Paddle Canada President’s 2018 Year End Report
Happy New Year! For many of us, the winter offers a chance to recover from a busy season of paddling, a chance to plan new exciting paddling adventures, or for others, to keep the paddling streak alive and well.
For Paddle Canada, it allows us a chance to breathe and keep working on creating a better national paddling organization for our members, potential members and for those looking to take courses to build on skills and passion. The year 2018 was a great year for Paddle Canada and there are many highlights to share that are a culmination of the hard work from our PC Staff, Graham, Nathan, Dawn and Bethan, our committed Board of Directors, and our instructor members. First of all, before I highlight some of the great successes that Paddle Canada has had, I would like to send a big thank you to the office staff, our committed Board of Directors, volunteer committees, and stakeholders that support the great work that Paddle Canada does and continues to do!
Now to share our success stories. There were many firsts for PC this year:
- We grew our Instructor members by almost 500, with 2,705 sanctioned instructor members from all disciplines for 2018 – our highest number yet!
- We have over 78 Friends of Paddle Canada members.
- PC gained another Paddling Association Member in 2018, making 6 in total – Welcome to Kanikonhr’i:io i:wa ne Ona’:ke from Cornwall, ON.
- Welcome again to new regional member provincial association Eau Vive Quebec!
- There were over 300 more courses run in 2018 than the previous year, bringing the grand total of 2,302 courses successfully completed and reported.
- Our Instructors taught 15,026 participants across Canada in 2018, which I believe is an all-time high in many decades!
There were many other notable highlights this year as well, which were a result of the high regard that is held for Paddle Canada on a national basis.
- PC finished up a five year PaddleSmart government funded project, where we reached 4.1 million Canadians through education and awareness campaigns and workshops!
- Paddle Canada received the 2018 Award for Best Boating Safety Media Campaign for our PaddleSmart project presented to Blue Ant Media.
- PC was also recognized nationally as we received the Canadian Safe Boating Council Long Time Supporter Award.
There are many other ongoing projects to look forward to in 2019 as well:
- Updating the members database with new Camping Program and Instructor Trainer Certification Maintenance expiry dates and tracking automation.
- Translation of program materials into French (including the online instructor quiz modules).
- New and ongoing partnerships with Duke of Edinburgh, Junior Rangers, Scouts, Cadets, Coast Guard, Parks Canada, Jumpstart.
- Youth Programming partnership with Canoe Kayak Canada’s CanoeKids program.
- Adaptive Paddling Resources.
- Refresh of National Paddling Week event.
- High Definition Marketing Videos for Paddle Canada courses.
With so many great things happening, and more to come, I would like to end by thanking our Instructor Members for being great advocates for recreational paddling safety, training and for helping to ignite passions for paddling. Keep sharing your knowledge and passion and great things will happen!
Cheers and here’s to a great paddling year, wherever your canoe/kayak/sup takes you!
President and Regional Director for Newfoundland and Labrador,