Welcome to Naomi's Wave

Naomi Heffler

Naomi Heffler

Naomi HefflerNaomi Grace Heffler was a vibrant, energetic, passionate young woman, who passed away in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Canada on Monday, January 20, 2003, at the age of 25 years. She was lost in a tragic avalanche, pursuing on of her many passions, skiing.

A native Calgarian, Naomi attended Highwood Elementary School, George P. Vanier, and William Aberhart.  She graduated from the University of Calgary in 2002 with a degree in Chemical Engineering after having spent her internship in Ottawa at CH2M HILL.

During Naomi's short life, she excelled at everything she attempted. She was on the University of Calgary swim team; coached competitive swimming; and played and taught the piano.

Naomi was passionate about the outdoors. She was an accomplished paddler in both the canoe and the kayak, and an expert back country skier. She spent many summers guiding and instructing at Churchill River Canoe Outfitters in Missinipe, Saskatchewan, Nahanni Wilderness Adventures, and was also a canoe and kayak instructor with Rocky Mountain Paddling Centre.

"She will be remembered for her ever present smile, her attention to detail, and her love of life. Every day was a good day to go paddling for her."...... Ric Driediger, Churchill River Canoe Outfitters

Naomi has been dearly missed by her beloved family and her many friends, but her legacy lives on through her accomplishments and the many memories she has left behind with all who knew her.

Naomi's Wave

Naomi loved whitewater! She loved to paddle through it, to cruise around in it and to "surf" various waves she loved. When Naomi was playing on the Churchill River at Missinipe, SK, one of her favorite things was to surf the top wave at Corner Rapids. In fact, she was one of the few who could get onto that wave. She would hover on it for hours!

On Saturday, May 17, 2003, a group of friends and former colleagues from Churchill River Canoe Outfitters met at Corner Rapids to remember Naomi and to officially to name the top wave "Naomi's Wave". A plaque identifying Naomi's Wave is embedded permanently on a rocky outcrop on the nearby shoreline.

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The Naomi Fund

In 2003, Ric Driediger, owner of Churchill River Canoe Outfitters, started the "Naomi Fund" in memory of Naomi, her energy and her spirit. Funds are raised through raffles of donated items, such as home-made quilts, photos, books, etc. displayed at Churchill River Canoe Outfitter's office in Missinipe, SK.
Through the "Naomi Fund", bursaries are granted to young people wishing to further their educations in outdoor-related studies.

The Naomi Project

Zane Hrynewich didn't know Naomi Heffler, but he had visited Naomi's Wave at Corner Rapids on the Churchill River and was inspired by Naomi's story. Zane and Ric Driediger often talked about the possibility of attempting a musical project at Forest House. When Zane's friend, Sue Leonard saw his pictures of a recent trip to the lodge, she expressed an interest in partaking in such a project. Ric, Zane and Sue agreed that Forest House would be the perfect setting to create music dedicated to the life and spirit of Naomi Heffler, especially in 2013, the tenth anniversary of her death. Thus the "Naomi Project" was born.
On August 26, 2013, Sue Leonard and Zane Hrynewich journeyed to Forest House and spent a week writing and recording in a setting Naomi would most certainly love.

Current Status

Sue and Zane returned to Saskatoon on September 2, 2013 with music and vocals for four tracks. The music is being prepared for mixing and mastering, and will be released when ready, hopefully in 4-6 weeks.

The Latest from Sue Leonard

Sue Leonard

Tunes For Naomi Project

To date Zane and I have 6 tunes we are working on at Forest House Lodge In Saskatchewan. I wanted to talk about the… Read more.....


I am excited as "all get out" heading to Saskatoon. I have never met Zane Hrynewich in person. We met through Facebook… Read more.....

Day Three - "Goodbye" Video

I was working on the vocal for "Goodbye", when this video was shot. That's the back of Zane's head. We worked hard, but… Read more.....

Day One - "Take Off, Eh?"

Captain Sue and the crew hit the skies. Read more.....

Day One - "AutoTune" Highway Video

Video of the road we traveled for the last 80 km to Missinipe. Zane and I were still getting to know one another. Read more.....

The Latest from Zane Hrynewich

Zane Hrynewich

August 26 - One Year Later - Not a Good Year!

One Year ago today, Sue Leonard and I travelled for over five hours, from Saskatoon, to Missinipe, in a Chevy Equinox,… Read more.....

October 3/013 - Mixing Starts

Started preparing and sending audio files to my bro, Orest in Toronto for the mixing process to begin. He's using Logic… Read more.....

Sept.09/013 - Brotherly Love Pays Off!!!!!

Sue and I returned from Forest House with four songs ready to be tweaked, mixed and mastered, but we still had a number… Read more.....

Back in Saskatoon

Sue and I arrived back in Saskatoon early in the evening on September 2. She wasn't leaving to go back to Hamilton… Read more.....

September 2 - Going Home

It was a bittersweet day. I had been away from my wife and family for a week and even though I missed them dearly, it… Read more.....

September 1 - Re-charging the Batteries

Our seventh day started, as usual, with a great breakfast with Joanne and Greg. I was awake very early and by the time… Read more.....

The Food

The best way to describe the food we were served during our stay at Forest House is simply YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!… Read more.....

August 31 - Simply Awesome Day!

Day Six - already! After finishing off last night with some great singing from Sue, and getting some long, deep sleep,… Read more.....

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