(North Bay, ON. December 12, 2023) Plans are underway to host the Mattawa River Canoe Race on June 8, 2024, with the support of paddlers, volunteers, sponsors, and donors.
Each year of the race, more than 100+ paddlers have braved the 64 kms of open water, rapids, and multiple portages from Trout Lake to the Mattawa Island Conservation Area in canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards. The race, which has a 45-year history of drawing paddlers from across the country and the region, is hosted by the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) and sanctioned by the Ontario Marathon Canoe and Kayaking Racing Association (OMCKRA).
“We heard from marathon paddlers, we heard from residents throughout the Mattawa River watershed, and we heard from the race advisory committee made up of paddlers and community members that this is a significant, long-standing event that matters to paddlers and residents alike. We need continued support through participation, volunteers, and sponsorships to keep the race going,” said Dave Britton, NBMCA Chair.
“A big thank you to Susan Weiskopf of IG Wealth Management for her generous support of the race as both a long-standing paddler and now as the 2024-2025 presenting sponsor. A sincere thank you to Degagne Carpentry and Degagne Renovations for their generous sponsorship as well," said NBMCA CAO Chithra Gowda.
"Specia thanks to Stock Transportation which is providing a shuttle for canoes and paddlers from the finish line back to North Bay. Anyone interested in supporting the race through sponsorships can contact NBMCA,” said NBMCA CAO Chithra Gowda.
“As a long-time participant, I feel grateful for the opportunity to sponsor the North Bay-Mattawa Canoe Race for the 2024 and 2025 race years. This annual event is an important part of our shared history and travels through a beautiful section of our area. Ideally, the renewed energy around this race will attract more participants - individuals, families, and volunteers in the years to come,” said paddler and sponsor Susan Weiskopf.
“The Mattawa River Canoe Race is one of the most anticipated racing events of the year. Since the late 1970s, it has been referred to as the crown jewel on our racing circuit. The course is natural, beautiful, and challenging, and we have seen some of North America's top marathon paddlers compete for the winner's title there. It is also wonderfully suitable for many levels of ability from beginner up. For those who are up to the challenge, it is an experience they'll never forget. We are ecstatic to see it return after a hiatus in 2023 and fully support this remarkable event,” said Kim Snell, OMCKRA President.
Paddlers who want to race a less challenging section of the Mattawa River can sign up to paddle the last 13 km of the race route from Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park to the finish line, with just one portage. Adult, family, and youth teams can register for the experience.
On-line registration for both the 64km and the 13km races opens January 8, 2024, at www.mattawarivercanoerace.ca.
About 30 volunteers are needed to assist with race logistics from pre-race preparations to race day tasks including follow-up safety canoe paddlers, photographers, check point spotters, timers, assisting paddlers at the finish line, banquet set-up, and more. Commitment would be anywhere from two hours to the full race day.
Anyone interested in volunteering, or has questions about the race, can contact the Race Coordinator, Paula Loranger at email@example.com 705-474-5420.
To support the race through sponsorships, contact NBMCA’s Sue Buckle at firstname.lastname@example.org 705-497-4999.
Donations, which receive charitable tax receipts, can be made by calling NBMCA at 705-474-5420 or on-line through Canadahelps.org. https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-north-bay-mattawa-conservation-authority/campaign/mattawa-river-canoe-race/
North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario responsible for watershed management on behalf of local municipalities, stakeholders, and the province.
Paula Loranger, Race Coordinator, 705-474-5420
Sue Buckle, Manager, Communications & Outreach 705-497-4999