Sail Canada introduces its new Chair, Kate MacLennan, as well as the Board of Directors for 2023-2024

Kingston, October 30, 2023 – Sail Canada is proud to introduce its new Chair, Kate MacLennan, of Alberta, as well as the new Board of Directors for 2023-2024, following the Annual General Meeting that was held virtually last week.

Fiona Cochrane from British Columbia has also been elected to the Sail Canada board, while Valérie Lavigne from Québec was re-elected for a second term. They will join current directors at large Barbara Pike, Torstein Braaten, Kelly Lyon and Zac Baum, as well as Athlete Directors Rob Hemming and Mariah Millen.

Kate MacLennan has been a member of the Sail Canada Board of Directors for the past six years and a part of the organization’s Governance and Human Resources Committees. A lawyer and partner at her law firm, she is also a long-time sailor and racer, having sailed at the club, intercollegiate, provincial and national level as a youth, in addition to having been a sailing instructor and learning facilitator. With her sister being Olympic medalist Rosie MacLennan, she is aware of issues that high performance athletes face.

“I am delighted to be taking on the role as Chair for Sail Canada after serving six years on the Board of Directors,” said Kate MacLennan. “I am looking forward to working with the Board members, staff, our upcoming new Chief Executive Officer and the Member Organizations over the next two years.

“I would also like to welcome Fiona Cochrane to the Board and congratulate Valerie Lavigne on being re-elected. As well, thank you to Hugh McGugan, who has spent numerous hours over the past ten years volunteering his time as a member of the Board of Directors for six years and as our Chair for the past four years.”

Fiona Cochrane is a senior government official in British Columbia with Infrastructure BC. A Chartered Professional Accountant, she has a strong background in financial analysis, risk management, contracts, governance, and stakeholder relations. She is also a lifelong sailor. As a youth, she raced on the Ontario Sailing Team and was a sailing instructor, and she continues to enjoy sailing, racing and cruising on the west coast.

“I’m truly honoured and excited to have been elected to the Sail Canada Board of Directors,” said Fiona Cochrane. “I look forward to working with my distinguished fellow board members and the Sail Canada team on the business of the organization for the next three years.”

Valérie Lavigne, a chiropractor, was the first female commodore with the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht club before joining the Sail Canada Board of Directors in 2020. In her first term on the Sail Canada Board of Directors, she has been a member of the Strategic Planning, Governance and Audit committees. She is an avid racer, is involved in her club’s sailing school and is raising a family of sailors.

“It’s an honour to be re-elected for a second term on Sail Canada’s Board,” said Valérie Lavigne. “I am looking forward to helping the organization and contributing to its future.”

About Sail Canada
Established in 1931, Sail Canada is the national governing body for the sport of sailing in the country. Sail Canada is a leading international sailing nation, proud of its world class athletes, lifelong participants and inclusive culture. The organization and its members are committed to excellence by developing and training its leaders, athletes, sailors, instructors, coaches and officials. With the valued support from our partners, the Provincial Sailing Associations and our member clubs, schools, organizations and stakeholders, sailing is promoted in all its forms. By setting standards and delivering programs from home pond to podium for Canadians of all ages and abilities, from dinghies to keelboats, cruising to navigation, windsurfing to powerboating and accessible sailing, Sail Canada sets sail for all, sail to win and sail for life.

A sport in the Olympic program since the first Games in 1896, except in 1904, the pursuit of success in these Games is what fuels the focus of Sail Canada as Canadian athletes have so far achieved nine Olympic and five Paralympic medals.