The Best Thing I Ate All Week: Old Bird’s Night Market Popcorn Chicken
Purdys Went to the North Pole to Make Their Latest Chocolates
Cult-Fave Milk Bar Just Opened in Nordstrom
The Perfect Autumn Cocktail Recipe: Donostia Askatuta
Everything You Need to Know About the BCL’s 2022 Whisky Release
A New Pop-Up Wine Bar Is Coming to Strathcona in November
10 Excellent Gifts for the Fitness-Obsessed
5 Things to Do in Vancouver This Week (November 28- December 4)
Meet Inclusive, Vancouver-Based Online Fitness Studio Movement by NM
The Ultimate Winter Staycation Guide 2023: 6 Great Places to Explore in B.C.
B.C. Winter Staycation Guide 2023: 48 Hours in Tofino
B.C. Winter Staycation Guide 2023: Everything You Need to Know About Whistler’s Creekside
A Hyper-Specific Holiday Gift Guide for Everyone (Seriously, Everyone) on Your List
We Tried It: Indochino’s New Custom Women’s Suits
11 Holiday Gift Ideas from Local, Indigenous-Owned Brands
If you were guiding visiting friends around Vancouver, would a horse-drawn carriage ride in Stanley Park be tops on your to-do list? Probably not—but as Jim McGovern discovered when he was reading up on Vancouver tourist destinations, it ranks pretty high. And that got him thinking, What if there were an app that could connect local insight with visiting outdoorsy types?
“When I went to Italy I tried to hire someone to show us around, so I went to Trip Advisor,” says McGovern, who spent 34 years in the finance industry. “I realized that everything I was reading was just what other tourists were saying about what other tourists told them. There was no real platform for what the locals were doing.”He launched Yervana in February to offer just that. The app lets local experts post “adventures” that they have created for “explorers”: a snowshoe to Cypress Mountain’s hidden cabins, for example, will run you $50; a five-hour bike tour with coffee, snack and a beer at the end will cost $100. Yervana handles the bookings and insurance, and takes 25 percent of the fee. Locals decide when they’re available to take guests around, and, like most sharing economy-type models, users review the experiences online afterward so future explorers get a sense of what’s great and what’s less so.
“We launched in the Sea to Sky corridor because it’s probably one of the greatest playgrounds in North America,” he says. “Yervana is a community of locals and that ‘real’ moment you get here.”