Community Involvement

Rhonda is the founding Chair of the Friends of the Log Train Trail Society, a group formed to lobby support for the majestic Log Train Trail, a 25km Rails-to-Trails project minutes from the Johnson’s backyard in the Alberni Valley. She also serves as a director of Ty Watson House, a hospice in Port Alberni. Rhonda served as a director of the Alberni Valley Community Arts Council.

Blake served as a director of Tourism Vancouver Island and was a founder of Alberni Valley Tourism. He was also President of the Sea Kayak Guides’ Alliance of B.C. from 2002-2006 where he advocated for guides and owners to know their legal rights and responsibilities with regards to employment, permits and licenses.

In the off-season Batstar runs various sea kayaking courses through the City of Port Alberni Parks and Recreation department. We also run fitness paddles through Parks & Recreation. Each Sunday morning, participants have a great work out sea kayaking Sproat Lake, the Somass River or the Pacific Ocean in the Alberni Harbour. Bears, salmon, seals, eagles, great blue herons and ospreys are a commonly seen. We offer both novice and intermediate fitness paddles.

We take our corporate responsibility seriously, and we give back to the communities that support us. The best success stories for charities come from guests who ask us for a donation for a cause in their community. Their first hand experience of our company always helps drive up the price for the charity. One of the pleasures of running our business is getting involved with people and their passions and supporting great causes.

Organizations include Kids Kottage, Music by the Sea, SPCA Wild Arc (BC Wild Animal Rehabilitation), Alberta Alpine Ski, Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Banff Centre, Operation Esperanza, BC Sports Hall of Fame, St. Vincent’s Hospital, The SnowBall for Cancer Patient support, Community Mental Health Foundation (Edmonton) and a many other charities. In total, we have helped raise over $110,000 for charity since 1999. 100% of the money goes to the charity.

We sponsor a local women’s soccer team, a men’s hockey team and a slow-pitch baseball team from the Tseshaht First Nation. Batstar is the defending silver paddle winner at the Choo-Kwa Ventures annual traditional canoe races.

Locally, we sponsor and support a diverse group of community interests. We are frequently asked to donate prizes and we rarely say no. The local service clubs and organizations make our community strong and we always support their efforts. We typically give a gift certificate for a day tour for 4 people.

We sponsor lots of local events and organizations including: Raise a Reader, Vancouver Island Equine Rescue Society, Sea Lion Junior Football League, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Rotary Wine Festival, Alberni Valley Community Arts Council, Women’s Business Network, DanceStreams Vancouver Island Dance Group, Radical Runners – Log Train Trail Marathon, Bamfield Mushroom Festival, Port Alberni Community School Foundation, Kidsport, Alberni Valley Literacy Scrabble Tournament, Women’s Youth Hockey Tournament, Katimavik, Port Alberni Day of the Arts, Cops for Cancer and the Canadian Legion.

Banff Festivalworld tour

Batstar sponsored the Best Adventure Travel Book at the Banff Mountain Book Festival 2003-2008, part of the Banff Mountain Festivals. This week of festivals is a celebration of worldwide mountain culture. We highly recommend taking in the Mountain Summit, Mountain Book and Mountain Film festivals which run back-to-back at the end of October each year.