Krysta Cowling

Executive Director, La Bikery

I grew up in Vancouver, BC. After graduating university, I really struggled to find work in my field. For years I was working 2-3 minimum wage jobs or picking up short-term contracts. I felt like I was stuck. There was so much I wanted to accomplish, but wasn’t finding the right opportunities to shine.

When I was no longer able to pay rent, I had to give up my apartment. I remember thinking to myself, “It should be not this hard. The city doesn’t want you, you don’t belong here.” That’s when I decided to leave Vancouver. I finished up my last contract sleeping on the floor at a friends house. I used the money to buy a one-way ticket to the UK and backpacked through Europe for 3 months. The time I spent exploring and meeting new people helped me focus on what my next steps were and what kind of work I needed to find.

When I returned to Canada I didn’t go back to Vancouver, but went to Montreal instead. I stayed on a friend’s couch for almost 2 months while applying for jobs. My goal was to find values-based work and applied for anything and everything that related to my values of environmental sustainability and accessibility for all. I got job offers in Moncton and Montreal at the same time. They were both with great organizations and it was a tough decision to make. I had never been to the East Coast before, and had never heard of Moncton. It paid less than the administrative position in Montreal, but it was more in-line with my values and where I wanted to build my skills.

I took the job, and bought another one-way ticket - this time to Moncton. It’s been two years that I’ve lived here, and I love it. I lead a non-profit co-op that helps people transition into a sustainable transportation option, and also helps reduce barriers to access. It’s awesome!!

I’m really proud of the growth I’ve brought to La Bikery - in members, volunteer hours, grants, donations, revenues, and community impact. I think the most meaningful growth for me has been through the Recycle-A-Bike program. In 2015 before I took on my role, the organization put 35 bikes back into community. This past year we were just shy of 200. Not only has it been really great to problem solve and lead the program to new success, it’s given me the opportunity to meet and learn from a lot of really diverse people and grow my own skills.

I love how supportive the community here is, and I’m excited to give back however I can. I may have grown up in BC, but the Maritimes are my home.


Community builder, Problem Solver, Growth Specialist, Leader, Advocate, Active Transportation, Social Venture, Entrepreneur, Environmental Sustainability, Access, Urban Planning, Rock Climber

Krysta Cowling