About Us

Exploring British Columbia’s rugged coastline for 30 years

Big Animal Encounters is a local, family owned and operated company on beautiful Vancouver Island. Since 1994, we have been working to share this special part of the planet with visitors from around the world. From one small boat on tiny Hornby Island, we have grown to four vessels, two locations, and great team of professional and enthusiastic crew members.


Bill Coltart 

Marine Operations Manager

Sharon Morgan

Guest Experience Manager

Shannon Groenewegen

Brand Manager & Skipper

Jason Fitzgerald


Paul Hayes 


Jenn Libotte


Chris Broadbent



Stuart Clark



Stan Novotny


Elvis Chickite


Sammy Curry

Guest Experience Coordinator

Kianna Zivny

Guest Experience Coordinator

Madelyn Horsthuis

Guest Experience Coordinator

Chloé Rafaillac

Guest Experience Coordinator

Whether it’s a Grizzly Bear Expedition in Bute Inlet, a quick trip to see the Humpback Whales in Desolation Sound, or exploring the beautiful reefs in the Discovery Passage, the crew at Big Animal Encounters love to share the uniqueness of our wild big animal experiences. Every trip has its own surprises, from educational to exhilaration, that will be etched in your memory and a part of your stories for a life time.

our locations

Campbell River Marine Adventure Centre

big animal encounters store front campbell river

Painter’s Lodge Marine Centre, Campbell River

painter's lodge campbell river bc

NEW! Comox Municipal Marina Marine Centre

comox marine centre


Join our fun, enthusiastic team at Big Animal Encounters we work to share this special part of the planet with visitors from around the world.

Interested in joining our crew? Fill out the form below!

big animal encounters in campbell river whale watching vancouver island

The photos on this website are thanks to: