About Us

Exploring British Columbia’s rugged coastline for 29 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 Experiences Manager

Shannon Groenewegen

Brand Manager / Assistant Manager

Jason FitzGerald


Paul Hayes


Chris Broadbent


Elvis Chickite


Jenn Libotte

Guest Services

Kianna Zivny

Guest Services

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

Downtown 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


We’re hiring for our 2023 season! Join our fun, enthusiastic team at Big Animal Encounters as 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: