Humpback whale jumping out of water

Giving back

How digital connectivity empowers Pacific Wild to protect the natural world

Jul 19, 2022
(Above) Pacific Wild uses impactful imagery to engage with people in a meaningful way, ultimately creating a stronger sense of connection to nature and each other. PHOTO BY IAN MCALLISTER
Images of silvery salmon sliding through the waterways join those of vibrantly coloured starfish, colossal humpback whales and shaggy brown bears on the
Pacific Wild
Through this virtual portal, the Victoria-based conservation organization offers a rarely seen view into the British Columbian wilderness — using photos, video and field research to connect people to ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest in an ongoing mission to protect wolves, bears, salmon, herring and other marine life.
The digital world is a powerful tool in evolving a real-life community of advocacy and support.
“We create awareness through engaging with people in a deeply captivating way,” says Pacific Wild development coordinator Justyne Banno. “Our beautiful imagery is how we evoke emotion and develop public education.”
An important part of this work relies on digital connectivity to amplify their conservation message, and, critically, help build an audience around the world.
That connectivity piece is why
TELUS Business #StandWithOwners
was a natural fit. Pacific Wild was among dozens of small businesses across the country in 2021 to receive TELUS support through the initiative, including funding, customized advertising and a technology package.
Wolf standing in water holding a fish in its mouth.
(Above) #StandWithOwners helped Pacific Wild to hire a digital librarian to create a better archive of photos and video and organize their massive digital library to further their wildlife conservation goals. PHOTO BY IAN MCALLISTER
Launched at a time when Canadian businesses were pivoting and persevering through the COVID-19 pandemic,
was designed to champion business owners and spotlight the critical role these businesses play in our communities. In fact,
52 per cent
of Canada’s 2021 employment growth came from small and medium enterprises, proving a key pillar of our economy.
Now, for a third consecutive year, TELUS is recommitting one million dollars in funding, local advertising campaigns and technology prize packs to businesses across the country.
Strong digital policy is missing from Canada’s climate strategy, and presents an opportunity to lead on global climate action.
“Small businesses are at the heart of our communities and play a critical role in driving our economy forward,” said Roi Ross, Vice-President of Marketing, TELUS Business. “As a proud supporter of Canadian business, TELUS is committed to empowering owners to achieve even more success and grow their business through #StandWith Owners. At TELUS, we want to help owners meet increasing demands, while staying connected to their businesses, teams, families and communities so they can thrive in a digital world.”

Building connection

Pacific Wild was founded in 2008 in a bid to protect B.C. 's wildlife and their habitat in the 1980s as they worked to conserve the Great Bear Rainforest. Today, Pacific Wild, with the help of its global community advocates for conservation protection across B.C. and the Pacific Northwest, acts as a greenhouse for conservation efforts, highlighting ongoing campaigns, while building a global community among advocates, scientists and Indigenous Peoples.
Karen McAllister serves as founder and executive director.
Karen McAllister, Pacific Wild executive director.
(Above) Karen McAllister, Pacific Wild executive director. PHOTO SUBMITTED
Pacific Wild’s conservation efforts contributed to a province-wide ban on grizzly bear trophy hunting, advocacy leading to the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, and a moratorium on fish farms on B.C.’s central coast. Current campaigns include putting an end to the provincial government’s wolf-cull program and protecting herring, a small fish that serves as a cornerstone of marine biodiversity in B.C.’s coastal waters.
“An organization like ours monitors government and industry practices largely through on-the-ground documentation. Our imagery, research and storytelling connect our audience in a direct way with the conservation issue at hand, and, ultimately, with decision makers,” says Nick Voutour, Pacific Wild’s communications manager. “We shine a light on matters that would otherwise go unnoticed.”
At the height of the pandemic, with in-person events canceled, the Pacific Wild team realized they needed to come up with a new strategy to reach people and encourage them to be a voice in protecting natural spaces.
An unexpected way to do that was to lean into the digital world. 
With support from #StandWithOwners, Pacific Wild was able to hire a digital librarian to create a better archive of photos and video and organize their massive digital library to further their conservation goals.
“It was about figuring out how to mobilize the media we already have and create innovative ways of engaging the community,” says Banno.
Pacific Wild is also building interactive storytelling maps, creating a compelling and virtual way to connect to conservation stories in remote, natural areas throughout the province.
“We get to connect people with the land and each other,” says Banno, adding the organization also supports and amplifies the work being done by other non-profits and community initiatives that have a similar conservation focus.
For TELUS, supporting organizations such as Pacific Wild is in line with the company’s ongoing commitment to leverage its innovative technology to drive positive change and help address some of the biggest challenges our planet faces. TELUS Business also has a longstanding history of championing Canadian businesses and entrepreneurship with over a decade of support in annual grants, local advertising and mentorship to businesses through #StandWithOwners, and previously, the Small Business Challenge and TELUS Pitch.

Own a business?

Victoria businesses can apply to receive $10,000 in funding, a $10,000 personalized local advertising campaign and over $5,000 in technology prizes from TELUS and its partners, including Samsung, Fully Managed by TELUS Business, Cisco, Sage and Moneris, by submitting an application at
until September 18, 2022. Owners will be selected based on their stories of community impact and how technology is enhancing their business.
TELUS will also award one business owner with a technology makeover customized to their business, with a value up to $50,000. To learn more about this year’s campaign and how to apply, visit