On Plans for the 5th Annual Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival are well underway. This year’s event will prove to be the biggest and best to date. With over $363,000 in government support, the committee has been able to secure a number of capital items that will greatly enhance the festival for the benefit of participants and the public at large. New this year is the addition of a second stage that will allow us to run a Highland Dance Competition concurrent to the entertainment that is taking place from the main stage. Also, a 60’ x 140’ event tent is being added to the mix, and will provide additional seating for the food & beverage area. According to Guy Lamarche, Event Co-chair, vendors, artists and not for profit organizations will be set up under the 60’ x 90’ tent which was purchased three years ago. This will allow us to eliminate a number of smaller tents from the event footprint, many of which became unstable during “high winds”. A total of 36 exhibitors will be housed under the vendor tent with bigger exhibits such as Scott Canoe, Naturally Superior Adventures, Nissan and Eastview RV setting up outside in the park area. Already 31 of 36 available 10 x 10 booths have been spoken for.
A full slate of children activities will be available free of charge again this year thanks to the support of Eastlink TV and Kiwanis Club.
New docks are being added this year for both the judges and media. The judging deck will be covered therefore keeping judges out of the hot sun or rain conditions. New aluminum bleachers, some with cover, are also being added to the footprint. Finally, a doubled sided electronic billboard will be unveiled sometime next week across from Participark. The billboard will be available to promote events year round or to welcome delegates to conferences taking place in the city, etc. “ This is an exciting time for the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival and for festivals, events and special projects in general” added Lamarche.
The water based activities will include the 9 challenges on Saturday, as well as the Kayak for the Heart Of It taking place on Sunday. Competitions are open for elite to novice paddlers and for Masters/Seniors to Youth. And everything in between. The 5 km Guided Family Leisure Paddle and Shore Lunch is a go again this year thanks to John MacIvor and his team. Also on deck for Sunday is a free stand up paddle board clinic courtesy of Naturally Superior Adventures. This will be followed by a friendly stand up paddle board competition where contestant will compete for bragging rights. This year the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival Steering Committee purchased 10 stand up paddle boards.
The Aboriginal Village will be bigger and better. More to see, and do and a great opportunity for the public to immerse itself in Aboriginal Culture. Many matinees are planned for both Saturday and Sunday and will feature Yoga for Paddlers, Les amies qui danse, Tai Chi , Dalriada Scottish Dancers and musical performances by several artists including Leslie Anne Dupuis & First Line, Northern Harmony Singers, Three Thorns and a Rose, Joanne Marie, Ernie Moulton and thre High Ridge Singers and Aboriginal Drum. Saturday evening will be special. Local and out of town bands will entertain from 7pm to closing. Country Classics from Timmins will open for Mike Lynch Band of St Catherine ( see Bio attached). The Shaftmen will take to the stage just before the 10pm Fireworks display, sponsored entirely by JP Legault. The headliner, Sticky Fingers, a New York based Rolling Stone Tribute Band, have played sold out stadiums the world over including one where 53,000 people attended.. ( see Bio Attached) “ We have assembled a great line up of music and I suspect that the fireworks and Sticky Fingers will no doubt be the highlight of the night” offered event co-chair Jack Watson. “We are expecting a full house under the big tent. People should come out early. We encourage those unable to get a seat inside to bring a lawn chair.. In the event of inclement wweather, the show will be moved to the Mountjoy Arena” echoed Lamarche
The festival will end Sunday with the Alzheimer Rubber Duck Race, another crowd favourite.
Registrations for the challenge are being accepted to 4pm on August 22nd. To date registrations have been received from Timmins, Kingston, Smooth Rock Falls, Langton, Pembroke, Palmer Rapids, Sturgeon Falls, Little Current and Gatineau, QC. At present out of town registrations account for 50% + of all registrations. “From a tourism perspective, this is good news for the City. To see so many new paddlers register and to see so many new ones come from tourism markets this early in the registration process is rewarding” aid Lamarche.
This year’s event saw unprecedented support from many sponsors including Fednor $267,750, Celebrate Ontario $75,000, Tourism Event Marketing $5,400, Ontario Trillium Foundation $15,000. In addition the corporate community is supporting the event as follows: $71,050 cash, $2,575 prize giveaway value & gif cards, and over $100,000 in kind. “The support for this event is unprecedented. Without the generosity of many, this event would not take place, and would certainly not support a free admission.
Collectively, the government partners, corporate sponsors, volunteers, members of the Steering Committee are awed a debt of gratitude. Because of this collective energy, the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival has been named a Top 100 event in the province 2 consecutive years by Festivals & Events Ontario” concluded Lamarche.
For more information visit www.thegreatcanadiankayakchallenge.comSchedule Revised July 22 Saturday, August 24, 2013 6:00 am to 7:00 am Sacred Fire, Sunrise Ceremony, Smudge; Jake Agonah, Aboriginal Village; sponsored by DeBeers & Misiway Health Centre 8:00 am Blessing of the Water, Mattagami River North of Judging Deck, Charlene Agonah, sponsored by DeBeers & Misiway Health Centre 8:00 am to 2:00 am – Food & Beverage Tent 8:00 am to 3:00 pm Highland Dance Competition, Stage 2 9:00am to 11:00 am DJ Music, Main Stage 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Arts & Cultural Routes exhibitors / vendors, Park Area, sponsored by DeBeers 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Aboriginal Village; sponsored by DeBeers & Misiway Health Centre 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Kayak Challenge - 9:00 am – Elite Challenge Departs - 10:00 am - Elite Recreational Challenge Departs - 10:15 am - Recreational Challenge Departs - 12:00 noon - Celebrity Challenge Departs - 12:30 pm - Seniors / Masters Elite Challenge Departs - 12:45 pm - Seniors / Masters Recreational Challenge Departs - 1:00 pm – Club Richelieu Youth Challenge Departs - 2:00 pm - Novice Challenge Departs - 3:15 pm - Open Challenge Departs - 5:00 pm- Awards Ceremony & Draws ( must be present to collect draw prizes) , Main Stage 10:00 am to 5:00 pm – Free Children Activities including inflatables, gyro, rock climbing wall, laser tag, face painting, Science Timmins & complimentary candy floss, sponsored by Eastlink & Kiwanis Club 10:30am to 5:00pm Performing Arts, Main Stage: - 10:30 am to 11:00am Demonstration Fung Loy Kok-Taoist Tai Chi , grass area main stage - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm Northern Lotus Yoga Studio: Yoga for Paddlers, Main Stage - 12 :00 pm to 1:00 pm Les Amies Qui Dance, Main Stage - 1 :15pm to 2 :15 pm High Ridge Singers; Aboriginal Drum & Dance, Main Stage; sponsored by DeBeers - 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm Three Thorns & a Rose live concert Main Stage - 3:45 pm to 4:45 pm Leslie Anne Dupuis & First Line live, Main Stage 6:00 pm to 2:00 am Multi Band Concert & Fireworks - 6:00 pm – Sound Check, Main Stage - 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm - DJ Music, Main Stage - 7:00 pm to 7:45 pm – Wayne Villeneuve & Country Classics - 8:00 pm to 9:00pm – Country Music Artist , Singer, Songwriter, Mike Lynch Band - 9:15 pm to 10:00 pm – The Shaftmen - 10:15pm to 10:30 pm – Fireworks, sponsored by JP Legault - 10:45pm to 1:00 am Sticky Fingers Rolling Stone Tribute Band - 1:30 am – Bar Service Closes 7:00 pm – Wild Exodus; Pontoon River Cruise Departure from Boat Launch, Commercial Ave Sunday, August 25, 2013 8:00 am to 10:00 am – Pancake Breakfast 9:00 am to 5:00 pm – Food & Beverage Tent 9:00 am to 5:00 pm –“Arts & Culture Routes” exhibitors, vendors Park Area, sponsored by DeBeers 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Aboriginal Village sponsored by DeBeers & Misiway Health Centre 10:00 am – 1:00 pm- 5 Kilometer Guided Family Leisure Paddle & Shore Lunch – Departs from Mattagami River Public Beach area; sponsored by John McIvor 10:00 am – 3:00 pm - Heart & Stroke “Kayak for the Heart of it” – Three Person Fun / Amateur Kayak Sprint Competitions Experienced Competition (Bleacher Area) sponsored by I Am Gold 10:00 am to 5:00 pm – Free Children Activities including inflatables, gyro, rock climbing wall, laser tag, face painting, Science Timmins, and free Candy Floss sponsored by Eastlink and Kiwanis Club 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Performing Arts, Main Stage: - 9 am to 10:00 am Northern Lotus Yoga Studio: Yoga for Paddlers; Main Stage - 10:00 am to 11:00 am Dalriada Scottish Dancers; Northern Ontario School of Scottish Dance - 11 :00 am to 12 :00 pm Les Amies Qui Dance, Main Stage - 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm High Ridge Singers; Aboriginal Drum & Dance, Main Stage; sponsored by DeBeers - 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm Joanne Marie live concert Main Stage - 2 :30 pm to 3 :30 pm Northern Harmony Singers live concert; Main Stage - 3:45 pm to 4:45 Ernie Moulton live concert, Main Stage 1:15 pm to 2:45 pm – Free Stand Up Paddle Boarding Introductions, Naturally Superior Adventures, Registration Tent 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm- Free Stand Up Paddle Board Challenge 3:00 pm – Wild Exodus Pontoon River Cruise – departure from Boat Launch – Commercial Avenue 4:00 pm – Alzheimer Society Rubber Duck Race 4:30 pm- Award Ceremonies - Heart & Stroke “Kayak for the Heart of it” Stage 2 5:30 pm Closing Ceremonies Travelers’ Prayer, Doug Davey, Main Stage sponsored by DeBeers Note: Activities and or times subject to change without notice!