paddlers through its western waters.
With passion for nature, people, and sea kayaking, Sheila Porteous rejoined the SKGABC executive team with the hopes of supporting the guiding industry in general. As a level 3 guide and level 1 Paddle Canada instructor, Sheila dreams of taking a leave of absence from her job as a family counsellor to work in the industry for another summer or two. In the meantime, she picks up trips with companies that offer ‘paid holidays’ for occasional guides and instructs through local kayak clubs. She is also an active representative for the recreational kayaking community in Victoria, BC. The strengths she brings to the executive team include being an advocate for inclusion and diversity, possessing strong written and oral communication skills, a willingness to engage in courageous conversations, participating in various kayaking communities, and acting as a positive role model for various SKGABC members.
Jo Nicolson is a Level Three SKGABC guide, and a Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor. In the summer months she can be found guiding in the warm waters of Desolation Sound for Powell River Sea Kayak. She is an active member of both the South Island Sea Kayak Association and Nanaimo Paddlers, and enjoys paddling anywhere and everywhere along the coast of Vancouver Island and coast of BC, in a variety of different conditions. When not kayaking, Jo teaches in an elementary school in Victoria.
After a rewarding career teaching Technology Education in the BC Public School system, Ken is enjoying the challenge of a new career as a Level 2 sea kayak guide and Level 1 Paddle Canada Instructor. Having a life long passion for teaching and the outdoors he enjoys sharing outdoor experiences with others and volunteering with Powell River Search and Rescue. Living in Powell River, Ken spends his summers guiding in Desolation Sound with Footprint Nature Explorations. During the winter he enjoys woodworking, travelling, skiing, hiking and paddling other areas of the BC coast.
Daye Cooper is an educator, anthropologist, SKGABC Level Three guide, intern counselling psychotherapist and in love with the ocean. For her 16th birthday, Daye's parents asked if she wanted a car. She said she'd rather have a kayak and has put thousands of nautical miles of West Coast adventure on it since. With nearly a decade as Trip Coordinator networking paddling expeditions between the SFU, UVic and UBC outdoors clubs, Daye holds a BA and MA in world religions and anthropology, including coastal First Nations studies, and is currently working on an MA in Counselling. Celestial navigation is a growing passion, as there is a vast richness of information on location, orientation, time, season, and meaning available to us in the skies. An active volunteer in Restorative Justice, crisis work, and with youth at risk, Daye brings both compassion and play to her work with stories, ukulele, and technical skill building woven in to every paddle.
Assistant to the Executive Director
Hailing from the UK Hollie grew up surrounded by a slightly different ocean. She arrived on Vancouver Island in 2010 and was slightly intimidated by the vast wilderness that surrounded her. It was in 2013 after a spring solo hike of the Juan de Fuca trail that she became inspired to fully immerse herself in all that this rugged west coast has to offer and to share that passion with others. In 2015 she graduated from the Adventure Guiding program at the Westcoast Adventure College with her Level 1 Guide certificate and since has guided throughout the BC Coast. After a brief stint in the Clayoquot Sound she has found her home amongst the Grizzlies of the Great Bear Rainforest where she leads bear viewing tours by kayak and boat. Hollie is passionate about her work, and believes that as a guide we have the extraordinary opportunity to inspire our guests and co-workers alike to learn about, care about and protect this incredible coast we call home. She looks forward to seeing you out there!
Member at Large
Graham is an outdoor enthusiast and lives for his time spent in the natural world. Guiding with Spirit of the West Adventures, a kayak tour company based on Quadra Island, B.C., he recently began taking on a behind the scenes role with the company in their offices. He has been fortunate to work with Spirit of the West Adventures in Chile guiding mothership style kayak trips in Patagonia. Graham has also worked as a B.C. river guide, guiding whitewater rafting trips in B.C. and overseas in New Zealand, and carried out aid work in Paraguay. A Wilderness Leadership Program and Outdoor Recreation Management Graduate from Capilano University, Graham has a passion for educating and inspiring others. He has been shadowing instructional sea kayak courses with different educational institutions and SKGABC looking to become an instructor with SKGABC. When he is not kayaking, Graham fills his days mountain biking, skiing and dreaming of where the next adventure will take him.
Member at Large
Jack Rosen has worked in the outdoor industry since 1988. Part of organizing the SKGABC in its infancy stages, he helped write the first set of GEMS for the Guides Alliance which has now turned into our Guide Manual and Certification Standards. Jack worked for 10 years with Coastline Challenges working with young offenders in a wilderness setting, then moved to running a wilderness counselling program for the school soard on Salt Spring in cooperation with Community & Social Services. Kayaking was a big part of all these programs and from the outset of the SKGABC Jack became a Level 3 Guide and Examiner for the Alliance. He sat on the board as a Member at Large and chaired the Certification Committee for over 10 years, and now is back again as an executive member. Jack has run Island Escapades for 23 years, a multi-faceted kayak adventure company that focuses on day tours, expeditions, outdoor education for schools, guides courses, and youth camps, as well as year-round retail sales and two accommodations. Jack also runs expeditions from Salt Spring to Alaska and has taught for the Alliance from Patagonia to Haida Gwaii. He is passionate about paddling, loves to teach, and feels a commitment to stand up for environmental issues in British Columbia.
Member at Large
Raised coastal, Sarah enjoys running in the rain, the ocean and the mountains. There is never a dull season for adventure. Sarah is a SKGABC Level 3 Guide and Guide Trainer. She is also a Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor, ACMG Hiking Guide, Affiliate Member of the CAA and RCABC Instructor Trainer. Some of the places she has guided and led outdoor programming include: Strathcona Park Lodge and Outdoor Education Centre, Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training program (COLT), high school outdoor experiential education programs (Explore, TREK, LEAP and Nootka Sound Outdoor Program), Outward Bound, West Coast Expeditions and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Sarah joined the Adventure Studies Department at Thompson Rivers University as a full time faculty in 2014. She coordinates and instructs in the sea kayak guide training aspect of the certificate and diploma programs, along with instructing hiking, winter camping and skiing. Sarah’s interests involve a variety of outdoor pursuits, expedition-based learning and leadership development. In addition, she enjoys working with groups to create a connection to and understanding of our natural environment.
Peter Carson is the Summer Camp Program Manager, at the Vancouver Island YMCA-YWCA’s Camp Thunderbird. He has a passion for introducing kids to the natural environment and using a sea kayak for this purpose is his absolute favorite. Peter is a level three Sea Kayak guide, level two Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Instructor, level 4 paddler and instructor with the Outdoor Council of Canada. He has paddled most of the BC coast from Prince Rupert to Vancouver Island with groups of kids. Peter has been a guide member of the SKGABC since 2006 and is deeply committed to the maintenance of safe ocean travel in human powered vessels on BC’s coast. In his spare time you could find Peter surfing or skiing on Vancouver Island.