500 Coffees #52 – Chad Brealey


52 weeks ago I read a theory that going for 50 coffees with people you’ve never met is the entrepreneur’s equivalent to the theory that doing anything for 10,000 hours will make you an expert on it. While I got the idea, 50 coffees was far easier than practicing something for ten years, so after completing that challenge I decided to make a major commitment and publish 500 over the next few years. In this series I introduce you to interesting Vancouverites, many of whom I had never met before. It’s an exercise in networking for myself and for V.I.A. while also being a platform through which I to introduce you to some people who are doing really cool stuff in the city you live in.

Name: Chad Brealey
Occupation: Organizer
Beverage: Americano

Meet Chad Brealey. National Organizer at the Canadian Freshwater Alliance, Dad Blogger at the Yummy Mummy Club, the founder of Salt, Fresh & Field Media, the co-founder of the Haig-Brown Institute and the former Director of Development & Communications at the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

We sat down at Caffe Artigiano at Pender and Thurlow near the V.I.A. office and the first thing I asked him was about his current work with the Canadian Freshwater Alliance and exactly what it is that he’s doing. It’s some high level stuff that I still don’t completely understand but it involves developing an initiative that’s “working to unite, train and engage a diverse community to protect and restore all of Canada’s waters ensuring they are clean and accessible”. Basically protecting the water that keeps us alive… and keeps the fish alive!

Through our conversation I came to understand that Chad is a father, a fisherman and a conservationist, which are three of the things that I fancy myself as, and there are some interesting parallels running in our lives; Not only does he know who one of my greatest (and obscure to the average person) heroes is (Roderick Haig-Brown), but he co-founded a society in the man’s name. Our coffee went long and we really could have talked about fishing and the outdoors all afternoon if we both didn’t have prior engagements, so it didn’t take me long to figure out that we needed to be more than one-time coffee acquaintances, we needed to be friends. Don’t tell any of my vegetarian pals (and acquaintances) but I’m going to shadow Chad on a duck hunting trip in the near future, sortof like the camera did in the teaser below that he produced for a TV show concept. My family eats meat, I went on many a hunting trip as a child and I’m interested in once again getting closer to where my food comes from. I mean I live right above the Urban Fare in the Village… but you know what I mean.

Stay tuned for 448 more Coffees!