Gillian Thompson - COSA - Volvo Cars Volunteer

Gillian Thompson - COSA - Volvo Cars Volunteer

October 2015 - Gillian Thompson - Central Okanagan Sailing Association

Gillian has a long history of volunteer service to the sailing community, not only in the Central Okanagan region, but provincially for BC, and nationally as well. From 1986, she has been directing nationally recognized Learn to Sail programming which enrolls more than 3000 students annually. While she deserves recognition for this activity alone, her ongoing dedication is also seen as she has championed national initiatives to recruit and retain women in sailing in Canada.

In 2014, Gillian chaired the highly successful Hobie 18 Women’s North American Sailing Championship and this past month she chaired the RE/MAX Sail Canada Women’s Keelboat Championships hosted by COSA at the Kelowna Yacht Club. This event was a resounding success not only for the 80 sailors from five provinces and two countries, but also in the regional legacy that was built as a new group of sailing enthusiasts.

Gillian’s recent accomplishments are not unexpected to her fellow members! She has already been recognized by the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame as a Sport Builder, by BC Sailing as a Volunteer of the Year, and by Pacific Yachting as one of twenty-five who has made a difference to sailing in B.C.

Volunteer positions held:

  • Chair - Championship events, 1996 to present
  • Director – BC Sailing Board, 1994 to present
  • Director – COSA Learn to Sail Program, 1986 to present
  • Director - Sail Canada Board, 2009 - 2014
  • President – COSA, 2005 – 2007
  • Member - CYA Accessible Sailing Committee, 2003 – 2007
  • Sailing Chair – BC Disability Games, 2003
  • Sailing Director – BC Summer Games, 1996
  • Mission Staff – Canada Games Team BC, 1993
  • Host Organizer / Presenter – National Learn to Sail Symposium, 1992

The Central Okanagan Sailing Association is a Member Club with BC Sailing and Sail Canada. COSA’s sailing school is a registered CANSail Training Site, delivering CANSail Dinghy, & CANSail Para with Sail Canada certified Instructors. COSA annually runs a Youth Race Team, and offers weeknight racing to all members and open regattas for all in the region throughout the season.

Nominate a volunteer at your club today!
Follow these simple steps to nominate for Volvo Cars Volunteer of the Month:

1) Confirm that your club or sailing school is member in good standing &/or registered for the year - 

  • Member Clubs are listed here
  • Member Sailing Schools are listed here
  • Registered CANSail Training Sites are listed here

2) Click here for online nomination form and instructions for photo submissions to

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Volvo Cars of Canada Corporation is part of the Volvo Car Group of Gothenburg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 38 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The S60, S80 and XC60 are among only 22 vehicles that have been awarded the prestigious new Top Safety Pick+ by IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). Volvo Cars is committed to Vision 2020, our goal that no one shall be killed or seriously injured in a Volvo by the year 2020.