The Nanaimo Canoe & Kayak Club (NCKC) is refurbishing its Voyageur Canoes in preparation for the 2022-23 Season!
NCKC’s 25 ft voyageur canoes have been used in a variety of community outreach events and programming, including school field trips, summer camps, regattas, and multiday paddling trips.
Dedicated NCKC volunteers have sanded and prepared the canoes for the fiberglass repairs to take place. Paul Steele of PMG Heritage Yachts has been overseeing this project. NCKC is grateful to have the support, knowledge, and experience that Paul brings to this legacy.
Two of the canoes have been restored and have been used by Summer Camps and several groups such as Residents of Berwick Retirement facility.
Unfortunately, on November 24, those beautifully restored canoes were destroyed by a suspicious fire. A rowing scull, owned by Nanaimo Rowing Club, stored next to the tent sustained irreparable damage.
The 3rd Voyageur Canoe has been restored this Spring and is being used in our Summer Camps.
HISTORY OF THE NCKC VOYAGEUR CANOES:
In 1988, the NCKC (at that time the Nanaimo Flatwater Racing Club) incorporated and began its history at Long Lake out of the transformed picnic shelter compound at Loudon Park with funds from the BC Games Legacy Project.
Shortly after that, two of the voyageurs were acquired from the Nanaimo’s White Ravens Canoe Club (WRCC) that was based at Departure Bay by the Kin Hut. The WRCC was active in the community throughout the 70’s and 80’s with its members successfully competing in war canoe events hosted by the Snuneymuwx. They gained respect locally at those events and later in their fundraising efforts over multiple years for the Children’s Variety Telethon. Club members would paddle these voyageur canoes across the Salish Sea from Nanaimo to Vancouver in February while accompanied by safety boats for around a decade.
Prior to the White Ravens Canoe Club, these canoes were used in part of a Cross Canada Tour and a race called the Double 20 as part of a Centennial Year Celebration to paddle the route of the settlers.
Join the project and continue the legacy of these historic canoes in our community.