Sunday, February 25, 2024

Here’s how to watch the ‘Big Canoe’ fundraiser’s final push through Victoria’s Inner Harbour


In an effort to get as many kids into a fun summer camp at Shawnigan Lake, the Big Canoe Paddle for the Kids fundraiser is returning to the Saanich Peninsula this weekend. 

On April 1st, there will be three big canoes filled with 60 paddlers in a sight to behold. The paddlers will be making their way at sunrise and will be paddling a total of 80 kilometres.

The final leg of the journey will see the canoes travel through Victoria’s Inner Harbour before traversing the gorge narrows and finishing at the Victoria Canoe and Kayak Club.

They will be completing their journey between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. depending on the water and the weather.

The best places to see the Big Canoes coming through the harbour and into the narrows will be from Johnson Street Bridge, Bay Street Bridge, the Selkirk Trestle Bridge or the Tillicum Bridge. 

From one of those bridges you’ll be able to cheer on and greet the 60 participants who range in age from 20 to 90-years-old.

All the donated funds from this fundraiser will go straight to the Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan located on the east side of Shawnigan Lake. 

Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan is a camp that provides programs and services to persons with diverse abilities that help build their self-esteem, self-confidence and sense of independence. 

Donations can be made online to help them reach their goal of $20,000.

Since the very first Big Canoe Paddle for the Kids, over $380,000 has been raised to support children with disabilities. 

“Camp Shawnigan is a place where everyone is welcome, and no one hears the word ‘no,’” said an Easter Seals spokesperson in a media release. 

“It’s a place where campers can be themselves, and explore and develop their abilities in a safe, warm, fun, and supportive environment.” 

“Campers return home with new friendships, improved skills, and become more independent and active members of their communities. Camp offers both a magical experience for campers, and an important week of respite for families and caregivers.”

The Paddle for the Kids is in its 42nd year and it certainly won’t be a disappointing one. 

Curtis Blandy

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