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Banff Canoe Club hits the water

Opening May 15, summer 2014 marks the beginning of the Banff Canoe Club - focused on connecting locals and visitors to the sport of canoeing in Banff National Park. 

The Banff Canoe Club has also proposed a new model for operating the Bow River Canoe Docks concession in the Town of Banff; one aiming to make the sport of canoeing more accessible.

"The Bow River Canoe Docks are a community asset and we believe there is a way to operate the concession in a manner where the benefits to the community go beyond the payment of rent to the Town," says Daryn McCutcheon, owner of the Banff Canoe Club. "We seek to run a successful business through the canoe concession, but feel an obligation to make the sport of canoeing and the surrounding waterways more accessible to the people of Banff.” 

The Banff Canoe Club has drastically reduced rental rates for locals, and visitors, with the hope canoeing will become a more popular sport for people in the Bow Valley. “We have developed a model we think is very fair, that includes many benefits, including making canoeing much more affordable than it previously had been," says McCutcheon. "We want people to canoe more than once; whether it’s more than once during their visit, or maybe another reason to make a trip back to Banff later in the season, we think making canoeing affordable helps.”

The Banff Canoe Club welcomes everyone. It is not a private club and if visitors choose not to become members, they can still rent canoes and kayaks. Membership just offers a better rental rate. Memberships for Bow Valley residents are complimentary.

Also new this summer at the Banff Canoe Club will be off site rentals, including stand up paddle boards.  Realizing there are many amazing lakes to paddle in Banff National Park, the Banff Canoe Club will offer daily rentals rates for visitors looking to experience canoeing in other spectacular locations like Johnson Lake, Two Jake, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Lake Minnewanka.  

The Banff Canoe Club is focused on engaging the local community. There are many canoeing enthusiasts in the Bow Valley and the Banff Canoe Club aims to be a hub of activity for this group, whether or not they are renting canoes. “We are planning on having events and regatta nights for members where people can get together, have fun, and engage in some friendly activity," says McCutcheon. "I think sometimes we forget how amazing an opportunity it is to paddle in such a remarkable setting and these events will just be a little reminder for people to get out when they can.” 

The Banff Canoe Club will also have an ambassador program that seeks to engage and connect local experienced paddlers with other users of the Bow River.  McCutcheon explains: “We will be looking for a group of locals who will act as ambassadors on the local watercourses, offering directions, local knowledge and support if necessary. The trade off for the group will be free canoeing!” 

While canoeing has been on the Bow River for over a century, things have certainly changed for the better in 2014!

For more information, please visit www.banffcanoeclub.com 

Banff Canoe Club