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50 Years, 50 People: Charles Burchill

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Charles Burchill, of Winnipeg Manitoba, has had numerous nominations to have his name on this list. The common theme in each nomination is of his generosity when it comes to sharing the art of canoeing with others. Be it through his free, online instructional videos, donating proceeds from his courses to the Bill Mason Scholarship Fund, and most recently providing virtual coaching to two paddlers in Ontario during the summer of 2020 when there was a travel ban;

“A friend and I had hoped to continue learning freestyle canoeing through the ACA’s freestyle symposia in the summer of 2020. But, because of COVID, that was an impossibility. In sending an email to Charles Burchill on freestyle boat advice for my co-paddler, I mentioned our lack of lessons and lack of progression. He generously supplied videos and lesson plans to help us learn first, a lot about boat mechanics, and then, the freestyle manoeuvres. We are so grateful for his dedication to canoeing! We made wonderful progress, thanks to his coaching.”

Off the water for Paddle Canada, Charles was a major driver and creator for our Style Canoe Program, and he continues to sit on the Canoe Program Committee, as the Lead for Style. He is an Instructor Trainer in our Lake and Style Canoe programs, and more recently expanded his canoeing skills and became an Instructor in Canoe Poling.

Last year, the Paddle Canada Board of Directors was pleased to award him the Kirk Wipper Award, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Paddle Canada in canoeing and through demonstration of passion and commitment to our mission statement. We are equally pleased to be adding his name to this list as well.

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