In 1971, Paddle Canada (formerly the Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association) was formed to help co-ordinate the efforts of non-competitive canoeing and kayaking across Canada.
From the very start, one of the long term goals of the association was the development of standard skill sets for safe and enjoyable recreational paddling; standards that could be portable and recognized anywhere in our vast and beautiful country. Under the leadership and expertise of its Board of Directors Paddle Canada worked diligently, in cooperation with its Regional Member Associations, instructors from across the country, its members and the paddling public to achieve this goal.
By examining many avenues including existing programs, current trends and growth trends, Paddle Canada's first success was the creation of a national program for Canoeing. National standards for Sea and River Kayaking would follow as those activities grew in popularity among recreational paddlers. More recently, national standards in Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) were added as this new activity grew.
Today, Paddle Canada's national paddling programs have proven themselves to be the ideal mechanism to extend and deliver our mandates of environmental awareness and protection as well as the preservation of the canoe and kayak as a part of our national heritage. More Canadians are, and continue to be, exposed to Paddle Canada's message through our instructional programs than ever before.
Paddle Canada currently represents over 1,500 Individual Members, 8 Regional Member Associations and 2 Affiliate Member Associations. Through each of our members and programs we are able to successfully and consistently deliver the message of safe and enjoyable paddling to more than 50,000 paddlers annually.
As Paddle Canada moves to the future, we have no doubt that there will be challenges. Our waterways and wilderness areas are under ever-increasing threats of being lost forever, and with it a piece of our paddling heritage.
Thanks to the support and efforts of its members, however, Paddle Canada is well positioned to take on these challenges and we continue to look towards a brighter future for ourselves and for future generations...