Members of the Pacific Top Team Hope BC Brazilian JiuJitsu take the plunge into Kawkawa Lake on New Year’s Day. The event has become a tradition for residents and hundreds showed up this year to either jump in the waters or cheer others on. (Submitted photo)

Swimmers take the plunge in Hope for New Year’s Day

About 200 pack the beach at Kawkawa Lake to cheer on polar bear swimmers, jump into the waters

A huge group of brave souls took to the chilly waters of Kawkawa Lake on New Year’s Day.

About 200 people showed up for the event, and up to half of them at least dipped their toes in the lake. The Kawkawa Lake Polar Bear swim has become a tradition for many residents, whether it’s to cheer others on or take the plunge themselves.

The event was hosted by the Hope Lions Club and included a concession, and local Brian McKinney egged participants on with a countdown.

While in past years, swimmers have had to contend with snow and ice on the beach, this year was pretty balmy for Hope. According to Environment Canada, Hope’s high on Jan. 1, 2020 was 13.1C and the low was 5.3C.

Did you attend a Polar Bear Swim this New Years Day? Tell us about the experience in the comments below, or send a photo to

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Some of the members of the Pacific Top Team Hope BC Brazilian JiuJitsu pose on the beach at Kawkawa Lake after jumping in for New Year’s Day. (Submitted photo)

These five ladies took a swim together to ring in the New Year in Kawkawa Lake. (Photo by Ron Porter)

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