Meet the Nelson Whitewater Rafting Team

Nelson Whitewater Rafting Company is located a 10 minute walk from downtown Nelson and offers incredible opportunities to get on our local waters. Jump in, get wet and experience the fun.

Meet our talented guides and professional guest services team. Your fun and enjoyment is our number one priority.

John Dutton – Owner, Guide, Bus Driver

John grew up on Vancouver Island where he spent time playing in the rivers, oceans and mountains. As a young adult he was drawn to Nelson, BC for its excellent back country skiing, whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking and by its vibrant sense of community. Now he’s living his dream of operating Nelson Whitewater Rafting in the summer months and working as a back country ski guide at Monashee Powder Snowcats in the winter.

Kyle Gorenko – River Manager (Upper Management) & Lead Guide

After his two years taking the Adventure Studies Program at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, Kyle moved to Nelson permanently. And, after a winter of not working very hard and skiing a lot he is back with Nelson Whitewater Rafting and has been promoted to “Upper Management”. Originally from Vancouver Island, Kyle is passionate about the outdoors and loves sharing that passion with others! When he’s not working Kyle enjoys hiking, skiing, camping, kayaking, and rocking out on his guitar (chances are when there’s open mic or karaoke in town you’ll find him there).

Spencer Blair – Senior Guide

Spencer hails from the west coast town of Sechelt, BC, where he was raised on a mountain bike. In 2018 after graduating from an adventure tourism operations program in Golden, BC, he found a new passion in whitewater rafting. Off the clock, Spencer is likely playing guitar, rocking karaoke night, or adventuring with his dog Lou.

Marc Thibault – Celebrity Guide

Marc is a family man, and has a regular job working for the City of Nelson Fire Department. His schedule is quite flexible, so he is able to find time to guide for Nelson Whitewater Rafting each summer. After several seasons of rafting experience on the Ottawa River and Kickinghorse River during his whitewater hay day Marc brings a lot of experience to the guiding team.

Fannie Dufour – Senior Guide

Fannie grew up in Quebec City and she is now happy to call BC home. She has been working in the guiding industry for several years, first as a rafting guide in Jasper, AB and now tail guiding at Monashee Powder Snowcats for the last several winters. She is new to NWRC crew this year and is super excited to discover the rivers of the Kootenays. Fannie is passionate about the outdoors and loves sharing that passion with others. When she is not joking around in her funny (but lovely) French accent at the back of your raft, you will find her kayaking, canoeing, hiking or camping somewhere.

Chris Marr-Laing – Senior Guide

Chris grew up in the bottom of a river canoe. Transferring his love of the water to kayaking and rafting, he moved from Alberta to British Columbia two years ago.  This spring he completed Thompson Rivers University’s Adventure Guide Diploma program and will go on to finish a degree. Off the river, Chris spends his days skiing, climbing and hunting for new experiences. He loves meeting new people and is excited to spend his first summer guiding in the beautiful West Kootenays.

Matt Houston – Guest Service, Aussie Slang Specialist

Matt is an Australian backpacker who’s new to Nelson and the team this season. He will be working at the marina helping book trips and renting out kayaks and stand up paddleboards. 

Matt completed a business degree in Australia and has spent the last year in Jasper working in the Maligne Lake boathouse through the summer and snowmaking at Marmot Basin through the winter.

He has a love for anything outdoors and is looking forward to new experiences in the Kootenays.