Brenna Wear moved to Powell River in January 2021, and for
one of our community’s newest registered massage therapists, the city was the perfect crossroads of everything she and her partner wanted in a home.
“My family lives in Gibsons, so I was there for about six years before I went to massage therapy school in Victoria,” said Wear. “I love the Sunshine Coast lifestyle, but it was just too expensive to break into the market on the lower Coast. My husband and I started looking at different options, and landed here.”
Powell River ticked a lot of boxes for Wear and her husband Austin. They both love the outdoors, and Powell River’s access to mountains, lakes, and ocean was very attractive. It is also close to Wear’s family in Gibsons, as well as her husband’s work with the Coast Guard on Vancouver Island. And being originally from smaller communities (the Okanagan for Wear, and rural Ontario for her husband), Powell River was just the right size to both be comfortable and provide opportunities.
“I learned in school that registered massage therapists are
in demand everywhere, and that’s certainly proven true in Powell River,” said Wear. “Building a practice in a smaller community gives me more autonomy, and I get to know my clients a lot better than if I was working in a massive clinic in a big city.”
Wear laid the groundwork for her new practice using Instagram. “I started posting about my adventures in moving to Powell River and my journey to becoming an RMT, and people responded to my story,” she said. “I was able to offer non-registered massages as I took my board exams, and that was a great starting point for me.”
Wear is now registered with BC’s College of Massage Therapists, which means she can provide receipts for extended health benefits, and is working full-time at Coast Fitness. “I knew for a long time that I wanted to work in health care and help people, and I also knew that I wanted a healthy work-life balance,” she said. “Massage therapy was the right fit for the life I want, because it offers me the flexibility to give time to my hobbies and passions while still providing people with care that improves their quality of
One of Wear’s passions is hobby farming, and Powell River’s
eclectic housing market provided the perfect property. “We bought an acreage in Cranberry, and this year we put in a 1,000 square foot vegetable garden,” she said. “I’m also a painter, though I haven’t had much time for that the last few years between school and moving, so I’m looking forward to getting back to that. My ideal life is one third massage therapy, one third farming, and one third being an artist, and I really feel like I can do that in Powell River better than in some other places. I like a bit of a quieter lifestyle; I don’t
need to be busy all the time!”
While Wear leaped into her career in Powell River without doing a lot of research, she would definitely recommend looking into what the community needs. “There’s a demand for every kind of health professional here, because the population is constantly growing,” she said. “COVID makes it a strange time to move to a new community, but I’ve started to meet people and make connections, and I just feel really at home here. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but more likely Powell River is just a great community. The people are so welcoming and friendly, and there’s natural beauty everywhere. You can drive down any hill, even if it’s raining, and be treated to this beautiful panorama of the ocean and the mountains on Vancouver Island. It’s just a perfect place to live and work.”