Guides & Staff
CRAZY RIVER GUIDES! An outrageous combination of whacky improv humor, superb skills and more charm than a barrel of monkeys, the guides will dazzle you and keep you safe as can be. They are licensed for commercial rafting in accordance with the draft Federal Rafting Standards of Canada and hold valid certifications from the Professional River Outfitters of Alberta, as well as Swiftwater Rescue and First Aid Certification. Each year, we spend time honing our skills and practicing rescues. They work with all types of groups - even the little ones will be charmed! Special needs groups can be catered to, and we are aware that not everyone is young and fit! At all times, we are dedicated to your safety and showing you a great time!
But guiding the boats is only a part of the business, and without our office and operations staff, no one would get on the river! We have a talented booking and marketing team organising all of our trips, managing the paperwork, preparing the food, and taking care of all the many details that are part of running a business.
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.
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!
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.
Annie is from Preston in the UK. In 2013, she decided to take a break from work and learn something new. An experienced climber, becoming a rafting guide was a natural fit. She successfully completed our Guide Training Program and is now in her fourth summer with Wild Blue Yonder. When she's not in a boat, you'll find Annie managing our Revelstoke office!
Fabian is from Chile! Last winter, one of our seasoned guide, Dean, met Fabian while travelling 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.
Richard’s first taste of whitewater was as a baby! At 4-years-old he was paddling his own kayak, and he’s been touring and racing the rivers of eastern North America ever since. Richard is getting a BA in science at the University of Guelph, but this class 5 kayaker/canoeist is keen to explore Canada’s western rivers. He's already a whitewater kayaking and climbing instructor, and he will get his Raft Guide Certification with us in May. Richard will work in our Grande Cache and Revelstoke locations as a guide and safety boater.
Jared grew up on a farm near Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, where he was active in sports and the outdoors. After working a season in Canmore as an interpretive raft guide, Jared was hooked: “whether my toes are in the water or hiking in the mountains, my heart will always be in outdoor adventure.” He is taking our Raft Guide Training Program to get his class 3+ Raft Guide Certificate, and will work in both our locations this summer learning from our many veteran guides!
A Chilean adventure guide, Vicente studied Adventure Tourism in Chile and worked as a mountain guide for 6 years on an active volcano in Chile and South America, Villarrica. He’s now living in Revelstoke and recently got his Canadian Ski Tour Guide Licence. Although Vicente is most at home on the white stuff, he’s also trained as a raft guide and safety kayaker in Idaho. After completing our Raft Guide Training Program, and getting a class 3+ Raft Guide Certificate, Vicente will work at our Revelstoke location.
Sicily spent years as a High Ropes/Rockwall Instructor, Outdoor Education Coordinator and Leadership Development Counselor at YMCA Camps. In the off-season, Sicily is pursuing a double major in Sociology & Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria! Once certified as a class 1/2 Raft Guide, Sicily will work in Revelstoke as a Pirate/Guide on our float trips on the Columbia River!
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!
Vincent is a US Navy veteran and life-long sailor who has been travelling the world for the last 2 years, after living on his sailboat on the Virgin Islands for 7 years. He's also is an electronics engineer who dabbles in mechanics, boats and computers. After joining us for the summer as a volunteer, Vince decided to try out our Raft Guide Certification Program, and is loving it! He will work at our Grande Cache location.
Ania brings a wide range of experience to her new role with us! With a Master of Science in Tourism and Recreation and Medical Secretary Diploma, Ania is sure to handle our booking office with ease. Although she is Polish, Ania spent 8 years living in Dublin, Ireland as a bookseller. For the past 3 years, she has been travelling: China, Indonesia, Morocco, France, Lapland, Spain and many other European countries are on the list. Ana will start in Grande Cache, but then manage our office in Revelstoke when it opens.
This Kiwi has a wealth of drama training, including improv and hand-to-hand stage combat, so our wee pirates better watch out! Holly will play a River Pirate and a Historical Character on our newest trip ‘Paddle Through Time’. When she’s not acting, Holly will be in our Booking Office as part of our guest services team in Revelstoke.