Canadian trailblazers announce retirement

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Canadian trailblazers announce retirement

The first-ever Canadian female canoeists to paddle on an Olympic course have officially announced their retirement. Laurence Vincent Lapointe (Sprint) and Haley Daniels (Slalom) have recently stepped away from elite-level sport, leaving an indelible mark on the sport and inspiring a generation to come.

Women’s canoe made its Olympic debut at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games – Over 80 years after men’s canoe was introduced to the Olympic program in 1936. Haley and Laurence were among the many actively lobbying around the world for women to be able to compete on the Olympic stage.

Laurence was the first-ever gold medalist in 2010 when it was first introduced at the ICF World Championships. She went on to win multiple world championship titles on her journey to Olympic silver (C1 500m) and bronze (C2 500m) with partner Katie Vincent in Tokyo. It was a unique and challenging road to success.

Laurence reflected in her retirement announcement saying, “I have accomplished everything I wanted to do by going to the Olympic Games and finally seeing women competing in canoe. Thank you to all those who contributed to my success.”

Haley Daniels is also a passionate paddling pioneer advocating for gender equality in women’s canoe and actively supporting her father’s recent decision to publicly announce his transition to a transgendered woman, named Kimberly.

“My mantra throughout the whole process is to be open and honest,” said Daniels. “I only get one family and one dad, so it was natural to support her transition and welcome this journey together.”

Kimberly became a certified international official for slalom paddling and was selected as an Olympic judge at Tokyo 2020. Kimberly was the first openly transgendered woman to judge at an Olympic Games.

“Sitting at the start line of the first Olympics that women’s canoe debuts as gender equal was the proudest moment I have ever had,” said Daniels via Instagram. “We pioneered a legacy for future women in sport to come and for that I can’t help but smile.”

CKC congratulates both Haley and Laurence on their retirements. We look forward to celebrating and featuring more Olympian retirements in the coming months.


CKC welcomes new staff members to the team

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is pleased to welcome Jessica Kenney and Emmalee Nother to the staff team. Jessica will take on the role of Project Manager, National Program Development and Events while Emmalee joins the team as Communications Coordinator.

“We are thrilled to welcome both Jessica and Emmalee to the CKC team” said Casey Wade, CEO of Canoe Kayak Canada. “Both bring tremendous experience, energy and skills that will help strengthen our continued commitment and capacity to lead and support paddling in Canada at all levels, as well as internationally.”

Jessica Kenney will be responsible for coordinating and managing the delivery of domestic development programs and events as it relates to planning, budgeting, execution, communication, tracking and evaluation of programs in partnership with other key staff. Jessica will work closely with Kenna Robins, Director of National Program Development, the Senior Leadership team and other key staff.

“I am excited to be joining CKC and the Canadian paddling community,” said Kenney. “I look forward to working with Kenna and the team to build on the great work CKC is known for, while helping develop the National programming.”

Jessica brings a wealth of experience from her most recent role at the Canadian Paralympic Committee. As Senior Coordinator of Games Operations and Delivery, Jessica has completed the delivery of Travel Services and Games Registration for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games and 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympic Games. Jessica also held the role as Senior Coordinator of Fundraising Events at the Paralympic Foundation of Canada. Prior to joining the Canadian Paralympic Committee, she managed the satellite operation for the 2019 Red Deer Canada Games, managing the competition venue, accommodation and competition operations of three sport competition venues.

“We are really looking forward to having Jessica as part of the team,” said Kenna Robins, Director of National Program Development. “As a Certified Project Manager, she has extensive experience in project management, volunteer management, and successful event delivery. Jessica’s positive attitude and excellent customer service skills will certainly be a great asset to CKC and the broader community.”

Emmalee Nother joins the CKC team as Communications Coordinator. Working closely with the Communications Lead, Colleen Coderre and the Senior Leadership Team, Emmalee will support the delivery of CKC’s communications, including event communications, media relations, and the digital strategy.

“I am incredibly excited and grateful for the opportunity to join Colleen and the CKC Team,” said Nother. “With passion and purpose, I look forward to telling the incredible stories of our athletes and sport to amplify the paddling community.”

In her recent role as Digital Communications Manager at Alpine Ontario Alpin, Emmalee developed a robust digital marketing strategy that resulted in significant growth and engagement for the organization and their partner profiles. In her previous role at the Canadian Olympic Foundation, Emmalee managed all donor marketing and communications, fostering new profitable relationships that helped carry Team Canada through two Olympic Games, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Emmalee was also a key player in launching multiple marketing campaigns at the Foundation including ‘5to8’, the largest digital fundraising campaign the Foundation has ever launched with media coverage worldwide.

“Emmalee brings the perfect balance of passion and experience to this role,” said Colleen Coderre, CKC’s Communications Lead. “She is highly skilled, highly motivated and brings a wonderful energy and attitude to the table. I am really looking forward to working with Emmalee to elevate our communications strategy.”

We welcome Emmalee to the team as she officially starts in her new role on April 4, 2022. We also look forward to welcoming Jessica to the team on April 19, 2022.

Statement from CKC and Canoe ’22 Society

Ottawa, ON (March 1, 2022) – Canoe Kayak Canada and the Canoe ’22 Society, hosts of the 2022 ICF Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe World Championships, supports the decision of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) to suspend all Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials.

We join our partners at the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee in strongly condemning the war of aggression against the sovereign state of Ukraine by the Russian government, currently being supported by the Belarusian Government.

We add our voice to calls for peace and the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people as well as with the communities of athletes, coaches, and staff who may have friends or family affected by these horrific events.

ICF Release – March 1, 2022

Call for Candidates

Canoe Kayak Canada is looking for two volunteers to join the Slalom High Performance Committee as members at large, which are voting members of the committee. The Whitewater Council recently updated the committee’s Terms of Reference (ToR) and added a 6th voting member to the committee. The revised ToR also indicate that the committee, to the extent possible, will ensure regional and gender representation within its composition. Additionally, the committee encourages individuals from underrepresented communities to respond to this call.

The Slalom HPC will meet at least twice per year via telephone or video conference. The main role of the Committee is to provide technical direction to the Slalom discipline and High Performance Programs and as such it operates with a relatively high degree of autonomy on technical matters specific to the Slalom discipline.

At a minimum, all candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a current member in good standing of Canoe Kayak Canada

In addition, ideal candidates will have:

  • Extensive knowledge of whitewater high performance programs and the Canadian sport system as it relates to the discipline
  • Experience working on volunteer committees
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills
  • The ability to work in both official languages is an asset.

Please send completed application forms and a resumé outlining relevant skills and qualifications to James Cartwright by email at before March 7, 2022

Canoe Kayak Canada helps launch new season of RBC Training Ground

Canadian athletes between the ages of 14 and 25 have the chance to be scouted by nine Team Canada sports for free, including Canoe Kayak Canada

TORONTO, January 25, 2022 — RBC Training Ground struck gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games when alumni Avalon Wasteneys and Kelsey Mitchell became Olympic champions. Now, as program graduates prepare to make their debut at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, RBC Training Ground resumes its search for the next generation of Olympic talent.

RBC Training Ground is a nation-wide talent identification program dedicated to finding and funding Canada’s future Olympians. Canoe Kayak Canada –  one of nine participating National Sport Organizations – has partnered with RBC Training Ground since its inception.

“RBC Training Ground is a gamechanger and a real life example of how a Team Canada partner can change the fate of young Canadian athletes,” said David Shoemaker, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General, Canadian Olympic Committee. This amazing program quite literally makes Olympic dreams a reality. We are delighted to see the program returning for its seventh year and excited about the prospects of RBC Training Ground graduates competing at Beijing 2022 in just a few weeks. We know how Team Canada inspires Canadians to Be Olympic, and we strongly encourage young Canadians to take advantage of this free opportunity to kickstart their campaigns for Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and beyond, so they can then inspire the next generation of champions.”

Year seven of the program, beginning this Spring, features a planned return to free in-person qualifying events across the country (guided by local health and safety protocols) in addition to virtual testing options.

At each qualifying event participants will perform speed, strength, power, and endurance benchmark testing in front of the participating National Sport Organizations. Athletes deemed to have high performance potential are invited to complete further sport-specific testing. The top athletes will be selected as RBC Future Olympians and receive funding, mentorship, and other resources to pursue their Olympic dreams.

“RBC Training Ground is designed to help identify and support the next generation of Olympic talent, and provide athletes with the high-performance sport resources needed to achieve their podium dreams,” said Evan MacInnis, Technical Director for RBC Training Ground. “While some participants are looking to re-energize or boost an Olympic dream in a sport they are already pursuing, others participate with the hope of being discovered and directed toward an Olympic sport they may have never considered. But they all rely on raw athleticism and determination to attract the attention of our sport partners and are excited to see where this program can take them.”

RBC Training Ground alumni competing at Beijing 2022 include World Cup gold medallist Marion Thénault (Freestyle Skiing – Aerials), Miha Fontaine (Freestyle Skiing – Aerials) Mike Evelyn (Bobsleigh), Ryan Sommer (Bobsleigh) and Sara Villani (Bobsleigh).

Registration and event information for all local RBC Training Ground events is available at

Since its inception in 2016, the program has tested 10,000 athletes across Canada, with over 1,300 athletes being identified by National Sport Organizations as having Olympic potential (many in a sport they had never considered).

National Sport Organization program partners in 2022 include: Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton; Canoe Kayak Canada; Cycling Canada Cyclisme; Freestyle Ski Canada, Luge Canada; Rowing Canada Aviron, Rugby Canada; Speed Skating Canada; and Volleyball Canada – all looking to identify new talent for development.

RBC Training Ground was developed in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Olympic Foundation, with support from the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network. As the longest standing corporate partner of Team Canada, RBC is proud to celebrate its 75th year proudly championing the Olympic Movement.


Obituary: Bill McKee

It is with profound sadness that Canoe Kayak Canada recognizes the passing of Bill McKee on December 21st at the age of 84. Bill was a long time National and International Official, volunteer and leader within the Quebec Division of the Sprint Discipline for more than 40 years.

Bill began his life in the sport as a paddler at the Grand Trunk Canoe Club. After his paddling years, he became a director of the Chateauguay Canoe Club and then an official with his long-time friends Peter McCabe and Robin Walsh.

Bill was a certified level 5 official, and was a regular appointee to international events, officiating at the 1976 Olympic Games and 15 ICF World Championships. At home at Canadian events he was a fixture of the sport officiating at Nationals and many divisional regattas every year. Bill was the Quebec Division flag officer for more than 30 years, and was extremely knowledgeable about the Quebec Division and its history. Much of the development and modernization of the sport in Quebec can be linked to his tenure, and his dedication to the sport of Canoe Kayak was profound.

He remained aware of athlete results and was a supporter of up-and-coming and high level athletes. Bill was also an advocate of women’s canoe in our sport. Most of all he always shared a love for the sport, and every year at Nationals he was happy to watch all of the close races and performances of the athletes on the water.

Bill was the honoured recipient of the R. Edgar Gilbert Award for his contribution to officiating in 1986. The Quebec Division also donated a National Championships trophy named in his honour, which Bill presented to the winner of the Senior Women’s C1 200m for the first time in 2018.

Canoe Kayak Canada wishes to express our condolences to Bill’s wife Frances, his family and all of his friends and colleagues in the canoeing community. We also are compelled to thank Bill, and his family for his lifetime of contribution to the sport of canoeing.



Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is the recognized authority by the International Canoe Federation on all aspects of paddling in Canada including the Olympic disciplines of sprint and slalom, and the Paralympic discipline of Paracanoe. Our vision is to be a Canadian sport for families, communities and champions.


Project Manager, National Program Development and Events

Application deadline: January 14, 2022

Communications Coordinator

Application deadline: January 14, 2022 If you possess the passion and qualifications for this position, please submit your resume along with a covering letter clearly outlining why you believe you are a good fit for our organization. Only those selected for interviews will be contacted. Apply to

KC Dalton joins CKC as Assistant Coach

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is proud to welcome KC Dalton (nee Fraser) to our staff team as an Assistant Coach working in the Atlantic Centre.

KC Dalton previously led high performance programming at the South Niagara Canoe Club as the Head Coach. As a Sprint National Team alumna, Dalton is a Pan American Games champion in K4 500m in 2015, and a member of the 2016 Rio Olympic Team.

In this coaching role, KC will work with all disciplines at the Atlantic Sport Centre to continue elevating it to a world class training environment.  KC will collaborate closely with CKC coaches, Chad Brooks and Andreas Dittmer in Halifax, as well as the broader high performance team at the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic.

“After a great experience working at the club level I’m excited for this new opportunity to work with the top athletes in Canada and share my knowledge,” added Dalton.

KC will be a key leader within our CKC Sprint coaching staff and a critical piece of ensuring a world-class centre environment year round in Halifax, while also coaching a various international competitions and camps through out the year.

“KC’s high level of technical knowledge, experience in the sport, coaching education and her positive and performance focused mindset will be a true asset to our CKC community and all the athletes,” said CKC Chief Technical Officer, Ian Mortimer. “We look forward to her joining the team in January.”

This position was made possible through the collaboration of the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, and we thank them for their ongoing partnership and collaboration.

Andreas Dittmer returns to lead National Canoe Sprint Program

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is thrilled to announce the return of world-class coach Andreas Dittmer to lead Canada’s canoe sprint program towards Paris 2024 and beyond.

Dittmer coached the Canadian men’s sprint canoe team for over two years before returning to his home country to coach the German men’s canoe team in fall 2020.

During his career as an athlete, Dittmer dominated sprint canoeing by winning five medals at the Olympic Games, including gold in C-2 1000m, C-1 1000m and C-1 500m, and accomplishment unmatched in the history of the sport. He is also an 8-time World Champion and won a total of 22 medals at the World Championship between 1991 and 2004.

In his previous role as Men’s Canoe coach in Canada Dittmer led the team to a successful qualification for the Olympic Games in C-2 1000m, including the setting of a Canadian record in the C-2 1000m at the World Championships in 2019. During his stint with the German team during the 2021 season, Dittmer coached athletes to a Bronze Medal in Tokyo in Men’s C-2 1000m, as well and Senior World Championships Titles in C-1 1000m.

“We are very excited to have Andreas rejoin our program in this new role leading the Canoe program. He is a leader whose experience and impactful coaching helps our entire team elevate their training, while bringing a love and passion for the sport that is equally inspiring,” said Ian Mortimer, Canoe Kayak Canada Chief Technical Officer.

Dittmer is looking forward to returning to Canada saying, “I’m very grateful to be able to continue this great job for the canoe and kayak family in Canada and I’m really looking forward to working with motivated athletes who will join us on the pathway to the Paris Olympic Games in 2024. I’m also excited to be working with very professional coaches and staff and I’m especially looking forward to coming back home.”

While Dittmer will contibute to program training for our athletes in the Fall, he will officially join the team on January 1, 2022 and work closely with CKC Head Coach Anders Gustafsson and the entire canoe kayak sprint coaching team in the lead up to Paris 2024.

Athlete Rep – Call for Candidates

Call for Candidates

Domestic Development Committee – Athlete Representative


National Sprint Officials Committee – Athlete Representative

Canoe Kayak Canada is looking for two individuals to join two committees in the organization as Athlete Representatives:

  1. one individual to join the organization’s Sprint Domestic Development Committee (DDC) as the Athlete Representative, and
  2. one individual to join the organization’s National Sprint Officials Committee (NOC) as the Athlete Representative.

These positions are instrumental in providing an athlete’s perspective to the discussions and decision-making of the organization.

Interested candidates are required to complete the attached form in order to be considered for the position.

Please send applications to Chair of the CKC Athlete Committee, care of Ben Russell by email to  by October 27th, 2021.  The Athletes Committee will be responsible for the final selection of the candidates.

Call for Candidates

Call for Candidates – Sprint Racing Discipline, Sprint Racing Council Chair/Commodore, Domestic Development Committee Chair, and High Performance Committee Chair

Canoe Kayak Canada is looking for three individuals to join three committees in the organization:

  1. one individual to join the Sprint Racing Council and fill the role of Chair/Commodore of the Council,
  2. one individual to join the Sprint Racing Council and fill the role of Chair of the Domestic Development Committee, and,
  3. one individual to join the Sprint Racing Council and fill the role of Chair of the High-Performance Committee.

These positions are instrumental in providing leadership to the discussions and decision-making of the organization.

Interested candidates are required to complete the form in order to be considered for the position.

Please send applications to Casey Wade, CEO, by email to by October 27th, 2021.

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

Dear CKC Members,

We would like to take a moment to recognize this first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This Day honours the lost children and Survivors of the residential Schools, their families and communities.

In 2021 Canoe Kayak Canada and working with it’s Indigenous Advisory Council developed the : Starting the Conversation: Paddling, Indigenous Peoples, and Reconciliation, resources to encourage our membership to  engage in conversations around paddling, Indigenous Peoples, and reconciliation in our sport.

Today we encourage all our members to take action by Starting the Conversation in their own communities. For those who do use the Starting Conversation resource and complete the activities, we would further encourage you to send what you have learned and the outcome of your conversations in to us at CKC so that we can post them on the CKC website to be shared for all to learn from. The conversations, and sharing this education is an initial step forward on the long path of reconciliation.

We would like to sincerely thank our Indigenous Advisory Council for their time and council.

For more information or questions: please contact Tyler Lawlor

CKC: Starting the Conversation: Paddling , Indigenous Peoples, and Reconciliation.

Document can be found here.

For more information please visit:

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Truth and Reconciliation Sport:


Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Canadian paddlers compete at World Marathon Championships

OTTAWA, ON (September 28, 2021) — Canoe Kayak Canada Marathon team is racing at the 2021 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships this week in Bascov, Romania.

The Canadian team will compete from September 30 – October 3, led by Team Leader and CKC President, Chris Helyar.

The World Marathon Championships is a lap-format race with the start, finish and portage in the same area.

Canadian athletes will take part in the short distance events on September 30 (approximately 9km) in the C1 and K1 classes. There is a set of heats with the qualifying boats going to the finals. There are three laps for all competitors.

Athletes will also compete in the long distance events from October 1-3 (approx. 13 km to 28km). The number of laps ranges from 4-8 depending on the race category. The senior athletes are expected to complete the distance in a time of approximately two hours fifteen minutes.

Meet the Canadian team:

K1 Men – Andrii Kkainatskyi
Andrii paddles for the Viking Canoe Club (Morin-Heights), lives in Montreal, Quebec. Andrii was born in Ukraine, where he started to paddle in a kayak at the age of 11 years old. At the junior age (1999-2004), he became the champion of the various national championships in sprint and marathon kayak races. Later, with the Ukrainian National Dragon boat team and Canadian Dragon boat team.

C1 Men – Bret Himmelman
Bret paddles for Maskwa Aquatic Club in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is on the Canadian National Sprint Team. Bret has previously raced internationally for Team Canada at World Cups and CANAM MEX. Bret will be racing at his first World Marathon Championships this year.

C1 Women – Marlee MacIntosh.
Marlee paddles for Maskwa Aquatic Club in Halifax, NS. Marlee participated in the 2018 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships, winning gold in the Jr Women’s C1 event. She has also represented Canada six times internationally for sprint canoe and has won numerous medals at the national championship level.

Congratulations to the Canadian Masters athletes who competed at the 2021 ICF Canoe Marathon Masters World Championships on September 27-28. Canada had 3 entries and four medals at this event.

C1 Men – 65-69 – Chris Helyar – GOLD
K1 Women – 55-59 – Edit Fried – BRONZE
K2 Women – 35+ – Edit Fried/Larisa Antonova (Russia) – GOLD
K2 Mixed – 55-59 – Edit Fried/Alain Buliard – SILVER
K1 Men – 55-59 – Alain Bulaird – 10th place

For more information on the event click here.

Katie Vincent crowned World Champion

Katie Vincent wins gold in the C1 200m at the 2021 Senior World Championships. Vincent had never won a senior world championship medal in the women’s C1 200m before Sunday, having watched teammate and C2 partner Laurence Vincent-Lapointe take six of the past eight titles.

Vincent broke through on Sunday, out-sprinting Spain’s Antia Jacome and Poland’s Dorota Borowska.

“All this hard work for the past few years to get to this point, and now I’m looking forward to the future,” Vincent said.

“I really feel like this is the beginning, there is a long road to go for me. I’m really looking forward to worlds next year at home, to be the reigning world champion added into a home world championships will be super exciting.

“I have ups and downs since Tokyo, there were a lot of emotions and things to process, and there still is. It kept me going and I reconnected with my love for this sport.”

Excerpt from International Canoe Federation
Photo: Bence Vekassy

3 World Titles, 9 medals for Canada

MONTEMOR-O-VELHO, (September 7, 2021) – Team Canada returned to Junior/U23 international competition this weekend earning three World titles and a total of nine medals at the ICF World Championships.

Sophia Jensen (Cascades Canoe Club) led the medal haul for Canada, earning two gold medals, a silver and a bronze medal in women’s and mixed canoe events.

Jensen trained with Tokyo Olympic medalists, Laurence Vincent Lapointe and Katie Vincent in the lead up to Tokyo, reinforcing the strength and depth of the Canadian women’s canoe program leading into Paris 2024 and beyond.

“It felt absolutely amazing,” said Jensen. “It was an honour to race with such a strong group of athletes and it was also super fun! I can’t wait to keep training hard and seeing what next year has to offer!”

Connor Fitzpatrick (Senobe Aquatic Club) was also crowned World Champion in the U23 C1 500m event. That result tops his silver medal performance in the C1 1000m event from the previous day.

“Being back in the boat and racing post-Tokyo was so amazing,” explains Fitzpatrick. “We had an amazing team and I was very happy to be able to put down some good races that earned me a spot on the podium. To win my first world title this weekend was a feeling like no other. The biggest thing for me was my parents and home club coach were able to be here with me this weekend and enjoy the moment as well.”

“I was very proud of this team both on and off the water,” said CKC’s Chief Technical Officer, Graham Barton. “It has been a tough 18 months and we had little opportunity to prepare due to a late selection event.  The nine medals demonstrates potential for the Paris and Los Angeles Olympic Games but there were also many close 4th and 5th place finishes. The team was supported by club coaches many of whom were at their first international competition and they did an amazing job along with the many coaches at home contributed to this best ever Junior and Under 23 World Championship performance.”

Team Canada stood on the podium in the following events:

Gold – Sophia Jensen – C1 200m (U23)

Gold – Sophia Jensen & Alix Plomteux – C2 Mixed 500m (U23)

Gold – Connor Fitzpatrick – C1 500m (U23)

Silver – Connor Fitzpatrick – C1 1000m (U23)

Silver – Sophia Jensen, Anna Cyr, Sloan Mackenzie & Anne Parent – C4 500m (U23)

Bronze – Sophia Jensen & Anna Cyr – C2 500m (U23)

Bronze – Ella Hodgson-Pageau – C1 200m (Jr)

Bronze – Toshka Besharah – K1 200m (Jr)

Bronze – Ian Gaudet – K1 500m (Jr)

Team Canada Entries:


Women’s Kayak   Men’s Kayak          Women’s Canoe  Men’s Canoe
Sarah Nagy Alex Canning Sophia Jensen Andrew Billard
Adriana Lilley Osende Jack Hall Sloan MacKenzie Connor Fitzpatrick
Riley Melanson Laurent Lavigne Anna Roy Cyr Ydris Hunter
Anna Negulic David Stewart Anne Sophie Lavoie Parent Alix Plomteux
Grace Whebby Alexandre Martin



Women’s Kayak   Men’s Kayak          Women’s Canoe  Men’s Canoe
Toshka Besahara Jason Burkholder Geneva Bond Emile Bouvier
Charlotte Brais Ian Gaudet Ava Carew Kieran Graham
Kristiane Free Craig Johnson Evie McDonald Zachary Kralik
Cassidy MacPherson Cole Parsons Ella Hodgson Pageau Austin Pigeon
Emily Parsons Lucas Stein



CKC Statement on the Passing of Terry Orlick

Canoe Kayak Canada is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Terry Orlick, professor of Sport and Performance Psychology at the University of Ottawa, renowned Mental Performance Coach, author and long-time member of the support team for CKC National Team athletes.

Terry was a noted leader in the development of the field of Sport and Performance Psychology and generations of CKC athletes benefited from his teaching and guidance to support them in their pursuit of excellence, while also encouraging them to maintain and nurture a love of the sport and a joy in daily experience as a team and community. Notably, Terry was part of the CKC Olympic Teams in this support role for the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games.

“Terry was a one in a million guy. He shared the ‘simple joys’, as he would fondly say,” said LA Schmidt, CKC Commodore Sprint. “Thank you Terry for teaching us all how to excel at living.”

Beyond his professional connection with our CKC community, Terry was a paddling dad, father to Jewelia and Skye Orlick, both paddlers at the Cascades Canoe Club in Chelsea, Quebec. CKC offers its deepest sympathies to the Orlick family and all the friends and loved ones mourning at this time.


“The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion.”

Terry Orlick, “In Pursuit of Excellence – 5th Edition”

Three Canadians to make Paralympic debuts in Para canoe at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Ottawa, August 6, 2021 – Canada’s Para canoe team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will see three athletes make their first Paralympic appearances, as the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and Canoe Kayak Canada announced today the selection of Brianna Hennessy (Ottawa, ON), Andrea Nelson (Markham, ON), and Mathieu St-Pierre (Shawinigan, QC).

Hennessy started Para canoe only last year, and has made an impact right away. She earned her Tokyo spot thanks to her performance at the World Cup event in Hungary in May, finishing fourth in the women’s VL2 category race. It was Hennessy’s first international competition.

“I’m so honoured to be part of the Tokyo Paralympic Games team, and to push beyond my limits, to fight for excellence, to represent Canada on the world stage, to compete with the best of the best, and above all, to inspire others with disabilities,” said Hennessy.

Nelson qualified a place for Canada with a fifth-place finish in the KL2 race at the 2019 world championships before securing her spot in the boat at the Canoe Kayak Canada Olympic and Paralympic Trials earlier this year. She entered the Para canoe world for the first time in 2017 after discovering the sport at the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Paralympian Search event in Toronto.

I’m extremely proud of how far I’ve come,” said Nelson. I’m very excited to be a part of the 2020 Paralympic Games.

St-Pierre also secured his place on the Tokyo team with his result at the recent World Cup in Hungary in May, a fifthplacefinish in the men’s VL2 race. A member of the national team since 2017, St-Pierre has two world championship appearances to his name, finishing seventh in 2018 and 11th in 2019 in the men’s VL2 200m.

Para canoe competition in Tokyo will take place September 2-4.

“I am very proud of the team we have going to Tokyo and know they have prepared for performance,” said Para Head Coach Marc Creamer. “We have a mix of international experience however this will be the first Paralympic Games for everyone. The support from their teammates and home clubs will fuel the fire for their best performances as we compete on the biggest stage.”

Para canoe is a new sport within the Paralympic program, making its debut five years ago at the Rio 2016 Games. The program has been expanded for Tokyo to include both kayak and va’a boats and additional athlete slots. Canada is looking for its first Paralympic medal in the sport.

“Congratulations to Brianna, Andrea, and Mathieu on qualifying for their first Paralympic Games!” said Stephanie Dixon, chef de mission, Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team. “This is a remarkable accomplishment, and I am so happy to welcome them to the team. Competing in the Paralympic Games for the first time is a dream come true for any athlete, and all of Canada will be behind them as they race in Tokyo.”


Brianna Hennessy – Ottawa, ON

Andrea Nelson – Markham, ON

Mathieu St-Pierre – Shawinigan, QC

The postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will take place August 24 to September 5, 2021 in Japan. Canada is expecting to send a team of approximately 130 athletes, and audiences across the country will be able to follow all the action live through coverage from the Canadian Paralympic Media Consortium, including broadcast partners CBC/Radio-Canada, AMI, and Sportsnet, and digital partners Twitter, Facebook, and MXZN.  

CLICK HERE to see the complete list of athletes currently named to the Canadian Paralympic Team. The Canadian Paralympic Committee will announce the official full team heading to the Games later this month.

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee:

About Canoe Kayak Canada:


Nicole Watts
Manager, Public Relations
Canadian Paralympic Committee or 613-462-2700

Colleen Coderre
Communications Lead
Canoe Kayak Canada or 613-530-6217 (via WhatsApp)

Tokyo Olympic Games Slalom kayaker Florence Maheu advances to semi-finals

TOKYO, JAPAN (July 25, 2021) – Olympic competition officially kicked off today at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre with the women’s kayak and men’s canoe heats.

Florence Maheu (Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, QC) was the first Canadian down the course, paddling a strong first run, positioning herself well leading into the second run. Florence cementing her spot into the semi-finals following the second run and will compete on Tuesday July 27.

I am really proud to perform at my best today,” said Maheu. “I was definitely nervous, and you put that pressure on yourself to deliver a good performance and I felt I did that today. Sometimes you are able to have some good moves but you are not able to put everything together in the race but today I was able to do that in my first run and that is all I can ask for.”

Cameron Smedley (Dunrobin, ON) had a tough day on the Olympic course and did not find his form on either of the qualification race runs, taking several punishing penalties that set him back in the rankings. Smedley needed to deliver a strong second run in order to move up into the top 15 cut-off in order to advance to the semifinals. The second run proved to be faster but unfortunately it was not enough to make the semifinal cut-off.

I feel like I could have competed with the top contenders in the field and that obviously didn’t happentoday,” said Smedley. I took some penalties and paddled too cautiously and I think the nerves got the better of me. I will have to reassess where things went wrong here.”

Canada will compete next in the women’s kayak semifinals on Tuesday (Tokyo Time), along with the Olympic debut of women’s canoe at the Olympic Games. Men’s kayak heats start on July 29.

For full results click here.

The Canadian entries are listed below.



K1 Men

Michael Tayler

K1 Women

Florence Maheu

C1 Men

Cameron Smedley

C1 Women

Haley Daniels


About Canoe Kayak Canada

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) 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 TwitterFacebookInstagram anYouTube.



For more information:

Colleen Coderre

Communications Lead

Important Note to our Paddling Community

Recent comments on social media and elsewhere about allegations of inappropriate behaviour within our sport are causing concern in some parts of the paddling community.

While we all have the right to express an opinion, it is vitally important that we also recognize how hurtful our comments can be, and that we must take responsibility for educating ourselves to ensure those opinions are well-founded.

In response to this situation, we felt it important to put out a timely message to make clear a few important points.

First, any cases of alleged violations of CKC’s Safe Sport policies are dealt with thoroughly and objectively through the Independent Third Party. We cannot comment on the specifics of any case without consent from the parties involved as confidentiality is a cornerstone of any safe sport program.

Confidentiality also promotes the integrity of the process by allowing for an independent investigation and by respecting voluntary agreements between the parties. Discipline decisions are published to ensure transparency for the sporting community.

Second, spreading unfounded gossip is harmful and hurtful for everyone involved. There is also the potential for a negative ripple effect that could distract our Olympic athletes and coaches as they make final preparations for Tokyo.

Third, CKC has one of the most advanced and progressive safe sport policies among national federations. Widely adopted by paddling clubs across the country, we are constantly looking for ways to better protect participants and to proactively create the conditions for positive athlete experiences. Sport Canada’s announcement this week about a new independent safe sport office is further reason to feel confident about the power of Canada’s safe sport movement and the strength of CKC’s approach.

It’s clear there are members of our paddling family who are struggling with some difficult issues. Let’s commit to supporting each other with kindness and compassion so that the necessary healing can take place and we can move forward with a collective commitment to making canoe kayak safe, welcoming and fun for everyone involved.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to either of us should you have questions or concerns. Queries about the complaint process canbe directed to Brian Ward, Independent Third Party for Canoe Kayak Canada, at:

Casey Wade, Chief Executive Officer  

Kenna Robins, Senior Manager National Program Development


COVID-19 Update: Olympic and Paralympic Sprint Team Trials cancelled

March 14, 2020

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) has made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the CKC-Sprint Racing Discipline (CKC-SRD) Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials scheduled for April 16-19, 2020 in Gainesville, Georgia.

This decision has been made in light of the rapidly changing landscape related to the COVID-19 health pandemic and in the interest of ensuring the health and well-being of all of our athletes, coaches and staff.

Due to the updated Government of Canada recommendation to “avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada”, CKC believes it is in the best interests of our athletes, coaches, officials, staff and the many volunteers and spectators to cancel this event.

We recognize that this is a tremendously disappointing decision for paddlers and coaches who have been training and preparing for months and years to be at their best for these trials. While it was a difficult decision, CKC considers that it is the right decision for the safety of our paddling community and the public at large.

It should also be mentioned that the Government of Canada has issued a recommendation for all Canadians to “avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada” and that Canadians currently outside the country should determine which commercial options are still available and consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited. Athletes, coaches and staff returning from locations outside of Canada should also consult local public health reasources at their destination and in destinations through which they may need to travel to return home to understand the isolation protocols that they should follow.

CKC will be making the arrangements in the coming days to progressively wind down our Sprint National Team Training Camp in Indian Harbor Beach, Florida so that athletes, coaches and staff can return home to Canada.

CKC recommends that all Provincial and Club camps taking place outside of Canada understand the above-mentioned Government of Canada travel recommendation as an indication to begin to carefully plan the return of athletes, coaches and other staff to Canada in a manner which minimizes risk to their health and safety.

“This was an extremely difficult decision for the leadership team at CKC,” said Graham Barton, CKC Chief Technical Officer. “I have been in the training environment and seen first-hand the dedication and commitment of our athletes, but what I admire most is the professionalism, understanding and belief that we, as team, must do what is best for the health and safety of all.  I am confident we will adapt and plan for all the contingencies in the coming months and that our Team will be ready.”

CKC distributed information to the paddling community concerning the spread of COVID-19 last week and will continue to do so on a regular basis. Please understand that the sport, medical and public authority understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve and that decisions, recommendations and guidelines may change as new information emerges. In this regard, we expect that further updates could be forthcoming within the next 24-48 hours.

CKC is keenly aware of the community concern and disruptions related to the COVID-19 outbreak and recognize that these disruptions particularly affect our athletes and their competitive aspirations for the upcoming season. CKC will do everything within its control to ensure that disruptions to selection and Olympic qualification opportunities are minimized to the greatest extent possible and will communicate any further information in relation to selection and Olympic qualification as soon as possible.

In this regard, athletes and coaches should expect that modifications will be made to the currently published Olympic and Paralympic Selection Criteria. Please note that modifications will be made as soon as possible, and, specifically, once further information is available regarding the status of Olympic qualification events, as well as other events, including domestic trials and international competitions that will be used for Olympic and Paralympic selection.

In the meantime, athletes should feel comfortable reaching out to CKC coaches, staff, parents or other trusted individuals to share their concerns and any issues arising from this situation.

A CKC Mental Health resource document is available here.

Michael Tayler clinches K1 Olympic spot at Australian Open
Canoe Slalom

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA (February 24, 2020) – Michael Tayler (Ottawa, ON) will be headed to his third consecutive Olympic Games following a top Canadian finish in the men’s K1 slalom event at the 2020 Australian Open in Penrith this weekend.

“Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years,” reflected Tayler. “I’m so proud to have another opportunity to represent Canada on the Olympic stage!”

Ben Hayward (Edmonton, AB) was also vying for Olympic selection in the men’s K1 event finishing 29th in the semi-finals, behind Tayler in 21st. Both Canadian kayakers have been in a tight battle for Olympic selection in a point-based, best two-out-of-three event qualification system.

Team Canada had previously qualified the men’s K1 boat for Tokyo 2020 at the 2019 World Slalom Championships in La Seu D’Urgell, Spain.

“Olympic selections always deliver high-pressure racing and I’m really proud of our team for embracing the challenge and performing when it counts in international competitions,” said James Cartwright, Senior High Performance Manager. “We now have three paddlers selected to Tokyo and we will be going to Brazil next month with an important job to compete for the last spot in women’s canoe.”

In the women’s C1 event, Haley Daniels (Calgary, AB) finished top Canadian in 21st position overall, moving her into a tie in overall points standings with Lois Betteridge (Ottawa, ON) in the women’s C1 Canadian Olympic selection process. Lois Betteridge finished 27th and will also look to the next qualification event that will be held at the Olympic whitewater park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 3-5 to contest for the women’s C1 Olympic entry.

Other notable Canadian results include Florence Maheu (Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, QC) placing 26th in the women’s K1 event and Cameron Smedley (Ottawa, ON) finishing 30th in men’s C1.

The next Tokyo qualification opportunity to take place at the 2020 Pan-Am Championships scheduled in Rio de Janeiro from April 3-5, 2020.

Visit the event website and results here.

To view Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team Criteria, click here.

photo credits: JRG images