Meet Barbara Cowper

Barbara has a love of skiing and snowboarding that’s been with her all her life. She spends as much time as she can on the slopes, originally as an instructor and now just for fun. In fact, it’s something she’s turned her family onto—three of her children now compete in freestyle skiing and boardercross events at a highly competitive level, which makes for a lot of time spent chauffeuring them to competitions in Ontario, Quebec and out West.

“There’s no question—if  I had more time, I would devote it to sports,” she says. In the summer it’s golf, swimming, water-skiing, and general fitness. “I’ve taken up golf this summer. I’ve always played a couple of tournaments every year, but I’d really like to get better –my skill so far has been more in the socializing part of the game.”

(Big) family life
With a husband and five children, it’s no surprise that her world is centered around family. “For me, family is the most important thing in life. I get a lot of enjoyment out of watching my kids become independent and productive citizens and being involved in their lives.” If that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she also shares the house with two rather large dogs. “They’re sisters, about 70 or 80 pounds each, and a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a standard Poodle.”

Small town living
Living in a rural area north of Toronto, community involvement has always been a priority for Barbara. She’s kept active in volunteering with country fairs and garden shows, but especially with her kids’ school. “They all went to a small country school, so volunteer support was critical.” And of course, her husband’s community involvement is no small undertaking either—he’s mayor of King Township, which includes King City and rural surrounds.

Getting out of town
Barbara still makes time to get away. In the summer, that means relaxing at the family cottage near Minden, a property that’s been in the family for five generations. And in the fall, there’s an annual couples’ weekend that Barbara and her husband do with a group of friends. “This year it’s Washington DC, but we’ve been all over Canada, including Quebec City, Halifax and St. Johns.”

Time for the arts
Barbara also has an interest in music that started with piano. “I played other instruments, but that seemed to stick.” She played mainly classical and went on to earn her grade 8 piano. Nowadays, she likes all kinds of music. “I listen to the popular stuff mostly, but I’m not as keen on my sons’ rap and hip hop.” When it comes to reading, fiction is her preference. “I like historical fiction and the more esoteric books that are critically acclaimed.” Some of her recommendations? How about All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr), I am Malala (Malala Yousafzai) and The Gown (Jennifer Robson).

The B. Riley Farber experience
Barbara enjoys the professionalism at B. Riley Farber and is invigorated by the intelligence and resourcefulness of the people she works with. “I tended to work for small, entrepreneurial firms in the past and so I didn’t always have peers to consult when trying to solve problems. Now I have colleagues with lots of experience who are more than willing to share their knowledge.”

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