Awards & Memberships
Outer Shores has been honoured with the following awards and certifications and is a proud member of the following organizations.
2019 Ecostar Awards
In 2019 Outer Shores was honoured with the Vancouver Island Ecostar Award for Maritime Excellence. This award recognizes an organization that is demonstrating environmental leadership in the marine sector. The Ecostar Awards are presented to island-based businesses, non-profits, academia, governments, and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding environmental achievements and leadership in sustainability on Vancouver Island.
2015 Canadian Tourism Award for Sustainable Tourism
In 2015 Outer Shores was honoured with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Sustainable Tourism Award. This coveted national award is presented annually to organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the practice and promotion of sustainable tourism in Canada. The judging criteria for this award include protecting and preserving natural and cultural heritage resources; fostering appreciation and enjoyment of natural and cultural heritage resources; raising awareness among visitors and influencing them to enjoy resources sustainably; mitigating negative impacts of tourism on the natural and cultural environment; and respecting, involving, and engaging other stakeholders and host communities.
2015 Tourism Vancouver Island Tourism Sustainability Award
Outer Shores was honoured with Tourism Vancouver Island’s 2015 Tourism Sustainability Award. This award recognizes tourism businesses in the Vancouver Island Region that have set out to minimize their environmental impact, conserve natural resources, respect local cultures, and benefit local communities. Their commitment to environmentally responsible tourism and changing the way they conduct business serves as an example to the industry.
Starting in 2014, Outer Shores worked with Victoria-based Synergy Enterprises to produce our first Annual Sustainability Report for 2013. This report allowed Synergy to measure our emissions, which includes all fuel (gasoline, diesel, propane, marine diesel), electricity, water, waste, paper, and company travel. In turn, by purchasing carbon credits, we offset our 2013 emissions to a carbon zero or carbon neutral footprint. We have recently completed the same process for 2014 and 2015, and shortly will embark upon our 2016 Annual Sustainability Report. For more information, please visit our Carbon Neutral page.
Green Tourism Canada - GOLD
In 2015 Outer Shores went through a strict assessment with Green Tourism Canada and received a GOLD rating! Green Tourism was one of the world’s first sustainable tourism certification programs and it remains highly respected today because of its comprehensive assessments. While many sustainable certification programs allow businesses to submit self-assessments, Green Tourism Canada certified businesses are assessed on-site by trained third-party auditors who review everything from efficiencies to food sources. This assessment and rating process will be repeated in 2017.
James Thompson Photography
James Thompson specializes in photographing the wildlife and landscape of British Columbia, Canada’s wild and beautiful coastline. Photography allows James to combine his fascination with the interconnectedness of natural systems with his love of outdoor adventure. Each year James leads Outer Shores’ photography tours throughout the BC coast, and is responsible for most of the incredible photography featured on our website.
Wilderness Tourism Association
The Wilderness Tourism Association of British Columbia exists to ensure the ongoing viability of our industry through the protection of the wilderness tourism land base. The WTABC believes that wilderness tourism is a viable and sustainable economic enterprise, and that BC’s wilderness tourism operators must have a strong voice in determining how the lands and waters upon which they depend are planned and developed.
Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC
The Commercial Bear Viewing Association (CBVA) is committed to facilitating sustainable development of commercial bear viewing in British Columbia by updating viewing techniques and strategies as new research and experience dictates, developing best practices, and providing guide certification programs. The CBVA also helps fund important professional research on human-bear interactions. Outer Shores is a CBVA member and our crew are CBVA-certified bear-viewing guides.
North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association
The North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association (NIMMSA) conducts conservation and business activities aimed at benefitting marine mammals, the economy, and the marine environment off northern Vancouver Island.
Gwaii Haanas Tour Operators Association
The Gwaii Haanas Tour Operators Association was formed to foster quality, ethics, and communication among Gwaii Haanas tour operators and to represent the interests of the tour operators, their clients, and the public to the Haida Nation, the BC government and the Federal government, regarding issues related to Gwaii Haanas.
Super, Natural BC & Destination BC
Destination British Columbia is an industry-led Crown corporation that works collaboratively with tourism stakeholders across the province to coordinate tourism marketing at the international, provincial, regional, and local levels, and to support regions, communities, and Aboriginal people in developing or expanding tourism experiences, businesses, and jobs.