I Am A Sailor – Art Buitenwerf


When Art was asked why he sails, his response was “I sail for the magic that happens when you slip into the environment around you.  The sounds, the wind on your face, the joy in your heart.” This might explain the mission he took on to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Local Chestermere sailor Art Buitenwerf will be completing 150 sails on Chestermere lake this year to celebrate the Canada 150 anniversary. Photo Submitted

Art has been sailing since he was a young child, he first learned to sail at age eight on Saltspring Island in British Columbia. As a young adult, he moved inland to Alberta and fell out of the sport as it wasn’t the same, not being on the ocean. Approximately a decade ago, he found the Calgary Yacht Club in Chestermere and rediscovered his love and passion for the water.

He bought a laser, originally intended for his daughter, but he has taken to sailing it himself quite a bit. With some inspiration from his wife, he decided to sail around Chestermere Lake 150 times to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. As an immigrant from England, Art’s wife recalls fond memories of celebrating Canada’s centennial birthday at Confederation Park in Calgary.

Art Buitenwerf completed the final sail of his 150 sail of Lake Chestermere for Canada 150 on Sept. 10. Photo Submitted by Andrew Weicht

Having started his count on April 30, he completed sail no. 150 on September 30, 2017, Art had this to say in reflection; “I sailed the same route, but, with nature, it is never the same lake.  I embrace the changing conditions and the people who made the journey special.

Best piece of sailing advice: Keep the pointy bit up!

Art Buitenwerf
Glenmore Sailing Club

Read more about this special initiative below.

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