Talent Profile: Mark Shaw

Article Information & Social Sharing

Charles McDiarmid
By Charles McDiarmid, Owner & Maître de Maison
Newsletters26 February 2022


“Any building on the West Coast is likened to a mushroom melting unless you are continually working on its maintenance,” says Mark Shaw, our Chief Engineer here at the Wickaninnish Inn.

It’s true that out here on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, we experience some powerful weathering, and it takes a small army of a Maintenance team to keep our little Inn in the amazing shape we see every day. This month’s spotlight is on the person who leads the team towards this continuous goal in the pursuit of perfection.

Mark says that “the Inn has changed dramatically over the years as it’s become more refined given time,” a testament to “how many years this gem has been polished and will continue to be polished.”

Mark has indeed seen the Inn change dramatically. If you ask him, he will say that continued refinement is one of the worthiest pursuits. Mark has been with the Wickaninnish Inn for 15 years and says that there’s “enough going on here to keep one intrigued,” a wry testament to Mark’s talent and the never-ending search for innovative solutions and repairs. Often this search moves the property forward in technology and sustainability - encompassing everything from the energy-saving LED lights that cast a warm incandescence throughout the Inn and down Chesterman beach to nearly everything one touches in our guest rooms.

Mark seeks out daily opportunities to improve the hotel, but our Annual Closure is the Olympics of everything Maintenance does. From the detailed project planning that begins years in advance, each Closure has a completely different scope depending on the vision we are bringing to life and how it fits into how the Inn is growing. From the most recent realization of Charles McDiarmid’s long-held dream to build a showcase wine cellar to more distant but memorable projects, including completely re-building the Inn’s Kitchen and renovating our guest rooms one very memorable year - each project is a small jewel in the crown, and all of them are always in service of creating wonderful memories for our guests. In this way, Mark is the unsung hero behind many of the amenities and spaces we enjoy during our time at the Inn, and has poured over every inch of the hotel himself and knows everything that makes it tick. It is incredible the degree to which every part of the hotel has been lovingly cared for and thoughtfully maintained by Mark’s own hands.

If you ask Mark what drives his legendary motivation and energy, he will as always lead with a smile and without a moment’s hesitation share that it is working with good people to achieve something great. One of Mark’s favourite things about working at the Inn is that he is able to collaborate with colleagues all similarly passionate about contributing to genuine hospitality. He also works with guests and every department of the hotel and says, “it’s just wonderful meeting people from all over the world and finding commonality”. He loves to chat about his home on the west coast, offer advice on his favourite places to see, and hear the stories of those who come to this place.

Outside of work, Mark enjoys hiking the outer beaches of Flores Island without another soul in sight. Though you might think he would answer differently given what he spends his days and nights doing for a living, he says that if he could be doing anything other than what he is doing now, he would be “building a cabin with his hand tools up in the mountains.” Most importantly, Mark centers his life around family and community. If for some reason you can’t find him at the Inn, he is definitely enjoying every spare moment surrounded by as many of his loved ones as possible, knowing that this is truly what life is about.

Thank you for so many years of dedicated and innovative service, Mark! Without your warmth, brilliance, sure hands, and tireless work, we would not be who we are. We look forward to seeing what dreams come to life that are as yet unbuilt.

Subscribe to the Inn's monthly newsletter here and hear about our latest news and offers.

View All & Social Sharing

See All News