Here is my latest article published in the latest Spring 2015 issue of Rapid Media magazine.
The Director’s Strokes
After five years as the executive director, I am very proud of Paddle Canada. I know many of you share this same feeling. We have come a long way building up our recognition in the North American outdoor industry. PC is increasingly invited to participate in many events, discussions, projects and partnerships relating to paddlesports, government, safety, prevention and environment. Membership and course numbers continue to climb with 36 percent growth in membership and 200 percent growth in course numbers over this same period. Congratulations to all the volunteer committees, the directors and instructor members for doing their part waving the PC flag and providing excellent on-water training and instruction. The most amazing comments from your participants keep rolling in weekly.
Our key concern at the moment is funding and improving value for your membership. At the moment, we rely heavily on government and partnership funding (57 percent of our 2014 total revenues came from third-party sources). Much of this funding relates to working on specific joint projects. Although these ventures are wonderful and elevate our name and brand recognition, they are not sustainable sources of funding and only marginally contribute to supporting our paddling training activities.
For long-term sustainability, we need to further grow our membership base and course participant numbers. An increase of 30% in new members and course participation over the next few years would achieve that goal. We ended the 2014 season strong, but with lots more room for improvement.
I am issuing a challenge to all PC members for 2015: Let’s recruit more members and course participants this year. If every member got one friend to take the plunge and become an instructor or individual member, we would realize this goal! Let’s fill every instructor and skill course possible. We can then take this new revenue and put it back into building a better organization for all of us. You will soon see new recruiting tools coming your way that better communicate the value of Paddle Canada membership.
Sea Kayak Level 3 Instructor and Level 2 Trainer
Big Canoe Intermediate Instructor