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In Focus | Dan Byl

Meet Dan! Dan has been living here in this beautiful city for nearly 30 years. He enjoys being outdoors in nature fishing and camping with his sons, sneaking away to a dog park with this pup, Whisky, and spending some quality time with his family.

<who> Photo Credit: Dan Byl
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
Kelowna since 1990.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
Jason Vance, we enjoy dreaming and creating together, we have been good friends for almost a decade and a half and I can't think of someone who has been there for me more than him.

What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
I really enjoy Trout Waters Fly & Tackle. Fishing has become my favorite pass time and a really good place to connect with myself, nature and my boys. The owner and staff are incredibly helpful and accommodating and I have already learned a ton from them.

Describe yourself in one word.
Passionate, I really care about everything I do and I get really invested in the projects I take on.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Tough question, I would love to go fishing in Iceland or sit on a beach in the Cook Islands, or I would love to do some humanitarian work in Asia.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Fishing, we have a ton of amazing camping and fishing just outside of the valley.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
I was getting changed into my wetsuit in Tofino - we were taking turns making a changing station for each other, when it was my turn they all walked away and left me standing there with my wet suit around my knees. It may have been a criminal offense.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
I went through the Coaches Training Institutes program to become a coach. The course and training were life-changing, it has given me so many skills and tools to use in business, relationship and raising my kids. It was a 2-year program, I think the continual engagement for so long has had a pretty life-altering impact on me.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Hiking the West Coast Trail, I was 8 at the time and my brother was 6, he was the youngest person to do the trail at the time, its a 6-7 day hike on Vancouver Island. My dad had taken his PE class on the trip for a number of years prior and so he knew all the secret spots and places we could just hike the beach instead of the trail. It's a memory that still sticks with me in a big way. We slid on a natural water slide, climbed through a surge channel, and even spend several days hiking with an Olympic gold medal athlete we met along the way.

<who> Photo Credit: Dan Byl
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
Right now my business has partnered with the Kelowna Women's Shelter on a She Shed project. We came up with an idea of building a backyard studio and auctioning it off with all proceeds going to the shelter. We contacted nearly a dozen business about the project and in total raised roughly 17,000$ in donations. We are really excited to be showing the shed off at local events through the month of July. We are also in talks of doing another similar project next year with a different organization, but that's hush right now. A few years ago there was a report published that Kelowna had some of the highest domestic violence incidents in the country, so giving back to our community in this way is really important for us, services like the shelter are what help push us forward as a community.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
More emotional intelligence for men, I truly believe this would solve all of the world's problems.

Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
Anyone of the amazing dog parks, with my dog, Whisky.

Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
Housing, I am a huge advocate for tiny homes and living, I would love to see the city of Kelowna really visit the idea of allowing tiny homes in our community, either as neighborhoods or in place of lane way homes. As a young parent owning a home in today's market is nearly impossible, and rent is ridiculous. Tiny homes are an amazing option. We also need more young people coming to our community and I believe that opening our city to tiny homes would help bring those young entrepreneurs here. Recently a small city in Saskatchewan just ran a pilot project and within days they had filled 50 plus spots bringing over 100 people into the community. It is a truly affordable style of housing and would help with an increasing density which is an important factor for Kelowna's core.

What do you think makes Kelowna great?
Residents of this city really like to get behind good causes, we saw that with the shed project.

What are 3 things on your bucket list?
Fish Iceland, go to the Cook Islands and go on a year-long road trip with my partner and kids.

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I attend a men's group every week at Connect Counseling. It is called Men in Relationship, it's about learning emotional intelligence and how to process life in a healthy way. This is something a lot of men don't learn growing up.

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
Dan Byl on Facebook, @allincontracting on Facebook and Instagram.

What is the name of your business/organization?
All In Contracting

<who> Photo Credit: Dan Byl
Why did you get into/start this business?
I love building things, my business gives me that ability. Also, running my own business gives me the ability to give back to the community and those who work with me.

What is the goal of your business?
I would love to be building backyard studios full time, I would also like to use these structures to potentially house some of our communities most vulnerable.

What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
This question requires a lot of vulnerability, because of the environment I grew up in, I have been diagnosed with PTSD. It's been several years of hard work, and CBT to be able to get to an emotionally healthy place. And be the dad I want to be.

If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
I really appreciate the journey my life has taken, there are a lot of hard things and challenges, but I am truly grateful for where I am in life today.

What do you always find yourself saying?
Think outside of the box.

Tell us your best piece of life advice.
"Face your demons, the only way to have a truly happy life is to do the work."

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Simon Sinek, I would love to pick his brain about so many things. He speaks a lot around leadership and the world needs a lot more healthy leaders. His work was really inspiring when I was going through the coaching course.

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
Keeping money in our community benefits everyone. It also means we have a smaller negative impact on our world at large.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Building the She Shed for the women's shelter has been an amazing experience. And it really is beautiful.

<who> Photo Credit: Dan Byl
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Tiqvah Byl, she puts up with me, supports me and is an amazing mom, she also works tirelessly as a nurse taking care of individuals who can't take care of themselves. She really is an amazing person.

My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Connie Marchal

Some general comments I would like to share are:
You can find out more about the She Shed here on KelownaNow in the auctions section. And we are doing all we can to get as much exposure as possible for the shed to raise as much as we can, so we are looking for opportunities to show it off, if anyone has a business that would like to host it or an event they would like us to be at please don't hesitate to reach out.

We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE.

In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. Thank you, Kelowna!

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