Sail Canada names Ryan Kelly as new Chief Executive Officer

Kingston, February 1, 2024 – Sail Canada is pleased to announce the hiring of Ryan Kelly as its new Chief Executive Officer starting March 11, 2024.

A lifelong sailor, Ryan Kelly worked for a long period of time in support of the Cadets Canada Sailing Program and he was the President of Sail Newfoundland and Labrador for eight years. Ryan Kelly is currently a dinghy coach at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and is an active Sail Canada Learning Facilitator. He also spends his spare time focused on developing as an offshore sailor. Ryan’s professional career is centred around the Ocean Sector, with more than 15 years in marine safety and general workforce development. He is currently working for the Province of Nova Scotia as the Special Advisor to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

A transition period with current CEO Don Adams, who announced his retirement last fall, will occur in March.

“Ryan has a great vision for Sail Canada that will allow it to grow while taking into account its mission, direction and important relationship with its stakeholders,” said Kate MacLennan, Chair of Sail Canada’s Board of Directors. “I am looking forward to this new chapter for Sail Canada!”

“I’ve been involved with Sail Canada for my entire life and I’m thrilled to be back working in the sport in a full-time capacity,” said Ryan Kelly. “I can’t wait to get started!”

Ryan Kelly will be based in the head office in Kingston and can be reached at

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.