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50 Years, 50 People: Brian Creer

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Brian signed on to CRCA when John Eberhard visited him in Vancouver in 1974. Brian thought it was a good idea to create a Provincial partner with a National organization. And, he did! He is regarded in BC as the ‘grandfather’ of recreational canoeing. The association takes pride in knowing that he taught Bill Mason how to do a ‘pry’!  

He was a founding member of CRCA in British Columbia. The organization came to be known as the Recreational Canoeing Association of British Columbia (RCABC). Brian had been a long time member of Paddle Sport British Columbia.  His garage was like a sports store. You could buy one of those big-bladed heavy-duty Norse paddles there.  With formal canoeing certification beginning in the 1970’s, the name changed like CRCA, from the names of Canoe BC to BCRCA to RCABC,

Brian was instrumental in developing canoeing ‘safety and skills’ standards and creating the first RCABC instructors manual.  He was a ‘task master’ and pushed paddling to the highest level of excellence.  His instructional days were long and gruelling and were a testament not only to his own stamina but also to his incredible passion for teaching. 

 To promote paddling on such a vigorous level as Brian did, speaks to his belief that people can develop and learn…this is a true gift that a teacher can give to his students.  Brian was also committed to initiating programs specifically targeted to people with developmental disabilities.  He worked on various committees to ensure that all people had the chance to participate regardless of their level of ability.

Brian passed in May of 2011, but is still fondly remembered in the BC canoeing community.

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