Tom Chudleish and Jamie Cowan stand below one of their four hand-crafted, suspended treehouses while displaying their 2017 B.C. Tourism Industry Award for Remarkable Experience. Amber-Lea Marie

Tom Chudleish and Jamie Cowan stand below one of their four hand-crafted, suspended treehouses while displaying their 2017 B.C. Tourism Industry Award for Remarkable Experience. Amber-Lea Marie

Horne Lake business honoured for hanging around

Free Spirit Spheres recognized with 2017 British Columbia Tourism Industry awards

Actively looking to expand the global phenomenon that has become Free Spirit Spheres, visionaries, designers, creators and owners — the list goes on — Tom Chudleish and Jamie Cowan catch up about their recent ‘Remarkable Experience Award’ victory and enhancing our tourism industry, one sphere at a time.

The B.C. Tourism Industry recently awarded Chudleish its 2017 Remarkable Experience Award, and also honoured Cowan as a top-three finalist in the Customer Service category.

Free Spirit is a distinctive resort destination in which the accomodations are all spherical treehouses that are suspended in the Vancouver Island rainforest.

“We’re very excited,” Cowan said on behalf of himself and Chudleish. “It’s an honour and we love what we do.”

They love what they do so much so that they are looking to expand.

“We have huge demand but we can’t put up any more spheres in this location. We would like to become a full-size resort,” Cowan said of Free Spirit Spheres’ current 11-year location at 420 Horne Lake Rd.

“Our product is more of an experience,” said Chudleish. “When people come from far away to British Columbia, it is their experiences that make an indelible impression on them, and if it does make an indelible impression on them, then they interact with the world via social media. It is their impression that generates international customers.”

Over the years, international publicity of all kinds has credited Free Spirit Spheres as one of the top tourist attractions worldwide.

“There have been international design and architecture magazines and innovation purists taking interest around the world,” said Cowan, adding the business has even been approached by Vogue and Elle magazines.

“We’re constantly staring down some form of destruction or Armageddon, climate change or political disaster,” says Cowan.

“The spheres are just a fundamentally different thing. They allow people to relax and become grounded. They’re a symbol of oneness.”

The spherical design of their houses set them apart from a traditional cabin camping experience in the woods, the men said. Chudleish said it takes up to two years from start to completion of the custom-designed spheres.

“There is no end or beginning between the north and south poles,” Cowan said to describe their designs.

“Normally, there is an interruption between regular walls.”

As their craftsmanship has become a globally sought-after commodity, both Chudleish and Cowan touch on the fact that media of all kinds flock toward Free Spirit Spheres on almost a daily basis, with emphasis over the past few years, as social media has grown, to become an increasingly prevalent marketing tool.

After hanging their first sphere, Eve — named after Adam and Eve — on Denman Island, Cowan claims, “Every major Canadian newspaper picked it up and put it in their travel section at one point or another.”

Due to the social media influx, image-based media has fast-tracked Free Spirit Spheres toward a North American spiral of success — it’s no longer a superstitious secret that Vancouver Island houses one of the top hotel hangouts in the world.

Waiting in anticipation for the final copy to arrive hot off the press, Cowan said Free Spirit Spheres has been included in the gift book series, The Top 50 Hotels of the World.

“We’re just waiting for that book to arrive,” said Cowan. “We’re hoping to get a copy in April. We would need a whole library-sphere to house all of the different things Free Spirit Spheres has come out in.”

If interested in learning how to invest in Free Spirit Spheres, or simply to book reservations to ‘hang out’ this spring or summer, visit them at 420 Horne Lake Rd, or call 250-757-9445. For more info or to get a sneak peek at the spherical treehouses, visit online at www.freespiritspheres.com, to have the experience of a lifetime right in our own backyard.

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