Live to Ride - Mountain Biking

Creating Confidence

We live in the Okanagan Valley, home to a host of outdoor sport and recreational opportunities. Throughout my life I have always been a little anxious when I start to think about all of the possibilities I could possibly get myself involved in within the outdoors world. There are just that many options out there to try, and only so much time in this life to dedicate to said recreational opportunity. One must choose the time wisely. For example, there are infinite hikes and places to explore within this valley on foot and thinking about having only scratched the surface of these places, once again makes me panic just a little bit. I am driven to want to go to new local Okanagan places by bike, foot, or water vessel, see these places with my own kids, and explore all that this valley has to offer. Enter the feeling of anxiousness in trying to make this a reality… It is a feeling of ‘time is precious’, and I must choose the time to try new things and go new places well to be able to experience as much as possible. All of this is from the perspective of someone who has been dealt the great fortune of easily having opportunities to try these things, and an innate sense of adventure to go along with it.


But what exactly is it that makes someone want to try something new? A couple of key things come to mind: opportunity, and confidence. Being given opportunity to try new things comes from one’s own personal situation; family support, financial means, awareness, and community connections enable people to have their eyes opened to the possibilities that are out there.


Confidence though is an equally important piece to the adventurous puzzle, and one that does not necessarily come to everyone with ease. One can be born with a certain level of confidence but it is largely gained through personal experiences and character development.  Trying new things and putting yourself out there, to be willing to maybe make some mistakes and not have success the first time around takes the support of people around you; knowing that no one is going to laugh or make fun or you, but just be there to help you figure it out helps confidence grow. Hence, mentorship is also a big factor in building confidence. And so, without the confidence to believe in yourself and be comfortable to make mistakes, trying new things is not easy.


Within all of the Elevation Outdoors programs, we focus on Confidence as a theme. It is vitally important in helping young people grow and realize their full potential. We discuss what having confidence means, and also develop it through our programs by offering mentorship and new experiences. And in making mistakes, such as falling, then working through these mistakes and succeeding at the end, helps develop Confidence.

Giving opportunity to those who would not normally have it is also a fundamental part of Elevation Outdoors. We are providing the circumstances to young people with financial and social barriers to be able to try new things. We believe that everyone in this beautiful Okanagan valley should have the opportunity to try some of the amazing outdoor experiences that are out there, right at our fingertips. In this way we are also developing Confidence: allowing young people to try things out and have their eyes opened to some of the possibilities.   In providing the opportunity to try new things, and build confidence, we are providing Kelowna’s young people some of the tools for a successful life. In essence we are helping give the ability and confidence to become active and valuable members of this community. And with this gained confidence, we are encouraging that adventurous spirit in youth whose minds will be opened to many of the possibilities that are out there waiting for them to discover.


Tori Hanson


On the Lawn 2018!


March 27, 2018
Kelowna BC — The 4th annual lawn bowling fundraiser — On The Lawn — will open its team registration at 9am on March 30th. The event, in its fourth year running and proudly powered by BDO, raised over $23,000 for Kelowna-based charity, Elevation Outdoors in 2017.

This year, On The Lawn brings you the same quality event where teams of four head down to the Kelowna Lawn Bowling Club, step back in time, roll some bowls and have a truly awesome time. The fundraiser takes place over three consecutive Thursdays starting July 26th where all proceeds will go towards helping underprivileged youth participate in outdoor sports programs native to the Okanagan — such as snowboarding, mountain biking, sailing and climbing.

“Elevation Outdoors is thrilled to be involved with On The Lawn again for year four,” said executive director, Mike Greer. “Last year’s event was a great success for us with a big financial impact and an incredible amount of exposure to Kelowna’s young professional community.”

“BDO is delighted to be partnered with On the Lawn again to offer this extremely fun community event to young area professionals.   We actively look to support the events and activities our clients and employees care about – this event and cause tick both boxes,” stated Mike Gilmour, BDO Office Managing Partner.

The funds from 2017’s On The Lawn powered by BDO continued to make a significant impact for Elevation Outdoors. A portion of the money raised by the event is now allocated to support each of the programs for 2018, which will all see an increase in the number of young people participating. Contributions from OTL have also helped secure additional grant money. The expansion of Elevation’s programs is a direct result of the success of OTL in previous years; as a large portion of the money from the first two years went towards securing the purchase of a mini bus. With the bus, Elevation Outdoors can accept more youth into their programs, generating a greater impact in the Kelowna community.

Similar to bocce, where the object of the game is to get your bowl closest to the jack, lawn bowling can be enjoyed by people of all ages — even though it was once thought of as a game for the elderly.

On The Lawn powered by BDO is an event aimed at those in Kelowna’s growing young professional community who are interested in trying out something new — all while making a difference in their community.

Due to the popularity of the previous years’ events, the 26 available team spots are expected to fill quickly. Teams can register for On The Lawn starting Friday, March 30th at 9am.
About On The Lawn powered by BDO
Designed for young professionals in Kelowna, On The Lawn powered by BDObrings three evenings of entertainment, networking and socializing in the form of a lawn bowling tournament and finale party. Starting July 26th, they invite Okanagan fun-seekers to step back in time, roll some bowls, sip a cool beverage, and have a truly awesome time. 26 teams of four will bowl it out each week. On The Lawn will provide bowls, music, BBQ, wine, beer, and cocktails, all at Kelowna’s downtown, lakeside, sun-drenched Bowling Club. All proceeds go to our chosen charity, Elevation Outdoors.
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Watch Highlights from 2017

About Elevation Outdoors
Kelowna based Elevation Outdoors’ mission is to enhance the lives of underprivileged youth via participation in specially designed outdoor sports programs such as skiing, sailing, and climbing. All programs are offered free of charge to eligible youth as Elevation Outdoors believes that no young person should be denied the potential to discover an outdoor sport or pursuit that can help keep him or her motivated, healthy, and happy in life.
Website | Facebook

About BDO
With over 100 offices nationwide, BDO is one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in Canada with our strengths firmly rooted in the communities we serve. Our professionals combine personalized, local advice and service with national resources and experience.  As a member firm of the international BDO network, they leverage the knowledge and experience of advisors from over 1,000 offices in more than 100 countries.
BDO Canada LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership, is a member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent member firms.
Website | LinkedIn | Twitter

For PR Inquiries:
Katherine Bramall

For Sponsorship Inquiries:
Daylin Mantyka
March 26, 2018 admin Tags: charityElevation OutdoorsBDOfundraiserKelownalawn bowlingOn The Lawn

Support: (Verb) To give assistance to, enable to function or act.

Support: (Verb) To give assistance to, enable to function or act.


Support is vital to survival, without it no business or individual will last long.  It impacts all aspects of what we do, and comes in too many forms and manners to fully explain.  From the financial support we receive from granting agencies to the support provided by our volunteer mentors to our participants it is in everything we do as an organization.  As we celebrate 10 years as an organization there is no way we can thank everyone that has provided Elevation Outdoors with support over the years.


The biggest thing we can do in our community is take the support we receive and give back to the young people we work with, and support their families to help create opportunities that may not otherwise exist.  It is through this thought process that we have been able to create our Youth Sponsorship program in an effort to create some possibility for a few deserving young people each year.  As part of our Learn to Shred program our Youth Sponsorship is a result of the support we receive from our sponsors.  Our volunteer crew has the privilege of selecting one participant from each program based on their overall attitude, willingness to learn, attendance, and passion for the sport to receive the sponsorship.  As one of our goals is to break down barriers to participation for young people, the youth selected receives all the equipment they would need to continue snowboarding for years to come after completing our program.


In 2018 one of our long-time sponsors for the Learn to Shred program, Rip Curl, stepped up and asked how they could get more involved with this opportunity as they saw the impact it can create in a young person’s life.  In an effort to help keep this sponsorship viable they provided us with an amazing package of outerwear, base layers, socks, toques and facemasks to outfit a winner to go along with a snowboard, boots, pack and helmet that we have from our other sponsors and supporters.  To see the look on a young person’s face, and see the pride in their parents’ eyes, when they are told they are the recipient of this award is something all of our team involved will never forget.  Without passion life is a dull version of what it could be.  Having the ability to support the passion of a few young people each year in this manner rings true to our mission and our values as an organization.  This is just one small example of the many ways the support provided to our organization can create a lasting impact on our community and in the lives of the participants in our programs.

We want to say a big THANK YOU to every person, organization, granting agency, funder, board member, and volunteer that has lent us support over our first 10 years.  As we look towards the future we are excited about the direction we are headed, and in our ability to support countless more young people in their journey of self-discovery as they try new activities, develop new friendships, and hopefully find a lifelong passion that will support them through the good times and the bad that life inevitably brings to all of us.  Without each and every one of you we would not be where we are today; with a strong foundation as an organization dreaming of what the next 10 years will bring.

Mike Greer

Executive Director

Elevation Kids Volunteers Snowboarding Group Shot

Why do we do what we do?

Over the years I have been involved with Elevation Outdoors this question has come up many times.  As time passes we get asked this question less frequently, but it still comes up here and there.

The answer is always easy, passion.  A passion for sport, a passion for helping others, a passion for youth, a passion for giving back to our community, and most of all wanting to share our passion with others in the hope it can make an impact on their lives like it has on ours.  Every person that is involved with Elevation Outdoors does so because of a passion that lives within them.  One of the first questions we ask any new volunteer that is interested in joining our team is why do they want to be involved with Elevation Outdoors.  The number one answer we hear back from people is that they want to help introduce an activity they care about and that has helped shape them into the person they are today with the next generation of young people.

Live to Ride - Mountain Biking

Our goal is to help young people in our community try new things and inspire them to find an activity that they can get excited about, that will give them the motivation to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning, not because they have to, but because they want to!  We all have those friends that seem to be a bit crazy, the ones that are up before dawn to drive a couple hours in order to go play outside all day long, get home long after dark only to do it over again the next day.  While many of us think they are crazy, we are willing to bet if you sit down to talk to them about those days their eyes will light up, the excitement in their voice will be apparent and their passion will be contagious.

That is what we want to show the young people that participate in our programs.  That life is far more fulfilling when you have a passion.  In life, there will be good times and there will be hard times.  The good are made better and the hard can be a bit easier if through it all you have a burning passion that cannot be taken away.  Having a bad day? Go for a mountain bike ride and all of a sudden things aren’t so bad.  Just got some great news? Let’s go snowboarding this weekend to celebrate!  For us here at Elevation Outdoors it is for activities like snowboarding, sailing, rock climbing and mountain biking.  For others, it can be drawing, acting, running or travelling.  What is truly important is that each young person is provided with an opportunity to experience new things and allowed to find that one thing, or three things, that will instil them with a passion that makes life worth living.   Finding that passion can give a person motivation to succeed in other area’s of life because it will allow them to spend more time doing what they love.  It can give a person a sense of purpose and drive that will last a lifetime.

So why do we do what we do?  It’s in our blood, it’s in our hearts, it’s what gets us out of bed every day, if we did not share our passion with others we would not be staying true to ourselves. 

We hope that everyone can find that thing in their lives that keeps them going and helps them lead an inspired, healthy life.

Want to share your passion with us?  Get in touch at