Sonora Loves Local – Tourism & Business Partners

Sonora Resort is proud to support our First Nations partners, tourism partners and local businesses that preserve the unique character of the communities we serve. We’re dedicated to developing longstanding partnerships with these organizations to help our local business economy thrive and to curate truly amazing experiences and activities for our guests. Here are a handful of our favorite tourism and business partners who are keeping busy during Sonora’s 2020 seasonal closure.

Homalco First Nation Canoe

Homalco First Nation & Kwiakah First Nation

Sonora is proud of our long standing partnerships with two local First Nations, the Homalco and the Kwiakah.

The XEW’MALHKWU, or Homalco, First Nation are known as the people of the fast running waters. This refers to the coursing tidal waters of their traditional territories in the area running from Dent Island just north of Sonora Island, over to Raza Passage and extending over the entire Bute Inlet. Their main village sites were located at the Homathko River, Southgate River, the mouth of Bute Inlet and at Orford Bay, where Sonora Resort takes our guests to join Homalco Tours for their incredible Grizzly Tour. Homalco Tours also offers Cultural tours to showcase their longstanding traditions.

The Kwiakah First Nation are Lekwala-speaking peoples whose traditional territory is located in the Phillips River and Frederick’s Arm region, just Northeast of Sonora Resort. The Kwiakah is one of the smallest Nations in BC, but they are having a big impact in protecting the environment in their territory by encouraging research and conservation in the Phillips River Conservancy, and through their tourism partnership with Sonora Resort. Sonora showcases the incredible territory of the Kwiakah people in the Phillips River valley on our Ecological tour and fly fishing trips.

We encourage you to visit Indigenous Tourism BC to learn more about ways you can support more than 200 Indigenous communities in BC. Here you can learn more about the land you live on, and learn how to support Indigenous-owned businesses and tourism initiatives.

Helicopter Glacier Paddle

You've probably been drooling over these dreamy alpine hiking and glacial paddling images on our page in the last couple years… Sonora offers these incredible helicopter adventure tours with our local partners 49 North Helicopters, Island Alpine Guides, and Island Life Expeditions. These folks are still offering some amazing experiences based out of Campbell River and the Comox Valley! 

49 North Helicopters offers a variety of different sightseeing tours out of their Campbell River base and you truly can’t beat the scenery we have here on Vancouver Island and along the coastal mountains!

Island Alpine Guides is famous for their incredible outdoor experiences including hiking, rock climbing, glacier walks and mountaineering (including helicopter-accessed expeditions!). Each summer they also offer up some amazing courses to help you get out into the mountains safely. 

Island Life Expeditions provides totally customizable trips from Campbell River, whether you want to try paddle boarding, search for wildlife, head out fishing and prawning, or create your own adventure. Together these three Sonora Partners can customize tours to your group's specific needs and anything is possible - check out their amazing social media pages for some inspiration!

Ocean Kayaking at Sonora

Coast Mountain Expeditions

If you decide to go for a kayak paddle during your trip to Sonora, the Sonora boat will take you to Quadra Island to meet up with the expert guides at Coast Mountain Expeditions kayaking. Here, you'll receive all the guidance you need to paddle safely in the calm waters of the Surge Narrows Marine Park. 

Coast Mountain Expeditions has been offering a variety of multi-day kayak trips and day trips from their Quadra Island B&B for over 30 years. As a family run business, they share their passion for the natural environment, kayaking and exploring our remote corner of British Columbia, and providing fresh wholesome meals straight from the garden on their overnight trips at the lodge. Guests of Sonora Resort typically partake in their half day paddling day trips from their Discovery Islands B&B, but Coast Mountain Expeditions offer many other experiences too.

Due to COVID19, CME has had to cancel their multi-day group kayak tours, but they are still offering custom small group overnight excursions, kayak day tours and full-lodge rentals of their adorable and eco-friendly Discovery Islands Lodge. Be sure to check out their offerings if you're visiting the Quadra Island area this summer.

Whale Watching at Sonora

Campbell River Whale Watching

The waters surrounding Sonora Resort are home to an incredible ecosystem influenced by the strong tidal currents that flow between the Discovery Islands. The biggest draw to Sonora Resort is the abundance of wildlife and natural beauty that surrounds us here, so we always encourage our guests to get out on the water to see for themselves! It's common to see tons of bald eagles, harbour seals, steller sea lions and large marine mammals feasting in the nutrient-rich waters nearby. Sonora Resort has one 12 passenger Rigid Hull inflatable boat, the Eagle Master, which we use for most of our Eco Adventure tours, the Blind Channel tour and Eco Expedition.

Any time we have larger groups wanting to get out on the water for an Eco Adventure, we partner with Campbell River Whale Watching to help us showcase our neighborhood and wild neighbors. Campbell River Whale Watching is offering both shared and private Whale Watching and Rapids tours from their Campbell River Home base. To help keep passengers safe and healthy on shared tours, they will be providing custom whale buffs as face masks to all passengers on their tours, and they have implemented sanitization and screening processes as well.

If you're visiting this part of Vancouver Island, we highly recommend getting out on the water with them to experience all that this region has to offer (You'll often get a sneak peek at Sonora Resort as you pass by on the Rapids tours)! There have already been lots of sightings of our local humpback whales, pacific white sided dolphin and even the occasional orca! 

Salmon Fishing at Sonora

St. Jean's Cannery

If you’re lucky enough to catch and keep a tasty salmon while Salmon Fishing at Sonora, guests may send their catch to St. Jeans Cannery to be custom processed and couriered right to their door, almost anywhere in the world. Your prize catch can be hot smoked, cold smoked (lox), candied, canned, or filleted into easy-to-manage portions. St. Jeans is the largest cannery serving the sport fishing industry in British Columbia, where guests of Sonora have enjoyed their products for decades.

If you’re out fishing on the coast of British Columbia, you can still send your fish for custom processing by dropping off your catch at one of their many depots across Vancouver Island and BC’s lower mainland. These locations double as retail locations offering the very best wild smoked salmon, candied salmon, albacore tuna, smoked oysters, and hand-packed canned seafood on the west coast. They have an online store too! 

Sonora Resort is a proud Member of the Sport Fishing Institute of BC and long time supporter of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. We take pride in practicing, and teaching our guests, the true BC style of sport fishing. Sonora is proud to promote and encourage catch and release fishing, taking only what we need on our saltwater salmon trips.

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