Fresh Air's History
Since 1981, Fresh Air has been striving to deliver
an exceptional customer experience while
supporting our community through leadership
education, and sponsorship. We're constantly
pushing the boundaries, trying the latest gear,
exploring the Okanagan's endless nooks and
crannies, and making new friends along the way.
Fresh Air Opens
Jim and Karen Bates decide to open Fresh Air Experience in Kelowna. Originally from Saskatchewan, their love of Kelowna leads them to open the community-minded sports store in the Okanagan.
A Run For It
Fresh Air helps to create the Kelowna Running Club, whose mission is to bring the running community to as many people as possible.
The Ski Expert
In 1982, Owen Taylor joins the Fresh Air team. The alpine ski expert is pivotal to the store’s success, and he remains on team Fresh Air for 36 years.
The mayor of Kelowna approaches Jim and Karen to help found the Kelowna Apple Triathlon, the race that brings new and elite athletes alike together to compete.
Run For A Cause
Karen Bates creates the Fresh Air Experience Women's 5 and 10K, which has raised over $100,000 for community charities to date.
Fresh Air was initially a franchise, but in 1984 the store becomes completely independent.
Fresh Air Experience moves locations to Cooper Centre Mall, marking the store’s first expansion.
A Canadian First
The Kelowna Apple Triathlon hosts the first-ever Triathlon World Championship, bringing athletes from around the globe to compete in the Okanagan.
It Takes Two
After two years of planning and partnerships with incredible partners like Specialized, Trek and Salomon, Fresh Air Concept opens its doors.
Fresh Air Athena
The Fresh Air women’s cycling club, Fresh Air Athena, is founded and brings women of all levels of experience together to roll in a supportive, empowering environment.
The New Generation
Jim and Karen transition into retirement and pass the reigns to long-time Fresh Air Kelowna employees, Ryan and Amie Olar, Marty Tymm and other partners.