Paddle Canada is very pleased to enter into a New Initiative Fund (NIF) Contribution Agreement with National Search and Rescue (Minister of Defence) and partners Parks Canada. The project called “Introduction of PaddleSmart Program and Training” will run from July 2013 to March 31, 2014 and provide a series of Master Trainer workshops across the country, with an enhanced focus on survivability for the paddling community and those who want to paddle. Final development of teaching resource manuals and materials, plus public outreach and marketing material is also part of the project.
It differs from other PC programs in that is not water based and is not a course or certification. There is no evaluation of participants and can be delivered in a little over an hour at minimum. It is simply a basic awareness safety program to educate paddlers, new and interested ones alike on principals of being safer and smarter in their paddling activities.
The PaddleSmart program will be the water safety component to compliment the other existing land based AdventureSmart programs. These programs are offered as a free community service by volunteer instructors. Our goal is to have 400 trained PaddleSmart instructors nationally by next spring 2014. The longer term goal (Phase 2 of the project / another NIF project likely), will see more volunteer instructors trained both within the Paddle Canada membership and also within staff at national and provincial parks, the search and rescue volunteer and professional organizations, along with law enforcement groups such as city, provincial and national marine police units.
The total project budget is $158,078 which includes: $13,610.96 in kind support from several paddling industry partners including Paddle Canada and $144,468 in direct cash support from National Search and Rescue.
Supporting partners include:
– Lifesaving Society (Toronto, ON)
– Canadian Safe Boating Council (Toronto, ON)
– Boys & Girls Club (Victoria, BC)
– Ceyana Canoe Club (Edmonton, AB)
– Newfoundland Kayak Company (St John’s NL)
– Haskin Canoe (Edmonton, AB) –
– Canoe Kayak New Brunswick – (St John, NB)
– Undercurrents (Calgary, AB)
– Aurora College – (Fort Smith, NWT)
– Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia – (Halifax, NS)
– Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan – (Regina, SK)
– Paddle Alberta – (Calgary, AB)
– Yukan Canoe (Whitehorse, YT)
– NWT Recreation & Parks Association – (Yellowknife, NWT)
– Strathcona Wilderness Centre (Sherwood Park, AB)
The launch of the program and first training workshop will occur at SARSCENE 2013, October 19-21, 2013 in Chilliwack BC. Approximately 20 other workshops will follow in most provinces and territories from November to March 2014.
Dawn Callan, National Paddling Week Co-ordinator and PC Admin Staff, has been tasked as the PaddleSmart project co-ordinator on a 2/3 time basis.