YOW & WOW Guides

Welcome to our awesome team of guides on the YOW & WOW programs.

Anissa Watson is the YOW & WOW Organizer, is a mother of four with an incurable sense of adventure.  She grew up in rural Alberta, and travelled around Canada in a VW before making Hazelton her home in 2006. Anissa has worked extensively with families and youth-at-risk in a support capacity, building resilience through focusing on strengths and facing challenges head on.  Anissa has a passion for growing her own food and has a small market garden and sells to a local fishing and guiding company.  Self –sustainability and community volunteerism keep her busy.  Anissa discovered her love for being on the river through volunteering in the Youth on Water program in the last two years and looks forward to many seasons to come. Email Anissa.

Program Founder: Chris Gee
Born in Dakelh territory, near the Nechako River Chris currently lives near the confluence of the Bulkley and Skeena Rivers. He was one of the safety kayakers accompanying Ali on her epic swim; when asked if he thinks this undertaking is dangerous.? "Certainly, it is, but the risks of this swim pale in comparison to the dangers posed by Shell’s unrelenting drive to initiate an industrial experiment in the headwaters of the Skeena, Stikine, and Nass rivers. The time has arrived to pick a side. I have chosen to stand with those brave enough to heed the wisdom of elders".  The value of life, water, fish and ultimately, our mother, Earth, must not be jeopardized for the sake of short term monetary gain for fat cats running multi-national corporations.
Who’s side are you on?

Kateri Clay grew up in the Kispiox Valley.  Born into a family passionate about the area, she spent most of her youth on the river and in the mountains.  Driven by her love and passion for the outdoors, she pursued a 10-year long career in the guiding industry.  Having worked, played and studied up and down BC’s coast and abroad, Kateri returned home to Northern BC to pursue an Education degree.  She is excited about continuing her work in the outdoors, while expanding it to, and sharing it with, the youth of tomorrow.  Email Kateri.

Kim Hoekstra: Living in the Northwest has been a dream for Kim for years. After many White-water kayaking trips to the Terrace Region she has decided to call it home. She was a member of the Skeena Swim expedition 2009, as the Scout Safety Kayaker. Kim can be found: Kayaking, Biking, Backcountry Skiing, teaching yoga and loves sharing her love of the outdoors with others as a guide or instructor. Kim has worked professionally in the whitewater industry for over 12 years, she is a sales rep for WRSI helmets and Fluid Kayaks. Another passion of Kim’s is working with youth. She has worked with young offenders and recently has been working with youth in addictions and recovery. She believes everyone deserves to “Experience Wellness” and has seen first hand what type of healing Wilderness has on youth. Kim has been busy with SWCC this year helping coordinating special events and the Awakening the Skeena Film Tour. She is also a coordinator for the “Youth on the Water” river guide training program. "I’m so pumped to be working side by side our local youth on the rivers in our community, not only are they going to be learning to work safely in and around the rivers but have a strong commitment to protect these rives in their future.” Look for Kim on the local rivers this season.

Sarah Panofsky first fell in love with paddling down rivers as a teenager exploring northern Quebec and Ontario by canoe. Since then her love of adventure and wild places has found her in Northern BC. With a bachelor of arts in anthropology and a master’s in human geography, Sarah has always been most happy in her role as an educator. She has worked as an ESL teacher, ski instructor, yoga instructor, canoe-tripping guide and in community development. Her involvement in YOW has included facilitator and guide roles.