2016/17 Management Staff
Executive Director Cristiana Spooner
Business Manager Sandy Belzyck
Pemberton Manager Catou Tyler
Ali Drescher – Born and raised in New Westminster BC, while spending every summer and winter in Whistler since I was born. I started taking recreational classes for both Gymnastics and Trampoline at age 3 in New West – which turned into becoming a Competitive Trampoline and Tumbling athlete by age 8. I competed for over 10 years as a Provincial/National/International athlete with the Shasta Trampoline and Tumbling Team in all 4 events (Trampoline, Tumbling, Double Mini, & Synchro), many times representing Team BC at competitions all across the country. After being forced to retire from an unrelated injury, I began coaching/supervising for both competitive and recreational programs with Shasta and the New West Parks, Culture, and Recreation Gymnastics and Trampoline Program and have been for 11 years. I am a student working towards a Bachelors Degree in Recreation Management, and in the future wish to continue my studies into Sport Science. I have my Technical level 3 for Trampoline, and am continuing my coaching certification to the highest level. After moving to Whistler permanently in January, I began working for Whistler Gymnastics with the Comp Tramp Team, as well as GFA and am very excited to continue the development of this awesome program!
Dani Duncan (Circus Instructor) - Born in Ireland, Dani has been teaching circus for the past five years. My love for circus began with flying trapeze and soon escalated into various kinds of aerial apparatus. I have spent the past five summers co-directing a circus programme encompassing flying trapeze, aerial silks, static trapeze and aerial hoop at a children’s summer camp in Pennsylvania, USA. On returning to Ireland I started ‘Aerial Revolution,’ aerial classes for adults aimed at improving strength, confidence and a fun way to get fit. I hope you are ready to try something new in Whistler and love the addiction that is circus!
Seija Halonen - Born and raised in Thunder Bay. It was acting school at Studio 58 that brought her out to BC and her love of snowboarding and the mountains. She dropped in to check out WG in 2008 and was put to work on the spot! Seija has completed her Level 3 technical course for gymnastics and works with all ages, levels and abilities. She has also coached and taken the Gymnaestrada team to the 2010 Nationals in Winnipeg. When not coaching, Seija develops her artistic talents with leather work and outstanding jewelry. Seija lives in Lillooet Lake with her husband and her dog, Boogie.
Karin Jarratt - Born in Germany and raised in Prince George, BC. She started her gymnastics career quite late, at 13, after seeing Nadia Comaneci at the Olympics and was the oldest competitive gymnast in BC for several years. Some of her best years included training while learning to coach and ultimately competing against some of her own athletes! At the age of 23 she was asked to join the National Team’s summer training camp, but chose to retire from competition and focus on cultivating aspiring gymnasts. She is a Level 3 Gymnastics coach and has her Technical Level 3 for Trampoline. Karin just celebrated her 35th year of coaching, 25 years of which have been with WG and just recently received a BC Provincial Coach of the Year Award for her efforts. She lives in Whistler with her 16-year-old daughter who was on WG's competitive team for 7 years and is now also learning the art of coaching.
Tanya Liquorish - I have coached for 14 years in gymnastics, trampoline and circus arts in the lower mainland, Kelowna and Nova Scotia. Previously I have worked at Cirque du Soleil on various tours in the Costume department for 12 years. It was always my dream to do this. I was a National Canadian Trampoline Athlete and competed for 12 years until I broke my leg and decided to move to the next stage in my life, which took me to Paris, France. I have also studied Textile and Jewelry Arts at Capilano College and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. I left my Cirque job to settle in Squamish BC and raise my wonderful daughter as well be closer to family broaden my future goals.
Corley McElwain - Born in Edmonton, Alberta and raised on a Farm in the small community of Androssan. She started off her gymnastics career at the young age of 2 and quickly grew from a young athlete into an elite gymnast for much of her young adult life. She has sommersaulted, front-tucked and cartwheeled her way around the world and back, and is proud to have firmly stuck her landing here in beautiful Whistler. Corley made her debut at the National Canadian Championships in 1998. At age 10, she earned a powerful second place finish on vault and 12th overall in the national novice category. Her gymnastics career took off and she earned many winning titles at the national and international competition level as a high performance athlete. She started her coaching career while she was still a gymnast and developed different gymnastics programs in her local home town for children with special needs. Corley has a passion for helping children utilize sports and recreation to better understand their body movements and behaviors inside and outside of the gym. Her love for the outdoors and sports took her to Squamish where she started her university career in outdoor education. She spent the next few years learning how to teach, guide and develop programs in the tourism and outdoor industries. Gymnastics was still a huge part of Corley’s life while she entered the professional part of her career at Whistler Gymnastics. She receives great pleasure from coaching children, and enjoys helping them discover their future potential as an athlete and individual. Corley lives in Whistler with her two dogs and loves to dirt bike, snowmobile, and snowboard on her days off.
Tami Mitchell - Born in Richmond BC where she started gymnastics at the age of 3 and competed till Grade 9, which is when she started her coaching career. She went on to managing the Richmond Gymnastics Club until moving up to Whistler in 1999 when she started coaching for Whistler Gymnastics as well as teaching skiing, aerobics and dance. Tami was a competitive dancer and was the 2000 National Sport Aerobics Champion. Tami has been club administrator, program director, competitive and recreational head coach and is now the lead coach of our display team, hoping to bring the athletes to the World Gymnaestrada in Austria in 2019!. She has earned numerous awards over the years both for her dedication and ability to lead. Tami lives in Whistler with her husband and 9-year-old daughter.
Kyle Olmsted - Beginning life in gymnastics in Hong Kong, at age 4 was a blessing that I cherish to this day. After moving to Canada at age 6, I quickly began recreational gymnastics in Mississauga, ON. I was plucked and placed into the competitive stream, from then gymnastics has been the dominant force in my life. After making my way through the provincial stream, I progressed to make the national team at age 12, soon after placed second at nationals in the high performance stream. Entering into high school I found my focus shifting, from training and competing, to the challenges of teenage hood, which lead me to sports with a less rigorous training regimen. I competed as a national trampolinist for two years, placing second and third, meanwhile getting more involved in outdoor sports, such as soccer, snowboarding, skateboarding and canoeing. Having had the opportunity to visit Whistler during high school was the main force behind my decision to move here after high school to “live the dream” and escape the concrete paradise that southern Ontario is. Living in Whistler was a major turning point in my life; my perspective of what career could be drastically changed. Realizing I did not have to enter into a cookie cutter career initiated my desire for secondary education, which is how I found the adventure guide program at Thompson Rivers University. After completing the two-year program, I thought what better place to begin building my guiding and instructional skills than Whistler.
Catou Tyler - Born and raised in Ottawa where she started gymnastics at the age of 9 because she would not stop cartwheeling and flipping around the backyard. She trained until she was 19. She is a Level 2 certified Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics coach and is Level 2 Trampoline certified. She also has her preschool, Active Start and special needs certification. Catou was club director for WG from 2006 – 2008 and has also managed the recreational programs. She has been in Whistler for 17 years and shortly after arriving started coaching with WG. Catou is a mother of 2 and lives in Pemberton.