Co-owner Johannes Zwart, or Yo as he’s usually known, has nearly 30 years of experience as a guide: canoeing, dog-sledding, rafting and many other skills, make him a well-rounded Team Leader. Yo also has a Kinesiology degree from Western, and a diploma from the prestigious adventure tourism program at University College of the Caribou (now Thompson Rivers University). He trains and certifies most of our guides.
Gina has almost 30 years as an entrepreneur. The resulting strong business skills complement her professional career as a graphic designer, content developer and marketing wizard. More than that, when Gina is not on the phone helping you with your trip, or managing the office, she may be taking a group down the river as an intermediate level guide.
Freeman was born in Edmonton and moved to Grande Cache when he was 5... when his mom started a rafting company! He has been working for Wild Blue Yonder ever since (well, maybe since he was 10). He's been a river guide since 2010 and has trained and worked on the Ottawa River, the Colorado River (yes, in the Grand Canyon!), the Rio Pacure in Costa Rica, the Tully River in Australia, and, most recently, in Patagonia and Morrocco! During the winter months, Freeman can be found trotting around the globe - he's recently returned from Asia.
Annie is from Preston in the UK. In 2013, she decided to take a break from work but didn’t want to just travel - she wanted to learn something new. That’s where Wild Blue Yonder came in - as an experienced climber and avid outdoor junkie, becoming a rafting guide was a natural fit. Turns out Annie just couldn’t stay away and is now in her fourth summer with Wild Blue Yonder. Just don't offer this charming Brit a cup of tea! When she's not in a boat, you'll find Annie managing the back office, training the new booking staff, and helping keep our rafting base in tip-top shape!
Cory has been river guide with Wild Blue Yonder since 2003. One day a young guy in a toque from Grande Prairie walked up to us at a trade show. Fresh from the College of the Rockies, Cory asked for a job. The rest is history and Cory has long been a member of the Wild Blue Yonder family. In fact, as our Revelstoke Manager, Cory is becoming a permanent fixture. As lovable as he is talented, Cory truly has a passion for running rivers and showing people a great time!
Jorge is from Patagonia in Chile. He has over 7 years’ experience as an adventure sports guide, including rafting, kayaking, hiking and rappelling! His guiding background includes many rescue, first aid and technical courses. A well-rounded outdoorsman, he participated in a 4-month expedition from Vancouver, Canada to Punta Arenas and Antarctica, Chile to raise environmental awareness. The trip was in a vehicle fuelled by recycled cooking oil. Jorge has come to Canada to improve his English and widen his guiding repertoire.
Dean was born and raised in Grande Cache, and almost his whole family still lives here. A long time pal of Freeman's, Dean caught the paddling bug in his late teens. He has been guiding forWild Blue Yonder for the past 5 summers, and he brings a trademark sense of silliness to the job. You will often find Dean disguised as his alter-ego, Captain Jack Sparrow, on our River Pirates trip... or is the Captain "Would Row”??
Fletcher has been a river guide with Wild Blue Yonder since 2001. We were a young company in our 3rd year when Fletcher gave us a call. We also happen to be opening our 3rd boat, and Fletcher would be a 3rd guide! We figured it must be destiny. Although he retired from full-time guiding a few years ago, Fletcher still makes an occasional appearance on the oars. He brings a charismatic laid-back style and a sharp wit, along with dazzling ability. And there's that beard, too!
Scott has been a river guide with Wild Blue Yonder since 2003. You won't find a much more experienced river guide than Scott. He has guided around the world over a 20-year career, including 8 years managing a Jasper rafting company. In fact, the first time we met Scott, we 'borrowed' him from Jasper - along with a boat - for a big Kakwa River trip. Once we got Scott on Sheep Creek, he was hooked! Known for his no-nonsense attitude and tremendous ability, he may seem a bit gruff but he's all sweetness inside, and he's a seriously talented raft guide!
Quinn is from Edmonton and as Gina’s niece and Freeman’s cousin, she fits right into this fun family business! She works full-time in the office for now, but will take guide training as soon as she turns 18! Quinn has attended a Theatre Arts school since she was 12, and brings her expertise and creative flair to the River Pirates adventure, which she is taking to new levels of fun when we move it to Revelstoke next season. On the phone or in person, her chirpy voice and smiley face will most likely be the one to greet you.
Emma is joining us from Australia! She came to us as a volunteer but decided to stay for the summer as a full-time office staff. As a recent university graduate with a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Journalism and Public Relations, we are excited to have Emma helping us with marketing! With a charming personality, Emma is game for anything - she’s already participated in a wilderness first aid course and a swift water rescue course as a 'victim’! It should be an exciting summer!
Rio, which means River in Spanish, is the daughter of owners Gina and Yo, and is our youngest river rat. Although she’s only 8, Rio has already accumulated a few years of helping with the business - washing wetsuits and floors by the time she was 4! She is a cheerful and energetic presence - often chatting with and charming the guests! An avid swimmer, runner, rock climber and biker, Rio is likely to follow in her mom and dad’s footsteps and become a guide!