Executives and Directors

Craig running out of the water, in a wetsuit
President

Craig Stewart

Craig Stewart’s favourite moments with VOWSA include those gorgeous summer evenings with big waves at Kits Beach practice swims and seeing the apprehensive look on the faces of people trying open water swimming for the first time.

Vice President

Christine Burns

Christine has been an active member of VOWSA since 2018. While she loves swimming in the ocean she considers Sasamat Lake her Happy Place. Christine loves being a part of the VOWSA community and she is very happy to continue holding the role of VP this year!

Treasurer

Ron Johnston

Ron is a recreational swimmer and has been an active member of VOWSA since 2015. He joined VOWSA to become comfortable in open water swimming in order to do an Olympic Triathlon. Away from his work in securities regulation, Ron also likes cycling, skiing and working on his weight routine at the YWCA.

Practice Swim Coordinator

Eden Katz

Eden began volunteering with VOWSA in 2016 and loved it so much that she came back to work as our Practice Swim Coordinator. Eden enjoys spending Monday and Thursday nights down at the beach helping swimmers sign in and out but has yet to get in the water herself. With a little push she might join us for a swim this summer! Eden can’t wait for each season to begin. She is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting all of the new swimmers that will be joining us this summer!

Website Coordinator Media

Theresa Putkey

The first open water swim Theresa did, her coach asked her, “Are you having fun?” and she answered, “No. I don’t like it.” She stuck with the class and after the fifth swim fell in love. Now she takes her wetsuit or bathing suit where ever she travels. Any lake or ocean is an opportunity to swim! Theresa taught her anxiety-ridden dog to swim. He only goes in the water if she’s in the water, and he probably views it more as a rescue mission. Theresa has had a lot of fun as a VOWSA member and hopes to give back and support the community as a volunteer.

Volunteer Coordinator

Gareth Williams

Gareth started swimming with VOWSA in 2015. Since then he’s gone on to help out at various races and clean up the VOWSA locker. When not volunteering or swimming for VOWSA Gareth can be found hiking, biking and anything else outdoors.

Past President Media Coordinator, Organization Representative

Andrea McCallum

Andrea’s been involved with VOWSA since 2014. 2021 sees Andrea continuing to expand her volunteering experiences by adding Organization Representative to the list and continuing on as Past President and Media Coordinator. Her previous roles as Secretary, Race Registrar, poster maker, and President, give her a range of skills to manage new challenges. Andrea’s love of the water and swimming continues to surprise and thrill her. A positive constant in her life creating some wonderful lifelong friends and many new ones. Pretty amazing ‘eh?! Pool, lake, ocean or hot tub it’s all good. What could be better than great people who love to swim! Planning adventures and holidays around awesome places to swim is STILL her obsession. She looks forward to being able to do that, as soon as it is safe to do so.

Safety Coordinator

Jessi Harewicz

Starting out with swimming all the VOWSA races in 2016. Jessi is a local marathon swimmer who has swam various channels including the English Channel, Catalina Channel (LA), NYC circumnavigation and the longest skin swam route to date in BC ocean waters: Nanaimo to Kitsilano Beach (58km) in 2019. Most recently a ‘Ice mile’ in 2020. A swim of 1600m at 4.5c lake. She loves sharing her knowledge by swimming & exploring areas new & old in BC & the world.

Picture of Sylvie in the water
Webinar Representative

Sylvie Kruchten

Sylvie started swimming in the ocean all year round 3 years ago (after a few unsuccessful tries), with the support of the wonderful pod of the Cooler Swimmers. She is interested to share her experience and learn more about the benefits but also the risks of the sport as she intends on doing it for many more years and hopefully one day sharing her love of the ocean with her 4 grand kids!