Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

See what happens when an L.A. Top Chef experiences 'The British Columbia Effect' (VIDEO)

You may never have heard of "The British Columbia Effect" but chances are you've actually experienced it
Chesterman Beach in Tofino. Photo by Brooke Williamson (@chefbrookew) via Destination BC

You may never have heard of "The British Columbia Effect" but if you've lived in or visited Canada's western-most province, you may well have experienced it.

No, it's not an unprecendented tolerance for exorbitant real estate prices or endless days of rain, nor a palate for anything and everything seafood. It's actually the term for what happens when you disconnect from the hustle of your day-to-day life and soak up some of B.C.'s incredible nature, whether you're in the mountains, forests, or waterways.

Research backs this up. "As few as three days spent in nature can have significant impact on our well-being," explains Destination BC, which handles marketing for tourism in British Columbia. 

Unsurprisingly, the tourism industry is cashing in on "wellness" as a motive for travel; currently North America drives the most wellness tourism revenues ($242 billion annually), according to the Global Wellness Institute, and tremendous growth in the sector is expected over the next two years.

In B.C., thanks to our access to stunning bodies of water, wildlife, rainforests, and mountains - just to name a few - the terrain beckons not just provincial residents, but also visitors from around the world, many eager to find quiet, calm, and rejuvenation.

One such visitor was Brooke Williamson, a Top Chef winner who is also a busy restaurateur and parent. Destination BC brought Williamson, along with her friend and fellow Top Chef alum Casey Thompson, for a three-day trip to British Columbia in October 2019. 


A post shared by Brooke Williamson (@chefbrookew) on

The trip, which was centred in and around Tofino on Vancouver Island, was documented in a five-minute short film that will probably have you immediately googling seaplane or ferry and hotel bookings.

Tofino is an ideal spot for a food lover who is looking to get away - it's a culinary haven with excellent local options for dining, not to mention the fishing and foraging. 

Then there's this timing, too: Vancouver Island just placed on CNN's list of the 20 best places in the world to visit in 2020

DBC published Williamson's full trip itineary, which includes a stay at the legendary Wickannish Inn; a wildlife-watching boat tour;  Pacific Rim National Park Reserve; a jaunt to Meares Island and a canoe lesson and ride; mushroom foraging; and, of course, sunset beach strolls.

According to experts, the "British Columbia Effect" can stay with us up to 30 days after an experience - that's pretty powerful.

"This trip will be with me for life... and not just because it was all captured on several HD cameras," said Williamson on her Instagram.