OTTAWA, ON (April 6, 2017) — 2017, the year of Canada’s 150th birthday, will be a big year for paddling competitions in Canada. Considering the sport’s deep roots in Canadian heritage, it is fitting that this special year will be celebrated with so many paddling events. Canoe Kayak Canada is proud to release a preliminary events calendar on its website featuring 116 paddling events taking place across Canada and 22 international events to be attended by National Teams.
By the numbers
- 116 events
- 33 featured events
- 22 international events
- 42 marathon events
- 32 sprint events
- 25 slalom events
- 16 wildwater events
- 6 freestyle events
- 3 canoe polo events
- Most popular month: July with 30 events
Canoe Kayak Canada will host several National-level paddling competitions this year. To select athletes for National Teams, there will be two sets of sprint and one set of slalom Canadian Team Trials. Five National Championships will take place for sprint, whitewater, marathon, surfski and canoe polo over the summer. Sudbury, ON will host the Canoe Polo National Championships in July and the Marathon Canadian Championships in August. The Canadian Surfski Championships will take place in Squamish, BC. Whitewater Championships will take place in Ottawa and Sprint Championships will round out the circuit in Welland, ON to be followed by the Canadian Masters competition at the same venue the next day. There are two Sprint Canada Cups on the calendar including one in Ottawa to coincide with Canada Day in the capital and one in Shawinigan, QC the following week.
Featured events are displayed on the events calendar with photos along with a red backdrop for international events and brown backdrop for national events.
The International Canoe Federation will host three Sprint World Cups on consecutive weekends starting in May in Europe. The Canadian Team will compete at World Cups 2 and 3 which will both include Paracanoe events. There are five Canoe Slalom World Cups on the calendar.
Two Junior and U23 World Championships are taking place just a week apart in the second half of July. For canoe slalom, those Championships will happen in Britislava, Slovakia starting July 18. For sprint the Championships will take place in Pitești, Romania starting July 27.
Canada will send teams to the ICF World Championships for Sprint, Slalom, Marathon and Freestyle. The Freestyle World Championships are the final event of the year and will stretch the calendar to December 2 by taking advantage of warmer weather in Argentina.
In preparation for hosting the Canoe Polo World Championships next year, the Welland International Flatwater Centre will welcome international teams to a test event this year from September 8 to 10. The Open Canoe North American Championship will take place in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, QC.
The Games this year
It’s a post-Olympic and Paralympic year and there will be two prominent Games taking place in Canada plus the World Games are taking place in Poland. The Canada Summer Games are taking place in Winnipeg starting July 28 and sprint paddling events are scheduled for the second week of the Games. Toronto will host the North American Indigenous Games from July 16 to 23 and paddling events will take place in Welland, ON. Canada’s Women’s Canoe Polo team will compete at the World Games from July 28 to 30.
There are some events that score particularly high when it comes to the ‘wow factor’. The Voyageurs Rendezvous 150 is one such event as teams will paddle 1,600 kilometres from Rocky Mountain House, AB to The Pas, MB to retrace a traditional trading route in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. The race pays tribute to Canada’s portaging past and makes use of traditional voyageur canoes. Teams of nine are still being recruited for this feat taking place over the month of July.
Speaking of history, the Yukon River Quest is the World’s longest annual canoe and kayak race stretching from Whitehorse to Dawson City. The Classique Internationale de Canots de la Mauricie will cover 200 kilometres over four days from La Tuque to Trois-Rivières, QC. This race has been a spectacle since its inception in 1934. Bucking the river theme for the long-haul races is the Lake Ontario Crossing where paddlers will race from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Toronto on Stand Up Paddleboards, or SUPs. And while not quite in Canada there will surely be a few Canadian West Coasters making the trip across the boarder to Bellingham, Washington to take part in a duathlon that transcends seasons and ecosystems with the Ski to Sea race.
You don’t have to be an elite athlete to participate in every event. There are many local competitions featured on the calendar that are open to public participation, including the Great Muskoka Paddling Experience, the Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Memorial Cup Challenge and many others. With a variety of races of different disciplines, distances and levels of competition, Canoe Kayak Canada’s line up of events has wide offering for families, communities and champions. More events will be added in the coming weeks so be sure to check back regularly.
About Canoe Kayak Canada
Canoe Kayak Canada is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada. Canoe Kayak Canada has been one of Canada’s top performing summer sports having won an impressive count of 24 Olympic medals. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization which includes an intricate network of clubs as well as provincial, territorial and divisional paddling associations. Elite National Team athletes proudly represent Canada at various competitions around the globe – most notably the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, ICF World Cups as well as Junior, Under 23 and Senior World Championships. Follow Canoe Kayak Canada on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.