Paddle Canada Paddling Association Membership


The Paddling Association Membership is an organizational category membership, available to non-profit paddling clubs or paddling associations in Canada. Some of the main goals of the membership are to create more links and opportunities in the Canadian paddling community, plus meet an increasing demand to join Paddle Canada in provinces/territories where there is no Regional / Provincial Paddling Association and receive many marketing and insurance benefits.

Other goals include:

  • Foster commitment to the professional development of paddling association leaders and associated members.
  • Increase organizational learning through cross Canada dialogue of paddle sports and recreational paddling industry.

Benefits of Membership

  • As a Paddle Canada Paddling Association Member, you join the ranks of dozens of paddling associations across the country in providing an enjoyable activity to people while exploring and preserving our waterways.
  • Membership and Directory listing on the Paddle Canada website advertising association location, contact information, activities, facilities, website, events.
  • Advertising Discounts of 15% off in Rapid Media magazines and online banner ads.
  • Paddle Canada will provide opportunities to network and communicate with other different association organizations plus Paddle Canada organizations, instructors, and trainers.
  • Association Members receive reduced Friends of Paddle Canada and Paddle Canada Instructor membership: limited time offer of 1st year only of members of the association.
  • Discount to the association to host Waterwalker Film Festival. The festival is a great way for membership drive (attracting new members out to the event) and also fundraise at the same time.
  • Event Support and Promotion via Paddle Canada’s social media and web marketing network.
  • Paddle Canada Paddling Association Members have access to ACA’s Sugar Island campsites
  • Discounts on Paddle Canada merchandise.
  • Association Excursion & Event Insurance:
    • $5 Million Comprehensive General Liability Insurance (CGL – i.e. Third Party Liability Insurance) with no aggregate limit. *
    • Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions – Defence Cost Insurance)*
    • $50,000 Sport Accident Insurance (1st Party Coverage) to all leaders and members and association volunteers
    • Provides coverage for on-water activities and also off-water activities (events) such as banquets, fundraisers, trade shows, and meetings (provided Paddle Canada Paddling Association membership policies are met and abided by)
    • Preferred access to Directors & Officers Insurance quotes for association’s Board of Directors (optional: premiums starting as low as $400 – $500).
    • Preferred access to out of country medical / Travel Insurance (optional for international association trips).

* $500 deductible per claim

Membership Criteria

  • Registered not-for-profit organization
  • Proof of Directors & Officers Insurance (low price quotes on D&O insurance available via Paddle Canada insurance broker).
  • Written Association Safety / Risk Management Plan
  • Association policies have to match the following criteria:
    • Association follows Transport Canada’s Guided Excursion guidelines
    • A properly fitting lifejacket or PFD must be worn by participants as defined in the Risk Management Requirements for PA document.
    • Leader: Participant Ratio does not exceed
      • 1:10 in flatwater canoe tandem and 1:6 in a solo canoe
      • 1:8 in Moving water canoe tandem and 1:6 in a solo canoe
      • 1:8 in canoe overnight trips
      • 1:12 in Big Canoe (Voyageur canoe), participant numbers are dependent on seats available
      • 1:9 in Coastal Canoe (Great Lakes or Ocean Canoeing)
      • 1:6 in kayak day trips
      • 1:4 in kayak overnight trips
    • Minimum Leader requirements are defined as follows:
      • Considerable experience (including rescues) in the type of paddling craft for the excursion (SUP, kayak, or canoe). The Paddling Association is to define their own terms of experience for their location and waters through their own risk management plan.
      • Have Paddle Canada skill or instructor certification appropriate to the Water Classification / Conditions (see Annex A).
      • Have completed a Paddle Canada “Leader” or “Instructor” certification course (Available in spring 2016)
      • Leaders have the ability to:
        • Communicate with the group effectively on the water during an emergency capsize or situation.
        • Prepare group gear and packing for a day or overnight excursion
        • Navigate using charts and/or topographical maps, using a compass for simple navigation and basic GPS knowledge, and communicate position (co-ordinates) to others including rescue services
        • Marine Environment: Use tide and current table for tidal predictions and navigation consideration
        • Moving Water Environment: Ability to read rapids for safe lines, eddies, and identifying potential hazards. Know the behaviour of a particular river at different water levels.
        • Weather: Obtain appropriate marine weather forecast and understand and interpret its effect on paddling conditions.
      • Considerable familiarity of and time spent in excursion location waters and shoreline with knowledge of local hazards (currents, wind, weather, shoals, boating channels, marine wildlife, etc.) and emergency access and egress points.
      • Must carry and have the ability to use communication devices appropriate for the trip location such as VHF marine radio, cell/satellite phone, sattech devices such as SPOT or InReach.
      • First Aid: Current Standard (14 hrs) First Aid & CPR. If an excursion is to be at any time more than 1 hour away from advanced medical care (ambulance), then Wilderness First Aid (2 days) is strongly recommended.

Other Policies

  • Provide membership numbers to the Paddle Canada office at the time of renewal and as required during the year.
  • Record any incidents or accidents and keep forms on file with waivers at the Paddling Association office. Only submit reports to the Paddle Canada office that involve Emergency Medical Services using the Paddle Canada Accident/Incident reporting form.
  • Paddle Canada will support the association with any media inquiries regarding an incidence that gets referred to the Paddle Canada office.
  • All association excursions, clinics, demo days, and events will be registered via the association’s online member account at Suggested reported information would be date, location, and the anticipated total number of paddlers.
  • Post-trip or event reporting (ideally within 30 days) – the association will:
    • Submit the Final Activity / Excursion report form with the final number of leaders and participants (including the number of minors and number of adults) via their online member account.
    • Submit any fees collected at the activity (for any non-association or new Paddle Canada members).
    • Retain and file all Paddle Canada waivers for any non-Paddle Canada or non-association members that participated or volunteered. Legally waivers need to be filed and saved for 7 years.
  • Individual members of an associated Paddle Canada Paddling Association must sign yearly Paddle Canada waivers (signed by each association member at the start of each season) – stored and on file by association for 7 years (remembering those under the age of majority must be kept for additional 7 years after that individual reaches the age of majority).
  • Signed waivers must be provided upon request.
  • All participants and volunteers of any association activities must sign a Paddle Canada waiver form (Adult or Minor)
  • Every participant of any association activities or events must be a member of one of the following categories:
    • A current Paddling Association member
    • A Friends of Paddle Canada member (formerly called Individual Member)
    • A Paddle Canada Instructor member
    • Non-members (guests) in one of the preceding categories, may participate in any club activity (on land or water) one time only.

A Paddling Association Membership carries no voting rights as per Paddle Canada’s 2014 By-Laws 


A Paddling Association who accepts and abides by our guidelines but violates or fails to meet the standards will be reminded of this in writing and will result in their membership being revoked.

Membership Fees

Paddle Canada has a tiered dues system for your convenience based on association size.

Paddling Association Membership Size Membership Fee
0-50 $350
51-100 $700
101-150 $900
151-200 $1,375
201-250 $1,700
251-300 $2,000
301-350 $2,400
351-400 $2,600
401-500 $2,900
500+ Call for a quote

Commercial General Liability & Sport Accident Insurance included in the membership fee, however, Directors & Officers Insurance is not.


All Paddling Association membership expires on March 31 each calendar year. All Paddling Associations will be notified by email 60 days and 30 days prior to expiration.

New PA Enrolment

Before applying for membership, please review all the requirements in the Paddling Association Policy & Procedure Agreement document. This document lists all the requirements for participating in the PA membership program. In addition please review and agree to the Paddle Canada risk management requirements document.

To get started you will need to submit:

  • A completed application form (the contact information provided will be used to obtain the Insurance Certificate needed for the association).
  • A signed Paddling Association Policy Agreement Contact
  • Payment appropriate to your size of the association.
  • A current list of association numbers confirming the size of association (most up to date numbers is acceptable from the year prior for example).

Note: If your association needs a 3rd party named as an additionally insured under the policy such as a government, municipal, or landowner, include that request and info in your application. An additional admin fee of $10 for each additional insured is required.