After graduating from forestry and one of the first ever Eco-Tourism courses in 1999, Tyler Hayes chose to head west from Ontario to explore related jobs such as spacing forest growth in Grand Prairie and river guiding in Jasper. Intending to explore the coast, Hayes purchased a van. On his trip to Vancouver Island Hayes met with a glass blower and decided to buy the artist’s work to sell at festivals along the coast to California. Hayes became fascinated with how glass was made and the malleability of the material. Then an idea to create his own pieces sparked something for him. Shortly after, he found an artistic business partner, applied for grants, trained and bought a shop. Hayes works with borosilicate glass, the highest grade of glass commonly known as Pyrex. His beautiful pendants, sea life figurines, and globes are all over the world. This year Hayes blends purpose and passion together to manufacture, by hand, the only environmentally friendly glass straws produced in Canada.