OTTAWA, ONTARIO (June 30, 2017) — On the eve of Canada’s sesquicentennial, thousands of people across the country are gearing up to mark the occasion in a uniquely Canadian way – on lakes and rivers in canoes and kayaks.
“The paddling community is celebrating Canada 150 the way we know best – on the water,” said Ian Mortimer, Director of Development for Canoe Kayak Canada and a former national team canoe athlete and coach. “This weekend, some are competing against each other; others are enjoying relaxed family paddles; we’re bridging distance and culture on voyageur expeditions; we’re contributing to community celebrations; and we’re sporting the maple leaf in a World Cup regatta. It’s all part of a uniquely Canadian way to celebrate our country’s 150th birthday.”
On the west coast, marathon racers will compete in Prince George, BC in the Northern Hardware Canoe Race, where competitors will paddle up to 67.5 kilometres along the beautiful Nechako River.
From the heights of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, the grueling Voyageurs Canoe Race will see participants travel more than 1,600 kilometres across the Prairies in 23 days along the North Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Rivers to The Pas, Manitoba.
In the North, it’s a grueling physical and mental challenge as hearty canoers take on the Peel River from Fort McPherson to Aklavik in the Race the Peel event.
On Lake Wascana in Regina, the annual Canada Day Regatta brings together teams from across Western Canada and the Western Untied States.
In the Nation’s Capital, the epicentre of Canada 150 celebrations, you’ll find Canadian paddlers all over the water. The Rideau Canoe Club plays host to the Canada Cup Regatta, drawing elite teams from Canada, Mexico, the US, and Australia, along with club teams from across Ontario and Quebec. Results will be available on the imediaC app and online.
Ottawa will also be the site of the meeting of the Four Winds Canoe Brigades Voyageur Canoe expedition. These four brigades set out from Kingston, Kitigan Zibi, Mattawa and Montreal along traditional canoe routes, and are meeting on Victoria Island, in the shadow of Parliament Hill. There, they will receive a welcome from members of the local Algonquin community.
Liz Elton of the South Wind Brigade, who is en route from Kingston, describes it as a truly unique experience: “Traditionally, voyeur canoes carried cargos of furs and trade goods, but these canoes will carry a different kind of payload – ideas, hopes and dreams.”
“You’ll find paddlers on dry land too,” added Mortimer. “On the East Coast, Sackawa Canoe Club has a special reason to celebrate, with two of its members, James McPhee and Tyler Laidlaw, serving as Grand Marshalls in the Canada Day Parade in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia.”
Overseas, Canada’s National Slalom Team will don the maple leaf at World Cup #3 in Markkleeberg Germany. Follow their progress here.
About Canoe Kayak Canada
Canoe Kayak Canada is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada, one of Canada’s top performing summer sports with a total of 24 Olympic medals, and a leader in the Paralympic movement. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization that 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.
For more information:
Director of Development
(O) 613.260.1818 ext 2201