GET YOUR PADDLES IN THE WATER AT MEC PADDLEFEST!
Winnipeg, Manitoba (May 25, 2015) — Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), Canada’s leading outdoor retailer, is organizing 12 MEC Paddlefest events across the country next month, including one in Winnipeg:
FortWhyte Alive @ 1961 McCreary Road
June 7th from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Free public admission – all are welcome!
MEC Paddlefest is a celebration of paddling, and all things related. It’s a kick-off to the summer watersport season, bringing together professional paddlers, manufacturers, clubs, and members of the public for a fun day of activities. Paddlers can participate in skills clinics, demos, gear swaps, and more, with a variety of workshops held on-land and on-water. Novices will discover helpful information and a chance to try the sport, while the more adept paddler will enjoy professional tips and tricks, and get a firsthand look at some of the latest gear.
“Thanks to the hard work of our amazing volunteer instructors, in just two short years this festival has grown to be the largest gathering of the non-competitive paddling community in the province, with members from almost all the local paddling clubs and retailers. If you want to learn about paddling in Manitoba, or try it out, come out to this free event,” says Jamie Hilland, Coordinator for MEC Paddlefest in Winnipeg, and passionate paddler himself.
“Manitoba has countless rivers and lakes to be explored by paddle, and MEC wants to help both beginners and long-time enthusiasts find the perfect water adventure by providing the best information and products,” adds Hilland, who is also a Paddle Canada Kayak instructor for WAVPaddling, previous board member of Paddle Manitoba, past Regional Director for Paddle Canada, and a founding member of the Manitoba Whitewater Club.
MEC is teaming up with a number of other organizations – including event host FortWhyte Alive – to round out the many activities that will take place at MEC Paddlefest:
Ø Canoes, Kayaks and SUPs (stand up paddleboards) will be available to try for free, all day long. Come out and try a boat or board on the lakes at Fort Whyte Alive, with on-water safety provided from members of the Manitoba Whitewater Club.
Ø Paddleswap (gear swap) held adjacent to the Alloway Reception building.
Ø New product sales from Wilderness Supply, Winnipeg Canoe Rentals, Hardcore Paddleboards, and MEC Winnipeg.
Ø Paddling demonstrations by WAVPaddling and Hardcore Paddleboards.
Ø Slacklining demonstrations by MEC Winnipeg.
Ø Watch members of the Manitoba Whitewater Club shooting down the toboggan slide into the water all day!
Ø Representatives onsite from Paddle Manitoba, Manitoba Whitewater Club, Parkland Paddling Club, and Paddle Canada, sharing information about their organizations.
Ø Advice on gear, planning for trips, and selecting routes.
Ø The Lake Winnipeg Foundation, Rivers West, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society will be on hand to help educate attendees on water issues in Manitoba.
Ø Paddling films shown for free all day long.
Ø FortWhyte Alive will offer numerous drop-in sessions – dipnetting on the boardwalks, canoe craft, bannock baking, carnival games, archery, voyageur canoe experience, and atl atl (prehistoric spear throwing).
Ø SUP, kayak and canoe races for all skill levels.
Ø **New this year** Free airbrush tattoos offered by Riding Mountain National Park.
PAID CLINICS & WORKSHOPS
There is a $5 charge for each clinic and workshop. Waitlists will be created on the day, and participants must be at the clinic/workshop on time or their space will be given to someone else. More details and advance registration is now available online at http://events.mec.ca/node/51906. Clinics and workshops include:
Ø Edging and bracing.
Ø Partner rescues in whitewater kayaks, self-rescues in sea kayaks.
Ø Introduction to kayaking, whitewater kayaking, rolling in whitewater kayaks.
Ø Boat control.
Ø Introduction to SUP paddling, advanced SUP paddling.
Ø Shakti SUP yoga.
Ø Canoe tripping, solo canoeing, tandem canoeing, sterning a canoe.
While canoes, kayaks and SUPs will be available for use in the clinics, participants are encouraged to bring their own boats out to enjoy the lakes at FortWhyte Alive.