In this new series for 2015, we are interviewing the people behind your Local Favourite businesses in Squamish. For this months feature, we are chatting with the founder of Squamish Integrated Health – Susan Chapelle to find more about her favourite Squamish Adventures.
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU CAME FROM?
I am a local entrepreneur, politician, massage therapist, mother, and outdoor recreation enthusiast. Originally from downtown Toronto, I grew up working in arts and theater. Working on productions like Les Miserables, Cats and other large productions allowed me to travel and experience the country. I naturally got into rock climbing with friends from the crew and we would explore the climbing areas as we traveled with shows.
HOW DID YOU END UP IN SQUAMISH BC?
After a climbing trip to the “Cirque of the Unclimbables” in the North West territories, I decided to stop and climb at the Chief. I fell in love with Squamish then, and moved to the corridor in a VW van in 1999 . I have been enjoying the outdoor lifestyle ever since.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST CHANGES YOU HAVE WITNESSED IN OUR TOWN IN THAT TIME ?
There have been so many positive changes in our community in the last 15 years. One of the best changes I have witnesses is the new cohesiveness in the outdoor recreation groups and the ability to lobby for what they need. The organizations are recognizing what needs to get done for our community to prosper as an outdoor recreation destination and they are coming together to get it done. Whether it is kayaking, climbing or mountain biking – SORCA, or the smoke bluff committee, they advocate support from the municipality for their needs. The lifestyle and sports are a major draw for our community and it is great to have the District of Squamish support funding projects that support our outdoor lifestyle.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO IN SQUAMISH?
Climbing is what attracted me to this community, however, now it is impossible to chose just one favourite activity. The days where I can fit in multisport activities, like skiing and biking, or skiing and climbing are the best. I want to spend as much time outside as possible, and raise my kids to appreciate the same.
TELL ME ABOUT WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK?
I am a Massage therapist, owner of Squamish Integrated Health, and currently doing research at the University of New England on the mechanisms of post-surgical healing. Squamish Integrated Health supports the implementation of my research with integrated and evidence based care. I built the clinic based on the type of health care service I want to experience. One location with an integrated team of people who work together comprehensively to get people back to enjoying the outdoors and lifestyle.
WHAT MAKES SQUAMISH INTEGRATED HEALTH A LOCAL FAVOURITE?
We are on the leading edge of healthcare research and evidence based therapies. All of our practitioners are professionally registered and share the love of the Squamish lifestyle. We are open on weekends and evenings, with easy online bookings.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO BALANCE YOUR HARD WORK WHILE STILL ENJOYING THE OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE IN SQUAMISH
Necessity. I have to maintain a balance of sports and cognitive work. All of my creativity and entrepreneurialism happens when I am outside. Getting out into the woods, breathing fresh air is where my problem solving occurs and my thoughts materialize into concrete actions.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL SQUAMISH ADVENTURE DAY?
Having kids has definitely changed the adventure days, however, this is the best place to raise kids. My ideal Squamish Adventure day is spending it outdoors with my family. We all ride mountain bikes, ski and climb. We spend many evenings up the Sea to Sky gondola hiking up to the slabs then having snacks at the summit.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF SQUAMISH ?
That the new people moving here realize the importance of the outdoor recreation opportunities, and make a point to support the organizations that are providing the infrastructure. Nothing comes without cost – we need to support the local groups. Attending meetings and advocating for the funding that you want to see. When you live in a small town, it is much easier to have your voice heard. It is so critical that we continue to be the engaged and connected community that is willing to volunteer time for both recreation and for community groups.