Back to top

2019 Kootenay Co-op Radio Polar Bear Swim Is On

It's back, and happening New Year's Day at Lakeside Park in Nelson. — The Nelson Daily file photo

Now that Santa has come and gone, the Kootenay Co-op Radio wants everyone to know the next major event on the calendar comes on New Year's Day at Lakeside Park in Nelson.

KCR has once again taken on the task of organizing the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim happening at High Noon noon on January 1, 2019. With a near-record turn-out last year, volunteer organizers at the station are hoping to see the event bring out even more swimmers this year.

“We were super lucky with the weather in 2018, and hoping we have a nice day again this year," said event organizer Stephanie Meyers in a media release. "But we’ll be serving up hot chocolate and chilli again to take the bite out of whatever winter throws at us."

With a goal of raising $5000, the event is being held as a fundraiser for the mostly volunteer-run station, and Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society (FOKLSS). “Kootenay Co-op Radio runs on a shoestring budget, but we still have bills to pay. We have a small, part-time staff, a mortgage on our building, and our gear is in dire need of upgrades. Still, building community is one of our primary goals, so we like to share the love with other local non-profits”, says Meyers. “Friend of Kootenay Lake is the perfect fit for an event like this.” Formed in 2012, FOKLSS is dedicated to sustaining a healthy Kootenay Lake for future generations.

Along with hot chocolate, chilli, and propane heaters, organizers will have Search and Rescue on hand should any swimmers get into trouble. “One thing we’ve noticed about Nelson, is the people love to dress up. So if you have a costume that won’t drown you, by all means, wear it!”, says Meyers.

Participants are encouraged to seek pledges from friends, neighbours, and family. Pledge forms may be picked up at Kootenay Co-op Radio, or emailed. For more information on how volunteer, or to request a pledge form, contact

  • What: 2019 Kootenay Co-op Radio Polar Bear Swim
  • Where: Lakeside Park in Nelson
  • When: Noon on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2019
  • Organizer: Kootenay Co-op Radio