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. Below are our managers… look for the new 2019 staff pictures and bios coming in May!
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 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 sixth summer with Wild Blue Yonder. Although she has left her full time position to pursue her career in massage therapy, Annie will still be assisting the team part-time in financing!
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!
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!
Rio, which means River in Spanish, is the daughter of owners Gina and Yo, and is our youngest river rat. Although she’s only 11, 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!