Former Pan Am Games executive Steve Wallace to head up Canada Artistic Swimming

OTTAWA — Steve Wallace, an experienced executive on numerous sport leadership teams, including the 2015 Pan American Games, has been hired as the CEO of Canada Artistic Swimming.

"I have loved working in sport, seeing the drive and passion of the high performance athletes, as well as the dedication and devotion of the volunteers, parents and clubs at the grassroots level," Wallace said in a release. "I'm looking forward to getting to know the artistic swimming community and enhancing what is already a strong and vibrant organization."

Most recently Wallace has led Play On!, Canada's sports festival. He's also been a member of the senior leadership teams for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the 2017 Invictus Games and Alpine Canada.

He also spent several years leading brand growth in several corporate positions in the marketing field.

Wallace was appointed to the position by the CAS board of directors.

"(Wallace's) experience in leading high functioning teams, as well as his ability to negotiate multi-year sponsorship and media contracts will be a tremendous asset to CAS," said Florence Klein, president of the board. "He will help us continue to build our strong brand both here in Canada and internationally."

He takes over the CEO position from Jackie Buckingham, who announced her retirement last month.

Canadian artistic swimming — formerly synchronized swimming — has been hit by allegations of abuse and maltreatment, with five former national team swimmers filing a request for a class-action lawsuit in 2021 against CAS, asking to sue for collective damages over psychological abuse and harassment.

CAS in overhauling its culture and safe sport policies, through its five-year Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Rise Up Action plan, meant to "develop a diverse, inclusive artistic swimming community for all those involved in the sport," the national organization said in Tuesday's release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press