Brian Collen is the lodge operations manager for Knight Inlet Lodge, and has spent years introducing the world to the wonders of this special place. Here’s what he had to say about life in one of the most untouched parts of the world…
Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
My name is Brian Collen, I am the lodge operations manager for Knight Inlet Lodge. We facilitate visitors from around the world to experience the best viewing of wild coastal grizzly bears in their natural habitat. Prior to joining the team at Knight Inlet Lodge, I have been a wilderness guide for the past 23 years and operated a sea kayak touring company for 16 of those years.
Have you always lived and worked in this part of the country?
I have lived and worked in the southern portion of the Great Bear Rainforest for the past couple of decades, and cannot ever envision being anywhere else.
What’s unique about your day to day life?
I start my morning with a short walking commute from my lodge accommodations to the dining hall for my morning cup of coffee, en-route often seeing bears along the shoreline, bald eagles soaring overhead, and on occasion watching humpback and killer whales cruising by in front of the lodge! Meeting guests from all around the world and sharing in their excitement of seeing grizzly bears for the first time is an added bonus.
How does Canada inspire you?
My work along coastal British Columbia has immersed me in an eco-region that is forever revealing something new. Whether it be the behaviour and interactions of the wildlife, or experiencing the seasonal rhythms of the temperate rainforest and it’s adjacent marine waters, it provides endless inspiration to me.
Why would you encourage people to visit Canada?
One of the best reasons to visit Canada is to take advantage of our fabulous outdoors and there is lots of it here on coastal BC! Canada’s laid-back attitude and huge variety of outdoor activities make it a fantastic travel destination.
In particular, why would you encourage people to visit the part of Canada in which you are based?
Knight Inlet Lodge is located in part of the largest area of undeveloped temperate rainforest in the world, it is a place where the connection between ocean and rainforest sustains a biomass greater than any other terrestrial ecozystem on the planet. It is a place where you can listen to complete silence interrupted only by the sounds from the forest and ocean, it is a place where the night sky is filled only with stars, it is a place where sightings of salmon, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, bald eagles, killer whales, humpback whales, and dolphins, to name a few, is still common place.
What sort of images can we expect from your camera roll?
Images of the wildlife we encounter on a daily basis.
If you could sum up your daily life in one sentence, how would you describe it?
Extremely privileged to be in a place as unique as Knight Inlet and to share it’s natural wonders with visitors from around the world.
Finally, how would you describe Canada in three words?
Diverse, Spacious, Friendly.