“I had been dragon boating for the island breaststrokers for about 6 years at that point so it was familiar to me to be on the water, in the Gorge. It just seemed like a really neat job. It’s more like playing outside.”
Having previously travelled across Canada for her husband’s military career, Joanna was happy to settle in Victoria in 2006. She purchased Victoria Kayak in 2012 from Clif Hansen who had become a family friend when his granddaughter went to school with Joanna’s daughter. As a company, Victoria Kayak has been open since 1996. The industry is mainly geared toward tourists and Joanna has built relationships with other business owners, her ‘dock friends,’ who support each other and direct tourists between their businesses in a mutually beneficial relationship.
One of the major benefits and challenges of running a kayak tour company out of downtown Victoria is the weather. The industry is very much at the mercy of the wind and waves, not to mention the smoke some years. However, one of the greatest rewards for Joanna has been the constant learning experience in Victoria and the natural surroundings.
Read Joanna’s full interview.