Our River Family
No one is sure when we started calling the staff our ‘River Family,’ but it sure stuck. It’s the people who answer the phone or respond to emails, wash wetsuits and enthusiastically welcome you when you arrive. It’s the owners, their children, raft guides, other staff, volunteers and even guests who come so often they become part of our River Family, too.
Our success today is mainly due to many people believing in what we were doing and helping us. Some only stayed for a season, but others were with us for years. Their willingness to do whatever it took, no matter how crazy it seemed, is remarkable, and we are deeply grateful.
Also fondly referred to as ‘Crazy River Staff,’ our team has been a wide variety of nationalities and personalities over the years. Below are the current members of the River Family and a little bit of their story. To all the members of our River Family across the world, thank you. We hope to one day paddle and laugh with you again.
What Training Do Rafting Guides Have?
To learn more about the training and certification our guides have, or if you’re interested in joining our team, check our Employment & Training page.
Meet Fabian, Our Grande
Cache River Manager
Fabian is from Chile, and is a Trip Leader and the River Manager in our Grande Cache location. He’s been part of the River Family since 2017.
Meet the Family
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.
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.
Freeman started rafting when he was 5… because his mom started a rafting company! He’s been working for Wild Blue Yonder ever since (well, maybe since he was 10). A river guide since 2010, Freeman 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 on rivers in Patagonia and Morocco! During the winter months, Freeman can often be found trotting around the globe.
Originally from South-East England, Hywel is a professional photographer living year-round in Revelstoke, BC. It may have been the allure of snowboarding that got him to Canada, but the endless possibility for adventure kept him here. Always striving to use his camera to tell compelling stories, Hywel is our head content creator and social media coordinator. He joined our team mid-pandemic by creating remarkable content in Revelstoke, which has been featured by Revelstoke Tourism and the Kootenays Rockies DMO.
Cory has been river guide with Wild Blue Yonder since 2003. One day a young guy in a toque, fresh from the College of the Rockies, walked up to us at a trade show and asked for a job. Cory has long been a member of the Wild Blue Yonder family, and has also guided canoe trips, rock climbing, caving and canyoneering. As lovable as he is talented, Cory truly has a passion for running rivers and showing people a great time!
Fabian is from Chile, and is a Trip Leader and the River Manager in our Grande Cache location. He’s been part of the River Family since 2017. Two years ago, one of our seasoned guides, Dean, met Fabian while traveling in Chile. Fabian was working as a sherpa in Torres del Paine, a national park in the southern Chilean Patagonia. The two became friends, and after finding out that Fabian also had done some river guiding, Dean suggested Fabian travel to Canada to take our Raft Guide Training Course. Now Fabian is returning for his third season with us as the Grande Cache River Manager. Welcome back!